So basically, if you came into the game late, you missed it. And if you watched the 1st inning, chances are that you missed the rest of the game because you found something else more encouraging on TV — like the news about the tropical storm hitting Texas or who else threw their hat in the 2016 Presidential race or the latest update on the hacking scandal in the MLB world (more on that one at a later date).
The biggest news story (other than the aforementioned scandal) leading into tonight’s game was that the two pitchers that were keys to the off-season trade between the Yankees and the Marlins. The Yankees gave the Marlins reliever/starter David Phelps for Nathan Eovaldi. Phelps has been really good for the Marlins, as Nasty Nate has been for the Yankees. In other words, it’s been a good trade for both teams.
Until tonight. Phelps continued to prove why the Marlins are thankful for the trade, but Eovaldi faltered early and big. Nasty Nate couldn’t pitch his way out of anything tonight, not even making it out of the 1st inning. He threw 36 pitches, got just 2 outs, and gave up 9 hits and 8 runs. (Not a typo.) After a great groundout to lead-off the inning, Eovaldi’s missteps began — 3 singles loaded the bases, a 2-RBI single, then 3 consecutive RBI singles, a 2-RBI triple, a groundout (to his opposing pitcher), an RBI single, and an RBI double.
That was it for Eovaldi. And it was on to Chris Capuano for the long-haul tonight. Capuano got that elusive final out of that terrible 1st inning. Capuano would throw 77 total pitches into the 5th inning, keeping the Marlins from really doing much of anything under his watch.
In the 5th, with 2 (of his 5 total) strikeouts and 2 runners on base, Capuano turned the ball over to Chris Martin to finish the inning. And had Martin not thrown a perfect ball to Miami’s best hitter, things would’ve been just a bit nicer. Instead, that beautiful strike found the bat, that sent the ball over the center field wall for a big 3-run home run (2 of those runs charged to Capuano, unfortunately). A ground out closed out the 5th.
Martin didn’t give up anything else to the Marlins in the 6th and was able to hand over the game to Jose Ramirez for the final 2 innings. His 8th inning had some bumpy patches — a lead-off single and walk put runners on base, a 1-out wild pitch advanced them into scoring position, and then a 2-out single scored the lead runner.
And while the Marlins racked up a whopping 16 hits and 12 runs, the Yankees’ offense fell a bit short — 7 hits and 2 runs. In fact, the Yankees were chasing that big zero around the scoreboard well into the game.
It was the 6th inning that finally there was a breakthrough — with 2 outs, Gregorius singled, Teixeira walked, and then Brian McCann’s single scored Gregorius. “Finally, a run!” (Basically, what Yankees’ fans were saying everywhere, well those who were actually still watching the game.) And, in the 7th, the Yankees found a hole again. Two strikeouts and Drew and Jones on the corners with a walk and a single, Mason Williams hit a big double and scored Drew.
Phelps was given a bit of a gift of some big hits in that 1st inning and finding his stride (a familiar sight to Yankee fans who remember the young pitcher from recent seasons), throwing 108 pitches over his 7 full innings against his former teammates. Look, I’ve always been big on giving credit where credit is due, and Phelps was really good tonight.
And while he lucked out with the run support, he certainly didn’t get it from his defense. Something, I’ve learned over the last couple of days — the Marlins have decent hitting, great pitching, and terrible defense.
Final score in Miami: 12-2 Marlins. (Series shifts to the Bronx for the split.)
Now before you feel too bad about that score, let me reassure you that this wasn’t the worst loss tonight. The Rays lost to the Nationals (at home) 16-4 — a 12-run loss. A 10-run loss doesn’t feel that bad now.
Nope, still stings. Losing always bites. Nevermind.
I sat for a long time trying to find some way to spin this positively on here. Um… it’s time to go home, Yankees. Reclaim your turf and your wins.