10:00 PM EST, ESPN – Money Line: Yankees -145, Run Line: 7.5o20
After splitting the first two games, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels meet in the rubber-match of their latest three-game set from Angels Stadium in Anaheim, California. The Yankees (38-24, 1st in AL East) saw their six-game winning streak come to an end last night, as the visiting side lost a late lead in Eighth Inning before falling in defeat in the Eleventh, courtesy of an Eric Young Jr. RBI Single. After falling behind in the Fourth stanza, Joe Girardi’s charges stormed back via Brett Gardner (.261 BA, 11 2B, 13 HR, 30 RBI) Single to Rightfield, followed by Chase Headley (.240 BA, 13 2B, 4 HR, 26 RBI) Solo Home Run to Centerfield to take a one-run lead. Again, things unraveled late, as the Bullpen had to make an early appearance after starting pitcher CC Sabathia (7-2, 3.46 ERA), who pulled his Hamstring late in the Fourth. Reliever Tyler Clippard (1-3, 2.00 ERA) served up the tying homer to Young, while Chasen Shreve (1-1, 1.47 ERA) took the loss after giving up the go-ahead single in Extras. By and large, New York’s powerful lineup was rendered inert, particularly MVP candidate Aaron Judge (.341 BA, 11 2B, 22 HR, 49 RBI), who is currently leading the American League in Batting Average, Home Runs, and RBIs. Judge went 0-for-4 from the plate, while the likes of Matt Holiday (.273 BA, 11 2b, 13 HR, 44 RBI), Starlin Castro (.323 BA, 12 2B, 12 HR, 41 RBI), and Gary Sanchez (.268 BA, 4 2B, 10 HR, 28 RBI) went a combined 0-for-13 in their opportunities. However, the main concern lies with Sabathia’s injury, as the big Lefthander looks destined for the Disabled List after Tuesday’s injury. Disappointment must be abound in the Yankees’ clubhouse, for the 36-year old has been in his best form in ages, winning five consecutive starts, while sharing the team lead in victories. The 2007 Cy Young winner had opened the campaign with a bloated 5.77 ERA, with nearly as many walks (twenty-four) as strikeouts (twenty-seven), only to have discovered the proverbial Fountain of Youth, sporting a miniscule 0.99 ERA, thirty-five strikeouts and just seven walks in his last six starts. Taking the mound tonight for Girardi and Co. is Michael Pineda (7-3, 3.39 ERA), who after getting tagged north of the border, rebounded nicely in his last start against the hated Red Sox. The 28-year old was in fine form, striking out nine while walking one, and yielding one lone run (though it wasn’t earned) on just four hits over the course of seven strong innings. The towering Dominican Republic National was coming off of his worst start of the campaign, yielding five earned runs, including a pair of homers, on ten hits in just five innings of a 7-5 loss at Toronto June 2nd. With last week’s ownership of Boston, the Righthander lowered his ERA to a solid 3.39, while elevating his Strikeout Rate to a healthy 9.4 per Nine Innings. Apart from young flamethrower Luis Severino, Pineda has been one of New York’s most consistent arms in the Rotation, leading them in victories (seven), while permitting the fewest Walks per Nine Innings (2.1), brining his K/BB Ratio to 4.41. From 2014 to 2016, he has faced the Angels just once, permitting three runs on four hits, including a home run, with four strikeouts and a pair of walks en route to the victory.
Meanwhile, the Angels (34-34, 3rd in AL West) are simply searching for some semblance of consistency, after reaching .500 with their -2 comeback victory over the Yankees Tuesday Night. Things started well enough for Mike Scioscia’s charges, who took an early lead on the strength of CJ Cron (.229 BA, 4 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI) RBI Single to Centerfield in the Fourth Inning, only to see their bats go largely silent for the following four frames. Fortunately, they would wake up in the Eighth, as Eric Young Jr. (.314 BA, 3 2B, 3 HR, 9 RBI) blasted a Tyler Clippard pitch to Rightfield, tying the contest, before adding to his resume’ with a walk-off Infield Single driving home Andrelton Simmons (.281 BA, 14 2B, 6 HR, 28 RBI) for the decisive score. It was some welcome offensive production from a Utility Player, but then again, with MVP Mike Trout (.337 BA, 13 2B, 16 HR, 36 RBI) languishing on the Disabled List, Los Angeles will take firepower wherever they can find it. With that said, credit must go to the Pitching Staff, which really took it to one of the more explosive lineups in the Majors, limiting the Yankees to just two runs on seven hits, with JC Ramirez (6-4, 4.19 ERA) putting forth a quality start despite not earning a decision, yielding two runs on five hits, while racking up seven strikeouts compared to three walks. Afterward, the Bullpen handled their business, permitting just two hits over the final four innings of play. Heading to the bump tonight for Scioscia and Co. is Matt Shoemaker (6-3, 4.22 ERA), who looks to continue his positive run as the Angels look for more consistency from their Rotation. Scioscia has granted six different pitchers a chance to cement their place among the starters, but it’s safe to say that none have really stood out; of the six players to start for the Angels, only one currently has an ERA under 4.00, and that’s Tyler Skaggs, who is currently operating at a 3.99 ERA, which is really cutting it close. Shoemaker though, has been the most vested member of this group, though his performances have been anything remotely close to what you would want from an Ace; the 30-year old has struggled with his control, serving up fourteen home runs (which has been a problem plaguing the entire Staff), while averaging 3.3 Walks per Nine Innings, the second-highest among his cohorts in the Rotation. The Righthander has been tagged for four homers over the past three outings, including one in each Start, even though he managed to come away with the victory in each of his last two. Though he was unable to leave Houston unscathed over the weekend, he lasted seven innings, yielding four runs on seven hits, with four strikeouts and a walk, en route to a 9-4 win against their white-hot division rivals. Perhaps this is a sign of good things to come, as the veteran has looked far more settled over the duration of his last six starts, in which he has posted a quality 3.19 ERA while averaging 8.19 Strikeouts per Nine Innings, on his way to 5-1 record. Now we’ll see if he can slow down another hot opponent, as New York has now won of their past games on the strength of a powerful lineup. Over the last three years, Shoemaker has faced the Yankees twice, both of which he earned the defeat, allowing six runs, including three homers, on fifteen hits in just 13.1 innings of work.