When Ivan Nova was traded by the New York Yankees before in August of 2016, it ended a 12-year run for Nova in the Yankees organization.
When Nova pitched for the White Sox on Saturday, it was his first start in Yankee Stadium as an opponent. Nova was a bright spot in an otherwise ugly 4-0 loss for the White Sox. He gave up one run in six-plus innings of work with five strikeouts, four hits and a walk.
Nova signed with the Yankees in 2004 as an amateur and made his major league debut in 2010. He logged 729 innings with the Yankees.
Nova is now one of the veterans on the White Sox pitching staff, but coming back to Yankee Stadium brought back memories of his early days in the majors.
"It means a lot," Nova said of pitching in Yankee Stadium again. "That emotion walking over to the bullpen, especially the guy that I was facing today was my mentor."
CC Sabathia went up against Nova in a pitching duel. Sabathia gave up just one hit in five scoreless innings.
After the game, Nova had plenty of good things to say about Sabathia, saying the 38-year-old helped Nova in "every way you can imagine."
"I remember I was kind of putting my pressure on myself and my first year I was only throwing like three or four innings per game," Nova said. "I told him ‘I want to pitch good. I want to have success. I want to contribute.' He told me ‘Let me worry about it. Not you.'"
Nova said the advice paid off quickly.
"After that I threw like six innings and he was happy," Nova said. "It was good moments."