Tonight, the Yankees won 6-2 to the Orioles for their first win of the year.
Ivan the Stopper
This spring, no one was worse than Ivan Nova, who had an 8.06 ERA through 22.1 innings. After less than quality starts from CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, and a strong but short outing from Phil Hughes, the team called upon the 25 year old right handed pitcher to stop their losing streak and win their first game of the year. In the first inning, Nova looked like a different pitcher. According to both the stadium radar gun and Gameday, Nova was sitting 94 and topping out at 96. In the second inning, Nova started mixing in his breaking pitches, and quickly learned that his changeup was not on tonight when Matt Wieters hit the perfect meatball for a homerun. Aside from Wieters, Nova sat 94, and later 93, with his fastball and was drawing plenty of swings and misses on his slider. All in all, he went 7.0 innings, 10 hits, 2 runs, and 7 strikeouts. Good enough for the best start of the year award.
The Offense Wakes Up
In the first, Derek Jeter singled, followed by two quick outs, Alex Rodriguez walked, and finally Mark Teixeira singled in a run! Although the Yankees had the lead on Friday, it felt like an eternity since they were winning a game. It didn’t take long for Wieters to tie the game with his homerun, but then the 4th inning happened. After walks by Curtis Granderson and Andruw Jones, Russell Martin finally got his first hit of the year and singled in a run. Nunez followed up with a sacrifice fly and then Jeter proceeded double on a huge fly ball to rightfield which would have been an easy Yankee Stadium homerun. Now with a 4-1 lead, the Yankees didn’t look back the rest of the game. The team scored a couple more runs thanks to a homerun from Andruw Jones, a double from Granderson and an RBI single from Brett Gardner. Jeter had the best game, going 4 for 4 with a double.
David Robertson entered the game in the 8th inning, and was brilliant hitting corners and immediately drawing 2 strikeouts. Of course, he needed to bring a runner into scoring position to finish the inning though, and after giving up successive singles, Robertson finally finished the inning with a groundball to Robinson Cano. Although it was a non-save situation, Mariano Rivera got the 9th inning, and he appeared to struggle again. After a quick 2 pitch at bat to Chris Davis that resulted in a pop out, Robert Andino doubled off the rightfield wall. That was followed by a strikeout to Nolan Reimold and then a sharp linedrive to Brett Gardner. The boxscore will say that he didn’t give up any runs, but it was clearly an un-Mo inning where he was going full count on most of the hitters and giving up sharp hit balls. It looks to be a product of missing spots, perhaps the cutter just isn’t cutting right, and I wouldn’t chalk it up to anything but rust. Rivera closed out the first win of the year, a 6-2 win over the Orioles.
- Adam Warren got the start for the Scranton Yankees and only last 3.0 innings, giving up 7 hits, 6 tuns, 4 walks, and only 1 strikeout. The bullpen would only give up 2 more hits the rest of the game. Most impressive was Pat Venditte, who immediately relieved Warren going 3 innings, only giving up 1 walk and 1 hit, and earning 4 strikeouts. Offensively, Chris Dickerson kept raking, going 2 for 5 along with Steve Pearce. Ramiro Pena doubled, as did Dewayne Wise who also had a homerun and a single in his first game back. Scranton lost to Syracuse 6-5. (Box Score)
- The left hander Josh Romanski started for Trenton against Portland today, going 5.1 innings, giving up 7 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts. Chase Whitley went 2.0 innings in relief, and only gave up 1 hit, 1 walk, and 3 strikeouts. Offensively, the Almonte’s both earned 3 hits, with Zoilo Almonte hitting his second homerun this year; Gustavo Molina hit the other homerun. Jose Pirela and Walter Ibarra both hit doubles as well. Trenton beat Portlant 8-3. (Box Score)
- In Tampa, Andy Pettitte continued his work in the minors. In his 3.0 innings, he only gave up 2 hits, 1 run, and 2 strikeouts. He was reportedly sitting 85-87 mph, with a great changeup. Rule 5 pick, and rehabbing righty, Brad Meyers relieved Pettitte and was terrible, going only 1.2 innings and giving up 8 hits, 8 runs, with no strikeouts. Zachary Nuding got the last 3 innings, and was spectacular, only giving up a hit and a walk, with 6 strikeouts. Offensively, Kelvin Castro went 2 for 4 and Neil Medchill went 3 for 4 with a homerun. Tampa lost to Clearwater 9-6. (Box Score)
- Scottie Allen got his first start of the year for Charleston, and went 4.0 innings, giving up 6 hits, 5 runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts. Offensively, Anderson Feliz had the only multi-hit game, going 2 for 5. Gary Sanchez doubled and drew 2 walks, while Cito Culver got his first hit of the year along with 2 walks as well. It was the first loss of the year as Charleston went down 7-4 to Augusta. (Box Score)
- Brad V has picked apart the numbers for Teixeira, Rodriguez, and Granderson, and how well they’ve hit pulling and hitting the ball to the opposite field.
- The Trenton Thunder have placed Graham Stoneburner on the disabled list already. He’ll be staying in Trenton to rehab a stiff right groin, which doesn’t appear to be a huge injury. Still, Stoneburner has enough upside that you want to see him make every start possible.