Nova will start Saturday unless "something freaky happens''

Joe Girardi's aversion to making definitive statements regarding his pitchers reached a new plateau today when asked if it was finally safe to assume Ivan Nova would start one of the games of Saturday's day-night doubleheader with the Orioles. After all, Nova has a locker in the clubhouse with his nameplate on it.

Still, the manager hedged. "Well, I mean, he's scheduled to pitch unless something changes,'' Girardi said,

Like what? "Well, I don't know. Maybe he gets in a car accident. I don't know. Maybe he wakes up and his ankle's sore. He'll go the second game. Right now, he's scheduled to pitch. his ankle has been fine, but who knows? I've seen guys trip over baseballs. I saw a hitter on our club fall off the bench at CitiField and proceed to get four hits that day. and he hit his head. You never know.''

Finally, assured that he would get a pass if any of those things befell Nova before the game Saturday, Girardi relented. Sort of. "Ok, Fine. You will see Nova tomorrw unless something freaky happens.''