Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Silent Bats

Ivan Nova was dealt a bad hand today as he left the game having given up only one run in 6.2 innings of work. Nova was cruising at times, notching seven strikeouts in his start. Six of the seven strikeouts came on his curve, which had batters swinging and missing all afternoon. Innocently enough, the Rays rally began with a hit by pitch from Nova in the seventh with two outs. He followed the HBP with another HBP to Ben Zobrist. Shawn Kelley came in with the Yankees hoping for a strikeout but instead Kelley walked Longoria to load the bases for the Rays. Boone Logan was next in line and surrendered the big blow with a two out, two strike, 2 RBI single to James Loney who had three of the Rays nine hits today. The runs were charged to Ivan Nova but Nova was not deserving of the result. He pitched his heart out today and it showed. Nova wants to stay in the big leagues and today's start was an indication of that. Realistically speaking, Nova is not the answer. Despite his effort he still allowed twelve base runners in 6.2 innings of work. Sooner or later those runners will score. If the goal of Nova coming up was to scare Phil Hughes, Girardi and Cashman may have done themselves wrong because Hughes could have delivered the same performance that Nova gave the Yankees today. The problem with both starters is consistency. Neither Hughes nor Nova are consistent for the Yankees which is why the Yankees keep playing musical chairs with their starters, meaning giving one starter a rest and calling someone up from the minor leagues.

The real culprit of today's loss though had to be a result of the lack of offense by the Yankees bats. Aside from the rookie Almonte, none of the Yankees are hitting and it shows by the number of runs scored this afternoon. Unless your pitchers are going to pitch shutouts every day, one run will not give you wins. You need to capitalize on base runners. Home runs aren't always the answer as the Yankees have shown earlier in the year. Run scoring singles will do the job. Swinging for the fences never provides for a good winning formula. With all the teams in the AL East above .500, the Yankees need to find some offense on a consistent basis. That is easier said than done, but if the Yankees reach into their farm system, I'm sure they will be able to find a diamond similar to Almonte who can take the league by storm and provides the Yankees with a spark.

With Baltimore and Boston both coming home losers today, the Yankees don't suffer in the standings as much with today's loss. They had an opportunity to take three out of four from the Rays at home but instead earn a split and don't gain any ground on the top two teams in the division. After an off day tomorrow, the Texas Rangers come into Yankee Stadium for three games. Yu Darvish and Hiroki Kuroda will face off as Tuesday's game will definitely be one to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment