Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Run Support And A Winning Record?
Yankee Universe Is An Alternative Dimension To Ex-Marlin Nate Eovaldi

By Barry Millman

In the afterglow of the Yankees' 5-2 win over the Tigers, some might feel the need to temper the giddiness by mentioning the lineup's  woeful 1-for-11 with RISP.

Just don't do it around  winning pitcher Nathan Eovaldi, who followed CC Sanathia's gritty eight-inning two-run complete-game loss Monday  with an even grittier seven-inning one-run performance of his own.

To the 25-year-old fireballing former Miami Marlin, five runs are almost an embarrassment of riches. The last time he got that many in support of one of his starts was back on June 28, 2014 with the Marlins; an outing broke a streak of eighteen consecutive starts with two or fewer runs of support.

Heading into last night's game he had received zero runs in 10 of his last 19 starts. That comes out to 1.05 runs/9IP over that span. His career run support average of 2.77 since 2011 is the second worst among pitchers with at least 75 starts,  topped (bottomed?) only by Ryan Vogelsong's 2.70.

Last season with Miami --  where he has said the only coaching he ever got was being told to just grip it, rip it and throw strikes --  he went 3-8 with a 4.06 ERA (95.1IP, 43ER) in 16 road starts while shackled to an agonizing 1.98/9IP run support average; the lowest for any pitcher in baseball. 

Yet, after three starts in pinstripes, he's sporting a 1-0 record with a 5.00 run/9IP run support average coming off  a road win for a team that has worked closely with him to hone his delivery and develop his secondary pitches.

Surely, Eovaldi must feel like he woke up this morning in an alternative dimension. But no, it's just Yankee Universe where every time he pitches he makes more fans forgive and forget he was traded for Martin Prado last winter.

Congratulations on your first win in pinstripes, Big Nate.  May the runs always be with you.

You can email Barry Millman at and follow him on Twitter @nyyankeefanfore.