Ivan Nova’s last start in Detroit was symbolic of his dreadful second half for the Yankees in 2012. The Tigers beat him Aug. 6, homering twice and tagging him for seven runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings.
His second-half numbers came in at 2-5 with a 7.05 ERA across 11 starts after going 10-3 with a 3.92 ERA across 17 starts.
This year, the 26-year-old righty’s first three spring outings came with a total of one run allowed. The last three came with at least four runs allowed each time. Nova’s last one, against Class A hitters March 27, came with seven runs allowed in five innings. He was trying to make mechanical adjustments, though.
Nova will make his first regular-season start Friday in Detroit. There’s the need for him to start dispelling some doubts, although Joe Girardi gave a generally positive review of his exhibition work.
“Pretty good spring,” Girardi said. “I think he had better command of his fastball. For him, it’s consistency. If he’s consistent and he’s consistently down and on the outer thirds, he’s going to be pretty good.”