Two and a half months ago, the Yankees sent Ivan Nova to Triple-A. One month ago, his spot in the rotation seemed uncertain. Today, he’s arguably their second-most reliable starter.
After last night’s no decision in Seattle, the Yankees rookie is 11-0 with a 3.35 ERA in his past 14 starts.
“I keep fighting,” Nova said. “When the playoff comes, I don’t want to be out of the playoff rotation, so you have to keep showing. You have to keep proving that you can win the game.”
Nova could have won that game last night. Sure, Dave Robertson bailed him out of trouble in the eighth, but Nova pitched 7.1 innings of one-run ball and needed just 87 pitches to do it. He hasn’t lost a game since June 3, and if his offense had given him any support, he would have picked up his 16th win in Seattle.
“It’s unfortunate we weren’t able to get him a win,” Joe Girardi said. “But he was excellent.”
There’s a calm confidence around Nova these days. He’s a different pitcher than he was in April, and he’s a different pitcher than he was in July when he was the odd-man out of a rotation still needs to be trimmed before the playoffs. Nova had a good curveball last night, and he could have won another game. Instead he’ll wait for a next chance that he can be sure is coming.
“We’re not perfect,” Nova said. “And I know at some point, like (last night), there’s going to be a game like that… I think I have to wait and take it next time.”
Associated Press photo