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Ivan Nova was everything the Yankees could have hoped for in his second career start, throwing 5 2/3 innings of one-run ball while striking out seven. Given the somewhat alarming state of the current Yankee rotation, Nova seems likely to stay in the rotation at least until Andy Pettitte comes back, and even then if he remains successful could stay in the Majors a bit longer than expected.
The only inning Nova really faced any significant trouble was the fifth, in which he surrendered an RBI single to Juan Pierre (grrrr) but managed to escape further damage by striking Omar Vizquel out. Joe Girardi pulled Nova with two outs in the sixth and one on with A.J. Pierzynski coming to the plate. It seemed like Nova probably could've gone longer, but Girardi felt more comfortable going to Boone Logan to face the lefty, though a bad throw by Eduardo Nunez enabled the annoying catcher to reach first base safely. Girardi then went to Kerry Wood, who walked Alexei Ramirez to the load the bases, but in what was probably the tensest moment of the game was able to induce Mark Teahen to ground out to first. Wood got two more outs, followed by 1 1/3 scoreless innings from Joba Chamberlain and a scoreless frame by Mariano Rivera to close it out for his 27th save.
I have to say, given the relative lack of Yankee offense in this one I was pretty terrified in the bottom half of each of the last three innings, as it seems like every single batter in the Chicago lineup is capable of pumping one out at any given time except for Pierre. Then I started wondering what it was like to be watching the game from the perspective of a White Sox fan, and whether they were expecting their lineup to make outs in every at-bat the same way us Yankee fans tend to do when our team is losing.
It was great to be on the winning side of a 2-1 run game, and it was only the fourth time all season the Yankees scored two runs or less and won. The Yankee offense was powered by yet another Marcus Thames home run, who now has five bombs in his last 14 at-bats, and a Brett Gardner RBI single. Oh, and Francisco Cervelli somehow went 4-4. N
Mark Teixeira felt pain in his right thumb and remains day-to-day. Tampa Bay beat Boston to remain tied for first, but more importantly dropped the Red Sox back another game to 6.5 out. As much as I'd like the divisional title, obliterating whatever shreds of hope Boston still has left with regards to making the postseason is far more important to me.