Cold Pitching, Bats Fail to Heat up Sparse Crowd
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, APRIL 11- Yankee Stadium looked like Zombieland last night as the Yanks slept walked through 19 innings to a small crowd that thinned by each yawning inning.
The newest addition to the starting rotation of the New York Yankees in Nathan Eovaldi. The righthander was obtained from the Marlins in December 2014 for two players who contributed mightily to the Yankees last year, David Phelps and Martin Prado. It was hoped by the Yankee brass that the 25 year-old would add youth and talent to its much injured staff of starters.
Eovaldi, born in Houston, resides in Alvin, Texas, the hometown of Hall of famer Nolan Ryan, which the Yankees hope is more than a coincidence. As a teenager, Eovaldi was chosen by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 11th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft.
His first major league start came in late in the 2011 season for the Dodgers. After 10 starts with Los Angeles in 2012, he was traded to Miami with Scott McGough for Hanley Ramirez and former Yankee hurler Randy Choate.
Eovaldi had a losing record in each of his four previous seasons in the majors. He began his Yankee service after losing his last eight decisions with the Marlins in 2014.
Eovaldi, like new teammate Michael Pineda, has been the victim of a lack of run support by his teammates. Last year, his run support, 2.70, during his starts was the lowest in the majors for a pitcher with at least 20 starts. That year was not an aberration as since 2011 his run support, 2.78, is the lowest for a pitcher with 75 starts for more.
Eovaldi and the Yankees hope this streak of bad fortune will end now that he is in the American League and has new teammates.
His first start of 2015 was on Friday night at Yankee Stadium against the Boston Red Sox.
Eovaldi, the only pitcher in the current Yankee starting rotation who has given up more hits than innings pitched, saw this weakness do harm in the first inning. Three singles by Dustin Pedroia, Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval accounted for the first run of the game.
A second multi-hit inning in the sixth led to two additional Red Sox runs and Eovaldi’s departure. He left the game trailing, 3-0, after surrendering eight hits. He walked one batter and threw two wild pitches in his final frame.
Another unfortunate similarity with his starts in the National League was his lack of run support from his teammates at bat. The Yankees did not score a run while the starter was in the game. They only managed to hit safely twice, a double by Brett Gardner in the fourth and a single by Brian McCann in the fifth.
Yankee batters only awoke from their slump after Eovaldi left the field. A single by Alex Rodriguez drove in the first Yankee run in the bottom of the sixth. A solo home run by Chase Headley with two out in the bottom of the ninth knotted the score at 3 and saved Eovaldi from getting his ninth straight loss.
There were no additional runs scored until the 16thwhen David Ortiz homered to put Boston in front. Mark Teixeira, celebrating his birthday, hit a solo shot in the bottom of the tie inning to tie the score at 4.
Each team scored a single run in the 18th, so the game continued. The game ended after 6 hours and 49 minutes in the 19th frame with a Red Sox win.
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