If you were awake to see the finish of this one, my heart goes out to you. I really hope you use a personal day or something to catch up on sleep because you deserve it after that. The Yankees blew multiple leads last night in the series opener against the Texas Rangers, the final one after a 3+ hour rain delay in the top of the 9th. Good grief.
Ivan Nova stinks, but you already knew that. He kept the stench turned up last night, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 5 innings pitched. Ian Desmond teed him up for a solo home run in the second at-bat of the game and it was typical Nova from there. He doesn't have a third pitch and there are stretches when his sinker doesn't sink. That makes it kinda tough to be an effective Major League starter.
The Yankee bats battled to support Nova with a barrage of singles against Texas starter Chi Chi Gonzalez. Hard singles, bloop singles, it was a cornucopia of singles that produced 5 runs over the first 5 innings. Mark Teixeira broke the cycle with a solo home run in the bottom of the 7th to give the Yankees a 6-4 lead, and that's when the shenanigans started.
The rain that had been present for most of the game started to pick up in the 7th inning. Dellin Betances had no issues with it, cruising through a 1-2-3 inning on 11 pitches. But it intensified in the 8th inning and Andrew Miller did the unthinkable and gave up a home run to a lefty in the bottom of the 8th. By the time the 9th inning came, it was a downpour and the field was soaked. Aroldis Chapman was having problems gripping the ball and threw 7 balls on his first 9 pitches, and after Joe came out to argue with the umpires about the conditions, the game was stopped.
It restarted 3 hours and 35 minutes later, and when it did it went down the toilet in a hurry. Kirby Yates, in for Chapman, came back to strike the 3-1 hitter out for the first out of the inning. He then hit the next 2 batters to load the bases and gave up the lead on a 2-run single by Adrian Beltre. But that wasn't all. Yates hit Prince Fielder in the next at-bat and gave up another 2-run single to Elvis Andrus to seal the game. Helluva job.
- 3-hit nights for Teix, Carlos Beltran, and Didi Gregorius. Starlin Castro and Brett Gardner each had 2 hits.
- The homer was Teix's second in as many games and he's looked demonstrably better at the plate in those last 2 games. Him getting it together and having a good run would be nice to see, if for no other reason than to provide 1 more legitimate middle-of-the-order bat to go with Beltran.
- Nova gave up 4 ER or more in 5.0 IP or fewer for the third straight start. Chad Green tossed 6 shutout innings with 6 strikeouts in Triple-A. What do you think? Would you make the switch there? Has the bar been set low enough yet?
- Give a call to Betances. He had a rough patch a little while back and he's been on the bad end of some BIP luck this season, but he's looked much better lately. 1 ER, 0 BB, 12 K over 9.1 IP in his last 10 appearances, and he's thrown 20 or fewer pitches in each of the outings (14 or fewer in 7 of them).
- Shame on Paul Nauert and his crew for how they handled the weather conditions last night. The game should have been stopped before it got to Chapman in the 9th and I agree with Joe's comments about unnecessarily risking injuries to players. Bad job all around by the umps.