Nova's streak ends
July, 4, 2012
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com
Al Messerschmidt/Getty ImagesThe Yanks lost their ninth straight at the Trop. So much for Ivan Nova's road winning streak.Ivan Nova had not lost a game since May 19, and had not lost a game on the road since June 3, 2011, a span in which he went 12-0 in 16 starts.
But that all came to an end Tuesday night in St. Petersburg, where Nova took the loss in the Yankees' 7-4 loss to the Rays. Although Nova was only charged with three earned runs in six innings, three of the runs coming as the result of errors by Russell Martin, his line was misleading. Nova was hit hard in several innings and allowed a long two-run home run to Sean Rodriguez in the fourth inning to give back a 4-3 Yankees lead.
After having an extraordinary June -- he went 3-0 with a 1.26 ERA for the month -- Nova starts July with a loss and a 4.50 ERA.
“I don’t have really good fastball command today,'' Nova (9-3, 4.05) said. "I was always falling behind hitters. I got hit. I can’t make any excuse, I just got hit.”
Nova's loss, following the waste of a decent outing by Freddy Garcia in Monday night's 4-3 defeat, means the Yankees are depending on rookie David Phelps, making just his third big-league start, to stave off a sweep by their divisional rivals the Rays before heading to Fenway Park for a four-game series with the Red Sox this weekend.
"Tonight wasn't a good game for us and that’s the bottom line,'' a clearly irritated Joe Girardi said. "We had been playing really well but we haven't played well (here). We’ve given up leads the past couple of nights. We’ve got to find a way to hold a lead and we got to find a way to win a game.''