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Home » September 2010 Game CommentsSeptember 2010 » Spoiler Alert

Spoiler Alert

Nava, Nova — they’re all the same to Tim McCarver. Never you mind that Daniel Nava is the Red Sox outfielder salvaged from independent league obscurity while Ivan Nova is the late-blooming pitcher who was a Rule 5 draftee returned to the Yankees. McCarver also didn’t know the name of Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, calling him “Frank Rodriguez” then “Felix Rodriguez” until stumbling onto the correct combination.

The belief that Nova was not respected as a pitcher in the Dominican Republic because his surname literally translated means “it doesn’t go” in Spanish has been debunked as an urban legend. He wasn’t held in high regard because he just wasn’t that good. Nova lasted 4⅔ innings with a line of 4 hits, 4 earned runs, 3 walks, and 2 strikeouts.

Jon Lester carried a perfect game for four innings until he allowed a leadoff walk to Alex Rodriguez in the bottom frame of the fifth. The no-hitter lasted until the sixth when Francisco Cervelli’s liner to left ricocheted off Nava’s arm as the outfielder attempted a heroic diving grab.

Nava made up for the miss later in the inning. The left fielder gathered Derek Jeter’s ground ball single and fired a missile home to nail Austin Kearns. Victor Martinez’s stalwart stance in front of the dish and his flawless tag of Kearns’s thigh kept the home team off the board.

The unusually quiet crowd grew raucous in the eighth on Curtis Granderson’s two-run homer, but those runs only brought the Yankees within four runs. Joba Chamberlain seemed lost on the mound without Kevin Youkilis to throw at. Jed Lowrie and and Ryan Kalish roped mirror-image doubles to left and right respectively off the rotund reliever, extending the lead to five runs in the ninth.

Alex Rodriguez led off the ninth with a solo shot off Hideki Okajima. Despite Okajima’s national heritage, Jon Sterling probably still intoned his signature call: “An A-bomb from A-Rod.” Fitting, as the only sparkling thing about Rodriguez’s personality is his aura of toxic radiation.

And the crowd begins to wander
And they cry to see your face
— Kings of Leon, “Radioactive”
Game 154: September 25, 2010
WinRed Sox
7W: Jon Lester (19-8)
2B: J.D. Drew (24), Marco Scutaro (34), Jed Lowrie (13), Ryan Kalish (11)
HR: J.D. Drew (20), Victor Martinez (19)
3L: Ivan Nova (1-1)
HR: Curtis Granderson (23), Alex Rodriguez (28)

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