A-Rod, Nova Help Yanks End SkidPosted: May 18, 2011
The good news coming from tonight’s game is that the Yankees beat the Rays by a score of 6-2, but the even better news is that now I don’t have to right bullet-pointed game recap. Let’s face it though, the Yanks needed this one desperately and were in danger of falling to .500. But thanks to an awakening of the bats and a decent enough performance by Ivan Nova, they pulled out the victory.
Nova did not have what I would call an economic performance. He threw 100 pitches (58 strikes) in 5.1 innings while allowing four hits, one run, two walks while striking out four. Through his first two innings, he was over forty pitches (only allowing a hit) and at this point I was sure it was going to be a short night for the youngster.
He had a tough third also giving up a lead off homer to Elliot Johnson which made it a 1-0 game and a Robinson Cano error didn’t make things any easier. But he bared down and got a big strikeout of Ben Zobrist on his way to working out of it. A 1-2-3 inning in both the fourth and fifth gave way to him in the sixth with only 86 pitches, but he was pulled with the bases loaded and one out.
Of course as he always does in this situation, Joe Girardi went to his fireman, David Robertson who decided to do his best Harry Houdini impression. He struck out BJ Upton swinging and then got Casey Kotchman looking to end the frame. This was a game-changing moment as it preserved a 2-1 lead at the time.
Robertson and Joba Chamberlain combined to get the game into the ninth with a lead, but when Amaury Sanit took the hill with a 6-1 lead in the ninth he gave back a run and forced Girardi to call on Mariano Rivera to nail down the win and make sure the losing streak was ended.
Offensively, the Bombers exploded for one reason and that was Alex Rodriguez. I don’t know about you, but it always seems like when he is hot, the rest of the lineup feeds off of it and plays much better. Tonight, Alex blasted two solo jacks which gave the team their first two runs of the game.
After this and D-Rob’s magic, it seemed like things loosened up a little and they were able to scratch out two more runs in the half inning after, one of which was on an RBI single by the recently called up outfielder Chris Dickerson. Then, in the ninth, they got two more to give the bullpen more cushion on a Brett Gardner RBI single and a Derek Jeter RBI infield single.
This seemed like a great night after the preceding six games. A win is a win and I’ll take that, especially when it ends a big losing streak and is against a division rival. Let’s see if they can take this momentum into Baltimore.