As demoralizing as last night’s game was, the Yankees remain 2.5 games behind Tampa Bay for a wild card spot. No Yankee fan wanted to see such a a marvelous comeback squandered by a crushing loss, but the results of last night were not much more than a hit to the team’s morale. Perhaps it was a missed opportunity to get to 1.5 games behind the Rays, but none the less, the Yankees are in the same spot they were yesterday morning, they just have one less game to play.
On Ivan Nova, the guy has been so good that I think we have to give him a pass on yesterday’s start. The 47 pitches in the 3rd inning were ridiculous, but the Red Sox are arguably baseball’s best offense. They tediously worked the counts, and did a wonderful job laying off his curveball and fouling off his sinker. Granted, Nova gave up some hard hits, but the two base runners that scored in the 3rd inning came on a bloop single and a soft ground ball single. The real problem was Nova’s inability to put hitter’s away, and hopefully he can turn things around against the Orioles’ offense he shutout last week.
I guess I have to bring this up too. Last week I wrote about how Joba Chamberlain was turning it around. Well, I was so wrong. At that point, Chamberlain went 17.0 innings over 2 months and pitched to a 2.12 ERA and a .219 batting average. Since then, he’s pretty much cost the Yankees two games, and this could/should be the end of his Yankee career. The only redeeming factor was that Joe West blew a call right before the go ahead hit. Will the Yankees blame Chamberlain for the mess in the 10th inning? I sure do.
I saw some fans on Twitter that were upset with Mariano Rivera for blowing the save. This can’t happen.
I’ve said this a million times, but there’s little reason to start Chris Stewart at this point. Yes, he saves runs with pitch framing, but how many runs did he save last night? Other than that, his defense hasn’t been all that special. His passed ball rates are standard, and lately he’s been pretty bad throwing out runners, posting a 22% caught stealing rate since July 1st. His spot in the lineup came around in two big opportunities, and Girardi refused to pull him in the first one obviously. I guess the manager learned his lesson, because he was quick with pulling Stewart in his next chance, and Vernon Wells got the job done. With such a deep bench, Stewart needs to get as few at bats as possible, and preferably he loses a good number of starts over Austin Romine.
Finally, we’ll finish on a high note with David Robertson‘s appearance. After pitching just once over a 9 game span, Robertson looked extremely rusty on Wednesday night, but he had the top of the Red Sox’ line up completely lost on his cutter and curveball. With how good Robertson looked, I was actually a little surprised that Girardi didn’t use Robertson for 2 innings after all the rest he had and all the appearances Rivera had recently. That kind of move would be very unlike Girardi though, so no problem with his managing there.