The Yankees have won four in a row, building a winning streak behind strong starts from four of their five starters. The odd man out is Ivan Nova, who’s pitched fewer than four innings in two of his past four starts, and last weekend in Seattle never seemed to find his command through five hits, four runs and three walks in just 3.2 innings.
“I know I can be better than what I am right now,” Nova said. “I can pitch better, a lot better. If I keep working hard, I know that I can pitch better here. I just gotta start doing it.”
Nova has the start in tonight’s series opener against the Angels, and Joe Girardi said Nova’s not pitching for his job.
“I haven’t thought that he needs to do that,” Girardi said. “We want him to pitch well just because we want him to pitch well. I wouldn’t say he’s pitching for a slot… He’s had some ups and downs. I think (his youth is) part of it. I think there’s been some inconsistency. I think he’s walked more people than he’s accustomed to walking. But I think it is all part of a learning process for him and trying to get him back to using all of his pitches.”
Nova was happy to hear that Girardi had expressed confidence, but a manager’s confidence only goes so far.
“You just don’t want to make him look bad,” Nova said. “He’s giving me the opportunity to stay in the rotation and to keep pitching. If he says I’m not pitching for my spot, I still have to keep pitching like that. I have to keep doing my job. I want to be in the rotation, but even if I’m in the bullpen, I have to do my job. I just have to keep working hard, and every time I go out there, do the best that I can.”
Associated Press photo