Do you like sabermetrics? I like sabermetrics. I appreciate how statistics underpin the game. You should remember this, going forward.

As a sabermetrically-inclined person, I looked at some of Yankee starter Ivan Nova’s statistics and saw a pitcher who took a step forward in 2012. He raised his strikeout rate from 5.3 per nine in 2011 to 8.1 last year, while maintaining his walk rate (3.1 in 2011, 3.0 in 2012). He lowered his xFIP from 4.16 to 3.92.

If you subscribe to DIPS* theory, as I do, you would posit that Nova experienced progress from his 16-win campaign in 2011. You might even say he had a good year.

*Defensive Independent Pitching Statistics; what this essentially means is once the ball leaves a pitcher’s hand, he has little control over the results. Thus, the best way to predict a pitcher’s future results is to study his strikeouts, walks and homers. Basically, you want a lot of strikeouts, and not many walks or homers.

But, of course, Ivan Nova did not have a good year. Ivan Nova had a terrible year. His ERA was 5.03. His ERA was 6.38 after June. He missed two weeks with an inflamed rotator cuff. Manager Joe Girardi twice left him off the postseason roster.

So what went wrong?

“I got hit,” he said.

Oh. Right.