NEW YORK -- Sean Newcomb and Braves manager Brian Snitker both viewed it as just one of those days. But it was yet another of those days when Newcomb was not up to the challenge of besting one of baseball's top lineups.Heat and humidity may have influenced the command issues
NEW YORK -- Sean Newcomb and Braves manager Brian Snitker both viewed it as just one of those days. But it was yet another of those days when Newcomb was not up to the challenge of besting one of baseball's top lineups.
Heat and humidity may have influenced the command issues Newcomb endured during the ugly third inning the Braves experienced on the way to suffering a 8-5 loss to the Yankees on Tuesday night at Yankee Stadium. But it was still alarming to know the results were similar to those the still-developing hurler experienced when facing other potent offenses this year.
"I haven't felt uncomfortable," Newcomb said. "It's just some good teams got me on a couple different days. But I think that's definitely good going forward, going into those stadiums and knowing what to expect with the atmosphere."
Newcomb has allowed 13 earned runs in the 11 innings he has totaled in three road starts against the Red Sox, Dodgers and Yankees. The 25-year-old southpaw has posted a 2.40 ERA over his other 14 starts.
"I think he handles [the pressure]," Snitker said. "I don't ever see him getting caught up in stuff like that. I attribute it to other things. I have a lot of confidence in him. I like how he handles things. But any time they can experience this atmosphere, Wrigley Field or Boston, it's going to do nothing but make them better."
The Braves' bid to remain perfect through the first five games of this challenging road trip quickly unraveled as Newcomb needed 70 pitches to complete a career-short 2 2/3 innings. Home runs accounted for two of the three hits surrendered, and four of his five walks were issued as he totaled 30 pitches before exiting the third with the bases loaded.
"It seemed to be just one of those days," Snitker said. "It didn't look like he was hurting. He was just having a hard time controlling everything."
Aaron Hicks drilled a two-run homer over the short right-field porch in the first inning and Kyle Higashioka increased the Yankees' lead with a solo homer in the second inning. But Newcomb did not truly crumble until he was possibly affected by humid conditions during the third inning.
Newcomb walked two of the first three batters he faced in the third and then positioned himself for an escape by striking out Didi Gregorius. But he exited after issuing two more walks, the latter of which Brandon Drury drew with the bases loaded.
"I guess it was one of those days," Newcomb said. "It was definitely a hot one. I had to go out there and deal with the elements and a good lineup. I just didn't have my best stuff."
Working with a recently taxed, thin bullpen, the Braves were fortunate to have Luke Jackson provide three innings ahead of Evan Phillips, who went 2 1/3 innings in his Major League debut. Those contributions could prove valuable over the next few days as Snitker attempts to reset his 'pen and deal with the lingering effects of Newcomb's early exit.
"You just learn from it," Newcomb said. "I'll see what I did wrong and see what I did right and then just keep this moving forward. I'll just wipe it clean."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Jackson issued a bases-loaded walk to the first batter he faced in the third and surrendered the decisive run when Brett Gardner doubled and scored on a wild pitch during the fourth. But by providing three innings and nearly working through the end of the sixth, the right-hander proved quite valuable on a night when Snitker wanted to stay away from three relievers -- A.J. Minter, Jesse Biddle and Dan Winkler.
"What we didn't need was a short stint by a starter, and both of those guys [Jackson and Phillips] stretched the game really well," Snitker said. "That was huge to give everybody down there a day to rest."
BACK TO BACK
Yankees starter Domingo German surrendered just two hits until Ender Inciarte hit a two-run homer and Ozzie Albies followed with a solo shot in the fifth inning. Nick Markakis cut the deficit to 6-5 when he bounced a two-run homer off the top of the right-center-field wall in the seventh. Kurt Suzuki's bid to tie the game with Atlanta's second set of back-to-back homers died as Giancarlo Stanton snared his long drive at the top of the right-center-field wall.
Per Statcast™, Markakis' home run traveled a projected 364 feet and Suzuki's flyout a projected 360 feet. Ronald Acuna Jr. ended the inning with a 388-foot drive that Hicks secured in front of the center-field warning track.
"You just never know here, those fly-ball homers," Snitker said.
Called up from Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday, Phillips retired five of the first six batters he faced. The 23-year-old right-hander then walked Gardner ahead of Stanton's two-run, eighth-inning homer that landed in the first row just beyond the 314 sign in the right-field corner.
"I looked at it as just a home run at Yankee Stadium," Phillips said. "That's where we're pitching. It's something we talked about prior to this series and how if that happens, you can't worry about it. Luckily, I was able to do so."
Julio Teheran will take the mound when the Braves conclude a three-game series against the Yankees on Wednesday at 1:05 p.m. ET. Teheran has completed six scoreless innings in two of three starts since returning from the disabled list, but he has a 7.96 ERA in 10 starts against American League East opponents since the start of 2015. New York will counter with Carsten Sabathia, who has a 1.93 ERA over his past five starts.
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.