The Yankees were guaranteed a losing road trip when they dropped the second game of this series on Tuesday night. It was all about saving face and not getting swept in the finale last night, and to their credit the Yanks were able to do enough to prevent that. They matched the offensive output of their previous 3 games and got a solid all-around pitching performance to get the W.
It wasn't exactly an offensive outburst for the lineup. They got their first run in the top of the 3rd the hard way. Didi Gregorious led off with a single, moved to second on a Stephen Drew sac bunt, third on a Brett Gardner groundout, and home on a Chase Headley ribbie single. If you can't mash 'em, manufacture 'em, I guess. The second run came much easier in the 6th, as the heart of the order came up for a third time against Angels starter Matt Shoemaker and Garrett Jones smashed an 0-2 fastball into the right field seats for a solo home run.
That run gave Nathan Eovaldi a little more wiggle room as he worked his way into the 6th inning scoreless. It wasn't necessarily an easy go for him. He spent a lot of time working out of the stretch as the Angels put at least one runner on base in 4 of the first 5 innings. But he handled those situations well, mixing pitches and working down in the zone better to generate ground balls when he really needed them. He got in trouble in the 6th by walking Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to load the bases with 1 out and Joe gave him the hook, but Eovaldi probably deserved a better final line. The ball 4 call to Trout was bogus. Either way, pretty good start for Eovaldi.
Chasen Shreve got the call to work out of that jam and he did so masterfully, getting Erick Aybar to pop out to short and David Freese to ground out to third. A 1-2-3 7th inning followed and the lineup tacked on a big insurance run in the 8th on a bases loaded single by Didi. That run proved huge when Trout homered off Justin Wilson in the bottom half of the inning, but Wilson and Dellin Betances were able to hold the Angels to 1 and nail down the win. Always nice to head back home on a travel day with a W.
- Not to get on Eovaldi too much, because I thought he looked good, but that was such an Eovaldi-type scoreless outing. 5 hits and 3 walks allowed, only 3 strikeouts (2 of which came in the 1st inning), and he didn't get out of the 6th. Seriously, when is this guy going to throw an 8-inning shutout with a dozen Ks? Is that too much to ask?
- 3 runs isn't an offensive explosion, but the lineup did put 12 hits on the scoreboard. Headley had 3, Chris Young had 2, and Didi had 2. They could have come up with 1 or 2 more in key RISP situations to turn this into a semi-blowout, but at least they showed some signs of breaking out of their slump.
- This might have been the best game I've seen Didi play this season. He was smooth and sharp in the field, calm and comfortable at the plate. The Yankees might have known what they were doing making that trade after all.
- A-Rod went 1-5 with a couple strikeouts, and it looked like he just missed a few pitches in his wheelhouse. Bummer.
- Shreve is absolutely spectacular. He locates his fastball really well and his changeup is almost unhittable. Really good pickup.
- Betances wasn't sharp after not pitching for the last few games. He walked 2 in the 9th and needed 28 pitches to get 4 outs. He really hasn't had a lot of work for the last few weeks. if you look at it. Maybe Joe should get him on a more regular schedule. Betances has said multiple times he feels sharper when he gets regular work.