Game 85: Nova vs. Bauer

On June 28, I wrote about Ivan Nova's awful 2016 season, and suggested that he should be pulled from the rotation. He followed that up with what may have been his best start of the season, tossing 5.1 IP, allowing 4 H, 1 ER, and 1 BB, while striking out 7. Yes, it was against the Padres. And, yes, the baseline is kind of low - but maybe, just maybe, it proves the power of negativity. 

This is the first game of the last series of the first-half, and the Yankees will need to sweep the Indians to finish above .500. That will be a difficult task, as Cleveland's probable starters (Trevor Bauer, Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, and Carlos Carrasco) have a combined 2.98 ERA, 9.1 K/9, and 2.9 BB/9 in 377.2 IP this year. The Indians sit atop the American League Central by 6.5 games, and lead the AL in run differential (plus-79). This will be a tough series, to say the least.

Here's tonight's lineup:

  1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
  2. Brett Gardner, LF
  3. Carlos Beltran, DH
  4. Brian McCann, C
  5. Mark Teixeira, 1B
  6. Starlin Castro, 2B
  7. Didi Gregorius, SS
  8. Chase Headley, 3B
  9. Rob Refsnyder, RF

The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 pm.