The Yanks won 6-4 tonight, but it was a costly victory.
On the very first batter of the game, Francisco Cervelli took a foul off his hand. X-rays revealed a broken hand and he’ll be out six weeks. Figure on (with rehab) 8 weeks, meaning the end of June. Austin Romine was called up from SWB to replace Cervelli.
Cervelli has to be heartbroken. He was off to a good start, seemed to finally be the #1 catcher, and had 3 HR already. I expected 3 HR all year from him, not 3 in the first 21 games of the season.
Not only that, Ivan Nova had to leave after just 2+ innings due to an elbow injury. He’ll have an MRI tomorrow. The Yanks can 1) move Phelps (more on him in a bit) into the rotation and bring up someone or 2) leave Phelps where he is in long relief and bring up Wang or Vidal Nuno. Me, I’d leave Phelps where he is and bring up Nuno, who was great in S.T., won the best rookie in camp award and who has started out 2-0, 1.54 in 4 starts this year at AAA (23 1/3 IP, 26 K, just 2 walks. Besides, having three lefties in the rotation [CC, Andy and Nuno] doesn’t seem too bad).
Juan Encarnacion hit two HR off the Yanks tonight, one in the 2nd off Nova. The Yanks tied it in the bottom of the inning on a bases loaded forceout by Nunez, who is down to .164.
Nova gave up a HBP and a single to start the third, then was pulled because of his injury. Phelps (W, 1-1, 5.29) replaced Nova and gave up a single for a run, but he was great tonight.
Nova 2+ IP, 2 R, 4 H, 0 walks and 2 K, ERA to (ugh) 6.48. You don’t want anyone to get hurt, but, and I hate to say this, maybe this can be a blessing in disguise. I mean, 6.48 is 6.48.
Phelps went 4, 1 R, 2 H, 2 walks and NINE strikeouts. His only blemishes were the single that let in Nova’s run (inherited) and giving up Encarnacion’s 2nd HR of the game to cut the Yanks lead to 4-3.
Meanwhile, after the single that Phelps gave up made it 2-1, the Yanks tied it in the bottom of the third on a Vernon Wells SF.
The Yanks went up 4-2 in the fifth on an RBI triple by Lyle Overbay, then Overbay scored on a WP. Toronto is killing itself defensively so far this season. Consider this. The Yanks won 6-4 tonight. One Yankees run scored on a WP. Another on a PB.
Encarnacion’s 2nd HR of the game made it 4-3 in the sixth, but Toronto gave the Yanks a gift run in the 7th. Cano doubled, was moved to third by Wells and scored on that PB I mentioned. Give Wells credit for going the other way to advance Cano to third. 5-3 Yanks.
Joe went formula for the last 3 innings. Joba D-Rob and Mo.
Joba pitched a scoreless 7th. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K. 4.32.
Juan Batista homered off D-Rob (1 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 0 K, 3.12) in the 8th to cut it to 5-4, but Brett Gardner HR’d (3) in the bottom of the 8th to put the Yanks up 6-4.
Can you believe Brett the Jet has 3 HR? (or that Cervelli has 3?)
Save #8 on the season and #616 of his career wasn’t easy. Toronto loaded the bases on Mo before he got a K for the final out. 1 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. 2.00.