(Wah-wah-waaaaaaahh. Courtesy of The AP)
Ivan Nova has been pitching pretty well of late. He had gotten his ERA below 4.00 prior to yesterday's game, and was the first Yankee starter to 10 wins. But he's never been super effective against the Angels, and that was a trend that he couldn't break yesterday. Nova's command wasn't particularly sharp and he had a short bullpen behind him, which was a shame because the Yankee offense caught Angels' starter Jered Weaver on a day where he wasn't at his best either. They just couldn't do enough against him to pick up Nova.
- Nova's stuff looked good in the 1st, but he threw a couple of pitches down the middle and gave up solo homers to Erick Aybar and Albert Pujols for a 2-0 Angels lead. He was noticeably upset with himself leaving the mound after K'ing Mark Trumbo.
- The Yankee offense wasn't going to wait around to strike back in the bottom half. Curtis Granderson lined a 1-out single on the first pitch, tried to steal on the next pitch, and then trotted home on the pitch after that when Alex Rodriguez drove it to right for a game-tying 2-run homer.
- One play that helped Nova big time was Curtis' absolutely OUTSTANDING catch for the 2nd out in the top of the 3rd. Back to the plate, running full speed, and reaching up to make a catch just a step or 2 from the center field wall. For that one play, the C-Grand defensive critics had to suck it.
- From absolutely outstanding to mind-numbingly stupid, the Yankees made the transition smoothly in the bottom of the 3rd. After singling back-to-back with 1 out, A-Rod and Robinson Cano somehow both managed to get tagged out after Cano was picked off of first base on the old "fake throw to 3rd" play that's being outlawed after this season. There's really no way to explain what happened without using the phrase "fucking stupid" in some fashion.
- Nova worked the next 4 innings scoreless after the 1st, but got into some more trouble in the 6th that gave the Angels a 5-3 lead. I don't care who you are, there's no excuse for giving up home runs to Erick Aybar and Maicer Izturis.
- On TBS, David Wells said Curtis was deserving of something at plate after making another nice catch in the 6th, and sure enough he came up in the bottom half of the inning and hit a bomb to right field for his 25th homer and a 1-run deficit.
- The teams traded runs in the 6th to make it 6-5. After Nova left with no outs in the 7th, and with a short bullpen after the previous 2 games, it was Chad Qualls' job to keep the game close. It was a job he would fail be allowing 3 runs in the 8th, and the Yanks would fail to close out the sweep.
- C-Grand: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Granderson was the best Yankee on the field yesterday, both at the plate and defensively in center. And he almost brought the Yankees back in the bottom of the 9th with a grand slam that just went foul.
- Eric Chavez: 3-3, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Get this guy some more at-bats. No disrespect to Raul Ibanez, but Chavez should be the DH right now.
- Nova: 6 +IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3 HR. Nova wasn't very good yesterday, no other way to say it. He didn't locate his fastball very well, which made his curveball and slider less effective, and he could not keep the ball down in the zone. He generated just 4 GB outs, and only struck out 3, a clear sign that Nova was not on his game.
- Russell Martin: 0-4, 4 LOB. Hitting below .180 now. Only starter who didn't get on base.
The Yanks will stay right where they're at and wait for the Blue Jays to come to town for a 3-gamer to kick off this week. Phil Hughes will take the mound for his first post-ASG start, and will have some extra rest when he does. Opposing him from Toronto will be Henderson Alvarez.