Monday, June 11, 2012
Ivan Nova pitched seven strong innings, holding the Braves to five singles in leading the Yanks to their fourth straight win, which followed a three-game weekend sweep of the Mets at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees scored one run in each of the first three innings against Braves starter Randall Delgado.
Instead of starting the ninth inning with Rafael Soriano, who blew a save opportunity in Sunday’s 5-4 win over the Mets, manager Joe Girardi turned to Cory Wade for the inning’s first out, then got the final two outs of the game from Boone Logan.
The Yanks have now won nine of their last 11 games and pulled into a first-place tie with the Rays in the AL East, leading Girardi to agree before the game that the defending division champs are now hitting on all cylinders, despite some notable missing parts: Brett Gardner, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera.
It seems like after every Nova start this year I’ve said some variation of Nova pitching better than his final line. Today I’m going to go with the opposite sentiment. I’ll take seven shutout innings any time, but Nova didn’t look shutout great to me. His command seemed off, although he probably should have ended the game with 0 walks and 8 Ks but he caught the home plate ump napping on an 0-2 curve that cut through the center of the strike zone. The batter ended up working a walk to lead off the seventh, but Nova carved through the next three hitters to end a solid night and move his season ERA under 5.00. Nick Swisher also made a great catch earlier in the game that may have robbed Brian McCann of a two run homer that would have made Nova’s line look worse than it did. That being said, I’ve felt all year that Nova’s pitched in bad luck so he’s probably due for a bit of good luck.
Because of Nova and two perfect innings by the closer-less bullpen, we can ignore the fact that once again the Yankees were putrid with runners on base. I lost count around 27 LOB.
Despite that ineptitude continuing, the Yankees won again and with Tampa Bay idle, the Yankees have moved into a tie for first place in the AL East. They should try and stay there.
Previous entry: Yankees (34-25) @ Braves (34-26), Monday, June 11, 2012, 7:10pm