Nathan Eovaldi couldn't make it out of the 5th inning, the Yankees got a huge boost from their bullpen and the bat of Carlos Beltran to help them down the Athletics in game three of a four-game set in Oakland Saturday night. The story of the game against Eovaldi was death by a thousand paper cuts in the form of singles. He gave up 11 before Joe Girardi had seen enough and went with Chasen Shreve out of the bullpen. Despite the fact that Eovaldi was able to get seven 0-2 counts on batters, he was only able to turn one of those into a strikeout. He just needs to find a more effective put away pitch than he has displayed so far.
Shreve looked amazing, striking out all four batters he faced. He's been criminally underused as a trusted bullpen arm not 6'6" or taller. In addition to Shreve, Justin Wilson, Dellin Betances, and Andrew Miller fully shut the door on the A's to give the Yankees' offense time to play catch up despite needing to get more outs than they should have had to. Miller converted his 15th save of the season with a 1-2-3 inning to close things out. He's been worth every penny to this point. You really can't say enough about the security of having two absolutely fantastic relievers there to protect narrow leads at the end of games.
Offensively, it was the Beltran who made the biggest difference. His two-run home run gave the Yankees their second lead of the game and this time it stuck. He drove in the final run of the game in the eighth inning with a single as well. For as bad as he look for all of April, his bat has come around quite nicely in May. Hopefully it sticks around. The Yankees got their first run and lead of the game in the first inning compliments of Brian McCann. Speaking of hitters doing pretty well this month, the Yankee catcher is in the middle of an RBI streak that hasn't been done since Yogi Berra. That's pretty good company to keep. Alex Rodriguez moved to within 16 hits of 3,000 with a single, despite the fact that the Yankees have pretty much decided not to acknowledge the milestone. Chase Headley also picked up two hits in the game, one driving in a run and one being one of the weirdest plays you'll ever see. Headley bunted down the third base line and the ball bobbled back and forth into fair and foul territory three times before coming to rest solidly on the line. It counts all the same. Also, Mark Teixeira stole a base. That's right. You may be reading this at 2 am and think that you're still dreaming, but you are not. It happened.
Ramon Flores got his first start with the big league club and was able to make an impact almost immediately with two big defensive plays. He threw out Marcus Semien at home plate to prevent a run and made a diving catch in foul territory as well. Slade Heathcott was able to get off to a great start when he was called up before he was forced to the DL with a quad strain, so hopefully Flores can pick up right where Heathcott left off.
Stephen Drew is still bad, FYI. This tweet has the best explanation of his futility.
Stephen Drew no longer hitting the ball forward, apparently.— Lohud Yankees Blog (@LoHudYankees) May 31, 2015
The Yankees are back in action tomorrow afternoon at 4 pm for the series finale from Oakland. Adam Warren gets the start and tries to secure a split with a win.