Nova flames out. Yankees lose to O’s, 11-5

It seemed from this angle that the game’s balanced changed with Mark Reynold’s at bat in the top of the second. Nova had started the inning by allowing consecutive singles to Adam Jones and Matt Wieters. Nova then blew away both Lew Ford and Wilson Betemit on strikeouts. It looked like he was going to get out of the inning as he had Mark Reynolds, one of the most prolific strikeout batters in history, down 0-2 in the count. Nova and Martin had a little conference to decide what the next pitch would be. It would be a terrible decision. Nova threw the flattest of sliders and Reynolds punished it for a ground rule double to left. Here is pictorial proof of how bad that pitch was (from Brooks Baseball):

From there the floodgates opened and Nova could not hold back the flood. Omar Quintanilla singled to score two. Nick Markakis singled and J.J. Hardy walked to load the bases. Then the killer blow happened as Chris Davis hit the top of the Orioles’ bullpen wall and the ball bounced over for a grand slam. The five run lead turned into a two run deficit and Nova and the Yankees never recovered.

All in all, Nova pitched five ineffective innings. He gave up ten hits and nine runs with a walk and five strikeouts. Of the ten hits, five were for extra bases to pad Nova’s majors leading extra base hits allowed total. Four were doubles and the grand slam. Again from Brooks Baseball, here is Nova’s chart for the game. Warning, this chart is not suitable for children:

All those blue squares in the middle of the strike zone speak volumes for how easy Nova made it for the Orioles’ batters.

As for the Yankees, Derek Jeter went three for five with a double, a run scored and two infield singles. Every other Yankees’ starter had a hit but Jeter was the only one with multiple hits. Curtis Granderson had a single in the first to plate Jeter but then struck out three times and hit into a double play to end the game. Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the first as part of the Yankees’ five run rally.

Tonight’s game was only the seventh occasion this season where the Yankees did not have a single walk in the game.  And yet, it was the third time since July 19, when this tough patch started for the Yankees in Oakland.

Phil Hughes will battle Zach Britton in the series finale tomorrow as the Yankees try to salvage one game from this series. The game is an afternoon start and will begin at 1:05.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

6 thoughts on “Nova flames out. Yankees lose to O’s, 11-5

  1. So what . The Big Story in Yankee land Is AJ Burnett . WTF !!?? How could this guy be such a mutt here and turn it all around ? I thought the dump was one of the better 'addition by subtraction ' deals . But now ?? Any pitching experts have a point of view on what changed , other than he throws strikes and the walks are way down . the ERA is two/2 whole poimts down from his NY years . So what is the deal here ? Or is it just another case of every dog has his day . Enquiring minds want to know .

    • bottom line is he cant pitch in the AL or a high pressure market. Yeah he pitches good against the Cubs, Astros and Brewers when there is 3 reporters watching in bumfuck Pittsburgh. But when hes on Sunday night baseball in the Bronx pitching against the Redsox everything changes.

  2. Holy Buckets. So Nova is 2011 Hughes, reincarnated? Just caught the after game quotes from Marchand – Nova thought it was just "bad luck" and was happy with all the strikes he threw. At least Joe noticed that "He really didn't have good stuff tonight," – the worst part is that Nova DIDN'T pick up on that little fact.

    Love this site – but if you haven't yet, go to the after game comments – I can't recall the last time Girardi was that publicly unhappy with a pitcher. Shoot – last year, AJ would be unhappy with himself, and Joe would stand up for him. Last night – just the obvious – as if Ivan was in a completely different game.

    Dang shame that they spotted Nova a 5 run lead in the first – any other pitcher in the rotation not names CC could have held that lead. Dang.

  3. I'm still optimistic about this team, but there is no sugar coating this one. This loss was really bad.