When A.J. Burnett was taken out in the sixth inning of Game 4, I noticed on Lohud the following morning that Ivan Nova was the first one to extend his hand and greet the self-embattled pitcher as he made his way down the dugout steps. It was an enjoyable shot and just seemed like a cool, respectful gesture on the part of the Yankee rookie. I didn’t think too far beyond that until reading an article in Newsday yesterday regarding Nova’s words of encouragement to Burnett, in the form of a text, going into Game 4.
“I’ll tell you exactly what he said. He owed me, too, because I texted him all year.” He scrolled through his text messages and after a few seconds began to read aloud. “He said, ‘I trust you and I believe in you, so let’s get this series to New York, brother.’ You get goose bumps. Immediately, you know?”
Can’t help but love both the message itself and the Odd Couple factor, as well as Nova’s insistence on ending his texts exactly like Hulk Hogan would. Apparently earlier in the season when Nova was sent to the minors, it was Burnett who kept in touch with him and offered support. Well Burnett delivered his end and brought the Yankees back to New York, so let’s see if Nova can finish the job.
In the Yankees’ way this evening is Doug Fister, a very good pitcher who has become the victim of countless jokes and unfavorable imagery over the course of the last few seasons. Expect Fister to bust them inside all night long.
Random Thought: While I completely understand the need for Girardi to start Posada at DH since this could be Jorge’s last game as a Yankee, I will be crushed if Jesus Montero doesn’t enter the game at some point as a pinch hitter.
And on that note, I’m off to Yankee Stadium with the raw enthusiasm of Robert Andino on picture day, while at the same time being totally prepared to vomit.
[Burnett photo via Lohud]