What both Nova and Joe Girardi could agree on was that the hurler had been hit hard and often by the Orioles. Nova was battered in a seven-run second inning, highlighted by Chris Davis' grand slam, as the Yankees fell, 11-5, for their fourth consecutive defeat.
"I had a bad day, but I don't feel that way," Nova said. "I felt really good in that inning, too. I just got hit. I left a hanging curveball, and he hit a homer. I think overall, it was a tough night for me. I feel like I had command of my pitches; I just got hit."
Girardi didn't mince words in analyzing the performance, in which the Yankees wasted their five-run first inning against Chris Tillman and lost for the ninth time in 12 games. It looked like the Bombers might cruise to a victory, but Nova's second inning quickly flushed those hopes.
"He had no fastball command, inconsistent slider, inconsistent curveball," Girardi said. "He worked his tail end off after he gave up two singles in a row in the second inning to get two outs and two strikes, then threw a slider [to Mark Reynolds] that didn't break. It just kind of snowballed after that."
Reynolds ripped an RBI ground-rule double and Omar Quintanilla followed with a two-run single before Nova loaded the bases for Davis, who slugged his first career grand slam into the visitors' bullpen to stun the crowd of 42,821.