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Yankees will turn to Ivan Nova for Game 5, with CC Sabathia available in relief

Oct 5, 2011, 10:47 AM EDT

Yankees pitcher Nova reacts after getting the Tigers out to end fifth inning of Game 1 of their MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs at Yankee Stadium in New York Reuters

After getting a solid start from the much-maligned A.J. Burnett last night the Yankees have to be feeling pretty good about their chances of winning Game 5, as they’ll turn to rookie Ivan Nova against Doug Fister and the Tigers.

Nova was technically a reliever in Game 1, “starting” the suspended game and pitching 6.1 innings of two-run ball for the victory.

He came on in relief of CC Sabathia then, but now Sabathia is the one who’ll be an option out of the bullpen in Game 5, telling Andrew Marchand of ESPN New York that “I’m definitely available.”

Whether he’ll actually be needed is unclear, because having today off allows the Yankees’ bullpen to rest up and the Mariano Rivera, David Robertson, Rafael Soriano trio should be ready to go for an inning or two each. If the Yankees turn to Sabathia it probably means Nova had a short start or the game is in extra innings, as Detroit’s lack of dangerous left-handed hitters makes using him as a specialist unlikely.

Plus, with a rough outing in Game 3 and a 4.78 ERA in 15 career postseason starts Sabathia hasn’t exactly made a strong case for being trusted out of the bullpen.

  1. protectthishouse54 - Oct 5, 2011 at 12:11 PM

    I like the Yankees chances with Nova. He’s proven to be mature beyond his years and seems to have that unique ability to stay calm under pressure. The Yanks bullpen will be fresh (especially Robertson and Rivera) so I doubt we’ll see CC unless it goes extra innings. I expect about 6 innings from Nova (2-3 ER) with Mo eventually closing it out. It seems like the bats are waking up and being in Yankee Stadium, I think the lineup picks up where it left off.

    • awriterorsomething - Oct 5, 2011 at 1:06 PM

      your mouth——–> Gods ear

  2. icanspeel - Oct 5, 2011 at 3:04 PM

    Yankees have to be pleased to be put in this situation since right before game 4 there was a lot of nervous chatter around the Yankees

  3. lembeck4 - Oct 6, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    C cup is available….for what? the buffet table? Man is on pace to eat himself out of baseball.

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