Forget all that “Girardi is panicking” talk.
According to beat writer Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger, the Yankees announced in the press box during the top of the sixth that Game 5 starter Ivan Nova was pulled after just two innings due to “right forearm tightness.” Not because manager Joe Girardi was displeased with the early results.
Nova allowed back-to-back homers to Detroit’s Don Kelly and Delmon Young in the top of the first inning and a leadoff double to Magglio Ordonez in the second. But he did appear to be settling in and his stuff was far from out of control. In fact, the 24-year-old right-hander threw 24 of his 31 total deliveries for strikes. Phil Hughes came on in relief, then entered Boone Logan. Now it’s CC Sabathia.
The Yankees trail the Tigers 3-0 as this series-deciding Game 5 heads to the bottom of the sixth.
Jake Arrieta‘s bat is in midseason form already. The Cubs’ ace swatted a solo home run to center field off of Zack Greinke in Thursday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition game, his first homer of the spring.
The blast went 465 feet, according to MLB.com’s Daren Willman.
Arrieta has hit two home runs in each of the past two seasons. Madison Bumgarner (eight) and Noah Syndergaard (four) are the only other pitchers to match or exceed his output in that department.
Greinke, meanwhile, is hoping to bounce back after a miserable 2016 season. He finished with an uncharacteristic 4.37 ERA in 26 starts in his first year with the Diamondbacks.
Angels first baseman Luis Valbuena will miss the next four to six weeks with a strained right hamstring, Pedro Moura of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Valbuena, 31, signed a two-year, $15 million contract with the Angels in January and was on track to get the lion’s share of the playing time at first base. While he’s out, however, C.J. Cron will handle first base on a regular basis. When Valbeuna returns, the two will likely form a platoon.
Last year with the Astros, Valbuena hit a solid .260/.357/.459 with 13 home runs and 40 RBI in 342 plate appearances.