Tonight’s game was very close, but lacked tension. Ah, April: The crispness of October without the dread. The Yankees jumped out to a four run lead and the Twins chipped away until the margin was a single run. The Yankees tried to pad the lead, but the Twins defied them with defense. Victory settled in the hands of the bullpen and Chamberlain, Soriano and Rivera escorted it home. Yankees 4, Twins 3.
Ivan Nova, in only eight Major League starts, has somehow developed a “typical” pattern. He excels early, spinning zeroes with ease and then he folds quickly and neatly in the middle allowing runs in bunches. We don’t know what might happen in the final third, because he’s never made it there. He’s a play in two acts so far, but the Bronx ain’t Broadway, and three runs in six innings will work just fine most of the time here. He controlled a mix of pitches and speeds and got grounders. He did a little dance when he whiffed Thome to end his night. He earned the win and maybe the dance, too.
He handed the one-run lead to the bullpen in the seventh and they were very good again. If you name something, does it give it power? Well Michael Kay sets forth to test the hypothesis with JoSoMo. It types as dumb as it sounds. I hope I’m never called upon to say it out loud. But the limited results are good for Kay and his monstrous creation. They’re blowing people away. I even watched Mariano’s inning live, with only a faintly quickened pulse. Ah April indeed.
Homers by Arod and Posada stood tall and I thought the Yankees were primed for a breakthrough a number of times. Most notably, Brett Gardner made a strong bid to extend the lead with a two-out slash down the left field line. Gardner might be living down that line too often however, because Delmon Young had set up base camp there and made a sliding catch to rob him, save two runs, and keep it close.
The early season is all about falling into familiar patterns and finding your way back to the game. And what better way to do that than to beat the Twins?
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