If there were ever a song that best epitomizes life as a Major League starting pitcher it would no doubt be the Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want.”
Well, that is unless you are New York Yankees hurler Ivan Nova.
Now let me caveat by saying I think the world of Ivan Nova. I think he is a tremendously gifted pitcher with an outstanding arm and all the tools to be a dominant pitcher for years to come.
But does it not feel like stealing every time Nova takes to the hill?
This guy is a winning machine. During his two plus years in the big leagues, he is 20-6. At one point, Nova had won 15 games in a row. Yet when you look at Nova’s 4.00 ERA, 149 strikeouts and 1.39 WHIP baseball fans can’t help but beg the question: “How in the world does this guy win all these ballgames?”
To this I say good question. For one, Nova gets great run support nearly every time he pitches. Second, Nova usually gets ahead of hitters, which puts him in good situations. Third, he usually gets great run support every time he pitches.
I laugh, but I mean poor Felix Hernandez.
Here is a guy who has pitched his Venezuelan-born heart out for an anemic Seattle Mariners offense the past eight years. Everyone in baseball knows this 6'3" right-handed ace is a proven winner in the big leagues. His 19-5 record with a 2.49 ERA in 2009 is case in point.
Yet when studying this Cy Young Award winner’s marks in wins and losses the past couple years, it makes me want to scream.
People may laugh, but I can’t help but feel bad for a guy with a rough 2.80 ERA, 450 plus strikeouts, and a WHIP around 1.10, yet only has a 27-26 record to show for his efforts.
It also provides more proof, the Rolling Stones were right.