It’s only appropriate to quote a cliché Sterling-ism. “The Grandyman can, ohh, the Grandyman can!” Curtis smashed two booming homeruns. The first shot was deposited in the top of the first. Jeter singled and Curtis Granderson promptly gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead. Matt Harrison was as advertised; he struggled early in the game (he’d eventually settle down and retire 10 in a row), and boy, did Grandy make him pay.
The top of the second was interesting to say the least. Harrison played right into the Yankee MO as he started the inning off with consecutive walks to Jorge Posada and Russell Martin. For whatever reason, Brett Gardner (much to everyone’s chagrin), laid down the requisite bunt. Elvis Andrus made the grab, tossed it Adrian Beltre, and before you knew it, Posada was tagged out running to third. To Joe Girardi: Tell your players to STOP F&^%$#@& BUNTING! Fortunately, the Yanks managed to score a third run on a botched throw to first after a squibbed Jeter infield hit. The one minor gripe here was that neither Mark Teixeira nor Alex Rodriguez couldn’t get a hit to clear the bases.
During the top of the seventh, Michael Kay was just finishing his spiel about the Yankees’ dependency on the long ball when Granderson decided to launch his second blast into the stratosphere providing an additional insurance run. I guess we’ll all just have to settle for the most ideal kind of hit a little longer; although in all fairness, I do want to se the team’s OBP tick upwards (don’t worry, it will!).
Kay did have one interesting tidbit though. Evidently, heading into last night’s game, Posada was 0-20 from the right side of the plate. Small sample size is certainly playing a factor here. However, that type of split is also about what one would expect given the nature of Posada’s production thus far (primarily all or nothing type hits!). Also, I’m assuming he’s probably seen quite a few more righty pitchers than lefties, so there’s that.
It was generally pleasing. I saw some very slick fielding from all the infielders. A-Rod showcased his hand-cannon (illegal in several states). Teixeira made a great diving catch. Cano made some excellent grabs and executed a sweet double play. Even The Captain jumped into the mix and did his patented jumpy-swirly-throw-the-guy-out-while-in-mid-air thing. The one blip occurred in the eighth when Mark Teixeira bobbled a ball down the first base line. After Tex tossed the ball to Nova, he was unable to tag out Mitch Mooreland and also managed to miss the bag.
Even though Grandy earned the YES “Player of the Game award,” Ivan Nova definitely deserved his share of the spotlight. During the pregame, David Cone commented that approximately 50% of Nova’s first pitches of an at bat are out of the strike zone. Thankfully, Nova wasted no time last night in getting ahead in the counts as he made short work of his opponents.
18 of his 22 outs were either infield hits or strikeouts. The curveball was in full force and it really offered a nice compliment to his sinking fastball which also had a lot of movement. For good measure, he also threw a few changeups into the mix.
Yesterday also represented the third game in a row in which Nova went at least six innings; it was also the longest individual outing of his career. Over his past three starts, Nova has gone 2-0 with a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings of work and has held opponents to a .183 batting average. I’ll take that all day long.
Rafael Soriano joined the party in the eighth. After making Chris Davis look silly with the strikeout, he allowed the gratuitous run on a Julio Borbon single. That’s all the Rangers would muster though; Mariano Rivera entered the game in the ninth and did his thing (earning his twelfth save of the season in the process) – game over kids.
Overall, it was a good game and a good way to kick off the weekend. Tonight’s game is slated for 8:05PM EST on YES. Bartolo Colon (2-1, 3.00 ERA) looks to continue his incredible comeback story against pitching-piñata Derek Holland (3-1, 4.66 ERA).