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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Postgame notes: Nova backs up his words

Posted by: Josh Thomson - Posted in Misc on Jun 06, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Despite earning a win for the second straight start last week in Anaheim, Ivan Nova knew he hadn’t “earned” it. He’d allowed five earned runs and 11 more baserunners in a start that was all too emblematic of his season.

In the wake of another so-so performance, Nova demanded more of himself. He worked on keeping his front side closed longer so his sinker could pound the bottom of the strike zone. The result was eight-plus innings of four-hit, one-run ball and a 4-1 Yankees’ win.

“He has an understanding of what he needs to get done. He wasn’t kidding himself,” pitching coach Larry Rothschild said. “Sometimes, with young pitchers, they will delude themselves into thinking other things, but he knew. He knew he wasn’t throwing the ball the way he can and making the pitches that he should. That’s the start of making some adjustments. If you don’t feel like you need to do that, you’re not going to do it. But he knew after the game he needed to make some adjustments both mentally and physically and he did it tonight.”

The key word emanating throughout the Yankee clubhouse tonight was “aggressive.” That was the difference with this Nova, who attacked the Rays all night. He recorded 12 ground outs to just five fly outs, coming out on the better side of that ratio for just the fourth time in 12 starts.

“You know that’s when his stuff is on, when he’s getting ground ball outs with his fastball,” Joe Girardi said. “You know his ball is sinking and he’s locating where he wants to and he’s down in the zone.”

Nova allowed a leadoff single to Desmond Jennings in the first, but quickly erased the runner with a strikeout and a double play. He didn’t allow another hit until Sean Rodriguez slashed a double to right with one out in the eighth. Jennings and B.J. Upton later knocked Nova from the game with back-to-back triples to open the ninth, but Rafael Soriano retired three straight to strand Upton at third.

“That’s the type of start we expect from him,” Nick Swisher said of Nova.

For more on Nova’s outing, check out audio from Nova, Girardi and Rothschild…

Ivan Nova:

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Joe Girardi:

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Larry Rothschild:

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• Nova improved to 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA in six career starts vs. Tampa. He has won his last four starts against the Rays, pitching to a 1.29 ERA in that stretch.

• Of course, the Yankees have pitched pretty well as a team during this turn in the rotation. They tossed a season-high 22 straight scoreless innings until the run scored in the ninth. It marked the club’s longest stretch since a 31-inning stretch from Aug. 7-9, 2009. The starters are 4-0 with a 1.64 ERA (38.1 IP, 25 H, 7 ER, 9 BB, 32 K, 3 HR) in their last turn through the rotation.

• Mark Teixeira hit a solo homer, his 10th, in the second. He now has five home runs and 13 RBI since May 23. He also reached double-digits in each of his 10 seasons, joining Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Adam Dunn and Carlos Lee as the only active players to do so.

• Robinson Cano also homered, giving him six in his last 17 games after swatting just three in his first 38.

• Rafael Soriano is now 8 for 8 in save chances this year. He escaped a jam in the ninth, getting Matt Joyce, Ben Zobrist and Hideki Matsui to retire the side after entering with no one out and B.J. Upton on third in the ninth.

• Is the home run important to the Yankees? Um, yes. They are now 31-12 when hitting a homer and 23-5 when hitting two or more. Conversely, they are 0-12 when not homering.

• The Yankees are now just a half-game out of first. Those guys from Boston and your pal Josh Beckett could not hold a one-run lead. They lost to the Orioles, who still lead the division by a hair.

 
 

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51 Responses to “Postgame notes: Nova backs up his words”

  1. Jerkface June 6th, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    The starting pitching has really performed as the yankees thought it would recently. Really strong performances all around. The rest of the al east is definitely kicking themselves for not burying the yankees when they had the chance.

  2. Against All Odds June 6th, 2012 at 11:29 pm

    Congrats OKC :)

  3. Bret The Hitman June 6th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Yes congratulations to OKC. Fun basketball team. Lots of life. Great for the NBA. So happy it’s a small market team.

  4. Nick in SF June 6th, 2012 at 11:31 pm

    Are you supposed to hug your family while there’s still time on the clock???

  5. Yank 97 June 6th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    “The rest of the al east is definitely kicking themselves for not burying the yankees when they had the chance.”

    Agree – just like last year.

  6. JobaTipsHisCap June 6th, 2012 at 11:33 pm

    Beat celtics!

  7. Against All Odds June 6th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    They went through last yrs NBA champion and the two dynasties of the 2000s. What a run and it’s almost complete.

  8. Carlo June 6th, 2012 at 11:35 pm

    Playing very good baseball right now. Would love to sweep this series tomorrow and carry the momentum intow a 2 of 3 weekend home stand. Like our chances with CC tomorrow…..mets will play us tough, they always do.

  9. Bret The Hitman June 6th, 2012 at 11:36 pm

    Wow the Spurs really slaughtered the Thunder. This series is over – as LGY predicted in the last thread (it has been erased).

  10. Nilsson June 6th, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    People thought Angels were “buried” at one time, they’re playing well now and over .500. Reality is the ebb and flow of a long regular season.

  11. Carlo June 6th, 2012 at 11:39 pm

    Pen has gotten a nice rest recently here. Huge considering robertson isn’t far off. Only qualm with the pen right now is its thin. Getting Joba and/or Aardsma back fresh later this summer would be a tremendous boost.

    Still think this team is one bat shy of what it takes to win it all……just don’t know how to make a deal for the type of difference maker that would fit given the DH spot has been filled very nicely and the position spots are largely immovable.

  12. Pat M. June 6th, 2012 at 11:45 pm

    Comet……..Chi-Ching

  13. tucker June 6th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    This is the break Soriano was looking for — an opportunity to close. After he racks up 35-plus saves this year, how many expect him not to opt out of his contract?

  14. Pat M. June 6th, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    Carlo…..I agree with you, if Joba and /or Aardsma return to form, the Bombers will be tough come October…….Another stick ???? Who and where would he play

  15. austinmac June 6th, 2012 at 11:49 pm

    I’ve watched Cespedes hit a couple times. He has a better approach than I expected. He looks pretty good and will get better.

  16. jacksquat June 6th, 2012 at 11:59 pm

    Cespedes has a vicious swing. Reminds me of Sheffield somewhat in that regard.

  17. tucker June 7th, 2012 at 12:01 am

    If there is one area Girardi deserves credit, it’s his ability to manage his pen over the course of the year. He is able to get the best out of marginal talent like Eppley, Ayala, even Farnsworth … That said, he has a thin pen now. He needs Joba or Aardsma and the return of Robertson.

  18. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:02 am

    Yankees should try to get an outfielder at the deadline.

  19. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:03 am

    Cespedes has performed about exactly as expected which is impressive given he is coming from the equivalent of A ball. Lowish average, middling OBP, and hella power. Has good defense in the OF.

  20. austinmac June 7th, 2012 at 12:04 am

    Cespedes smoked a pitch off the plate the right center. I didn’t know he had that ability.

  21. j9d June 7th, 2012 at 12:10 am

    So I’m just wondering where the voice of reason was as recently as last week. Long time commenters, I would love to know where these positive comments are coming from in the last few days when it was the exact opposite as recently as a few days ago. Do tell.

  22. Pat M. June 7th, 2012 at 12:11 am

    austinmac……….By next season people will be talking Bo Jackson comparison

  23. Nick in SF June 7th, 2012 at 12:15 am

    “Long time commenters, I would love to know where these positive comments are coming from in the last few days when it was the exact opposite as recently as a few days ago. Do tell.”

    Mostly different people. Maybe a few you saw as negative a few days ago are happier now with how the team looks? But mostly different people. There were plenty who were still positive a few days ago. And I think there are probably still several who are still pretty negative for whatever reason.

    Do you have anyone in particular in mind?

  24. tucker June 7th, 2012 at 12:18 am

    j9d says:
    June 7, 2012 at 12:10 am
    So I’m just wondering where the voice of reason was as recently as last week. Long time commenters, I would love to know where these positive comments are coming from in the last few days when it was the exact opposite as recently as a few days ago. Do tell.
    Xxxxxx

    The rotation has emerged as a strength. The bullpen always was a strength — still is, just a bit thin.
    The offense is one dimensional, does not grind out at bats and is inconsistent. It’s still among the best in the American league, just not as good as it once was.

  25. j9d June 7th, 2012 at 12:25 am

    Nick, I love this blog because of the long term commenters. Lots of really knowledgeable and thoughtful people ( including you but I’m bitter that you have an in and out burger and we still do not in Manhatten). Most of what I’ve been lamenting is the remorse over Montero and the inability to accept and get past it. I think it has spilled over to a general sense of negativity and a demonstrated lack of true critical thinking, which is how this blog always distinguished itself.

  26. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:28 am

    There were even reports of teams trying to circumvent the system by entering non-prospect names, like team interns, to draft and then pay them a minimal amount in order to divert bonus money elsewhere. That plan was caught and thwarted by Major League Baseball.

    http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/6.....onus-rules

  27. Pat M. June 7th, 2012 at 12:31 am

    j9d……..I still think in the long run the Yanks should shop Cano, Granderson and see what they would bring back in terms of young ready to play in the bigs……The 189 million cap is going to happen……I also believe the Yanks will win the AL East and will go as far as their pitching takes them

  28. Pat M. June 7th, 2012 at 12:33 am

    Face……You could be a Capologist, if their is such a title or even a word

  29. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:34 am

    Capologists do exist! But usually in the NFL or NBA. MLB teams should look about getting one.

  30. j9d June 7th, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Pat M… You can’t argue too much with your suggestion as that very strategy has worked quite well for the Rays. We should be better positioned to execute on this strategy than the Rays are. I just don’t think the Yankees are wired that way.

  31. Bo knows June 7th, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Yep, the Yankees are really smoking – seven innings of two hit ball. Nova could just cruise along, eh.

    The problems haven’t gone away, they’re just masked by good pitching and struggling teams.

  32. tucker June 7th, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Why would teams draft interns when all they have to do is make a low-ball offer – or no offer — to save money on the picks they truly want to sign?

  33. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Why would teams draft interns when all they have to do is make a low-ball offer – or no offer — to save money on the picks they truly want to sign?

    Because if they don’t sign a player they lose the money allocated for that slot, so taking real baseball players with agents planning to low ball them is riskier. If you tell an Intern you’ll give them 5 grand, they would probably be over the moon. If you tell a college senior expecting ten times that you will give them 5 grand, they may play hard ball and you could end up losing 1 million dollars.

    The intern idea is actually pretty ingenious, so I’m sad MLB decided to squash that right away.

  34. Nick in SF June 7th, 2012 at 12:38 am

    Ah, well… I love In-N-Out, and in fact I may drive to one for a late meal this evening, as I meant to celebrate Phil Hughes’ complete game with a Double-Double… but 5 Guys is pretty good and we have fewer of them out west. But I was also thinking of getting some Puerto Rican food to celebrate Nova’s win tonight… I know, PR is not the same as DR, but it will perhaps have to suffice.

    The remorse over Montero and its frequent expression has been a very contentious issue here. I do think that a good number of otherwise fine commenters have let that dull the critical thinking you mention.

    Ultimately, I think it’s a matter of feelings, and it’s hard to argue with feelings. No doubt they would say that their critical thinking is fine and even superior. Anyway, I get your point. The hardcore of this group you’ve observed probably won’t be accepting or getting past the trade anytime very soon, but let’s hope the continued success of the team will help that process move along.

  35. Nick in SF June 7th, 2012 at 12:41 am

    Wow, I would’ve let the Yanks draft me and sign me for a hundred bucks!

    They could’ve even done the whole thing fax. And we could have a wink-wink deal where I would frame the check rather than cashing it.

  36. Yank 97 June 7th, 2012 at 12:43 am

    JonHeymanCBS opening bids for “soler power” must be in thursday, & #yankees and many others will be in mix. tinyurl.com/cgut6ju

  37. Against All Odds June 7th, 2012 at 12:45 am

    Hopefully it’s the Yankees but I doubt it

  38. tucker June 7th, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Ah, I see. So if a team makes an offer of 5k to a 5th rounder, who accepts the offer, then the team gets to keep the difference between the 5k and the recommended slot amount?

    These negotiations with players over the coming months will be fascinating — and illustrative.

  39. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:49 am

    Not only did the new CBA gut the draft, but MLB managed to include loop hole blockers for most of the expected strategies (not signing players to use the money else where)

  40. j9d June 7th, 2012 at 12:51 am

    Nick we NYCers appreciate your trying to pass off five guys as an acceptable substitute to your in and out burgers, but I’m afraid we are too neurotic and status conscious to accept anyhthing other than the very best, number one player. It’s why we overpay for everything ( including players). We just don’t get the SF practice of playing it cool and letting things come to you.

  41. Jerkface June 7th, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Ah, I see. So if a team makes an offer of 5k to a 5th rounder, who accepts the offer, then the team gets to keep the difference between the 5k and the recommended slot amount?

    These negotiations with players over the coming months will be fascinating — and illustrative.

    The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, and Blue Jays all drafted lots of college seniors in the top 10 rounds. The bonus pool is allocated from those 10 rounds, and these are 4 of the smartest teams. College seniors are generally expected to sign for less (Unless they are like super star quality) because they have little option expect go play indy ball.

    So 4 of the smartest teams signed a bunch of guys expected to sign for cheaper than slot, likely planning to use the leftover money in the later rounds. Its funny because MLB wants to make the draft into a big deal, but the ‘big rounds’ that they will televise/spend the most time on is now LESS INTERESTING because teams are trying to figure out ways around the cap.

  42. Bo knows June 7th, 2012 at 1:01 am

    Off speed RH pitching just kills this team. It boggles the mind. It’ll have to be the pitching because there’s not much there on offence. Can’t change the team dynamic – it is what it is, faded glory.

  43. Rich in NJ June 7th, 2012 at 1:07 am

    “Off speed RH pitching just kills this team. It boggles the mind. It’ll have to be the pitching because there’s not much there on offence.”

    I basically agree. It’s a consequence of the all or nothing approach of too many of their hitters.

  44. Pat M. June 7th, 2012 at 1:08 am

    Sign the Cuban Outfielders

  45. Bo knows June 7th, 2012 at 1:22 am

    That eigth inning was the season in a nutshell. Man on second, nobody out. No pressure, the game is basically in the bag. Just some professional at bats, please. The runner never moved.

  46. UnKnown June 7th, 2012 at 1:23 am

    Funny how baseball games seem a whole lot easier to win when you get great pitching from your starters.

    Game Balls to Nova and Tex tonight.

    Game Balls have been going to the starters as of late. If the other team doesn’t score you can’t possibly lose.

  47. jacksquat June 7th, 2012 at 1:32 am

    Bo knows June 7th, 2012 at 1:22 am
    That eigth inning was the season in a nutshell. Man on second, nobody out. No pressure, the game is basically in the bag. Just some professional at bats, please. The runner never moved.

    You mean after they just hit two doubles to drive in two runs and led 4-0?

  48. UnKnown June 7th, 2012 at 1:37 am

    Super Sonics to the NBA Finals. Does Shawn Kemp get to toss the Jump Ball for Game 1?

  49. theREALkevin June 7th, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Jerk, couldn’t agree more with your last post

  50. Bo knows June 7th, 2012 at 1:53 am

    You mean after they just hit two doubles to drive in two runs and led 4-0?

    ——————-
    Yep.

    Before that inning there was a HR and a YS cheapie.

    I do like Chavez for his quality at bats.

  51. Nick in SF June 7th, 2012 at 3:38 am

    Well, despite that troublesome rest of the inning, a good night for the Yankees and we, their fans.

    And now to CC.


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