Yanks Blow Another Solid Start; Sox Win 3-2

After a very tough loss in a pitcher’s duel on Monday night, the Yankees went out last night in hopes of riding their rooking starting pitcher, Ivan Nova, to a victory and avoid losing back-to-back games for the first time this season.  However, they lost similarly in another pitcher’s duel 3-2.

(Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger)

As everyone knew, this was a very important start for Nova.  Kevin Millwood is waiting in the Minors and with an opt-out clause for May 1, the Yanks might activate him just to keep him.  Nova wound up being fantastic.  He pitched into the seventh inning for the first time in his career with his final line being 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K while throwing only 92 pitches.  The good thing about this was that 54 of these pitches were strikes.  His curveball was also very good and complimented his fastball very nicely.  He has one more start before the front office has to make a decision on Millwood so it will be interesting to see what they do.

Then, in the seventh inning with one out, Joe Girardi went to David Robertson and not Joba Chamberlain.  I think this was just because it was the middle of the inning and a spot where D-Rob usually comes in.  He got out of things, but Girardi went to his ‘eighth inning guy’ for the next inning and that’s where they ran into trouble.  Rafael Soriano gave up a 2-run home run to Paul Konerko which gave the ChiSox a 3-2 lead, a lead they would never relinquish.

The Bombers offense was once again pretty bad.  The highlights were solo homers by Robinson Cano and Brett Gardner.  Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher combined to go 0 for 6 with five strikeouts.  In the ninth, they had Derek Jeter on second and one out, Teixeira flew out to the wall in right on a nice play by Brent Lillibridge and then Alex Rodriguez hit a liner down the right field and Lillibridge once again made a diving play to end the game.  That was demoralizing.  Every starter struck out against Gavin Floyd except for Cano and Gustavo Molina, who basically made his last appearance in pinstripes.  Another not good day for the offense, something that needs to change.

A-Rod reacting to the game-ending Lillibridge catch. (Tim Farrell/The Star-Ledger)

So unlike the first eighteen games of the season, the starting pitching has been carrying the team.  Of course they have carried them to two losses, but you had have liked what you saw out of AJ Burnett and now Nova.  Anyway, the Yanks will try to split this series now as Bartolo Colon takes the ball in his second Yankee start with a first pitch at 7:05 on YES.

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