Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nova Deserved Better Than That Lineup

I was going to write up a late game summary, but we all know what happened by now. Instead, I'll focus on Ivan Nova's first start.

Two things that were somewhat surprising to me was the Yankees choosing to allow Jose Bautista to beat them, and Nova's fastball. Maybe I didn't do enough research on the kid, but I had no idea he could throw that hard. For the game his heater averaged 94.4 and topped out at 97.5 according to Brooks Baseball. He also threw it for a strike 70% of the time.

His changeup was also pretty effective, although he seemed to have trouble locating his curve, which cost him the two runs he allowed when he served up a hanger to Bautista in the 3rd.

What might have impressed me even more than his fastball, was his brushback pitch to Bautista a few innings later. I don't know, maybe I shouldn't feel this way, but I love seeing a young kid brushing back a veteran, especially when that vet had a couple good swings off of him. Bautista eventually made the Yankees pay with another homer later in the game, but Nova did retire him after the brushback so I'm not going to blame him for David Robertson's bad pitch.

In 5.1 innings the rookie allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, walked 1, and struck out 3. He threw just 73 pitches, 44 of them for strikes. It was a performance than was definitely good enough for a win, but you can't expect much when you start your C team.

Overall I was very pleased with Nova's, and as of right now I'm probably more confident in him than either A.J. Burnett or Javier Vazquez.

What are your thoughts on Nova's first start?

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