Nova’s unbeaten road streak continues
Ivan Nova remained undefeated on the road in his past 16 starts away from Yankee Stadium, and he has Raul Ibanez to thank for it.
Nova was staring at the possibility that he might suffer his first road loss since June 3 last year at Anaheim when he left Saturday night’s Subway Series game at Citi Field trailing, 3-0. One of the runs against Nova was unearned because of an error by Alex Rodriguez, but the righthander was stung by a Kirk Nieuwenhuis home run in the third inning and a two-out, RBI single by opposing pitcher Chris Young in the sixth.
Ibanez changed all that for Nova in the seventh when he followed a walk to Mark Teixeira and a double by Nick Swisher (his 1,000th career hit) by leaning into a first-pitch fastball from Young and driving a tracer-bullet liner over the right field fence for his 11th home run that took Nova off the hook by tying the score.
Nova did not extend his 12-game winning streak on the road, but he didn’t lose the game, either. The pitcher of record became Clay Rapada, who took over from Nova after Young’s hit and got out of the inning by striking out Nieuwenhuis.
Rapada was in position for the winning decision when Eric Chavez batted for him in the seventh and homered to left off Jon Rauch on a 0-2 fastball. It was Chavez fifth home run of the season and 237th of his career but his first in a pinch-hitting role.
The assault came after Young had held the Yankees to two singles and two walks over six shutout innings. The Mets went a complete turn in the rotation with their starters not allowing a run over the first five innings of games.