Results tagged ‘ CC Sabathia ’
The Yankees have a new weapon in their offensive arsenal this year. It is called catcher’s interference whereby a player is awarded first base if the opposing catcher interferes with the batter’s swing.
For the third time in a season that is only 16 games old for the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury reached base Saturday due to catcher’s interference, in this case that of Tampa Bay’s Hank Conger. It was a painful play as well for Conger, who hurt his left hand and had to come out of the game.
The situation kept a rally alive for the Yankees in the seventh inning. It came on a 3-2 pitch, which is Ellsbury’s favorite count these days. Friday night, he stole home on a 3-2 pitch to Brett Gardner, an unusual decision to say the least.
The catcher’s interference call loaded the bases for the Yanks with two out. Gardner followed with a laser-beam line drive off the glove of pitcher Xavier Cedeno, one of three lefthanders Rays manager Kevin Cash threw against the Bombers in the game. Cedeno keep the ball from getting to the outfield, but the infield single was good enough to score the tying run.
Knotting the score at that point put the Yankees in position to use their favorite bullpen formula, Dellin Betances in the eighth and Andrew Miller in the ninth.
Masahiro Tanaka, who had a strong outing (two runs, five hits, one walk, seven strikeouts, one home run in seven innings) was off the hook with a no-decision. So, too, was Tampa Bay rookie Blake Snell, who held the Yankees to two hits and a walk with six strikeouts over five innings in an impressive major-league debut.
It was the Yankees’ more traditional weapon that settled Saturday’s game, a jolting home run by Gardner with two outs in the bottom of the ninth off Erasmo Ramirez, the only righthander in the game for the Rays.
Stacking lefties against the Yankees is a tactic by opponents. Cash will throw another lefthander, Drew Smyly, against the Yankees and Michael Pineda Sunday in the series finale. The idea, of course, is to neutralize Ellsbury and Gardner, left-handed outfielders at the top of the batting order. Yankees manager Joe Girardi had taken to sitting one of them and using right-handed Aaron Hicks in the outfield against lefties, but Hicks got hurt Friday night and will be out for several more days because of traumatic bursitis in his left shoulder, so Ellsbury and Gardner were both in the lineup and had a huge game.
They combined to reach base five times in 10 plate appearances. Gardner had both RBI for the Yankees. Their other run was scored in the first inning on a wild pitch by Snell, who settled down after that. It was the first walk-off victory for the Yankees this season, and the second game-winning homer of Gardner’s career. The other was Aug. 11, 2013 against the Tigers.
Gardner has been the Yankees’ most consistent hitter on the homestand by batting .444 with five runs, two doubles, two home runs, four RBI and five walks in seven games and 25 at-bats.
This has been a big bounce back series for the Yanks, who were swept by Oakland and dropped two of three to Seattle in stumbling into last place in the American League East. They switched places with the Rays with the victories Friday night and Saturday.
Before the game, the Yankees saluted CC Sabathia, wife and mother Marge for their PitCCh In Foundation’s initiative to renovate a baseball field at Claremont Park in the Bronx. The Sabathia’s thanked supporters of the project to refurbish the facility at the corner of Clay and Webster Avenues at a cost of approximately $500,000. Partners involved with the Claremont Park project included members from the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, the New York City Department of Environmental Protection, the Yankees, the New York Police Department’s 44th Precinct and Roc Nation. The Foundation dedicated the field renovation to the Rolando Paulino Little League, which was represented by board member Emily Rufino and Little League players Justin Zapata and Elias Barcacel
That day of rest Friday paid off for Alex Rodriguez, Brian McCann and Carlos Beltran Saturday. The trio combined for five hits in 12 at-bats (.417), including two home runs, in the Yankees’ 8-4 victory over a Detroit team that had shut them out on three hits Friday. Six of the Yankees’ runs were scored by one of three aging veterans who were on the bench the day before.
Those booming bats proved comforting to CC Sabathia, who was perfect through three innings and had a 6-0 lead by the fourth. Sabathia was the first Yankees starting pitcher to take the ball into the seventh inning this year. Manager Joe Girardi decided not to push the big guy any further after the lefthander gave up a leadoff single in the seventh on his 90th pitch.
No longer the overpowering pitcher he was back when he was winning the American League Cy Young Award, Sabathia relied on cut fastballs and sliders to get through the Tigers’ deep lineup with a bevy of right-handed pop. CC did walk four batters after the Yankees had not issued a free pass the previous two games. He had a tough fourth inning when Detroit used three walks and two singles to score two runs. The Tigers got the first two batters on base in the fifth, but Sabathia defused the rally as he initiated a double play on a comebacker by Justin Upton and then retired Miguel Cabrera on another ground ball.
Sabathia was encouraged toward the end of last season when he was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in his final five starts pitching with a new brace on his troublesome right knee. However, his spring training was nothing tonight home about (1-3, 5.51 ERA) as he barely beat out Ivan Nova for the fifth starter’s spot. Sabathia’s effort Saturday was a positive sign that he can still batters out despite a noted drop in velocity.
Rodriguez gave CC a lead before he took the mound with an impressive home run to center field with two out in the first inning off Mike Pelfrey, the off-season, free-agent acquisition who pitched poorly in his first outing for the Tigers (six earned runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings). It was career homer No.688 for Rodriguez, who had homered in his first at-bat in the spring but did not go deep again after that until Saturday.
McCann continued his career success against Pelfrey with a leadoff single in the second and came around to score on a two-out single by Didi Gregorius. McCann walked in the fourth and was again driven home by Gregorius, this time on a sacrifice fly. In 43 career at-bats against Pelfrey, McCann has batted .465 with eight doubles, two home runs and seven walks. Much of their history dates to their years in the National League East when McCann was with the Braves and Pelfrey the Mets.
A bases-loaded triple later in the fourth by Jacoby Ellsbury spelled the end for Pelfrey. McCann got his second single of the game with one down in the fifth and scored on Beltran’s second home run of the season, a jolting blow to right-center off reliever Buck Farmer.
It was certainly a much stronger lineup the Tigers faced Saturday than Friday. Starlin Castro bounced back from a 0-for-4 game Friday with two hits Saturday, including career No. 1,000 on a single in the seventh. Ronald Torreys got a start at third base and had three singles to raise his batting average to .800.
Yes, it is April.
Here is the statement from CC Sabathia, who announced that he will enter an alcohol rehabilitation center and will not pitch in the postseason for the Yankees:
“Today I am checking myself into an alcohol rehabilitation center to receive the professional care and assistance needed to treat my disease.
“I love baseball and I love my teammates like brothers, and I am also fully aware that I am leaving at a time when we should all be coming together for one last push toward the World Series. It hurts me deeply to do this now, but I owe it to myself and to my family to get myself right. I want to take control of my disease, and I want to be a better man, father and player.
“I want to thank the New York Yankees organization for their encouragement and understanding. Their support gives me great strength and has allowed me to move forward with this decision with a clear mind.
“As difficult as this decision is to share publicly, I don’t want to run and hide. But for now please respect my family’s need for privacy as we work through this challenge together.
“Being an adult means being accountable. Being a baseball player means that others look up to you. I want my kids – and others who may have become fans of mine over the years – to know that I am not too big of a man to ask for help. I want to hold my head up high, have a full heart and be the type of person again that I can be proud of. And that’s exactly what I am going to do.
“I am looking forward to being out on the field with my team next season playing the game that brings me so much happiness.”
In what seemed a foregone conclusion at the start of the final homestand of the regular season that the Yankees would clinch their first postseason appearance in three seasons, it took until the last home game of 2015 for them to make it a reality.
After three straight losses to the Red Sox, the Yankees ended the agonizing path to a wild-card playoff berth Thursday night with a 4-1 victory over their long-time rivals. The Yankees were able to taste some champagne before (and perhaps during) their charter flight to Baltimore where they will start a three-game series Friday night (weather permitting) with one more task remaining, that of guaranteeing they are the home team for the wild-card game next Tuesday night.
Just qualifying for that game had been a chore for the Yanks, who were eliminated from the American League East race Tuesday by the division champion Blue Jays. Boston put up a roadblock for three nights, but the Yankees broke through on a damp, chilly night in a game that was played through a steady drizzle over the first six innings.
Having had trouble hitting with runners in scoring position in the series (6-for-29, 30 runners left on base in 27 innings), the Yanks resorted to their traditional ally — the home run — to provide the support for the quality pitching supplied by CC Sabathia, Adam Warren and Dellin Betances.
Solo shots by Carlos Beltran off starter Rich Hill in the second inning, Greg Bird off Jean Machi in the seventh and Rob Refsnyder off Heath Hembree in the eighth powered the Yankees to the 10,000th victory in franchise history. The other RBI for the Yankees was by Brendan Ryan on a two-out single off Hill in the second.
The hearty souls in the announced crowd of 40,033 at Yankee Stadium were rewarded for their endurance under miserable weather conditions.
Upon returning from the disabled list Sept. 9 after recovering from right knee inflammation, Sabathia vowed to have impact on the Yankees’ drive to the postseason, and he did exactly that. The big lefthander held Boston to one run, six hits and three walks (one intentional) with three strikeouts in five innings. In five starts since his return from the DL, Sabathia was 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA in 29 innings.
Sabathia leads the Yankees in innings pitched with 167 1/3. Excluding the strike-shortened seasons of 1981 and 1994, the Yankees have never completed a season in which no pitcher reached 170 innings.
Even more impressive Thursday night was Warren, who supplied three innings of shutout, one-hit, three-strikeout relief. Manager Joe Girardi planned to have Warren pitch out of the bullpen in the wild card game, so nailing down Thursday night’s game meant that Warren does not have to bs used as a starter in Baltimore.
Betances worked the ninth and retired the side on order with two strikeouts for his ninth save. Betances’ game-ending strikeout of Josh Rutledge was the 589th punchout by the Yankees’ bullpen this season, which ties the major league record set in 2012 by the Rockies. The Yanks will likely establish a new standard sometime over the weekend.
This year’s Yankees are the first team in major league history to have seven pitchers get at least 100 strikeouts in a season. Prior to this season, they had never had more than five pitchers reach triple-digit strikeouts in a season (four times, most recently 2013).
How is that innings limit on Matt Harvey looking now? To the Yankees, it looked great Sunday night.
No sooner had Harvey been told his night was over after the fifth inning despite working on a one-hit shutout than the Yankees got on the board finally and swayed the momentum of the game. An 11-2 pasting won the Subway Series, four games to two, for the Yankees and moved them to 2 1/2 games behind the first-place Blue Jays in the American League East on the way to Toronto for a three-game showdown at Rogers Centre.
The Mets had to wonder what kind of karma was going on after Harvey was pulled after throwing 77 pitches, most of them quality, as he allowed one hit, an infield single, and one walk with seven strikeouts.
But in an attempt to limit Harvey’s innings in his return season from Tommy John surgery, the righthander was taken out of a close game and watched blurringly as the Yankees put up a five-spot in the sixth against Hansel Robles.
With Harvey out of the game, the Mets did nothing right that inning nor the rest of the game, for that matter. Two errors in the infield — an errant throw by second baseman Daniel Murphy and a dropped ball at third base by David Wright — fueled the inning highlighted by two extra-base hits — a two-run double by Carlos Beltran and a three-run home run by Dustin Ackley, who has had some big hits for the Yankees this month. Beltran, who entering the Subway Series had never had a game-winning RBI against the Mets, got two in the past two days.
In a matter of minutes, Harvey’s 1-0 gem was turned into a 5-1 Yankees lead for a run-starved and energized CC Sabathia. He gave up a quick run in the first on doubles by Ruben Tejada and Wright but after walking the bases full left the runners stranded by getting Michael Cuddyer on a foul pop. That was the first of nine straight outs as the lefthander hit his stride and kept the Yankees close until they could figure out a way to solve Harvey or hope the Mets would lift him sooner than later.
Sooner it came, and the Mets paid for it later. It turned out to be dark night for the Mets without the “Dark Knight.”
Sabathia was a winner for the first time in 10 starts since July 8 in his third straight strong start since coming off the disabled list. He has come through in his promise to be a factor down the stretch in the division race. Sabathia has allowed only two earned runs in 17 1/3 innings (1.04 ERA) in those three starts.
The night just got better for the Yankees, who added another run in the seventh on a bases-loaded walk and poured on five more in the eighth climaxed by a three-run home run by Greg Bird. And all those late runs meant Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances and Andrew Miller could stay seated in the bullpen and be well rested for the series in Toronto.
The Yankees’ 82nd victory guaranteed them a winning season for the 23rd consecutive year, the second longest above-.500 streak in major league history only to the franchise’s record stretch of 39 straight winning seasons from 1926 through 1964.
Sunday night’s Subway Series finale became an even bigger game for the Yankees after the Blue Jays lost again to the Red Sox in the afternoon. That trimmed Toronto’s lead over the Yanks in the American League East to three games.
So with a victory Sunday night over the Mets and Matt Harvey the Yankees would get to 2 1/2 games behind the Blue Jays heading into a true showdown at Toronto, a three-game series that begins Monday night that gives the Bombers a chance at returning to the top of the division.
Yet just as things were looking up for the Yankees, they sustained a severe blow before Sunday night’s game with the news that Masahiro Tanaka will have to be scratched from his scheduled start Wednesday night at Rogers Centre because of a Grade 1 sprain of his right hamstring.
Inter-league play was the culprit. Tanaka sustained the injury while running out a ground ball in the second inning of Friday night’s loss to the Mets, although he batted again in the fifth and remained in the game through six innings. The designated hitter rule is not in effect in National League parks, so Tanaka had to bat in the game.
A similar situation occurred to the Yankees in 2008 when pitcher Chien-Ming Wang suffered a serious foot injury while running the bases in an inter-league game at Houston, then an NL city.
The pitching match-ups for the Yankees-Blue Jays series have been set: Adam Warren (6-6, 3.33 ERA) vs. David Price (16-5, 2.42 ERA) Monday night, Luis Severino (4-3, 3.12 ERA) vs. Marco Estrada (13-8, 3.14 ERA) Tuesday night and Ivan Nova (6-8, 5.11 ERA) in place of Tanaka (12-7, 3.38 ERA) vs. Marcus Stroman (2-0, 3.00 ERA) Wednesday night.
But first things first. The Yankees need to get past the Mets. CC Sabathia, who has pitched well in two starts since coming off the disabled list and wearing a strong brace on his arthritic right knee, must dig down deep for a pennant-race performance. Sabathia allowed only one earned run over 11 1/3 innings (0.79 ERA) in his past two starts, both no-decisions. The lefthander is winless in nine starts since July 8 but is 0-1 with a 2.76 ERA over his past six starts.
Starting pitching has been a strength for the Yankees at Citi Field. With Saturday’s shutout over the Mets, the Yankees have pitched shutouts in three of their last four games at Citi Field (also May 14 and 15, 2014). They were the first visiting team to throw back-to-back shutouts at Citi Field and the first to blank the Mets at their home field in consecutive games since the Braves July 2 and 3, 1999 at Shea Stadium.
Yankees starters have a 0.81 ERA in their past seven starts at Citi Field covering 44 2/3 innings dating to June 24, 2012 and gave up two runs or fewer in each of those games. Since Citi Field opened in 2009, Yankees starters have allowed one run or fewer in 11 of 18 starts and two runs or fewer in 15 of 18 starts. The rotation’s career ERA at Citi Field is 2.04 in 110 1/3 innings.
The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Carlos Beltran’s three-run home run Saturday marked his first career game-winning RBI against the Mets, in his 25th career game against his former team. He is the only active player who has game-winning RBI against all 30 major league clubs.
When an opponent starts a left-handed pitcher, as the Mets are doing Friday night, Yankees manage Joe Girardi occasionally gives one of his left-handed hitting outfielders a night off. Not in Friday night’s Yankees lineup at Citi Field was Jacoby Ellsbury.
This should not come as a surprise considering the slump the center fielder has been in this month. Ellsbury is batting .123 with no extra-base hits or RBI in 57 September at-bats and has stolen merely one base. He has three hits in his past 38 at-bats, a .079 stretch that included a hitless string of 25 at-bats that he ended with two hits Wednesday night at St. Petersburg, Fla.
Ellsbury, who was sidelined for seven weeks in the first half of the season due to a right knee sprain, says he is healthy but he has not been the same hitter since he came off the disabled list. He was batting .324 with 14 stolen bases at the time of the injury but in 247 at-bats since his return July 8 Ellsbury has hit .211 with four steals as his season batting average has plummeted to .253.
As it was, this was not an easy decision for Girardi because Brett Gardner, who was the leadoff hitter Friday night and shifted from left field to center, entered the game hitless in his past 15 at-bats since his three-homer, seven-RBI performance in a doubleheader last Saturday against the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees are 9-8 in inter-league play this season and are on a four-game winning streak against the National League. They won two of three games in this year’s first Subway Series back in April at the Stadium, long before the Mets played their way into postseason contention.
Yankees batters have hit 23 home runs in 17 inter-league games and have scored at least 10 runs in three of their past four games. In inter-league play this season, the Yankees lead all clubs in on-base percentage (.364) and on-base plus slugging percentage (.843) and rank second in runs (108), batting (.290) and slugging (.480).
Yankees pitchers have a 4.89 ERA in 17 inter-league games and 152 2/3 innings after producing a 2.94 ERA in 183 2/3 innings last year, the third-lowest mark in the majors. Yankees starters have a 5.61 ERA in 94 2/3 innings this season and have allowed at least 5 earned runs in six of 17 starts.
Yankees pitchers are 1-for-18 (.056) in inter-league play this year. Branden Pinder ended a team 0-for-30 with an RBI double Aug. 30 at Atlanta, the first hit by a Yankees pitcher Chase Whitley May 14, 2014 at Citi Field, the first extra-base hit since Andy Pettitte’s double June 19, 2009 at Miami and the first RBI since CC Sabathia’s RBI groundout Aug. 2, 2013 at San Diego. Pinder was the second Yankees reliever in the designated hitter era (since 1973) to get a hit. The other was Mike Stanton June 6, 2000 at Montreal. Yankees pitchers have batted a combined .091 with nine doubles, 13 RBI and 45 sacrifice hits in 385 inter-league at-bats.
The Yankees are 3-4 in NL parks this season and are on a three-game winning streak. The Yankees lead the majors in all-time inter-league victories (201) and winning percentage (.593). They have posted a winning inter-league record in 15 of 18 seasons.
I doubt you will be hearing Yankees manager Joe Girardi gripe about the inequities in roster expansion in September, a favorite topic of his. Not after what happened Monday night, not after a player who was just called up from Triple A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre two days ago delivered the critical blow in what was perhaps the Yanks’ most improbable victory of the season.
This was a tale of two games, really, well, one inning and the other eight, actually. The Yankees were no-hit for seven innings, still scoreless after eight and facing a damaging loss to the Rays with two outs and nobody on in the ninth.
Then, you guessed it, somebody walked, the play that starts so many inconceivable rallies. The somebody was Brett Gardner, who just as quickly put himself in scoring position with a steal of second base.
Rays righthander Brad Boxberger, zeroing in on what would have been his 35th save, instead sustained his sixth blown save as Alex Rodriguez doubled to right-center to tie the score. Suddenly the Yankees had life on what was previously a dead night. After Brian McCann was walked intentionally, Slade Heathcott wasted no time by swinging at the first pitch and driving a three-run home run to left field.
Slade Heathcott! Right, the same young outfielder who had not batted in a big-league game since May and who spent most of this season on the disabled list because of a quad injury and who was still on a Triple A roster before joining the Yankees Saturday as a, that’s right, September callup.
Rosters may expand from the usual 25 to up to 40 come Sept. 1. Managers such as Girardi have railed against this practice in recent years, but it was sure nice for the Yankees to have had Heathcott part of Monday night’s unlikely 4-1 victory.
This was a scoreless game for seven innings, a pitcher’s duel between starters CC Sabathia of the Yankees and Erasmo Ramirez of the Rays. Sabathia had arguably his best game of the season as he did not allow a run for the first time in his 26 starts over 6 2/3 innings.
Unfortunately, the Yankees didn’t get him any runs, either, nor hits until Carlos Beltran foiled Ramirez’s no-hit bid with a scorching single off the shoulder of first baseman Richie Shaffer leading off the eighth.
Pinch runner Rico Noel swiped second, but the Yankees failed to advance him further. Tampa Bay broke the scoreless tie and ended a 21-inning scoreless streak in the bottom of the eighth against Justin Wilson on a two-out, RBI double by Logan Forsythe, who reached third on Brendan Ryan’s second error of the game.
Caleb Cotham got a big third out with a strikeout of Asrubal Cabrera and was rewarded with his first major-league victory when the Yankees rallied in the ninth. Andrew Miller added an exclamation point to the victory by striking out the side in the ninth for his 33rd save.
CC Sabathia hoped to an impact on this pennant race. It was felt when he limped off the field Aug. 23 that his 2015 season might be over. Wearing a brace on his arthritic right knee Wednesday night, Sabathia returned with a serviceable if unspectacular and ultimately disappointing performance.
The disappointment part had more to due with the leaky defense of second baseman Stephen Drew, whose two misplays during Sabathia’s 4 2/3 innings resulted in three runs, only one of which was earned but was nevertheless tainted.
“That was really the difference in the game,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said of those runs.
The Yankees lost, 5-3, to a Baltimore club that won two of three games at Yankee Stadium, a tough prelude to their upcoming four-game showdown against the Blue Jays that starts Thursday night.
Drew, whose batting average was below .200 most of the past two seasons, got a pass from Yankees fans because his fielding has mostly been a positive trait. Wednesday night, however, he turned out to be a thorn in Sabathia’s side.
In the first inning with a runner on first base and none out, Drew bobbled a bouncer by Gerardo Parra that might have been a double play. Drew was able to recover and get an out at first base, but Nolan Reimold was able to take second. One out later, he scored on Chris Davis’ flare single to right field.
Sabathia settled into a nice rhythm over the next two innings while Carlos Beltran thrust him into a 3-1 lead with a solo home run (No. 15) in the first inning and a two-out, two-run single in the third.
The Orioles threatened in the fourth on a leadoff walk to Davis and a single by Jonathan Schoop. Sabathia recovered nicely by striking out Caleb Joseph, retiring Steve Pearce on a fly ball to the warning track in left field and J.J. Hardy on a grounder to third.
The same scenario presented itself in the fifth as Dariel Alvarez walked and Reimold singled to start the inning. Parra bunted the runners into scoring position, and Sabathia got a big strikeout of Manny Machado on a pitch off the plate.
Girardi estimated before the game that he could get 85 pitches from Sabathia, which is precisely the number he got, except that CC’s 85th pitch, a 1-2 fastball, hit Davis and ended the lefthander’s outing before he could qualify for his first victory in eight starts since July 8.
Adam Warren took over with the bases loaded and appeared to have gotten out of the jam by getting Schoop on a grounder to third, but Drew mishandled third baseman Chase Headley’s peg for what would have been an inning-ending forceout for an error that allowed in two runs which tied the score.
Pearce, who was robbed of an extra-base hit in the second inning on a wall-climbing catch by left fielder Dustin Ackley, finally got something out of a long drive when he homered with one out in the eighth. The Orioles added an insurance run in the ninth on an RBI double by Davis, who had a big series (4-for-8, two runs, one double, one home run, four RBI, four walks).
For the second straight game, the Yankees were shut down by the Orioles’ bullpen, who held them hitless for six innings. As strange as it may seem, the work of Sabathia may have been the most encouraging aspect of this game.
The Yankees entered play Tuesday night merely a whisper out of first place in the American League East, but the medical reports continue to be unfavorable. Naturally at this time of year, plenty of players are banged up. Still, the Yankees are dealing with more of their share of injured players.
The latest to throw a monkey wrench in the division race is Nathan Eovaldi, the staff’s leading winner with a 14-3 record. An MRI revealed inflammation in the righthander’s pitching elbow. He has to be shut down for two weeks, which essentially means he is toast for the rest of the regular season.
Also hurting is left fielder Brett Gardner, who was out of the starting lineup for the second straight game because of a sore left shoulder which he crashed into a fence trying to make a catch in Saturday’s loss to the Rays.
Meanwhile, the prognosis on first baseman Mark Teixeira (right shinbone bruise) is not good. He received two more injections Tuesday. “The progress we expected to see we have not seen,” manager Joe Girardi said.
And Wednesday night, the Yankees’ starting pitcher will be CC Sabathia coming off the 15-day disabled list and wearing a new brace on his arthritic right knee.
Eovaldi’s injury creates a major hole in the rotation, which most likely will be filled by righthander Adam Warren, who began the season as a starter but has done a terrific job in relief. He had been expected to be a potent weapon out of the bullpen in the upcoming, four-game series at Yankee Stadium against the Blue Jays, whose lineup is laced with right-handed power hitters. It almost makes certain that Masahiro Tanaka, the scheduled starter for the Yankees Tuesday night, will go again Sunday on four days’ rest against Toronto, even though Girardi has preferred giving him an extra day between starts.
“I blame Eovaldi on myself,” Girardi said wearily, “because I used to say he is the one starter I didn’t worry about, and then this inflammation arose.”
Eovaldi said he felt fine during his start Saturday when he allowed three runs in 5 1/3 innings but uncomfortable after it. His chest felt tight, and there was soreness in his right elbow and shoulder. He did not play catch Sunday, his normal routine the day after a start, and told trainer Steve Donahue there was still pain in the elbow.
“I’m relieved that it is just inflammation and that everything is fine with the ligament,” Eovaldi said, “but the timing is bad.”
Is it ever? The Yankees have seven more games against the Blue Jays with their winningest pitcher unavailable for any of them.