Well that sucked. The Yankees looked like they had a little mojo going after the wins on Sunday and Monday night, then they stumbled in game 2 of this series on Tuesday, and fell back on their faces last night with a bummer of a 7-5 loss to the O's. They had a lead going to the bullpen and the bullpen coughed it up. The Yanks are now 3-6 on the season and have yet to win more than 1 game in a series.
Nathan Eovaldi was the brightest spot of the night for the Yanks in his second start of the young season. After looking very much like the pitcher who struggled to finish off hitters and keep guys off base last year in his debut, Eovaldi was much sharper the second time around and showed some of that swing-and-miss potential in his offspeed stuff that had been sorely lacking.
He did give up 8 hits in 5 innings of work, and Baltimore got an early run off him in the 1st on 3 base hits and another in the 4th on a Manny Machado leadoff home run. But Eovaldi worked out of a lot of trouble, threw a bunch of nasty sliders, and got a lot of strikeouts (9 total) in big moments. He finished 4 of his 5 innings with a K. 101 pitches in 5 innings isn't deal, but it was a step forward.
All the runners Eovaldi stranded allowed the Yankees to pull ahead in the 3rd and 4th innings. Jacoby Ellsbury got things started with a 2-out double in the 3rd. Chase Headley walked to put 2 ducks on the pond, and Carlos Beltran drove them both in with a booming double to center for the 2-1 lead. Al from Miami made it 3-1 in the top of the 4th with a boom of his own, a monster home run to left field off Bud Norris. It was a 92 MPH fastball inside and he absolutely abused it.
It all fell apart in a hurry after Eovaldi exited. Yankee killer Jonathan Schoop led off the bottom of the 6th with a game-tying solo shot off David Carpenter, who left with 2 on and 1 out for Justin Wilson. Wilson proceeded to give up a ribbie single to Delmon Young and a 2-run double to Chris Davis to make it 6-3 O's. Chris Martin let Davis come around on a 2-out base hit and the deficit was 7-3.
The Yanks made a mini-run at a comeback in the top of the 8th. Chase Headley singled to lead it off and Mark Teixeira doubled to put runners at second and third with 1 out. Brian McCann brought 1 home with a sac fly, and Teix scored on a wild pitch to A-Rod to make it 7-5. A-Rod would strike out though, and a Chris Young double in the 9th went nowhere.
- 2-3, 1 HR, 1 BB for A-Rod after a day off. But no, definitely keep hitting him 5th and 6th. That makes sense.
- Eovaldi did walk 3 batters last night, which was atypical for him. Having not seen anything for myself, I'll make an educated guess and chalk it up to him throwing more offspeed stuff out of the zone trying to get those swings and misses. It'll be a process for him to put the velocity, the command, and the mindset together to become more effective and more efficient, but I think he can do it.
- Justin Wilson has given up 3 ER and walked 4 in his 4 appearances. Is it too early to start the Jacob Lindgren countdown clock? Because I already started it 3 hours ago.
- Didi Gregorius went 1-3 with a K at the plate, made another bad defensive play that probably should have been called an error, and got pinch hit for by Gregorio Petit in the 9th. I've been trying to take it easy on the guy and let him get comfortable, but he really hasn't been playing well. He's pressing everywhere, rushing things, and it hasn't gotten any better after more than a week. Can somebody talk to the dude please?
- Clean inning for Dellin Betances in the 9th. That's a positive. He still can't throw his fastball for strikes, but the velocity is trending up and he had his curveball working big time last night. Struck out 2, didn't walk a batter.