Ivan Nova exits early

PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 28: Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Ivan Nova #46 delivers a pitch in the first inning during the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire)
Justin Berl/Icon Sportswire

Pittsburgh Pirates right-handed pitcher Ivan Nova left Saturday afternoon’s game against the Cincinnati Reds in the bottom of the seventh inning with what has been ruled right calf discomfort. He was replaced by left-handed pitcher Dan Runzler.

Prior to his departure, Nova worked 6.1 innings and allowed three hits and two earned runs while striking out six batters. There was seemingly more in the tank in terms of pitches, departing after tossing just 79 and leaving in line for the loss.

Nova had already lost a career-high 13 games coming into play on Saturday, with a 4.20 ERA through what was his 29th start of the 2017 season. Now in his eighth major league season, the 29 starts and 180 innings are the most in a single year since he joined a major league roster.

It’s been a tale of PNC Park versus the rest of baseball in 2017 for Nova. Entering his start on Saturday, he owned an 8-2 record with a 2.87 ERA at home, while going 3-11 with a 5.16 ERA on the road. Away from his home park, he has allowed 22 home runs in 111 innings.

The Pirates are committed to at least two more seasons of Nova, in which he will make just over $9 million each season. Now in his second season with the franchise since they acquired him from the New York Yankees, he owns a sub 4.00 ERA since arriving at the Trade Deadline last season.

As Pittsburgh limps to the finish line, Nova would be in line for at most two more starts during the regular season should he be able to work through the injury, which forced his early departure.

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