With the Pittsburgh Pirates beginning their season on Friday, they turned to Ivan Nova on the mound; things didn't quite go as well as planned from there. Nova struggled in the early going against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. After a few innings, however, he managed to settle down and start tossing Tigers aside. With both bullpens struggling, however, Nova's Opening Day start will ultimately go down as a "no decision."

Nova out of control

On a brisk Detroit day, Nova started out the season for both the Tigers and the Pirates. Fans of Detroit were certainly excited about that, judging by what quickly unfolded.

He gave up just one hit in the first inning -- it was the second inning when trouble appeared. First, Mikie Mahtook doubled to left field. Then, Jose Iglesias did the same, scoring the Tigers' first run of the season. Then, Dixon Machado did the exact same thing as well, putting the Pirates in a 2-0 hole.

From there, Nova managed to settle in a little bit. There were still times when trouble lurked just around the corner. In the bottom of the fifth inning, for instance, he loaded the bases without recording a single out. From there, he induced a fly out to shallow left field that failed to score a run and created a double play ball, limiting the damage to the Pirates. That frame wound up ending his day.

For the afternoon, Nova surrendered two earned runs, three walks, and and six hits in five innings, striking out four batters. It certainly wasn't pretty, but all in all, it got the job done for Pittsburgh.

Pirates ace

After trading Gerrit Cole to the Houston Astros over the winter, the Pittsburgh Pirates are left without a true No.

1 starter at the front of the rotation. Nova arguably slid into the role of Opening Day starter by default, with Trevor Williams and Jameson Taillon occupying the two slots behind him. Last year, Nova started out hot before struggling down the stretch, finishing with a losing record and a 4.14 ERA.

Still, the former New York Yankees starter has potential.

He won National League Pitcher of the Month in April 2017, the first time he started out the year with Pittsburgh following the trade from New York. According to ESPN, Nova has twice finished a season with at least three Wins Above Replacement (WAR).

If he pitches anything like that to start this season, the Pirates will probably try to deal him for prospects at the midseason trade deadline.