|Joe Girardi, last night, in 9th, protesting balls and strikes.|
But Nova, as a Yankee, has been a pillar of consistency: That is, he is consistently inconsistent. One day, he carves the plate. Next day, he cuts the cheese. And it always seems to balance on the fulcrum point of one single pitch - one pinprick in time - that determines Nova's auto-erratica.
Last night, it's the 4th: Two outs, nobody on. We're down 2-0, but at least Nova seems to be cruising. ning out. So what does he do? He walks Abe Almonte - the seventh hitter, a former Yankee farm hand, who is batting .250, without power - he walks him on five pitches, not even close. Then Nova serves up a single to center to great Giovanni Urshela - batting eighth and hitting a crisp .230. And then, of course, he gives up a single to Jose Ramirez, number nine, who is six batting average points above Stephen Drew (.194 for Curse of Drew watchers everywhere.) All with two outs. For some pitchers, you would say this was a glitch in the Matrix. Not with Nova. It was the way of Ivan Nova. It was Classic Ivan Nova. It should be the Wikipedia entry for Ivan Nova. By the end of the fourth, it was 3-0, Cleveland, and we were in a hole too deep to escape.
So what do we do? Here's an idea: Next time Nova walks a leadoff man, or a .220 bottom feeder, Girardi should climb out of the dugout and go into his Al Pacino "In Justice For All" act, screaming like last night in the nineth. Joe should disrupt the game for 30 minutes, tearing bases from their morings and digging up home plate, if possible. Security guards - if not NYPD or DHS - should be called to drag him off the field. It should be a Girardi rain delay. Maybe then, after a half-hour of watching and throwing warm ups, Nova can bear down and get the critical out.
Of course, our other option is Chris Capuano, who is akin to the mercy rule in girls softball. Capuano threw two innings last night and didn't give up a run. That's his seasonal highlight.
This Cleveland series was supposed to be a breather. The Indians staggered into town after getting pummeled from all known races - including the Bud Selig Memorial Away Field One Day Wild Card. Suddenly, we take the night off and lose for nine straight innings? Or is that we're still rolling the dice with Ivan Nova? And this time, we lost. Because I'll be damned if I want to see the guy in the post-season.