Keep Talking To Me, Ivan

Nova vs ATL ST

Coming off back-to-back shaky outings in which he was touched up for 17 hits in 9.0 innings pitched, Ivan Nova got back on track yesterday with a brilliant start against the Atlanta Braves.  He worked 6.1 scoreless, effortless innings, giving up only 2 hits, striking out 5, and not walking a batter for the 4th straight outing.  It was a start right out of Nova’s 2013 2nd half catalog.  Fastballs located down in the zone, a lot more GB outs than balls in the air, and a big swing-and-miss curveball.  Brian McCann, who said he wanted to play in yesterday’s game specifically for the purpose of catching Nova again, was gushing after the game, and any uneasiness people may have been feeling after watching Nova’s previous 2 starts was quelled.

Once again though, it was what Nova said after the game that stood out to me more than what he did on the field.  I’ve watched enough Nova starts to know when he’s got it and when he doesn’t.  … Click here to read the rest

The Problem With Brett Gardner

He does deserve props for the bunt. Courtesy of the AP

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Getting Brett Gardner back is going to be a huge boost for the Yankees this year.  His count-working ability and speed on the basepaths brings back a key missing element to the team’s offense and gives Joe another lead-off option, and that same speed makes him arguably the team’s best and most important defensive player wherever he is in the outfield.  When Gardner went down last season, the team’s speed went down with him, and getting that speed back is a huge blessing for a team that’s lost a big chunk of its power.  But Gardner’s speed can also be a curse, something that can and has gotten him into trouble before.  Nowhere was that more apparent than in his first at-bat of yesterday’s Monday’s game.

Top of the 1st inning, Gardner is leading off the game.  He slapped a grounder to the right side of the infield that Chris Davis had to range to his right to field.  … Click here to read the rest

Did Having To Play All The Way Through The Regular Season Hurt The Yankees?

Ain't no lineup changes that fix tired. Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

Yesterday The other day I made a comment on our daily TYA email chain that it seemed like most of the blogopshere was caught in a no man’s land when it came to Yankee coverage now that the season was over.  The combination of such a one-sided postseason exit with what was otherwise a very strong season seems to have put everybody in a situation where they aren’t quite ready to go back and fully review 2012 and also aren’t quite ready to let it go and start looking towards this offseason and 2013.  Well if that’s the case then I’m just as guilty as everybody else, because I’ve had this idea jotted down for a couple weeks, even going back to the start of the postseason against Baltimore.

The general consensus was that playing hard through the end of the regular season would benefit the Yankees because they would still be mentally locked in and would not lose any momentum by having guys sit and rest down the stretch like they would if the division was already locked up. … Click here to read the rest

Derek Jeter And The AL MVP

To quote WWE-era Kurt Angle, Jeter could win the Silver Slugger and MVP with a bruised freakin' ankle. Courtesy of the AP

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

At this point it’s getting hard to find a positive adjective that hasn’t already been used to describe Derek Jeter‘s 2012 season.  What he’s done this year has been simply remarkable, and almost unthinkably good given how bad he looked this time 2 years ago.  While the rest of the team’s veteran hitters around him have regressed, and guys still in their primes did the same, Jeter has been very consistent and very productive at an age when he rightfully shouldn’t be, and has flat out carried the offense for stretches.  With the regular season winding down, Jeter in the context of the AL MVP race has become an increasingly popular topic of conversation.  I’m positive he won’t win the award, and he shouldn’t, but it’s definitely worth wondering and asking where Jeter will wind up in the final voting.… Click here to read the rest