Another night, another relatively stress-free win for the Yankees. That makes three in a row for New York, their fifth win in the last six games and tenth win in the last 13 games. Yep, things are going pretty awesomely right now. Let’s recap…
- SuperNova: Desmond Jennings opened the game with a ground ball single, but it wasn’t until Sean Rodriguez doubled with one out in the eighth that Ivan Nova allowed another hit. Between the two knocks he retired 21 of 23 hitters including a dozen in a row at one point. Back-to-back triples to open the ninth ended Nova’s night, but his best start of the season featured five strikeouts and a season-high 13 ground balls. Twenty-one of his 24 outs were recorded on the infield. Nova was just fantastic, a brilliant effort.
- Two Hits: For the first seven innings, the Yankees only mustered two hits offensively. Thankfully, both hits cleared the fence. Mark Teixeira walloped a hanging Alex Cobb curveball into the second deck for a solo homer in the second, then Robinson Cano lined a fastball over the right-center field wall for a solo Yankee Stadium cheapie in the fourth. Alex Rodriguez had just gotten picked off first a pitch or two prior, so it shoulda been a two-run dinger if not for the fallacy of the predetermined outcome and all that.
- Tack-On Runs: The 2-0 score held up for seven and half innings before the Yankees were able to create some separation in the eighth. Pinch-runner Dewayne Wise replaced Raul Ibanez after a leadoff ground ball single and then came around to score on Nick Swisher’s double down the right field line. Zombie Eric Chavez rose from the dead to plate Swisher with an opposite field double to help turn a two-run lead into a four-run lead. The breathing room was much appreciated.
- Leftovers: Rafael Soriano retired all three men he faced for what is technically his first 1-2-3 innings of the season, so hooray for that … the run in the ninth was the first allowed by the Yankees’ pitching staff in 22 innings, since Prince Fielder took Phil Hughes deep on Sunday … Hideki Matsui was about 30 combined feet short of a three-homer night; his power seems to have evaporated into his late-30s … Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson went a combined 0-for-8 atop the lineup and you have to give some credit to Cobb, he was pretty good most of the night.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees jumped ahead of the Rays by a half-game in the AL East standings, though in reality those two clubs are locked in a three-way tie with the Orioles in the loss column atop the division. New York will look to complete the sweep on Thursday in a matchup of lefty aces, CC Sabathia and David Price.