Yankees Game 5 starter Ivan Nova surrendered back-to-back homers on back-to-back pitches in the top of the first inning to Detroit’s Don Kelly and Delmon Young. He also yielded a leadoff double to Magglio Ordonez in the top of the second.
But the 24-year-old’s “stuff” didn’t look all that terrible and he was pounding the strike zone consistently, throwing only seven of his 31 pitches for balls.
Nonetheless, Nova was pulled at the start of the third inning in favor of long reliever Phil Hughes.
Was it a panic move by Yankees manager Joe Girardi? Was Nova settling in? The answer is probably “yes” to both questions. But Girardi has already made it known that staff ace CC Sabathia will be available in relief. Right or wrong, the fourth-year Yankees skipper is taking an inning-by-inning (or even batter-by-batter) approach to this series-deciding Game 5.
The Tigers lead 2-0 as we head to the middle innings. Follow our Game 5 Live Chat for more.
Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis tweeted on Sunday, “Got a little too close to [Francisco Lindor] during the celebration!! Freak accident but should be good to go by Tuesday! #cantkeepmeoutofthisgame!”
Per MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian, manager Terry Francona said Kipnis is dealing with a low ankle sprain, but he’s expected to be ready to go when the World Series begins on Tuesday. Kipnis went through fielding drills on Sunday.
Kipnis is hitting .167/.219/.367 with a pair of homers and four RBI in eight games this postseason.
Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports reports that Indians manager Terry Francona has set his starting rotation for the first three games of the World Series against the Cubs. Corey Kluber will start Game One, followed by Trevor Bauer and Josh Tomlin for Games Two and Three, respectively.
Kluber, the ace of the staff, has had a terrific postseason. He’s made three starts with a 0.98 ERA and a 20/7 K/BB ratio in 18 1/3 innings. The Indians won two of his starts — Game Two of the ALDS and Game 1 of the ALCS.
Bauer was unable to make it out of the first inning of his ALCS Game 3 start against the Blue Jays after the stitches on his pinky opened up and caused blood to pour out. He suffered the injury repairing one of his drones, which he builds as a hobby. Bauer insists he’ll be good to go in Game Two, though he also insisted that the injury wouldn’t be an impediment against the Jays.
Tomlin has made two solid starts for the Indians, allowing a total of three runs over 10 2/3 innings. The Indians won both games he started, Game 3 of the ALDS and Game 2 of the ALCS. MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian notes that if Bauer can’t go in Game Two, Tomlin will be moved up to start in his place.