(A-Rod responds to the latest Teix Message. Courtesy of The AP)
Ivan Nova had already faced Baltimore twice this season in a little over a month. In one start he gave up a lot of hits but managed to escape trouble, and in the other he gave up a lot of hits and didn't. His ability to change up his routine and effectively mix pitches was going to be something to watch, and the poor weather conditions weren't going to make his outing any easier. It certainly didn't look like they were going to be able to get the game in, but they gave it their best shot.
- First pitch came only 15 minutes later than scheduled because of the rain, and it quickly became apparent which pitcher was affected by the slight delay and which one wasn't.
- Jason Hammel came out and dispatched the Yankees with just 24 pitches in the first 2 innings. He struck out 3 and looked very sharp. Nova, on the other hand, labored through a 20-pitch 1st inning, giving up an RBI single and RBI double in the process. The rain was falling, he was up in the zone, and it looked like it was going to be a long night.
- The Yankee offense looked like they were swinging more to move the game along than to score runs through the first 3 innings, but Hammel wasn't so lucky the second time through the order, as Nick Swisher drove in A-Rod and Cano with a double to right in the top of the 4th. The third time didn't get much better for Hammel, as he surrendered a solo HR to Curtis Granderson with 2 outs in the 5th to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
- We got glimpses of Ivan The Great and Ivan The Terrible in Nova' inconsistent outing. He managed to work quickly through the 2nd and 3rd innings, and avoided any trouble after letting the first 2 guys get on in the 4th, but then promptly gave up 3 runs on a walk, triple, and 2-run homer by J.J. Hardy in the 5th to give Baltimore the lead back.
- Nova's issue, as usual, was his inability to spot his pitches where he wanted to in the strike zone. We didn't get a chance to see if he could correct the issue in the 6th after Nova injured himself fielding a grounder for the first out of the inning and had to leave the game.
- The Yankee offense was relentless after losing the lead in the bottom of the 5th. They came right back and tied the game at 5 in the 6th by loading the bases against Hammel and capitalizing on an error by Chris Davis, took the lead back on a 2-run Teix Message in the 7th, and scratched across an insurance run in the 9th after a 1-out double by Teix. The only inning that the Yankees didn't put a runner on base all night was the 2nd, and they put at least 2 on in every inning after the 3rd.
- Strangely enough, Clay Rapada also had to leave the game with a viral infection after coming in to relieve Nova, and it was all hands on deck for the rest of the bullpen, who responded with 3.1 scoreless innings, allowing just 3 hits and striking out 6. Rafael Soriano got the call for the 9th with D-Rob nursing a sore ribcage.
- Alex Rodriguez: 3-5, 2 R. Not a lot of power right now, but A-Rod is seeing the ball well at the plate and getting on base.
- Robinson Cano: 2-5, 2 R, 1 K. Another day, another multi-hit game for Robbie Cano. Slowly but surely, those OPS and wOBA values are creeping up.
- Mark Teixeira: 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB. Joe said he liked what he'd been seeing from Teix at the plate before the game and Teix made him look like a genius. It was his first HR since and his first as a lefty since . Hopefully it was also a sign of things to come.
- Yankee Bullpen: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K. The 3 hits were off Phelps and the BB was Rapada's. The trio of Logan, Wade, and Soriano was as lockdown as it gets- 8 batters faced, 0 hits or walks, 5 strikeouts.
Raul Ibanez: 0-4, 1 RBI. He drove in a run, so I'm admittedly picking at nits here, but sometimes you have to live with an 0-fer for Raul.
Nova: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. It sucks that he had to leave the game due to injury, but Nova wasn't all that good before getting hurt. Once again, he was incredibly inconsistent with his stuff in the strike zone and could never get in a rhythm. The 7 outs on the ground are nice, but sooner or later he is going to have to stop putting so many guys on base. Joe said after the game that he might have to miss his next start, so we'll see what happens.
Once again Yankees are looking for length from their starter after a busy night for the bullpen last night, and once again it happens to be CC Sabathia scheduled to take the mound to provide that length. He'll face off against Wei-Yin Chen as the Yanks look to get within a half game of the division lead.