Thursday, September 27, 2012
W2W4: Yankees at Blue Jays (Sept. 27)
By Mark Simon
Ivan Nova Stats to Watch Nova was shaky in his last start against the Athletics, but was very good against the Blue Jays the last time he pitched in the Rogers Centre (7 1/3 innings, two runs, 10 strikeouts on Aug. 11).
Nova's optimum pitch that day was his curveball, which he threw with greater frequency in that start than in any other in his career. He threw 19 of 25 for strikes to lefties and 15 of 21 for strikes to righties.
It was effective as both a swing-and-miss pitch (the Blue Jays missed on eight of 13 swings) and a pitch with which he could get a called strike (of the Blue Jays' 33 takes, 21 were strikes).
Nova has a specific strategy against AL East opponents to offset their teeing off on his fastball. He throws it only 49 percent of the time against them, compared to 58 percent against everyone else.
Whatever Nova has done against the Blue Jays recently, it has worked. He has won three straight decisions against them, allowing six runs in 20 2/3 innings.