Thursday’s finale to the Subway series was definitely not as exciting as Wednesday night’s game, at least not for the Yankees. There were no brushback pitches, no relief pitchers jawing at guys on second base, and no trading runs back and forth between the two teams, but there was something that happened on Thursday that Yankee fans have grown accustomed to seeing this season: Nathan Eovaldi and his troubles with the long ball. But before we get into that, let’s talk about how he was doing before his inning of doom.
Eovaldi was cruising until the top of the fifth. He and his counterpart, Bartolo Colon, traded zeros on the scoreboard for the first four innings with neither team able to get anything going. The Yankees’ best chance occurred in the bottom of the second when Brian McCann and Starlin Castro started off the inning with back-to-back singles, but Colon settled in and retired Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Rob Refsnyder to end the threat.
Eovaldi surrendered a line drive home run to Kelly Johnson to lead off the fifth. It left the park at a 19-degree angle and was a wall-scraper. He was able to recover from that and struck out Matt Reynolds for the first out and then the inning really went downhill. Curtis Granderson hit a double, then Alejandro De Aza hit a dribbler back to Eovaldi who inexplicably threw to second to try and get Granderson, but instead, threw it away which allowed De Aza to reach on the fielder’s choice. Neil Walker flied out to Aaron Hicks for out number two and it looked like maybe Eovaldi would escape the inning without further damage, but Jay Bruce had other things in mind: his 26th home run of the season, and first as a Met which put them up 4-0.
The Yankees scraped a run across in the bottom of the seventh, and made things interesting in the bottom of the ninth when Gregorius and Sanchez both singled with one out, but Refsnyder hit into a double play to end the game and the Mets held on to win 4-1.
The Play: Jay Bruce’s first home run as a Met (WPA +.253)
Coming into his fifth inning at-bat against Eovaldi, Bruce was 0-for-11 since the Mets acquired him on Monday. And what a way to break out of that stupor, winning the game with a big three-run home run for his new team. He hit it 393 feet and at a 28-degree angle, according to Statcast.
Yankees – Sanchez 2-4, with a double and a run scored
Mets – Bruce 1-4, with three RBI
—This is eighth time Nathan Eovaldi has allowed two or more home runs in a game in 2016 which leads all Major League pitchers.
—Luis Severino will move back into the Yankees’ rotation on Tuesday and replace Chad Green who was optioned back to Scranton.
—Mark Teixeira didn’t play because of a sore shin from the Matz bit by pitch in Wednesday’s game. He’s expected to be back in the lineup on Friday.
Bartolo was surprised A-Rod wasn't in lineup against him. Rod hits so well against him "I say he's my dad" Colon said.
— Anthony McCarron (@AnthonyMcCarron) August 5, 2016
The Yankees will be playing the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians beginning on Friday night and will more than likely be facing former teammate Andrew Miller. Friday’s matchup is between Josh Tomlin (11-3, 3.43) and Michael Pineda (5-10, 5.13).
Photo credit: Brad Penner / USA TODAY Sports