Ivan Nova (6.1 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 2 K)- This afternoon's starting pitcher wasn't particularly sharp in the early going. Combine that with poor defense and the Blue Jays were able to push across 4 early runs in the 2nd inning. After that inning, the right-hander settled down, locating both his curveball and two-seam fastball extremely well.
Robinson Cano (4-4, 1 HR, 1 2B, 4 RBI)- The guy just keeps hitting. He now has 18 hits in his last 31 at bats (.581). From the get go, Cano was seeing the ball out of Roger's hand, and in his second at bat of the game, he hit a long three run home run to dead center that made this a 4-3 game. Not only did he cut the deficit to 1 run, but he hit his 200th career home run.
Chris Stewart (1-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 PB)- As I mentioned above, Nova didn't look particularly sharp in the first two innings, but you can blame some of that on his catcher. Stewart is not around for his bat, lately he's been poor at throwing out runners, and I sometimes wonder why the organization likes his pitch framing. Nova struggled to get calls on the corners in the first two innings, and Stewart wasn't helping. Add to that, Stewart had a passed ball that contributed to the big second inning rally, right before a potential double play ball, and I'm left wondering why he still gets so much playing time. (Granted, today is a double header.) That was until he hit a 3 run go-ahead bomb to left field in the bottom of the 6th.
Jayson Nix (1-2, 2 BB, 2 R, 1 SB)- I'm not a huge fan of his bat or defense, but he had a good day with the glove. Maybe I'm just used to seeing Derek Jeter and Eduardo Nunez set low standards for range, but Nix made quite a few plays on ground balls that usually find holes. Today's shortstop also earned 2 walks, 1 hit, and a stolen base. Not bad.
Ichiro Suzuki (2-5, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 K)- Had a nice day at the plate, and he's now only 1 hit shy of the big 4,000 hit mark.
Joe Girardi's Bullpen- After Nova went 6.1 innings, Joe Girardi decided to pull the starter after just 88 pitches. Oddly enough, it was for Anthony Gose, who's seen only 38 major league plate appearance in 2013, and owned a .652 OPS in 443 Triple-A plate appearances. Boone Logan faced Gose, earned the ground out, and Girardi moved on to Shawn Kelly. It was very odd that Girardi wasted his left-handed reliever on Gose, especially with Adam Lind following Edwin Encarnacion. Of course, Kelly proceeded to walk the next two, loading the bases, but fortunately earned a fly out on Brett Lawrie. David Robertson had no trouble in his 8th inning, and earned 2 strike outs. Joba Chamberlain came out to start the 9th, with an 8-4 lead, tagged Jose Reyes out on an odd play where he got poked in the eye, then walked Rajai Davis. Chamberlain's eye was clearly bothering him, and Mariano Rivera was called on to finish the game. He looked incredibly sharp and closed out the game in a non-save situation.
With their 8-4 win over the Blue Jays, the Yankees are now 65-59 and remain 6 games behind the Red Sox in the loss column. The Yankees will play their second game of the double header at 7:05 pm, and we'll see Phil Hughes take on Mark Buehrle.