Saturday, July 30, 2011
Bartolo Colon wasn’t at his sharpest, but Nick Swisher (single, double, homer, two RBIs, two runs) and the Yanks’ offense made sure Colon’s effort was enough for the win in the first game of the day-night doubleheader vs. the O’s.
The Yankees scored a franchise-record 12 runs in the first inning, setting the tone for their 17-3 win over the Orioles, their second win of the day. It followed an 8-3 victory hours earlier that featured the Yankees’ last five batters recording 10 hits, the same number the New York lineup recorded in Game 2’s first inning.
All year, I’ve harped on the fact that Ivan Nova’s walk rate and strike out rate did not indicate sustainable success. A pitcher who walks as many batters as he strikes out is not one that is likely to have a long and successful career. A funny thing happened on his march towards replacement level though.
|4/4 - 6/3||274||60.0||70||36||30||4||26||3||29||5.40||4.50||4.55||10.6%||10.6%|
|6/10 - 7/30||160||38.666||34||14||14||6||12||0||28||3.26||3.26||4.70||7.5%||17.5%|
Now we’re seeing evidence that he’s gotten better. I wouldn’t worry much about the fact that his FIP is 0.15 higher over the second set of starts. Changes in Walk rate and strike out rate stabilize more quickly than something like home run rate. We’re seeing evidence that Nova’s improving in a way that makes him a more viable option for some team’s starting rotation going forward. Whether that will be the Yankees or someone else, who knows?
I do know that right now, I’d rather see Nova pitching than either A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes. Unfortunately for him, he still has options.
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