Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova should look over their shoulders. Chien Ming Wang had a good outing yesterday for SWB, and Vidal Nuno did today (see the minors report, to come).
Hughes is 0-2, 6.43 after three starts, and Nova is 1-1, 6.14. It’s still too early to make a move (after all, it’s just April 21) but not too early to suggest that they have to step it up or they could be replaced come mid-May.
Nova struggled today, going 5+, 4 R, 7 H, 4 walks, 5 K in getting a ND. Since his good rookie year of 2011 (16-4, 3.70), he’s gone 13-9, 5.11. Very Burnett-like. A.J. like also in that he has stuff, but the results have you scratching your head. You think it’s not the arm (like A.J.) but what’s between the ears.
Still, Nova had a 4-2 lead going into the bottom of the sixth. I thought he threw enough pitches and would not have brought him out for the sixth. A walk and a double later, my fears were justified, that Nova should have been pulled. He threw 101 pitches in those 5+ innings.
But the bullpen didn’t help. Boone Logan faced one batter. RBI single.
0 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 0 walks or K, ERA to 3.38.
Phelps came in and didn’t have it. He had a bad outing against Arizona on the 18th and another one today. 3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 walks and 3 K. I was surprised Girardi left him out there for more than one inning (it was obvious he didn’t have it) but I guess Girardi wanted to save his bullpen.
So Phelps will be unavailable for a while. Meanwhile, Adam Warren has pitched in just two games this year, and none since April 9th.
But Nova has to step it up. 13-9, 5.11 in his last 31 starts isn’t cutting it. If, say, Nuno (now 2-0, 1.54) or Wang (1 start, 5 1/3 scoreless) is doing well in four weeks and Nova continues to struggle, … then there are replacements.
That goes for the bullpen, too. Mark Montgomery (0-1, 1.12) at AAA entered today with 15 K in 8 IP at SWB. (He didn’t pitch today).
Chris Stewart had a solo HR for the Yanks in the 3rd. Bases loaded walks to Overbay and Nunez brought in two runs in the 5th and Gardner had a SF in the 6th.
Hopefully Nova does better next time. If not, …