Notes: Nova, Ichiro and Jeter

September, 22, 2012
9/22/12
11:48
PM ET
Things could have been much easier on the New York Yankees Saturday if Ivan Nova had pitched better.


The righty suffered through the shortest start of his career against the A's, allowing three runs in 2 1/3 innings on five hits and two walks. He threw a career-low 58 pitches.

"It's not good," Nova said afterward.

Nova was coming off of a strong start -- he gave up just two runs on four hits in the Yanks' win over Tampa on Sept. 15.

But any goodwill from that outing was wiped away Saturday.

"He left some fastballs up in the first inning and they hit him hard," Joe Girardi said.

Prior to his Sept. 15 start, Nova missed nearly three weeks due to a nagging shoulder injury. He insisted on Saturday that his shoulder felt fine and he's 100 percent healthy.

"I feel great," he said.

INCREDIBLE ICHIRO: Ichiro Suzuki is the toughest out in the major leagues right now.

The future Hall of Famer is batting .700 (14-for-20) with seven runs, three doubles, two homers, five RBIs and five steals in the last five games.

On Saturday, he had a homer, two singles and two walks. He also scored the game-winnig run in the 14th.

"I've never experienced ... situations like this. And to do this here, that's very special," Suzuki said.

CAPTAIN KEEPS HITTIN': Derek Jeter didn't have a great day at the plate, but his sixth-inning single extended his hitting streak to a season-high 16 games. Jeter is batting .365 (27-for-74) over the stretch. He has hitting streaks of at least 16 games in eight different seasons, the highest total among active players. ... The Yankees have won two straight "walk-off" wins. The last time that happened was May 15-17 in the 2009 season, when they did it in three straight games against the Twins. ... Girardi said Raul Ibanez was going on contact when he took off from third on a grounder to second in the 13th. He was gunned down at the plate after a collision with A's catcher Derek Norris. ... Girardi said he removed Andruw Jones and inserted Curtis Granderson in the third because he knew the Yankees would need some offense to win the game. Jones has been mired in an awful slump in the second half. ... Saturday's game lasted 5:43, the Yanks' longest game since 5/17/02 against Minnesota.

Ian Begley

ESPN New York Writer

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TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Jacoby Ellsbury
BA HR RBI R
.271 16 70 71
OTHER LEADERS
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
WM. Tanaka 13
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146