Nova certainly did not have a good outing. He does get a little credit for throwing a couple of scoreless innings after the fourth and got the first two outs in the seventh to give his team a chance to bail him out. Nova gave up eight hits, three walks and a home run to Mark Trumbo, who killed Yankee pitching the entire series. Boone Logan was called upon to get the last out in the seventh after relieving Nova, but could not retire a batter. After two straight line drive singles, Joe Girardi called for Cory Wade who struck out Howie Kendrick to end the threat. Nova has now given up thirteen homers this season, matching his total for all of last season.
There was one key play in the ninth inning that is worth mentioning. After Soriano retired Mike Trout with a grounder to short that Derek Jeter charged and threw on the run to get the speedy Trout, Soriano then walked Alberto Callaspo. That walk brought up the ever-dangerous, Albert Pujols to the plate. Pujols hit a hard shot up the middle and to the left of second. Jeter dove and kept the ball in the infield and even if he could not get an out on the play, if he had not done so, Callaspo would have been on third instead of second. Torii Hunter hit a slow grounder to Alex Rodriguez who was able to tag out Caliaspo for the second out. That grounder could easily have tied the game without Jeter’s effort.
The Jeter play in the ninth capped a fine night of infield defense for the Yankees. Alex Rodriguez made two nice plays on speedy runners during the game and Robinson Cano made a beautiful one-hand-grab-and-throw to get another Angel out earlier in the game. On the flip side, Nick Swisher made two glaring throwing mistakes in the outfield. Neither one received an error. But Swisher badly missed the cutoff man in the Angels’ big fourth inning that allowed the slow moving, Bobby Wilson to score from first on Trout’s double. In the first inning, with the bases loaded, Swisher tried to throw out Trout at the plate (which never was going to happen) and threw a rainbow over the cutoff men and allowed the other runners to move to second and third. That event fortunately did not lead to further damage as Nova got out of the inning.
All in all, this was a big win for the Yankees who managed not to get swept by the Angels. A sweep would have erased the three wins in Oakland and instead, the win ended the team’s California swing on a positive note.
Raul Ibanez: That triple was huge for the Yankees and got them the win. He also played a decent left including a nice play on a line drive to the line.
Cano and Granderson: The power duo did their thing in the third inning and Granderson and Cano played well in the field.
Cory Wade: Remarkable how he can strike out major league hitters with such unimpressive looking stuff. He just knows how to pitch and bounced back nicely after his walk-off homer to Trumbo the other night.
Nick Swisher: He drove in the winning run, so it seems unfair to put him here. But those two throws, geez, man.
Boone Logan: Just when you feel glad that he comes into a game, he has a night like this one.
The Yankees fly to Detroit and have Thursday off before starting a big series with the struggling Tigers on Friday. Doug Fister is going back on the disabled list, so that is bad news for the Tigers and good news for the Yankees.