Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 4/4/12

People tend to call spring training starts “tune-ups” for a reason. To give you some perspective, Roy Halladay put together a 5.73 ERA in the month of March. When was the last time the Doc got roughed up like that over a six-game stretch? For someone like Ivan Nova, however, spring training needs to be taken a bit more seriously. Nova was a pleasant surprise for the Yankees last season but was lit up all spring, finishing with an 8.06 ERA. With Michael Pineda nursing shoulder tendinitis and Andy Pettitte needing more time to prepare, Nova will be given some time to prove he belongs in the Yankees starting rotation.

He did nothing to prove that on Tuesday. Nova gave up five runs on eight hits in 2 1/3 innings. To us it may be just spring training. To Nova it was much more than that.

“Today was the worst day of my life,” Nova said after after the 7-6 loss to the Mets Tuesday according to the NY Post. “I felt good … but I couldn’t throw strikes. I couldn’t even control my fastball. “I felt lazy. My body feels like it was sleeping. My arm feels great.”

Easy, big guy. Everyone wants to perform well every time they touch the ball, but it is just spring training. As soon as Nova takes the ball during the regular season, none of the runs he gave up over the past couple months will matter. Not only should a bad spring training outing not be one of the worst days of his life, but it shouldn’t even be one of the worst of his career. I can’t stress this enough: It’s spring training. If giving up five runs to the Mets in an exhibition game is the worst thing that’s ever happened to the young Yankee right-hander, he must have a pretty great life.

Photo credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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