Results tagged ‘ Ivan Nova ’
Considering the weakened state of the Yankees’ batting order, it makes absolutely no sense to pitch to Robinson Cano. Kevin Youkilis, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay and Eduardo Nunez have done nice work offensively early on while Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter are healing, but the opposition would be wise not to put Cano in any position to create havoc.
The Yankees are grateful that Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy ignored this advice that resulted in Cano cranking a three-run home run in the fourth inning to wipe out a 2-0 deficit.
Cano, back in the 2-hole where he has flourished this season (.395, four doubles, four home runs, 11 RBI), had a single and was stranded in the first inning. McCarthy wisely walked Cano intentionally after falling behind 2-0 in the count in the second inning with runners on first and third and two out. Kevin Youkilis ended the inning with a grounder to third base.
In the fourth, McCarthy came back from yielding leadoff singles to Overbay and Chris Stewart by striking out Brett Gardner. It appeared McCarthy would take the same approach to Cano and fell behind 3-0 in the count. McCarthy got a strike with a changeup on the black, and then threw a curve out of the strike zone that Cano fouled off. Getting to 3-2 must have given McCarthy some confidence that he should go after Cano.
Bad move for the pitcher; good move for the Yankees. Cano cranked a full-count change into the bleachers in right-center field for his fourth home run and a 3-2 Yankees lead. The Yanks had nine nits over the first four innings off McCarthy, who was gone after 102 pitches, but had left five runners on base over the first three innings and were hitless in four at-bats with runners in scoring position before Cano connected for his fourth home run of the season.
Yankees starter Ivan Nova also made a relatively early exit after a 94-pitch, five-inning stint. The D-backs left seven runners on base against Nova, who gave up two runs in the third but avoided further damage with a big strikeout of former teammate Eric Chavez and getting another former Yankee, Eric Hinske, on an infield out.
Nova’s best work was in the fourth inning after yielding a leadoff double to A.J. Pollock. Cliff Pennington sacrificed Pollock to third base, which prompted the Yankees to bring the infield in against Geraldo Parra, who rolled a grounder to Overbay at first base that kept Pollock at third. Nova ended the threat with a strikeout of Martin Prado.
It was a serviceable outing for Nova, who has been under intense scrutiny but how about cutting him some slack. With all the weather problems, Nova has made only two starts 17 days into the season. It is hard to get into a rhythm. He had a very good curve Tuesday night and made pitches when he needed them for the most part.
The Yankees added a run in the seventh on a sacrifice fly by Nunez, and the bullpen did a great job after Nova with Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera combining for four shutout innings of one-hit, no-walk, three-strikeout relief.
How appropriate that on a night when players on both clubs wore No. 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson’s legacy that Rivera, the last active player to wear that number, got the save, his third of the season and 611th of his career, with a 1-2-3 ninth and that the deciding runs were driven in by a player named after the trail blazing Hall of Famer.
Equally appropriate was the final score:
The Yankees’ return to Detroit Friday turned out just as negatively as their last visit when the Tigers completed a sweep of the 2012 American League Championship Series. An erratic Ivan Nova failed to last five innings, and the Yankees could not solve Detroit lefthander Drew Smyly, who provided four perfect innings of relief for Doug Fister with five strikeouts.
Prince Fielder did the most damage with a pair of home runs for five RBI. His three-run shot off Boone Logan in the fifth wiped out a 3-2 Yankees lead. Fielder’s two-run blow off Sean Kelley in the seventh opened up a five-run Tigers spread. Kelley had also yielded a solo homer to Alex Avila the previous inning.
The Yankees are hoping to see more of the Ivan Nova of 2011 when he was 16-4 with a 3.70 ERA and less of the Ivan Nova of 2012 when his ERA bloated to 5.04 despite a 12-8 record. The Yankees got the Nova who struggled last year. The righthander fell into deep counts throughout his outing and was up to 96 pitches by the time manager Joe Girardi made the move to Logan with two down in the fifth inning.
Andy Pettitte apart, Yankees starting pitcher has been inconsistent. The rotation will make its first full turn with Phil Hughes being activated to start Saturday at Comerica Park. The Yankees originally planned to have David Phelps start at Detroit while Hughes was to make an injury-rehabilitation start at Triple A Scranton.
The Yankees’ offense was limited to a three-run fifth. Fister wild-pitched one run home. The other two runs were courtesy of Kevin Youkilis’ first home run with the Yankees. The former Boston villain has been the Yankees’ hottest hitter in the first week of the season, batting .375 and slugging .688.
The worst news of the day was that Eduardo Nunez had to leave the game after being struck in the right bicep with a pitch in the fourth inning from Fister, who had also hit Brett Gardner with a pitch in the third. Nova plucked Miguel Cabrera, the last batter he faced, in the bottom of the fifth.
Jayson Nix took over at shortstop and is likely to play there again Saturday. X-rays on Nunez were negative, but such a nasty bruise on his throwing arm won’t heal immediately. Shortstop has been the steadiest of positions for the Yankees since Derek Jeter took over as the regular in 1996, but that is not the case now. Jeter, by the way, just began soft tossing in his rehab in the extended spring training and is not expecting back for several weeks, which makes the absence of Nunez critical at this point.
So what happens if Nix should get hurt Saturday and Nunez is unable to throw? Girardi said he would use catcher Francisco Cervelli as an emergency infielder, not that the skipper wants to see that scenario.
It was good to see Brennan Boesch get a nice hand from the sellout crowd of 45,051 while the other Yankees players were booed during pre-game introductions at the Tigers’ home opener. Boesch played the past three seasons for Detroit and was a crowd favorite. He got his first hit with the Yankees, a single in four at-bats, and made a fence-crashing catch in right field to rob Fielder of a potential extra-base hit in the third inning.
The Yankees could not have picked a better time to win their first game of the season when they trailed after eight innings. They had been 0-58 in those situations this year before Tuesday night when they fashioned a tremendous comeback for a 4-3, 12-inning victory over the Red Sox.
On a night when the Orioles pulled off a 1-0 victory over the Rays and James Shields (two-hitter, 15 strikeouts), the Yankees needed a come-from-behind victory to maintain their one-game lead over Baltimore in the American League East. And they did, with the guy who tied the score with a dramatic home run in the ninth inning knocking in the deciding run in the 12th.
Raul Ibanez was doused with a bucket of Gatorade after his clutch hit that brought the Yankees all the way back to clinch at least a tie for the division crown. Red Sox reliever Andrew Miller walked Francisco Cervelli and Curtis Granderson on eight straight pitches after two were out before yielding a single through the left side to Ibanez, who was allowed to hit despite facing a lefthander. It was an at-bat that might have been given to Andruw Jones, but he has struggled in the second half.
It all comes to Game 162 Wednesday night, for the Yankees against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium and for the Orioles against the Rays at Tropicana Field. The Yankees can win the AL East with a victory over Boston. Baltimore needs to beat the Rays Wednesday night and for the Yankees to lose to the Red Sox to force a one-game playoff Thursday at Camden Yards. That is what was so huge about the Yanks’ overtime victory Tuesday night.
Say this for David Phelps: he did his job. The rookie righthander took Ivan Nova’s place in the rotation and pitched into the sixth inning. He was touched for two first-inning runs but left with the score 2-1, keeping his teammates in a game they desperately wanted to win.
The Yankees kept pounding out hits but could not push another runner across the plate until the bottom of the ninth. The Red Sox made it 3-1 in the top half on a solo home run by James Loney off Rafael Soriano.
It looked grim for the Yanks, but they got a huge hit from their best pinch hitter to get even. Red Sox closer Andrew Bailey, who was sidelined for three months of the season due to right thumb surgery, gave up a leadoff single to Granderson and then served up a tasty, 1-2 fastball to Ibanez, who crushed it for a game-tying, two-run home run.
Pinch hitting may be a National League specialty, but Ibanez has some NL service time in his career. He is batting .320 with two home runs and seven RBI in 25 at-bats as a pinch hitter for the Yanks this season.
The Yankees looked like they would complete the comeback that inning when Derek Jeter lined a double into the right field corner with one out. An intentional walk to Nick Swisher and an unintentional walk to Alex Rodriguez loaded the bases. Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine made the move to Mark Melancon, who failed so miserably in the closer role earlier this season while Bailey was on the disabled list.
Not this time, though. Mark Teixeira, who had a miserable night, flied out and Robinson Cano grounded out to push the game into extras. Teixeira was 0-for-6 and grounded into two double plays. The Yankees had 16 hits but left 14 runners on base. Derek Lowe, who got important outs in a big victory Sunday at Toronto, supplied shutout innings of relief to earn his first victory with the Yankees.
And for all those critics of Yankees manager Joe Girardi for letting CC Sabathia pitch eight innings Monday night to spare his bullpen, how does that decision look now? He got 6 2/3 innings of relief combined from six pitchers. Ironically, the pitcher warming up in the pen at the end of the game was the same one who was supposed to start, Nova.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi had a surprise announcement before the Yankees’ final series of the regular season Monday night against the Red Sox. The statistics sheet listed Ivan Nova as the Yankees’ starter for Tuesday night’s game, but Girardi informed the press that David Phelps will make the start instead.
The move was not based on an injury. There is nothing wrong with Nova physically. There has been a great deal wrong with Nova’s pitching, especially in the second half. In truth, Nova has not been the pitcher he was in 2011 when he was a certifiable American League/Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award candidate.
Nova’s earned run average has been below 4.00 only once since April 20. It climbed to 5.02 after his latest outing, a 6-0 loss last Thursday night at Toronto when Nova gave up four earned runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. It continued a downward slide by the righthander, who has allowed 194 hits in 170 1/3 innings.
Since returning from a right rotator cuff injury, Nova is 1-1 with a 6.23 ERA and 15 hits allowed in 13 innings. He is 2-5 with a 7.05 ERA and 75 hits allowed in 60 innings in the second half.
Phelps, on the other hand, has been the more reliable performer. The rookie righthander is 4-4 with a 3.34 ERA for the season, including 3-1 with a 3.57 ERA and 41 hits allowed in 53 innings in the second half. As a starter, Phelps is 2-2 with a 3.81 ERA with 46 hits allowed, 21 walks and 50 strikeouts in 52 innings. Opponents are batting .240 in the second half against Phelps and .309 against Nova.
What this move essentially means is that Nova is out of the Yankees’ rotation for the rest of the year. The regular season ends after Wednesday’s schedule of games, unless there is a playoff for the AL East title, which the Yankees hope to avoid by running the table against the Red Sox while the Orioles lose at least one of the three games to the Rays in St. Petersburg, Fla.
The Yankees caught a few breaks toward that end Monday night. Mark Teixeira returned to their lineup after missing the past 20 games and 30 of the past 31 because of a left calf strain. Boston was without its table setters, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury and second baseman Dustin Pedroia, a couple of flat-out Yankee killers. Pedroia apparently has a hand injury. No one seems to know what is wrong with Ellsbury, who missed six games last week with no explanation.
Ivan Nova’s hopes of being in the Yankees’ rotation in the postseason were probably dashed Thursday night when he could not get through the fifth inning at Toronto’s Rogers Centre. Of course, the Yankees have to get to the postseason first, which was not helped by their losing to the Blue Jays, 6-0.
Nova gave up four earned runs, six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. He was wounded by a two-run home run by Brett Lawrie in the third inning and a two-run double by Edwin Encarnacion in the fifth. The extra-base hits raised the season total against Nova to 87, the most yielded by any pitcher in the majors this season and by any Yankees pitcher in their history. The previous club mark of 86 was set in 1989 by Andy Hawkins, but he pitched 38 more innings than Nova.
The struggling outing came on the heels of a start five days ago when Nova pitched only 2 1/3 innings against the Athletics at Yankee Stadium and allowed three earned runs and five hits. The righthander’s earned run average has bloated to 5.02. Over his past 11 starts, Nova is 2-5 with a 7.05 ERA. He has allowed 75 hits, including 11 home runs, in 60 innings over that stretch.
Toronto starter Brandon Morrow was in complete control in his seven innings as he got 13 outs in the infield to go with three strikeouts. Brad Lincoln and Darren Oliver supplied a scoreless inning apiece as the Yankees were shut out for the sixth time this year. Robinson Cano had three hits and Russell Martin two, but the rest of the batting order went 0-for-22.
The Yankees wasted an opportunity to gain ground in the American League East on the Orioles, who were not scheduled. The Yankees’ lead over Baltimore is down to one game again with six games remaining for each team. The Blue Jays are doing a good job of playing spoiler. Toronto split a four-game series with the Orioles before beginning a four-game set against the Yanks with a victory.
With the race as close as it is, the Yankees cannot speak openly about postseason play. If they do qualify for the playoffs, the Yanks are likely to go with a four-man rotation. Nova’s recent starts would appear to put him behind CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, Phil Hughes and Andy Pettitte.
In his second start back from the 15-day disabled list, Ivan Nova simply did not have it Saturday at Yankee Stadium. It was not a good day for a starting pitcher to bail early, considering the state of the Yankees’ bullpen with righthanders Rafael Soriano and David Robertson likely unavailable due to excessive use this week.
Nova started off shakily by giving up two runs on consecutive doubles by the first three batters in the game. His teammates came to his rescue and took a 4-2 lead off A’s starter Travis Blackley, who was equally ineffective (the Oakland lefthander didn’t last past the second inning).
Nova was in danger of giving all of the lead back in the third, which proved his last inning. The A’s got to 4-3 on a leadoff home run by Stephen Drew and loaded the bases with one out on two walks book-ending a single by Brandon Moss. Yanks manager Joe Girardi gave the quick hook by bringing in lefty Clay Rapada, who preserved the lead by getting Josh Reddick to ground into a 1-2-3 double play.
The Yankees benefit from sloppy play by the A’s. They made two errors in the infield behind Blackley, who didn’t help his cause much with three walks, a hit batter and a balk.
Oakland tied the score in the fourth against Rapada, who had pitched to more than two batters only once in the past month. He faced six this time and coughed up the lead on an RBI single by Cliff Pennington before coming back to strike out the lefty-swinging Drew and Seth Smith, which is Rapada’s specialty after all.
The stretch of 22 straight games against American League East competition that began Aug. 27 was deemed crucial to the Yankees. That period ended Thursday night with the completion of a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays. If it is more important how a team finishes than how it starts then the sequence was beneficial to the Yankees.
It certainly did not start out that way. The Yankees lost six of the first eight games and eight of the first 12. They got Alex Rodriguez, Andy Pettitte and Ivan Nova back from the sick list but lost Mark Teixeira along the way. Yet by winning seven of the last eight games in the stretch they completed the run on a high note and remained atop the division, albeit by a slighter margin than at the start.
The Yankees watched a four-game lead shrink to one game over the Orioles, who are clearly in this thing to the end. However, the Yankees moved 6 ½ games ahead of the pitching-rich Rays, whose threadbare offense strangled them.
So the Yanks were only slightly better than mediocre in posting a 12-10 mark over the three weeks of divisional play, and while the schedule seems in their favor the rest of the way it is not all downhill from here, not with the Athletics coming to town for a three-game set this weekend.
This is not the same Oakland club that the Yanks beat up on the last time the A’s were at Yankee Stadium May 25-27. The Yankees outscored Oakland, 17-5, in a three-game sweep that was part of a nine-game losing streak that dropped the A’s record to 22-30. Oakland eventually emerged into a contender for the AL West crown or a wild card berth. The Yankees became convinced of that in a four-game set at the Oakland Coliseum July 19-22 when the A’s won each game by one run and raised their record to 53-44. They had expanded it to 20 games over .500 entering play Thursday night.
This weekend series could very well be a preview of a possible postseason matchup. It may also be the last stern test for the Yanks, who get a softer schedule after that with three-game series at Minneapolis and Toronto and at the Stadium against the Red Sox with all three opponents trying to avoid last-place finishes.
Ichiro Suzuki kept up his torrid hitting in Thursday night’s 10-7 victory with a home run and a two-run double on the night after a 7-for-8 doubleheader. Ichiro batted .367 with five doubles, one home run, eight RBI, nine runs and six stolen bases in 60 at-bats over the 22 games vs. AL East clubs. He is hitting .321 in 168 at-bats since joining the Yankees. Phil Hughes had control issues (three walks, two hit batters) but struck out nine batters in his five innings and got his staff-leading 16th victory.
The Yankees tied the club record for grand slams in a season with their 10th – Nick Swisher’s third of the year and ninth of his career in a seven-run fourth inning. Swish also had bases-loaded home runs April 21 at Boston and Aug. 13 at the Stadium against the Rangers. This marks the third straight season that the Yankees have had 10 grand slams. The only other year they had that many was in 1987.
Home runs are always welcome. They are the most crowd-pleasing of hits. The Yankees had two more of them Saturday, big blows by Curtis Granderson and Eduardo Nunez that factored in the 5-3 victory over the Rays. Yet considering the Yankees’ troubles all year with runners in scoring position, perhaps more satisfying were two-out, RBI singles by Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez that kept the game from getting away from the Bombers.
The back-to-back homers by Granderson and Nunez off James Shields shot the Yankees into a 3-0 lead in the second inning. Granderson, who connected with one runner on for his 39th homer of the year, had struggled against Shields over the years. It was only his seventh hit in 59 career at-bats (.119) off the righthander. Nunez, on the other hand, was in the lineup largely because of his career success against Shields – 7-for-15 (.467).
The Yankees made it 4-0 in the fifth with a dash of little ball. Ichiro Suzuki, batting leadoff for only the second time since joining the Yankees, singled to center with two out. Jeter’s patience at the plate during a nine-pitch duel with Shields gave Ichiro the opportunity to steal second to get into scoring position. Jeet’s single up the middle sent Suzuki home.
Leads have not been all that safe lately in the hands of Yankees starters, but Ivan Nova in his first game back since Aug. 21 after a stint on the disabled list because of right rotator cuff inflammation held on to it during his six-plus innings. The Rays didn’t score until sixth when Evan Longoria cranked a 2-0 pitch for his 12th home run.
Manager Joe Girardi visited Nova at that point but had no idea of removing him. “I just told him to forget and move on,” Girardi said. “He fell behind in the count for one of the few time in the game. He was on an 80-pitch count and threw into the seventh inning. I was hoping he’d get through five, but he just kept it up. I was extremely impressed with his stuff and his command.”
Girardi went to the bullpen after Nova gave up a leadoff single to Jeff Keppinger in the seventh. The Rays eventually cut the margin to 4-3 on pinch hitter Luke Scott’s two-out, two-run single off Joba Chamberlain, which only amplified the importance of Jeter’s hit.
Insurance runs are just as welcome as home runs. That’s where A-Rod came in. The Yankees caught a break when Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton turned the wrong way in tracking a liner to right-center by Robinson Cano that clanged off his glove for a double. Rodriguez hit a liner to center off lefthander Jake McGee for a single that scored Cano with an enormous run for the Yankees.
The Rays brought the potential tying run to the plate twice in the ninth against Rafael Soriano, but he held firm for his 39th save. The Yanks’ victory pushed the Rays back to four games out of first place in the American League East. The Orioles-Athletics game was scheduled later in the night at Oakland, so the Birds had to look at that Yankees’ score all game knowing they needed a victory to stay tied for the top spot.
The Yankees’ rotation is slowly headed back to full strength. Ivan Nova, who has been out since Aug. 23 with right rotator cuff inflammation, will start Saturday at Yankee Stadium against the Rays. Andy Pettitte will follow suit by making his first start since June 27 Tuesday night against the Blue Jays.
The return of Nova and Pettitte during the homestand that begins Friday night against the Rays with CC Sabathia opposing David Price moves Freddy Garcia and David Phelps to the bullpen, which further strengthens the staff.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi’s announcement Thursday night at Boston about Pettitte came as something of a surprise. The lefthander, who has been disabled for 10 weeks while recovering from a fractured left fibula, pitched a simulated game before Wednesday night’s game and was expected to toss another such game over the coming weekend. Pettitte argued that if was going to throw another 75 pitches he might as well do it in competition.
Considering the tightness of the American League East, the Yankees can use all the help they can get. When Pettitte went on the DL, the Yankees had a five-game lead that would double by July 18, but entering play Thursday night they were a half-game behind the Orioles. Following a meeting among Girardi, Pettitte, pitching coach Larry Rothschild and trainer Steve Donohue, the Yankees made the decision on Pettitte, which will allow him to make four starts over the final three weeks of the regular season.
“Whether it’s later in the week or whatever, it’s a rush job anyway,” Pettitte told reporters. “I feel 100 percent and I’m being honest with them. I need to get out there and get in a big league game. I just want to go to battle with these guys.”
The Yankees are getting closer back to whole. The timing could not be better. With their lead in the American League East down to one game going into Tuesday night’s action at Tropicana Field, the Yankees need to start running on all cylinders.
Curtis Granderson, who missed two starts because of tendinitis in his right hamstring, was back in center field Tuesday night batting second in the order as manager Joe Girardi dropped Nick Swisher into the 3-hole. Robinson Cano, who felt soreness in his left hip Monday, was also in the lineup, although Girardi used him as the designated hitter rather than at second base, which was manned by Jayson Nix.
Cano showed there was no problem with his hip when it came to swinging a bat. He crushed a two-run home run to left-center in the first inning off Tampa Bay righthander Alex Cobb. It was Cano’s 29th home run of the season, which matched his career high set in 2010.
Alex Rodriguez was back at third base one game after coming off the disabled list and playing as the DH Monday. A-Rod was hitting in the 5-hole, opening up the cleanup spot for Cano.
Mark Teixeira, who has a strained left calf, is still sidelined and may not be back in the lineup until Friday at Baltimore. Ivan Nova, who is on the DL because of rotator cuff inflammation, pitched a simulated game at the Trop and could be activated at the end of the week. The Yanks also plan to have Andy Pettitte, who is recovering from a fractured left fibula, pitch a simulated game Wednesday. There is still no timetable for his return.