Yankees escape California with a 6-5 win

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.

Angelic hosts:

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.

Rafael Soriano: Once again, it wasn’t pretty and he still hasn’t pitched a 1-2-3 inning all season. But he faced the heart of the order including Mark Trumbo to end the game and got the save.

Fallen Angels:

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.

Next Up:

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.

 

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at www.passion4baseball.blogspot.com since 2003.

8 thoughts on “Yankees escape California with a 6-5 win

  1. Jacques

    Didn't Teixeira lead off the top of seventh with a fly out and then Ibanez afterwards?

    • williamjtasker

      Yes, you are right. And it wasn't even the seventh, it was the sixth. That's what happens when east coast people write game recaps after really late west coast games. At least this one anyway.

  2. Jhugus

    As for that play Jeter made on Albert Pujols' grounder in the 9th, uh, let's not be so quick to pat the Captain on the back. Yeah, he smothered the ball, but that's all he could do. A better fielding short stop would've been a step quicker, and been able to flip the ball to Cano for a potential game ending double play.

    It was a bad play by Jeter that exposed his lack of range, and it turned what could've been an easy inning into a nail biter.

    • David

      Wasn't that basically the exact spot where Aybar was able to get to balls and not make plays (but save a run or two)?

      • williamjtasker

        Indeed it was. But it's much more hip and today to bring up Jeter's lack of range than it is to acknowledge when he makes a very good play.

        • Jhugus

          ???

          Off the bat, I immediately was thinking Pujols had grounded into a double play. But hey, the ball was fairly well struck, and I wasn't quite sure where Jeter was positioned. Maybe it was a strong play just to get a glove on the ball.

          However, the replay showed Jeter getting a poor read on the ball off the bat. He first slightly leaned to the third base side, before recovering to smother the ball up the middle. This even prompted a somewhat bizarre comment from Nomar Garciapara that Pujols' swing tends to fool fielders into thinking he has pulled the ball, even when he's has hit balls up the middle.

          It was a good effort by Jeter to recover and keep the ball in the infield. But a better jump, plus a little more quickness, and that's at least an out and second, and maybe a DP.

  3. jay_robertson

    Same could almost be said for A-Rod. Loved his charge and throw to first to get the out – even tho it was close enough that their manager argued (and had a semi-fair case.) Then the next play, a ball goes right by him; only to have him make another great stab and throw later in the inning. Like DJ – Alex had a very good fielding game with only one miss that I noticed.

    Golly – I sure wish Soriano would not make it look so interesting; I think that was the best thing about Mo – you KNEW it was going to be over. (even his drama didn't scare me that much.)

    What about the steals in the third inning? Grandy's home run made them superfluous – but on the other hand, it seemed as if they also broke Santana's concentration…maybe they Yankees need to run a bit more, just to keep the pitcher off balance. Even if they know they'll only score on an HR. ;)

    • williamjtasker

      I agree that those steals were an important ingredient of that inning. Good call, Jay.

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