He isn’t called “Super Nova” for nothing. Honestly, since his stint on the DL and some time in the minors earlier this season, Ivan Nova has redefined his pitching, strengthening his control and velocity and proving to the Yankees that he’s not only worth a start, but he’s worth something to depend upon regularly. Tonight was no exception. Once again, even getting into some jams throughout the game, Nova was able to pitch his way out of them with the seeming ease of a more experienced pitcher.
Nova threw just 85 pitches over 7 innings, allowing just 4 hits and a walk, and striking out 8 San Diego batters. But his biggest feat was keeping the Padres from crossing the plate. Robertson kept the ball rolling into the 8th, like usual, and Rivera saw his first outing in Petco Park with a 9-pitch 9th inning, earning his 35th save of the season.
It actually started as a really tight pitchers’ duel, with the Yankees offense breaking through in the 7th inning. With Alfonso Soriano on 1st base, it was Curtis Granderson to swing for the fences and break the scoreless game with a 2-run home run. In the 9th inning, Granderson singled, dealt with a dispute on returning to the base on an out, stole 2nd base, and then scored his second run (and the third total run) of the game on Jayson Nix’s single. With Rivera doing his thing in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees walked away with a 3-0 shutout win tonight.
In other news, Derek Jeter sat out tonight’s game and will be sitting out tomorrow’s as well. He has some soreness in his right calf muscle. Whether it’s related to his recent quad strain or just an awkward slide into 3rd base (my personal guess is a combination of sorts), it’s keeping him on the bench part of the roster for the weekend. Hopefully, with rest and some minor rehab, he’ll be ready to play in Chicago on Monday.
Also desiring to see his name on the starting roster in Chicago this Monday is Alex Rodriguez. Some choice words were exchanged by Rodriguez in press conferences and statements by the Yankees, but he’s determined to don pinstripes as soon as possible. Not that I blame him. I mean, if I was so close to doing something I love and it kept feeling just out of reach, I think I’d be fighting heaven and earth trying to get there. No matter who’s on that roster on Monday, it’s bound to be a big day in MLB with some changes happening all over the league.
Well, either way, it was certainly a great night of baseball. And I personally am loving the earlier night. And so that being said, I’m going to leave it there. I mentioned yesterday about wanting to sleep on yesterday’s mess and hope for a better tomorrow. Well, it’s tomorrow, and it definitely ended up better. At least in baseball world for the Yankees. But hey, on this blog, that’s all that matters anyway…
Hoping for a good tomorrow too…