You mean to tell me that the guy who took longer than normal to recover from a simple elbow strain, and had setback after setback in his attempts to come back from said elbow strain, usually right after he tried to resume full baseball activities, has had ANOTHER setback to his strained elbow??? Get the hell outta town!
Believe it or not, that's where we stand on the Brett Gardner Injury Carousel again. He got 4 at-bats in a simulated game yesterday, felt sore today, and according to Ken Davidoff, Gardner is scheduled for another MRI tomorrow. Even if this MRI comes up clean, I think it's safe for us to stop expecting anything from Gardner this season. Clearly there's something more here than just a strain, and to continue to risk further damage to Gardner's elbow by having him continue to ramp his rehab back up would be foolish. Until Skynet upgrades the world's MRI technology to something advanced enough to show what the real problem is, just shut the BG-1000 down until further notice.
(Need to get some navy and white on this kid, stat!)
There was very little real drama to the Ty Hensley signing last Friday. It was reported early in the week that the sides had wrapped up negotiations, and the signing going down to the final day before being announced as official was more Hensley's agent doing his job than anything. Hensley made it clear very early that he intended to sign with the Yankees, and there was never anything that came up in the time since then that should have caused anybody to think that wasn't going to be the eventual endgame. The ink has dried, Hensley is a Yankee, and now we can hopefully see him in action in a SS league and start to get an idea of where he fits in the Yankee prospect hierarchy.
What did cause a little bit of drama to stir up was the report from Jim Callis that Hensley went for a pre-deal MRI that showed some "abnormalities" in his pitching shoulder. This discovery likely led to Hensley signing for a below-slot $1.2 million, and was quickly dismissed as nothing major. But should we be concerned about our fresh new 1st-rounder?
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.