BOSTON — Adam Ottavino is ready to return to the scene of one of the worst outings of his career.
Ottavino has had three straight scoreless outings since failing to retire any of the six batters he faced in the Blue Jays’ 10-run sixth inning on Sept. 7 in Buffalo. Each of the six scored before he was removed from the game. Even before that, he allowed three inherited runners to score as the Blue Jays turned a 6-2 deficit into a 12-6 lead.
"With every outing, I try to strip away all the emotion out of it and look at it as analytically as I can, try to figure out what I did right, what I did wrong," Ottavino said Sunday.
Ottavino, who posted a 1.90 ERA in 73 games last season, has a 6.46 ERA in 20 games this season. What happened in Buffalo, where the Yankees will start a four-game series against the Blue Jays on Monday night, obviously is a significant part of that ballooned ERA.
Ottavino, who allowed a grand slam by Danny Jansen, the sixth and final batter he faced in that nightmare outing, did not appear in another game until six days later, which he said helped.
"Definitely made some adjustments coming out of that game in Buffalo pitch selection-wise and that sort of thing," he said. "But overall I didn’t want to get too down on it because it was one of three outings in my career that really stand out in a weird way. Try to look at it as an outlier and remember that I’m still pretty good. I think having a little bit of time [off] there and then getting back into games was good. Just want to keep pitching and try to get on a roll going into October."
Kratz takes the mound
Backup catcher Erik Kratz, 40, sported a half-decent knuckleball and a fastball that sat mostly in the range of 75 to 80 mph in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 10-2 loss to the Red Sox on Sunday at Fenway Park. He entered with the score 9-1 and allowed one hit, J.D. Martinez’s homer.
Kratz had allowed four runs (two earned) in five innings in five previous outings during his MLB career. This was the first home run he had ever allowed.
"It’s not the situation you want to be in, down that many runs," he said. "Try to enjoy it when you get that opportunity."
And did Kratz enjoy it?
"Oh, yeah," he said. "I definitely enjoyed it."