Al from Miami, the almost-hero
It was set up to be a perfect Hollywood moment — the prodigal son comes home and steps to the plate with the tying run on base and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning and a chance to be the hero.
But there would be no storybook ending this time for Alex Rodriguez, who flied out to right field and sealed the Yankees 2-1 loss on Monday. A-Rod has homered in 31 different parks in his major-league career, but never in a stadium located in his hometown of Miami.
Mark Teixeira drove in the Yankees only run with a solo homer in the second inning. The only other Yankee besides Teixeira to get a hit was Didi Gregorius, who had a double and single; the rest of the Yankees were 0-for-23. Booooo. The three hits were the fewest for the Yankees in a game at an NL park since June 22, 2002 at San Diego.
So it turns out that this little road trip to the land of sunshine and beaches was really bad for Yankee homecomings.
One day after Al From Miami made the final out in a one-run loss, Nathan Eovaldi, pitching in South Florida for the first time since being traded from the Marlins to the Yankees this winter, had the worst start of his career — and perhaps one of the worst by any pitcher in franchise history.
Eovaldi — who was tagged for eight runs and nine hits in 2/3 of an inning — became the first Yankee pitcher to give up eight runs and fail to get three outs since Bartolo Colon on July 14, 2011 against the Blue Jays. His nine hits allowed are the most for any Yankee that pitched fewer than one inning in a game over the last 100 seasons.
Somehow, this wasn’t the first time the Yankees were blown out by the Marlins. The 10-run loss matched the worst Interleague defeat suffered by a Yankee team — they lost 11-1 to the Florida Marlins on July 13, 2001 and 12-2 to the Mets on June 9, 2000.
Michael Pineda flirted with history on Wednesday night, but ultimately had to settle for just another dominating performance. Pineda threw six no-hit innings in the Yankees 2-1 win, before Christian Yelich homered to leadoff the seventh frame, the only hit that Big Mike would allow on the night.
It was his second start as a Yankee with at least eight strikeouts and no more than one hit allowed, a feat he also achieved Sept. 22 last year. The only other pitchers in franchise history with two starts like that are Bob Turley, CC Sabathia, Randy Johnson and Roger Clemens.
A-Rod was on base four times with two walks and two hits, including an RBI single that gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first inning. He’s the oldest Yankee with multiple hits and multiple walks plus an RBI in a game since a 42-year-old Enos Slaughter did it in June 1958.
Hook, line and sinker
The Yankees are streaking again … and this time it’s in the win column. After losing five of their previous six games, the Bronx Bombers have won two in a row. Muy bueno!
Brett Gardner and Carlos Beltran had the big hits for the Yankees in the 9-4 win over the Marlins on Thursday night. Gardner’s two run homer tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning, and in the next frame, Beltran’s two-run blast gave the Yankees a 5-3 lead.
The Yankees are now 34-11 (.756) when Gardner homers in his career, and have a .577 win percentage in all other games. For Beltran, it was his 378th career homer, tying Matt Williams for 70th place all-time.
CC Sabathia turned in a quality start and struck out seven batters, but got a no-decision. The Marlins remain the only team that Sabathia has not beaten in his career. He was trying to become the third active pitcher (A.J. Burnett, Dan Haren) and 14th in major-league history to beat all 30 current MLB franchises.