Here’s the short version of Ivan Nova last night: He wasn’t very good. With the Yankees rotation still uncertain, Nova’s been underwhelming — at best — in back-to-back starts.
“He doesn’t need a mulligan,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s pitched really well. We’ve seen great pitchers get hit. That’s going to happen. He just hung some pitches tonight.”
Nova won again, but it was a win that belonged to the bullpen and the lineup, not the starting pitcher.
“It felt different,” Nova said. “I think I had command in the beginning, and the slider, I just stopped trying because I don’t think it was the right pitch at the time. We don’t make the pitch when we had to make it, and that was the difference in the game.”
There were times when Nova was good last night. He had some perfectly clean innings, then he had some multi-run innings. Big picture: It was a sloppy night in a good season. Maybe it was a bump in the road, or maybe it was a cautionary tale for a young pitcher still finding himself at this level.
“I thought he kind of got on a roll, then he didn’t,” Girardi said. “They’ve swung the bat well off of Nova. Is that because they see him or because he’s made mistakes? Tonight, when he made his pitches, he got them out. When he made mistakes, they hit him. That’s what hitters are supposed to do.”
Or, as Nova put it: “When you make mistakes, you have to pay for that. This is not minor leagues. We’re in the big leagues, so you better make sure you throw the right pitch at the right time.”
Associated Press photo