Tagged: Angels

Eovaldi and the bullpen led the Yankees to a win over the Angels in the series finale

Nathan Eovaldi

Nathan Eovaldi

The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-1, to prevent being swept in the final game of the series. The Yankees scored as many runs in this game as they had in their previous three games combined.

After the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, as a result of Chase Headley’s single to right that scored Didi Gregorius in the third, Garrett Jones hit what ended up being the game-winning homer. His homer to right field over the scoreboard with two outs was his fifth of the season and first hit in his previous eight at-bats.

The Yankees tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning on an RBI single to center by Gregorius that scored Brian McCann. Gregorius was 2-4 and has three multi-hit games in his last five contests.

“I just have to keep hitting the ball hard and contribute when I can,” Jones said. “I feel like I saw it in the middle and got a nice smooth hard swing on it. Nate pitched a great game and our bullpen shut them down. You have to tip your cap to them.”

Nathan Eovaldi had what was his best start of the season as he held the Angels scoreless in 5.1 innings. He allowed five hits and held the opposition scoreless for the first time this season. He was taken out of the game after walking Mike Trout and Albert Pujols to load the bases in the sixth inning with one out.

He has rebounded from allowing nine runs in less than an inning against the Miami Marlins in Miami to allow two runs or less in his last three starts. These three starts lowered his ERA from 5.12 to a more respectable 4.52. His improved off-speed pitches have helped him not have to rely on his fastball as much.

“My split has been a lot better for me,” Eovaldi said. “I got a lot of outs with it. Not having to rely on the fastball all the time helps out.” He said that he now trusts and believes in his off-speed pitches more and can throw them in any count.

Eovaldi was able to use his improved command to get Mike Trout and Albert Pujols out after Giavotella was on second with one out in the first inning. Eovaldi had 11 ground ball outs. The Angels went 0-22 with runners in scoring position against the Yankees during the three game series.

Chasen Shreve got Erick Aybar to pop up and David Freese to ground out to third after coming into the game the bases loaded in the sixth. In the seventh, he retired the side in order after striking out Efren Navarro to end the frame.

“He has been doing it all year so we have a ton of confidence in him,” Joe Girardi said. “He throws strikes, he doesn’t walk people and he uses his split really well. He doesn’t beat himself and throws strikes.” Shreve has 15 straight scoreless appearances.

“I just try to focus on the glove and make my pitches,” Shreve said. “I just try to stay focused and stay with my routine.”

Chase Headley played well on offense and defense against the Angels. He had seven assists during the game and went 3-5 with his 29th RBI of the season. This game could get him back on track as he only had one hit in his previous 15 at-bats.

The only run that the Angels scored was a homer by Trout off of Justin Wilson that went just over the fence in right center. Trout’s 21st homer came after Wilson retired Giavotella and Calhoun, which meant that the homer didn’t cause much damage.

Dellin Betances retired the final batter of the eighth inning and pitched out of trouble in the ninth inning for his seventh save of the season and seventh scoreless game in his previous eight.

He walked two batters in the ninth but was able to strikeout Daniel Robertson on curve ball and then strikeout C.J. Cron to end the game. The Yankees are now 36-2 when leading after seven innings.

“We went on a tough road trip, but 3-4 is a lot better than 2-5,” Girardi said.

The Yankees (42-37) went into their off day on a positive note as they are now half a game out of first in the AL East. The Rays and Blue Jays are both one game behind the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees lost to the Angels 2-1 for their second consecutive loss in Anaheim

Mark Teixeira

Mark Teixeira

The Yankees only had two hits in their 2-1 loss to the Angels in Anaheim on Tuesday night. They are now on a three-game losing streak and have scored only one run in all three of those losses. The Yankees could have moved up in the AL East with a win since the Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Tampa Bay Rays all lost on Tuesday.

Against Andrew Heaney, who was making his second start of the season and the seventh one of his career, the Yankees did not get a single runner into scoring position. The only run that the Yankees scored off of the No. 1 prospect in the Angels organization after the 2014 season was a solo homer near the rocks in center in the 2nd inning by Mark Teixeira on a low fastball. That was his 19th homer and 54th RBI of the season.

Heaney pitched seven strong innings while striking out seven and only allowing two hits. Brett Gardner, who is now on an eight-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games in that span, had the only other hit off of Heaney. Chris Young, Alex Rodriguez and Brian McCann, who were the No. 2, 3 and 5 hitters in the lineup, combined to go 0-11 with three strikeouts and two double plays.

“I think overall we had some pretty good at-bats,” Rodriguez said. “We hit a lot of balls hard right at people tonight. The kid had good stuff and pitched a good game. He challenged us all night long with a lot of fastballs and today he was just a little better than us.”

Rodriguez thought that the pitching that he saw from Ivan Nova and Adam Warren can be a sign of what is to come. “What I am most encouraged about is tonight we saw a little preview of hopefully what the rest of the year is going to be like for us with Nova, with Warren, we have (Jacoby) Ellsbury coming back soon and Andrew (MIller),” Rodriguez said. “I am really optimistic about the rest of the year.”

Nova was not as effective as he was in his first start this season when he allowed no runs and three hits in 6.2 innings, but he did pitch very well with runners in scoring position, which helped him only allow only two runs in 5.1 innings even though the Angels had eight hits and two walks off of him. Nova had seven strikeouts and the Angels went 0-7 with runners in scoring position against him.

The Angels won the game because they hit back-to-back homers off of Nova to begin the sixth inning. Albert Pujols, who is a nine-time All-Star and is having his best season since coming to the Angels, hit his league leading 24th homer. Erick Aybar, who is not know for his power, hit his second homer of the season to give the Angels a 2-1 lead.

Warren, who was making his first appearance out of the bullpen since leaving the rotation due to Nova’s return from the disabled list, pitched 2.2 innings while only allowing one hit. He will add another reliable righty reliever to the bullpen. Warren, who had a solid 3.59 ERA in 14 starts this season, had an impressive 2.97 ERA in 69 games out of the bullpen last year.

In the ninth, with longtime closer Huston Street pitching, Young struck out on a check swing and Rodriguez grounded out to third to set off the fireworks and end the game. Street picked up his 298th save and his 51st with the Angels.

During Tuesday’s loss Carlos Beltran aggravated an existing injury to the left side of his ribcage in the fifth inning. He will likely receive an MRI when the team returns to New York after Wednesday’s game. It was announced that the Yankees will call up outfielder Taylor Dugas to replace Beltran.

The Yankees have one more game in Anaheim before returning home. The Yankees, who are half a game out of first in the AL East, have a 21-14 record at Yankee Stadium and a 20-23 record on the road. In the series finale, Nathan Eovaldi (7-2, 4.81 ERA) will pitch for the Yankees and Matt Shoemaker (4-6, 5.03 ERA) will get the start for Anaheim.

The bullpen, with the emergence of Betances and Warren, is now a strength for the Yankees

Dellin Betances

Dellin Betances

The Yankees won two out of their three games in Anaheim against the Angels. Derek Jeter and Brian Roberts both hit their first homer of the season in the series, and the Yankees had dominating starts from Hiroki Kuroda and Vidal Nuno in the two wins.

Nuno, who is from San Diego and was pitching in front of his family and friends for the first time since high school, had his second excellent start while replacing Ivan Nova in the rotation. In his first outing, on April 20, Nuno shutout the Rays and only allowed three hits in five innings, and on Wednesday, he pitched 6.1 innings, allowed four hits and only one run.

He is a 26-year-old who was pitching in the independent Frontier League for the Washington Wild Things in 2011 before the Yankees signed him and assigned him to the Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Pennsylvania League. He does not throw very fast, but works deliberately on the mound and relies on a plus changeup and other off-speed pitches.

Nuno has been able to neutralize to potent offenses as he has pitched well against the Rays and Angels, which makes it seem like he could be a solid addition to the rotation for the long haul. He has a 5.47 ERA for the season, but his ERA would be much lower if it was not for the seven runs that he allowed in 3.1 innings of relief on April 8 against the Baltimore Orioles.

The Yankees, whose bullpen was a question mark heading into the series as there wasn’t a proven set-up man or closer, have had a few members of their bullpen really step up this season. Adam Warren, Dellin Betances, Preston Claiborne, David Robertson and Shawn Kelley have all pitched well and have given Joe Girardi a number of options that he can rely on.

Specifically in the series against the Angels, Claiborne, who has pitched well this season after struggling in September of last season, pitched 1.1 scoreless innings, Betances allowed a run in 1.2 innings while striking out two and Robertson struck out one in the ninth to record his fifth save of the season.

On Monday, the bullpen had one of their few hiccups of the season, as Kelley’s three runs allowed in the eighth led to the lone loss of the series for the Yankees (and also bumped his ERA from 1.88 to 3.60). However, other than that game, he picked up four saves while Robertson was on the disabled list, had not allowed a run in 12 of his previous 14 appearances and has 16 strikeouts to seven walks on the season, which includes three walks from the game on Monday.

Betances, who went to high school in Brooklyn, has been a bright spot as he made the opening day roster for the first time. His strikeout to walk ratio is outstanding given that he has 30 strikeouts and only nine walks. After throwing many pitches as a starter, he has found success while predominantly throwing his upper 90s fastball and slurve in the bullpen. After not being able to throw his curveball for strikes in the 2012 regular season, his teammate in the Arizona Fall League, Michael O’Brien, showed him a new way to grip his curveball. It is a mixture between a curve and slider, hence the word slurve.

Betances has a 2.08 ERA so far, and he is starting to pitch in higher leverage situations based on how reliable he has been. He has impressively struck out two or more batters in 12 of his appearances and he can thank his increased control and slurve for that success.

It was expected for Robertson to pitch well and he has not disappointed. D-Rob missed 15 games early on as a result of a strained groin, but that has not limited him after his return. He has a 1.13 ERA, five saves and seven strikeouts to only four hits in his first season after taking over for the great Mariano Rivera.

Warren, who is in his second full season in the majors, has been a pleasant surprise out of the bullpen. The converted starter had a 3.39 ERA last season in the pen, and he is pitching much better this season. His confidence is showing as he has a 1.40 ERA in 19.1 innings, 16 strikeouts, four holds and only four walks. Warren’s emergence gives the Yankees three reliable arms behind Robertson in the bullpen, to go along with the veteran Matt Thornton.


Kuroda’s best start of the season and Roberts’s homer helped the Yankees beat the Angels

Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter before the season.

Brian Roberts and Derek Jeter before the season.

Hiroki Kuroda’s best start so far this season helped the Yankees (17-15) defeat the Angels in Anaheim 4-3 on Tuesday night. He resembled the pitcher that he was last season that made him a borderline All-Star as he pitched 7.2 innings, gave up five hits and no walks, only one earned run and struck out a season-high eight batters.

Kuroda, who is an even more important pitcher for the Yankees right now since Ivan Nova is out for the season due to Tommy John surgery and Michael Pineda will miss three-four more weeks with a strained back muscle, had his first start of the season where he pitched into the seventh inning. His dominating start lowered his season ERA from 5.14 to 4.43, and Kuroda was impressively able to rebound from his start against the Angels two weeks ago where he allowed six earned runs and two homers in 4.2 innings pitched.

Joe Girardi was impressed by Kuroda and thought that his slider and sinker were effective. “His slider was really good again,” Girardi said. “I thought his sinker was excellent again tonight. I’ve been saying that once he gets his slider going, we’ll see the Kuroda that we’re used to seeing, and he had it tonight.”

Kuroda, who allowed one earned run but three runs overall, was not able to get the win because the run that Shawn Kelley allowed with two outs in the eighth was charged to him. Pujols’s single that drove home Mike Trout tied the score at three. Trout’s third triple of his season sent him to third, and it was only his third hit in his last 20 at-bats.

Brian Roberts hit a 390-foot homer to right with two outs in the top of the 9th off of Ernesto Frieri to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead that would end up winning the game for the Bronx Bombers. It was Roberts’s first homer of the season. In his past six games, Roberts, who came over to the Yankees after being injured during most of the past four seasons with the Baltimore Orioles, is hitting .348 to push his overall average up to a more respectable .250.

In the fifth inning, Roberts drove in the first run of the game for the Yankees as his single to center scored Yangervis Solarte. In the eighth inning, Alfonso Soriano gave the team a temporary one run lead because his single to left scored Carlos Beltran. Solarte and Roberts were the only Yankees to record two hits.

David Robertson was able to retire the Angels in order in the ninth for his fifth save in as many chances. Robertson has not had any trouble replacing Mariano Rivera so far this season.

Derek Jeter is now the only regular on the team without a home run. Ichiro Suzuki also has not hit a ball out of the park yet, but he is a part-time outfielder and does not have enough at-bats to qualify for the batting title.

The Yankees will play the Angels at 10:05 p.m. EST on Wednesday to try to win the series before starting a three-game set in Milwaukee against the Brewers.

The Yankees beat the Angels to win the series finale as Tanaka recorded 11 strikeouts

Tanaka pitching during his first start of the season.

Tanaka pitching during his first start of the season.

The Yankees beat the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, 3-2, on Sunday Night Baseball for their second win of the three-game series at Yankee Stadium. David Robertson walked one and struck out two in the ninth on his way to his fourth save of the season. This was his second save in as many days.

Masahiro Tanaka only allowed two earned runs in 6.1 innings pitched. However, his control was worse than in his previous four starts and his wildness led him to be taken out before the seventh inning for the first time this season. He allowed four walks and hit his first batter of his career, but he was able to make big pitches when he needed to and his splitter was working to perfection. Tanaka was due to have some control issues since in his first four starts he only had two walks.

This is what Joe Girardi had to say about Tanaka after the game: “The guy really competes. I think he is really tough minded and wants to compete at the highest level. I think you learn a lot about a pitcher when they are struggling. Him (Tanaka) and Mac (Brian McCann did a good job tonight.”

Tanaka had a 31-0 record in the regular season coming into the game and the offense was able to help him keep that streak alive. He was able to get the majority of his strikeouts off of batters swinging at strike three. Tanaka, who had 11 strikeouts, now has an impressive 46 strikeouts over 35.2 innings in five starts.

The Yankees were able to win the game even though they only tallied three hits to the six that the Angels had. The Yankees ended up winning the game as a result of scoring a run in the eighth inning after not recording a hit.

After Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran walked, Nick Maronde’s passed ball that went straight to the backstop after Chris Ianetta flat out missed it, caused Ellsbury to advance to third and Beltran to second. Then, with Brian McCann still batting, Maronde’s wild pitch that bounced a few feet before it reached the plate sent Ellsbury home to make the score 3-2 in favor of the Yankees.

Mark Teixeira, who had one hit in his last 10 at-bats coming into the game, blasted a home run to the second deck in right to lead off the seventh to tie the score at two. That was his second homer of the season. The solo round tripper tied him with Hideki Matsui and Tom Tresh for 31st in Yankee franchise history with 140.

David Freese hit a homer to right center to lead off the sixth inning to give the Angels a 2-1 lead. The Angels lead the league in home runs.

In the sixth inning, Carlos Beltran got on base after Richards could not catch Pujols’s toss to him at first, after Pujols made a great play to prevent the grounder from going into the outfield.

The Angels and Yankees both scored their first runs off of ground outs with runners on third. J.B. Shuck grounder into a fielders choice for the Angels and Ichiro Suzuki grounder to Erick Aybar at short allowed Teixeira to score. Teixeira scored his 384th run as a Yankee, which puts him eight behind Lou Piniella for 55th place.

Adam Warren, who has been a much better pitcher out of the bullpen than he was as a starter, allowed one hit and struck out two in 1.2 innings pitched after Tanaka was taken out of the game.

The Yankees, who have won five of their past seven games, have a 15-10 record and a 2.5 game lead over the Baltimore Orioles in the AL East. They will have an off day on Monday before Robinson Cano makes his highly anticipated return to Yankee Stadium as a member of the Seattle Mariners.