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Shaw can't explain dominance vs. Bucs' Nova

Brewers third baseman is 11-for-14 in his career against right-hander
MLB.com @AdamMcCalvy

MILWAUKEE -- Travis Shaw had this matchup circled on the calendar for a while. If he had to walk to home plate with a cane, he was going to get his hacks against his favorite opposing pitcher.

Still hobbled from a pair of foul tips off his right leg three days earlier, Shaw continued to torment Pirates starter Ivan Nova in the Brewers' 3-1 win at Miller Park on Tuesday. With a single, hit by pitch and walk, Shaw improved to 11-for-14 with two walks in the one-sided matchup of former American League East foes. He scored the Brewers' first two runs on the way to their third straight victory.

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MILWAUKEE -- Travis Shaw had this matchup circled on the calendar for a while. If he had to walk to home plate with a cane, he was going to get his hacks against his favorite opposing pitcher.

Still hobbled from a pair of foul tips off his right leg three days earlier, Shaw continued to torment Pirates starter Ivan Nova in the Brewers' 3-1 win at Miller Park on Tuesday. With a single, hit by pitch and walk, Shaw improved to 11-for-14 with two walks in the one-sided matchup of former American League East foes. He scored the Brewers' first two runs on the way to their third straight victory.

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"I knew it was coming," Shaw said of the matchup. "When I went down the other day, I knew I was going to be ready to go today pretty much no matter what happened. Thankfully, my leg healed enough to play."

His leg was still hurting from a fifth-inning at-bat on Saturday, when Shaw fouled one pitch off his right foot and another just below his right knee on the way to a strikeout. He later exited that game and left Miller Park in a walking boot, missing Sunday's series finale against the Reds.

The Brewers were off Monday, but Shaw was at Miller Park getting treatment so he could be ready to face Nova and the Pirates.

Asked to explain his success against such a quality pitcher, Shaw said. "I'm not sure. He's tough on righties; sinker, pretty good curveball. I just see the ball well off of him, and I seem to handle every pitch."

Shaw and Brewers starter Zach Davies both wondered whether Nova's frustration took over in the fourth inning, when Nova hit Shaw with a high and tight fastball with one out and the bases empty. Shaw called it "kind of interesting."

"I don't know, man. Today, I feel bad for the guy. I tried to go inside and I hit the guy," Nova said. "Maybe some people think it was intentional, but I'm not that kind of pitcher. I got him with the first pitch, but what can I do? He's a tough out. Nothing would make me feel better than getting the guy out. I can tell you that, for sure."

Shaw won another battle in the sixth, taking an eight-pitch walk.

"It's certainly something you don't see a lot," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "Speaking for this year, [Shaw] been incredibly productive against him. He's earned it. The walk in the sixth inning, that was a great at-bat. He laid off some tough sinkers and fouled off a couple of curveballs. He's obviously seeing the ball well off Nova. You see it sometimes, but it rarely continues like Travis is making it continue."

Davies can relate. He has trouble with the Cardinals' Jedd Gyorko, who is 10-for-16 lifetime against Davies. Twelve of those hits are singles, and only the homer produced a run, but every at-bat, Davies said, feels like a grind.

"It can kind of frustrate you," he said. "But that's just the way baseball goes."

Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy and like him on Facebook.

Milwaukee Brewers, Travis Shaw