The New York Yankees offense came up short in the rubber game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park.
The New York Yankees wrapped up their weekend series with the Pittsburgh Pirates on Sunday afternoon. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they were unable to win the rubber game, losing 2-1.
The Yankees offense was relatively quiet in the series outside of two innings on Saturday afternoon when they scored five in the sixth and eighth innings with some help from the Pirates defense. Today, the offense was once again shut down, this time by former Yankees pitcher Ivan Nova.
Nova has been excellent in his time with Pittsburgh. The Pirates acquired him from the Yankees at the MLB Trade Deadline last year for two players to be named later; they turned into Tito Polo and Stephen Tarpley. Nova looks fully recover from his Tommy John surgery he had in 2014 and was great against his old team today.
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Nova fired seven strong innings, giving up only four hits and one walk, resulting in one run. Nova also added seven strikeouts. He lowered his ERA to 2.00 on the season in four starts, providing a quality start each time out.
Nova had all his pitches working today. He mixed up his sinker, changeup, and curveball well all afternoon. The only blemish he had was on a curveball to Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury deposited the ball in right field for his second home run of the season. Ellsbury was the only player able to figure out the Pirates today, as he went 2-for-4 with the home run to continue his strong start to the season.
The Yankees received a strong starting performance on the mound today as well. Jordan Montgomery made his third career start and was solid once again.
Montgomery gave the Yankees a quality start today, going six innings and allowing only two runs. He gave up seven hits and two walks, adding five strikeouts as well. Montgomery was able to work his way around trouble early in the game and settle in after that.
The first three Pirates batters of the game reached base, but Montgomery allowed only one run in the first inning on a David Freese sac fly to center field. He struck out Gregory Polanco with the bases loaded before Freese’s sac fly and then got Jose Osuna to pop out to end the inning.
The only other run he gave up was in the third inning. Polanco got some retribution for his strikeout in the first inning, hitting a double to right field that scored Andrew McCutchen.
The Yankees offense would threaten in the ninth inning, loading the bases with one out. Again the Pirates defense wasn’t sharp, as Josh Harrison had another error at second base. Tony Watson picked Harrison up, striking out Aaron Hicks before getting Pete Kozma to ground out to end the game.
The Yankees were unable to overcome the Pirates dominance in weekends this season; they are 8-1 on games played on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and 0-9 on any other day of the week.