Saturday, April 27, 2013

Game 22 Wrap-Up: NYY 6 TOR 4

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

The Yankees picked up another 5-3 win over the Blue Jays last night, but that story takes an obvious backseat to the damaging injury news to come out of the game.  Just 5 pitches into the first AB of the game, Francisco Cervelli took a foul ball right off his right hand, causing him to leave the game and get X-rays that eventually revealed a broken bone in the hand.  While the Twittersphere was still putting the pieces together on that story, Ivan Nova suffered an injury of his own in the top of the 3rd inning.  It first appeared to be a leg issue, but was later confirmed to be a problem with his right elbow/triceps area.  While it's always good to get the W, the injuries to last night's battery put a serious damper on the game.

Game Notes:

- Nova's performance was frustratingly familiar early.  He struck out the first 2 batters he faced, but was inconsistent with his command and gave up a solo HR to Edwin Encarnacion to lead off the 2nd inning.

- It got a lot worse the next inning without Nova even allowing a run.  He followed through funny on a pitch and was removed from the game almost immediately with an elbow injury.  Nova had been the weak rotation link, but the last thing the Yanks needed was more injuries.  And this was after Cervelli left in the 1st.

- Hit with another obstacle, the offense did their part to overcome the losses and patiently scrapped out 4 runs from the 2nd-4th innings, highlighted by a Lyle Overbay RBI triple in the 4th, to take a 4-3 lead.

- David Phelps got the call after Nova left and came in cold from the bullpen.  Given the circumstances, it would have been understandable if Phelps struggled again.  He pleasantly surprised by allowing just 1 run in 4 innings of work while striking out 9.

- When the Jays tried to chip away with runs in the 6th and 8th innings, the Yanks responded with big insurance runs.  Robinson Cano came around to score on a passed ball after leading off the 7th with a double, and Brett Gardner pumped a solo HR into the right-center field bleachers in the 8th.

- Just like the night before, Joe went Joba-D-Rob-Mo for the final 3 frames and they got it done.  Robertson gave up a solo HR to Jose Bautista and Mo loaded the bases, but overall it was more good work from these guys.

F*ck Yeahs:

- Vernon Wells: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 LOB.  The team only had 6 hits and Wells had a third of them.  He continues to tune up his old club.

- Phelps: 4 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 9 K.  Very nice bounce back outing from Phelps in one of the toughest situations he's had to face to date.  His stuff was really working last night.  Good movement on his offspeed pitches, good life on his fastball.  He's going to have to be more economical with his pitch count now - there were a lot of 2- and 3-ball counts in his 4 innings - to provide length, but the Yanks should be confident in Phelps' ability to replace Nova if Ivan has to take a trip to the DL.

Patience: The Yanks made up for the 6 hits by drawing 10 walks last night against Toronto pitching.  Hafner drew 2 and interestingly enough, Chris Stewart and Jayson Nix each drew 2 as well.

Oh Nos:

- Nix: 0-3, 2 K, 2 BB, 3 LOB.  Nix also K'd twice and left his fair share of runners on base.  Really hasn't done much of anything since being forced into the everyday 3B role.

Next Up:

The Yanks are in a great position to take this series up 2-0, and they'll send their ace CC Sabathia to the bump this afternoon against fellow lefty J.A. Happ.  I know the matchup doesn't favor him, but I'd like to see Hafner in this lineup today.

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