So I liked what Brien did last night recapping the game, so I’m going to follow his style. Let’s break it up!
The Objectively Good
- Ivan Nova’s command. Normally, it takes at least a couple of starts to get back into the rhythm of starting pitching, but Nova jumped right back on the horse, and spotted the ball perfectly tonight. I rarely saw him miss his spots entirely (sure, he left one out there for Evan Longoria in the 6th, but, well, a mistake to Longoria is a homer; a mistake to others might be a foul ball…though I’m not sure that’s making my point). Anyways, the point is that he looked sharp–much sharper than I expected. I wonder if the shoulder injury that kept him out for the last month is something that we could at least think about retroactively applying to some of his catastrophic starts before he was shut down–that is, maybe his 4.50-plus ERA isn’t something to be too worried about.
- Yankees with runners in scoring position. The bombers were 2-for-3 tonight with runners on second or third, with Jeter and A-Rod delivering big hits. Yes, three at-bats is not a great sample size. But hey, they still went .666 on the night, right?
- Granderson getting the best of Shields, making Gabe look silly. Hey, I’ll admit it, I didn’t foresee a hit for the Grandy Man this afternoon. But he came through, and in a big way. The Nunez bomb right after was only the icing; it’s good to see Curtis getting back into the swing of things, finally.
The Subjectively Good
- The combination of the two-out walk to Ichiro, his stolen base, and then Jeter’s RBI single. Old school ball.
The Subjectively Hilarious, Objectively Neutral
- People on Twitter making “captain clutch” comments after Jeter’s RBI single. Look, I love Jeter, and he has been (arguably) the best Yankee over the past month, but an RBI single in the bottom of the fifth to put the Yanks up 4-0…not an objectively “clutch” thing. Save it for the real deal.
- The @Yankees account using the “Untucked” hashtag. What does that mean? Is it in response to Soriano “untucking” his shirt after a save? Is this a thing I should know about? Why am I so out of this loop?
The Perfectly Acceptable
- A-Rod and Cano both went 2-for-4 on the afternoon, and both looked locked in at the plate. I liked their at-bats, even though Upton had some trouble on Alex’s RBI double in the eighth. I term this “acceptable” because that’s pretty much how I want them to play every day.
- David Robertson. 1-2-3.
- Yankee pitchers struck out 10 Rays on the night. Nova was responsible for 8 of them, which is why this isn’t higher–I don’t want to give the ‘pen too much credit, as they’re the main reason the Rays clawed back to 4-3.
- The Yankee bullpen outside of David Robertson. After Nova exited in the sixth inning with a runner on first, the combination of Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain allowed a couple base hits to…Ryan Roberts (.228) and pinch-hitting Sam Fuld (.279) to score two runs. The whole point of Boone Logan and Joba Chamberlain is to get people like those guys out. Then, in the ninth, Rafael Soriano (#untucked??) put two runners on before striking out Elliot Johnson to end the game.
- Re-reading that, I’m trying to decide if I’m being petty talking like this, or if I’m just a bit shocked the Rays can do anything with their lineup. Ah, well. This has been a weird year, and it’s not like the Yankees batting averages would look that much better if we threw them up there.
- After his first-inning single, Desmond Jennings came up to bat three more time. He struck out in all of them.
- Honestly, nothing. I just wanted to throw this category in there.
- The O’s play at the A’s tonight, if you can count bright orange uniforms against off-yellow and green uniforms as ugly. I don’t know.
- Please don’t accuse me of being petty, angry Orioles fan.