ALDS Game 1: The Ivan Nova Show

October 1st, 2011 by Jane Heller

Photo: Corey Sipkin/Daily News

Wow. What a performance. When Nova came out of the game, the crowd at the Stadium gave him a huge ovation. So did I. I got up off the couch and stood there applauding in my living room.

The Tigers helped, swinging at pitches in the dirt, but that was part of Nova’s magic: his ball moved all over the place. The Yankees’ defense also contributed. I’m still marveling at Jeter’s relay to Martin at the plate, for example; it was sheer perfection.

Of course, tonight’s win could also be called The Robbie Cano Show.

Photo: Bill Kostroun/AP

Six RBIs. Seriously. Do you think he likes batting third? Actually, he probably doesn’t care where he is in the lineup, but I love him in that spot. I would expect the Tigers to start pitching around him, given that A-Rod isn’t 100%, but we’ll see.

Overall, the Yankees just played great baseball tonight. No complaints. Well, except one. Okay, two. There was Posada’s base running mishap. Sigh. And there was this guy.

Photo: Getty Images

I realize Ayala pitched well over the course of the season but lately? Not so much. When he came in for the ninth and couldn’t get the job done, I had flashbacks to the other night at the Trop. What a shame to have to bring Mo into the game in that situation, but our savior took care of business with cool efficiency.

So. We won the first one. Whew. It feels fantastic, doesn’t it? I’m doing a happy dance right now.

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10 Responses to “ALDS Game 1: The Ivan Nova Show”

  1. John says:

    Mudville, Mudville, next stop is Mudville. My daughter is going to todays game on the train. She was supposed to be at the original game 2.

    I think she is going to find everything is well in Mudville tonight.

    Sad for those who had to go 2 days in a row from a distance. There was no parking rain checks. $45 a pop times 2. Ouch!

  2. Audrey says:

    Good on Nova – the kid was awesome! And Robbie Cano – well, he is a force to be reckoned with, is he not? It was also to see Jeter in his usual post-season form and hits from just about everyone in the lineup. Except A-Rod. His situation is worrisome, especially if Detroit starts pitching around Cano to get to him, which would certainly seem to be the smart move.

  3. barbara says:

    weird and wonderful game. it doesn’t seem right to start in the 2nd inning, different rules for the postseason seems wrong, but i did like that nova only had to go 6 to get to the 9th. i was losing it when we had 2nd and 3rd and no out and didn’t score and then lead off double in the 6th i feared wouldn’t score and then it got fun oh so fun. it was great to stop being nervous and just enjoy. but then more weird. nova lost concentration? ayala forgot he knows how to pitch? when we go 4 days in row, and we have a 9-1 lead we should need mo. ok i should just be happy. what fun! that is a perfect game, i little tension but then time to relax and enjoy. now freddie seems crucial today with verlander to follow that game and then aj to follow that. so i am worried again but at least it starts nice and early!

  4. Jane Heller says:

    Fun that your daughter is going today, John. You should have her try to meet up with YankeeCase. Wasn’t he going too? The parking $ is outrageous, but I’d expect nothing less. The Yankees have never been accused of giving their fans a bargain.

    Yup, Audrey. A-Rod was the only one not to have a hit. But I’m not expecting much since he’s hardly played. His timing must be way off and he’s facing good pitchers. I hope managers will continue to treat him as the old A-Rod and be afraid. If not, Joe can move the newly reinvigorated Tex to the #4 slot. He seems to have been working with Kevin Long and gotten himself together.

    Weird and wonderful, Barbara, but mostly wonderful. Nova did seem to lose concentration after the home plate ump was hit in the jaw and there was a lengthy time out. But also this was his first postseason start (not technically a “start” but you know what I mean) and the adrenaline must have been pumping; he was probably out of gas. I don’t think Ayala forgot how to pitch so much as he pitched over his head for most of the season and we’re seeing the real guy now, sorry to say. I don’t think Joe will use him in big spots from now on, but I’ve been wrong many times. Don’t even think about AJ yet! We have miles to go before we get there and I’m not convinced he’ll be starting.

  5. Melissa says:

    I love 2 out rallies!!!! Especially when the guys have two strikes on them.

    We were on our way home from visiting friends and were listening on the radio. When Gardner hit that long ball that died in the wind, Suzyn commented how the only way the ball would go out was if someone hit a line drive home run. I immediately thought of Cano.

    I don’t think bringing Mo in was terrible. 3 pitches, 3 strikes.

    I read the article on Sterling. It was interesting to hear him say he does his “It is high, it is far . . .” call as the ball is hit, while other announcers wait until they see the outcome. I know he gets made fun of for it, but to me, it makes me feel more like I’m at the game. Because doesn’t that happen a lot? You think it is out, but nope, just a flyball to center.

    Great article about Jeter on the Yankees web site:
    http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110930&content_id=25407298&vkey=news_nyy&c_id=nyy

    This was in it and I love it. The Yankees sure know how to use their history.

    Andy Pettitte was at the park Saturday night — his wife Laura is to sing the anthem, and he is to throw out the first ball Sunday. He always starts Game 2.

  6. Jane Heller says:

    I didn’t say I thought it was terrible that Joe brought Mo in, Melissa. I thought it was terrible that he HAD to bring Mo in because Ayala couldn’t get it done in a game that was, essentially, a blowout. I love that Pettitte has been at the games and that his wife will sing the anthem today. What saddened me a bit was to hear him say it would take a “miracle” for him to come out of retirement to pitch again. I know it’s an old story already and it’s great that he’s happy – he certainly deserves the next phase of his life – but I do miss him.

  7. margaret says:

    Thank you Jane for not making me feel like the only gal in america who gets up to applaud, to dance and overall act like a fool.
    My husband shakes his head and laughs.
    And can I tell you how I’ll probably mist up with Andy throws out the first ball?
    I know I’m certifiable.

  8. Jane Heller says:

    You are definitely not the only gal in America who does that, Peg, trust me! I just hope TBS – or, rather, TNT? – shows us the pre-game ceremonies, including Andy.

  9. Melissa says:

    Sorry Jane, my wording was a little strong! I meant that it wasn’t a terrible thing (as in “no biggie”) that Mo came in for three pitches, but YEAH, I agree, what the heck is going on with Ayala? He’s done well for us, but is he not good on the big stage?

    Oh and Suzyn made a good point on air yesterday. She said Fister did well pitching for the Tigers, but most of those games were against the AL Central. Got me thinking that sometimes we short change our Yankees. They play in the toughest division and won the most games in the AL.

    You know, I really liked Adrian Gonzalez until I read this.

    Asked what he saw from the team this month, Gonzalez stayed on his theme.

    “God didn’t have it in the cards for us,” he said.

    On Tuesday, when I asked him about the collapse of the team, Gonzalez blamed the schedule, not the Almighty.

    “We play too many night games on getaway days and get into places at 4 in the morning,” Gonzalez said. “This has been my toughest season physically because of that. We play a lot of night games on Sunday for television and that those things take a lot out of you.”

    I told Gonzalez that teams like the Red Sox and Yankees have long had those challenges, it’s part of playing for a high-profile team.

    “Why does it have to be?” he said. “They can put the Padres on ESPN, too. The schedule really hurt us. Nobody is really reporting that.”

    You know AGon, no one is reporting it because the Yankees had a zillion rainouts and a tougher schedule the last few weeks of the season. And they came out on top and you went home. Your faith and how you think this is God’s plan, is your right to have. But don’t start whining about the schedule because yeah, it’s true, but the Yankees didn’t curl up in a ball and die.

  10. Jane Heller says:

    A-Gon said the God thing the day after they lost and it made Red Sox fans crazy, Melissa. I don’t blame them. Mo believes in God’s plan too, but he also says he has to do his job! And Gonzalez’s later statements about the schedule were just ridiculous. He should have stayed in San Diego. The only player on that team who took responsibility for losing was Crawford. Now he’s a guy I do like.

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