After two miserable losses (with many positives, as I discussed in previous posts), the Yankees finally got their first win of the 2014 season last night. While I was far from panicked, these slow Yankees starts always get on my nerves, so it was great to see everything come together for a win. Let’s get into some of the highlights of the evening.
First of all… A win! Yay! Huzah! Kudos! Two-handed hand shakes all around! This game wasn’t all pretty, but a win is a win… is a win. It’s good to get into the W column, especially before the Mets do… am I right?? Sorry Mets fans, I hope that doesn’t come back to haunt me during the subway series.
Anyway, Iván Nova got the nod for the Yankees last night, and it wasn’t very pretty, but he got the job done and worked out of the jams he put himself into. He loaded the bases twice in the first inning and only allowed one run, for Pete’s sake. Overall, Nova pitched 5.2 innings and only allowed 6 hits, but he walked 5 guys, hit two (actually Jason Castro twice) and only struck out 1 guy. He used four double plays to get rid of all of those base runners, and only ended up allowing 2 runs on the night. Joe Girardi pulled him after 88 pitches because there was a guy on base, and that was the end of Nova’s night. It wasn’t pretty, but Nova didn’t let those innings snow ball, which definitely would have happened in his less mature days. That part of the outing was encouraging to say the least.
There were also a couple of unlikely heroes in this one, as Girardi decided to rest Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kelly Johnson, inserting Francisco Cervelli, Ichiro Suzuki and Yangervis Solarte into the lineup to try to get a little spark going. Cervelli didn’t spark anything (0-4 with 3 Ks), but the other two guys did alright. Ichiro went 2-4 with a double, single and a run scored, and Solarte (Yangervis!!) went 3-3 with a hard single (his first major league hit), a bloop double, a gift pop up single that no one decided to catch and a walk. Solarte also scored 2 runs and drove in his first major league run to boot. He got some luck that went his way, but you can’t take away the fact that he had a great game in his first big league start. Those two guys had the best nights at the plate, and it’s nice to see that we might have a bench that can contribute this year.
The last bright spot of the evening was definitely the bullpen. Adam Warren came in when Nova left with two outs in the sixth, struck out the first batter he faced to get out of that jam and pitched a perfect seventh with another strike out. Shawn Kelley continued to impress in his new role as the 8th inning guy, pitching a perfect inning with 2 strikeouts. The ninth inning was a little weird. I know David Robertson has acted as closer for brief periods of time before, but he’s never been “the closer” before. Girardi couldn’t pick up the phone and call Mo, but Robertson came in and had a 123 inning, with a strike out and only 13 pitches. Robertson will never be Mariano Rivera, but he can provide a huge boost to this ball club.
That’s about it from Game 3. As I said, it was good to see a win, and good to see some guys step up, but the Yankees really need to get their big boppers bopping if they want to send Derek Jeter out a winner in 2014.
Featured image courtesy of: Corey Sipkin/New York Daily News
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