In a way, Nathan Eovaldi has been the New York Yankees best pitcher. He’s not the team leader in strikeouts, that belongs to Michael Pineda, and he doesn’t have the best ERA, that honor goes to Masahiro Tanaka, but what Eovaldi does have is wins — 13 of them.
With a 4.24 ERA going into tonight’s game against the Houston Astros, most fans like to credit Eovaldi’s success to the run support he receives — 5.50 per game — but tonight’s matchup proved that Eovaldi could be successful even without the run support. Unfortunately for Eovaldi, the Yankees gave him zero run support tonight.
Eovaldi never found himself in much trouble tonight, going eight innings while only allowing four hits and striking out seven. But Eovaldi’s opponent, Scott Feldman, was just as hot, throwing 100-plus pitches in eight innings, allowing six hits and striking out six. Both pitchers allowed no runs.
The Yankees threatened in the third when Didi Gregorius and Stephen Drew got back-to-back singles, but the following batters, Jacoby Ellsbury and the birthday boy Brett Gardner couldn’t bring them home.
The team also had a chance to score in the seventh when Chase Headley popped out to Carlos Gomez and Brian McCann tagged up from third but was then thrown out at home.
With both pitchers almost going the distance, the relief were brought in during the ninth. Andrew Miller gave up a single to Evan Gattis, but the team was able to quickly get two outs on a strike em’ out, throw em’ out. Miller then got Chris Carter to strike out to end the inning.
In the bottom of the ninth, the Yankees finally began to threaten when pitcher Oliver Perez walked the first batter of the inning, Gardner. With Alex Rodriguez up next, a wild pitch allowed Gardy to move to second. The Astros then opted to intentionally walk A-Rod with zero outs.
Up next was McCann. With runners on first and second, McCann was also walked, as the bases became loaded with no outs. With a sac-fly or single needed to win the game, Carlos Beltran stepped up to the plate. Facing Chad Qualls, Beltran hit a sac-fly to Carlos Gomez that allowed Gardner to score.
While the Yankees were able to pull out the win, the game once again showed that the Yankees’ bats need to come alive. While an excellent pitching performance from Eovaldi was a bright spot for the team, can they continue to pull out one-run wins?
With tonight’s win, the Yankees are once again tied for first place in the AL East with the Toronto Blue Jays.
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