Nova leads to Yanks to win in Fenway finale

Game 85: All-Out
Fan Confidence Poll: July 9th, 2012


Source: FanGraphs

Man, taking three of four from the Red Sox in Boston to close out the first half is about as good as it gets. Let’s recap…

  • More Early Runs: The Yankees have now scored multiple first inning runs in six of their last seven games. It was just two runs on Sunday night, but it would have been only one had third baseman Mauro Gomez not thrown the ball into the infield grass attempting to turn a routine double play. As for their first inning run totals in the series, the Yankees went 5-4-3-2. Clearly, the offense is in decline.
  • Big Boy: That was some outing by Ivan Nova. He had to battle — both runs came across after defensive miscues — and grind his way through each inning, but he racked up ten strikeouts and killed the Red Sox with his curveball. Forty-seven of his 111 pitches were the yakker (42.3%), and he recorded eight of his strikeouts on the the pitch. He threw 35 of the 47 for strikes (!) and Boston’s batters swung and missed at the curve eight times. Two runs (one earned) across six innings is just dandy. Nova was fantastic and became the first Yankees starter to win two games at Fenway Park in a single season since Randy Johnson in 2006.
  • Tack-on Runs: No lead is safe in Fenway Park (or so they say), and the Yankees did a really nice job of tacking on runs in the middle innings. Alex Rodriguez clubbed a monster triple into the center field triangle in the fifth, plating one run before coming around to score on an Andruw Jones single. Andruw then launched a two-run homer in the seventh, his fourth dinger in the last 36 hours or so. He had himself one hell of a series.
  • Bullpen: With four days of rest coming up, Joe Girardi went for the kill with his A-relievers despite having a five-run lead. Cody Eppley walked two of the three guys he faced in the seventh before Clay Rapada bailed him out by whiffing David Ortiz. David Robertson recorded the final out of the inning before pitching into and out of danger in the eighth (one run on two walks and a double). Rafael Soriano closed it out with a stressful but scoreless ninth. Did they protect the lead? Yes. But they also walked six guys in three innings. Knock that off.
  • Leftovers: Derek Jeter was favoring his right shoulder early in the game and it may or may not have contributed to his two miscues — a dropped popup and a bobble on a ground ball — but it didn’t bother him at the plate; he went 3-for-5 … Robinson Cano extended his hit streak to 15 games with a booming ninth inning double off the top of the Green Monster … everyone in the starting lineup had a hit except for Chris Stewart, while Jeter (three singles), Curtis Granderson (two singles), Mark Teixeira (single and double), Nick Swisher (single and double), and Jones (single and homer) all had multiple hits … home plate ump Angel Hernandez had a pretty wide strike zone but it was consistent for both teams, so whatever I guess.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees head into the All-Star break with a 52-33 record, the best in baseball. They’ll take the next four days off before opening the second half with a three-game set against the Angels in the Bronx. Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against … probably Jered Weaver or C.J. Wilson. Not sure who’s starting for the Halos. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that game.

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Game 85: All-Out
Fan Confidence Poll: July 9th, 2012
  • Mark

    14 hours 44 minutes if I’m doing the math late for the 4 games of the series. Everyone who had under 15 hours, cash in your tickets.

    • Mark

      math right* not late. I guess it is late. Good night!

  • Kramerica Industries

    7.5 on Tampa Bay, 9.5 on Boston.

    Well done.

  • Stuart B

    I think we can all agree that the key point from this series is that Arod only has 37 + 1 rbis.

    • Bernie Losses: 1

      This post, sir, is not believable.

      • TomH

        He’s a button-presser, living by responses. Don’t respond. He’ll disappear from lack of response.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Is Ivan nova a good pitcher? Are we going to be watching him pitch well in 5 years (barring injury)? He seems like he pitches with a lot of luck.

    Great time to recognize just how dominant he Yankees have been. They have played good teams and been really strong. If they have a couple of guys take off in the second half, and Hughes and nova pitch the way they have been for more than a fee starts, then this is a 100 win team with some serious pitching come October. The way they have played the last month with good but not dominant pitching and good hitting with only one truly great hitter (who also happens to be their best hitter-Cano) is the kind of consistent play that wins titles. Don’t want to get ahead of myself, but this is the best team of the last 5 years IMHO.

    • FIPster Doofus

      He’s good and lucky.

    • Brian S.

      I actually think he was unlucky tonight. Jeter really let him down on defense.

      • Brian S.

        *thought

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Jeter definitely could have helped that pitch count a bit by making some plays he didn’t.

    • TomH

      Was it not Napoleon who said that he wanted his generals to be lucky?

  • forensic

    So glad that series is over, and that it’s a 4 game series win is even better. Can’t stand these games much anymore. I rarely complain about the length of games, because I love watching baseball, but these aren’t crisp games. They drag forever, they have the terrible national TV broadcasts and announcers everytime which just adds to the length with longer commercials and ad times, and it’s a battle just to sit through them, especially when there’s so much woe is me they can play on about the Red Sox. Did we really need the same guys listed on 3 different graphics in a row about their injuries?

    How long till we get a camera focused solely on Ciriaco so we can see him hopping before every pitch? Whoever they use for that, hopefully it’s not the guy running the camera for the flyballs to left field. He should be fired immediately. It wasn’t even necessarily Red Sox-centric, just terrible on every damn flyball.

    And, in case you didn’t know, the homerun derby is tomorrow night. I know it’s been under-publicized, so I thought I’d remind everyone.

    • Paul VuvuZuvella

      When’s the Homerun Derby?

    • mt

      As a die-hard Yankee fan it is hard to say but these Red Sox games are unwatchable.

      I have started watching games as they record on my DVR – so I will watch some other program and then turn back to game on DVR where I can fast forward through commercialsPN/TBS/Fox bull, walks and throws to first and such.

      I cannot stand to see Yanks nibble and walk crappy hitters like bullpen was doing tonight. Just imagine if Ellsbury, Crawford, Pedroia, and Middlebrooks were in line-up – game would still be going on.

      Salty must have thought he was swinging bat pretty well after his first inning homer on Friday against Kuroda – what a fake-out – he had about 10 strikeouts this weekend (and did not play all four games.)

      Yankee bullpen is tired and defense is acting tired – it seems that Yanks have doubled their error total for the year just this past 2 weeks. Good time for a break.

      Somebody made a joke on a prior thread that even if Darnell McDonald does nothing more as a Yankee than commit his error from yesterday his biggest contribution may be making Andruw Jones possibly worry about playing time. It’s probably untrue but one wonders what has gotten into Andruw Jones? He is on fire. I am sure he wishes ASG break wasn’t coming.

      Also glad we did not see Padilla’s ugly mug.

      Hope Arod’s triple is start of something good – Tex seems to have elevated his level – hopefully Arod can follow.

      • forensic

        I hope this is the last we see of McDonald. It’s a somewhat minor thing, at least as minor as a valuable 25 man roster spot can be, but what a waste of paperwork, uniform fitting, and haircutting. Utterly useless.

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

          Totally worth it, just to make him get a shave and a haircut.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            This.

            Sign Manny for a day. Make him shave and shower. DFA.

          • MannyGeee

            this! everyone on the Red Sox and Rays should sign with the Yankees for a day… gets clear up some of that horrible facial hair drama in our division

        • mt

          I thought it was an OK move but what I found strange was Girardi playing him in right yesterday – thought part of attraction would be his knowledge of left-field wall.

          But I also find things Girardi does sometimes starnge and unnecessary – like using Eppley and Qualls when you have a a five run lead in first game (where you probaly definitely need to use Wade at least once in doubleheader to actually provide some relief to other relievers) but then explaining that the reason he felt he had to use Wade in second game with just a narrow one run defiicit was that he couldn’t use use Eppley or Qualls again.

          • JonS

            Right field is harder to play in Fenway than the Monster.

          • Buffalo Bill

            5 run leads disappear quickly in Fenway park, especially when you have Corey Wade on the mound. The LAST thing Girardi wanted to do was to have to get Soriano up in the ninth inning of game 1 of the DH with a five run lead because Wade was crapping it away.

            • JohnnyC

              So he’d rather have Wade crap away a one-run deficit. Makes sense.

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

                It wasn’t an either/or situation. Play to win the first game because who knows what will happen in the second. It’s not like Girardi said “hmm, I think I’ll use Wade in the one-run game rather than the five-run game” when he woke up that morning.

    • TomH

      You’re exactly right about the bad effects of the national broadcasts. Surely, these must turn off vast numbers of people outside the Boston-New York axis. These guys bring the worst of tv sports broadcasting to the games, turning them into some sort of “reality tv” trash, filled with various “narratives” they think will add some sort of (redemptive) drama to mere baseball: the new guy from AAA, what you call the woe-is-me narrative, the will-this-once-great-star-make-a-comeback story, etc. A close viewer could probably come up with a comprehensive list of these story lines.

    • RI$P FTW

      Who’s forcing you to watch?

  • Bob Stone

    Beating the BoSox is one of my favorite things in life. Taking three of four in Fenway is like adding a cherry on top of all that fun.

  • Hall and Nokes

    At the break, 11 out of 14 American League teams are .500 or better. If it weren’t for interleague play, you would think it was an optical illusion.

    (And the Yanks played their entire interleague schedule against NL teams that are over .500, of course.)

    • Hall and Nokes

      Yankees have played 71 games against teams that are .500 or better at the break, 14 games against sub-.500 teams.

      • FIPster Doofus

        That’s staggering.

      • mt

        That’s 83% – that must be some kind of record – only can happen in a year when your own division is all at .500 or better (like AL East), where your own league cleaned up in interleague (like AL did) and your own interleague schedule was primarily .500 or better (like Yanks had).

        • forensic

          The Orioles have also only played 14 under .500. It’s not that crazy when you pick a date where only 3 teams are under .500 in the AL.

          • forensic

            And if anybody is curious (because I know I would be):

            Tampa Bay: 19 games
            Boston: 24 games
            Toronto: 24 games

            As you would expect, interleague factors heavily in this, especially the Marlins and Phillies.

          • Brian S.

            I’m rooting for the Orioles. I want them and Tigers or some other shitty team to play in the Wild Card game.

      • forensic

        The Yankees are #1 in ESPN’s RPI ratings, 16 points ahead of #2 Orioles. There are 10 more teams within 16 point of the Orioles.

        Not that it means anything, but that’s quite a gap.

  • RetroRob

    When do real games start up again? Thursday or Friday?

    • Robert

      Friday

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      friday at home against the stupid halos

      • RetroRob

        Yuck. That’s the part that I dislike most about the All-Star break.

      • forensic

        Which means I have to deal with the horror of listening to the FSW Angels broadcasters. I dread those games like people in Chicago would dread having to listen to Hawk.

        • Ted Nelson

          You do a lot of bitching about broadcasts. Just hit mute.

  • forensic

    Though he went 7-13 with 6 walks in the series, Ortiz only had 1 double and 0(!) homers!

    He’s now gone 5 straight games without a homer against the Yanks. That’s gotta be nearing (or already setting) a record for him. I might have to look it up tonight if I get bored enough.

    • forensic

      Ok, nevermind, guess it just seems like it’s an absurdly long time. Even just the last couple of years, he somehow went 14 straight games (one was a PH appearance) without a homer between the end of 2010 and beginning of 2011.

  • dkidd

    total domination.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Fuhgeddaboutit.

  • Brian S.

    Is Nova’s elbow at risk for throwing so many breaking balls?

    • Bernie Losses: 1

      No, the breaking refers to the motion of the ball as it approaches home plate.

      • Brian S.

        Ohhhhh. Thanks for the clarification.

      • MannyGeee

        Johan Santana takes offense

    • forensic

      He’s a pitcher, you just have to deal with it. The slider might do more damage, but if you tell him not to throw it so maybe he stays healthier longer, then you have a worse pitcher who you don’t care if he stays healthy. Gotta take the risk with the results sometimes.

      • Brian S.

        Yeah I thought I read an article on fangraphs that says pitchers that throw the slider more than 30% of the time destroy their elbows. Hopefully the curve isn’t as strenuous.

        • forensic

          Yeah, the slider seems to do the most damage. I also don’t trust guys who throw ‘too’ hard as anecdotally it just seems liek it’s too much for the human body to handle. Strasburg, for example. I’ll be interested to see what happens to Chapman over time, as he both throws ‘too’ hard and throws the slider. Maybe it won’t be so bad as they seem to have settled on him relieving instead of starting. If I were the Nationals though, I would hold my breath everytime Strasburg went out there. His stuff can be so nasty, I would even be tempted to see if he could just tone it down a touch though. But again, you’re taking away effectiveness in that case.

          • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

            He’s(Strasburg) already had his elbow rebuilt, so I think he’ll be fine for at least a couple years.

            • Pat D

              Kyle Drabek says “Hi.”

            • Pat D

              Kyle Drabek says “Hi.”

              • Pat D

                Second time in two days. My computer must be causing some problems.

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

            There’s an age component in there as well. More breaking balls at a young age are worse than an older guy doing it.

          • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando

            Verlander is a pretty healthy guy for someone who revs it up to 100+ consistently.

  • jim p

    Sterling said on the radio that Jones’ four homers at Fenway matches Adrian Gonzalez’ ($156M) total this year there. And Jones did it in three days!

    • RetroRob

      Ha! That’s a good stat.

    • forensic

      But, he’s built for that park!

      He can go the other way and he is and will hit a ton of doubles there, but you don’t pay that kind of money for doubles. He also hasn’t walked in 14 games. I know most of that overlaps with his hitting streak (which ended tonight with his tummy-ache), but even during that streak his ISO was barely over .100.

      You wonder if they’re starting to analyze and get concerned about him there like we have been with Tex as two under-performing big-money first basemen.

      • Brian S.

        Seriously. I’ve been hating on Teix for a few years but at least his wRC+ is over 100 by All-Star break.

        • FIPster Doofus

          And this is only the first year of A-Gon’s massive contract. Boston is fucked.

          • JonS

            And they still have 5 more years of Crawford. hahahahahahahaha

            • Dino Velvet

              and they’re paying Youk to bat .347/.571/.990 for the White Sox– HA!

              • MannyGeee

                this is the BEST!!!

    • MannyGeee

      imagine if Andruw Jones played in Petco…

  • OMG! Bagels!

    The Yankees are aging, too many homers, other teams are injured, and no one ever says when the home run derby is.

    I don’t know what to make of all this.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I hope their nurses set their alarm clocks for them. I’d hate for them to sleep through the ASB and forfeit first place.

  • Dino Velvet

    can’t blame Angel for the wide zone. It was a 4 hr game as it was. A tight zone could have extended the game by an hour.

    • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando

      Totally agree. As long as he’s consistent for both teams, I really don’t care what kind of zone he is calling (within reason). Lets keep the game moving, and get up there looking to swing.

  • eephus_pitch

    Man, I’m glad I skipped the game thread. Just looking over it briefly, and the “OMG ESPN HATES THE YANKEES SO MUCH, WAAAAH” stuff is so tiresome.

    • Jim Is Bored

      I generally think a lot of ESPN folk are anti-Yankee, because it drives up ratings, but the broadcast last night was almost disgusting in how complimentary they were, especially of Jeter.

      • OMG! Bagels!

        I think that if you check OTM they hate them too but mostly because they are terrible announcers.

        There was always a but. The Yankees are in a good position this year…but this is an aging line up.

        The Yankees depend too much on the homer.

        Every other team is injured which is why they are not doing well.

        And Swisher’s double turned into a discussion about how great the outfielder played.

        And complimentary of Jeter? That’s almost a given. Who can’t be complimentary of Jeter? Even people who hate the Yankees like Derek Jeter.

        And all they talk about are other things than the game. I hate Kay and Paulie talking about food while something great goes on in the game, but the ESPN guys acted like they were 2 guys in a bar (I’m not counting Tito because he actually seemed to be talking about the game) having a conversation and there just happened to be a baseball game going on in the background.

        It annoyed me (more than any Yankee bashing) and the humor in the game thread is what saved me. I was avoiding the game threads for a while because of the trolls but then I thought F it, I like those guys (the non-trolls). I’m going back.

        I didn’t give up when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor. I’m not giving up when stuart a. blames Arod.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I mean I avoid the game threads for the most part too. I don’t think the anti-yankee thing is from corporate or anything, I just think it’s easy to fall back on, and an easy thing to play up for the lazier of the ESPN folk. It’s the same for the obnoxiously pro-yankee folks.

          Also, there are definitely people who hate derek jeter. Peruse some of the other AL East blogs. I don’t get it, but such is life.

    • Steve

      Not just ESPN. Everybody and their mother hates the Yankees apparently. Fox, Baseball America, Fan Graphs (minus the guy who runs the Yankee site, I guess), anybody who ranks prospects, etc. etc.

    • RI$P FTW

      I’ve actually never heard so much Yankee ass-licking as I did during the Sunday night game.
      It was Deter Jeter tribute night or something.

  • Kevin

    So are the anti-Yankee articles from the NY Post

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The Post hates everyone when it’s convenient to.

  • christopher

    That first half was epic, I mean literally, like a long, slow Russian novel, filled with angst, broken bodies, unlikely heroes and endless slogs through the wastelands to match wits with overmatched opponents, visit to the sulfurous underworld (The Trop) and the legendary seventh circle of hell (The LA.) Remember The Bostons, The Mets, The Braves, and a seemingly endless series against the Rays and look where the team sits in the standings.

    On a personal note, the ASG is children’s book, filled with pretty pictures, but a waste of time, so I will rest my weary eyes until Friday, but come Friday the battle begins again. This is not young team, which means bodies will pay the steep toll, but it also means it is a team that knows how to win. Who knows where how this epic will end, but I’m definitely looking forward to the ride.

    • Greg

      Great metaphors!

    • MannyGeee

      following your analogy… I am sticking around for the HR Derby, which is much more like a Penthouse:

      A LOT of money shots, very little to no dialogue, and the contrived plot lines are a little far fetched (yeah, I’m positive that shit happens ALL THE TIME to pizza delivery guys and pool cleaners…)

  • OldYanksFan

    I just wish no Yankees went to the ASG. A 4 day break can really recharge the batteries of our guys, especially the old men. Robbie can handle it, probably Grandy too… but I’d still rather they rest. And Jeter? The guy should get the flu. Two more flights and all the hype of the ASG is a waste for a guy who seems to respond to rest.

    The Red Sox have really played well considering their injuries. Somehow they always seem to get cast-offs that fill in and play well. I think if they get their guys healthy and back for the 2nd half, they will make a charge at us.

    While one player shouldn’t make that much difference, with TB’s weak Offense, missing Longoria has really hurt them. I believe TB will also be better in the 2nd half, but I worry more about the Sox.

    We are in a very nice position now, but we shouldn’t get lulled to sleep. I am predicting a VERY competative 2nd half.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      And Jeter? The guy should get the flu.

      Thought that “loosening of the shoulder” during the game last night might have been his way out of the ASG. :-)

      • MannyGeee

        here’s to hope

      • RI$P FTW

        I was hoping the same thing.

  • Eddard

    The division is over. The Os, Rays, and Sox just aren’t in our league. Tampa still doesn’t have its best player. The Sox will just be getting theirs back after the ASB. We’ll be getting our ace back. Our concern should be getting ready for the postseason. Figuring out who the #4 will be- Nova or Hughes. Resting the key bullpen guys- Soriano, Robertson, Logan. And keep resting Jeter and A-Rod at least once a week. Joe’s got us on the right track.

    • MannyGeee

      you’re right. cancel the rest of the season, lets jump into the playoffs now

      • OMG! Bagels!

        Where we will fail because of too many homers.

  • your mom

    Boston’s MVP of the series: Saltalamacchia 1-14, 10 Ks(3 hat tricks)