It’s not difficult to find reason for caution with Nathan Eovaldi’s new contract with the Boston Red Sox.
The right-handed pitcher signed a four-year deal worth a reported $67.5 million on Thursday, ensuring the playoff hero stays in Boston through 2022.
If he spends the next four years pitching like he did in the playoffs, the contract will be a bargain. The issue, however, is that Eovaldi’s dominant run is far from the norm for his career, and he’s had arm issues to boot.
But it there’s one area in which you can’t question Eovaldi as he re-signs with the Red Sox, it’s his ability to pitch against Boston’s biggest rival, the New York Yankees.
In four career regular-season starts against the Yankees, Eovaldi is just 1-1 but has an impressive 1.93 ERA with 18 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings, allowing just 14 hits in those starts.
His numbers against the Yankees after joining the Red Sox were even more impressive.
Those numbers, of course, include the yeomen’s work Eovaldi did against New York during the American League Division Series. The hard-throwing righty kept the New York bats at bay, allowing just one run over seven innings in a series-changing 17-1 win in Game 3 of the ALDS.
He’s also pretty comfortable in Yankee Stadium, where he frequently pitched as a member of the Bronx Bombers in 2015 and 2016. He owns a 10-5 record with a 3.70 career ERA in 26 appearances.
It’s probably still a little early to declare Eovaldi a “Yankee killer” just yet, but if he can spend the next four years building on these gaudy stats, there will be no denying his place in the storied rivalry.
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Thumbnail photo via Richard Mackson/USA TODAY Sports Images