I stayed up late last night, mostly due to a problem with my stomach that had me awake in pain. But always latching onto any chance to listen to the Yankees live, I tuned into the game and settled in for what I expected to be a difficult evening.
Pineda had been pitching somewhat poorly, I think personally that he is a bit of a slow starter and his first handful of outings, particularly in the cold weather are always the ones to get over quickly. Then he settles into a rhythm that lasts for the rest of the season, broken only by his visits to DL-land.
As it was he pitched pretty poorly, but still the Yanks were in the game, right up to the eight inning. The only batter who Pineda seemed to have a problem with was Goins who twice batted in two runs, putting the Blue Jays ahead with four. But the Yanks battled back. Torreyes scored after Hicks ground out in the 5th. Toronto were already ahead 2 runs at this point, so to bring the game into a 1 run lead was a good start. Yet Goins once again batted in two runs, as Pineda looked like a candidate for being pulled from the game early once again. 4-1 to the Jays, and yet that was how it stayed until the 8th when Teixeira scored a single run homer, and with the score at 4-2, the Yanks felt, and I felt that there was every chance of making a charge at winning the game. A 2 run lead is not insurmountable after all. But as in the case of the 5th inning, so it was in the 8th, that after the Yanks drew close enough to the Toronto score, they took the game back. But this time, it was not down to them forcing the pitcher to throw a bad one with some very patient plate discipline which is surely one of their strengths.
This time, the Yanks threw the game away. It began with a decision by Joe. Now as any habitual reader of this blog will tell you, I am a big fan of Joe Girardi. I liked him as a catcher, I like him as a manager, and I like him as a man. I think he has done some major work that will not get any of the respect it deserves when it came to dealing with a roster of aging often injured stars who are passing their best so rapidly that the only way the moniker Bronx Bombers applies now is in reference to how much we flop as a hitting team with play-off aspirations.
But the decision to bring Nova, a starter recently dumped into the bullpen due to his complete nose dive into mediocrity,and who had not pitched a ball in a game situation in 8 days, was a head scratcher. Why would you bring a pitcher in that situation, into a game with two runs in it, and think that he would be in a condition to keep the game close? Why would you not take him out of the game when it was painfully obvious that he was not pitching well, but leave him out there on the mound, throwing the game away with almost every pitch he threw?
I was livid. I like the way the Toronto players hit, apart from Bautista who I think is overrated and gets the headlines for his antics, while better players on his team seem to be ignored because they play the game like one should drink their bourbon… neat. I don’t like the majority of Toronto fans, who I think are only there because of the one good season and are acting as though their team won the AL pennant or the World Series. There are those who are long suffering and have rooted for their team ever since they came into existence (team or fan). But last year there were Blue Jays fans where there were none before. These were the ones who know nothing about baseball but simply join in because it is a local team playing good, bandwagon fans. Listening to them cheer as the 8th finally came to an end as though it was their hitters who scored those runs, showed how clueless they are. They had not even for one second managed to grasp that what they were seeing was not great batting, but some of the worst pitching that you could ever imagine seeing.
Nova was dire and cost the team that game. To hear them talk about him saying he was ready to play no matter what, well it was a joke. I thought that he was about as ready to pitch as I was lying in bed at nearly 3 AM. I hope they send him down to Scranton… not that Scranton deserves having someone like him on the mound. He was that bad. My only hope is that the Yanks will win this game tonight and shake off the shock of being so desperately beaten by their own pitchers. I think they need to get rid of Nova, though. He is a waste of roster space, and there must be a better relief pitcher out there than he is… because he is not good enough to start in the bigs, and he sure isn’t good enough to come out in the bullpen. There is a part of me that hopes he can prove me wrong on that, but I really hope that he doesn’t get a chance to prove me wrong. Because I have no faith in his pitching anymore.