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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ivan Nova No Hits (kinda) Orioles

What do you say to a guy who is battling for a spot in the rotation when he throws a no hitter over 6 innings and you have to take him out just so other guys can get some work in during the game? 

You say, “Do you want your apartment on Central Park West or are you going to buy a place out in Jersey by CC?”

As Alex Rodriguez just told Kim Jones from YES, “He looks bigger this year.  Like a bigger man.  We’re watching him grow up before our eyes.”  Unless he implodes at some point in the next two weeks Ivan Nova now has to be a lock for the number 4 spot in the rotation.  If AJ Burnett can perform the way we know he can the Yanks are going to start the season loaded on the mound.

Offensively, this team brought the lumber, but I want to stay on point here and continue to discuss the top of the order issues.  During the game, YES Network’s Kim Jones also revealed that Joe Girardi told her that he will continue to use this Opening Day Lineup for the rest of Spring Training but that Brett Gardner is going to get the chance to lead off, with Jeter back to the second spot in the order.

As anyone who has been around here for a while can attest, it is my opinion that this is the best thing for the long term success of this team in 2011.

That being said, the most important at bat of today’s game against the Orioles wasn’t Arod’s home run.  No, it was the second batter of the game and Nick Swisher’s approach at the plate.  I have a much longer piece about “Who Bats Second” being the more important conversation than who the leadoff batter is going to be for the Yanks and Swisher took this moment to shine.

On a 2-2 pitch, with Jeter on First, Girardi called for a hit and run.  With Jeter running on the pitch, Swish waited on a looping curveball and smacked a grounder to the spot where the shortstop just vacated and just like that it was 1st and 3rd with nobody out for Mark Texeira.

It is this aggressive base running and managerial philosophy that I have been arguing for Girardi to take up for weeks.  I have also contended that Jeter was the best person on the team to handle the important 2 spot in the lineup, but Swisher showed me that he can do that job perfectly even if Joe chooses the Captain lead off the game.

Everyone in Yankee land should sleep well tonight

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