June 20, 2011

Ivan Nova pitches Yankees past Reds

Ivan Nova pitched brilliantly over eight innings, easily maybe the best start of his career, and the Yankees escaped a ninth-inning Reds’ rally to win their sixth game in seven days.

Scoreboard Says:
Yankees 5, Reds 3
W: Ivan Nova
L: Travis Wood
S: Mariano Rivera

Gardner benched in favor of slacker:
Joe Girardi’s move to bench Brett Gardner against the left-handed starter backfired in a big way. In the third inning, Andruw Jones, Gardy’s replacement, grounded to third with a man on first and one out. The second baseman was slow on the transfer and the ball was hit slowly enough that Jones should have beaten it out no problem. Instead, he ran about a quarter of the way down the line and practically walked the rest of the way. He was out by a mile. Girardi and a trainer came out, according to Marc Carig, but Jones stayed in the game until the seventh.

It wasn’t an injury. It was an ugly play by a veteran worthy of benching. Girardi didn’t embarrass Jones, but I don’t think he’ll forget it. And maybe, just maybe, he’ll think twice about sitting one of his hottest hitters. If you’re Joe, do you bench Jones immediately following the play?

Rivera inches closer to 600:
Mariano Rivera
earned his 18th save of the season, giving him 577 in his career. There’s an outside shot he reaches 600 this year, but he’ll need two more than that to surpass Trevor Hoffman as the all-time saves leader.

Game Ball:
Unquestionably, Nova. 8 IP, 4 H, ER, 0 BB(!), 7 K. Great for him.

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