Another Textbook Win

April 5, 2011 – 10:29 am

NYY 4, Minnesota 3. The textbook for the Yankees this year has two formulas for wins. One is to get something close to a quality start, at least have the lead by the sixth, and then turn it over to the back-end bullpen trio of Joba-Rafael-Mo. And the other formula is simply to just out slug the other guys when the starting pitching does a no-show. The first formula is certainly my preference, and that’s what the Yankees used last night against the hapless Twins who have now only beaten the Yanks once in their last 15 meetings.

MoIvan Nova pitched well in his first start, getting a “near quality” win, giving up three runs and making it through six innings. Last year he seemed to struggle a bit the second time through the order, and last night pretty much followed that pattern — first time through the Twins were 0-8, but second time through they went 4-9 with 3 doubles and 3 runs scored. But to his credit, he knuckled down in the critical sixth inning, and finished the night with a nice strike out of Jim Thome. So things continue to look up for Nova.

The back-end trio took it from there, and although their stats didn’t match up to their first outing in game one when they threw three perfect innings, they were still quite dominant. Joba Chamberlain particularly looked to be back in his more intimidating form of a couple of years ago. And what can you say about Mariano Rivera? Yet another year older, and dare I say he looks even better than last year? The cutter is still up there at 92 MPH and as wicked as ever, always on the corners, never hittable. And as if things couldn’t get any better, this year Mo is going “old school”, wearing his socks high! Way to go, Mo!

Photo: Yahoo! Sports Box Score | Gameday | FanGraphs Game Graph | PitchFX Game Tool

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