Ivan Nova Continues to Struggle as Pittsburgh Pirates Lose to Tigers
The Pittsburgh Pirates watched their three game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday night
On Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Pirates were defeated by the Detroit Tigers by a score of 10-0. This loss snapped the team’s three game losing streak and dropped the Pirates to 56-58 on the season. Furthermore, the Pirates remain winless on the road in interleague play at 0-6.
Luckily for the Pirates, the first place Chicago Cubs lost earlier in the day to the San Francisco Giants. Due to this, the Bucs remain 3.5 games out of first place in the National League Central despite Wednesday night’s loss.
Ivan Nova started for the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday night and turned in yet another poor start. After winning the National League Pitcher of the Month in April, Nova has struggled immensely his past 18 starts.
The Detroit Tigers scored early and often off of Ivan Nova on Wednesday night. With a pair of runners on base and 1 out in the bottom of the 1st inning, Nick Castellanos singled home Ian Kinsler to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
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This lead grew in the bottom of the 2nd inning when John Hicks doubled to start the inning and then went to third base on a Gregory Polanco error. After an Andrew Romine sacrifice fly made it 2-0 Tigers, Ian Kinsler launched a solo home run over the left field wall to make it 3-0 Tigers.
Miguel Cabrera doubled to start the bottom of the 3rd inning and went to third base on a 1 out single by Mikkie Mahtook. Luckily, Ivan Nova was able to work around this mess to keep the score at 3-0 Tigers after 3 innings of play.
Complicating the Pirates’ problems on Wednesday was Detroit starting pitcher Justin Verlander. Verlander was on his game on Wednesday night and shut down the Pirate offense.
Through 5 innings of work all Verlander allowed was a walk to Gregory Polanco and Starling Marte, and he hit John Jaso with a pitch. In the top of the 6th inning Josh Bell hit a double to break up Verlander’s no hit bid.
Justin Verlander threw 8 innings of shutout baseball on Wednesday night. The lone hit he allowed was the Bell double, he also allowed 3 walks and struck out 6.
Ivan Nova issued back-to-back walks to Ian Kinsler and Jim Aducci with 1 out in the bottom of the 7th inning. Nova then hit Miguel Cabrera with a pitch to load the bases. Nick Castellanos then hit a bases clearing triple to make the score 6-0 Tigers, bringing Nova’s night to an end.
Wade LeBlanc would replace Nova following Castellanos’ American League leading 8th triple. LeBlanc struck out Mikkie Mahtook and got Victor Martinez to ground out to third base to clean up Nova’s mess.
In 6 1/3 innings pitched on Wednesday night Ivan Nova allowed 6 runs on 10 hits, a pair of walks, he hit a batter, allowed a home run, and struck out 5. In his last 18 starts Nova has now allowed 58 earned runs on 134 hits and 20 home runs in 113 innings pitched. This comes out to a 4.62 ERA and a 4.91 FIP.
Things got even worse for the Pirates in the bottom of the 8th inning. Daniel Hudson issued back-to-back walks to start the inning. Then, a Jordy Mercer error loaded the bases with no one out. Ian Kinsler then cleared the bases with a double to make it 9-0 Tigers.
After recording a strikeout and allowing a single to James McCann, Hudson was pulled after throwing 34 pitches. A.J. Schugel replaced him and was tabbed with the deed of cleaning up the 8th inning.
Schugel allowed a RBI single to Nick Castellanos to make the score 10-0 Tigers. Schugel would then get the next 2 outs to, mercifully, bring the inning to an end.
Shane Greene came pitched the top of the 9th inning for the Tigers. With 1 out, Josh Bell recorded his second double of the game. Chris Stewart then recorded a pinch-hit single to put runners on the corners. Greene then got Gregory Polanco to ground into a game ending 4-6-3 double play.
Next: Recapping the Pirates Last Home Stand
The final game between these two teams is at 1:10 on Thursday afternoon. Gerrit Cole will start for the Pittsburgh Pirates as they look to take 3 of 4 from the Tigers, and Detroit will go with rookie Drew VerHagen who will be making just his third career start.