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W2W4: Yankees at Mets (June 23)

6/23/2012

ROAD WARRIOR

The Yankees are still playing in New York City this weekend, but Ivan Nova is happy not to be at Yankee Stadium. Nova is riding an impressive road winning streak, going 12-0 with a 3.17 ERA in his past 15 road starts dating to June of last year.

Most Consecutive Road Decisions Won
Yankees History

That’s the longest road winning streak by a Yankees pitcher in more than 60 years, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Included in this nearly year-long unbeaten stretch are four road interleague outings, during which he’s allowed a total of three runs over 27⅔ innings. The only other pitcher to win four straight interleague starts, giving up no more than one run in each, was Jamie Moyer (2002-04).

JUNE BLOOM

Nova has pitched brilliantly in his three June starts, throwing 22⅔ innings of two-run ball with a 15-to-3 strikeout-to-walk ratio in those three wins over the Rays, Braves and Nationals.

Ivan Nova This Season

He has been hittable over his past three starts (16 hits allowed), but has been fantastic pitching from the stretch, holding opponents to just two hits and zero walks in 30 at-bats (.067) with runners on base.

Nova has gone to his curve more often in June (30 percent of pitches), and with a lot of success. Batters are 2-for-14 with six strikeouts in at-bats ending in the hook over his past three starts; they hit .268 against his curve in his first 10 starts this season.

Another key for Nova has been his ability to get grounders. He’s gotten double-digit groundball outs in two of his three June starts, after failing to do that once in his first 10 starts. His groundball rate has gone from below-average in April and May (44 percent) to above-average in June (54 percent).

NOVA AT THE PLATE

The Good: Nova got his first career hit in nine at-bats in Atlanta earlier this month, hitting a single off Randall Delgado. The Bad: He has struck out in his other eight official at-bats without a walk.

However, he did get two sacrifices against the Nationals last week. He was just the third Yankees pitcher since the DH was introduced in 1973 to have multiple sacrifices in a single game, joining Javier Vazquez (2010) and Freddy Garcia (2011).