Game two of the three-game showdown between the first and second place team in the AL East is going on in the Bronx as we speak. And the results are thus far unspeakable for Yankees fans. The Jays currently hold a 5-0 lead entering the top of the eighth inning.
It was a pitchers matchup until the top of the sixth when Ivan Nova loaded the bases with one out thanks to two walks and a single. At that point he was at 100 pitches and clearly didn’t have anything left. Yet, for reasons he’ll hopefully provide after the game, Joe Girardi decided to let him stay in to face one more batter, Justin Smoak. Nova tossed a hanging curveball. Smoak did this:
d it was 4-0. In the seventh, Troy Tulowitzki hit a solo shot to make it 5-0, which is where we stand now.
If the score holds up the Jays will be two and a half back of New York, who has, as of this writing, scored four runs in their past four games.
Sorry it’s not a full ATH today, but this morning is a wonderful morning at Chez Calcaterra. Mookie, the official daughter of HBT, has an orthodontist appointment at 8AM. This one may or may not be the one in which they actually slap the metal on, but the fact is that Mookie needs braces.
Dental plan . . . Mookie needs braces . . . dental plan . . . So Settling the Scores it is.
I can’t let A-Rod’s night go without mention, of course. The venerable one hit a 450+ foot home run in the Yankees 4-3 win over the Orioles. Mark Teixeira hit a homer too. The Yankees likewise got six good innings from Ivan Nova before turning it over to the pen, which Andrew Miller allowing a homer to Chris Davis notwithstanding, has been a strength for New York all year.
Back in March, when I previewed the Yankees, I said that while there were a lot of uncertainties with this team, it wasn’t crazy to expect some improvement from many positions and that if a couple of the old guys bounce back they could be in this thing, especially given how good the pen is. Well, a couple of the old guys bounced back. They could use a starter but are getting just enough pitching. And the pen is the pen. That’s why they’re in first place folks. Everything has come up shiny for them.
The rest of the scores:
Dodgers 3, Braves 1
Nationals 4, Mets 3
Reds 9, Cubs 1; Cubs 6, Reds 5
Phillies 5, Rays 4
Indians 7, Brewers 5
Rangers 10, Rockies 8
Giants 7, Padres 1
Tigers 9, Mariners 4
Cardinals 3, White Sox 2
Royals 5, Pirates 1
Astros 4, Red Sox 2
Marlins 5, Diamondbacks 3
Angels 5, Twins 2
Athletics 4, Blue Jays 3
CC Sabathia is looking more and more like a reliever–or less and less like a capable starter, at least–but the Yankees will keep him in the rotation and instead move Adam Warren back to the bullpen despite his team-best 3.59 ERA in 14 starts.
New York briefly went to a six-man rotation following Ivan Nova’s return from Tommy John elbow surgery, but the plan was always to go back to five starters and Warren’s previous experience in the bullpen likely contributed to his role being changed while Sabtahia (5.65 ERA) and Nathan Eovaldi (4.81 ERA) remain starters.
(Sabathia making a ton of money and the Yankees viewing Eovaldi as having more long-term upside than Warren also played a part, certainly.)
Warren thrived as a setup man for David Robertson last season, appearing in 69 games with a 2.97 ERA and 76/24 K/BB ratio in 79 innings. And the Yankees’ bullpen can use the late-inning help with Andrew Miller on the disabled list.