"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice


After skipping the latest Phlobafest last night, I was determined to catch most of Ivan Nova’s performance tonight. He’s the flip side of the aching disappointment attached to Phloba – surprising success. Sadly, Nova’s not that great either.

He’s good when he keeps the ball in the park and works his magic escaping jams of his own creation. The ball left the park tonight, and as his pitch count ran north of 100, all those men on base began to score. The Yankee offense did next to nothing against Jake Arrieta and lost the rubber game of the series 5-0 to the Orioles.

Jake Arrieta deserves the game ball for this one. He threw hard fastballs on the corners and mixed in breaking balls when needed. But the well-placed fastball was enough. The Yankees hit few balls hard and never threatened. Arrieta went eight strong innings, a career high.

Nova kept the Yanks in the game for six innings, but he was always in trouble. As he lost control of the game in the seventh inning, the thin ice of the Yankee bullpen finally fell through. With injuries to two starting outfielders, the Yankees decided to go with a short bullpen this week and it cost them a chance to steal the victory tonight. Who can fault Girardi with leaving Nova out there to put the game out of reach when he was carrying only 13 pitchers? Hopefully everyone will be healthy by the weekend so he can restock his arms.

The good news is that when Eric Chavez had an unexpected head injury in the middle of the game, there was another player waiting there on the bench that could fill in for him. That’s the kind of circumstance a professional manager must be prepared for and fans like us would overlook. The thirteen man staff might have forced Girardi to stretch Nova, but he would have looked even sillier if he had to forfeit the game when one of his starters got hurt.

I think the Yankees will win their fair share of games this season, and probably contend for the postseason. But with this starting pitching it’s hard to imagine what a winning streak might look like. Phil Hughes throwing a gem? Arod carrying the team over a three-game set? Those things seem impossible these days. Even worse, Cano and Teixeira are making Alex look dangerous. The pitching is so weak after Sabathia and somehow, in the absence of Gardner and Swisher, the lineup scored three runs in an entire series against the Orioles. When the Yankees are rolling they find three-run homers in seat cushions.

The Yankees are currently built like a .500 team: a fantastic bullpen, a creaky, streaky lineup and a rotation so top-heavy, if it was a human pyramid, the bottom layer would be crushed to death. The lineup should improve with health and a little patience. The rotation, though, I don’t see it. Andy Pettitte has done a lot of wonderful things for the Yankees, but would turning this starting staff into a postseason threat be his most impressive?


Photos by Kathy Willens  & Jim McIsaac/ AP



Categories:  1: Featured  Game Recap  Jon DeRosa  Yankees

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1 monkeypants   ~  May 3, 2012 12:14 am

The Yankees idiotic roster construction has sucked much of the fun out of this season for me, at least so far. So now Eric Chavez has...whiplash? What's the plan? Call up another pitcher and play Stewart at 3B?

2 thelarmis   ~  May 3, 2012 12:34 am

well, nova's buddy didn't fare so well tonight either...

AJ gave up 12 runs on 12 hits in 2.2 innings. his game score was -13.

on the opposite end of the spectrum, congrats to jered weaver on his no-no!

oh, and btw, re: swedish - it's "hej, hej"! j=y : )

3 thelarmis   ~  May 3, 2012 12:34 am

[1] i have all the Whiplash releases. great old metal band from Joisey! ; )

4 monkeypants   ~  May 3, 2012 2:13 am

...and meanwhile:

Montero, Jesus .294/.303/.459/.762/116

5 OldYanksFan   ~  May 3, 2012 7:20 am

It's kinda a shame as I think we really want to root for Jesus, but... Jesus Doing Well = Cashman Sucks. Which of course is not true.

We ALL wanted to see Jesus rake for us.
We ALL were disappointed when he was traded.
But, I think most us us understand, that with our current roster, with ARod looming as our DH for 3 years, that a young stud pitcher was more needed than a young stud BUC.

So I secretly root for Jesus (who will hit), and just try to skip over the
and the miriad of comments in this vane,
that are destined to come every time Jesus has a good day.

6 monkeypants   ~  May 3, 2012 7:55 am

[5] But, I think most us us understand, that with our current roster, with ARod looming as our DH for 3 years, that a young stud pitcher was more needed than a young stud BUC.

Nothing in this sentence is necessarily accurate, let alone obviously so.

Now, if you had written something like: "with the current roster of 13 pitchers, one starting OF on the DL) and another unable to play, the team fascinated by getting as many starts as possible (including in the OF) for Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Nunez, the quizzacle demotion of one failry stinky BUC in favor of an obviously stinkier BUC, all while the starting C reverts to the shell that he has been for the last few seasons save a hot start last year, there was no room whatsoever to find 400 ABs for young stud slugger on an otherwise aging team. So, he absolutely HAD to be traded..." Well, then maybe I could see your point.

I thought it was a bad trade then, and said so, and I'll be vindicated.

In any case, Montero or no, the team's current roster strategy---which amounts, it seems, to playing with absolutely no bench while giving maximum exposure to Eduardo Nunez---is simply crazy.

Who knows, maybe now that Gardy appears to have had a set back and Swish still can't play, the team might consider calling up an OF.

7 Jon DeRosa   ~  May 3, 2012 8:49 am

[5] Why did the pitcher need to be young? The Yankees are not that good with young pitchers, it seems to me.

I think those of us against the trade preferred Montero and a free agent risk at pitcher (Darvish, Wilson, Jackson) over Pineda and Ibanez/Stewart. I thought that the production on the Montero side of the equation would be superior straight up, but even if your projection differed, the risk on the Montero side of the equation is far less than the Pineda side.

And also plan B if the free agent sucks includes Jesus Montero as an asset. Plan B when Pineda got injured appears to be have a shitty rotation and a shitty DH and a shitty BUC.

8 rbj   ~  May 3, 2012 8:54 am

Nova had a 15 game winning streak, he was due for a bad game. And as bad games go, this wasn't so bad, until the end when it was clear he was tired. So I'm still going to think of him as #3 starter. What's worrisome is the offense and the roster construction.

9 Chris in Sydney   ~  May 3, 2012 11:40 am

[6] If and when Campos is a bust, I will agree with you on the trade. But the guy has an upside every bit as high as Pineda. Did you forget about him?

10 monkeypants   ~  May 3, 2012 12:13 pm

[9] I didn't forget about him, I just consider him largely irrelevant to the trade evaluation. He's 19 y.o. in A ball. At the earliest he will make the team in what, three years? And make an impact in maybe five years. And that assumes that the organization doesn't screw him up to with their perverse "development" of young arms. But even if he *does* work out in half a decade, I would still have a hard time waiting that long to evaluate a trade involving MLB-ready prospects. So many things could happen or could have happened over the same span of five years that even if h works out...or even if he is a total bust...it will be so far removed from the trade that, in my mind, it can't really bear much meaningfully on the trade.

Maybe if Campos emerges in a a year or two to anchor the staff, I'll change my tune. But that said, if his arm blows up tomorrow it won't change my opinion of the trade one way or another.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver