Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Clutch Performance

A clutch performance was needed not only out of Ivan Nova who made his first post-DL start, but also was needed by the Yankees offense. They have been putrid over the last week with runners in scoring position. Today, the Yankees received clutch performances out of the entire team that took the field. Ivan Nova looked brilliant in his outing despite going only six plus innings. Nova made the Rays offense look foolish through four innings. He looked a bit more human in the latter part of his start today. The Rays hitters were able to get a good look at him and began to hit the ball hard but Girardi came to get the ball from Nova just in time. Even so, Joba Chamlerlain gave up two runs on a Luke Scott single with two outs in the seventh inning but buckled down to retire the next hitter to get out of the inning with the Yankees ahead. David Robertson provided the Yankees with a clutch outing this afternoon by retiring the side in the eighth for a one-two-three inning. Rafael Soriano, who has been just about automatic this season, notched his thirty-ninth save of the season after not being the closer until mid-May.

Even more clutch than the pitching was the hitting. Curtis Granderson shot a two-run blast in the second inning followed by Eduardo Nunez's first home run of the season. Derek Jeter would single in a run later in the game against Shields in a lengthy at bat. Alex Rodriguez would join the RISP party in the eighth after he singled on a line drive up the middle to score Cano from second to give Rafael Soriano some insurance in the ninth. A day like today is what the Yankees need to do in order to finish the season strong. With a couple of clutch hits, the sky is the limit for the Yankees.

In tomorrow's rubber game of the series, Hiroki Kuroda will look to improve on his recent starts against the Rays young lefty Matt Moore. With Alex Rodriguez in the lineup, the Yankees look much more intimidating against lefty pitching. His presence gives the opposing team something to think about other than Andruw Jones or Steve Pearce.

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