I enjoyed this game for 2 main reasons and 2 minor ones. The minor ones were that we came back after being down 3-0 and that Joba and Robertson created a strong bridge to Mo. The major reasons were that we won and The Genius Maker, Rivera, looked dominant in this outing. He had good movement and velocity on his cutter but more impressive was his pinpoint control in this game. It was vintage Mo! His first two pitches were both called balls and they both could have been strikes, but he stayed in the same spot and made the 1 inch adjustment and threw 3 more in the same spot with the same movement and struck out Arencibia. The he bored his cutter in on Rasmus and broke his bat (always a good sign). Finally, strike one away, strike 2 away fouled off and then he froze Lawrie coming inside striking him out looking! That was awesome to watch.
The game was frustrating at the beginning because Kuroda did not have good stuff; his fork ball was flat and his breaking pitches were not crisp. He was not able to do work his normal magic and unfortunately could not get out of the 1st inning unscathed allowing a walk and a HR with 2 outs. He allowed 2 more hits before getting out of the inning but still struggled in the 2nd allowing another HR. He realized that he needed to work in his slower stuff more so that his fastball could have more of a differential and he was able to get gut out 4 scoreless innings getting us to the 7th inning only allowing those 3 runs.
Wells got us on the board with a towering HR to center and then in the next inning with 2 outs and runners on 1st and 2nd Cano had a 3-1 count on him. I would bet if it was 2nd and 3rd they would have walked him, but the catcher went out to the mound and decided to try to come inside on Robbie and Cano was ready pulling his hands in nicely and launching a 3 run shot! His ability to get his hands in and keep the ball fair is really special.
A few other notes:
Overbay is known as a stellar defender and while he has picked his scoops very well at first he has made two poor plays on grounders. I know he won’t be around once Texiera comes back (at least I doubt it) and I was in favor of his cheap signing because we need a competent defender, but so far he hasn’t delivered stellar defense…only adequate. His offense has been barely acceptable.
Tex coming back will really help the team a lot, as will Granderson.
Cervelli not only clubbed a HR, he drove one to deep RC early in the game; he has really swung the bat fantastic early on. He has been the biggest surprise so far this year; hopefully it is legit! Catchers do tend to fade just because all the nicks and bruises form getting foul tips, but even so he has given us needed offense from a spot I was not expecting too much.
People may not like when Cano bats 2nd…and I admit it is a little funky, but does Ben Francisco really need to get the extra bats by batting 2nd? I would rather see Nix bat there.
Finally, it is a shame Nunez isn’t giving us any offense because if he could give us a .700 OPS the loss of Jeter would not be much of an issue, but so far Nunez has been a doughnut offensively.