Nova pounded yet again, Yanks fall to ChiSox

Santana homers in rare Staten Island win
Dealing with Ivan Nova

The Yankees only lost by four runs on Tuesday night, but it felt like an awful lot more. At least they were gracious enough to lose in less than three hours so we could all get to bed at a decent hour.

Not sure if he would even start Game Four of a Triple-A playoff series right now. (Getty)

Forgot How To Win

Ivan Nova just flat-out is not a big league caliber pitcher. He was last season and he might return to being one at some point in the future, but at this very moment he belongs in Triple-A. Nova’s latest dud includes six runs in six innings, the final four coming on a Kevin Youkilis’ opposite field grand slam. It’s the fifth time in his last ten starts he’s allowed at least six runs and the sixth time he’s allowed at least four runs. The only good thing to come out of this start was the six innings, sparing a bullpen a bit.

Nova’s problem on Tuesday was the same thing it’s been all season: his command. He left the ball out of the plate when he missed his spots, further increasing his MLB-leading extra-base hit allowed total with a double, a triple, and two homers. There were also a number of “lined right at [defender] for the out” plays, and in fact Gameday says six of his 15 ball-in-play outs were line drives right at people. CC Sabathia came through his latest bullpen session fine and remains on track to return to the team on Friday, and Nova very clearly is the one that deserves to lose his rotation spot. I think the odds of that happening are very small, however.

The only bright spot. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Stopped Scoring

Early on, this game had an eerie resemblance to Monday night’s right down to the White Sox TOOTBLAN. Derek Jeter opened the game with a homer and the Yankees then proceeded to load the bases in the first inning, but they only scored one more run and squandered a golden opportunity. Francisco Liriano settled right down after that, striking out five across five more scoreless innings. The Yankees got just one more runner as far as second base against him.

Outside of a Russell Martin solo homer in the seventh and an Eric Chavez walk in the ninth, ten of the last 12 men New York sent to the plate made outs. Maybe they were just deflated by Nova’s performance, but I doubt that since things didn’t blow up until the fifth. As bad as the starter was, the offense didn’t exactly give him very much to work with.


(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Jeter’s leadoff homer was his fourth of the season and his second on the very first pitch of the game. The other came off Justin Verlander in the Phil Hughes complete-game. The dinger also put the Cap’n exactly 1,000 hits behind Pete Rose on the all-time list, but whether he’ll actually catch Charlie Hustle down the road is a discussion for another time. For now, enjoy the mashin’.

As great as Jeter has been, Robinson Cano has done a great job of negating it with his miserable slump. I guess Melky Cabrera‘s ordeal has him a little down and he’s decided to honor his good friend by performing like the 2010 version of him. Cano came into the game in a 3-for-30 slump and continued it with an 0-for-4. He’s four more hitless at-bats away from a sub-.300 AVG, which was just unthinkable a few weeks ago.

Derek Lowe allowed a run on six baserunners (one was intentional) in two innings of relief to mop things up. Martin (single, homer) was the only Yankee with multiple hits, though Mark Teixeira reached base three times (single, two walks). Andruw Jones also singled and walked, plus he made a really strong throw on a sacrifice fly in the second that would have nailed a non-Alex Rios runner at the plate. Dems the breaks.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Royals and Luke Hochevar in particular did the Yankees a solid by beating the Rays in extra innings. Hochevar struck out ten and allowed just one hit in eight shutout innings, so major props to him. Tampa remains four games back and the magic number dropped to 36.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees will try to salvage this miserable series on Wednesday night when Phil Hughes matches up with Cy Young candidate Chris Sale. Go Royals?

Santana homers in rare Staten Island win
Dealing with Ivan Nova
  • vnymfk

    Should have dealt nova for a young ofer when they still had a chance

  • Upstate Yanks Fan

    Sophmore slump, I think Nova still has big league caliber stuff but he needs to get right. Time to give Lowe or Phelps a legit rotation spot and grind out this last month +

    • Rich in NJ

      I agree that it would be foolish to remove Phelps from the rotation. Lowe can stay where he is.

      • Laz

        Agreed, Lowe was awful starting in clevland, and he now has found a decent place. He isn’t lights out, but he is giving you mop up innings, saving boone some outtings.

  • Jay

    At some point it gets a little sickening hearing about how the only good thing a starter does is spare the bullpen. Hell anyone can spare the bullpen by going out there and giving up extra base hits left and right. Nova just doesn’t deserve to be starting.

  • Kramerica Industries

    Typo, Mike.

    2009 Melky was a fine player. It was 2008 Melky that was flat out atrocious.

    Pretty shitty game. Just be glad the Rays lost to not make the bleeding start oozing even quicker.

    • YanksFanInBeantown

      Don’t forget 2010 Melky who might have been the worst player in the game.

    • Mike Axisa

      I actually meant 2010.

      • Kramerica Industries

        Guess we were only talking about Yankee years here, but yeah.

        It was only fitting the erstwhile Walk-off Melky of 2009, ended the Braves season in 2010 when he could’ve extended their season with a base hit in Game 4.

  • Richard Leo

    don’t give up Nova too quickly

    • Cris Pengiucci

      No, but let’s let him get straightened out a bit once CC returns before he gets too many starts. Not sure he’s gonna turn it around this year. Next year, perhaps.

    • MannyGeee

      Not giving up on Nova… but just like the “send Joba down to figure it out” camp, I think Nova might be a candidate to get a start or 2 to get his head straight for the September push.

  • Edmond

    I know I shouldn’t worry, but I am starting to. We had a huge lead. TG KC won, but we start the games as this will be different and then we collapse! Can’t wait for kurodas turn

    • Richard Leo

      losing to a devision leader is not the end of world

    • DT

      We’re .600 in August. It’s not as if they’ve been playing like shit most of the time.

  • Bartolo

    Nova needed to be sent down to triple A like 3 or 4 starts ago…

    • Laz

      AAA season is almost over.

  • Pineda Colada

    Hey guys hope your enjoying that 5-man rotation ;3

  • Steve

    I need Voice of Reason’s opinion on rather Nova should be sent to AAA or if this is still a string of bad luck that is due to correct itself. Is it ok to say he sucks yet?

    • JonS

      It’s been ok. People kept talking like it was a sin to say Nova sucked after his 3rd bad start.

    • Voice of Reason

      Simply put: it is. If you think he’s a unique pitcher in ML history and his ERA will reliably continue to exceed his peripherals by 2-3 runs go to town, just recognize what you’re saying and be prepared to account for it.

  • Wayne

    I hope this is not an omen for fifty year old Clemens coming back

    • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      Brian Cashman will kill a puppy on national tv AND demote Nova to AAA before signing Clemens AGAIN.

      • Matt DiBari

        I never thought a man of apparently sound mind would have kept bringing Sidney Ponson in.

        • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          I <3 your most recent tweet, assuming it's sarcasm.

          Matthew DiBari ?@Mattpat11
          In what can only be described as a stunning turn of events, it appears Derek Lowe really isn't any good

          • Matt DiBari

            Oh, definitely sarcasm

        • Laz

          He did win with chacon and smalls, in their first years at least.

  • Matt DiBari

    At least Tampa lost

  • Get Phelps Up

    The Mariners now have a better record than the Red Sox.

    • Kramerica Industries

      Wow was I late to that comment.

    • Laz

      That is embarassing.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Holy shit.

  • Darren

    Jeter the machine.
    Wish I had his discipline
    Wouldn’t post so much

    • Kosmo

      Basho you ain´t.

  • Kramerica Industries

    The Seattle Mariners are now ahead of the Red Sox in the overall standings.

    At least that’s something to find amusing.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      That cheered me up. As did the Rays loss.

    • MannyGeee

      awesome!this makes me giddy

  • forensic

    I have zero expectations that they’ll actually make a change with the 2, arguably 3, starters that really have no business being in the rotation of a team with championship aspirations, but it was interesting to hear Girardi hedge a little about Nova’s status after this game, as compared to his defense of him a few games ago.

  • grumphat

    For September call-ups the Yankees should just bring up 15 pitchers – collectively they could be about as useful as Nova + Hughes + Eppley + Rapada + Logan as he gets more and more overworked.

  • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    I still stand by my crazy idea from the game thread:
    Activate CC
    Send down Joba
    CC Starts Friday
    Phelps starts in Nova’s spot next time around
    Nova goes to the bullpen

    It’ll never happen, but it gives Joba a week or so to work out whatever’s preventing him from being effective before the rosters expand w/o hurting the big league club. It also allows the Yankees to ride the hot hand w/ Phelps, who has been good in his two starts in CC’s place. Maybe coming out of the bullpen wakes Nova up to the fact that his rotation spot isn’t set in stone, also helps him focus his command a little better. If you look at his splits, he does well the first time through the order, so maybe it’ll help him that he’s only seeing batters once.

    • grumphat

      Nova can get both lefties and righties out – Joey G would have no idea how to use him. Nova would be intentionally walking righties so Rapada can throw to a lefty.

    • Bunt Gardner

      Doesn’t sound crazy at all.

      • JAG

        The only thing that leads me to think it might be iffy is I don’t recall whether Nova has any experience coming out of the pen. It’s not necessarily something we want him to be learning on the fly, especially when he’s been bad as a starter and not because of fatigue issues (presumably).

        Also don’t know if CC is 100% yet, but let’s assume he is (god I hope so).


        • MannyGeee

          didnt he throw out of the pen when he first came up?

    • Darren

      Not sure if you heard about this yet, but Joba had major surgery where they took a tendon from somewhere else on his body (!!!) and put it in his elbow!!!

      That might have something to do with his lack of movement on his fastball and slider with not too much bite. It will probably take a while to regain that feel and while this is shocking…it might not even be this year.

      Going to the minors for 10 days might prevent him from doing further damage during that 10 day period (although it’s debatable that any replacement is going to be better, especially Nova), but it’s not going to help him fix “whatever’s preventing him from being effective.”

      • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

        Haiku form, please.

    • MannyGeee

      Play your hot hand… I can dig it.

  • Brian S.

    Hughes has done well against the White Sox the last few times he has faced him. Sale hasn’t been that great recently. I think we win tomorrow.

    • forensic

      It’s not like Sale has been getting Nova’d out there, though. He had one toughish start his last time, but 2 great ones before that. Two rough ones prior to that and 4 terrific ones before that are his last couple months. Not like he started the year, but still tough to handle.

      And Nova had also dominated the White Sox over his career. That didn’t end up so well.

      I hope you’re right, but it’s not exactly that clear cut.

      • forensic

        But hey, at least we’ll get to see Nix, McGehee, and Jones (in the middle of the order I’m sure), which is always lots of fun…

        • Cris Pengiucci

          When I called for 2 of 3 this series, I meant Yankee wins, not White Sox. Now I’m just hoping they can hang on and pull one out. Really thought Freddy would hang on and Nova would be effective enough. Gotta hope Phil can pull it together, even if only for this game.

          • TomH

            Doubtful. Hughes is competing for King of the Gopher Balls, and this White Sox team has the guys who can help him get that crown.

  • RetroRob

    Both these games rate high on the most-painful-games-of-the-year scale. Outside of Jeter, there has been nothing to like. Worse, it’s 5:15 in the morning and now I have to get ready to drive to Long Island for a 7am breakfast meeting, all on three-and-half hours sleep.

    I’m sure I’ll be nice and cranky for the 8pm game!

    Good night…I mean good morning.

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    No doubt about it. Nova has to go to the bullpen and Phelps should take his place in the rotation. I still think the kid can come back because he has the best stuff in the pitching staff, just not this year. If we make it to the postseason I would only use him in relief in low level situations. Cano does not look like he did a few weeks ago. Whether it is because of Melky or another reason I don’t know. Some fans already suspect that he may have been using also.

  • Kevin

    Have to say I’m glad we didn’t come through in that first inning. Because you could tell from the first inning that NOva pitched that he was going to get clobbered.

  • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost

    This is where I miss some good ol’ AJ style self loathing. That guy would at least have the honesty to come out of a game like that and say he was awful.

    Nova for once wasn’t a cocky punk about his loss this time.

  • Mick taylor

    Sowhere are all the experts on this site who said last week that liriano was not worth getting for nothing. He is better than nova and no worse than Hughes. I guess my prediction he would beat the yanks came true.

    • MannyGeee

      wellllllll. Liriano is the latino AJ Burnett. So you ‘could’ theorhetically trade AJ Burnett for nothing and pay his salary to watch him win 18 games in Pittsburgh, and then go trade a prospect to get the exact same guy, but latino and from the left side….

      and lets not criticize Brian Cashman when he makes that chess move and it (undoubtedly) doesnt work.

    • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Fucking Nostradamus over here.

  • Upstate Yanks Fan

    Nova leads the league by far in giving up extra base hits…enough said

    • Hummingbird S.

      and in second place comes Phil Hughes.. we’re screwed for tonight’s game as well

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    Why does every team we play throw left handers at us? It is because we are vulnerable to them. When you present a lineup that gives the opposition 3-4 free outs you are going to lose. They say we have a winning record against lefthanders but it does not apppear to be so. In any case bad pitching by your staff will get you nowhere.

  • Youguysaretools

    It’s Yankee law, get shut down by the guy with a 5 era, blast the Cy young candidate. Yanks roll tonight

  • Eddard

    We’re in a lot of trouble. The Royals saved us last night. Phelps is better than 3/5th of the current rotation so I don’t know why you would demote him. Nova has gotta go. Come playoff time we can’t have these guys starting for us or it’ll be another 1st round exit. We won’t have the KC Royals there to save us.

  • tommydee2000

    Don’t flame me just yet: Fire Larry Rothschild and Kevin Long. Now.

    Hughes and Nova are not developing under Rothschild. AJ imploded under him. I don’t know if it’s his fault or not. But both guys need to kick it up a notch. It’s not working.

    As for Long, Jeter started last season as a bottom feeder, had the fortuitous injury, and then solved his stride issues with Gary Denbo looking at him once. The Grandy thing worked for a while, but now we’re back to much power but infrequent production. Plus, we’re in another season of RISP Fail and prolonged team slumps.

    I know the ‘Yankees Magazine’ spin is that they’re both great coaches, hard workers. George would have already canned both of them.

    • Eddard

      They won’t fire them midseason but if the Yanks don’t win the WS I’d fire them both. You always fire them before the manager and Girardi will be next if he can’t get this club to the WS in the next two years.

      • tommydee2000

        They didn’t win it the last 2 years either.

    • Mike Axisa

      Nova has developed into exactly what he was expected to develop into coming up through the minors: good stuff, not good command, zero deception, hittable. Burnett imploded and Hughes failed to developed before Rothschild showed up.

      Firing the coach is a classic “I don’t know what’s wrong but I need to blame someone” reaction.

      • MannyGeee

        “Firing the coach is a classic “I don’t know what’s wrong but I need to blame someone” reaction.”

        Say Word!


        The Red Sox Ownership Committee (circa Last September and also this September)

        • tommydee2000

          See Yankees, NY, 1978

      • Reverse Mormon

        Long has been living off the Granderson 2011 turnaround far too long (no pun intended). It seems that many on the team have underperfomed relative to past performance under Long’s tutelage. He screwed Jeter up for half a season with the dumb no stride thing last year (until, as somebody pointed out, Denbo go him right), Tex has been getting worse each year under Long, outside of his first month as a Yankee, Martin has cratered. Word is, the players all “like” him. That’s very sweet and if this were co-ed softball would be perfect. But it’s not. Results are what matters and frankly, by most accounts the Yankee offense has underperformed this year (And I understand that they are second in the AL in runs scored but as has been documented repeatedly on this blog they are too reliant on the long ball, don’t walk as much and strike out too much – interestingly they were 13th in the AL in strike outs in 2009 (i.e. 2nd fewest) and have come no where close to that ranking since then). Long, as the hitting coach, is directly responsible for this.

        • 28 this year

          They are 8th lowest in MLB for K% and they are sixth highest for BB% and they have the most power in a the league. They are first in wOBA by .08 which is quite a lot and that is arguably the most encompassing of all hitting stats. They have a wRC+ of 114. Exactly how much better than the rest of the game do the Yankees need to be to satisfy your statements?

        • 28 this year

          And the long ball part has been hashed out many times but two things. The Yankees have hit homers off the best pitchers in the league and its more likely that those great pitchers make one mistake rather than the 3 it would take to single your way to a run. So whats better, a hitter who can make that one mistake into a homer or one that is dependent on several sequential mistakes? And two, research has suggested that those teams that hit home runs tend to score more runs in the playoffs. So yea, being dependent ont he long ball is nothing. Beyond that, the Yankees score so many runs that even the runs they score without home runs, that total is greater than almost any other team. It just so happens, the Yankees score a shit ton of runs.

    • Randi

      I never understood why the Yankees never promoted Denbo to the big club, unless he doesn’t want to leave Tampa.

  • Eddard

    And tonight’s matchup features Fly Ball Phil vs Cy Young Sale. It won’t be pretty. After Dunn, Konerko, and Rios homer we’ll probably have to burn up the pen yet again and won’t get any relief until Hiroki starts.

  • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

    “Ivan Nova just flat-out is not a big league caliber pitcher.”

    I’m sorry, Mike, but I don’t get this. It’s as much the kind of absolute we get on others for on here as everything else. He may not be pitching like someone who belongs in the big leagues at this moment, but we can’t just flat-out call him not a big league cailber pitcher. Words and phrasing matter sometimes.

    That being said, I agree that this was the second absolutely wretched game in a row I’ve had to sit through. I don’t know if it’s feeling that the ChiSox are beneath the Yankees, but I just can’t stand this series. Nova either looked like he was trying to throw it in the dirt to just not get it up in the zone, or he just didn’t know where it was going. He needs to get his game back in line. Thank goodness Phelps and Garcia are looking good enough to not need to be replaced right now.

    Lead’s three. If you thought it was always going to be ten games, you haven’t been watching the AL East long enough. It’s going to be a serious September. Have those meds ready.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      Whoops. Lead’s four. I automatically assumed TB pulled it out last night.

    • Steve

      Good thing the immediately following sentence didn’t say something like “He was last season and he might return to being one at some point in the future, but at this very moment he belongs in Triple-A”

      • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

        I agree that it does make it read better, but that sentence just sticks out no matter what.

        I don’t want to go too far down this road. I got on someone else for trying to proofread Mike yesterday and it’s not at all what I’m trying to do. I’m just saying I disagree with that one statement. No biggie.

        What’s funny is that I’ve almost written the word “fallacy” a couple of times here, and we all know where that would lead…

  • Wayne

    I wonder if we are pressing our luck if we keep letting David phelps start I don’t know man. If they consistently kept him in rotation you would feel confident about keeping him there since he’s pitched well his last 2 starts. He ia our best option right now. And if Garcia has another bad start put Derek Lowe in rotation. When pettite comes back put phelps in bullpen. If we make playoffs put Lowe as your fourth starter!