Aug
11

Grandy, Cano, Nova lead the way in Yanks win over Angels

By

You gotta love the everyday aspect of baseball. Twenty-four hours ago, we were pulling our hair out over a stupid loss to the Angels, but now everything in the baseball world is right again. The Yankees roughed up a rookie pitcher and took home a stress-free win on Wednesday. Perfect.

Juuust enough.

Oh Curtis, I Can’t Stay Mad At You

Curtis Granderson was one of the goats of Tuesday’s game, getting picked off first base with Mark Teixeira at the plate and the tying run on base. It took him all of two pitches to make up for that mistake on Wednesday night. We’ll talk more about Angels’ rookie Garrett Richards more in a bit, but all you need to know right now is that he walked the first two men he faced before catching too much of the plate with a 1-0 fastball to Curtis. It was literally off the top of the wall in right center, hopping into the home bullpen after ricocheting off the fence. Three batters in, the Yankees had a three run lead.

Oh but wait, Granderson wasn’t done yet. He tacked on a second homerun in the fifth inning, a solo shot on another Richards’ fastball. This one was a no doubter to left and Curtis’ 31st homerun of the season, a new career high. There’s 47 games left in the season, and right now he’s on pace to finish with 43 bombs, which would be the second most in the AL since 2008. Obviously, Jose Bautista tops that list with 54 last year. Even if he takes mercy on opposing pitchers the rest of the way and doesn’t hit 40, Granderson has been a marvel this season and the Yankees’ best player day-in, day-out, no questions asked.

Cy Nova

Okay, let’s not get too carried away. Ivan Nova was very good yet again, serving up just a solo homer through the first six innings (more on that in a bit) before losing the zone in the seventh. He gave up two singles and two walks to the first four batters in that seventh inning, but before that he’s allowed just four hits and a walk in six frames. Fourteen of his 18 outs came on ground balls, but he didn’t strike out a single batter and only got two swings and misses (both on fastballs) out of 96 total pitches. That’s right out of Chien-Ming Wang‘s playbook.

Nova did get some help though, because he could have easily finished the game with a 6 IP, 6 R line rather than the 6 IP, 3 R he ended up with. Rafael Soriano stormed out of the bullpen with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh, then got a ground ball double play out of Peter Bourjos (run scored) and a harmless fly ball out of Jeff Mathis. He’s still perfect since coming off the disabled list, retiring all 14 men he faced plus a guy he didn’t even face on the double play. It might be overlooked given the score, but Soriano’s three outs in this game were huge.

Oppo.

Leftovers

You can see why Richards was the 42nd overall pick in the 2009 draft, the kid’s got a great arm. But he was in way over his head in this game, making his big league debut in Yankee Stadium without a single Triple-A inning to his credit. He walked the first two men he faced, gave up a homer to the third, didn’t throw a first pitch strike until the sixth batter, and didn’t strike anyone out until the fifth inning. The Yankees hung six runs on Richards thanks to six hits (including two doubles, a triple, and Granderson’s two homers) and the two walks, but you know what? He can say that his first career strikeout was Derek Jeter, and that he was the first starting pitcher to make his big league debut at New Yankee Stadium. That ain’t bad.

Granderson wasn’t the only offensive star of the night. Robinson Cano doubled in the first, tripled in the fourth, and homered in the seventh. The long ball was an opposite field shot, a non-cheapie that landed several rows up right next to the visitor’s bullpen. He didn’t get a chance to complete the cycle, unfortunately.

Aside from Grandy and Cano, you also had a pair of hits from Nick Swisher, singles from Eric Chavez and Russell Martin, and walks from Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter. Mark Teixeira and Eduardo Nunez were kept off the bases.

Nova has now given up eleven homeruns this season, but all eleven have been solo shots and ten of them have come in the friendly confines of Yankee Stadium. That’s what you call limiting the damage, folks.

Luis Ayala finished the game off with two scoreless innings, throwing 32 pitches. He’s pretty good for the last guy in the bullpen, a veteran dude that can soak up some garbage time innings and keep it from getting interesting. Anyway, the Yankees put their three game losing streak to an end and regained their seven-game lead over the Halos for the wildcard.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerdy stuff, and ESPN the updated standings.

Up Next

The rubber game is a matinee, a 1pm ET start on Thursday. Bartolo Colon takes the ball against his former team and rookie right-hander Tyler Chatwood. If you’re making a last minute decision to head up the Stadium, RAB Tickets can help you get in for cheap.

Categories : Game Stories
  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    One of the best photoshops NoMaas has done in recent memory: http://nomaas.org/2011/08/a-co.....o-no-good/

  • IKE

    Richards actually threw his first career major league pitch as a strike to Gardner leading off the game.

  • Chen Meng Wang

    Just Got back from the game. Few things I noticed:
    Nova was touching 94-96 pretty regularly, I never remember him doing that.
    Excellent job by Soriano making me look stupid. right before the double play I said to my date “I don’t feel very comfortable about this: soriano coming in bases loaded, no-one out.”
    Robinson Cano has unbelievable strength.
    How did AJ allow 5 runs yesterday? The Angels don’t seem to hit the ball hard all to often…just my observation, I could be very wrong.
    Robbie/Teixeira on the right side is about as smooth as it gets.
    Grandy’s second homerun was hit to the section right above me, I wish he would’ve hit it lower.
    Finally, the people in the short porch absolutely love Swish, I like him alot, but god they go nuts for him out there. They also gave Torri Hunter a hard time, but he laughed along with alot of it.

    oh, and I would’ve loved to see D-Rob in this game, cause idk if i’m going to be able to go to the stadium again this season but completely content with this win :)

    • Greg Golson’s Laser Rocket Arm

      AJ gave up 4 runs yesterday, sorry for trolling

      • Chen Meng Wang

        It’s cool as I was typing I was wondering if it was four or five and I didn’t feel like double checking and knew I’d be corrected if wrong.

    • Brian S.

      The Angels weren’t hitting the ball hard because Nova throws bowling balls. Nova is a worms worst nightmare.

      • BigLoving

        Worm killer!

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      I miss the short porch in right. I used to go down there in the middle of the game at the old stadium cause I love those seats, but of course the new stadium has their security nazis there.

      • Chen Meng Wang

        You just gotta walk around like you own the joint. While I was walking around in the fifth inning I just flashed my ticket real quick at any point in the stadium and walked by and got right up to the moat that divides the rich from us common folk.

  • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

    Truthfully? I feel bad for Richards. Kid’s not an “Oh-my-God” sure thing pitching prospect, why debut him like this? Hell, the Nats threw Strasburg out in front of the AAA Pirates lineup for his debut last year. Watching Richards in that first inning was kind of painful.

    That said, I’m pretty sure everyone has a shitty debut, and I’m pretty sure he knows that, so all in all it’s not important or anything. Just seems kinda cruel to send a kid to debut like this, but necessity is necessity.

    • Dale Mohorcic

      After the first he settled down an pitched way better than anyone who jumps from AA to the majors could expect to pitch.

      • JohnnyC

        Considering he had no breaking pitch all night, that he “settled down” says more about the Yankees’ sporadic offense than his “golden arm.” Straight fastballs are meant to be mashed.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Ivan Nova= Number two starter
    I’m sorry, but Big Bart probably won’t last.

    • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

      Still hesitant on calling Nova any of that. He’s on a great run, but when someone’s “pitching against their projections” per se I have reason to be skeptical, since it hasn’t even been a year yet.

      • nsalem

        Why should you be skeptical? A projection isn’t a prediciton.

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      Why not? He’s held up fine so far. That start in Boston may not have been representative, but they have the best offense in the league up there. They’ve made much better pitchers than Bartolo Colon look silly. And it could have been much worse.

    • nedro

      Ivan Nova, looking impressive vs Bal, ChW, and LAW lineups =\= #2 starter.

      That said…. Love the kid, show me more!

      • nedro

        *LAA

    • Jim S

      You have to be the most reactionary commenter on this blog as of late.

      • MannyGeee

        HUGE assumption there. go look at the thread from Tuesday nights game. This site is chock full of reactionary drama. Key difference is the other 95% show up to tell us how bad the Yankees blow, Jesse comes through in good times and bad.

        • Jim S

          Eh yeah, maybe just most reactionary of the regulars who don’t just come by to tell use how much the team sucks.

    • craig

      Okay, I’ll take the minority argument here. Nova pitched well, but let’s temper expectations a bit. If not for luck and bullpen handling the last 2 starters could have been this:

      Nova – 6IP and 6 ER
      AJ – 5.2IP and 1 ER

      If that had happened…and it is really, a very possible scenario, everyone would be saying that AJ rose to the occasion and has turned a corner and Nova slid back to a AAAA arm.

      Okay, not everyone would be defending AJ, but that doesn’t lessen my point.

      Jack Curry saying AJ and Posada are the same is ridiculous. Pitching is really difficult and it is entirely different than being a no-hit DH who cannot play the field. AJ does bring value by going 5+ innings and giving up 1 or 2 runs. Of course he isn’t worth the contract, but he can provide a TON more value than Posada could, as long as he is handled appropriately.

      • Tim

        Amen, brother. Been saying the same thing for the past several days.

  • pat

    Thank goodness SD returned him back to us in 2009. Cash would probably cry himself to sleep every night if Nova was out in Cali tearing shit up in Petco.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Nova just completed high A ball when SD got him so the chances of his sticking on the MLB team were already pretty slim.

    • Avi

      “Cash would probably cry himself to sleep every night if Nova was out in Cali tearing shit up in Petco.”

      Nah, everybody here would be saying how he wouldn’t be able to do it in the AL East.
      /IanKennedyed

      • guest

        +1.

      • Anchen

        Well, we don’t know if Kennedy can do it in the AL East. That said he has certainly had an impressive year in Arizona. And we haven’t seen Nova against Boston really.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cecala Joseph Cecala

    Nova does not have the strike outs to be a #2 starter hes a serviceable #3 and a very good #4. If he can control his breaking pitches to gain more swing and misses then I would not argue but as of now he reminds me of those pitch to contact pitchers from the Twins. He has impressed and improved since most people viewed him as a #5 entering the year.

    • guest

      He strikes out more hitters than Chien Ming Wang did when he was with the Yankees and Wang was pretty successful for the Yankees. Wang had better command of his pitches, so to me that is Nova’s key; improving his command. You can be very successful in the Major Leagues with out striking out a lot of hitters. The key is to get outs; strikeouts make you less reliant on your defense, but if you have a decent defense behind you, it doesn’t matter how you get those outs.

  • ahinds

    is nova the rookie of the year?

    • YankeesJunkie

      No both Pineda and Ogando have been considerably better pitchers than Nova this year. Not to mention guys like Trumbo and Ackley who have broken on to hitting side. If he is able to pick up a few more wins I would not be surprised to see a top 3, but outside his wins his numbers don’t compare with the elite rookies this year.

      • sleepykarl

        Ogando going for the Volquez Sophmore of the Year Award? He kinda pitched all but a month or two last year and is by no means a rookie.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Did he reach the days on the roster requirement? I recall he had like 40 innings, so by innings he still has the eligibility.

          • Brett

            Assuming Nova is great in the last 8 or so games he pitches, he could have similar numbers to the one Verlander had in his rookie year… but yeah, Pineda is having a better season by far.

          • forensic

            In addition to the innings/AB limits there is a 45 days on the roster (before sept 1st) limit and he was way over that.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      Dustin Ackley.

  • BklynJT

    Let’s not appoint the guy the throne just yet, but at the same time, let’s stop limiting him based off his “projections”.

    Some players never live up to their projections (e.g. Hughes???) while other players become much more than their projections (e.g. Nova???).

    Nova polishing his slider adds a new dimension to his game. He didnt record any strikeouts this game, but only 7 batters that he faced even reached a 2 strike count, and you gotta love those grounders.

    Also, I checked Gameday and none of his pitches were sliders while I did see a bunch of changeups. Is gameday registering his sliders as changeups?

    • MannyGeee

      too early to crown Nova just like its too early to say Hughes has not lived up to projections.

      just like its too far gone to assume anything other than what we have come to expect from pitchers like AJ.

  • http://facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

    I was sitting in the bleachers game tonight and I yelled at the angels pitcher as he was warming up. ” Hey dickhead this isn’t AA anymore, get ready for Tex to take you deep in the 1st inning for 3 runs, you’ll remember my face.” I got shrugged off by the pitching coach and the pitcher. I like to think I had an impact on the game today.

    • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

      Pretty sure athletes have obnoxious crap yelled at them every day. Congrats on being a dick, though.

      • http://facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

        What can I say, it’s what I do.

        • Chen Meng Wang

          You got nothing on the guy that was sitting near me lol, poor Tori Hunter couldn’t go more than ten minutes without being made fun of in some respect. Tori took it well though and laughed along with a lot of it. The best one of the night by far “Hey Tori, whats the matter to old to play center these days?” Hunter responded by stretching a little bit and grabbing at his back as if to say “Ow, it hurts” Then ten minutes later had the centerfielder make that awesome play while he dove in front.

  • Tim

    Random note you won’t see in papers…..my friend was at Starbucks ion upper east side about three today and Jeter strolled in, his regular routine. Anyway he parks his ford at muni meter out front and in his 5 minutes in Starbucks gets ticket as he didn’t pay meter. Comes out grabs ticket and takes off. Someone says to ticket lady “do you know that was Derek Jeter?” She’s like “I don’t care who he is he didn’t pay for parking.”. Pretty funny.

    • YankeesJunkie

      I got a good laugh laugh at that. Jeter must rack up parking tickets who gives a fuck since he is making 15 million a year.

      • Avi

        Funny. If it’s a dealer’s car or the manufacturer’s Jeter doesn’t have to worry about the ticket. Good chance it isn’t registered to him.

    • Monteroisdinero

      His Ford? I have seen him in his mercedes sedan in Florida and a Maserati coming out of YS after a game. Never seen him in a Ford except in commercials.

      • MannyGeee

        well then there you go. your local Tri-State Ford Dealer is in for a hell of a surprise in a few weeks when they have to pony up for DJ’s unpaid parking tickets…

      • Tim

        It’s funny you say that because I asked my friend like three times. She said a Ford Explorer no less. Any way, she said it was a fairly plain looking silver SUV. I’m guessing it’s his knock around car that’s a freebie from Ford….

  • Chen Meng Wang

    Watching the encore just cause you miss a couple things from the stands and there’s nothing on TV, I fucking new gardner was safe on that play at first…you can almost hear me screaming bullshit from the outfield lol.

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      He was safe by a mile. Final score should be 10-3.

      • Chen Meng Wang

        and for whatever reason they didn’t show a replay on the jumbotron at the stadium.

        random thing I noticed at the game though, maybe somebody who goes and sits in right field often can answer, has there always been a square of grass where the right fielder stands slightly lighter then the rest of the grass?

        • MannyGeee

          they probably sod out sections of the field that get worn down heavily like that. Anyone who plays (played) beer league or little league can attest, those OF holes can hurt if you trip in them.

        • drosey

          The grass in right field is lighter in that one patch because that’s where swisher is most of the time and spits his tobacco juice. someday tobacco will grow there!

      • Monteroisdinero

        He should have slid.

        /kidding

  • CUYanks

    Trumbo actually made a really nice play at first to rob Cano of single in the one at bat he did make an out. That close to a cycle. (fallacy of the predetermined outcome, etc.)

    • Monteroisdinero

      Trumbo is quite a prospect. Big time power bat and excellent 1B and played RF.

      • Raza

        Never a top 100 prospect. He’s a solid hitter but a very flawed hitter. Good fielder though.

        • JohnnyC

          Power hitters with OBPs under .300 don’t end well in the majors.

  • Karl Krawfid

    Didn’t watch the game but watched the highlights.

    Didn’t see Montero on the bench.

    • http://facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

      +1

    • David, Jr.

      Somebody was sitting in his roster spot. Couldn’t tell who it was. May have been Posada, Rick Cerrone or Yogi Berra.

  • Rich in NJ

    Nunez made some really nice plays in the field tonight.

    • Monteroisdinero

      ACCURATE, strong arm. Love Noony.

      • MannyGeee

        when did ACCURATE show up?

  • Chen Meng Wang

    Btw, What happened to Soriano? At the game I was talking with the girl I brought then noticed they took him out with out him throwing a pitch in the 8th, just wierd…was it just because Ayala wasn’t warm yet?

    • FIPster Doofus

      They were just stalling so Ayala could get loose in the bullpen.

      • Chen Meng Wang

        ok just making sure that soriano didn’t feel tightness in something or anything.

  • Carl LaFong

    Knowing Ben Gamel went 2 for 4 w/a double, Cody Grice went 1 for 4 w/a run scored & SB, Tyler Austin went 1 for 2 w/an RBI & 2 BB while also playing his first game in the field since coming off the DL, and Zach Wilson going 1 for 3 w/a run scored somehow pleases me very much.

  • ramez hanna

    how is ubaldo jiminez doing with the indians now?

    • Monteroisdinero

      He pitched well last night for a win. He pitched poorly his first start.

      • MannyGeee

        seems to be adjusting, although hes not lighting the world on fire or anything…

    • Sayid J.
  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I watched with much anticipation Nova’s efforts last night. He didn’t disappoint. As follow bloggers have indicated he has Wang’s sinker which I like. The key is to keep starting him every five days. He could be good for us come playoff time. Also the same for Hughes, he needs to get some innings under his belt. The BS of bullpen warmups then starting five days latter is not good. He needs a regular diet of starting. As far as AJ I believe he needs regular work but I don’t know if he’s worth it. A message somehow must be sent to him about his poor performance. Also explore the trade market over the winter.

    Granderson is just a good player.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

      No one, and I mean no one, will give up anything of value for A.J. Burnett unless the Yankees eat a ton of money.

      • Jim S

        This X infinity.

      • David, Jr.

        It is called “Couldn’t give him away.”

  • Monteroisdinero

    Nova did not have a curveball (for strikes) last night. The fact that he could do well with mostly a sinking fb is very encouraging. When he has all his pitches he can dominate. When he doesn’t, a game like last night goes a long way towards keeping him in the rotation long term.

  • Jorge

    Great game. This is why you have to let tough losses slide. I would love to see Nova continue to have confidence in his secondary pitches. He really is starting to look like a very different pitcher who could surpass what his supposed “ceiling” was.

    Ian Kennedy can win 20 games out in the NL this year for all I care. Curtis Granderson has done it all for this team.

  • David, Jr.

    It was a game that should keep some people off of the ledge for a little while. Yesterday they were ripping people like Mariano and Granderson, forgetting that everything imaginable will happen over 162 games. The one guy even posted about ten times about how lousy the offense is. He will likely return tomorrow if they score four or less.

  • Tim

    Maybe I’m missing something here. Burnett goes out yesterday, pitches brilliantly for 5.2 innings, then loses the strike zone and gives up 4 runs in 6 innings, and everyone here is talking about releasing him, he stinks, he’s a headcase. Nova goes out the next day, against the same team, throws 6 brilliant innings (with no strikeouts), tires, loses the strike zone, and gives up 3 runs only by the grace of Soriano coming in and saving his ass. Essentially, the two starts were as near to identical as you can be. But Nova gets praised for his great sinker and Burnett is a piece of trash who should be cut.

    The money part of this equation is completely irrelevant to everyone on this board. You aren’t paying the salary, and the salary isn’t preventing the Yankees from making any necessary moves to produce a winning team. All that matters is performance, and if you take off your Nova colored glasses you’ll see his performance last night was good, and Burnett’s the night before was also good. The only difference between the performances was that the Yankees scored 7 runs when Nova was in the game, and only 1 when Burnett was in the game.

    • David, Jr.

      You are missing plenty by only focusing on those two games. Nova has earned a spot in the top four. AJ and Hughes are competing for the fifth starter spot. Nova didn’t have his best stuff last night and bulled it out, which was very impressive.

      • Tim

        No I am not, and you are completely missing the whole point of my post. I am using the last two games as a reference point, only. I never said that Nova doesn’t belong in the rotation – it is pretty obvious that he is one of the five best starting pitchers on the Yankees right now. What I said was everyone here is waxing rhapsodic about his performance last night, just one day after killing Burnett for a nearly identical performance against the same team, with the onyl difference being the Yankees didn’t hit on tuesday night and lost, and did hit last night and won.

        I said in a post the other day that Burnett could very easily be 14-6 instead of the 8-9 he is. There is no doubt that right now he is also one of the five best starters on the Yankees, and should stay in the rotation. Not because of his contract, but because of his performance. Clearly, if you are measuring on performance, Hughes has to be the odd man out.

        • Jim S

          I don’t think anyone is “waxing rhapsodic” about his performance.

          Most of the comments have been “He didn’t have his best stuff, but he gave us quality innings anyway, and we won the game.”

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      Tim, I believe using the two games is too subjective. Nova is just starting to get his feet wet the last two yeas and is exhibiting talents of being a very decent pitcher. AJ’s track record is sub .500. I understand the short history for Nova but AJ is pitching to the back of the baseball card and its not enough to keep him in the rotation even with his electric stuff. I just about puke my dinner when I hear announcers make the comment about his stuff.

      I don’t care about the monetary return or value. He’s standing in the way of younger talent from AAA surfacing.

      • Tim

        No he’s not. There is no one currently in AAA that is definitively better than Burnett, otherwise they would be up here pitching right now. And as I said above, Hughes is the weak link in the rotation chain right now – if anyone is standing in anyone else’s way based on performance this year, it is Hughes and not Burnett.

        • LarryM.,Fl.

          We shall see if the Yankees don’t shop him over the winter?