One year, two months and eight days ago, Ivan Nova made his final start before undergoing Tommy John surgery. Today, he made he long-awaited return to the mound, and it went about as well as it possibly could have. Nova pitched 6.2 scoreless innings, allowing just three hits and two walks. Add in a bunch of run support from the offense, and Nova's season got off to a perfect start: with a 10-2 win over the Phillies.
The Yankees took the lead in the bottom of the second, thanks in part to some derp from the Phillies. Chris Young led off the inning with a single. John Ryan Murphy followed that with a walk, bringing Didi Gregorius to the plate. Gregorius laid down a bunt. Carlos Ruiz fielded the ball and threw to first, but Maikel Franco couldn't handle it, loading the bases. Jose Pirela then grounded one to third. Andres Blanco went home to try and get the force, but the throw got past Ruiz, allowing both Young and Murphy to score.
In the top of the third, Joe Girardi was ejected for arguing what was a pretty poor check swing call on Franco in a two-strike count. The Phillies had two on at the time and considering it was Franco, that situation could've been dangerous for the Yankees. But Nova got Franco to strike out to escape that jam.
Two innings later, the Yankees added to their lead. Gregorius led off the inning with a double after some more Phillies derp allowed a infield pop fly to drop in. Pirela followed with a walk. Brett Gardner added a single, scoring Gregorius. Chase Headley then doubled thanks to even more Phillies derp, scoring Pirela. After Alex Rodriguez grounded out, Mark Teixeira joined the party with a single, scoring Gardner.
The Yankees added to their lead even more in the sixth. Headley and A-Rod led off the inning with back-to-back singles. After Teixeira and Beltran flew out, Young added a single, scoring Headley to make it 6-0.
With two on and two out in the top of the seventh, the Yankees went to the bullpen, ending Nova's day. It was a very nice 6+ innings from Nova, especially considering the situation. I would say his return to the Yankees is a success so far. Bryan Mitchell came in and struck out Freddy Galvis to end the inning.
In the seventh inning, the Yankees took their lead out even further. Gregorius drew a lead-off walk and came around to score when Pirela doubled to deep center field. A pair of walks to Gardner and Headley loaded the bases for Rodriguez. A-Rod delivered with a single, scoring two more runs to make it 9-0. A wild pitch during Teixeira's at bat allowed both runners to move up. Teixeira then singled, scoring another run.
Mitchell pitched a solid 1.1 innings before turning it over to Diego Moreno to pitch the ninth. It didn't take long for Moreno to lose the shutout. Ryan Howard led off the inning with a double. Domonic Brown followed with a single, scoring Howard. Blanco added a double off the wall, moving Brown to third. Moreno would finally get the first out of the inning when he got Cody Asche to ground out, but that scored another run for the Phillies. Moreno would eventually get the last two outs to seal a 10-2 Yankees' win. After the frustrating way the Yankees lost the last two games, this one couldn't have gone much better.
The Yankees will now head off to Houston to take on the first-place Astros. Adam Warren will start the series opener for the Yankees, while Dallas Keuchel will get the start for the Astros.