Redemption: Yankees take series opener from O’s on Vernon’s walk-off

Jagielo picks up three hits in Staten Island win
Update: Yankees activate Eduardo Nunez; place David Phelps on DL

Source: FanGraphs

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 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.

Jagielo picks up three hits in Staten Island win
Update: Yankees activate Eduardo Nunez; place David Phelps on DL
  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    Sorry Mike, but this was only the second best win of the season. That two out, two strike comeback against Tampa, down two in the ninth and with nobody on, was unbelievable.

    • forensic

      The Triple Play and dropped flyball win against the O’s was also right up there among great wins this season.

    • Kramerica Industries

      Disagree. The Yankees had won the previous day, if they lost that relatively non-descript game, it’s like “gee whiz, C.C. goes tomorrow; still a chance at two of three”. It was also only May 25.

      This game? Seemed like the usual Orioles game; inability to hit a crappy pitching staff, Miguel Gonzalez Changeup doing it’s stuff for the sixth straight meeting, RISPFAIL of a high order, and on top of all of this, it would’ve wasted a marvelous gem of an outing from somebody we don’t expect this stuff from.

      And then the 9th inning rally rescued all of that, and gives the Yankees a chance to leapfrog Baltimore tomorrow afternoon. This was deeply, deeply satisfying. Remember last Friday, when the Yankees lost not necessarily because of poor play, but because of some serious bad luck? To me, this is the counter to that. The Yankees got the luck they badly deserved, and scarfed this game away from the Orioles.

      Let this be the springboard to a weekend of some serious Oriole slaughtering. Put the Birds in their place, and counter all those fucking Seven Nation Army chants.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    What a difference it makes when the guys in the middle of the lineup actually show up, eh?

    Very nice win. Gonzalez stymied the bats, but we just flat-out outlasted him. Nova? Here to fuck with our hearts and souls again.

  • forensic

    Very nice to see them comeback in the 9th. Nova definitely earned it, terrific game for him. Also helps block out a little bit of their continued pitiful offense against Gonzalez.

    Don’t understand why pitchers throw Wells so many fastballs sometimes. With Johnson not yet at 3 balls in that final AB, I can’t believe he threw a fastball to Wells (IIRC).

    Bunt after bunt after bunt. I’m not as far of a bunt-hater as many people, but geez, enough already. These guys are hitting well and you’re grouping them together at the top of the order to group hits together, not to get one hit and then give away outs as much as you can.

    Hopefully Adams can keep a little production going for another few weeks until A-Rod is ready.

    It’d be nice to see an emotional win like this maybe give them a little extra boost over the rest of the weekend.

  • Dalek Jeter

    This was a great win, but I agree with Mike, I really disliked the bunting in the 9th. I’d even include the Gardner bunt. Gardner, Ichiro, and Cano are our best hitters right now. The bunts took the bat out of their hands, and put them in the hands in Hafner and Wells. I’d rather Gardner, Ichiro, or Cano hit with the tying run on base than Wells with the winning run on, honestly.

    Either way though, it worked out, and we got the W and handed the Orioles a L, so I can’t not be happy.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      thb I didn’t like Gardner’s bunt either but Ichiro’s bunt was the best play there imo. Sure, they walk Cano but then you have the bases loaded with 1 out to get the tying run. That’s the easiest way to get that run.

    • toad

      How exactly does the bunt take the bat out of Cano’s hands?

      I’ve never understood the logic of that.

  • mustang (The Has Beens & Wannabes Bunch 2013)


    9 innings of a losing game thread to reach victory. Lets just say I’m drinking heavily after the game.

    I’m in deep negotiations with Fangraph about buy my new systems see here:

    Boar’s Head Natural All Beef Hot Dogs Presents Mustang’s Has Been and Wannabee of the Game Awards:

    The Wannabe of the game is Ivan “1-800-CALL-CASH” Nova

    The Has Been of the game is Vernon “Wannabe one night Has been the next” Wells

    5 and 0

  • Duh Injuries

    Pitcher wins are dumb? Really?

    So I guess if Sabathia throws a twenty strikeout no-hitter it’s “dumb”?

    That you even bring a sliver of negativity into Nova’s start is laughable.

    Btw 40-20 outside of games vs. the Mets, As, Os, and Red Sox, and they can do much better than the 7-19 they’ve gone in games vs. those four teams (winning percentage-wise as they’re done facing the Mets and As.)

    • Dalek Jeter

      It’s dumb that if a pitcher allows 5 ER in 5 IP but his offense scores 6 he gets a win, but if the Yankees didn’t come back and win tonight Nova not only wouldn’t get a win, he’d get a lose. It’s ludicrous.

      • Hans Moleman

        Or the most ridiculous iteration, the blown save win.

    • Mike Axisa

      How exactly is this…

      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.

      …a “sliver of negativity?”

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        Because it’s Duh Injuries…

        • Pat D

          He just owned Mike.

          /not letting it die’d

    • OhioYanks


      Sabathia can get credit for that great performance regardless of whether he gets a W. It’s going to show up in all his other stats, too.

      They also probably aren’t that good against the rest of the league (.667 W% is 108 wins).

  • Cuso

    So, Miguel Olivo, please.

    I understand no to Shoppach and Hernandez. But Olivo you gotta bite.

    • Cuso

      I know, I know

      “But ze pass’d balls”

    • Mike Axisa

      Olivo is worse than those two, you know. He’s got a .248 OBP over the last three years.

      • Bob Buttons

        Even his career high in walks is a whopping twenty-seven.

    • forensic

      Miguel Olivo? Seriously? Yuck. I’d rather have Stewart’s better BA and OBP than Olivo’s better SLG.

    • Cuso

      Ok, that got shot down quick. I thought he would be a better backup than Romine. Buy whatever.

      • Cuso

        But* whatever.

        (We certainly know they wont “buy” whatever.)

      • Cool Lester Smooth

        I think Stewart will be a better backup than Romine if/when we trade for Chooch.

      • Deathstroke Heathcott

        The problem isn’t that he isn’t better than Romine. The problem is that he isn’t better than Hernandez or Shoppach.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Why is that a problem? Because the Yankees didn’t sign the other two?

          I wish we’d compare players we’re considering to guys on our team, not everyone else in baseball we could/should/would have had. It’s such a cashmanfailed thing to do.

          • Cool Lester Smooth

            I think he’s saying that if they didn’t sign Shoppach or Hernandez, they’re not about to sign Olivo.

  • The Real Greg

    Sox take advantage of a Josh Hamilton dropped ball and take a 3-2 lead.

  • Cool Lester Smooth

    Well, I guess I’ll just have to start talking shit about Nova before every one of his starts.

  • Rolling Doughnut

    I thought we were screwed when Ichiro bunted in the ninth. Has to be one of Girardi’s worst calls ever. Great win though. And who taught Nova to throw a curve in 2 weeks?

  • Bob Buttons

    I’ll admit it, after 2-0 after two and Gonzalez dealing, I thought the score would probably be similar in a couple of innings. Glad that “a couple” did not extend to the ninth. Wasn’t able to even check the score for the most part but was quite happy seeing the final score.

  • pat

    Wow, Weiters wanted nothing to do with blocking the plate on that first run. Gave Vernon the old ¡OLE! and let him waltz by.

  • Kramerica Industries

    In other news, the Red Sox might never lose again.

    This is really fucking annoying by this point.

  • Pseudoyanks

    So, I was among the first to shout ” sell sell sell ” a week ago. What will it legitimately take in terms of acquisitions to make this team WS calibre? Really.

    • trr

      If you mean just trades, there are too many holes to patch I think. C and RH OF are obvious needs, but we’re still gonna need to hear from Jeter , A-rod, Grandy, et al, if we’re gonna win this thing

    • Cool Lester Smooth

      It will take us making the playoffs and getting hot at the right time.

      But a bat or two wouldn’t hurt.

  • pat

    And holy crap, when he’s on Nova’s stuff is filthy. 94-96 with the fastball, 80-82 fluttering curve, 82-84 wipeout slider and a show me curve. Ridiculous. I’d hate to see him traded and blossom into a frontline guy for someone else. Still only 26, which is pretty young.

    • pat

      *show me change

  • Bavarian Yankee

    what a performance by Nova!!! Does anybody know the % of fastballs he threw? Last start was under 50% if my memory serves me right.

    • forensic

      He threw 102 pitches this game. According to Brooks, he threw 41 4-seamers (40%), 24 2-seamers (24%), 33 curves (32%), and 4 changeups (4%). 64% total fastballs between 4- and 2-seamers.

      He threw 103 pitches in his start against Tampa almost 2 weeks ago. He threw 24 4-seamers (23%), 23 sinkers (22%, not sure why they call them sinkers this game and 2-seamers the other one, but they’re essentially the same thing), 50 curves (49%), and 6 changeups (6%). 45% total fastballs between 4- and 2-seamers.

      He threw 73 pitches in his relief appearance against Baltimore in between the starts. He threw 28 4-seamers (38%), 20 sinkers (27%, again essentially the same as a 2-seamer), 19 curves (26%), and 6 changeups (8%). 65% total fastballs between 4- and 2-seamers.

    • vicki

      of his 102 pitches, 24 were the two-seam fastball, 41 the four-seamer. the story was the curve (33).

  • Get Phelps Up

    Walkoffs in general are great, but a walkoff against a team like the Orioles? Can’t beat that. Especially considering how great Nova was. In fact, in every win against the O’s this season there’s been something to really feel good about, weather it’s the triple play, Kuroda’s shutout, or now 2 comebacks against Johnson.

    Also you gotta love that there’s only ~35 comments in this recap for probably the best win of the season but we routinely get triple that in nearly every loss.

    • vicki

      to be fair, it is a holiday weekend.

      • Kosmo

        Baseball mirrors life. When things are going well not much to complain about but when you hit a bump in the provebial road suddenly you get involved in the drama of it.

        Nova was simply put `stellar` and a much pick me up with Kuroda shelved.

        • Kosmo


        • Mykey

          I’m quite the opposite. Prefer to come here to celebrate a victory than complain about a loss. Instead, I just let that frustration fester deep in the dark reaches of my mind.

          • Robison Tilapia

            Losses allow armchair GMs the opportunity to tell the world how they could do better. Wins make that a bit harder.

            I don’t losses fester much unless they truly mark the end of the season. In that case, just don’t mention sports for a few days and you’re allowed to live.

      • jjyank

        No, this shit happens for almost every win. It just confirms that half the people that comment here are more interested in bitching, moaning, and boasting that their proclamations of doom were correct than actually rooting for the team.

        • Jim Is (not) Bored

          Or, you know, aren’t actually Yankee fans.

  • DERP

    Nova with outstanding peripherals this year:


  • DERP

    I went to read about how Orioles fans were taking this loss. Some of the things they about Jim Johnson were just awful. I am sure I have said some bad things here about Yankee players, but I don’t think I have ever gone as far as some of these guys.

    Check out what is said on this page and the next one.

    • Fin

      LOL, pretty funny stuff. Im sure there would be plenty of Yankees blogs with the same type of stuff, if the Yankees led all of baseball with blown leads going into the 9th. If I remember correctly from the MLB channel the O’s have lost 16 games in which they had the lead in the 9th. Maybe it was the 8th, but the point is, its been astonishingly bad.

    • Andrew Brotherton

      Seriously I would hope if anyone at all dropped a Corey Lidle plane reference the community would tar and feather them and then poop in their cornflakes.

  • Eddard

    Nova is at his best when he pounds that sinking fastball and compliments with the breaking ball. He had everything working last night. And this isn’t just one good start for him. He was good against Tampa, too. He deserves his rotation spot and it’ll either be Phelps or Hughes who goes to the pen, hopefully to replace Jobber.

  • Eddard

    A couple days ago I said they should call up Murphy for Romine and people jumped on me saying they just can’t possibly hurt Murphy’s development. Cashman said Friday that if there are changes at catcher it would more likely come from within. I think Murphy will get the call soon. Romine is a negative value player.