Greetings, Banterers. The Yankees moved into first place in the AL East tonight – for now - in a sloppy 9-7 win over the Royals that didn’t relly make anyone except Robinson Cano look good. Ivan Nova didn’t have it, but neither did the Royals pitchers, and Cano’s mega-homer in the interminable fourth inning was the difference. Nova gave up all seven of those runs in 5 and a third, and while one might hope that nine runs would be enough for an easy victory, this was tighter than it should’ve been. Nova’s exceeded expectations enough that I’m willing to spot him a few, however, and KC pitcher Danny Duffy (who has a fantastic mlb.com profile photo, by the way) gave up eight in just three, so maybe it was one of those something-in-the-water games.
Ned Yost got ejected arguing balls and strikes on Duffy’s behalf in that fourth inning, but Cano hit his monster shot immediately afterwards to cap off a great 12-pitch battle, so apparently getting tossed didn’t have quite the fire-up-the-troops effect Yost was going for. Though again, it was a great at-bat from Cano, and Duffy hardly disgraced himself although things did not exactly go his way.
Also coming through for New York were Derek Jeter (now up to .283 and OBPing .344, though with no slugging percentage to speak of), Mark Teixeira, Russell Martin and Brett Gardner; the bullpen quartet of Boone Logan, Rafael Soriano, Dave Robertson, and Mo, who seems to be just fine, thankyouverymuch.
I’d be shocked if the Red Sox didn’t take the lead back at least once or twice, and frankly surprised if they didn’t end up with it, given the eyebrow-raising nature of the Yanks’ rotation. But hey, it’s gotten them this far. Starting tomorrow: the Incredible Colon.