Yanks finish off sweep as Nova dominates ChiSox

Phelps returns to mound in GCL loss
Mailbag: Garcia, Gardner, D-Rob, Pujols, CC

This game, much like the entire series, was a good old fashioned ass whoopin’. The Yankees finished off the four-game sweep of the White Sox in Chicago with a 7-2 win on Thursday night, sending them to Boston with a seven-game winning streak.

(AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Ivan Nova, Stud

If Nova was pitching for his spot in the rotation, he did everything he needed to do to keep his job and then some. He allowed one run in the third on an infield single, stolen base, single and sacrifice fly), but he was practically untouchable the rest of the game. Ten ChiSox hitters went down on strike three, a new career high in strikeouts by three. Nova also generated a career-high 16 swings and misses, which is one fewer than he had in the entire month of May. Chicago had just six hits off him the entire game, two each by Paul Konerko and Brent Morel, and not a single one for extra bases. By Game Score (73), it was the best start of his career (the start against the Red earlier this year was a 72).

PitchFX had Nova’s fastball topping out just north of 96 but mostly sitting around 92, though the key was his slider. That’s the pitch they wanted him to work on in the minors, and a lot of his strikeouts came on that very pitch. Don’t Bring In The Lefty did a PitchFX breakdown of Nova’s arsenal after the game, so check that out. He pounded the zone (70 of 102 pitches were strikes, 68.6%), and nine of his 13 non-strikeout outs came on the infield (eight ground balls). Just five of the 27 batters he faced hit the ball out of the infield. Five! Joe Girardi said after the game that they’ll continue to talk about their rotation situation, but it’s pretty obvious right now that they can’t not start Nova. He’s simply pitching too well.


Robinson Cano, Strong

Much like they did the last few days, the Yankees broke the ice and scored the first run in this game. It came courtesy of a Robinson Cano home run, a first-pitch fastball from Phil Humber that he drove the other way and into the bullpen in the second inning. If you just watched the flight of the ball without knowing who hit it, you’d swear a right-handed batter yanked it down the line. I love opposite-field homers; they show the ability to sit back on a pitch and explode through it late, plus brute strength. Hitting a ball that hard to the opposite field can’t be taught, but then against Robbie does a lot of things with the bat you can’t teach.


The Lead

As good as Nova was, Phil Humber was matching him through the first five innings. Brett Gardner led off the sixth with a double into right, then he moved to third on Derek Jeter‘s sacrifice bunt. I know I bitch and moan about bunts quite a bit, but sheesh. One of the fastest runners in the game was already in scoring position with no outs in the inning. Swing the damn bat.

Anyway, Curtis Granderson clanked a curveball along the foul line to first base after Jeter’s bunt, and Gardner broke for home. Adam Dunn fielded the ball and stepped on first for the force out before throwing home. It was a great throw, right on the money and easy for A.J. Pierzynski to handle, but Gardner simply outran it and slid in as the go-ahead run. The small ball act worked in this instance, but let’s not make a habit of it, mmmkay? Especially in a situation like this, Gardner on second with none out. He’s scoring on any single to the outfield; no need to give up an out.

Tacking On

The way Nova was pitching, that one-run lead was enough, but they played it safe and tacked a few more on anyway. Jorge Posada singled in Cano in the seventh, then Martin plated Nick Swisher as the next batter with a sac fly. That made a 2-1 game much more comfortable at 4-1, but they didn’t stop there. Martin jumped all over a Brian Bruney meatball in the top of the ninth, clobbering a three-run homer into left-center field to officially put it out of reach. It was his second homer of the series after going more than a month without one.

In the face.


Nova handed the ball off to David Robertson with two outs in the seventh, and he got Juan Pierre to line out to left. Hector Noesi finished things off in the ninth, though he did give up Dunn’s 11th homer of the season. I really couldn’t care about that. It’s a garbage time shot and Noesi challenged a struggling hitter in a 2-2 count. Fine by me. The Yankee pitching staff did not walk a single batter in the entire four-game series; you have to go back to Nick Markakis’ third inning walk against Freddy Garcia on Sunday for the last time a Yankees’ pitcher but a man on base via ball four. It’s a span of 39 innings, the third longest walk-less streak since 1919. The 2002 Yankees went 54 IP, the 1965 Dodgers 42.1 IP. That’s pretty incredible, especially since A.J. Burnett started once of these games.

Eric Chavez picked up two more hits, including one off the very top of the wall in right field. A little more wind and it would have been his second homer of the season and second in as many days. Cano had two hits while Gardner, Swisher, Posada, and Martin had one apiece. Jeter drew a walk, as did Cano and Swish. Mark Teixeira (0-for-4 with two strikeouts) was the only Yankee not to reach base in the game.

Jeter made a baserunning mistake in the eighth inning, something he never does. He was on second with one out, then froze when Teixeira hit a ground ball to third. Morel looked towards first for the force out, but instead threw to second and the tag was applied before Jeter was able to slide back in. You very rarely see the Cap’n make a mistake on the bases, so I’m glad he got it out of his system in a game the Yankees were leading by three (at the time).

And since we’re talking about baserunning, I have to mention this because it’s driving me nuts: sliding headfirst in first has become an epidemic with this team. Gardner’s been doing it pretty regularly for a few weeks, and Martin tried it in the fifth inning of this game. I guess they’re not going to be happy until someone breaks a few fingers or a wrist. Just run through the base please, it’s not worth the injury, not at this point of the season with the Yankees having such a big lead on a playoff berth.

Anyway, I’m convinced the White Sox won’t win more than 20 games the rest of the season (they have 52 left). They’ve completely checked out as though they’d rather be doing anything other than playing baseball. I’d hate to be a fan of that team given how awful they’ve looked. The Yankees, meanwhile, have won seven straight and eleven of their last 14. The Red Sox lost to the Indians, so the two AL East rivals will start the weekend series with identical 68-42 records, though the Yankees have a substantial edge in run differential (+173 to +138).

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

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

Up Next

Off to Boston for three games against the Red Sox, which should be a blast with both clubs sitting atop the division. Bartolo Colon will start the series off against Jon Lester on Friday night. If you want to head to Fenway for any of the three games this weekend, RAB Tickets can get you there.

Phelps returns to mound in GCL loss
Mailbag: Garcia, Gardner, D-Rob, Pujols, CC
  • http://www.retire21.org first name only male (formerly Mike R. – Retire 21)

    Great game! Greater pitching performance! Greatest picture subtitle!!! EVER!!!



  • sleepykarl

    Coming into the game the Yankee offense led the AL in steals and HRs, second in wOBA and batter WAR, as well as K/9 and was second or third in ERA/FIP/WAR. It’s crazy to think of all the micro concerns a fanbase can think up (I’m guilty of this as well).

    • tom

      I was just looking at all that myself tonight. The most amazing thing is how close they are to the top of the league in the pitching stats. That they would have a significant run-differential advantage over the Red Sox at this point, and that it would be based on the pitching rather than the offense end, is not, I think, a bet many would have made in April.

    • MannyGeee

      butbutbutbutbut… we’re old and have no pitching past CC!!!

      andandandandand Jeter and A-Rod! and No DHHHHHHHH!!1!!!!!1!!!!1!!one!!1!


  • Jimmy McNulty

    Great series, HUGE series coming up. I’m glad that the bullpen is nice and rested.

  • Art Vandelay

    How about pierre’s bunt over Chavez. Looked like he planned it. Pretty cool.

  • Stuckey

    Next time someone is inclined to knowingly talk about “ceiling” or “projects to be” of minor league players (as in “his ceiling is a back of the rotation guy”, or “he projects to be a 4th outfielder”), one would hope they’d stop, look at what Garder, Robertson and now Ivan Nova are doing, and think better of it.

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

      Nova still seems pretty back-of-the-rotation, albeit he’s had a fine run.

      • Stuckey

        Guy is locating a 95mph fastball and getting swings and misses on sharp breaking pitches.

        What about that seems “back of the rotation”?

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

          Against one of the saddest offenses in baseball. And why is tagging him as a back of the rotation starter such a bad thing? He’s not an ace or a #2, but has all the makings of a very solid #3 or #4 starter.

        • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

          He was pitching to a bad offense.

          It was a very impressive start, but that does not mean he will go out and dominate a lineup like Boston or Texas. I will be convinced if he can shut down a above average lineup.

          • Stuckey

            You mean like the Reds on June 20?

            • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

              He did pitch a GREAT game against them. But during that time the Red’s offense was underperforming pretty bad IIRC. Again, I’m not saying that wasn’t a great start, I’m just saying that he is what he is: starter that can pitch well against bad lineups (like tonight) and pitch mediocre/the occasional gem against the better offenses.

              • Stuckey

                Saying “he is what he is” after 24 career starts is once again, the entire point.

                No one knows what the hell is yet.

                But that said, your description “pitch well against bad lineups and pitch mediocre/the occasional gem against the better offenses” sounds a LOT like a #2-3 to me in the AL in 2011.

                • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                  Ivan Nova is not a #2-3 starter on this team. He may be on other teams, but not this one. I’m not sating he’s not a good pitcher, just that he’s not a #2-3

                  • Stuckey

                    Sounds like an utterly arbitrary distinction.

                    What’s a #2-3 starter on “this” team?

                    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                      Someone you would want starting against Boston or Texas in game 3 of a playoff series with the series more than likely tied at 1-1. If you want Nova starting there, fine. We’re all entitled to our own opinions.

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

                      CC, Colon, and Garcia have all pitched better than him. So this season he could only be our #4 at best. Next season? Who knows what our rotation will look like then.

                    • Stuckey

                      I can’t compete in a debate about your opinion.

                      I just happen to think basing a definitive opinion on a player’s first 24 starts, when the trend lines are all going in the right direction, doesn’t seem like something someone experienced observing baseball over time would do.

                      Which I suppose is an opinion I’m entitled to.

                    • http://twitter.com/aviatkin Avi Atkin

                      AJ BURNETT IS #2!

              • forensic

                I love how Nova is what he is with no room for improvement, but Hughes still has ace potential and improvement in him.

                (Not saying you in particular are saying that, just that it seems to be the underlying tone of many of the commenters here)

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

                  There’s room for improvement for both.

                • MannyGeee

                  AJ is what he is; so are Colon and Freddy… Hughes and Nova are still young, so we will not know who they are this season.

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

          One start, my friend. One start. Freddy Garcia has done better in his career but ultimately, in the long run, he is simply not that good.

          • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

            Freddy Garcia has 10 wins.
            Ivan Nova has 10 wins.

            Same. Exact. Pitchers.

            • Levi

              I laughed.

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

              You know who else only has 10 wins? Cliff Lee. Who needs him? BOOOM

            • MannyGeee


          • Stuckey

            3.81 ERA in the AL as a rookie, sub-3 ERA last 8 starts is not “one start”.

            Ignoring his stuff over what you read about him a year or two ago is again my entire point…

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

              He doesn’t strike anyone out and walks a decent amount of batters. He’s okay, nothing special.

              • Stuckey

                Jeremy Hellickson is rockin’ nearly identical BB/K and K/9 rates.

                And Nova’s rates are MUCH improved in June-July-August, which happen to account for a 3rd of his career starts.

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

                  See, but Hellickson was a monster in the minors.

                  Nova is really, really REALLY not that great, sorry. He’s a lot better than we expected, and I’m fine with that, but it’s fine that he’s not an ace.

                  • YankeesJunkie

                    This. Even Wang who was much better than Nova once struck out 10 versus the Mets on Sunday Night Baseball. Nova has done an excellent job at solidifying that he is a capable back end starter in the AL East. Put him in the NL and he could easily be a mid rotation guy.

                    • will

                      Eh. Nova, unlike a certain other Yankee pitching prospect who is fiercely loved on here, has actually shown an ability to improve his game at the MLB level.

                    • Jim S

                      Gotta love it when people oversimplify an argument so their side sounds like the only logical position.

                  • Lazy Bones Andruw Jones

                    This is a faulty argument. Plenty of players that put up great numbers in the minors never amount to anything in the majors and players with avereage numbers in the minors turn into great players. (Not saying Nova’s going to be great)

              • MannyGeee

                didnt he just strike out 10 batters like…. 12 hours ago?

              • toad

                Maybe, but we don’t know yet. That’s the point. All the talk about what players “project to” is just guesswork. Even for very well-informed observers, it’s a very inexact science.

                Nova is a 24-yr old steadily improving pitcher. To pretend to know his ceiling is silly.

      • sleepykarl

        In fairness, Nova didn’t have the slider in the projections, this new strike people out Nova2.0 is new.

        • Stuckey

          Which is the point, of course.

          • sleepykarl

            It’s incredibly rare for a 24 year old to develop a major league out pitch over the course of a month after years without it. He may be a rare exception, but don’t forget the very slim sample size you are using to say he will be better than a back of the rotation guy. I think it is still safe to play the percentages.

            • Stuckey

              I’m not saying he will be. You miss my point.

              I’m saying putting a ceiling on players is silly. Equally silly is putting a floor on them.

              As to the “percentages”, which “percentages” are you citing?

              • Mykey

                I like this general point you are making. Ceilings and floors can be helpful in formulating expectations, but in the end, they are just projections. These players are still young. We cannot plot their development exactly. While we shouldn’t discount these ceiling/floor projections entirely, I don’t think we should assume we know a young player’s fate. Afterall, we can all point to examples of players who have exceeded their perhaps prematurely prescribed potential, and we can all present a laundry list of players who never lived up to their expectations. (Not really commenting on the Nova situation, just liked that point).

      • David, Jr.

        If that was back of rotation pitching, it would be great if AJ became a back of rotation starter.

        • DCBX


          AJ is certainly capable of 7.2 IP and 10Ks, but it’d be real nice if he was capable of those numbers without also giving up 6 R / 5 BB / 2 HR. He’s one of the few pitchers I’ve seen that I can totally picture posting 12+Ks in a start and still losing badly.

          Nova isn’t Verlander or CC, but I can see him as a #2.

          In an ALCS scenario:


          is likely how I’d play it. JMHO.

    • Mister Delaware

      Aaron Small was once a #1 for a couple months.

      • Rich in NJ

        His xFIP in that “magical” 2005 season was 4.81.

    • Ted Nelson

      I would agree about “ceiling” a lot more than “projects to be.” When we talk about ceilings we are capping how much a player can improve, which I agree is somewhat foolish. When we talk about about what a player projects to be, though, we are merely talking about probabilities of various outcomes… which is exactly what you want to be doing in forecasting the future. “Projects to be” is a probability thing, not a definitive thing. That, for example, Jesus Montero “projects to be” a very good MLB hitter does not rule out the possibility that he could be a lousy or amazing MLB hitter. It merely puts the likelihood of “very good” above that of “lousy” or “amazing.” And that’s just one persons take on the probabilities, other can disagree.

      • toad

        Yes, but remember that those probabilities can have very wide distributions. Montero’s projection is probably narrower than Nova’s, for example.

        What that means is that ceiling can be more important than the average projection, because once you get below a certain level it doesn’t matter. A disappointing prospect who tops out at AAA is no more valuable than one who tops out at AA.

        • Ted Nelson

          Putting probabilities on various outcome accounts for the “wide distribution” you are talking about. I don’t think you understand my point. If you were to have a 0-100 measure and assign probabilities to every, say, 5 point interval… that accounts for the “wide distribution.”

          I disagree with your conclusion that ceiling is more important than projection.

          Ceiling is just the absolute best case scenario. Nova’s ceiling was a lot more than a #4 starter… he was just unlikely to get there. So people pegged his ceiling as a #4 starter, because that was a more likely outcome. They were actually projecting, but mistakenly labeled it as ceiling.

          Most prospects have a very high ceiling if every thing goes right… it’s a matter of the probability of getting there.

          • toad

            Well, no.

            Different players have different distributions, even if they have the same average.

            Take your 100 point scale. There is some value, say 50, below which a player will not be major league material. You don’t care about the probabilities below that. They don’t matter. What you care about is the probabilities at 50 or above. So a guy whose numbers are 25% each of reaching 15, 30, 70, and 85 is a much better prospect than one whose chances are 25% each of reaching 30, 45,55, and 70. In fact, if the first guy’s distribution were 15, 30,50, and 85 he’d still be a better prospect, because if they both make 50 the second guy has a higher projection, despite having a lower one overall.

            That’s sort of what I mean by saying you have to look at ceiling. I probably should have said “upside” rather than ceiling.

            • Ted Nelson

              Again… you aren’t reading my posts. What I said is EXACTLY that different players have different distributions. That’s a huge part of what I’m saying. Why are you telling me it like it’s something I don’t know?

              You look at the overall picture… not the upside. Michael Vick’s ceiling if he’d decided to drop out of VTech for baseball might have been a lefty Willie Mays… but he would have had a very, very low chance of reaching that ceiling. So… again… you don’t look at the ceiling, you look at the probability distribution.

              Or take two guys with the same ceiling and the same production… if one is in AAA and one is in GCL… almost anyone would take the AAA guy because his probability is so much better.

              • toad

                As I said, I made a mistake by saying “ceiling.” I didn’t really mean upper limit. I meant upside in general. You ignore downside (by which I mean the distribution of outcomes below the major league level) because if a player isn’t going to make the majors you don’t care how badly he misses.

                That’s all I’m saying.

  • Dino Velvet

    Did Girardi address whether Nova stays in the rotation in post game show?

    • Rich in NJ

      He said they are undecided. He’ll discuss it with Cash.

  • Jon G

    Remember what the Giants did with Zito last year when he was pitching poorly? They should do the same thing with AJ if Hughes pitches well again Tues… We’d see AJ again on 9/1, but ideally not on the playoff roster. If the Giants can do it with their expensive dud starter, why not the Yanks?

    • MannyGeee

      sorry, but AJ could provide value on the playoff roster. EVEN if its an emergency relief appearance, they wont keep him off the playoff roster.

      not happening

      • Ted Nelson

        Depends how their other options are doing, as well as how he finishes his season. If Colon, Garcia, Hughes, and Nova all cruise from here on out (and assuming CC stays healthy) and Mo, D-Rob, Soriano, Logan, Wade, Noesi, Ayala… maybe even Romero and/or Marte are all cruising too and AJ is struggling… totally possible they don’t need him on the post-season roster.

        • Cris Pengiuci

          That would be a great problem to have ….

  • Rich in NJ

    There are few things more satisfying than watching young players develop. That’s why I have a bias against trading prospects.

    • will

      Agreed, which is why I really hope the Yankees don’t demote Nova again. And it is also a reason why I’d be a happier fan if I never have to watch Phil Hughes start another game in a Yankee uniform.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        What do you have against Phil Hughes? Not saying you hate the kid just trying to understand where you’re coming from?

      • Jim S

        Please re-read what you wrote.

        You agree that you love watching young players develop, and you never want to watch Hughes start again. Hughes is a young player. He’s still developing.


        • Jorge

          This is what happens when you let your toddler near a PC. 25 year-old men are grizzled vets in their eyes.

        • The Big City of Dreams

          I think some ppl are just tired of Phil Hughes.

          • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

            Agree… And some people also don’t realize that the terms “watching young players develop” and “watching young players succeed” are not one and the same. This is what development looks like sometimes, folks.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Very well said

              • Jim S

                How can you agree with HCM and defend will at the same time?

                I’m not saying will can’t be tired of Hughes. He can be as tired of him as he wants. But then, don’t agre that you like watching young players develop.

                What he really likes is watching young players succeed(as HCM pointed out). Which is perfectly fine and rational. But he should have said that.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  “How can you agree with HCM and defend will at the same time?”

                  I just like to jump in and stir the pot just kidding.

                  “What he really likes is watching young players succeed”

                  I don’t think that’s the case with Will. I think he enjoys seeing players take steps in their development. He feels that Hughes has reached the point where enough is enough.

                  • Jim S

                    Development involves forward and backward steps.

                    Hughes just took one of the biggest forward steps in recent memory. After taking a few tiny, but most definitely noticeable forward steps his last few outings.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    He did can’t deny that and I stated that in this post but at the same time I don’t think ppl can declare him being back. Not saying you have but it was the phrase being thrown around after his start.

          • Ted Nelson

            I still don’t get why you always defend people’s irrational feelings… it’s pretty obvious that “will” is tired of Phil Hughes from his comment. That doesn’t mean his comment is any less contradictory. Either he likes watching young players develop, or he doesn’t. Hughes is only 1/2 a year older than Nova.

            • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

              He didn’t defend anyone, he just explained some of the negative feeling towards Hughes among a segment of the fan population.

              • Ted Nelson

                Perhaps defending was the wrong word to use, but every time someone makes an irrational comment about how the Yankees should cut an underperforming prospect or player (or something like that) The Big City of Dreams makes a comment about how that person is just tired of that player. From reading their comment it’s pretty obvious that they’re tired of that player. The point is that in hoping a valuable player is cut or never succeeds again that commenter is being irrational.

                In this case, Jim S points out a total inconsistency in will’s comment. He likes seeing young prospects develop, but doesn’t like seeing Hughes develop. Hughes is 1/2 a year older than Nova. I just don’t see why The Big City of Dreams felt the need to point out that fans are tired on Hughes in response to Jim S pointing out that will had blatantly contradicted himself.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                Exactly sometimes what ppl say on this site isn’t cut and dry. How many times have we seen a blogger say one thing and it gets taken out of context.

                • Ted Nelson

                  Will agreed that he likes seeing young players develop, and then said he does not like seeing Hughes develop… to the point that he said he never wants him to wear a Yankees uniform again… that’s a pretty cut and dry contradiction. Hughes is a young player. If he continues to pitch the way he did in his last start or anywhere close… why on earth would you not want him in a Yankee uniform ever again if you like watching young players develop?

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    why on earth would you not want him in a Yankee uniform ever again if you like watching young players develop?


                    Maybe because he’s not judging Hughes on just the last start. He’s taking in his body of work as a starter. For reasons he has already stated he has had enough of Phil Hughes. He’s not the only one that believes Phil has been given a sufficient amount of opportunities.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      If Nova were called up at 20 or 21 or whatever you’d almost definitely be tired of him too… He has explained why he is tired of Hughes, but that doesn’t make it any less impatient or illogical. I can explain to you why I think the clouds are made of cotton balls… but that doesn’t make it any less incorrect.

                • http://www.twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

                  Yeah, Ted’s right here… I mean, you can say “people are just tired of Hughes,” but that doesn’t make their wrong(and in this case, self-contradictory) statements any less ridiculous.

                  He said what he meant, there’s no misinterpretation going on here. And what he said was stupid.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    I wouldn’t say it was stupid. It would be stupid if he said Hughes sucks because he’s from California.

                    • Jim S

                      No, this is still stupid. Stupid in the sense of making no sense.

                      If you claim you like examples of event A, but you don’t like this specific example which falls under set A, you’re wrong. It’s a contradictory statement. This isn’t even subjective.

          • Will

            Bingo. I’m well aware that Hughes is still young, and I suppose it is possible that he will eventually live up to the hype/projections bestowed upon him as a 20-year-old.

            I’m just saying I’ve seen enough of him. Nothing personal.

            • Ted Nelson

              Then you don’t like seeing young players develop… because Hughes is a young player you are seeing develop.

            • The Big City of Dreams

              Yea it’s nothing personal just stating what you think based on seeing him over the past few yrs. There are some ppl that might take your comments as being a hater. It’s not senseless hate.

              • Jim S

                No, i don’t know or care whether he’s a hater. He basically said, I like X, but I don’t like this specific example of X.

                • The Big City of Dreams

                  Well everyone has their personal preference.

                  • Jim S

                    What? Did you even read my comment? Do you have any idea what I’m actually talking about?

                    If someone says “I don’t like cabbage”, that’s a preference.

                    If someone says “I LOVE ALL CABBAGE!” and then turns around a refuses cabbage because he says “Oh, well, I don’t love this cabbage”, that’s a contradiction.

                    This has nothing to do with whether will likes Hughes or not. It has everything to do with how he presented it.

                    I have no idea why you’re even trying to defend it.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      I have no idea why you are over reacting this is a msg board calm down Jim S.

                      Not defending it just stating where he’s coming from so he doesn’t get pegged as a Hughes hater. He has already stated why he no longer feels the need to see Hughes pitch.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Ted Nelson says:
                      August 5, 2011 at 11:29 am

                      If Nova were called up at 20 or 21 or whatever you’d almost definitely be tired of him too… He has explained why he is tired of Hughes, but that doesn’t make it any less impatient or illogical. I can explain to you why I think the clouds are made of cotton balls… but that doesn’t make it any less incorrect.


                      You come up with the funniest analogies.

                      Judging Hughes is not impatient or illogical. The kid has been given opportunities that guys like Joba and Kennedy were never given. Hell earlier this season there was talk of removing Nova from the rotation because he’s wasn’t pitching good enough. The fact that can’t be denied is Hughes for whatever reason has been given a tremendous amount of leeway. He pitched great in his last start and I’m happy to see the velocity up. It was a joy to see him pitch that well but I’m not going to go above and beyond and say Hughes is back. Not saying you said that but I have seen it.

                    • Jim S

                      You’re missing the point completely, and totally didn’t read anything in my last comment.

                      But thanks for the concern about my mental state.

                    • Jim S

                      If you had bothered to read anything, you would have seen my explicitly italicized comment about how it has nothing to do with whether will likes Hughes or not.

                      And everything to do with how he presented it.

                      I’m done in this thread. All I ask is that you actually try to read what I write next time before responding.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Jim relax with the insults this is a blog about baseball….a kid’s game for God sakes no need to get all hot and bothered over baseball.

                    • Jim S

                      Annnd I don’t see any insults either.

                      It’s comical at this point.

                      If you want to talk about baseball, I’m game. But enough with the talking down to.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Jim S is getting frustrated because you are being really frustrating. I don’t expect anything else because I have dealt with you and know that you’re illogical.

                      “He has already stated why he no longer feels the need to see Hughes pitch.”

                      Which makes him what? A Hughes lover?

                      We understand he stated that. We are saying it’s illogical and impatient.

                      “Judging Hughes is not impatient or illogical.”

                      This is why Jim is frustrated… you don’t seem to learn. You stick with your guns even when people point out to you that one of your guns is a watergun.

                      It is illogical to decide that Phil Hughes is done developing at 25 years old, and despite having 3x the fWAR Maas had at the age that Maas was a ROOKIE… Hughes is the new Maas. It defies logic and fact.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      @ Jim I have no problem discussing baseball you’re the one stating if I took the time to read….

                      @ Ted I disagree I don’t think it’s illogical or impatient. Hughes has been given opportunities that other pitchers in the organization were not given. Every single yr it’s a dance with Phil Hughes. This is the yr he proves everyone wrong and when he does the roses are thrown at his feet but when he takes a step back the following yr it’s well he’s young, he changed his grip, the defense let him down, Girardi left him out too long, etc.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      He was young. That’s not an excuse. It’s a fact.

                    • Jim S

                      @Big City:

                      Saying you didn’t read my comment isn’t an insult, it’s a fact, based on your reply(which ignored my entire post).

                    • Ted Nelson

                      And you incessantly refer to the “opportunities” Hughes is given that other aren’t… what the HELL are you talking about?

                      He’s given the opportunity to pitch. The only guys who aren’t given that opportunity are… position prospects. Every player has a different development path. No one is making excuses for Hughes. You are fighting windmills again, Don Quixote. People are trying to predict the probability Hughes does certain things in the future based on the facts.

                      You are just blindly throwing your feelings about how fans view certain players and how those players will do in the future around… others are trying to logically access the situation. I’m done wasting my time.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      “And you incessantly refer to the “opportunities” Hughes is given that other aren’t… what the HELL are you talking about?”

                      He was called up in 07 got hurt but turned it on in September.
                      He was given a rotation spot in 08 got bombed and got injured.
                      In 09 he was called up to replace Wang, had a 5 ERA and was going to get sent down until he convinced them to stay.
                      He was given the rotation spot in 2010 because the organization had enough of Joba starting.
                      He comes into 2011 out of shape with low velocity but to some ppl it’s not a big deal. He goes down makes a couple of starts and automatically wins his spot back despite Nova out performing him this yr.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Again, dude, you’re reading a lot into the organization’s decisions about a person you don’t know under circumstances you are far removed from. You are speculating, and it doesn’t have much value.

                      He earned a lot of those opportunities, and you acknowledge as much in your comment. The Yankees were not favoring him, which is how you always portray it. They did what they thought was best for him and the org. Just like they’ve done with Nova and Noesi. Criticizing a kid for making MLB at 21 and not finding instant success is asinine.

                      People generally thought his velocity drop was scary, but when he then went on the DL for an extended period and got a cortisone shot only to regain his velocity… they sort of assumed, you know, he was hurt. Like they would with any pitcher. Like they aren’t flipping out that Joba is on the DL… because, you know, he’s hurt.

                      People aren’t worried about Hughes being in shape because there are constant reports from teammates and the org and the media that the guy busts his ass. That he spends winters in Tampa literally training at the team facility. You are taking a possible injury and a light off-season work load after a big innings increase and drawing conclusions that are nothing more than speculation. Stop.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      “He earned a lot of those opportunities, and you acknowledge as much in your comment. The Yankees were not favoring him, which is how you always portray it. ”

                      They didn’t favor him over Joba?? They didn’t choose him over Nova despite the fact he only made 2-3 rehab starts??? Hughes has always been given the benefit of the doubt.

                      “You are taking a possible injury and a light off-season work load after a big innings increase and drawing conclusions that are nothing more than speculation. Stop.”

                      So there weren’t reports yrs ago that sometimes he has to be pushed.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Again… you are turning this into a personal thing… they didn’t “favor” him… they made a decision based on the available evidence.

                      In fact, it looks like the decision to send Nova to AAA to work on his secondary stuff paid off for him in a big way. It wasn’t a punishment. You are the one reading that into the situation. They decided that under the circumstances it was the best decision to send Nova down and start Hughes in MLB. Not because they like Hughes better than Nova. Because they felt it was best for the organization overall, which includes both Hughes and Nova.

                      No one else is turning this into a personal thing. You have some totally irrational hatred for Hughes that causes you to lash out about everything the guy does, support people who lash out at him even when you later say you disagreed with what they actually said… come back to the reservation, because you’re off it right now.

                      Other people are watching baseball. You have decided that Phil Hughes is a bad person and the Yankees give him preferential treatment because they like him better than others… it’s nuts.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      “they didn’t “favor” him… they made a decision based on the available evidence. ”

                      2-3 rehab starts was enough??????

                      “Other people are watching baseball. You have decided that Phil Hughes is a bad person and the Yankees give him preferential treatment because they like him better than others… it’s nuts.”

                      Exaggerate much??? Hughes is not a bad guy. I don’t hate him. I just don’t like the fact that he’s been the teacher’s pet over these past few yrs. When he performs well I give him credit. He shut down the sox and unlike others I didn’t say well the sox can’t hit so of course he won.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      A. You keep acting like the Yankees punished Nova by sending him down. That’s your interpretation. What has emerged is that they sent him down to work on certain pitches, he did that, and he’s better off for it. Getting sent down is not always a punishment and getting called up doesn’t always mean you did anything right.

                      B. He isn’t the teacher’s pet. You are making that up. And you are ignoring the reality of the situation and going after Hughes constantly to the point that it comes across as a personal hatred of the guy. I am not particularly a Hughes fan. I don’t really care. I’m not defending him. I’m saying that you are ignoring reality.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      I don’t have hatred for Hughes. Hating him would be saying he beat a bad lineup and that’s the only reason he won. When he does well I give him credit. I do root for the kid despite the things I have said.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    Yea he was young but that’s still used for him. He’s not old by any means but at a certain point you just can’t say he’s only this age or this age

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Then I will ask you why Nova struggled last season… He was already 23. No excuses. Guy should have been cut and never given the chance to start for the Yankees again. He came into the org at the same time as Hughes, and didn’t get squat done. They should cut everyone who doesn’t have more than 2 seasons of above 2.4 fWAR production when they are 24.

                      Until the Yankees have to start paying him more or considering whether to re-sign him or considering whether to give his 40-man spot to someone else or looking at a fair trade for him… all you can do is wait. There is no point in being impatient. We cannot predict the future. Just sit back and watch.

                      Stop making crazy arguments about how he is the coach’s son and whatever else. He is a good young pitcher. He had already contributed two 2.4 fWAR seasons and a 1.1 fWAR season before his 25th birthday. He might get better, he might not. He might have a long and prosperous career as an MLB starter, he might need TJS tomorrow. Who knows?

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      “Then I will ask you why Nova struggled last season… He was already 23. No excuses. Guy should have been cut and never given the chance to start for the Yankees again. ”

                      lol it’s not just age Ted but experience as well. Hughes has a ton of it Nova has very little. Phil has pitched over 300 hundred innings. He’s not a rookie.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      No. Nova has been a professional pitcher since 2004. Hughes has been a professional pitcher since when? 2004. They have THE EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE. Hughes has thrown all of 18.66 more innings than Nova.

                      Baseball doesn’t start and stop in the big leagues. Just because that’s all you watch, doesn’t mean those players are fictional characters who don’t exist when they’re not on your TV. That one guy is assigned to one level and promoted at a certain time is not their decision.

                      I see your argument… but you are framing it all wrong. It’s that Hughes was more advanced at an earlier age. He was already as good as Nova is now when he was 21. He’s not necessarily any better now. That doesn’t mean he’s not good. He had a different development path than Nova.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      I’m not referring to the minors Ted. That’s not apart of my argument. That doesn’t mean it should be completely ignored but I’m not factoring that in when it comes to this debate.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      I’ve noticed that, and I’m saying that by ignoring everything they did before you saw them in the majors… you have no argument. There is no reason to ignore what they were doing at that point, you’ve somewhat arbitrarily decided to ignore it. Decided to ignore that prospects don’t decide when they should be promoted, the team does. It’s like me seeing one small cloud in the sky and calling it a cloudy day. You telling me 99% of the sky is clear, and me telling you… yeah, buy I was ignoring that part of the sky.

        • Ted Nelson

          Yeah… agree that was a HUGE contradiction on will’s part.

          • Will

            Not really. I agreed that I like watching young players DEVELOP, key word in caps. Haven’t seen much development from Hughes. In fact, I don’t think even the most ardent Hughes fans could argue that he’s a better pitcher now than he was, say, in 2009 or early 2010.

            • Ted Nelson

              Have some patience.

              • Ted Nelson

                And, yes… saying that you like watching young players develop and don’t ever want to see a certain young player in a Yankee uniform again is a contradiction. A big one.

                • Will

                  I think you’re operating on a blanket definition of “develop” that encompasses both progression and regression. While I understand that player development involves some rough transitions, there have been numerous cases of highly touted prospects who simply can’t or won’t adjust to the major leagues once the major leagues adjust to them. That’s what I see with Hughes, and it’s what informs my opinion of him and the comments above. To make a comparison to a past Yankee prospect, I would say I see Hughes as the pitching version of Kevin Maas.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    I would say I see Hughes as the pitching version of Kevin Maas.


                    That’s going to upset the Hughes fans lol. Kevin Maas…whoa

                    • Ted Nelson

                      The problem is not with saying that he reminds you of Kevin Maas (or whoever else) so far. We all know what he’s done so far, it’s fact. The problem is with saying in the future he will do x, y, or z. Human beings just cannot predict the future. It’s not possible. We can assign certain probabilities to different outcomes and speculate on the future based on that… we can’t say what is going to happen for certain, though. Hughes clearly still has potential and shows flashes of getting it done.

                      The other problem is with the way Will presented his argument. He said that he likes to watch young players develop, but then said he hopes one particular young player does not develop as a Yankee.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    The issue is with predicting the future. No one is denying that Hughes has disappointed relative to the tremendous expectations bestowed upon him. You seem to be arguing that he has almost no chance on developing from here on out. Others are saying to be patient: his chances of developing as far as a lot worse than they were at 20, 21 years old… but the guy just turned 25, has had sporadic success, and has dealt with injuries. There is still a chance that he develops. We can’t predict the future, only assign probabilities to different outcomes and then sit back and see how things develop.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Yea we can’t predict the future.

                      There is a chance he develops but there is also a chance he doesn’t. There is a chance that you’re going to get this from Hughes on a season by season basis. Some yrs will be spectacular while others won’t. It is fair to say he’s injury prone.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      How do you go from there’s a chance of this and a chance of that to it would be best if he never pitches for the Yankees again?

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      a chance of that to it would be best if he never pitches for the Yankees again?


                      Will said that not me. Find where I said he should never pitch for the Yankees again

                    • Jim S

                      And that’s the point. We have no quibble with you. But you’re defending will.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Exactly… you have taken Will’s side and at no point explained to us how your point differs from Will. Reading your comments I get no sense of you saying anything Will has said is incorrect… quite the opposite.

                      Again… I have no problem with someone saying Hughes *has* *to date* under-performed the tremendous expectations his own natural ability to pitch and work ethic bestowed upon him. What I have a problem with is overstating how much he’s struggled, ignoring the context of his being very young when a lot of these struggles occurred, acting like you have knowledge about his work ethic (which is pretty widely complemented… spends winters at the Yankees’ training complex) vs. Nova and Noesi’s, acting like Nova and Noesi are way younger than Hughes when it’s only 1/2 a year difference and both actually ENTERED THE YANKEE ORG THE SAME YEAR AS HUGHES, and pretending to know what’s going to happen in the future. Those are the problems I have. Not saying Hughes has frustrated you to date.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Where was his work ethic when he came into camp out of shape? Where was the up roar? There was up roar with Joba when reporters stated he was “fat” But yet when it came to Hughes it was just him filling out and growing as a starter. Joba’s velocity went down and it was a crisis Hughes came into not ready with low velocity and ppl shrugged their shoulders.

                      They are young in terms of experience. Hughes has started games since 07. He has 65 career starts and 353 innings. This isn’t his first dance.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Again… reality seems to escape you.

                      You have taken it from what you’ve observed about Hughes (which is all we’re talking about) to how you feel about him as an individual. I have no interest in talking about these guys personal lives with you. No use. I don’t know a single one of them.

                      All reports have been that Hughes busts his ass. That after his heaviest work-load the team told him to take it easier this off-season. People are not giving you their personal opinions on Hughes… but what they heard. I don’t really care to speculate whether Hughes, Nova, Noesi, or Joba works harder. I was merely saying that you and/or Will’s point about his work ethic stands in stark contradiction to every report from people who actually see him work that I’ve seen.

                      Both of you dismissal of his performance as Maas like is also in contrast with reality.

                      My point… again, since you don’t seem to get it… is that Nova, Noesi, and Hughes are on different development paths. If Nova or Noesi were brought up at 20, 21… they’d have most likely gotten blown out of the water. They weren’t though. They were brought up at 23, 24. Hughes is just now older than that. If he were on the Nova or Noesi development path and had been blowing away MiLB hitters until last season… you’d give him more benefit of the doubt. He had limited control over how he was promoted, as did Nova and Noesi. How the org treated them should not be held against them… yet that it what you are choosing to do.

                      Hughes didn’t have to develop as far… because he was already better.

                      Anyway… I’m done.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      What personal life?? You’re the one that brought up his work ethic. No one mentioned what these guys did in their spare time or when they leave the field. It’s all about what they do on the field. I have heard the same thing about Hughes in terms of his work ethic. My point was where was that this off season?? We all have heard how hard he works but there has also been talk about him being laid back at times.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Again… why do you feel the need to make things up?

                      Will and/or you questioned his work ethic compared to Nova and Noesi. Work ethic doesn’t start and stop when a player walks out of the dugout.

                      There was also mention that he took it easier this offseason coming off a heavy workload at the team’s request… but you keep ignoring that and pretending that you know how hard he works, what he’s working on, etc.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      There was also mention that he took it easier this offseason coming off a heavy workload at the team’s request… but you keep ignoring that and pretending that you know how hard he works, what he’s working on


                      If that’s the case than why was this said about Hughes:

                      This person said that while everyone was focused on Joba Chamberlain’s weight gain and his having to go for individual workouts following the standard spring training workouts in order to shed pounds, it was missed by the media that Hughes also showed up overweight and was dispatched also to what the team refers to as “The Fat Farm.”

                      He did confirm that Hughes was sent to “The Fat Farm,” but said that he was not asked to drop below last year’s playing weight and, in fact, was still above it a bit when the season began


                    • Ted Nelson

                      Again… you’re taking anonymous rumors and reading into them. I never once said he wasn’t overweight in camp. I said that any correlation between this and his work ethic is something you are reading into.

              • The Big City of Dreams

                I don’t want to speak for will but I’ll do it anyway. I think he has patience for a guy like Nova or Noesi based on the limited experience they have.

                • Will

                  That is accurate. I have also enjoyed watching Joba develop as a pitcher, to give an example of a player who has more than limited experience. What all 3 of them have in common (Nova, Noesi in limited exposure, Joba over a longer period) is the ability to recognize their weaknesses and make adjustments. In Nova’s case, that has meant refining his 3rd and 4th pitches in order to miss more bats. In Joba’s case, it meant working on his control and his pitch sequences (i.e. more first-pitch sliders for strikes) in order to limit the number of baserunners he allows.

                  • Jim S

                    Then you should not have used the word “develop”, you should have used the word “improve”.

                    By all accounts, Hughes has tried to work on his mechanics, his grips, his demeanor, his motion, basically everything. His success might take longer than you’re willing to wait, which means you yet again shouldn’t have used the word “develop”.

                  • The Big City of Dreams

                    That’s true Nova has taking the steps to improve his game. I love the kids make-up. There seems to be a fire that burns in him to do well but he also doesn’t let the moment swallow him up.

                    Good point about Joba too.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      The steps Nova has taken have paid off… that doesn’t mean Hughes hasn’t taken the exact same steps.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      That’s true but with Hughes it’s always something.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      The high expectations are clouding the actual performance… Hughes has contributed 2.4 fWAR to the Yankees both as a reliever in 2009 and as a starter in 2010. He’s at 6.5 fWAR on his career. Nova is 1/2 a year younger and has 1.8 career fWAR. Noesi is likewise 1/2 a year younger and has 0.4 fWAR. I’m not saying Hughes is 6x better than those two, I’m saying that all three are on different development paths… but I think Hughes’ tends to get the raw end of some less thoughtful observers because he had so much hype and was brought up so young… If Nova had a shoulder issue earlier this season and was just making his way back now, would you say that you hope he never pitches for the Yankees again?

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Raw end?????? Hughes gets every benefit of the doubt from the fans. He’s only 25, he changed his grip, last yr was his first yr as a starter, he has a higher ceiling than Nova, when he’s healthy he’s good, etc.

                      “If Nova had a shoulder issue earlier this season and was just making his way back now, would you say that you hope he never pitches for the Yankees again?”

                      No because I never said that about Hughes. Will said that. But if Hughes was ever traded from the Yankees I wouldn’t be broken up about it.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      *Correction… fans look at things logically and observe what is going on. He is 25 years old. That’s a fact. He changed his curveball grip. That’s a fact. I can’t say it as a fact, but something certainly seemed wrong with his shoulder. Those are not excuses… they are observations of fact or close to fact.
                      It is also a fact that Noesi and Nova came into the org at the same time as Hughes. Yet you feel they are less experienced pros.
                      You seem to just be ignoring reality completely here.

                      Again… you jumped in and defended Will’s point. You can’t defend his statement and then say… oh, actually I disagreed with it. Come out and say you disagree if you disagree. Don’t say, “yeah good point I totally agree with you.”

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Not ignoring reality just stating a double standard.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      Only double standard I see is you saying that Hughes is washed up at 25, but Nova and Noesi are young studs… even though all 3 have been pro baseball players for the exact same time. Just because you didn’t see Nova and Noesi pitch in the minors, doesn’t mean they weren’t pitching. Just because I can’t reach up and touch the clouds, doesn’t mean I can just assume they are cotton balls.

                    • The Big City of Dreams

                      Again with the cotton ball analogy.

                      No one said Hughes was washed up or that Nova and Noesi are studs. Just pointing out how Hughes is favored that’s all.

                    • Ted Nelson

                      No… you are saying that it’s a double standard. Phil was treated differently at 21 because he was better at 21. Nova was sent to AAA because the Yankees thought he needed to be there and Hughes needed to be in MLB. Early returns suggest that they were right. It’s not a double standard. If you consider context… there are reasons Hughes has been treated differently from Nova and Noesi. You chose to ignore context instead. Hughes keeps popping onto your TV, so he must be getting more opportunities. Being promoted is not a prize the team chooses to hand out to players it likes… it’s a baseball decision. It reflects the organization’s analysis of the player’s needs/ablilities and the organization’s needs. I’m not sure what to tell you if you don’t recognize that different players are on different development paths.

                • Ted Nelson

                  They have almost as much experience pitching as Hughes… it’s just that they haven’t been in the bigs as long. If they were brought up to the bigs at 21 or so… I’m pretty sure they’d have struggled mightily too.

                  • Ted Nelson

                    Maas also finished his career with 2.6 fWAR… while Hughes had 2.4 fWAR per season in both 2009 and 2010.

                    • Jim S

                      I think we need to let this one go.

  • China Joe

    Have to say, Nova’s slider looked downright Joba-esque in this game. Hopefully he can throw it consistently, and against lineups better than Chicago’s

    • The Big City of Dreams

      *sheds tear*


  • Esteban

    Playoff preview. Rivalry. History. Yankees. Sox. It’s more than a game.

    • gc

      No, it’s just a game. Really. Of course it would be nice to win the series or even sweep, but the sun won’t set on the Yankees season if neither happens this weekend.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        A good amount of comments here are of the sarcastic nature.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    I felt good about the Yankees tying the sux for first. Then I felt disgusted about thinking tying the sux was something to feel good about.

    • Mykey

      With their lineup, and our numerous injuries that we’re luckily recovering from now, I think it’s something to feel good about. Although, I understand where you’re coming from.

  • Keith Law

    With that Slider, Nova looks like a number 2 starter.
    Need dominant power pitchers to shutdown a team like Boston.

    Hughes(He’s Back)

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Use your own name or some anonymous handle please.

      • mbonzo

        I don’t know, by the comments made I wouldn’t be shocked if this really was Keith Law.

  • Pants Lendelton

    Nova is now 12-0 when pitching with the lead in a game during the game.

    Kay brought this up right after the yankees scored a run in the first inning…

    • Jimmy

      That’s nothing. The Yankees as a team are 64-0 when leading after 9 innings.

      • Mykey

        Wow! Our tenth inning guy must be awesome! Noesi?

      • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

        and even better when leading after 10, 11, 12, etc. amazing!

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    So, do the Yankees have a better rotation than Boston?

    Nova or Hughes/Bedard

    The Sox have an advantage on #2 and the Yankees have an advantage on 3 and 5, amirite?

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

      Yankees have a way stronger rotation and it’s not close. Earlier this year it was very close, but after losing Buccholz and Matsuzaka and exposing their terrifying lack of depth, the Red Sox rotation is certainly not their strength.

      Think about it like this? What happens if Colon goes down? There are immediate, albeit probably inferior, options to shore this up. When the Sox acquired Bedard, he was their number five starter.

      This is a guy whose career is defined by muscle tears.

    • mbonzo

      Only an advantage on 3 and 5? Garcia has been WAAAAAAAAAY better than Wakefield. Nova or Hughes definitely better than Bedard. AJ and Lackey sadly seem about even, though AJ has had the better year. I still think Lester is their number 1 guy, and CC beats Lester for right now (though things may change in the future). Beckett and Colon are about even. Yankees have the better rotation.

      • Brian S.

        Beckett is a lot better than Colon.

  • Xavier

    Do any of you guys know of an ace in the majors that wasn’t projected to be one? Does it happen often? Lee comes to mind I don’t recall him being a hot prospect

    • jon

      is CJ wilson an ace?

      • sleepykarl

        No, and he was a guy a lot thought would be a solid starter as a prospect but TJ in AA hurt his progress.

        • Ted Nelson

          He’s been the 12th best pitcher according to fWAR since moving into the rotation… that’s an ace.

    • mbonzo

      There are plenty to name.

      Ubaldo Jimenez
      Josh Johnson
      Dan Haren
      James Shields

      All of these guys were pretty good prospects, but expected to be number 2 or 3 guys AT BEST.

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

        Whether they are #1 or #2 guys has in part to do with who else is in their rotation. All of those guys mentioned would be #2’s in the Yankees’ rotation (and #3’s in the Phillies rotation.) Two of those guys are # 2’s already. And Ubaldo and Josh Johnson are #1’s because their respective teams have weaker starting rotations behind them (not taking away anything from either.)

        /#’s crazy

        • mbonzo

          All of these guys would be #1 in the Yankees rotation if they didn’t have arguably the best lefty in the game. Sure, they’re not as good as our Ace, but they’re in the top 20 pitchers over the last few years. James Shields is the Rays ace, Josh Johnson to the Marlins, and Shields was the Rockies ace the last few years and was Cy Young worthy last year. Haren was the Ace of his staff before the Angels, and if he was on the Yankees without CC, he’d be our Ace. I don’t mean to argue whether these guys can be called Ace or not, they have been at some point in their careers the #1 guy, and the best of the #1 guys, so my point is that they were never projected to be there.

          • mbonzo

            *Ubaldo to the Rockies, definitely their Ace. 4.3 WAR in 2008, 5.7 WAR 2009, 6.3 WAR 2010.

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

            The Yankees DO have the best lefty in the league though. But point taken. It’s too soon to compare Ivan Nova to any of them though. For now, he’s the Yankees #4 (or at least where he should be. Let’s see Hughes pitch another dominant start before we declare he’s fixed and AJ just has no place in this rotation, salary and former reputation as a #2 be damned.)

            • David, Jr.

              I like Nova better than Hughes. Better fastball, better secondary stuff, better makeup.

            • Ted Nelson

              When people talk about someone being a #1 or #2 etc. they’re not usually talking about in their particular rotation, but the quality of their performance overall.

              For example, last season Greinke was #1 on the Royals and this season Francis probably is… that doesn’t mean they’re both #1 caliber pitchers. Greinke is, Francis isn’t.

      • bpdelia

        I disagree there. I was here when Josh Johsnon was coming up and he was a guy who absolutely was considered a future ace.

        Guys with that kind of stuff are ALL considered future aces.

        Haren and Jimenez were also considered potential aces by their own teams based strictly on devastating two or three pitch arsenals.

        The classic thing for prospect rankers is to say “has the upside of a true #1 but most likely will be a #2 or solid #3”

        But almost all of your list was very highly touted. Especially by their own organizations.

        Anyone who throws mid 90s and has even the HINT of a decent thrid pitch is considered an ace in the making.

        It’s rare. SO rare that a guy becomes an ace out of the blue.

        Mike Scott, Tewksbury. I honestly can’t think of many at all.

        • V

          Well, the Cardinals certainly underrated Dan Haren. Undo the Mark Mulder trade (who was damaged goods), and the Cardinals probably steal ‘team of the decade’ away from the Sox.

        • Ted Nelson

          Most pitchers who are drafted high and/or signed to big bonuses have some chance to be an ace…

          I think you’re overselling the rankings of certain pitchers based on them having some chance of being an ace, and underselling how many good pitchers come relatively out of nowhere. Out of nowhere doesn’t have to mean literally no one knew who they were or thought they’d be anything more than an org guy… it’s a relative thing.

          • Ted Nelson

            Basically… that a pitcher had the ceiling to be an ace doesn’t mean he projected to be an ace.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        I wouldn’t call James Shields an ace. He’s good but he’s never cracked a 130 ERA+ and even in his best year, this year, even in his best season he’s still 17th in fWAR and 21st in bWAR…does that sound like an ace to you? He’s pretty volatile due to his HR issues…I’d say that he’s a pretty good number two. He’s better than the best starter on several teams, but he’s not an ace.

        Josh Johnson? Well, lets wait for him to stay healthy, besides the book on him was shitty control, great stuff, if he can control his stuff he’ll be a CYA candidate. Looks like they were right about him.

        Ubaldo? He threw 100, I think if you told any scout that he’d be able to stay healthy and limit his walks they’d tell you he’d be an ace with that stuff.

        Dan Haren? No one knew his control was that good.

    • bpdelia

      Off the very very top of my head two that came to mind are Mike Scott and Bob Tewksbury.

      Scott, of course, learned a new pitch (or how to cunningly scratch up his old pitches) that turned him unhittable, Tewksbury developed ridiculous command of a fairly average repetoire.
      Cj Wilson, Ian Kennedy. Im reaching.

      But it’s INSANELY INSANELY rare. Guys whos are “aces” basically popped out of their mommies heralded as future aces.

      GUys who are aces are kid who were pegged as major leaguers at 14.

      Guys who are aces come up through the minor leagues trumpeted as the (depending on era) “next Ryan, next Clemens, next Johnson, next. . . . etc.”

      • Jorge

        I remember when Bob Tewksbury won the 5th starter competition for the Yankees. It was all, like, “a rookie?! in the rotation?! on the Yankees!?” We were all Hesters back then.

        • Adam

          This just made me crazy nostalgic and happy to know that I’m not the only person on the board that remembers those years.

      • Ted Nelson

        Most guys who are in the majors were pegged as MLB players at 14…

        I disagree with you here. It’s a relative thing. Coming out of nowhere doesn’t have to mean you were the #3 starter on your HS JV team as a junior, went undrafted, walked on at a community college, and worked your way into being a stud. It’s a relative thing.

        Johan Santana, for example, wasn’t protected from the Rule 5 draft by the Astros. If they expected him to become an ace it’s pretty likely they would have protected him. That he had some probability of putting it all together and becoming an ace makes him a “prospect”… most prospects share that in common. He still came out of nowhere in relative terms.

        Andy Pettitte was a 22nd rounder… people might have seen him as projectable, but if they thought he’d have the career he did I have a feeling someone picks him up earlier.

        Hundreds and hundreds of amateur kids in the draft/IFA every year “have a chance” at becoming aces… so using that as your test of who came out of nowhere seems odd to me. All those kids “have a chance”… but some are seen as having a much, much better chance.

    • toad

      Projected by who?

  • Alfredo

    Believe it or not i am smelling a sweep of the Red Soxs. These game are going to be well fought but all will go our way. If i was Cashman i would put A.J. to the pen or minors.

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

      You know, Suzyn…

      (I hope you’re right though)

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

      Meh. Don’t get your hopes up. My motto is, hope for the best, prepare for the worst.

      Either way, it’s not like the impact is that big.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      I wonder, would AJ to the minors result in more ESPN coverage than Jorge taking himself out of the lineup?

      • MannyGeee

        so long as A-Rod still enjoys the occasional card gaem, no one will give a shit about AJ going down to the minors.

        • MannyGeee

          grammer fail…

          card game.

    • forensic

      Wow, I sure hope so, but I’m prepping for winning 1 of 3 (Saturday). Friday could go either way if Colon can keep it close. Sunday is just too hard for me to have faith in Garcia keeping that offense down.

  • Xavier

    Does anybody know of an ace in the majors that wasn’t projected to be one? Does it happen often? Lee comes to mind I don’t recall him as a prospect

  • Brandon

    Im not a big fan of sliding into first base either but on the ESPN broadcast of last nights game when Gardner slid into first and was called safe, Nomar made a pretty good argument for doing so. He said umpires are listening for the sound of the foot hitting the bag and are looking at the ball entering the glove, so sliding takes away the sound making it a tougher call. Roberto Alomar used to do it all the time. I think its just a matter of time before Gardner re injures that thumb which is the last thing any one wants to see.

    • Jeff In LA

      Not the first time a ballplayer pulled a stupid rationalization out of their ass.

      Sliding slows the runner down period. Since the play at first is a force and the runner can overrun the bag, the ONLY time to slide into first is during those rare plays where the runner is trying to avoid the tag of a first baseman pulled off the bag.

      This really isn’t debatable: Sliding into first is a bad play. It looks like hustle but it’s not. I suggest naming the play after Charlie False Hustle himself: Eric Byrnes.


      • Mike

        This. The friction of your body on the dirt slows you down. It’s a foolish play and I wish Gardner would cut it out before someone spikes his hand, he does it way too often.

      • Ted Nelson

        Umpires are irrational human beings to, you know.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Brent morel is a fun gi

    • Midland TX

      Possibly the only humorous comment in the thread. Well done sir.

  • Xavier

    Does anyone know of an ace currently in the majors that wasn’t projected to be one? Lee comes to mind but I don’t recall him As a prospect

    • Rich in NJ

      I would think it would likely be a pitcher who added a pitch, maybe like Mike Scott?

  • sleepykarl

    I always wondered how Nova didn’t miss more bats with his fastball/curveball combo (his curve is pretty sharp), I assumed he needed the throw more high fbs to make the curve effective, nullifying his bread and butter gb specialty to an extent. Turns out he just needed a slider.

  • Jimmer

    who cares if nova is a number 2 or 3 or 95th the most important thing is he is itching great lately and if he keeps improving on that slider he could have a very nice career

    • Gonzo

      When something happens even a little out of the norm in baseball, it has to be analyzed to see if its success, or failure, can be replicated, or avoided, in the future.

  • Peter Lacock

    ‘I know I bitch and moan about bunts quite a bit’

    I would say too much. Way way way too much.

    I’ll keep this short. Must sleep.
    It is best to employ many different strategies through the course of a 162 game season.
    Different strategies makes the team unpredictable while at the same time helps the batter focus.
    Bunting is a skill that needs to be honed.
    In recent years and early this year the Yanks were not good at bunting.
    In the last few months their execution has been very good because Joe forced them to improve and the team is better for it.
    Bunting helps fine tune hand-eye coordination and timing and everyone uses it to some extent as part of their training.
    There’s more but I’ll just finish with this:
    Mike, you would never bunt and you would suck as a manager.

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

      Mike would suck as a manager but bunting is the last reason why.

      • Rich in NJ


        OTOH, given sufficient talent, I don’t think he’d suck.

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

      “Have I ever told you the one about the story of Bob Gibson and Pete Lacock? Teehee.” -Bob Costas

    • http://twitter.com/buckfunts buckfunts


    • Jim S

      What you should have said: Bunting is good in the context of game theory.

      Pretty sure Mike understands that.

  • stuart a

    what are they going to do with the rotation? need another bat up.

    how can they legitimately keep pitching AJ??? he is there 6th best starter regardless of the paycheck.

  • mbonzo

    I’m sure this has been mentioned before, but with the concern over the health of Colon, Garcia, and Hughes and the shittiness of AJ, the Yankees could run a 6 man rotation where CC still pitches every 5th day. Run this until the rosters expand, and then send Nova to the pen with the extra space, unless the program is brilliantly successful. Do this until a week or so before the playoffs, and then switch everyone back to regular rest and pick the 5 best pitchers still around.

    For example.
    6. Colon 1. CC 2. Garcia 3. Hughes 4. AJ 5. Nova 1. CC 6.Colon 2. Garcia 3. Hughes 4. AJ 1. CC 5. Nova… etc.

    This might be a little complicated for Joe Girardi’s book, but it’ll give the old and injured guys more rest, and give us less AJ starts.

    • sangreal

      I don’t understand why everyone is worried about Garcia’s health. He isn’t terribly old (he is younger than AJ) and he hasn’t had any serious injuries in years. Am I missing something? Is it because he lost all his velocity?

      I understand the concerns about his continued effectiveness, but not health

      • sangreal

        Oops, he is a few months older than AJ, but my question remains

        • mbonzo

          Still a fair point, the difference between AJ and Freddy is that AJ has shown no signs of losing stuff. He may be getting hit around, but AJ is still sitting around 93 MPH, Freddy can’t overpower anyone and he’s relying on movement, and I personally worry about elbow injuries at this point. He’s throwing his curveball almost 1/3 of the time. Its a mix of reliability and age at this point… at least for me.

          • MannyGeee

            electric stuff!!

  • bonestock94

    Man, the peripherals disagree but Nova doesn’t look like a back end pitcher to me. I guess we’ll have to wait and see as teams start seeing him more.

  • Len S.

    Bitch and moan about bunts? Really? You? I don’t believe it.

    • Brian S.

      That bunt by Nunez was idiocy at it’s finest.

      • MannyGeee

        2 bunt singles on Wed night gave Girardi a hard on for them.

  • Pants Lendelton

    Aint that many aces to begin with.

    #1 starters ? Sure even John Maine was a #1 starter for the mets at one point when Pedro couldn’t stay healthy.

  • MM

    As for a prospect not thought to be a #1 but turned out to be one (at least for a while:

    Johan Santana?

    I mean Rule 5 Draft picks are seldom thought of #1s

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

    Apparently Stephen Colbert is going to take over the MLB’s twitter page for the rest of today: http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110804&content_id=22752052&vkey=news_mlb&c_id=mlb

  • forensic

    Just getting to watch the first couple innings now since I missed them before, it’s amazing that Martin does slide into first in the 5th when he shouldn’t, but doesn’t do it in the third in the one situation that you should slide (when Dunn had to come off the base to catch the ball and tag him).

  • johnnybk

    Every team needs five starters. There’s room for pitchers who perform at consistent level with the ability to sometimes shut a team down and other times be ok. They pitch either one, two, or three days after that guy, depending on how much depth there is ahead of him. Nova is a #2 in Chicago, a #3 in la(al), a #4 in philly, or one of 3 or 4 #3’s on the yanks. He is the ace in Houston.

    Tell you what, sure is nice debating what one of the four dirt cheap, effective(i know I’m taking liberties including Hughes) pitchers we include at #5 rather than hoping jaret wright, daryl raster, and Chris britton pan out.

  • Raza

    My 0.02 on the Nova topic.

    Nova has been on a nice little run. He’s improved his game and might become more than what he has previously been projected to be.

    His projection as a mid-to-late type starter was based on his less than stellar K-rates (in a combination with his command) and a lack of a true out pitch.

    So far this season he has marginally improved his curveball and developed a (from what it seems) ML slider.

    Let me first say that there is no shame in being a back-end starter. They are valuable as are their contributions. One thing Nova is good at is providing innings and being durable. There is value in innings pitched.

    I don’t know if what we’re seeing is a sign of things to come or another victim of short-sample-size. Who knows what Nova becomes? A lot of people that are projected as aces, never reach that ceiling. A lot of people that are labeled as back-end starters tend to over-achieve and become more.

    So no side is right. People have put a ceiling on Nova from how he was evaluated during his developmental process.

  • SDM

    Ivan Nova has really been improving

    last 8 starts

    53 innings pitched, 50 punchouts, 12 walks

    + his heavy gb rates, low hr,

    through the season Nova has improved all facets of his game, and if that slider is the legit finisher it seems to be (he’s use it to strike out 18 in 16 innings) then he has the chance to punch through his perceived ceiling.

  • Pants Lendelton

    Buster_ESPN From Elias: NYY became third team in modern history to complete four-game sweep without allowing a walk. Others: ’68 BOS, ’05 Boston (AL).

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    This isn’t even Nova’s first full year up in the majors. He just was called up from SWB & he has 10 wins, & just stuck out 10 last night. If he continues in the rotation he’ll finishup with a minimum 15 wins, & posts one of the lowest team ERA’s. If this guy were to pitch every 4th start on a regular basis than he can be a potential 20 game winner.

    Is a 20 game winner a back of the roatation pitcher? Give him another two yrs in the majors & he’ll be a solid #2!

    • bk

      Yes because the prospect rankings say so. people refuse to believe that a player can evolve past the supposed ceiling that scouts/number crunchers have branded him with despite showing improvements in the very areas where said scouts/number crunchers penalized him for.

      It one thing to say that nova probably wont be anything more than a backend pitcher but its just being ignorant to say thats his ceiling given the improvements he has shown.

    • MannyGeee

      Is a 20 game winner a back of the roatation pitcher? Give him another two yrs in the majors & he’ll be a solid #2!


      as opposed to a runny #2?

      *insert Chan Ho Park joke here*

  • Tom Bombadil

    Ivan Nova has outpitched AJ Burnett, lately and all season long. Why then would Nova not be allowed to stay? This is two seasons in a row now that we’ve paid AJ $16 million to be the worst pitcher on the staff. Enough is enough, Joe needs to send AJ a message by sending him to the pen. He’s not entitled to a rotation spot just because he makes so much more money than Hughes and Nova.

    • Jim S

      Guy who’s prone to wildness and home runs in the bullpen? No thank you.

      You’re putting the cart before the horse. People get paid huge salaries because they’ve pitched well in the past. The past pitching is what “entitles” them to a rotation spot, just as it “entitled” them to sign the huge contract. If you’d judged AJ on the start literally right before this last one, or better yet if you’d stop jumping to conclusions on the smallest of sample sizes, people might take you more seriously.

      Because before their respective last starts, they’d pitched nearly equivalently, looking at their peripherals.

  • Jorge

    I could not care less where Ivan Nova slots in the Yankee rotation. What I care about is that he really does seem to have made some strong strides in the past year, regardless of quality of competition, and has pitched well enough to be one of the five starters that anchors this team moving forward at age 24.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    My only question is, why couldn’t this series have taken place a week earlier? I think Danks or Floyd would be wearing the real pinstripes if the ChiSox had looked this bad pre-deadline.

    • MannyGeee

      Kenny Williams takes offense. thay can still compete.

      • MannyGeee

        and also, Danks and Floyd have not looked like guys I’d want over Garcia or Colon this past week… so there’s that

        unless they woulda taken AJ as part of the package, of course…


    • Ted Nelson

      And the Yankees would have paid a steep price in prospects for either Floyd or Danks, which this series also made look less necessary with the way Hughes and Nova pitched.

      • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

        I don’t see that it would have been as steep of a price for either Chicago starter as it was for Jimenez. And I think that one very good start for Hughes does not equal him nixing the benefit of the (now impossible) acquisition of another proven starting pitcher. Nova has definitely looked good but the question is does he maintain his swing and miss-ability going forward? I still would have preferred an acquisition of one of the 2 pitchers I mentioned to protect against the possibility that Nova may not be becoming a guy that can get people to swing and miss, but may just be bucking the previous scouting reports on him and fooling people with a previously-unseen pitch & approach. But it’s all conjecture anyway and the team is still good enough as is, just a “what might have been” moment on my part.

        • Ted Nelson

          I have no idea what exactly it would have cost, but my point is that there would have been a significant cost to get either Floyd or especially Danks. Kenny Williams doesn’t seem to be a particularly good GM, but I don’t think he’s a lunatic or a complete idiot. If he didn’t look to trade those guys, I don’t see why a few more games out would have meant not just trading them but dumping them without getting much of a return. I don’t see any reason to believe it wouldn’t have taken at least a package based around a top prospect with other prospects involved.

          My point is not that Hughes and Nova are now aces based on one start each, it’s just that the upgrade from them to Danks or Floyd might not have justified the cost.

  • rek4gehrig

    Left Over – Russell the Muscle’s 3 run bomb in the 9th