Rapid Reaction: Yankees 6, Orioles 2

April, 9, 2012
4/09/12
10:14
PM ET
WHAT IT MEANS: I don't really think many, if any, from Yankee players to fans to even us scoundrels in the media were in "panic mode," but if they were that is now done. The Yankees have won a game in 2012. They won't go 0-for-162. The 0-3 start is now history.

SUPER NOVA: We have written before that Ivan Nova is a resilient pitcher and here he goes again. In the spring Nova did not look great, but earned the benefit of the doubt after his 16 wins last year. The lights got a little brighter on Monday and Nova found his fastball control.

Nova did give up 10 hits, but only two runs in his seven innings. He didn't hurt himself as he walked no one and, when the O's got men on base, he put out the fire. Baltimore was 2-for-12 with RISP (Runners in Scoring position).

CAPTAIN CLUTCH: Derek Jeter had three hits in the first four innings, including an RBI double. Jeter led the Yankees from the beginning of the game when he started off with a single and came around to score. He ended up with four hits and might have had five if he hadn't laid down a sac bunt in the sixth.

GOLD GLOVE FOR NUNEZ?: From here in Baltimore, I could hear Yankee fans swearing at their TV sets in the third when Edaurdo Nunez couldn't handle a Nolan Reimold grounder at third. It was rightly ruled a hit, but the grounder bounced off Nunez' glove and then he threw late to first.

However, in the fifth, Nunez made an acrobatic stop on a rocket liner off Wilson Betemit's bat. The diving stop ended the inning and prevented a run from scoring.

Before anyone got too excited, in the ninth, Nunez looked like he was chasing after a butterfly on a high popup. He ran into foul territory and then ended up catching the ball about five-feet behind where he was originally positioned in fair territory. The wind may have took it, but it was "Nunie being Nunie"

JONESING: Just when some people brought up the fact that maybe, just maybe, Brett Gardner should play against more lefties, Andruw Jones hits a bomb of a homer in the sixth. It was off a righty Darren O'Day, but still Jones showed the power that Joe Girardi likes to get in the lineup sometimes.

THE RIGHT STUFF: Mark Teixeira put a one-spot on the board for the Yankees in the first. Batting right-handed against the lefty Brian Matusz. Teixeira hit a hard line-shot for a two-out RBI. Teixeira is such a better average hitter righty compared to lefty. Last season, he hit .302 from the right side and .224 from the left. It was the first time all season the Orioles had trailed in a game.

JOE WANTED THIS ONE: Girardi wasn't taking any chances. He went to David Robertson and Mariano Rivera for the eighth and ninth. Both were rested, but still, Girardi wanted the zero off his ledger.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: I'm writing a column on how Jeter and Nova. In a little while (give him around a half-hour or so), Mark Simon will have a stat-based reaction to the tonight's game. As is the case every morning, I will have our First Pitch on the blog, bright and early at 7 a.m.

WHAT'S NEXT: On Tuesday night, the Yankees and Orioles go at it in the second game of this three-gamer. With Freddy Garcia facing Wei-Yin Chen. Chen will making his major league debut. We will have more on Chen in First Pitch in the morning.

QUESTION OF THE NIGHT: Do you think Nova ultimately will remain in the rotation after Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda show up?
Andrew Marchand is a senior writer for ESPNNewYork. He also regularly contributes to SportsCenter, Baseball Tonight, ESPNews, ESPN New York 98.7 FM and ESPN Radio. He joined ESPN in 2007 after nine years at the New York Post. Follow Andrew on Twitter »

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
12 2.51 135 129
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .286
HRM. Teixeira 20
RBIJ. Ellsbury 64
RB. Gardner 79
OPSJ. Ellsbury .778
ERAH. Kuroda 3.88
SOM. Tanaka 135