The Yankees extended their winning streak to an impressive nine games in the fashion to which they’ve become accustomed: Unbelievable pitching from starters and relievers, lots of home runs, and no hits with runners in scoring position. Sunday’s game was unusual. To look at the box score one might think that Ivan Nova was dominating and the offense was somewhat dormant. The impression I got from watching this game, however, was that the offense was also a bit unlucky and Nova benefited from a deeper ballpark than Yankee Stadium.
The Bombers scored their runs on a Mark Teixeira sac fly (Tex had three hits on the day, two for doubles), solo home runs from Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano and a passed ball. That was more than enough, but the Yankees left runs on the table. The Bombers loaded the bases in the first inning and had runners on second and third with just one out in the sixth inning and came out of each situation with a total of one run (Tex’s sacrifice). The Yankees were one situational hit shy of blowing this game open.
Nova, meanwhile, continued the recent trend of dominance from a Yankee starter. He tossed 7.2 innings of one run baseball, allowing seven hits and walking just a single batter. Nova was efficient as well. He left after throwing just 97 pitches and easily could have gone deeper into the game. While Nova’s performance was strong, he did give up a lot of loud outs to deeper parts of the ball park. This is admittedly knit picking, but it is worth mentioning that as strong as Nova was, his outing may have played differently in an offensive ballpark.
Speculation aside, the Yankees swept the Nationals on the road and managed to rest the bullpen a day after the team played a five hour game. The Yankees will have a good chance to extend their streak to ten on Monday. The team returns home to face the Braves. Atlanta will put Mike Minor on the mound while the Yankees will counter with their Ace, CC Sabathia.
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