First Pitch: Early wake-up call

Joe Girardi is less than thrilled with the Yankees' schedule, which had them finishing up late Thursday night and playing early Friday. The Yankees concluded their win against the Red Sox a little before 10 p.m. Thursday night in the Bronx. On Friday, Ivan Nova faces Doug Fister at Comerica.

First pitch is 1 p.m.

"I don't really understand it completely," Girardi said. "In a normal situation, we probably would have played Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. If Monday wasn't our home opener, we probably would have had [Thursday] off. It is something you have to deal with."

The Yankees could have scheduled a day game for Thursday to eliminate the issue. Instead, they had Nova fly ahead to be fresh when he gets the ball.

In the spring, Nova had a 4.19 ERA in 19 1/3 innings.

“I thought he had better command of his fastball, which is important,” Girardi said. “I thought his curveball was really good in spring training. For him, it is consistency. If he is consistently down on the outer-third, he is going to be pretty good.”

UP NOW: My column on the Yankees' classic duo of Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera. Matt Ehalt's news story on Rivera.

ON DECK: Like Nova, we had Wally Matthews fly ahead. He will chronicle all the action from Detroit.

QUESTION: Do you believe in Nova?