Sunday, April 28, 2013

Game 24 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 TOR 2

(Courtesy of the AP)

A 4-game sweep of the Blue Jays would have been a great statement for the Yankees to make early.  After the offseason ended, the Jays were generally praised for their aggressiveness in adding players to their team and talked up as the new favorites in the AL East while the Yankees were generally bashed for their inactivity and unwillingness to open their wallets for anything more than cheap plug-ins at every position.  The Yanks have gotten great production from almost all of their acquisitions so far as they've stayed in the hunt in the division while the Jays have not and find themselves firmly entrenched in the cellar.  Just goes to show that you can't predict baseball, Suzyn.

Game Notes:

- Strong start for Phil Hughes, who allowed just 1 hit and struck out 5 through the first 3 innings.  He was attacking with his fastball, mixing his offspeed stuff well, and working quickly from the windup.

- His lineup got him an early run in the bottom of the 2nd.  Only a few pitches after Travis Hafner just missed a HR to deep center, Brennan Boesch stepped in and got just enough of one to right for a solo HR.

- Hughes got burned on some bad luck in the top of the 4th after Jayson Nix let a ball go down the third baseline for a 2-out single and 2 more cheap singles plated a run to tie the game at 1.  He had to throw way more pitches than he should have to get out of the inning.

- The 6th was really the problem area for Hughes.  Despite striking out the side, a leadoff double by Jose Bautista came back to haunt him after a questionable call by Joe to intentionally walk Adam Lind and a poorly-placed fastball to Macier Izturis led to a 2-out RBI double to give Toronto the lead.

- R.A. Dickey, to his credit, shut the Yankees down with his knuckler after the 2nd inning.  He didn't give up another hit after that inning, retiring 12 of 13 through the 6th.

- A Travis Hafner leadoff single in the 7th seemed harmless enough, but then Dickey threw a 1-1 knuckler that didn't move to Lyle Overbay and Overbay parked it in the Yankee bullpen for a 3-2 lead.  They didn't do much against Dickey, but they made the most of the hits they did get.

- Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera handled the 7th-9th and the sweep was completed.  Four in a row against a divisional rival in four close games.  That's good stuff.

Nova Injury/Roster Move Recap

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Just a quick update on all the moving parts that resulted from Friday night's injury madness, in case anybody missed anything.

First, Ivan Nova has been put on the 15-day DL with what the team is officially calling "right triceps inflammation."  While sounding painful and causing concern about lingering issues moving forward, this is much better news than something in the elbow, and early indications are that Nova could be ready to pitch again by the end of his 15-day stint.  Whether he gets his rotation spot back when he's ready is a topic for another day.

In his place for now will be David Phelps, who pitched the 4 innings of relief after Nova left on Friday night and is as close to being fully stretched out as he can be.  Vidal Nuno, the crafty left-hander, was called up to take Nova's spot on the 25-man roster and will serve as a sort of lefty swingman in the bullpen.  Derek Jeter was moved to the 60-day DL to free up a 40-man spot for Nuno.  Austin Romine has also officially been added to the 25-man in place of the injured Francisco Cervelli, although there's been no word from the team on when they expect him to play in place of Chris Stewart.

Game 23 Wrap-Up (Abridged Version): NYY 5 TOR 4

- Another good but not great start from CC Sabathia, who gave up 9 hits and 3 ER in 8 innings.  He didn't walk a batter, but struck out only 4.  If you're curious, his fastball was sitting low-90s.

- Big day for Travis Hafner, who got a rare DH start against a LHP.  He hit a 3-run HR in the bottom of the 4th to tie the game at 3, then after a Brett Lawrie HR in the 6th to give the Jays a 1-run lead, Hafner came back with a 2-out RBI triple to score Vernon Wells and give New York the lead it would not surrender.

- First game back in over a week for Kevin Youkilis, who went 0-3 with a BB, R scored, and a K.

- D-Rob and Mo were unavailable after pitching in consecutive games, so Joba got the ball for the save and he pitched around 2 hits in the 9th to preserve the win and set the Yankees up for the sweep today.