Tuesday, May 8, 2012
Nova turned in arguably his best outing of the season during a rainy evening at Yankee Stadium, striking out eight and leading the Yankees to a 5-3 win over the Rays that saw former setup man David Robertson record his first save since Mariano Rivera sustained a season-ending right knee injury last week in Kansas City.
Raul Ibanez homered twice, including a long two-run blast, and Curtis Granderson belted a solo shot, his 10th of the year, to provide the offense as the Yankees toppled James Shields, posting their third victory in four games.
This game felt like a playoff game to me, and it was a tight one with a lot of tension and drama. Nova was very good except for the continued HR issue he’s been having this year, and he reward Joe Girardi’s faith by pitching out of a big jam to end the 7th in what may have been the key point in the game.
Robertson got his first save of the year, hopefully the first of many, although it took loading the bases and facing Carlos Pena to get it. I’m not worried about Robertson at all, but I do have concerns about the bridge to him.
And I have to say that I’m happy to see Ibanez exceeding my admittedly low expectations for him. He seems like a good guy and I hope he can continue to do so.
But mostly it was nice to finally beat the Rays after losing seven straight to them going back to last year, although some of those losses felt like wins.
Next entry: The Continuing Evolution of Ivan Nova
Previous entry: Rays (19-10) @ Yankees (15-13), Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 7:05pm