Nova super as Yanks take series from Rays

Three wins, a loss, and a rain-out in the minors
Grounders return with Nova's adjustment

Source: FanGraphs

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. 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.

Three wins, a loss, and a rain-out in the minors
Grounders return with Nova's adjustment
  • RI$P FTW

    Thank god the Yanks listened to Axisa and sent Nova to AAA.

    • Havok9120

      I was worried you’d have nothing to sneer at tonight. Glad you found something.

    • pat

      The Rays are basically an AAA team. Have you seen that lineup?

      • Rainbow connection

        Of course. Until they beat the Yanks in which case they are amazing geniuses.

  • Tony

    Nova gave up back to back triples to open the ninth, not the 8th

  • 44Yankee

    And Cano’s homer was to RIgHt center. No cheapie home runs to Left Center in Yankee Stadium

  • forensic

    Nice to know Chavez won’t finish the season batting .000 with RISP.

    Don’t totally understand why Nova was left in there in the 9th. Girardi always says that following a long inning at the end means he won’t leave the starter out there if he doesn’t have to. Then suddenly he sends Nova back out in the 9th after the long 8th with a few runs and pitching changes. I know he was rolling, but don’t totally agree with the move. Glad Soriano saved him the second run though.

    • YankeesJunkie

      He may have meant long, pitch wise, but up until the ninth he was cruising so there was no harm in giving him a shot at the CGSO. Great job by Nova who just went through a very good lineup. While the last three starts are unsustainable by the rotation hopefully this ends the streak of complete and utter uselessness of the starting rotation especially in the first month.

      • Voice of Reason

        The Rays’ lineup is actually pretty horrible.

        But hey, that .361 BABIP and 19% HR/FB was gonna work its way down some time.

      • forensic

        It’s not a very good lineup at all. He’s also said numerous timescale about how long in time that they’re sitting during the Yankees offensive half of the inning.

        • Steve (different one)

          It wasn’t an extremely long half of an inning. There were 2 pitching changes, but they still only saw 6 batters and threw 20 pitches. Longer than average? Yeah. Was it 25 minutes? I kindof doubt it.

          IMO, Girardi managed the 9th perfectly. Let your kid try to finish it off, but slam the door before a real rally develops.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      It meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. He gave up a run. He got pulled. Soriano got the save.

      His pitch count was within reason. Hughes was just given the opportunity to finish a game. This was just as good a performance. Damn straight these kids should have the opportunity to finish their games.

      • Jim Is Bored

        With on breath people whine about pitch counts, and with the next they complain when a pitcher stays in “too long” by some arbitrary measure.

        I don’t get it.

        • Tom Q

          The troll’s credo: Hindsight is always 20/20. Why can’t Girardi have it upfront?

  • pistol pete

    Nova was awesome I just love this kid. He has guts and knows how to win. If he can ever truly command his pitches he’ll be a great pitcher because he has the intangibles. I also like 23 and 6 over the last two years and 7 and 2 this year. I know his ERA isn’t good but you’ve got to admit the kid does have a knack of winning.

    • gc

      No, this year, the TEAM has a knack of winning when he pitches, because when he pitches (at least most of the time this year anyway), he has a knack of digging pretty bad holes for himself and the team that they’ve been able to come out of with little help from him. I like Nova, but this is really the first time all year I felt he really looked like a good pitcher out there. He’s struggled this year.

  • Havok9120

    Great game by Nova. Good game for the team. A nice, easy win. I don’t like betting against Price, but good LORD a sweep would be awesome tomorrow.

    • Brian S.

      If you don’t like betting against Price just bet on Sabathia!

    • FIPster Doofus

      The Yankees have historically done well (better than most teams, anyway) against Price. I like their odds with CC going.

  • Mariano’s Pimp Hand

    Remember when the Yanks couldn’t get any length from their starters? In 10 of the last 12 games Yankee starters have gone at least 7 innings. One of the other 2 was a 6.2 inning outing, so not terrible either. You have to go back to May 9th for a game where a starter (Phelps) didn’t give them at least 5 innings.

  • Rob Has No Innings Limit

    So because of the zombie Eric Chavez thing, I gotta ask: were you guys spending your offseason on Knickerblogger?

  • Deep Thoughts

    You know Omir Santos, who beat the Yankees in Detroit with the walk-off SF last week?

    DFA’d. Adios, mofo.

    • Havok9120

      The Rays will no doubt pick him up as part of their plan to field a roster made up of guys who only do anything impressive against the Yankees.

      • Strat

        Haha…. He’ll be in the line-up tonight to beat us in extra’s right?

        • Erica

          Totally. Haha.

  • Bunt Gardner

    On MLB Gameday, the video highlight of Cano’s homer states “Cano barely clears fence for historic homer”.

    What did I miss? Why was it “historic”?

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    Hopefully Price will throw a few hittable curveballs as he did in Jeter’s 3k game so the old boys can catch up to it.

    The 2 hits, Sean Rodriguez’s double and Upton’s triple, should have been a single and a double. Would have been if we had a late inning defensive replacement for Swish.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Not betting against the big man tonight. Time for the brooms.

    • Erica

      Gettin’ the ol Swiffer out!

  • http://RiverAveBlues Andy K

    Was on the phone and watching and thought I heard Kay say Joey Votto has only pulled one ball foul in his major league career. Anyone else hear that?

    • jjyank

      I heard that too. That’s nuts.

    • pat

      I honestly don’t understand how that’s possible. I feel like he must have screwed that up.

  • newguy

    I hate to be the overly optimistic fan here, but I’ve been dreamming of this ever since the Pineda acquisition. IFFF Hughes can pitch reasonable 5th starter numbers, the Yankees seem to pretty stacked for the future following Sabathia. This is all very speculative obviously but next year Hughes, Nova, and Pineda could be following Sabthia. All three of them will be under 26 and relatively cheap. What I’m saying is unlike the offensive players, the starting rotation has the potential to be a young, cheap, dangerous group with many years of team control.

    On the game, great pitching. The bullpen is very rested and the horse is going tonight. Girardi may need to have them throw out there just to keep them loose. Its a fun time to be a Yankee fan.

    • 28 this year

      Hughes is getting kinda expensive and he only has another year of control i think

      • Jim Is Bored

        I’m not sure that he’ll be prohibitively expensive either way though, given his history.

      • newguy

        Yes he only has one year remaining, but unless he pitches out of his mind for the next year and a half he will be a cheap (for the yankees) option.

  • Erica

    Love everything about Nova. Love. I know many of you jumped ship on him, but “pistol pete” mentioned that Nova has all the intangibles. He’s great. He gets batters to flail. What Hughes is to some of you (y’know, follow the prospect, support him no matter what) is pretty much how I feel about Nova. I trust the kid to get the job done no matter what.

    Also, it’s pretty cool rooting for a pitcher who is only a month older than I. :)

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Nova has the arsenal to fall back on when one pitch isn’t working for him. His fb at 94/95 can sink or rise, his curve can be devastating, his changeup can be excellent and his slider is also high quality. He’s a keeper for sure.