Saturday, September 4, 2010

Nova Shaky, But Yanks Win 7-3

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The Yankees made it seven in a row with their 7-3 victory over the Jays yesterday in the Bronx.

Ivan Nova
got the start for the Yankees. He struggled to get through 4.2 innings, allowing three runs on six hits and two walks. He also failed to strikeout a batter.

Nova didn't have the velocity on the fastball that he did in his prior two starts (Yesterday's avg: 92.26 MPH | Prior two: 94.3 MPH), and struggled with his command of his breaking pitches. Still, he didn't implode, held the lead the Yankees gave him, and if Joe Girardi gave him one more batter he would have qualified for his second straight win.

Toronto jumped out to a 1-0 lead with a solo homer by Travis Snider in the top of the 1st. The lead didn't last long with the Yankees scoring two in their half of the inning. Mark Teixeira continued his red-hot hitting, tying the game with an RBI double. Robinson Cano drove in the Yanks second run with an RBI ground out.

Curtis Granderson had another big day at the plate as well. After picking up a walk in the Yankees two-run 1st, he drove in two with a double in the 2nd.

Jorge Posada
then made it 5-1 Yankees with an RBI double in the 3rd.

All the damage was done against Jays starter Brandon Morrow, who lasted just three innings.

The Yankees would score two more runs off Toronto's pen, both in the 6th. Brett Gardner drove in one with a triple, and Granderson knocked in his third of the game with another double.

But before that happened, Toronto would cut the Yanks lead to 5-3 with two runs in the 4th. An inning later, they put the tying runs on base with two out in the to knock Nova out of the game. The kid looked upset as he left the mound, which is something I like to see. It shows he's confident and a competitor. You want your pitcher to believe he's the best option to get that out, even if he's not.

The Yankees bullpen took over from there and did the job. Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Kerry Wood combined to throw 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing no hits and four walks (three by D-Rob) to get the ball to Mariano Rivera. The biggest outs of the game were picked up by Logan and Wood. Logan's was a strikeout of Lyle Overbay to get out of the 5th, and Wood retired both Overbay and Aaron Hill after coming into the game with two on and one out in the 7th.

Rivera needed just six pitches to get through the 9th and wrap up the Yankees 85th win of the year.

As far as the division goes, Tampa won and Boston was rained out, so the lead remains 1.5 over the Rays and grows to 8.5 over the Sox.

Game two of the series is this afternoon in the Bronx. Javier Vazquez makes his return to the rotation as he takes on Mark Rzepczynski. First pitch is set for 1:05 p.m. and the game will be on YES.

PLAYER OF THE GAME: Curtis Granderson (2-for-3, 2 2B, 3 RBI, R, 2 BB)
HONORABLE MENTION: Brett Gardner (1-for-3, 3B, RBI, 2 BB, 3 R)


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