(Courtesy of the AP)
You know what the best part was about Ivan Nova's outstanding ST start yesterday? It wasn't the no hits or walks, it wasn't the 4 strikeouts, it wasn't even the insane strike rate (86.11%!!!) or the fact that the Washington hitters only managed to put 2 balls in the air. Nope, it was what Nova had to say after the game when he talked to reporters about the outing:
“I don’t want to be going back and forth every time. I just want to be a pitcher that the team can trust every five days. I just want to do my job every five days. That’s one of the goals that I really want, that I want to be consistent. I think I can do that and be really good. My body feels good, so I’ll just wait until the season and prove what I can do.”
Nova hasn't always been the most accurate or self-aware when it comes to his personal evaluations of his outings. Multiple times we've heard him tell the media that he felt good and thought he was pitching well after some of his more disastrous outings, and answers like that tend to indicate a certain level of immaturity that pitchers need to overcome to reach their full potential. What he had to say yesterday sounds nothing like the Nova of old and more like a pitcher who's starting to put the mental and emotional pieces to his game together to match his natural physical gifts and plus stuff. If that's the case and Nova is growing up and adding a more mature mental approach to the physical side of his game, watch out.