(Yeesh. Courtesy of The AP)
Ivan Nova is a bit of a black hole right now. He's got a 7.28 ERA in his 8 post-ASB starts, he followed up a great start against Toronto with another stinker the last time out, and if the pitching staff wasn't so decimated by injuries right now, he'd probably be out of a job as a starter. Nova's problems have been consistent all year- inability to locate his fastball down in the zone, leaving his slider up too often, and just generally making bad pitches in very hittable spots in the zone that hitters pummel- and they were all present again last night against the White Sox. With the way he's been going these last few months, it's now worth asking if Nova should keep his rotation spot when CC comes back on Friday.
- Derek Jeter has been on an absolute tear lately and he kept it going right off the bat with the leadoff HR to start the game. The Yankees loaded the bases behind Jeter and pushed another run across to make it 2-0 in the 1st.
- It wasn't a great start for Nova, but he managed to limit his trouble to just 2 runs through 4 innings. He was giving up a lot of hard contact, his command wasn't great, but he wasn't getting killed.
- That changed in the 5th inning when Nova loaded the bases on a double, walk, single and then watched everybody trot home after he hung a to Kevin Youklis for a grand slam and a 6-2 White Sox lead.
- Meanwhile, Francisco Liriano gathered himself up and shut the Yankees down through the next innings. He struck out batters ( on the ) and limited the Yankees to just one baserunner reaching 2nd base.
- The one good thing the Yankee lineup did do was work Liriano, who left after 6 innings and 108 pitches. Russell Martin welcomed Jesse Crain to the game with a HR to lead off the top of the 7th, but the top of the order behind him did nothing to keep the rally going and it stayed 6-3.
- With a pretty taxed bullpen out there, Joe went to Derek Lowe to soak up the late innings. Lowe got dinked and dunked on some soft hits and gave up a run in the 8th, but he still looked OK out there. OK wasn't good enough last night and the Yankees had their second straight loss.
- Jeter: 1-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 2 LOB. He didn't do much after his 1st-inning fireworks, but then again neither did anybody else in the lineup. And he hit the shot to left again.
- Martin: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 LOB. A little power from Martin, which is one thing he hasn't lacked this season, and he was the only player with multiple hits.
- Nova: 6 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, L. Not a good outing from Nova, who continues to just be destroyed by XBH. He made a decent pitch to Youklis on the grand slam, but he created that situation for himself by not commanding his stuff and loading the bases. He really needs to start figuring things out in the next week or so or he could be out in the cold come postseason roster time.
- Robinson Cano: 0-4, 2 K, 1 LOB. Another bad night at the plate for Cano. He still can't get right with his swing or his timing.
Well this series is already an L for the Yankees, and a win to leave Chicago with would be a nice way to salvage something here. It won't be easy with Chicago's best pitcher, Chris Sale, on the mound. Phil Hughes better bring his A-game.