The fourth game of the New York Yankees’ young season showcased the much-talked-about sophomore stud Ivan Nova vs. the less-and-less-talked-about Scott Baker and the Minnesota Twins. Six innings and 84 pitches (50 for strikes) were plenty for Nova to earn his second career win and first of the 2011 season.

Nova brought a no-hitter into the fourth inning Monday night when Justin Morneau doubled, followed by a single by Delmon Young and another double from the veteran Jim Thome. The Twins scored again in the fifth to bring the game within a run, but the Yankees held on with a 4-3 win.

Nova’s final line for the night: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3K.

The 24-year-old Dominican won the fourth spot in the Yankees rotation with a solid spring training, while battling it out with Freddy Garcia (who won the fifth spot) and Bartolo Colon (bullpen). 

Nova is an excellent pitcher to take a gamble on and is almost guaranteed to be on the waiver wire in most fantasy leagues, only currently being owned at 7.5 percent in ESPN and 16 percent in Yahoo! leagues.

With a repertoire of four pitches (the two-seamer is his bread and butter), Nova should more than often be able to outlast his opponents, giving the heavy-hitting Yankees enough time to score the needed runs for a win.

At the back end of the rotation, a 11-plus win season is very much achievable for Nova in 2011. 

So goodbye, Javier Vazquez. Yankee fans do not miss you one bit. Hellloooo Ivan Nova!


Written by Evan Marx exclusively for

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