The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Pregame notes: “It’s really paid off – for him, and for us”

Posted by: vmercogliano - Posted in Misc on Sep 05, 2013 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Ivan Nova

With all of the injuries and Mariano retirement talk and A-Rod hoopla, one of the best stories of this 2013 Yankees season hasn’t received much attention. Ivan Nova went from being demoted to the minor leagues to arguably the Yankees’ best starter of late, and his progress was acknowledged yesterday when he was named the AL Pitcher of the Month for August.

“Probably a lot,” Joe Girardi said when asked what the award means to Nova. “It’s just a testimony to if you accept things and go down and work on them, and your mind is right, what you can really accomplish. Sometimes people get caught up in, ‘I shouldn’t be doing this,’ or, ‘I didn’t deserve this,’ but he took the demotion, had a great attitude, went and found himself, and it’s really paid off – for him, and for us.”

Nova went 4-0 in August with a 2.08 ERA, 12 walks and 31 strikeouts in 43 1/3 innings over six starts. While big names like CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda have struggled, Nova has been the rock of the Yankees’ rotation.

At the time he was sent down in late May, the right-hander had a 5.16 ERA. He returned to the big leagues less than a month later, and has lowered his ERA to 2.88 with quality start after quality start. It really has been a remarkable turnaround.

“I think he learned to command his baseball down in the zone – the fastball down in the zone. Not worrying so much about hitting corners, but just having it down in the zone with movement. I think that has been really, really important to him,” Girardi said. “I also think the consistency of his curveball came back when he started throwing it a lot more, and he’s thrown his changeup a little bit, as well. Maybe not 20 percent of the time or 30 percent of the time, but he has thrown it and gotten strikes. It’s just another look when you’re going through a lineup the second, third and fourth time. It becomes important.”

• When Nova is right, he has a certain swagger on the mound, and we’ve seen that from him since his return. “I think you see it a lot,” Girardi said. “When you’re throwing the baseball like he is, you probably should feel some confidence out there. He’s getting his strikeouts when he needs them, he’s getting a lot of groundball outs, and that’s important in a park like this and when you’re playing a team like this.”

• Nova will have the opportunity to set the tone tonight in a crucial series against the rival Boston Red Sox. At this point, the Yankees realistically have their sights set on the wild card more so than the division (they sit eight games behind Boston coming into tonight’s game, while they’re only two and half games behind Tampa Bay for the final wild card), but their recent hot streak has definitely added some juice to this four-game set. “I think it means a lot,” Girardi said. “I think it means probably more to us because of where we are in the standings. They’ve got a little bit of a cushion here with some of the troubles that the other teams have had, but it means a lot to us and if you’re in their shoes, you’re fighting for home field advantage.”

Joe Girardi, Brian O'Nora• As Chad wrote earlier today, I really don’t expect to see any retaliation from the Yankees for Ryan Dempster hitting A-Rod the last time that they played the Red Sox. There’s too much on the line in this series to take a chance of getting someone suspended, but Girardi was asked if that incident has been a rallying call for the team. “I don’t know,” he said. “Maybe you can. It fired the team up a little bit – not that we weren’t fired up. I think anytime that you go to Boston, you’re going to be fired up. But sometimes incidents like that can change things. I’m not saying that it actually did, but sometimes it can. And we’ve played pretty well since then.”

• With the Rays playing on the West Coast, Girardi was asked if he’s stayed up to watch their games the past few nights. “Not to completion,” he said, joking about not being able to stay up that late, but he also doesn’t want to focus too much on what other teams are doing. “The big thing is you have to continue to play well,” he said. “If you look at it, we have a chance to be in control of our own destiny because we’re really three behind them in the loss column and we have three games with them. We have to play well; that’s the bottom line. I don’t think you can get too caught up in what they’re doing, because there’s other teams who are around us, as well.”

• Mariano Rivera has been used two days in a row, and last night he came into record the final four outs. Logic tells you that he won’t be available tonight, but Girardi said he’s going to check with his closer before ruling him out. “I gotta see,” he said. “I don’t know yet. I think it’s only fair to let him play catch.”

• Brett Gardner — who definitely seems like one of Girardi’s favorite players — had two hits last night, including a big two-run triple in the fourth. He’s had a knack for extra-base hits recently, and Girardi has commented before about how he’s a great clubhouse guy. He was asked for some specific examples of how he keeps things loose, and Yankees director of media relations Jason Zillo chimed in, saying that Gardner is notorious for hiding his blue folder several times a week (the contents of said folder remain a mystery). “Gardy is a guy who likes to stir things up a little bit, and that’s probably just the best way to put it,” Girardi said with a laugh. “He likes to have fun and get people going.”

• Lastly, Girardi was asked about the progress of some of the few remaining injured players and if they expect any to return to the club this month. “We’re trying,” he said. “(Zoilo) Almonte is playing in Trenton tonight. He’ll play seven innings tonight in the playoff game there, and (Travis Hafner) has done one simulated game, he’s just not quite ready to go yet. And (Kevin Youkilis) has just really done some dry swings. Youk is probably the least probable of the three, and I think Almonte is probably the furthest ahead. And Phelpsie I think is going to throw a bullpen in the next few days. I’m not sure which day.”

• Here is Boston’s lineup: 1. Jacoby Ellsbury (CF); 2. Shane Victorino (RF); 3. Dustin Pedroia (2B); 4. David Ortiz (DH); 5. Daniel Nava (LF); 6. Mike Napoli (1B); 7. Stephen Drew (SS); 8. Ryan Lavarnway (C ); 9. Will Middlebrooks (3B). RHP Jake Peavy.

Associated Press photos

Comments

comments

 

Advertisement

51 Responses to “Pregame notes: “It’s really paid off – for him, and for us””

  1. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    jackamir September 5th, 2013 at 4:47 pm
    Anything new on Melky Mesa? Has he signed with another team? I think he could be a late bloomer.. He has skills and I think he could mature with another organization.

    Nothing I could find. I recall that he was nursing a significant hamstring injury when he was released. It had already ended his season.

  2. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 5:09 pm

    luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    Trisha,

    I read it… To be honest, I don’t hold Torre in a high regard… He was very good at handling the media and keeping the peace in the dugout… But I think he owns all those rings first to the great team that Michaels and Watson later on built… And second, to Dom Zimmer … Just the fact that he expressed that notion tells you all you need to know… Those late 90?s teams had an amazing offense, complimented by very good pitching… In fact, their basic strategy was to wear down the opposing starter, so they could crush their middle relief corps… The job of our pitching was to

    Amen.

  3. luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:10 pm

    luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:06 pm
    RIB,

    Yup… I agree with that too… Zunt Zu ( excuse the misspelling here, I am not sure how it is written ) in his “Art of War” book said that a battle plan hardly withstands the first encounter with the enemy ;)

    Trisha,

    I read it… To be honest, I don’t hold Torre in a high regard… He was very good at handling the media and keeping the peace in the dugout… But I think he owns all those rings first to the great team that Michaels and Watson later on built… And second, to Dom Zimmer … Just the fact that he expressed that notion tells you all you need to know… Those late 90?s teams had an amazing offense, complimented by very good pitching… In fact, their basic strategy was to wear down the opposing starter, so they could crush their middle relief corps… The job of our pitching was to keep it close… If Joe nowadays doesn’t grasp this, it tells you that he didn’t learn anything

  4. luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    Thanks Hans!! ;)

  5. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    luis, I don’t hold Torre in high regard either. But I figured he knew enough about the game, having played and managed, that he was onto something. And again, stats bear it out.

    Seldom can you get by without ANY offense – maybe never – but the Yankees have offense. And if you look at the first-place teams, they all have pitching. Not all of them have great offense.

    If the Yankee starters had lived up to their reputations, at least CC and Andy, the Yankees would be in first place right now. Life happens.

    ************

    Those late 90s teams had phenomenal pitching, complimented by very good offense.

    The greatest fear teams had was having Brujo enter the game, followed by Stanton/Nelson and then Mo.

  6. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 5:15 pm

    Again, it doesn’t matter what fan preference is. Stats bear out pitching and defense edging out offense in terms of winning, both in the regular season and in the postseason.

    But there will always be fans who want to see one over the other. Such is life.

    Later.

  7. axel September 5th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    ‘Pitching wins championships’ is the same as ‘defense wins championships’, cliches that hold untrue.

  8. Giuseppe Franco September 5th, 2013 at 5:18 pm

    All I have to say is that pitching alone won’t win jack.

    This team didn’t have a pulse when their starting pitching was excellent and couldn’t score runs.

    Now, even with Kuroda and Sabathia taking steps back, this team has been winning of late because they can actually score runs once A-Rod, Soriano, and Granderson returned.

    I don’t care how spectacular your pitching is….if you can’t score runs with any consistency you aren’t going to win.

  9. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:11 pm
    Thanks Hans!! ;)

    Sure that was exactly how those teams operated. The ’98 team outscored the opposition by something like 310 runs. Joe Torre was not a tactician. He handled the owner, the press and the egos really well. He had a pretty pat hand from ’96 to ’01. He might have been a good tactical manager in years prior. he was certainly a very good player and had he stayed behind the plate his offensive numbers would have him in the HOF.

  10. Giuseppe Franco September 5th, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    Those late 90s teams scored a lot of runs.

  11. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    As far as I know the dead ball era ended with Babe Ruth.

  12. Russell Munson September 5th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    On average from 1996 through 2000, the Yankees ranked as the 4th best offense by OPS+ and the 3rd best pitching staff by ERA+.

    It’s disrespectful to players like O’Neill, Bernie, Posada, Jeter and many others to claim the pitching staff carried them. Those teams were well balanced and that’s why they won.

    There probably hasn’t been a better pitcher on the planet than Pedro Martinez was in 1999 and 2000. And somehow the Yankees managed to beat him more often than not even though “pitching wins?”

  13. luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Hans and GF,

    The Yankee way has always been a Juggernaut offense with good pitching along with it… that;s how we have won 27 WS…. The Dodgers ( as Randy pointed out ) and more recently the Braves had amazing pitching and very little to show for it… I think San Francisco was the last WS with little offense and great pitching… And they won because their little offense was extremely hot in that series

  14. yankeefeminista September 5th, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Anyone coming to the Bronx, avoid upper level GWB, accident was just cleared but there are major delays.

  15. luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:36 pm

    Hello YF! Good luck tonight!!

  16. yankeefeminista September 5th, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Luis, thanks! Pumped to see Vato pitch! We’re still on the GWB, but traffic is improving…

  17. austinmac September 5th, 2013 at 5:59 pm

    YF,

    Go get ‘em tonight. I’m with you in spirit. Wish I was with you.

  18. Giuseppe Franco September 5th, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    luis September 5th, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Hans and GF,

    The Yankee way has always been a Juggernaut offense with good pitching along with it… that;s how we have won 27 WS…. The Dodgers ( as Randy pointed out ) and more recently the Braves had amazing pitching and very little to show for it… I think San Francisco was the last WS with little offense and great pitching… And they won because their little offense was extremely hot in that series

    —–

    That’s exactly right.

    At the very least, you have to have a good balance of both. But, you are correct, the Yanks have won 27 WS with explosive offenses with good pitching to balance the team.

    Look no further than the 2009 Yanks. They scored a ton of runs but they only had 3 starting pitchers with a strong bullpen.

    Sabathia was very good and so was Pettitte but Burnett was always hit or miss. It wasn’t that long ago so I’m not sure why people have such short memories.

  19. austinmac September 5th, 2013 at 6:23 pm

    The Red Sox can hit. Make no mistake about it. We need to score some runs-at least five.

  20. MTU September 5th, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    Balance.

    That’s the key.

    But it’s true there is more than one way to skin a cat.

    ;)

  21. Hankflorida September 5th, 2013 at 6:26 pm

    Ray, if you take the schedule of the Indians with the Royals, Mets, White Sox, Astros and Twins, the Yankees have to look in the back view mirror in order to take care of their business. In all the years of championship play, they always had at least four reliable starters to hold the fort till the calvery or the offense took charge, and to quote the Bard, “Ay, there lies the rub.”

  22. CountryClub September 5th, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    Rivera only threw 15 pitches last night.

  23. Jesus Bustero September 5th, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Cano
    Soriano
    Granderson

    _______

    That’s the best middle of the order we’ve had all year.

  24. chicken_stanley September 5th, 2013 at 6:46 pm

    Buster – Per our discussion last night of Hughes possibly ending up with the 7th inning spot, I heard several reports today on WFAN poo-pooing that idea… It seems they think Hughes will end up joining Joba on the island of misfit toys.

  25. yankeefeminista September 5th, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    Austinmac, wish you were here; feeling your spirit as I look out onto the field! Go Yanks!

  26. chicken_stanley September 5th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    Have a blast and lead us to victory, YF!

  27. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 6:50 pm

    I was looking at comparisons last night between the ’98 team and some of the teams of the 20′s and 30′s. I was astounded to find out that the ’39 team, without Gehrig outscored the opposition by right around 410 runs! This is a team that won 4 straight WS and had two straight 4-0 sweeps. So hard to believe, other then that the 1930′s was an era of big offense.

  28. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    the island of misfit toys.

    That is priceless. You could make a very creepy movie with that idea.

  29. Jesus Bustero September 5th, 2013 at 6:52 pm

    I agree Hughes is likely not going to make the post season roster. But again, he’s a lottery ticket which is a step up from 5th starter on a playoff team.

  30. chicken_stanley September 5th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    Hans – lol. Wasn’t sure anyone would recognize the reference

  31. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    CountryClub September 5th, 2013 at 6:30 pm
    Rivera only threw 15 pitches last night.

    It seems (though I have not looked at the numbers) that he is pitching to contact more then in the past. That would cut down on pitches thrown as long as someone is catching the contact.

  32. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    :lol:

    It’s all good guys. Don’t let stats cause you to change your mind. You have it right.

    Not for nothing, but it does take some amount of hubris to continue to fight a point when the stats say otherwise.

    “‘Pitching wins championships’ is the same as ‘defense wins championships’, cliches that hold untrue.”

    axel – you’re wrong.

  33. Jesus Bustero September 5th, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I hope ManBan is not getting free vitamin D on the island of misfit toys. I’ve always liked him as a prospect. I’m not ready to write off that lefty arm. He has a mix of pitches. I think he can be a late bloomer.

  34. chicken_stanley September 5th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    step up from 5th starter on a playoff team

    —-
    Hope he gets an opportunity… the lottery ticket could be a winner – you never know

  35. Jesus Bustero September 5th, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Hi Trisha. What do you think about our playoff chances?

  36. tomingeorgia September 5th, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    chicken,
    Rudolph would be pissed if people missed that reference. No presents for them.

  37. yankeefeminista September 5th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Will do, chicken!!!

  38. MTU September 5th, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    Enjoy the game folks.

  39. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    “I don’t care how spectacular your pitching is….if you can’t score runs with any consistency you aren’t going to win.”

    GF, well sure. But the edge, in terms of need, goes to pitching. That is so obvious, that you’d have to almost have a total mental block not to be able to figure it out. (I mean the generic you.)

    ***********

    I was just driving home and was treated to “the voice of the Boston Globe, Peter Abraham” being interviewed by Suzyn Waldman. What a riot! If total love, reverence, and excitement could come through the radio, it sure would have. Must have been tough for him to pretend to be neutral when he had this blog!!!

    ************

    While there are no stats to back this up, I truly believe that the Sux will be fielding more roiders tonight than the Yanks.

    **********

    GO YANKS!!! GO IVAN!!! GO YANKS!!!

    Enjoy the game all.

    :)

  40. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    “I don’t care how spectacular your pitching is….if you can’t score runs with any consistency you aren’t going to win.”

    GF, well sure. But the edge, in terms of need, goes to pitching. That is so obvious, that you’d have to almost have a total mental block not to be able to figure it out. (I mean the generic you.)

    ***********

    I was just driving home and was treated to “the voice of the Boston Globe, Peter Abraham” being interviewed by Suzyn Waldman. What a riot! If total love, reverence, and excitement could come through the radio, it sure would have. Must have been tough for him to pretend to be neutral when he had this blog!!!

    ************

    While there are no stats to back this up, I truly believe that the Sux will be fielding more roiders tonight than the Yanks.

    **********

    GO YANKS!!! GO IVAN!!! GO YANKS!!!

    Enjoy the game all.

    :)

  41. Hans Davenport September 5th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    Oh good Alex is in the lineup. No Looney Tunes for the game thread.

  42. Jesus Bustero September 5th, 2013 at 7:00 pm

    I don’t consider myself a prospect basher at all – for the record. I liked all the way through: Wang, Cano, Melky, Banuelos, Nova, Cervelli, Romine, Nunez… I like Pineda

    Prospects I have not liked so much: Hughes, Montero,

    I’m kind of up in the air about: Heathcott, M. Williams, T. Austin, J. Ramirez, Gary Sanchez, Depaula

  43. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 7:01 pm

    JB – I think the chances are not just good, I think they’re great. I also think this series will probably give us a good indication of just how good or great they are.

    How about you?

  44. trisha - true pinstriped blue September 5th, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    “good Alex is in the lineup. No Looney Tunes for the game thread.”

    I guess you didn’t read Lohud’s TOS and how abusive and defamatory comments are not allowed? I consider “Looney Tunes” to be both insulting, abusive and defamatory. You are now on notice. Next time you refer to me in any way that smacks of those above characteristics, I will report it to Chad and ask him to ban you.

    Toodles!

  45. I Am Winning September 5th, 2013 at 10:08 pm

    Did Wells miss the call, or Gardner?

    I assume Gardner? If Wells was tagged out, and Gardner was at first, what a huge mistake this would’ve been.

  46. arCpVt August 7th, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    buy tramadol online tramadol generic for ultram – tramadol 50 mg snort

  47. VnMEcfjd September 4th, 2014 at 10:53 pm

    web link legal to order xanax online – considered high xanax dosage

  48. pKozRoA September 9th, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    buy ambien ambien medication classification – withdrawal from ambien 10 mg

  49. FNuYCFC September 9th, 2014 at 6:30 pm

    khmerlegacies.org ambien sleep effects – ambien high potassium

  50. qcAosYQ September 9th, 2014 at 9:00 pm

    webpage legal order ambien online – drug interactions propranolol ambien

  51. BWIAzWO September 9th, 2014 at 11:30 pm

    site oficial ambien side effects in children – best price ambien online

Leave a comment below


Sponsored by:
 

Search

    Advertisement

    Follow

    Mobile

    Read The LoHud Yankees Blog on the go by navigating to the blog on your smartphone or mobile device's browser. No apps or downloads are required.

Advertisement

Place an ad

Call (914) 694-3581