Ivan Nova made his second start of the season tonight, after finally recovering from last season's Tommy John surgery. In his debut, he held the Phillies to six and two-thirds scoreless innings, and he put together another good performance tonight against the Angels. Unfortunately, the offense failed to show up for the third day in a row, and the Yankees dropped the game and the series.
The first two innings were a bit shaky for Nova, as he gave up numerous singles and even worked his way into a bases-loaded jam in the second inning. However, he was able to get out of trouble and really settled in nicely after that. He was on cruise-control up until the sixth inning when he allowed back-to-back home runs to dead center field to Albert Pujols and Erick Aybar. According to the Angels' booth, the last time those two went back-to-back was also against Nova back in 2012. Around this time, Nova started hanging balls over the plate and Joe Girardi decided to pull him from the game, even though he was only at 85 pitches. Although he didn't get a quality start, Nova kept the Yankees in the game, and ended the night with seven strikeouts (including Pujols twice) and two walks.
Adam Warren took over for the Yankees in the sixth, making his first appearance out of the bullpen this season. He may not have been happy about being booted from the rotation, but he was excellent in long relief tonight, and allowed the bullpen to get some rest. He pitched two and two-thirds scoreless innings, allowing just one hit, one walk, and striking out two batters, including Mike Trout.
Despite great performances from Nova and Warren, the Yankees' offense failed to get anything going against Andrew Heaney. Mark Teixeira hit a solo home run to center field in the second inning, and that ended up being the Yankees' one and only run of the game. There were a lot of Yankee strikeouts tonight, including two apiece for Stephen Drew and Brett Gardner. Carlos Beltran was removed from the game in the fifth inning with what is being called a ribcage injury and will be reevaluated tomorrow. It appeared to be something that happened while he was batting that inning, but he stayed in the game until the inning ended.
The Yankees will send Nathan Eovaldi to the mound to wrap up the series and try to avoid the sweep tomorrow at 7:05. He will face off against Matt Shoemaker. Maybe the offense will show up and make a game of it.