Redemption: Yankees take series opener from O’s on Vernon’s walk-offBy
So this was the best win of the season, right? I know we say that a few times each season, but this one feels legit. So yeah, best win of the season to date. I remain very open to more awesome wins in the second half. Let’s recap Friday’s walk-off 3-2 win over the Orioles:
- Redemption: In the fifth inning, Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells failed to plate a run(s) in a bases loaded, one-out situation. In the exact same situation in the ninth inning, they came through for the win. Pronk coaxed a four-pitch walk from Jim Johnson to force in the tying run, then Wells knocked a two-strike single through the left side for the walk-off win. After eight innings of nothing, scoring two in the ninth for the come-from-behind win was outstanding.
- Super Nova: By Game Score (83), this was both the best start of Ivan Nova‘s big league career and the best start by a Yankee in 2013. He was dominant, allowing two runs on three hits and one walk while striking out eleven in the complete-game. After allowing a two-run homer to Matt Wieters in the second, Nova retired 23 of the final 25 men he faced. The curveball was the key, as he threw 22 of 33 curves for strikes, including ten swing-and-misses. Pitcher wins are dumb, but Nova was electric and he deserved every bit of this “W.” It would have been a damn shame if he had been saddled with a loss.
- Hate Bunts: Two quick gripes. One, bunting after the leadoff man reaches base in the first inning. You can play for a big inning that early in the game, it’s okay. Two, bunting with Ichiro Suzuki in the ninth. Yes it worked out just fine in the end, but Ichiro and Robinson Cano are the team’s two best hitters right now. That bunt took the bat out of both of their hands. Gotta let them hit with the tying run in scoring position and the go-ahead run on-base.
- Leftovers: Props to David Adams for his leadoff single to spark that ninth inning rally. He went 1-3 with a walk and has quietly reached base eleven times in his last 27 plate appearances (.407 OBP), which dates back to the start of the last O’s series … it’s been like, three games, but Luis Cruz has taken some nice swings in pinstripes and he’s been excellent overall on defense. He’s no star, but he’s way better than anyone else they’ve run out there at shortstop this year … Wells was the only Yankee with two hits, but Cano (two walks), Lyle Overbay (single and two walks), and Adams (single and walk) all reached base twice as well.
For the box score and video highlights, go to MLB.com. FanGraphs and ESPN have other stats and the standings, respectively. In a stat that epitomizes the 2013 Yankees, the team has won five straight and is 5-5 in their last ten games. At worst, New York will be five back in the loss column in the AL East when they wake up on Saturday. They are tied with the Orioles in the loss column for the second wildcard spot, however. Andy Pettitte and Chris Tillman is your pitching matchup in Saturday’s matinee, and make sure to check out RAB Tickets for some last minute deals.