Sunday, August 05, 2018

N.Y. Yankees: Nathan Eovaldi Who?

From the desk of:  BLAME CARLOS MAY

Red Sox lead series 3-0
I - BOS 15; NYY 7
II - BOS 4; NYY 1
III - BOS 4; NYY 1

New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox

New York Yankees: Boston Red Sox Proving Stronger, Faster, Smarter, and Just Better.  Bombers Need to Regroup, Move On, and Revisit This in September.

Champ Adams is officially a non-issue.  The rookie making his major league debut against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on Saturday allows three earned runs on just three hits and a walk through five innings pitched.  If you're the Bronx Bombers, you take that every time.

Because in Game Three, the Yankees face Nathan Eovaldi, whom the Red Sox acquire from the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the trade deadline.  As a former Yankee, the organization's highly touted analytics department should know him very well after making 48 starts for them during the 2015 and 2016 regular seasons.  Unfortunately for Eovaldi, he misses all of 2017 while recovering from Tommy John surgery, then misses the first two months of this season after undergoing elbow surgery in March.

In ten starts with Tampa, Eovaldi pitches with mixed results.  Along with an 8.3 K/9 average, he surrenders 48 hits and just eight walks through 57 innings pitched for a respectable 0.982 WHiP.  His 4.26 ERA while with the Rays, however, is a product of surrendering eleven home runs.

On Saturday, Eovaldi makes his second start for the Red Sox.  He faces 26 batters, and throws 93 pitches with 65 (69%) going for strikes, including 18 first pitch strikes.  He surrenders no runs on just three hits and a walk, and strikes out four through eight innings pitched for a clutch well earned victory.

Over his last two starts in a Red Sox uniform, Eovaldi is yet to yield a run through 15 innings pitched, with only seven hits and one walk allowed, and nine strikeouts.

Saturday's game took just 2:33 to play, during which time the Yankees hardly recognized him.

Fans who remember 1978 might argue, but the Yankees picked the worse time possible for losing their bearing.  Eight and a half games now separate the Red Sox from the second place Yankees.  If fans were clinging to hope of winning a division title before this modern Boston Massacre, they can be heard praying for a Wild Card today.

All that's left for this series is to salvage Game Four.  Otherwise, these last three games are not the be all/end all for the Yankees season.  Their goal moving forward should be making those final six games scheduled for late September meaningful again.  I contend Brian Cashman's transactions will not go for naught.  Regroup and continue mission until Aaron Judge, Gary Sanchez, and J.A. Happ all return to the fold.

That being said, if Aaron Boone isn't the one lighting a fire under his team's feet, at least Phil Nevin tried.  Otherwise, this weekend is largely on Boone.  Alex Cora already made damn sure of that.

In the meantime, I'm led to believe more and more that Aaron Judge will ultimately decide the Yankees fate.


Didi and Stanton, and maybe Andujar, are presently wielding the only productive Yankee bats worth mentioning.  Otherwise, the Yankees generally hit David Price very well.  Tonight just might be their night.  Masahiro Tanaka is a pro's pro.  He'll want to salvage this game for the Yankees with a statement, i.e., eight innings of scoreless two-hit baseball.  And like Alex Cora did Saturday by creating work for Craig Kimbrel, so too does Aaron Boone need to get Aroldis Chapman some much needed work.

The Red Sox do a better job of making contact and strike out far less than the competition.  When on base, they'll continue running like thieves in the night.  Tanaka's split-finger is an ideal pitch to run wild on, and the Red Sox will do just that.  Like Tanaka, David Price should be a motivated camper.  The Red Sox smell sweep, and how sweet it would be.  I belive there's a part of David Price that wants to prove once and for all he belongs in this rivalry.

I'm going with trends.  The Yankees are losers of four straight and falling fast like a pinstriped piano out of the Boston sky.  Make that cloudy skies above, because when it rains, it pours, and therefore I say the Red Sox complete the sweep.

But it won't be easy.

Yankess    4
Red Sox   5

Red Sox Complete Four Game Sweep of Yankees; Increase A.L. East Lead to 9.5 Games.

Mookie Betts crushes a Masahiro Tanaka fifth inning offering over the Green Monster and completely out of Fenway Park.

The Yankees take a 4-1 lead in the seventh, but the Red Sox came back with three runs in the ninth inning against Aroldis Chapman.  Andrew Benitendi then drives in the winning run in the tenth.

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