Morrow shuts Yankees down, Jays take opener


Following Thursday’s 6-0 loss to the Blue Jays, the Yankees are just 4-11 in games played on artificial turf this season. That’s only two ballparks — Tropicana Field and Rogers Centre — and frankly, it doesn’t really mean anything. The YES booth mentioned it on the broadcast and it caught my attention for whatever reason.



In a start that was a microcosm of his season, Ivan Nova allowed four runs and failed to complete five full innings of work. It’s the second straight start in which he’s been unable to record 15 outs. Brett Lawrie hit a two-run homer in the third, but that wasn’t the mistake. The pitch Lawrie hit out wasn’t even in the strike zone. The mistake was walking number nine hitter Anthony Gose one batter earlier. Nova jumped ahead of him 0-2 in the count but got cute with breaking balls and walked him. Edwin Encarnacion doubled in two runs in the fifth, his third hit of the game.

I’m not sure what more you can say about Nova and his season that hasn’t already been said. He’s been a major disappointment regardless of what he does in his final start next week. On the bright side, Nova’s first strikeout was his 150th of the season, giving the Yankees four pitchers with that many strikeouts. They’re the fourth team in AL history with four 150-strikeout guys, and the first since the 1987 Royals. Nova’s third strikeout was the pitching staff’s 1,267th of the season, a new single-season franchise record. The 2001 squad was the previous record holder. That’s pretty neat. As for the bad news, Encarnacion’s double set a new single-season franchise record for extra-base hits allowed (87). Nova missed three weeks due to injury and still set the record with one start to spare. Think about that.



Nova getting pounded is no surprise, and neither is Brandon Morrow shutting down the Yankees in Toronto. The 28-year-old right-hander came into the game with a career 6.84 ERA in the new Yankee Stadium (25 IP), but pitching in Toronto as a Blue Jay, he’s held the Yankees to a 1.05 ERA in 42.2 innings. Thursday’s masterpiece featured seven shutout innings, including a first and second with no outs situation in the seventh that did not advance any further (the same thing happened in the ninth against Darren Oliver). That he only struck out three seems like a misprint in the box score.

I don’t know what it is, but the Yankees simply have not been able to do anything against Morrow in Toronto these last three years. All four hits he allowed came off the bats of Robinson Cano and Russell Martin, who each singled and double. Martin’s double was aided by the defense and should have been caught. That was pretty much it though. The 8-9-1-2-3 stretch of hitters went a combined 0-for-12 with two walks against the opposing starter. This Morrow stuff is eerily similar to how A.J. Burnett dominated the Yankees while with the Blue Jays, isn’t it?


(AP/Aaron Vincent Elkaim)

Pretty much the only thing about this game worth applauding was David Aardsma‘s return to a big league mound. The veteran right-hander missed over two calendar years due to injury (oblique, hip, elbow), but Joe Girardi let him throw the eight inning. Aardsma allowed a solo homer to J.P. Arencibia and walked Moises Sierra in an otherwise scoreless inning, hitting 92 on the gun and showing both a slider and a splitter. You can’t expect much out of Aardsma the rest of the way, but it was cool to see him back in the show after the long layoff and especially after following his rehab progress all season.

Ichiro‘s hitting streak came to and end at ten games, and he’s suddenly 4-for-18 (.222) on the road trip. Derek Jeter‘s on-base streak did continue thanks to his walk, and that is now up to 28 games. It is tied for the third-longest such streak of his career. Cano had three hits total (two singles and a double), though he did get doubled off first when Gose made a nice running catch at the wall on a Nick Swisher line drive in the fourth. Martin had his two hits, but otherwise the only Yankees to reach base were Jeter with the walk, Alex Rodriguez (walk, hit-by-pitch), and Swisher (walk). They were shutout for the first time since the Felix Hernandez two-hitter last month.

Clay Rapada threw one pitch and retired the only man he faced, but Derek Lowe allowed a run on three hits in his two innings of work. A ground ball guy on artificial turf with a less than stellar infield defense was bound to result in some kind of offense for the Blue Jays. At least Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, Boone Logan, and Joba Chamberlain were all able to get another day of rest.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights while ESPN has the updated standings. The Orioles were idle on Thursday, so the lead in the division and the magic number are one game and six, respectively. The Angels did lose to the Mariners, so the magic number to clinch a postseason berth is down to just three. Thursday wasn’t a total loss, I suppose.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

These same two teams will play game two of this four-game set on Friday night, when Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball against rookie right-hander Chad Jenkins.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Rocky Road Redemption says:

    Out of pure curiosity, I have on Elementary.

    Lucy Liu is “Jane” Watson.

    Holmes has tattoos.


    They STARTED OFF THE SHOW by showing him shirtless in front of Lucy Liu. Yeah, this show isn’t going to be about unresolved sexual tension.

    Oh, God. Shoot me now.

  2. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Someone wanted to get this recap over with quickly. :)

    Can’t same I blame you, Mike.

  3. ADam says:

    Can’t let Nova start this game… Can’t. But here we are, unwilling to put the best team possible on the field in a huge game. Sad

  4. Mike says:

    Well, if we were to lose to a good pitcher, I’d rather the Yankees do it with their worst SP

    5 of the last 6 games are started by pitchers not name Ivan Nova. And Brandon Morrow is probably the only good pitcher the Yankees had left to face the rest of the series and probably the rest of the season

    I was expecting a loss tonight, so hopefully they win at the very least 2 out of the remaining 3 this series. And hopefully 2 of 3 against Boston.

  5. BigBlueAL says:

    If Tuesday’s game means something (Yankees have a 1 game lead or God forbid are tied or worse) can they really let Nova start?? Phelps if available would have to make that start I would hope.

  6. Big Members Only (formerly RI$P FTW) says:

    Nova = Shit

    Until he proves me wrong.

  7. EDDARD says:

    Nova shouldn’t enter another ballgame this season unless it’s in garbage time with Nick Swisher. The lead is now 1 and we need to start winning or we’re dependent on the Sox. Rays tied 2-2, we need them to stay within 3 of the Os. Texas won, best record is probably gone.

    • jjyank says:

      Swisher? How many non-garbage time hits does he need before this ridiculous meme dies?

      And no, Eddard, just shut up. The lead in the division is dependent on nobody but the Yankees. We win games, we win the division. It’s the Orioles who are depending. The Yankees hold their own destiny in their hands. Your posts are getting very, very stale.

    • Get Phelps Up says:

      Best record being gone is a good thing IMO.

  8. Anthony says:

    Bleh. Not too upset I missed this one. I think its pretty clear (or has been clear?) that Nova needs to be moved to the bullpen once the postseason begins. I’m still optimistic though. CC and Andy have been great in their last two starts, and the offense (with tonight likely just an exception) has been doing its job. Definitely would like Tex back, but having him for the postseason is much more important than rushing him back now.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      ….and I think that’s what we’re going to get. I think Hughes gets the fourth starters spot at this point.

      Again I’ll say, though……who’s more important in the playoffs, the fourth starter, or the swingman type out of the bullpen?

      • Mike says:

        There’s no question that Hughes gets the 4th start (if it goes there)

        Our worst SP lost to arguably the best SP we will face the rest of the regular season. Sure it sucks the bats were silent but they’ve been better as of late and I’m not overly concerned with the offense.

      • Anthony says:

        That’s a good question I sure as heck couldn’t answer. I will say though, having Phelps for the swingman role definitely eases some concerns. I probably shouldn’t have said that though, earlier in the year when I wanted him to start so badly, he got knocked around pretty hard.

        I’m surprised no one mentioned it, but would Girardi be willing to play CC on 3 days rest (he did that last year – right?). Would CC be able to??

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Able to? No idea. Would he take the ball and go out there, no questions asked? Oh hell yes he would.

          You’re right on Phelps, though. I think he’d potentially push Nova further down the line into short relief in this end. Mike (not Axisa) may be right and it might push Nova right off the roster. Geez, what a difference from last season.

          • Anthony says:

            Haha yea, CC’s a workhorse for sure, love that about him. It really is so bizarre to compare this year and last. I really didn’t even think of Nova having to fight for his roster spot until you guys brought it up. I’d bring up the topic of how all of this might affect next year, but that’s just too much for one night haha.

    • jjyank says:

      Pretty much agreed. And at this point, Phelps would probably be the first long man out of the pen.

      • Mike says:

        Which would make me wonder if Nova even makes the playoff roster. I think if he does make his next and last scheduled start, his performance will determine it.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:


        • jjyank says:

          Pretty much. I think Nova’s fate is in his own hands. He very well might not make the postseason roster.

        • Get Phelps Up says:

          My playoff roster would be:

          Tex (hopefully)

          • Mike says:

            Is Dickerson eligible? And I would have to think they’d pick Andruw Jones unfortunately.

            Assuming you’re 24 are correct including Dickerson, then the 25th man will be Nova, Garcia or Jones

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Everyone’s eligible.

              I think you see Jones if you also see Gardner instead of C-Dick.

            • Anthony says:

              Yeah, I think the requirement is just to have been in the organization on the 31st (or Sept 1st?).

            • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

              I wouldn’t be shocked if one of Eppley or Lowe was on the roster.

              • Robinson Tilapia says:

                Outside shot for Eppley, but Joba’s improvement may put him on the outside looking in.

                Lowe? You’d need a mass case of severe indigestion.

                • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

                  I could see Lowe if they plan on using Phelps as a middle innings guy. They might want to take a long man in case a starter gets knocked out early or they have a long extra inning game. They might just use Phelps for that role, or they may pick one of Lowe, Garcia, or Nova, in which case, Lowe probably gets picked.

          • forensic says:

            I’d be shocked if Girardi didn’t include Eppley for an 11 man staff. I wouldn’t even be surprised if they kept nova on it too for a 12 man staff, though I hope not.

            I also think you’ll see jones and Gardner on with Nunez and Dickerson off.

            Just how I see them doing it, certainly not how I would do it though.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Agree on Jones/Gardner. I can see the 11 man staff, but not higher than that, with Eppley being the guy.

            • Anthony says:

              What makes you think Dickerson won’t stay? Already a lefty-heavy lineup?
              And even with that bomb a few nights ago, I’m still terrified of the thought of Andruw Jones in the postseason. Bleh.

              • forensic says:

                Because its not a typical Yankees type of move to suddenly give up on a veteran who’s been on the team the whole year, especially in deference to a guy who’s played just a couple games all year.

                And yes, the left/right stuff factors in too.

                • Anthony says:

                  Ah, okay. Will miss him if he’s gone, even with Gardner back to replace the speed factor.

                • Robinson Tilapia says:

                  I mean, Freddy Guzman DID happen once but, yes, I agree that the Yankees would not do that to either Jones or Gardner in favor of Dickerson. Dickerson would be one of the first injury replacements, though.

      • Anthony says:

        Mhm. I remember some talk on here about Phelps not being a “big game pitcher”. Not sure how accurate that is, but I definitely look forward to seeing him pitch. Joba has always been throwing pretty well. Logan – I just don’t know. Can we say for certain that Tuesday night was ONLY a result of his crazy workload?

  9. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Ivan Nova should not be allowed to ever use his arms for anything again.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Truth is Hughes was *this* bad a few years ago. is it possible that Nova’s “not right” at the moment?

      Maybe he needs to be shut down for the rest of the season. Not defending him, just saying he may be hurt still.

  10. Zack says:

    I didn’t think we were going to win out the rest of the way. Rather have it be on the night we face their best pitcher with our worst one.

    • Mike says:

      Exactly right.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I think we’d all love a bigger lead and that, unrealistic as it may be, we’re treating every loss as a missed opportunity to either hold serve or gain ground. I’m as guilty of it as anyone.

        • Mike says:

          Well you’re not alone. That Minnesota game took a big one in the butt, However I said to others (not on here) just consider that game even with that game against Oakland which we easily could have lost. Then again the Yankees easily could have won that game too if Jeter got a hit the inning before.

        • Zack says:

          Texas lost a ton of games too. The only luxury they had that we didn’t is the A’s and Angels were nice enough to lose a few games as well. We didn’t get that luck.
          I’m sorry though,with the O’s rotation the way it is..they aren’t going to win out either. And as they showed in their split,they can suck it up with RISP with the best of them.

  11. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Ivan Nova should not be allowed to operate heavy, or even light, machinery ever again.

  12. Joe F says:

    I’m happy. I got a writers gig at Fansided’s Yanks Go Yard. Good to be writing for a site again.

  13. DT says:

    Nova sucks. Let Phelps audition for next near year in place of his next start. We can’t keep giving games away every time he starts.

  14. Fuck the Rays and their Rasputin-like inability to DIE.

    This is beyond ridiculous.

    • Get Phelps Up says:

      I want them to have something to play for against the Orioles.

      • That’s eight straight wins for them. They now control their playoff destiny if they were to win out.

        They have something to play for, and now a legit shot at the playoffs. It’s high time we stop using that damn line of thinking. The Rays have gone on these insane hot/cold spurts all season, and now they’re on a white-hot one at the end of the season.

        Not enough to threaten the Yankees for the division, but enough to be a lethal opponent in the playoffs, be it against the Yankees or someone else. I’d much rather they not be there, but at this point, I’d be shocked if they aren’t.

    • Mike says:

      I’m actually rooting for the Rays against the White Sox, because it would mean their last series of the year against the Orioles is something to play for as opposed to just being a spoiler team.

    • TomH says:

      Excellent allusion. This board was rolling last night.

  15. Say goodnight to Chicago.

    The AL Central race is over.

  16. Fin says:

    Weak effort by the Yankees, no runs, shit pitching. Been awhile

  17. Rocky Road Redemption says:

    My take on the playoff picture:

    I don’t care who we play. We’ll be playing a playoff team. Whatever happens, we know they’ll be good. Trying to play match-ups in an exercise in futility. The playoffs are a crap shoot, let’s get there first then worry about it.

  18. Rocky Road Redemption says:

    Mr. Robinson Tilapia, you asked if the characters in Elementary where like the characters even in a loose sense. My answer:

    Sort of. With Holmes, yeah, you can see it if you squint. With Watson, no, not at all. She’s only called Watson for name branding. She is absolutely nothing like canon Watson-not even remotely similar.

    Seriously though, it’s a tragedy that this show has a character that’s supposed to be “Sherlock Holmes” in any meaningful sense.

    After the incredible awesomeness of “Sherlock” I find this other modernization to try and match what “Sherlock” mastered. They’ll never come close.

    That show is a masterpiece-in my eye one of the greatest shows in the past twenty years. If Basil Rathbone was the definitive Holmes of the late 1930s-1940s generation, and Jeremy Rhett was the definitive Holmes for the next generation, then Benedict Cumberbatch has defined what it means to play Holmes in our generation.

    As somebody who has read all of the stories and books, in published order no less, I can say that the Robert Downey Jr. movies are surprisingly accurate-moreso than people would think.

    Holmes was not as adept at fighting as is shown in the movies, but he was an excellent boxer, was extremely strong, and could certainly do very well in a fight if necessary. During cases, he was much more active than people realize.

    As for Watson, Jude Law certainly looked the part perfectly. Watson is portrayed in various ways in the ACD series (Conan Doyle wasn’t always completely consistent), and the RDJ version certainly chose a very valid way to characterize him. The plots weren’t great, true, but the dialogue was good and the action was fun. Definite thumbs up.

    • Deep Thoughts says:

      Seems like this is becoming a disturbingly common thread with awesome British shows followed by US versions that suck. Check out the original “Life on Mars,” “Prime Suspect,” and “Being Human.”

      • Pat D says:

        I watched the first 3 seasons of the UK Being Human, and the second season of the US Being Human.

        When I read about what happened with the 4th season of UK Being Human, I had no interest. I could tell it just wasn’t the same show.

        I didn’t watch the 1st season of US Being Human because I saw that it was just a reworking of the first 2 seasons of the UK version. But in their 2nd season they went their own way and I found it pretty entertaining.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        I’ve watched a couple of episodes of the UK “Prime Suspect.” Excellent stuff. The commercials I’ve seen for the US version did not look good.

        Haven’t seen the second Downey Holmes movie yet, but saw the first on a flight and thought it was a ton of fun. Rest of the family outright refuses to ever watch it, though.

        I wish BBC Sherlock was more than three episodes at a time. That’s, like, half of last season of “Breaking Bad.”

        I will admit to preferring the US “The Office” to the UK version.

      • MannyGeee says:

        also…. SKINS. we fcked that one up good.

    • Pat D says:

      Sorry to nitpick, but it’s Jeremy Brett. I feel that he’s the definitive Holmes. Of course, he got to play him most often.

      • Rocky Road Redemption says:

        You’re right, my mistake.

        At any rate, he was certainly the definitive Holmes of his generation, unquestionably. I’d say Cumberbatch is the definitive Holmes of this generation.

  19. Fin says:

    How the literary Holmes needs an 80lb women to not only protect his physical well being but his mental well being, is beyond description. They have made Holmes, a Monk type character..with a tougher chick protecting him.

  20. nsalem says:

    I think Nova’s turn is on Tuesday. I truly hope if this is a game with playoff connotations (which it will likely be) that it will be Phelps’ starting rather than Nova. I have much more confidence in Phelp’s coming through up a big spot.

    • MannyGeee says:

      funny how a month ago we had more faith in Nova taking the hump than Phelps, and a year ago we had more faith in Nova taking the ball rather than Hughes, and 2 years ago we had more faith in Hughes than we did in AJ.

      And today I would rather have AJ Burnett’s 16 wins (shoulda been more in the Bucs did go all fetal position) going up on the mound over Nova OR Phelps…

      just funny is all.

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        It just goes to show that, no matter how much we read comments to that effect every minute on here, what you’re seeing RIGHT NOW on that field could look very different in six months.

  21. Better off Eddard says:

    Phelps has shown in the past that he can come up big in big games. Some have referred to him as Big Game Dave Phelps and I believe that to be accurate. Nova just doesn’t have it this season. Every game is a must win unless the Os lose one, then we’ll have a 1 game cushion. But we can’t depend on that, we must win out to ensure the division.

  22. toad says:

    The mistake was walking number nine hitter Anthony Gose one batter earlier. Nova jumped ahead of him 0-2 in the count but got cute with breaking balls and walked him.

    To my mind this is one of the worst things a pitcher can do. Makes me absolutely nuts. And it has little to do, I think, with physical ability. It’s just bad strategy.

  23. Erik J. says:

    Did anyone listen to Bob McCowan on the Fan 590 Friday afternoon? He indicated the team had huge holes to fill that you could drive a truck through. He indicated the team looked good at the start of the season, but has failed to move forward. Bob thinks the team needs to completely re- tool and start all over again. I couldn’t agree with him more. Lets see what AA is made of.

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