(Who would have expected 10 wins from Nova after his April? Courtesy of The AP)
Ivan Nova has stepped up since CC and Andy hit the DL on June 27th, allowing just 4 ER in 13.1 IP in 2 starts against the White Sox and the Rays, 2 games that he probably should have gotten Ws in. Last night he took the mound again in Bahhston, still looking for his 10th win of the season and looking extend the Yankees' division lead heading into the All Star break.
- A barrage of well-struck hits and an errant throw gave the Yankees their fourth straight 1st-inning lead at 2-0, and brought their series 1st-inning run total to 14. The big blow was Mark Teixeira's RBI double over the third base bag.
- Derek Jeter's clusterfuck performance in the field didn't help, but Nova wasn't sharp early. The stuff was there, but his fastball command was sketchy, he wasn't efficient, and he missed his spots at bad times in allowing the Fraud Sawx to plate 2 runs in the first 3 innings.
- Jon Lester wasn't much better. Like Nova, he was spotty with his command, not efficient with his pitch count, and he got hit harder than Nova in every inning. An Alex Rodriguez RBI triple and an Andruw Jones RBI single in the 5th ended Lester's night and made it 5-2 Yankees.
- Nova settled down and worked through the 6th without further issue. He started to find his fastball command a bit, and his curveball was really working. He threw a lot of pitches early, but gave the Yankees some length on a night they needed it.
- I'd say Andruw Jones had a solid last 48 hours. He crushed a hanging fastball that was so high it was probably out of the strike zone over the monster for a 2-run homer, his 4th of the series, to essentially put the game away in the 7th.
- A little bit of shoddy bullpen work behind Nova to close it out. Cody Eppley walked 2 in the 7th, D-Rob allowed a run in the 8th, and Rafael Soriano also walked 2 in the 9th, but the Yankees held on for the game and series win.
- Jones: 2-5, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K, 5 LOB. This is looking exactly like what Jones did last year when he started heating up right around the All Star break and had a great second half.
- Nick Swisher: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 LOB. A solid all-around night for Swish at the plate.
- Nova: 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 10 K. He dug himself a bit of a hole early, but Nova probably could have been spared both runs, a couple hits, and another inning's worth of pitches without Jeter's errors (and yes, I'm calling them both errors). And how good was his stuff? 8 of his 10 strikeouts were swinging. At the halfway point of the season, I'll gladly take 10 wins and a sub-4.00 ERA from the team's #5 starter.
- David Robertson: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K. It hasn't been easy since D-Rob came off the DL. He seems to be struggling to find his command right now.
We've reached the All Star break in the 2012 season, and I honestly can't believe we're already here. The Yankees have had to jump over a lot of hurdles already this season, some big and some small, and they've managed to come out of it on top of the AL East and in a good position heading towards the run for the postseason. Now they'll get some much needed rest for most of this week before picking things back up on Friday.