Nova thinks he may have been tipping pitches against Red Sox

Saturday Night Open Thread
Game 156: Mariano Rivera Day

Via Chad Jennings: Ivan Nova believes he was tipping his pitches during his two recent and ineffective starts against the Red Sox. “Sometimes you put [the glove] like this (sideways), sometimes you put it like that (straight up and down),” said Nova. “You don’t try to stay in one position. I don’t know if that was the problem, but I was watching the video and sometimes I do [change the glove] a little bit.”

Chris Stewart agreed Nova could have been tipping his pitches, but yesterday’s complete-game shutout was more about attacking hitters than anything else. “Could have been (tipping pitches in Boston),” said the backstop. “They were spitting on some good pitches. But he also threw a lot more strikes today, it felt like, and he was attacking the hitter a lot more. I think that was the difference … Whether they knew what was coming in Boston or not, who knows, but hopefully we get a chance to play them in the playoffs and he gets a chance to redeem himself.”

Nova, 26, has a 3.13 ERA and 3.42 FIP in 132.1 innings this season while battling an on-and-off triceps issue. It certainly seems plausible that he was tipping his pitches against Boston based on the at-bats they were having against him. As I said in the game recap two weeks ago, they did such a good job laying off his curveball that it seemed like they knew it was coming. Turns out they might actually have. Hopefully Nova and pitching coach Larry Rothschild cleaned up the sloppiness and it won’t be an issue going forward.

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Saturday Night Open Thread
Game 156: Mariano Rivera Day
  • YankeeFan

    Nova has been such a revelation for the team this season. I know all pitchers study tape but just shows you he is such a student of the game, knows his mechanics and flaws and attempts to fix them to get better. He is now 38-19 in his career.

    You just hope that all the arm issues will get straightened out since it seems like he has had arm issues since the ’11 postseason start versus the Tigers where he had to leave the game 5 start.

  • Kosmo

    I´m not sure Nova is an aberration or a revelation. His pitching has been a much needed boost for sure. I´d like to see Nova over the course of a 200 inning season before we announce a verdict.
    Tipping pitches ? I´ll give him the benefit of doubt on that one. Maybe it was a combo of a lingering triceps issue + tipping pitches or that he was just plain ineffective.
    Anyway he was great yesterday.

    • YankeeFan

      Since being sent back after the Rule V draft, he has been a completely different pitcher and it is shown through his statistics. The good thing you see from Nova is, in his first full season, he had a good groundball rate but not many strikeouts. Last season, he had the groundball rate decrease but increased his strikeouts. The negative was all the XBHs, including a ridiculous 28HRs in only 170.1 innings. This season now, he has it all working with the groundball rate, strikeouts, and limiting the HRs.

      Basically, he has had three different seasons as a starter but I do believe this is more of who Nova really is since the 28HRs last season from a groundball pitcher is an outlier and if watching him last season, you saw his sinker up a ton which was the main cause for the XBHs.

      Is he a 3.13ERA pitcher? Most likely not, but no reason, if healthy, can he be a consistent 200+IP 3.80 – 4.20ERA, 15 win type of guy. The potential has always been there, it was just a matter of putting it together.

    • jjyank

      Yeah, you pretty much echoed my thoughts here. I love what Nova’s done this year, but I’m still not sold on him. If he follows this up with a solid 2014, I will. But after following up his promising 2011 finish with his ugly 2012, I need to see more.

      • I’m One

        Yeah, he needs some consistent and injury-free seasons. Beginning this trend next year would be awesome. The Yankees will need that from him to be competitive (unless they throw the budget out the window or a number of other things break right).

      • Pat D

        Yep. He has to do it two years in a row. Same issue I had with Gardner once upon a time. Once he proved he could be a good player two years in a row, I didn’t doubt him anymore.

    • De RD: Para Tilapia

      Nova threw 26 curveballs and got 7 swings in that start. Something was up. He also was not sharp in that outing, so maybe it was a combo of the two factors. Can he be consistently good? That’s not easy to predict from past performance. So we’ll just have to wait and see.

  • mt

    It wouldn’t surprise me in the least – he went from August Pitcher of Month to complete disaster against Red Sox. Even if there was no pitch tipping against Sox, if he did notice something in video where he had a pattern with his glove, some other team may have taken advantage of that in future. Good to find that now.

    Repeating the same delivery no matter the pitch type should be a given at this level of competition.

  • mt

    The other red flag is whether his continuing triceps and forearm injury issues (from prior years) are tied to his high use of curveball. I had always heard of a slider being tough on arm for someone who throws a lot of sliders but not so much about curveball.

    In any case, we need him desperately next year to be a solid, consistent #3 – who knows what CC will be and the rest of rotation is unknown at this point with free agency/retirement departures of Kuroda, Pettite, and Hughes. (Pineda is also a wild card of course.)

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Hopefully … it won’t be an issue going forward.

    Because, like it or not, the success of the 2014 rotation appears to depend (well, 20% anyway) on the success of Ivan Nova.

  • phil

    Keep your fingers crossed on Nova…he’s needed next year. Nova, CC, Phelps, ____ and ______.

    • Pat D

      Yea, right now that’s some combination of Warren, Nuno, Pineda, Marshall and ………

      After the season is over, the Yankees should literally hang a HELP WANTED sign outside every gate of the stadium.

  • De RD: Para Tilapia

    Estimado Tilapia: Si de verdad eres Cubano entonces, te debo una disculpa. En serio pense que no eras latino, por tu manera de escribir. Yo soy Mexicano, naci en el DF, pero me crie en NY. Bueno, nuevamente, una disculpa por haberte juzgado mal. Saludos.

    • Pat D

      Well that’s very big of you.

    • jjyank

      Okay then.

      • Pat D

        It’s an apology.

        • jjyank

          I know.

  • pat

    Or the Giants just fuckin suck.

  • Dion

    So what have Phil Hughes been doing? Telegraphing?

    Giants sucks. They proved that in this series.