All Ivan Nova does is win. Except when he doesn't. He pitched well enough to win tonight, giving up two earned on five hits, three walks with seven strikeouts, but failing to get one out in the sixth inning kept him from adding to the all-important pitching win total. Nova took a no-decision, so how do we think about that? He neither won nor lost, so it's almost like he wasn't there. Does he even exist? Win-loss record raises some interesting questions.
Nova couldn't get the win thanks to Chris Young. The same Chris Young who held the Yankees in check for most of the game ended his night with an RBI single to give the Mets a 3-0 lead. Young, and the fans, probably wish it ended his night as well. In quick succession to start the seventh, Mark Teixeira walked, Nick Swisher lined an error/double and Raul Ibanez tied the game with a homer down the right field line. Tough way to end a really good performance for Young, but Mets, so good.
Eric Chavez did his part to keep the cries of too many home runs from quieting too much with an opposite field homer to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead later in the seventh. Loud noises are annoying, but the too many homers noise is actually funny. Crying about doing too much of something that can drastically change a game in seconds is like crying about a pitcher striking out too many people because of pitch count. A knife works faster than death by 1,000 paper cuts.
A 4-3 lead is all the bullpen would need to finish this one out. It wasn't easy, with Boone Logan having to clean up Cody Eppley's mess and David Robertson having to clean up his own. Two walks and three strikeouts in the eighth for Robertson. He's back. Tim McCarver can't remember the last time Robertson walked two people in a row. Tim McCarver can't tell a slider and fastball apart. Tim McCarver.
Rafael Soriano gave up a one out single to David Wright in the ninth, but that would be it. A strikeout of Lucas Duda and a David Murphy fly out closed things out. For as much grief as Soriano gets for his allergy to 1-2-3 innings, he has been solid in the closer role. The things reputation can do sometimes.
Play of the Game: Ibanez's three-run homer in seventh (+24.3)
CC Sabathia and the Yankees will look to take the rubber game of the series against R.A. Dickey Sunday night. Few things are certain with a knuckleball pitcher, but bad Dickey jokes are almost guaranteed.