Ivan Nova outdueled Chris Archer yesterday. “Outdueled” may be a strong word. “Out pitched”, “Out lasted”, or simply, “Beat” may be more appropriate. Didn’t look like it would be that way at first — as Nova allowed a 2-run homer in the second — and if that didn’t seem to seal the Yankees fate vs Archer, Nova gave up another run in the third making it 3-0 Tampa Bay.
Yankee fans were not looking forward to this game as Nova had not been pitching well the last few starts, and Archer has been scintillating, especially when facing the Yankees earlier this year. But a quick check of Archer’s game log coming in showed he had been touched up in several starts over the last two months — so he wasn’t invincible.
Archer Looks Invincible — But Is Not
Archer looked on his game through 5 innings — shutting out the Yankees. Nova settled down and entering the bottom of the sixth, it was still 3-0 Tampa Bay. Toronto was winning big so it seemed certain the Yanks would fall to 2.5 games back of the Blue Jays with a loss.
And then, the Yankee offense came thru — a two-out rally — with Jacoby Ellsbury on first, Carlos Beltran walked, and Brian McCann hit a 3-run homer. Alex Rodriguez up next hit a solo shot. Lightning struck. Off Archer. Yankees 4 Tampa Bay 3.
To the ballpens. Dellin Bettances allowed a homer to bring Tampa within 5-4, but the Yanks added an insurance and won 6-4 with Andrew Miller getting the final out with the tieing run on 2nd.
Nova vs Archer
The final line:
Ivan Nova: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER — winning pitcher now 6-7 4.50
Chris Archer: 6.1 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 ER — losing pitcher now 12-11 2.88
Who would have predicted it? So who would you rather have on your team? Ivan Nova or Chris Archer?
After we tweeted that Nova had outdueled Archer, Miss Yankee tweeted us that “It wasn’t Nova it was the hitters,” and ” I’ll take Archer over Nova on our team any day.” We’d agree — Archer absolutely. He is a #1 starter; Nova a #3 or #4. And yet.. Archer has now NOT had quality start 5 times in last 13 starts (4, 4, 7, 9, 5 earned runs allowed in 6 or less innings pitched). Nova is still fresh off Tommy John surgery; he should get better as he goes forward. Archer looks skinny and small — although he’s listed at 6’3″, 190 lbs. Nova seems big — he’s listed at 6’4″ 235 lbs. In baseball these days, big is good — of course Luis Severino is only listed at 6’0, and remember David Robertson; he was listed at 6’0″ too.
Is Archer Like Pineda?
Archer’s uneven performances in the last two months reminds one of Michael Pineda — today’s pitcher for the Yankees. Michael Pineda‘s game log shows he has NOT had quality start in 7 of last 14 starts (5, 5, 4, 8, 5, 4, 5 ER in 6 or less IP). As Yankee fans know, if Pineda’s slider isn’t sliding, he’s in trouble. He goes from great to terrible, depending on the slider and you know it early in the game — if he’s striking out a lot of guys in the first two innings, his slider is sliding. If he isn’t strking guys out, he’ll be out of the game by the 4th.