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Ivan Nova pulled from Game 5 after just two innings

Oct 6, 2011, 9:06 PM EDT

New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova reacts after giving up a solo home run to Detroit Tigers left fielder Delmon Young in the first inning of Game 5 of their MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs at Yankee Stadium in New York Reuters

Yankees Game 5 starter Ivan Nova surrendered back-to-back homers on back-to-back pitches in the top of the first inning to Detroit’s Don Kelly and Delmon Young. He also yielded a leadoff double to Magglio Ordonez in the top of the second.

But the 24-year-old’s “stuff” didn’t look all that terrible and he was pounding the strike zone consistently, throwing only seven of his 31 pitches for balls.

Nonetheless, Nova was pulled at the start of the third inning in favor of long reliever Phil Hughes.

Was it a panic move by Yankees manager Joe Girardi? Was Nova settling in? The answer is probably “yes” to both questions. But Girardi has already made it known that staff ace CC Sabathia will be available in relief. Right or wrong, the fourth-year Yankees skipper is taking an inning-by-inning (or even batter-by-batter) approach to this series-deciding Game 5.

The Tigers lead 2-0 as we head to the middle innings. Follow our Game 5 Live Chat for more.

  1. proudlycanadian - Oct 6, 2011 at 9:52 PM

    He was probably channeling his inner TLR.

    • Glenn - Oct 6, 2011 at 10:00 PM

      - if TLR forgot to take his ADD meds.

  2. jwbiii - Oct 6, 2011 at 11:53 PM

    Neck strain.

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