Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Nova Implodes as Yankees Drop Another

The Yankees came out of the gate swinging. They scored five first inning runs against Baltimore starter Chris Tillman. In the second inning, Nova put the first two men on and proceeded to get two straight outs until his nightmare started. The inning ended up scoring seven for Baltimore as Nova gave up a grand slam to Chris Davis and other run scoring hits prior to the home run. He did not have control of any of his pitches tonight and struggled mightily against the Baltimore lineup, which does not feature many great hitters. Adam Jones and Matt Wieters, their best hitters, probably did the least amount of damage against Nova. Ivan Nova has the stuff to be an ace on a staff. He has a devastating curveball and a slider that baffles hitters when it is on. His fastball is above average as it hits 94 MPH on the gun consistently. When he finds out how to combine all of those pitches for strikes, then he will be able to become that stud we have all seen flashes of. Quick side-bar, but AJ Burnett threw a one hit shutout against the Cubs and did not allow the hit until the eighth inning.

Moving forward, the Yankees offense was stagnant after the crazy first inning, as they did not score another run the rest of the game. The energy was sucked out of the crowd after Davis hit a grand slam and did not seem to re-appear for the remainder of the game. Jeter was the only bright spot in the lineup, as he collected three hits to raise his season average to .312. The rest of the lineup did nothing in the game.

Before the game, the Yankees traded Chad Qualls to the Pirates in exchange for Casey McGehee. The third baseman had a monster year for Milwaukee two years ago and the Yankees will try to capture lightning in a bottle as they acquire him as insurance while Alex Rodriguez is out of the lineup. Also, Joba Chamberlain was activated from the disabled list prior to tonight's game but did not pitch. I was at the game, so it would have been a great experience to see the stadium's reactions to Joba's debut after not pitching for over a year.

Tomorrow afternoon, the Yankees will try to close the series out with a victory against the Orioles as they send out Phil Hughes to the mound. The Orioles will counter with Zach Britton, a young lefty making his first start of the year against the Yankees.

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