Aug
06

Nova rocked again in loss to Tigers

By

Unfortunately, the laws of reverse lock did not apply on Monday night. The Yankees started their worst pitcher against the Tigers’ best pitcher and things played out exactly as you’d expect. That meant their 11th loss in the their last 17 games.

(Leon Halip/Getty Images)

IvAAAn NovAAA

I suppose the good news is that he only allowed two extra-base hits instead of the customary five or six. Ivan Nova was awful yet again, allowing at least six runs for the second straight start, third time in five starts, and fourth time in seven starts. Eight of the last eleven men he faced had base hits and in his last 28 innings, Nova has put 52 men on-base. Fifty. Two. He’s not even giving them a chance to win.

The Yankees aren’t going to pull Nova from their rotation but his performance sure warrants a demotion to Triple-A. Outside of an absolutely stellar month of June (woo interleague play!), he looks exactly like the pitcher he was projected to be while coming up through the minor leagues — good stuff, spotty command, lack of deception leading to lots of contact. As an added bonus, Nova has shown the propensity to let a poor inning snowball into a disaster inning these last two starts. Ivan may “know how to win,” but his team has now lost six of his last eight starts.

(Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Offense Gets Some Help

The Yankees mustered just two runs off Justin Verlander, and they didn’t come until after the right-hander dropped a flip from Prince Fielder at the first base bag in the fifth. The play would have ended the inning, but instead Curtis Granderson was safe and Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano followed with run-scoring singles. The two runs tied the game until Nova let things get out of hand the next inning.

Other than that, the Bombers didn’t have much of an answer for Verlander, who struck out a season high 14. He whiffed four of the last five batters he faced and retired ten of the last 14 overall. Eric Chavez was the only one to put up much of a fight, going 3-for-4 with two doubles off the reigning AL Cy Young and MVP Award winner. Jeter and Cano chipped in a pair of singles each and that was pretty much it. The Yankees have gotten to Verlander quite a bit over the years — including twice this year already — but it just wasn’t happening on Monday evening.

Tell me about it. (Leon Halip/Getty Images)

Leftovers

Joba Chamberlain made his second appearance since coming off the DL, allowing just two singles while striking out one in 1.2 scoreless frames. He threw 26 pitches (17 strikes) and averaged 95.8 mph with the fastball while topping out at 97.4 according to PitchFX. Joba again threw all four pitches, something he did last year before getting hurt but not in 2010. I wonder what’s up with that. David Phelps threw a scoreless ninth with a strikeout despite allowing a baserunner and only throwing four strikes total. Hooray double plays.

Ichiro‘s exactly-one-hit streak came to an end in glorious fashion, with three strikeouts in four attempts against Verlander. Those are his first three strikeouts as a Yankee, a span of 53 plate appearances. He’s yet to draw a walk. Granderson and Mark Teixeira — who clobbered a ball to right-center that would have easily been out in the Bronx but was caught in Comerica — also struck out three times apiece. Raul Ibanez drew the club’s only walk of the night and Russell Martin chipped in a single.

Joe Girardi got into a rather heated argument with home plate ump Tony Randazzo in the middle of the third inning — Tony Pena had to literally step between them and bring Girardi back to the dugout — but the fact that he wasn’t tossed indicates that Randazzo knows he made some goofy calls. Verlander was getting called strikes down-and-away to lefties all night and that didn’t change either way after the argument. That strike zone wasn’t the reason they lost, but it was a little ridiculous. Here, look.

It’s just a footnote in that disaster fifth inning, but Martin has to catch that throw from Granderson on Austin Jackson’s single. If he fields it cleanly, Jhonny Peralta was very likely out at the plate to end the inning and keep it to a one-run game. Instead it skipped on by and just added to ugliness. It hasn’t exactly been a banner year for the team’s backstops, either offensively or defensively.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Both the Rays and Blue Jays were idle, but both the Orioles and Red Sox won. Baltimore is now six back in the loss column, Tampa seven back, the Sox and Jays each ten back.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Same two teams on Tuesday night in game two of this four-game series. That’ll be Phil Hughes against Rick Porcello.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Rey22

    If Nova has 2 or 3 more disasters like this you have to seriously consider plugging Phelps into the rotation and sending Nova to AAA, right? …..Right?? :S

    • forensic

      They won’t do it.

      And anyway, 2 or 3 more starts would leave something like a week or two left in the AAA season and 10 days till September expanded rosters. Almost not even worth it at that point.

    • DM

      If Pettitte was ready now I could see a brief demotion as a wake up call. But I think Phelps will stay in his current role for the duration. With a lead, I think the next decision will be between Garcia and Nova when Pettitte returns.

      • Anthony

        Given the Yankee’s tendency to stick with experienced veterans over rookies and factoring in Nova’s recent performance, we can almost be sure of the outcome of that decision.

        • DM

          But Nova’s “recent” performance might not look the same as it does now — and who knows what Garcia will do in that same period. And if the Yankees were always committed to experienced veterans, Garcia would’ve had a rotation spot locked down out of ST, but he didn’t.

          • Anthony

            That’s true. Wow. In my frustration I think I sort of forgot that Andy isn’t coming back tomorrow. But still, if he returns in September, that leaves, what? 5 more starts for Nova? He is really going to need to shine in them, especially if Garcia continues what he is doing (nothing stellar, but serviceable).

            And wasn’t Garcia the #5 starter on Opening Day?

            • DM

              A lot can change in a few starts. We might be talking about Hughes slumping or Garcia slumping by then. And yes, Garcia made the rotation, but only due to Pineda’s injury. He was the odd man out from the start. Despite Phil’s horrific 2011, he was clearly ahead of Garcia going into ST. Freddy was the 6th guy.

              • Anthony

                Ah, great point. I’ve really only started the transition from fairweather fan this year, so you’ll have to forgive me. Overgeneralizations = bad.

  • Andy Pettitte’s Fibula (former Manny’s BanWagon)

    The way Nova is pitching, he’s totally useless right now. The only reasonable move is to send him to AAA to hopefully get straightened out and move Phelps into the rotation.

  • forensic

    Bad managing? Check.
    Bad base-coaching/base-running? Check.
    Bad hitting? Check.
    Bad pitching? Check.

    Nice all-around game Yankees!

    • forensic

      Damn, forgot the bad defense too.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      What was the bad base-coaching?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        I assume holding up Chavez when he would have been thrown out by 20 feet.

        • forensic

          Yes, that was part of it, but I don’t think he would’ve been out since the throw was clearly off-line. With Granderson’s K coming up, you have to take the chance. But, it’s combined because as usual the runner got a terrible jump off 2nd. Also, Chavez’ jogging on the error later in the game.

          • Deep Thoughts

            Apart from all that, Mrs. Lincoln, how did you like the play?

          • Heisenberg’s Hat

            Chavez still scored in that inning, so who cares? The real problem was Nova.

  • Kempire Strikes Back

    Morals of the story:

    Ivan Nova needs to get his shit together fast or get demoted. Again.

    Tony Randazzo needs to hang from the marble pillars of Michigan Central Station.

  • pat

    This is the point in the season when we find out Nova has been pitching through forearm pain and will have to be shut down.

  • Paul VuvuZuvella

    Joba throwing all 4 pitches again? Hmmm, maybe he’s been told to work on all of them because he’s going to try out for the rotation in 2013. Yeah, just had to open that can of worms.

    • Knoxvillain

      Joba to the rotation, Hughes to the 7th. All problems solved. Right?

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Well, he has been pitching more than 1 inning when he’s come in. Yeah, open the can WIIIIIIDE!!!! :-)

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Oh, and he’s the August calendar picture on my Yankees calendar.

  • Voice of Reason

    Here we go again:

    Opposing hitters have been hitting like .520 on balls in play in Nova’s last two starts. Let’s bring it back a little bit.

    • Steve

      That’s what happens when everything is hit on a frozen rope. BABIP can explain away funny things, but Nova’s season is not one of them.

      • Voice of Reason

        Mhm. Here’s what’s not gonna happen: opposing batters sustaining .520 BABIP (or even his current season mark, most likely). Saying he sucks and should be sent down based on two such starts is so ridiculous it doesn’t even warrant discussion, and Mike mentioning it is kinda…silly, let’s say. People wanna get outraged about stuff they see, and they let normally sober rational analysis fly out the window.

        And it’s funny how people always give responses like that when it’s a pitcher on their team being victimized by it. It always explains “funny things,” but Nova (or Phil Hughes a few months ago, remember that? whatever happened there?) is just one of those guys all of a sudden. Nah. Guess what: everything’s not going to be on a frozen rope. It just won’t happen, and it doesn’t happen. It happens in given starts, but that’s about it. And even then, it’s not so much that “everything” is a frozen rope, it’s just that there are a few more than usual, and an abnormal amount of average contact winds up being a hit, and all of a sudden everything’s hit hard. Shit happens, but if you expect it to keep happening, you’re a fool.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          It hasn’t just been 2 starts for Nova. He’s been bad most of the season. I don’t think it’s nearly to the point where he should be sent down, but to dismiss concerns with his performance as being based on only 2 bad starts is just ignoring reality.

          • Voice of Reason

            I didn’t say he’s been bad for two starts and only two starts, nor did I dismiss any and all concerns about his performance as being based on two starts, so I’m not ignoring anything, let alone “reality.” I’m dismissing the call for him to be sent down as being based on two starts, which is exactly what happened in the above recap.

            • Steve

              The call for him to be sent down is because he’s gotten shellacked all over the ballpark all season, save for one month against terrible teams. He’s leading the league by in extra base hits allowed by like 20. Is it all BABIP fueled? To say that the calls for him to be sent down are simply based on the last 2 starts is asinine. He’s sucked all year.

              • Voice of Reason

                Right. Did you (assuming you do), or based on the recap and common sense, Mike Axisa, think he should be sent down on 7/30? I’ll save you the time: no. You did not. Now because of the last two starts, you do. Simple as that.

                • Steve

                  For the Voice of Reason, you’re a real asshole. But here you go http://riveraveblues.com/2012/.....lem-69398/. It’s not the exact date you demanded but it’s Mike talking about (GASP!) sending Nova to AAA where he belongs and it took place this season. Now cut the condescending bullshit and don’t ever presume to tell me what I think again.

                  • Steve

                    And I see you were making BABIP excuses for him then too. Two months later, waiting for that correction.

                  • Voice of Reason

                    If you don’t want me to not be an asshole, maybe don’t insult my intelligence by saying dumb shit. And if you’ll notice, those numbers did indeed come down significantly (VERY significantly prior to the last two starts), as will most likely continue to happen until the end of the year.

                    And you’re right. It’s not the exact date, it’s not even close. It’s just some other point in time where someone wanted to make a rash and unreasonable move and I disagreed with it. And which part of what I said was inaccurate? Not a thing I bet because if any of it were you’d be responding to it directly rather than linking to a 2+ month old post with no relevance to this discussion. I wasn’t telling you what you think, I was saying something that’s self evidently true. If you thought he should’ve been sent down on 7/30, you would have said so. And if you did think that, it would be a real strange and probably unique opinion.

                    And BABIP isn’t an “excuse.” I don’t care about Ivan Nova particularly that I want to make excuses for what I consider to be bad performance. What it comes down to is this: it’s far more likely that high BABIP and HR/FB rates are a fluke than that Nova has suddenly become a massive outlier in both of those categories and will continue to be going forward. That’s just extremely improbable.

    • DT

      BABIP is a reasonable excuse, if you’re not leaving pitches in the middle of the plate…which Nova has been doing.

      • Jim Is Bored

        A .520 BABIP is unsustainable for a pitcher with major league stuff no matter where he’s locating it.

  • Rich in NJ

    He can’t win without his slider, and Nova’s lacks depth right now, but he’d be better off walking hitters than throwing fastballs over the middle of the plate.

    • pistol pete

      Excellent observation, I’m a Nova fan but he stinks right now and if he’s not hurt which I’m not convinced he’s not he should go down, he’s no good to the Yanks right now.

  • forensic

    I get it, he’s the epitome of a horse as a pitcher, but don’t people have to question the wisdom of leaving Verlander in the game for over 130 pitches with a 5 run lead and the bottom of the order coming up just to see if you can pump up his K number a touch? Leyland probably has a bunch of good will built up around there, but that’s almost to the level of reckless.

    • Rey22

      Agreed. I thought it was absolutely ridiculous. Playoff game or a really close game, it’s defensible, but up by 5? Get him out of there, it’s completely unnecessary.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        No, I’m all for leaving him in for as many pitches and innings as Leyland is willing to give him. Maybe he’ll burn out before the playoffs. As long as he’s not pitching for the Yankees, then let him wear down.

  • pistol pete

    Yanks are in a rut and the team can’t be helped until we get ARod and Andy back and that’s not for another month or so. Can’t coast for 50 games, we’re 5 and 11 in the last 16 and lifeless now just 5 1/2 ahead of Baltimore and 7 ahead of Tampa. We did nothing at the trade deadline while the Angels and Tigers got better and the Rays now get back Longoria. The Yanks act like accountants now instead of leaders of the baseball world. If this team does squeeze their way to the playoffs they look like an early out. Anyone interested in Cliff Lee if Philly kicks in some money, he’s American League and playoff proven and won’t cost draft choices. He makes a shit ton of money but might provide some life to a team that’s gone lifeless.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      For this year?
      Lee was claimed on waivers. Yanks couldn’t get Lee now even if they were actually willing to take on the contract.

    • Knoxvillain

      Cliff Lee can go fuck himself. I guess I can always trade for him in my video game and send his ass to the minors.

    • Bunt Gardner

      Please, Pete, explain how the Yankees trade for Lee. Also, who else were they supposed to obtain and with what prospects?

    • dalelama

      This team isn’t going to the World Series just like the last two.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Do you ever add anything at all to any discussion?

      • Jim Is Bored

        And can we bet that if they do, you’ll never post here again?

    • Cris Pengiucci

      The Yanks act like accountants

      Funny, I thought the Yankees were a business and were supposed to have accountants looking at things like profit and loss and how to best maximize their investment. Usually businesses balance investment and return, with the finance and marketing guys proposing postions to best maximise return. The fact the George wasn’t the typical business owner doesn’t mean that the current leaders of the organization won’t be. They’ll determine the best way to extract maximum profits, which may or may not include signing high-priced players.

  • Knoxvillain

    Nova is very fucking frustrating this year. After his 2011 season, I really did expect a 15-8, 3.75 from him. Hopefully he fixes his shit or the Yankees need to put him back in Scranton and give Phelps his spot for however long needed.

    Phelps has been great this year. He deserves a chance to start if Nova keeps this up, or if Garcia starts to suck.

    • Anthony

      I would love to see Phelps start as well, but there’s no denying he has been good in his current role.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Jesus H. Montero, this sounds exactly like the whining about Hughes last year, when he was a 25-year trying to develop consistency at the big league level. As with Hughes, Nova’s problems aren’t with commanding the fastball; he could go to AAA and shit down everyone’s throat down there. He needs to figure out how to do it at the MLB level and that means holding your nose and dealing with some shitty starts.

      To all you hyenas calling for a demotion for the kid in light of the totality of his performance this year, all I can say is I hope you aren’t teachers, coaches, or parents. If you are, God protect your kids from you.

      • Knoxvillain

        You must not understand that their job is to win. Nova is not. If he doesn’t do his job, why should he keep it? He’s hurting the team more than he is helping right now.

        So tell me why he should be able to continue hurting the team instead of fixing his issues where losses don’t matter?

      • Bubba

        The Yankees aren’t a “you get an A for effort” type of organization. Results matter and Nova’s results have not been good. This isn’t a Martin situation where no obvious/available options exist. Phelps appears to show some promise and in my opinion has earned a shot. Nova through his own actions has earned a demotion.

        • Deep Thoughts

          So you’re recommending demoting a kid whose ERA, FIP, and xFIP are all around 4.1-4.2 this season, who has between 1-1.5 WAR at the 2/3 mark of the season, for a kid with 50 MLB innings who before that was the 5th starter in AAA?

          You make your evaluations on talent, execution, effort, and projection. You don’t panic and change your roster reactively with some bumps in the road. If your answer to a young kid going through a rough patch is to demote him and replace him with an even less-tested rookie, again, you don’t know shit about baseball or leadership.

          5.5 games up with 54 to play, a 25-year-old starter loses to Verlander in his 2nd consecutive crappy start, and you’re panicking like a little girl. (No offense to little girls.) Grow a sack.

          • forensic

            His ERA is over 4.8. His FIP is over 4.5.

          • Bubba

            Open you mouth and I’ll introduce you to my sack.

            Talent: left exposed to Rule 5 draft
            Execution: In more than a third of his starts, he has not put the Yankees in a position to win
            Effort: Neither of us are with the Yankees so we can’t really speak to this
            Projection: See talent

            Nova’s rough patch has lasted for 2/3 of the season. Add in last season and he’s been more bad than good. Great leadership sending out an obviously struggling pitcher to get shellacked. How demoralizing is for an offence to tie the game just to have Nova give up 3 runs in the bottom half.

  • Kevin

    Yanks are now 6-11 since the ASB and are sinking fast. How much closer does Baltimore need to get before we take them seriously?

    • Knoxvillain

      Well since Showalter is their manager, he helps us more than he helps them. The O’s suck. Because of the overrated Rays and injury destroyed Blue Jays, they are in 2nd place. Their run differential is terrible. We shouldn’t take them seriously because they aren’t serious.

      All teams go into slumps. It’s fine.

      • YanksFanInBeantown

        The Rays will be dangerous once Longoria is back

    • Get Phelps Up

      Not sure where 6-11 came from, they’re 11-12 since the ASB.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Well to be fair to Kevin, if you take away 5 wins, he’s right on the money.

    • http://yankeesblogtbnl.blogspot.com Derek

      Baltimore has a negative run differential. It’s amazing they’ve made it this far. I wouldn’t worry about them.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      I think we should take Baltimore more seriously than most people here seem to think we do.

      However they’ve done it they’re in second place, and contrary to popular opinion here I DO think Buck is a good manager.

      Will they catch us? I’d be shocked. But maybe they’ll make the wild card, IDK. I’m not writing them off just yet.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        You never look in the rearview mirror and worry about the team behind you. You can only control what you do, so why worry about someone else? They do need to return to their normal level of play (somewhere close to .600 ball as opposed to .500), but worrying about Baltimore does nothing to change the way they play.

  • Brian S.

    Oh Nova. You used to be cool. What happened? Come back to us Ivan, we miss you.

  • pistol pete

    Next 3 days we have our best 3 pitchers and have to win 2 of 3.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    Is it just me, or have the Yankees not been scoring a lot when they get a single with a man on second?

    Admittedly this is purely the “eye test”, so the evidence is merely anecdotal, but it sure feels like a lot of the time even when they DO have a man in scoring position and get a hit he doesn’t score.

    If this is true I wonder if it just highlights how little speed our team actually has.

    • forensic

      I completely agree and I think it does highlight the complete lack of team speed, very poor reads/jumps off 2nd on balls that would clearly not be caught, and questionable 3rd-base coaching.

  • Jimmy McNulty

    Yeah, this is a one and done team in the playoffs. The playoff rotation is CC and garbage that’ll get rocked. Maybe Kuroda can do something but Nova and Home Run Hughes shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near a playoff start.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Why even watch then?

      • Get Phelps Up

        I mean, Kuroda has been one of the best pitchers in the AL this year, and “Home Run Hughes” has a 3.03 ERA since June 1. Also, Pettitte is coming back.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Let’s see, 4 pitcher rotation in the playoffs. CC & Kuroda can get wins. Even if you lose the next 2 and the first round goes 5 games, you’ve got CC going in game 5. I’ll take that chance.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        That has to be the worst logic I’ve ever seen. “You think your team won’t win the World Series? Why even watch?” If that’s the case MLB is fucked harder than this team’s rotation in the playoffs.

    • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      “Home Run Hughes’” number in his last 16 starts (or since May 6th) 10-4 ERA 3.24 105.2IP 4/1 K/BB Ratio. Does he allow alot of homers? Yeah, kind of. In that span he’s allowed 18, or 1.12 per game. But you know what? They’ve been coming with nobody on base, because over that time, he hasn’t walked anybody (roughly 2 per 9) and has a WHIP of 1.188 in that span.

      Also before you say I’m “cherry picking” a “small sample size” this sample size is including 105.2 innings of the 127 he’s thrown this year and 16 of his 21 starts. If you want to say Hughes was bad in his first 5 starts and 22IP of the season, go for it. But he’s been borderline ace-like since then.

      • to the track…to the wall..we are tied!

        Stop making sense!

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Phil Hughes allows home runs at an utterly alarming pace. Even 120 innings is a small sample size. He had home run issues last year, and throughout a lot of his career. Very large sample sizes not withstanding, ERA is not very indicative of much of anything. Third in the majors in home runs allowed and second in the majors in HR/9. Yeah, facing the Tigers line up at Yankee Stadium? Pitching in Texas? Facing Trout/Pujols/Trumbo? His home runs are a massive liability, you’re fooling yourself if you think otherwise.

        • Jim Is Bored

          He never said home runs weren’t a liability.

          Fortunately Hughes does enough other things well to compensate.

          And just for fun, remember that discussion like 2 months ago when I said Hughes would have a sub 4 era the rest of the season because no on can sustain a 20% hr/fb rate? Yeah. Have fun with that.

          • Jim Is Bored

            And i’m aware his other stats have actually gotten worse while his HR/FB has improved.

            13% is not amazing, but you can live with that if you have a 3-4 k/bb ratio.

    • DT

      Did you forget Kuroda or the fact Hughes has pitched well inspite of the homeruns?

      • Brian S.

        Did Pettitte retire again while we weren’t looking.

        • Brian S.

          This should be a question lol

        • DT

          Apparently he did in the mind of some fans.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Yes, lets rely on that the 40 year old who didn’t pitch last year not to mention the guy who also suffered a set back and MIGHT be ready for September will be the post season savior. Perfect planning.

          • Get Phelps Up

            What’s wrong with counting on Pettitte? He came back just fine under similar conditions in 2010.

      • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

        I can see the argument now:
        You face better teams in the playoffs, better teams hit more home runs, there fore Hughes’ style of pitching is doomed in the playoffs. never mind that he’s had great success against Detroit, Boston(twice), Chicago, and Toronto since his rocky start. They were all having off nights offensively.

        • Brian S.

          Actually, you can’t hit home runs in the playoffs. And in that case Hughes should be our game 1 starter. He will be unbeatable.

          • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

            No, you misunderstand the “TOO MANY HOMERS” narrative. Only the Yankees can’t hit home runs in the playoffs, because other teams actually have good pitching. Since our pitching is so terrible and homer prone, other teams will definitely hit a lot of homers against us.

            In all seriousness though…if the pitchers continue pitching the way they do, I’d be upset if the rotation come playoff time isn’t:
            CC
            Kuroda
            Hughes
            Pettitte

            Hughes has been great since May 1st, minus 2 clunkers against The Angels(May 10th) and Atlanta (June 20th) and Andy’s missed a shit ton of time with the injury. Why not take a lot of pressure off of him to rush back and leave it so he might not even be needed till the LCS (if we make it that far.)

            • Brian S.

              Andy will have a full month to get in the swing of things. I definitely want him pitching in the DS.

              • Get Phelps Up

                Yeah, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be ready for the playoffs.

                CC
                Andy
                Kuroda
                Hughes

                That’s a pretty, pretty good playoff rotation right there.

                • Get Phelps Up

                  Although that said, if we play the Tigers, there may actually be some merit in starting Hughes in Game 2 so he could pitch in Comerica instead of YS. Same with the A’s if they manage to get in.

                  • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

                    Unless you want to get fancy and start Phil in Comerica like you suggested, Kuroda should be the game two starter.

                • forensic

                  There are actually plenty of reasons he may not be ready for the playoffs. It’s possible, but if he comes back a week or two into September, you really have to question the wisdom of giving him a postseason start, especially since you don’t even know how effective he’ll be.

                  • Get Phelps Up

                    I think unless he only gets like, 1 start he’ll be fine. I mean, in 2010 he didn’t come back until September 19th, only got 3 starts and didn’t pitch well (12 runs in 13.1 IP). He was just fine in the playoffs (4 runs in 14 IP)

              • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

                This is going to sound a little cold, but I feel like Phil has done more this season to earn the 3 spot in the post season rotation than Andy.

                • DT

                  Andy’s Peripherals before injuring himself is better tho.

                  • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

                    He also has six fewer starts than Hughes has had since he became this new improved Phil. Honestly, it’s not a big deal. I wont get angry and stop watching if Pettitte is ahead of Phil, I just think it would be a small slight against him.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          He pitched well against Detroit when they weren’t hitting and were sporting a 25-29 record, he got shat on by Boston twice actually. Once in Fenway, and the “great success” you were referring too also featured three home runs against a line up three batters with an OPS under .700. Chicago and Toronto? Meh. Chicago’s probably a better team than I’m willing to give them credit for but that division is probably Detroit’s to lose now. Toronto? Meh.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Kuroda I specifically mentioned as possibly not sucking. Inspite of home runs? What over 120 innings his ERA hasn’t reflected his mediocrity to terribleness? Is that what you mean?

    • Deep Thoughts

      The only thing that’s predictable is that your posts will be wrong.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Kuroda has been a bona fide top-of-the-rotation starter this year – everything the team and the fans could’ve wanted and more – while Hughes has been solid, HRs be damned.

      Assuming Pettitte comes back healthy, I doubt the rotation will be a concern come October. However, I’ll be surprised if the offense doesn’t wilt in the playoffs – which, admittedly, is based on nothing more than a gut feeling. I’ll feel infinitely better about things if A-Rod is healthy then.

      • forensic

        I agree. I’m way more concerned about the offense in the playoffs than the pitching.

        • DT

          Arod will essentially have one or two weeks to try to find rhythm before the play offs. If he does then I think the offense will benefit in having a guy who can consistently get on base as well was hit for average.

          • forensic

            Yes, but unfortunately he’s shown a bit of a tendency to need more than 1-2 weeks to find his timing and rhythm. He’s among my couple favorite players, but I think his positive contributions ended when the timeframe for recovery was announced. I sure hope I’m wrong.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        If Pettitte’s back they have a shot if a few big bats hit, which is always unpredictable, but that’s a pretty big “if.” I don’t think counting on a guy pushing 40 that didn’t pitch last year to come back and be a post season savior is a very good idea. I almost think you’re better off hoping that the home runs don’t kill Hughes.

    • Heisenberg’s Hat

      I was just rewatching game 4 of the 2001 WS (the Jeter walkoff homer game), and I learned something interesting while watching:

      Curt Schilling led the National League in homeruns surrendered in 2001, with 37. That’s right, the same year he went 22-6 with a 2.98 ERA (157 ERA+) and 293 strikeouts, Schilling gave up a crapload of homers.

      Things worked out OK for him. No good for us, but I’m sure you see my point.

      • forensic

        Not speaking for Jimmy, but sure plenty of pitchers have been homer prone and pitched terrifically for many, many years. I just can’t shake the feeling after these several years that the typical starter-hughes will show up and a couple guys will be on base for the homers or he’ll run into a couple 20 pitch AB’s. Something along those lines.

        He’s been far better than I expected for a couple months, but that doesn’t erase the last group of years for me.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        I don’t think I ever said that bad or flawed pitchers aren’t capable of pitching well for a short series. That’s a strawman, and rational third parties will think you’re an idiot for using that. Sure, Jeff Weaver and Jeff Suppan looked like aces in 2006 and CC Sabathia sucked asshole galore in 2010 and 2011. What’s your point? That, despite an awesome name, reality is anathema to you?

        • Heisenberg’s Hat

          Wow, way to put tons of words in my mouth. I didn’t say anything about bad or flawed pitchers pitching well, in a short series or otherwise. Seems like you’re the one using straw men arguments.

          My point is that you can be a good pitcher -and I think Phil Hughes is one- and still give up a lot of homers. That’s all I meant. The rest is your invention. Jimmy, have you been drinking again?

          But hey, at least you got to use “anathema” in a sentence.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Oh you and your adorable Hughes hatred.

  • Brian S.

    Has anyone seen Nick Swisher lately? He returned off the DL right?

    • forensic

      He hasn’t been on the DL this year. But, I agree with your point, he hasn’t hit since June.

  • Heisenberg’s Hat

    “Nova still has 11 wins!” says Michael Kay.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    “It’s just a footnote in that disaster fifth inning, but Martin has to catch that throw from Granderson on Austin Jackson’s single. If he fields it cleanly, Jhonny Peralta was very likely out at the plate to end the inning and keep it to a one-run game.”

    true but you know what? That’s exactly how you should run the bases and that’s what the Yankees aren’t doing at all(see Chavez, Eric; 2nd inning, would’ve tied the game. You’ll find situations like that in pretty much any of our games this season). You have to be aggressive on the basepaths, the perfect throw to get you out doesn’t happen very often but unfortunately the Yankees play it safe 90% of the time and rarely get the runner in afterwards.

    • Kiko Jones

      Agreed, BY.

    • Heisenberg’s Hat

      The problem is the Yanks have too many guys who’d just get thrown out at home.

  • Tom Lin

    It’s really strange, if he can’t avoid hitters made contacts, why he
    can had a K% 20.5 % and 8.7 Swstr% as well? It just doesn’t make sense. In my opions, if he totally sucks, then his strikeout rate should suck as well, while he still had 20% K% in July and August? Mike can you explain for me?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      I should have said hard contact. Nova doesn’t really give up soft hits.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    As frustrated as I was last night while watching Verlander just mow the Yanks down. The Billy Martin comment came to my mind, “just play .500 on the road.” Bingo now I had justification for last nights lousy game. Nova, and Martin both looked lost on the field indicative of their play. Martin’s play was a bit hard to snag the skipping ball from the OF but a guy who believes he worth more than 22 million over three years should grab it and complete the play. As far as Phelps getting starts it will not happen he hasn’t pitch more than 2 innings in weeks. Curtis has to cut down on his K’s. I’m starting to thing both he and Swisher may not be a part of this team going forward. His D (Curtis) is good but contact is a big problem. Ichiro shows why he’s a rental.

    I guess it was really a bad game!

  • Kiko Jones

    Monday night was rough…Verlander had been handled the Yankees so he was due for a big win. Nova looked lost out there, and that play at home Martin failed to make was painful.

    Btw, AJ Burnett is 14-3 and threw a one-hitter last week.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      yeah, AJ is doing great. If you take out the 12 run disaster he had in April then he has a mid 2 ERA. The reason for his success seems to be pretty simple: he doesn’t walk that many batters now and his GB% is at a superb 56%.

      I’ve said pretty often last year that AJ had a ton of bad luck in his last 2 years with the Yankees but people laughed at me. He always had the stats that supported a turnaround and I’m glad that he’s doing great again.

      • jjyank

        There’s also the whole pitching in the NL Central thing.

        Obviously AJ is pitching much better in general, but you shouldn’t ignore the context of where he’s doing it.

        • Bavarian Yankee

          sure, but he’s pitching great against good teams too. For example he held the Reds to 6 runs over 20.2 innings and Detroit to 2 runs over 12 innings. He just had 3 starts this year where he allowed more than 3 runs.

          Only Lohse has a better ERA in the NL Central and Wainwright; Greinke are the only starters that have a better xFIP. Not too bad when you think about the other starters in that division (Cueto, Latos, Gallardo etc.)

          • The Real Greg

            He’s also pitching in a place that

            A: Gets very little publicity.
            B: Has very low expectations.

            • Heisenberg’s Hat

              ^^^^
              Winner

            • Jimmy McNulty

              His peripheral stats last year weren’t awful. His home run rate was bad but other than that he pitched pretty well.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    More bad luck for Ivan. For shame.

  • Eddard

    Ivan Nova should be on the first bus to wherever the AAA team is now. He doesn’t have any command. You can’t just keep chalking that up to bad luck. Let him work out his problems in AAA, not in a pennant race. Phelps has shown that he can fill in just fine.

  • The Real Greg

    Nobody should bring up A.J. Burnett. He’s pitching in an easier league and in a place where expectations are very low, so he can flourish.

    Nova needs to be sent down and put Phelps into the rotation.

    Anyway, this was the one game that I thought we had a disadvantage. The next three are ones where we have the pitching advantage.

    • Kiko Jones

      More than half of AJ’s wins have been against division leaders and fellow contenders. It’s not like his numbers are padded with wins vs the Rockies and Astros. Of course he can flourish: he’s pitching for a team that wanted him as opposed to one who would rather pay 2/3 of his final paycheck and have him on another, team than ride the final season of his contract and see what they get. Never gonna be in agreement with the AJ trade.

      • Heisenberg’s Hat

        The Yankees wanted him at one point, too. That’s why they gave him a 5-year deal. I would say they wanted AJ very much.
        At one point.
        Their faith in him was NOT rewarded. If you really believe Burnett would be dominating in the AL east this season, you’re welcome to that belief. I don’t agree.
        Guess we’ll never know.

        • Kiko Jones

          AJ probably would not have been dominant but I’ve never believed in pay 2/3 of a player’s salary while he pitches elsewhere. Also, he was more surely more rewarding than Kevin Brown, Carl Pavano and Jared Wright combined. And has the ring to prove it.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

            Brown and Pavano have World Series rings.