Ivan Nova, Pirates Look to Stop the Bleeding

ST. LOUIS, MO - SEPTEMBER 10: Ivan Nova /

Ivan Nova has been awful since the end of April and the Pittsburgh Pirates are 1-8 in their past nine games. Hopefully, these trends turn around today.

Things have not been fun lately for Ivan Nova or the Pittsburgh Pirates. After last night’s 4-2 loss, the Pirates are just 68-80 this season. That includes having lost eight of their past nine games. Additionally, the Pirates are now just four games ahead of the Cincinnati Reds to try and stay out of last place in the National League Central.

As for Ivan Nova, things have been an extreme struggle since the end of April. Nova was the National League Pitcher of the Month in April. However, he has been abysmal ever since.

In his last 23 starts Ivan Nova has allowed 164 hits, 26 home runs, and hard contact 36.0 percent of the time in 137 2/3 innings pitched. This has led to Nova owning a 4.97 ERA and a 4.96 FIP in these 23 starts. He also owns a -0.7 fWAR in these starts.

On the season, Ivan Nova is in the top 10 in the National League in a lot of stats you do not want to be in the top 10 in. These stats include home runs allowed, hits allowed, and hard contact allowed. The 28 home runs Nova has allowed this season is just four shy of the single-season Pirate record for home runs allowed by a pitcher.

At 4:10 this afternoon the Pirates will square off against Sal Romano of the Cincinnati Reds. In 13 starts this season Romano owns a 4.54 ERA and a 4.48 FIP. He is also averaging 4.02 BB/9 and 1.04 HR/9.

The lineup the Pirates will go with against Romano is as follows:

  1. Adam Frazier – 2B
  2. Jordan Luplow – LF
  3. Andrew McCutchen – CF
  4. Josh Bell – 1B
  5. David Freese – 3B
  6. Gregory Polanco – RF
  7. Elias Diaz – C
  8. Jordy Mercer – SS
  9. Ivan Nova – P

It is nice to see Clint Hurdle and the Pirates committing to playing young players like Luplow and Diaz every day. Even though Diaz has not done anything to earn the extended playing time it is still nice to see him play over Chris Stewart. However, utility infielder Max Moroff should be playing every day as well. Especially with Josh Harrison out for the season with an injury.

Next: Should the Bucs Move Glasnow to the Bullpen?

Hopefully, Ivan Nova and the Pirates can get back on track today. It would still be nice to see both Nova and the Pirates finish this season strong to try and build some momentum heading into the offseason.