Ok, things will get really interesting with a sweep today.
Both pitchers really threw the ball well yesterday. They each had good movement and good location all day. Feldman was able to hit the outside corner to righties much better than Nova (it was a generous corner IMO), but Nova’s stuff is better and his curve was outstanding and Nova ran his fastball in to righties and away from lefties very well all day. Feldman mixed speeds a lot and location as well and did a good job. It was one of the better pitched games I have seen this year from both sides.
Offensively, Gardner and Cano supplied the offense, but the Yanks could have had more if Jeter didn’t kill the rallies with 2 DP’s in big spots.
Girardi had a choice as to pitch Nova in the 9th with the score 1-0 going into the bottom of the 8th, but after Cano hit a solo bullet for an additional run, it made the decision easier to bring Nova out. As much as I want Rivera getting saves, I would have let Nova pitch the 9th even if it were a 1-0 lead. He was in command and I felt it was his game…and he didn’t disappoint with a gem of a game, pitching a shutout and allowing only 3 singles and a walk (he threw 104 pitches). There were two key AB’s for Nova in this game. The first was in the 8th inning (1-0 at the time) when Nova walked his first batter on a 9 pitch AB on 3-2. It was interesting to see how he responded as the pitch just missed low. After throwing a ball, he threw his two seam fastball going away from Betemit (lefty) and he grounded a hard shot to Jeter’s right and he slightly overran it but made a good play to Cano who flipped the DP. Then in the 9th after a single/error that went off Nova’s glove and he couldn’t find it right away and then threw wide, Nova faced Chris Davis with one out. Nova started the leading HR hitter with a fastball away for a strike, then spun a curve ball that stayed outside (thankfully), before throwing a good curve that Davis swung in the dirt (as he had done a few times previously). After showing the fastball again for a ball, everyone knew the curve was coming and Nova threw a good one that was slightly higher than he wanted, yet still down and David hit a towering shot that you knew he didn’t get all of it yet Ichiro played it almost showboating the crowd into thinking it was deeper as he looked for the fence and then turned sideways before he made the catch. I may be looking into that a little more but Ichiro could have just stood there and taken a few steps back and I would have felt better…sometimes a ball could have more under spin than you think off the bat and with such a high fly ball it could carry. Anyway, that was a relief. Then Jones hit a solid liner to Jeter to end the game and get us the big win.
One note: Grandy hit a popup to the triangle between SS, LF and CF that McLouth the LF’r should have had and it dropped and Grandy hustled pretty well out of the box to get the double. This should be a no brainer, but it was good to see as I would bet Cano or Soriano would have been either out going to 2nd or on 1st.
The good thing is we now are 3.5 games out of the WC, but there are no teams ahead of us and we could catch
or Oakland. Of course one loss can put us back behind
teams. Big game today, let’s see if
Pettitte can come through.