Thursday, April 3, 2014

Know Your Enemy: Ivan Nova

Game 3! New York Yankees (0-2) @ Houston Astros (2-0)

*The Astros are two games over .500 for the first time since April 9, 2012.
*The last time the Astros opened the season 2-0? 2003.
*The last time the Astros won back-to-back games at home? August 23-24, 2013.
*Houston is now 4-13 against the Yankees.

Opposing pitcher: Ivan Nova
*6'4" 225lb, 27 year old RHP
*2013 WAR: 2.5.

*The Red Sox wanted to sign him but as Nova grew up a Yankees fan, he wouldn't sign with Boston.
*Nova was a 2008 Rule 5 pick by the Padres off the Yankees, but couldn't find a spot for him on their 25-Man roster, and returned him to New York.
*From June 10, 2011 to May 2, 2012 Nova won 15 consecutive decisions - one short of the Yankees' record held by Roger Clemens.
*Nova's xFIP has been under 4.00 for the past two seasons, but he suffered from a .331 BABIP in 2012 for a 5.02 ERA.
*Nova cut his home run rate almost in half from 2012 (16.6% HR/FB) to 2013 (8.4% HR/FB) and generated far more ground balls (1.40 GB/FB in 2012 to 2.05 in 2013).

*Nova has never faced the Astros, but Chris Carter is a lifetime 0x1 with a strikeout and a walk.

*Brett Oberholtzer has never faced the Yankees, but current Yankees are 2x8 with a strikeout and a walk against him.
*At Minute Maid in 2013, Oberholtzer was 2-3 with a 3.08 ERA/1.11 WHIP, allowing 34H/13ER, 23K:8BB in 38IP.