As Ivan Nova prepares to go on the mound at 8:05 p.m., he’ll have to remember he’s not only be pitching for the New York area; he’ll be on the National stage tonight. The series finale between the Yankees and Red Sox will broadcast on ESPN as part of their ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ series.
Nova is the baseball story of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”; some games he’ll be brilliant and some games ‘struggling’ would be an understatement. In Nova’s last two games he simply hasn’t look sharp and hasn’t looked like the pitcher the Yankees saw in Spring Training. He was able to come away with the win against the Houston Astros using only one pitch but had a horrendous outing against the Baltimore Orioles when none of his pitches were working. Tonight, the only thing that matters to Nova is redemption.
The Yankees are looking for some redemption themselves, as they’d like to prove they’re no longer doormats, especially after going 6-13 against the Red Sox in 2013 where the team was hardly a threat and plagued with injuries.
However, if the Yankees want to win, it all comes back to Nova, who would have to give a brilliant performance and help the Yankees offense keep a lead should they give him one. It’s very early in the season, but this could be an important game for Nova. Not only would Nova have redeemed himself should the team win, but he would help the Yankees send a message to the Red Sox that the team is no longer an easy stepping stone for the Red Sox to win the AL East crown. The game and series currently rests on Ivan Nova’s shoulders and he’s more than ready for the task at hand.