State of the Pittsburgh Pirates 2.0: Still Hanging On
Team MVP: Ivan Nova
Numbers (Through 6/27): 1.078 WHIP, 3.79 FIP, 142 ERA+, 2.7 WAR
Without question, Nova has been the Pirates most consistent pitcher this season.
With the offense struggling as much as it has at times, it would be hard to argue that any Bucco batter has meant to this more to this team than Nova has thus far.
For anybody who has watched Nova pitch, the thing that should jump out most is his efficiency. In an era where the finesse pitcher isn’t as sexy as it once was, Nova is proof that you don’t have to strike out ten guys a night to be effective. He is able to not only pitch well, but pitch deep into ballgames, and that can be immensely helpful.
Nova’s pitch to contact style has come back to bite him at times, particularly late in ball games. Although he is not perfect, the confidence that the Pirates have when Nova is on the bump is higher than any other starter. With Gerrit Cole being off-and-on and Jameson Taillon easing back into his former self, Nova is the guy in the starting rotation.
Just as he was in the first State of the Pirates, Nova is the man. Hopefully, he will be able to keep up his solid work for the rest of this season. The Bucs will need it.