Mike Mayers got a second chance in the Los Angeles Angels starting rotation after going toe to toe with Shane McClanahan in his first start of the season. But he was unable to replicate those results on Tuesday against the New York Yankees.
Mayers pitched 4.0 innings, allowing seven runs — five earned — on eight hits and two walks. He gave up home runs to Andrew Benintendi (solo), Anthony Rizzo (solo), and Aaron Judge, a three-run shot and No. 51 for the MVP hopeful on the season.
Despite their recent struggles, the Yankees have one of the most talented and powerful lineups in all of baseball. Mayers was disappointed in his performance, but knew that these things happen from time to time, according to Jeff Fletcher of The O.C. Register:
“They get paid to hit just like we get paid to pitch,” Mayers said. “They were better than I was tonight.”
Angels interim manager Phil Nevin showed support for Mayers after the game, putting partial blame on the defense for not supporting their starter by committing a two-run error in the third inning.
“Too too many in the middle, but we could have finished a play for him and it would have been a different story,” Nevin said.
Both the Benintendi and Rizzo home runs were center-cut fastballs. Players of that caliber are going to get good contact on that more often than not. However, the pitch sequence that led to Judge’s home run was one Mayers actually felt good about.
He threw a low-and-away fastball that touched the corner for a strike, then threw a cutter for a ball. He followed that up with a low fastball for a foul ball, then a high fastball that Judge hit 378 feet. But none of those pitches could be considered bad.
Now, the question turns to the next time this spot in the rotation comes up. After a less-than-ideal performance, the Angels could give Mayers another chance, or they could move to a different option.
Mayers replaced Touki Toussaint after a couple of rough starts, but Toussaint pitched 5.0 scoreless frames on Tuesday night in relief of Mayers. The Angels could also turn to Jaime Barria, who has been consistent as a long reliever this season.
The Halos have six days to decide before this turn in the rotation comes up again. In the meantime, they have a chance to take the three-game series against the Yankees in the rubber match on Wednesday night.
Nevin endorses Ohtani for MVP
Following the series opener in which the Angels defeated the Yankees 4-3, Nevin stood behind his two-way superstar, saying that Shohei Ohtani should win this year’s MVP award. However, Judge responded with his three-run home run on Tuesday, continuing to prove that he may be ahead of the pack in 2022.