Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Behind rising star Ivan "Super" Nova, plucky Yanks reach magical .500 mark

Over his generic seven-year career, Ivan "Super" Nova has been AL Pitcher of the Month (August 2013) and among league-leaders in winning percentage (2011) and shutouts (2013.) Likewise, he has statistically excelled in giving up wild pitches (2011 and 2016), earned runs (2012) and home runs per nine innings (2011). He has won 52 Yankees games and lost 38. His lifetime ERA is 4.43. Basically, he is the consummate fifth starter... a serviceable major league arm, an oaken plank of varnished mediocrity.

Whenever Ivan pitches, we face a dice roll that he could throw lights out, or get treated like a mariachi band at a Trump rally. In a typical Nova outing, he throws zeros for four innings and gets torched in one. Also, we've come to know that if he throws a quality start - or even strings two together - he'll follow them up with massive clunkers. He's either Super Nova or Ivan the Terrible. And in the end, no matter what he did last night, he'll soon revisit the baseline "meh" that is Ivan Nova.

Last night, he threw six strong innings, allowing Joe to use the Big Three and refilling Hal Steinbrenner's flask with electric rainbow Kool-Aid.

If the Yankees take this series against mighty Baltimore, rest assured that the Yankee brain trust will do what it does every July: Declare success, congratulate themselves, retire a uniform and trade prospects for a thirty-something former (think 2009) All-Star.

Lately, a chorus of bloggers and print writers has contended that the Yankees must hold a yard sale at the MLB trade deadline, now just weeks away. They say Chapman, Beltran, Miller and maybe even Gardner should go. I'll believe that when I see it. Because the Yankees have now gone seven years with Ivan Nova, and like Lucy holding the ball for Charlie Brown's kick, they still seem to think he'll turn the corner any day now. It's fun to drink Kool Aid, eh?

I haven't gotten to the point of rooting against the Yankees because - well - I'm as bad as Hal: I see A-Rod whack a home run and think, he's back! hooray! watch out, world!... even though we know he still can't even play first base in a pinch, and yet we're stuck with him for another long, hot summer. How bad is he going to be then? Yeesh. I dunno.

But I do know Ivan Nova. And if the Yankees have learned anything over the last seven years, today would be a good day to trade him. Is Jesus Montero available?

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