NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Ivan Nova #47 of the New York Yankees pumps his fist after striking out Sean Rodriguez #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays (not pictured) to end the inning in the fifth at Yankee Stadium on May 8, 2012 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
Ivan Nova was brilliant. The only two runs he allowed, in seven innings of work, came on home runs: a legitimate shot by Jose Molina and a Yankee Stadium special by Luke Scott. He also struck out eight, walked two and allowed six hits.
The Rays lineup sat fastball most of the night and Nova responded by throwing slider after slider, usually with success.
Look at you, Raul Ibanez. The Yankees hit too many homers! Four of the five Yankee runs came off longballs: solo homers by Ibanez and Curtis Granderson, and another two-run shot by Ibanez (who now has five on the year).
Rafael Soriano did his usual thing, making us and his teammates sweat while he "worked" the 8th inning. He conceded a leadoff triple and was within a strike of escaping unscathed, but threw a 55-footer that Russell Martin couldn't block, allowing Tampa their third run.
D-Rob recorded his fourth career save after another heart-palpitations inducing inning which ended with a Carlos Pena strikeout with the bases loaded. It took Nova 93 pitches to complete seven frames; Soriano and D-Rob threw 51 over two.
Tonight was also Joe Girardi's 400th win as Yankee manager.
Play of the Game: Ibanez' two-run homer in the fourth that gave the Yanks a 2-0 lead (+22%).
Comment of the Game: Q-TDSK