SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 14: Starting pitcher Ivan Nova #47 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field on September 14, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
For years, Andy Pettitte was highly regarded as the man to have on the hill to end a losing streak. Pettitte was one of the most reliable (still could be?) starters in the major leagues and became known as a "stopper" in Yankeeland.
We very well may have another "stopper" on our hands.
Ivan Nova has become the go-to guy during losing streaks for the New York Yankees. Last season, the Yankees lost three or more consecutive games on six separate occasions. Below is a chart listing the length of the losing streak on the day that the Yankees finally snapped it as well as how the starting pitcher faired during that game.
|May 6||3 Games||Ivan Nova||7.1||2||0||1||1|
|May 17||6 Games||Ivan Nova||5.1||4||1||2||4|
|June 10||3 Games||Ivan Nova||7.0||4||2||3||6|
|August 10||3 Games||Ivan Nova||6.0||5||3||3||0|
|September 11*||4 Games||Freddy Garcia||5.0||7||5||3||3|
|September 30**||4 Games||Ivan Nova||6.1||4||2||4||5|
* = Cory Wade was credited with the win.
** = Game 1 of the ALDS (CC Sabathia started, tossing two innings, before the game was ultimately delayed due to inclement weather).
While Ivan Nova didn't necessarily pitch like a stud each and every time the Yankees had a long losing streak, he was certainly good enough in all those outings to be a "stopper" and end the skids.
It'd be silly to neglect the fact that, for whatever reason, the Yankees offense happens to get up for Nova, scoring a total of 38 runs in the five games listed above (4, 6, 11, 9, 9, respectively) for an average of 7.6 runs per game.
The Yankees started this season 0-3 for the first time since 1998, and sure enough, Nova was front and center to get them back on track.
Nova's final line yesterday: 7 innings, 10 hits, 2 earned runs, 0 walks, 7 strikeouts.
Draw your own narratives from the listed data, but Nova's happened to start six of the last seven games that the Yankees have ended a 3+ game losing streak.