Shepherd worked four innings last night and threw 68 pitches, trading a start with Triple-A Norfolk for his major league debut. Other relievers in the past have been sent down, no matter the results, based on their lack of availability in the coming days.
Manager Brandon Hyde wasn’t ready to reveal a decision following the Orioles’ 8-3 loss to the Yankees. There are a few factors to consider, including an open date on the schedule later this week.
“Well, we’ve got the off-day after the day (game) tomorrow,” he said, “so we’ll figure all that out in the next couple of days.”
Perhaps that’s an indication that Shepherd will remain in New York for this afternoon’s series finale. The club didn’t announce any moves last night.
Shepherd replaced Miguel Castro to begin the sixth and allowed one run on Mike Tauchman’s two-out double after Cameron Maybin walked and moved up on a wild pitch. Tauchman was thrown out trying for the triple.
A two-out double by Gio Urshela and single by Gary Sánchez in the sixth didn’t harm Shepherd, and the Yankees left the bases loaded in the seventh - again putting runners on base after the first two batters were retired. Aaron Judge lined out to center field.
Sánchez walked with one out in the eighth and was stranded.
Shepherd got his first major league strikeout by punching out Judge (no Sidney Ponson jokes, please). He retired Gleyber Torres twice on fly balls.
A parade should be held in his honor.
“He picked us up,” Hyde said. “That was an awesome performance. Four innings for us. Now we have a lot of guys available tomorrow. Liked the way he threw strikes. I thought he had some nice curveballs, with the fastball-cutter mix, and attacked their hitters and got outs for us. Got 12 big outs.”
They seem monumental, given how often the bullpen has imploded this season.
* Chris Davis sat at a table next to the dugout entrance yesterday afternoon, before the Orioles filtered onto the field for batting practice, and watched more video of his at-bats. He hit, he studied and he tried again to figure out how to fix himself.
Last night’s lineup didn’t include Davis, who sat against right-hander Domingo Germán. Treatment that is more commonly reserved for an opposing left-hander.
Which leads us to today’s Yankees starter, lefty J.A. Happ, who has held Davis to four hits in 29 career at-bats - two doubles and two home runs - and has notched 13 strikeouts.
Does Davis play or sit?
He’s 1-for-12 with a double, RBI and nine strikeouts since Hyde removed him from last Wednesday’s game following a dugout argument. The breaking point hasn’t repaired his swing, timing or whatever is the issue.
“I think he’s just having a tough time,” Hyde said. “He’s grinding, he’s trying. (On Monday) they threw him a ton of off-speed and he had a tough time gearing up for the fastball. He faced Justin Verlander the day before, which is not an easy task for anybody.
“His attitude’s been great, everything’s going really well except for the results the plate. I just feel for him.”
* Happ hasn’t been especially sharp in August, making two starts and allowing 10 runs and 11 hits in 10 2/3 innings. He’s surrendered five home runs.
Happ hasn’t completed six innings in nine of his last 10 starts.
In four games against the Orioles this season, Happ has allowed 15 runs and 24 hits with seven home runs over 17 1/3 innings.
Trey Mancini is 9-for-27 (.333) with two doubles and three home runs lifetime against Happ. Renato Núñez is 8-for-16 with a double and four home runs and Hanser Alberto is 6-for-10 with two doubles and a home run.
Jonathan Villar is 0-for-19.
Dylan Bundy has a 6.19 ERA and 1.662 WHIP in 12 career games against the Yankees. He’s allowed 11 runs and 14 hits with 10 walks and 19 strikeouts in three starts in the Bronx over 13 2/3 innings.
Brett Gardner is 8-for-26 (.308) with three doubles against Bundy. Aaron Judge is 4-for-15 with three homers.
Bundy is 0-7 with a 6.08 ERA and 1.510 WHIP in 10 day games this season and 5-5 with a 4.22 ERA and 1.219 WHIP in 12 night games. He was 6-1 with a 2.07 ERA and 0.934 WHIP last season in nine day games and 2-15 with a 7.32 ERA and 1.672 WHIP in 22 night games.