Let’s start at the beginning (because it’s a very nice place to start…).
Pregame ceremony. A while back, I wrote about how the monument for George should be like Ruppert’s plaque, not a monument like Ruth’s, Gehrig’s, Huggins’, etc. Who says I don’t have pull? LOL. For a plaque like Ruppert’s it is, only much bigger.
It was great to see Torre and Mattingly there, along with other Yankee greats like Yogi, Reggie, Tino and David Wells. It looked like Torre had tears in his eyes.
To the game. I love Ivan Nova’s toughness. Once again he pitched great….but therein also lies a problem. Last week in Tampa he gave four great shutout innings, then lost it in the fifth. Tonight, he pitched five great shutout innings.
As Yogi would say, Deja Vu all over again.
Last week Nova had a 6-0 lead against the Rays before having to get pulled with two out in the fifth. Brilliant for four, fell apart in the fifth, and Logan couldn’t hold the lead.
Tonight, Nova (4.37) brilliant for five, and had a 4-0 lead in the sixth. That lead came from a 2-run Granderson HR in the 3rd, and a SF by Alex and bases-loaded walk to Swisher in the 5th. 4-0 going into the sixth, when Nova lost it.
I like what I see from Nova. I like it more than AJ or Vazquez. After CC, Andy or Hughes, I trust Nova in the postseason as the #4 more than I do AJ or Vazquez. BUT (and it’s a big BUT) Nova MUST be put on a short leash. A VERY short leash. Meaning once he gets in trouble in the fifth or sixth, yank him.
For in the sixth, Nova gave up a single, walk and single. Bases loaded, no out. Catcher’s interference on Cervelli brought in a run, then a DP ball brought in another.
5 2/3 for Nova. 3 R, 3 H, 2 walks, 4 K…and that damned catcher’s interference.
As last week, Logan came in and as last week, couldn’t hold the lead. Single for the 3rd run (charged to Nova). Walk. Single. Logan can’t get the damned third out. ERA 2.89 as he gave up two hits and a walk and retired no one.
Gaudin in. I have no clue why Girardi has faith in him. None. It’s like he has compromising pix of Joe G. or something. Gaudin (when he comes in, I say God Damn!) walks in the tying run. Then a flyout on a 3-2 pitch. 1/3 of an inning. Somehow he gets the win. 1-4, 5.25.
In the bottom of the sixth, Gardner and Cervelli single. Jeter singles in a run to put the Yanks up 5-4, and Granderson hits #21, his second HR of the game, off the RF foul pole for a three-run HR and an 8-4 lead. The Yanks would need it. A five-RBI night for Granderson.
Robertson for the 7th. Single, Single, Force and SF make it 8-5. 2/3 IP for D-Rob, ERA 3.83. Wood comes in. SB for Crawford, then a walk before Wood gets out of it.
In the 8th, I want to pull my hair out. Swish singles, Berkman walks. Then, finally, a bunt to move the runners over. I’ve been hollering like hell for more bunting all week. But Gardner pops the bunt up for a DP. There is absolutely NO excuse for players like Gardner, Golson, Curtis, Pena, Cervelli to not be able to bunt. NONE. They aren’t power hitters. Some are marginal major leaguers at best. Others are blessed with great speed. There is no excuse for them to not be able to bunt.
No problems for Wood in the 8th. 1 1/3. 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk and a K. The best pickup of the trade deadline for Cashman, by far, over Kearns and Berkman. ERA 3.14. His ERA as a Yankee is something like 0.40.
Concerns? For in the 9th, Mo gives up a run. This after blowing yesterday’s game. He does get save #32 (558 career) but it wasn’t pretty. Granted some bad luck as a ground-rule double hit chalk and the RBI single that followed was a blooper (broken bat?). A HBP. Tying run on, go-ahead run up but Mo closes the game. 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, a HBP, 0 W, 0 K. The ERA to (gasp!) 1.58. But the last two days haven’t shown us the Mo we are used to and spoiled over.
Granderson with the 2 HR (21) and 5 RBI (59). 3 hits for Cervelli.
Boston also lost.
Magic #s? 5 to make the playoffs. 12 for the division title. Best record in the AL by just 1 game over the Twins.
In the NL, the west is up for grabs, while the Phils look like they could 3-peat as NL champs. The Phils won their 8th straight tonight.