Yankees starter Ivan Nova held the Giants scoreless over nine fantastic innings of work this afternoon. The right-hander surrendered just six hits and a walk while striking out seven. In fact, the Giants never had a runner reach third base and had a runner reach second only twice. The offense gave Nova six runs of support, scoring three times in the third, twice in the fourth, and once in the sixth. Giants starter Ryan Vogelsong was on the hook for five of the six runs, bumping his ERA up to 5.90.
The win pushes the Yankees to 82-73, meaning they will finish the season with a winning record for the 21st consecutive season. In 1992, they finished 76-86.
As it pertains to the AL Wild Card, the Yankees temporarily move into a tie with the Royals, both 2.5 games behind the Indians for the second Wild Card. The Rangers enter tonight’s action a half-game out of it.
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that the Pirates have decided to convert outfielder JB Shuck into a two-way player. Recent comments relayed from the club’s director of player development, Larry Broadway, indicated that the outfielder would be coached in developing his pitching skills while working at Triple-A Indianapolis.
Per Broadway, the change would be enacted to help the veteran outfielder develop some much-needed versatility in the majors, where he’s only ever been limited to outfield and DH responsibilities. Well, except for the two games in which he pitched an inning of relief: once, against the Nationals in a blowout 11-4 loss in 2016, then in a similarly painful loss to the Diamondbacks this past April. During the latter outing, he finished the game with a 13-pitch ninth inning after allowing just one hit and one walk.
Add to that one minor-league outing in 2012, and the 31-year-old Shuck has pitched just three times over the course of his 12-season career in pro ball. While he has three years of experience on the mound from his college days, he’ll need quite a bit of preparation to handle the kind of workload expected from a two-way outfielder/reliever: 20+ innings pitched over a season and 20+ games played as a designated hitter or position player.
Still, his lack of experience doesn’t seem to faze Broadway, at least not this early in the process. There’s no word yet on how soon Shuck would be expected to debut his new skillset on a major-league level.