Tanaka dominates Mariners, leads Yankees to 4-2 win

DotF: Two losses on a slow day in the minors
The perfect fit and the trade that will (probably) never happen


Source: FanGraphs

Now this was a game that made staying up late worth it. The Yankees very nearly shut the Mariners out on Wednesday before Robinson Cano hit a two-run homer in the ninth (his first in Seattle as a Mariner!), so they had to settle for a 4-2 win instead. I’ll take it. Let’s recap the team’s second straight win:

  • Cy Tanaka: We’ve seen Masahiro Tanaka be very good this season, but I think this was his best outing of the year. My favorite part was when the Mariners were sitting on the splitter the second and third through the order, so Tanaka started painting the corners with fastballs for called strikes. It was awesome. The Cano homer ruined the shutout, but otherwise Tanaka still held Seattle to six scattered hits in his second complete game of the season, striking out eleven and walking one. The Mariners had one batter reach third base before the dinger, and that was in the eighth inning. Ain’t even mad about the homer. This guy is amazing. Just a brilliant performance.
  • Three Runs, One Swing: Jacoby Ellsbury singled in the Yankees’ first run in the third inning, but the big blow came in the fifth, when Mark Teixeira went down and golfed a pitch out to right-center for a three-run homer. The three runs felt like 30 with a) the way Tanaka was pitching, and b) the way things have been going for the offense lately. Brian Roberts (single) and Brett Gardner (walk) set up the first rally, Gardner (single) and Ellsbury (single) the second.
  • Leftovers: Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Ellsbury had two hits apiece. The top four hitters in the lineup went a combined 6-for-16 (.375) while the rest went 4-for-20 (.200) … Ellsbury extended his hitting streak to 15 games … Jeter stole two bases for the first time since September 2009 and only the second time since August 2006 … for exactly one batter in the ninth inning, Tanaka led all of baseball in ERA. That was before the homer. He still has an excellent 2.02 ERA. That’ll do just fine.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees will look to wrap up their first sweep of a three-game series this season when Chase Whitley and Roenis Elias square off on Thursday night. Their only sweep this year was a two-gamer over the Cubs at Yankee Stadium back in April.

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DotF: Two losses on a slow day in the minors
The perfect fit and the trade that will (probably) never happen
  • Dr. Martin Van Nostrand

    Really wanting that sweep now, with a chance to finish the season series 3-3 with the M’s despite dropping the three home games. No reason to think they can’t get it.

  • Dalek Jeter

    So…after he opts out do we sign Tanaka to a 40 mil AAV over 6 years (through age 35) or what?

    • Bavarian Yankee

      way to early to talk about that. They probably shouldn’t do it when the time comes … but they will. They always extend the guys that opt out. He’ll have tons of miles on his arm when he’s eligible to opt out and I think it’s pretty save to say that this thing has a good chance to turn into Sabathia 2.0. If he pitches the way he’s pitching now I can’t see them NOT extending him though, he’s just too good.

      Aside of that another terrific start by Tanaka. Just wow!

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Yes. Just have him sign a “do whatever the hell you want for as long as you want for as long as you want” deal. In 20 years, mick taylor’s wayward sperm will then complain about it.

    • 56 Mick

      You know having just read a story on ESPN how Verlander looks awful this season; 1. As a Yank fan, it makes the CC situation a little more palatable – thinking we’re not alone 2. There is pretty sufficient evidence these days that pitchers just aren’t as durable as they’ve been in the past and this ESPN article somewhat affirms this point. 3. Thank goodness we don’t have any pitchers aside from Tanaka signed for long term to big money. Tanaka comes from a different school of pitching and is only 25, so there is a better chance than not, he’ll be league average or better and healthy for the entire contract. CC is only on the books for 2 additional years following this season so I am personally not too worried and I do believe that he’ll be very useful to the rotation going forward as mid rotation guy. He’ll have his good days and some bad.

      Going forward I really hope the Yanks (as they’ve done with pitchers) continue to use discretion when handing out contracts. The Yanks have done relatively well in the past with 1 year pitchers.

      • Jorge Steinbrenner

        Should Yankee fans really feel “alone” about CC? Innings catch up to great pitchers. If they begin to pitch those innings at a younger age, the mileage accumulates at a younger age. I don’t see much uniqueness to it.

  • ChrisGuitars

    Tanaka’s era should be below 2.00. The hometown scorer gave a hit on an obvious error by the ham-handed Roberts. Cano’s homer should have been the only earned run.

    • CashmanNinja

      It was an error and wasn’t even close. I am one of those fans that *HATES* hometown scorers. I feel it takes away from the game because of favoritism. They can greatly impact someone’s stats and I just hate how that tacks on an earned run on Tanaka’s totals. Not fair. And Roberts’ defense annoys me so much.

      • http://www.staggeringbeauty.com/ ALZ

        Sure you can call it an error, but the play would have been really close it he made it.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Look on the bright side – the Yankees can hold that extra earned run against him when he opts out and asks for 40M over 6 years.

  • Daniel

    Great to see. Cano succeeding but losing to the Yankees. I love it.

    • Deep Thoughts

      Absolutely. Oh I miss that swing, and that arm at 2B. What could have been.

      • ChuckIt

        maybe no Tanaka ?

    • Jonathan

      Yeah, I was a huge Griffey fan back in the day and whenever Seattle played us I hoped he hit a HR and we won. It’s going to be tough to explain how good he was, and more than likely clean, to the next generation. When they see the amazing numbers and all the HRs they won’t believe how much more there should have been without the injuries. Heck, even before Cincinnati and the leg problems he lost a bunch of time to a broken wrist and possibly a chance at breaking 61 HRs in 1994, due to the strike. ARod is kinda in the same boat except with steroids. All the injuries and the suspension on top of splitting time between 3B/SS. He could have been the best ever at either but won’t end up the best at one, even if you don’t take into account the PEDs. That Seattle team should have been an absolute dynasty.

    • 56 Mick

      I can’t believe on June 11th, he hit his 1st home run at home. Crazy. That place really does sap a players power. Yes, it’s a big park, but I am wondering if because of it location, air current, air quality (very good), etc, if there is the anti Coors field effect. I just don’t get it about Safeco.

  • Kiko Jones

    I once saw Mike Schmidt tell the story of how the ’72 Phillies were so bad, that on the days Steve Carlton was scheduled to pitch the legendary lefty would go ’round the clubhouse chanting, “It’s win day! It’s win day!

    We’re not exactly there with Tanaka, but damn…

  • Get Phelps Up

    http://riveraveblues.com/2014/.....nt-8007577

    “Ubaldo+Santana+Drew+Balfour = 8-10 WAR in 2014; same cost as Tanaka twice as valuable.”

    Yeah.

    • FIPster Doofus

      “For $108 million over the next four years, the Yankees could theoretically have ended up as the high bidders for Matt Garza and Jhonny Peralta, who are pretty likely to outproduce in the short term and maybe even in the longer term, depending on how well they age. Or, if you don’t like that pair, Ricky Nolasco, Jason Vargas, and Omar Infante will combien to make $111 million for the next four years, and it’s going to be tough for Tanaka/Phelps/Roberts to outperform that trio in a significant way.”

      http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs.....-contract/

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I thought they should sign Matt Garza over him.

      • ChuckIt

        but without him where would we be right now ?

  • nycsportzfan

    Unbelievable. I so want Pineda to be healthy. How much fun would it be to watch those two guys every 5th day? Kurodas also coming around, and has spun 2gems in a row, and Whitley has yet to show a chink in his armor. The offense is slowly turning around with Beltran now back. Huge game tomorrow night. Whitley for the Sweep.

    • 56 Mick

      I agree. Thought that this morning. It’s a minor miracle the Yanks have gotten as far as they have this season. I really want Pineda back soon, but it doesn’t sound like it. Look at the bright side, with all this time off, I imagine Rothchild and crew have plenty of time to find some nifty spots to hide the pine tar for game day.

      • ChuckIt

        with or without the pine tar ?

  • Deep Thoughts

    If Tanaka had gotten Cano he could have thrown a 9-inning CG shutout in under 100 pitches. That’s sick. We can forgive him for making D-Rob get up.

    Three thoughts on Beimel. One, how is he still in the league? Two, how is he doing so well, even for such a small sample? And three, I wanted to punch that d-bag in the face for taking 30+ seconds between pitches in a 4-run game in the top of the ninth. It’s getting cold and late. Show a sense of urgency before the 78 fans still in the park fall asleep. I was begging Gardner to run. Either get into scoring position or end this interminable half-inning–I didn’t care which.

  • Paisa

    Why was this guy even wasting his time in Japan?

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Yes, I did buy the shirt. Too bad they didn’t have a toddler-sized one.

  • http://riveraveblues sandy g

    I have a trade between the Yankees and the Mets.The Mets need a true CF who can cover cf in Citi field and a catcher that can hit a little.The Yankees need another starting pitcher and a outfielder. The trade would be Francisco Cervelli or JR Murphy with Brett Gardner going to the Mets for Juan Lagaras and Jacob Degrom. What does everyone think.A trade that helps both teams.

    • Kosmo

      I can´t speak for everyone but NO ! Gardner is flat out a better player than Lagaras. Degrom is a backend of rotation SP.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Gardner’s inclusion makes me hang up the phone immediately. The Mets also have plenty of eggs left in the D’Arnaud basket to value another team’s catcher that much.

      • ChuckIt

        Seriously ? Gardner ? right now it better be an offer we cant refuse

  • emac2

    You have to give Kudos to Girardi.

    His patience with the top of the lineup finally paid off!

    • I’m One

      Not sure if you’re serious or not, but for a couple of games, at least, it’s nice to see them getting some hits and getting on base in general. Also, just when we right of Jeter, he has back-to-back 2 hit games. Of course, now that I’ve noted that, he’ll go 0-fer for several games in a row …

      • I’m One

        right of write off

  • Joe C

    Nice, win. Good to see the Yankees make up ground on the Jays; who seem to be cooling off after winning fifteen out of seventeen. WE;re now just three games out of first place in the loss column with six games games coming up against the Jays in the next two weeks. IF the Yankees can win four out of six, things could get very interesting indeed.

    Ya know, I’m beginning to think that the Yankees are in pretty good shape in the race inspite of the offense’s season long maliase and the injuries to the pitching staff. They’re hanging in there even though I still have my doubts about the coaching staff. They’re still hanging in there. They still have a reasonable shot at this. I honestly believe that the offense will heat up at some point and both Pineda and CC will return. When that happens, look out I think the Yankees should become the odds on favorites to win the division because they seem to have the most talent in the division.

    The way I see it, everyone in the divisions has flaws. The Orioles don’t have good starting pitching and are over reliant on the homerun ball to fuel the offense. The same thing can be said of the Jays. The problem wiht the homerun ball is that it tends to be streaky. YOu either hit them in bunches or you don’t hit them at all. When you’re not hitting them you better be able to find other ways to score or you won’t win games.

    I don’t really see Boston as because much of their success was due to the fact that a lot of the players on their roster had career years last year. And this year they’re reverting back to their prior form. You really can’t expect a group of average players to have career years two years in a row. That’s too much to expect.

    Then we have the Tampa Bay Rays, who have suffered because of injuries to thier pitching staff that have ended up exposing the fact that they really aren’t that great an offensive team. In years past, the Rays have always had great starting pitching and really didn’t need to have a great offense because the starters would always hold to opposition to one or two runs a game. Now, because of the injuries, the starters on their team aren’t able to hold the opposition down and they need a great offense. But they just don’t have one so they’re losing games that they would have won in years past. As a result, they’re fourteen games out already after having lost fourteen out of fifteen. They have the worst record in baseball and I think that they’re going to be sellers come July. I don’t see how they compete. I’m sorry I just don’t.

    • Scott

      Joe C,
      I never count the Yankees out (well at least not since 1995, prior to that, meh). Health and pitching are the keys to the kingdom. The Yanks greatest injuries are two starting pitchers. I know the offense stinks, and IMO, it won’t get much better without some moves at the trade deadline, but if your pitchers are holding teams to 3 runs or less, you can win a lot of ballgames, even with this offense.
      I think the Yanks will get a little better offensively. I still contend McCann and Beltran will get better, though my expectations for both are dropping. I don’t see McCann hitting more than .250 this season, I just hope his SLG% and OPS increases. I think Beltran will hit for a little more avg, maybe .260-.270, he also needs to have some more XBHs. With those two getting a little better it will lengthen the line up through the 7th hitter. I think Solarte might need a day or two off. Seems like he really gets it going again after some time off, DJ too.
      Now is a good time to try K. Johnson again at 3B.
      Boston, as you mentioned had a miracle season last year, and have regressed to their norms. I still think they have a run in them. In fact I believe in them more than Toronto. Right now the Jays have everything breaking right, but are starting to come back to earth. Their offense is sick, but good pitching always trumps it. They have no depth and their pitchers are suspect.

      The Rays no longer have as deep a farm system as they once did. It is still good but now they understand what winning does to your draft status. That pipeline of top 5 picks they had for almost a decade straight is drying up, and they don’t have the money to overcome mistakes or injuries. I think they will become more of a .500 team the next 3-5 years.

      The O’s are not good either and that is what is keeping the Yanks in this race. A dominant Pineda returning, a competent CC, two more bats to help the line up and health starting players the rest of the year, and the Yanks will be there in the fight in September. As for the WC, Seattle will fade, no offense except Cano. Seager had a nice run, as did Smoak, both of them are coming back to earth. Cano has no protection. I worry about the Angels but other than that, (I’d be worry about TEX too, but man they have been decimated by injuries) I don’t think any other teams scares me.

  • Jacoby Eddardsbury

    Right before I went to bed last night I said in the game thread why can’t someone just hit a 3 run HR for once? And the very next inning Teixera hit one. Finally they get that big shot to put a game away. I just don’t know why nobody else can hit a HR. Even the worst hitters run into one every now and then.

  • fred robbins

    I fell asleep at 4-0 in the top of the 9th and knew it had to be a victory. To wake up and see 4-2 with a Cano home run still made me smile. And yes, wow- that stubborn Girardi just got two wins in a row with big help from the top of the line up. Could this be the beginning of a little streak or baseball card numbers finally showing up on all fronts? That would be so much fun.

    It does hurt to see Phil Hughes throw another shutout- no walks- 9 strike outs against Toronto- 7-2– that would sure be nice on this side. Who would have guessed?

    And to see that big first baseman, Kendrys, he is just raking, but it sounds like from Mike that Beltran and his elbow is the main reason the Yankees did not sign him and that he is the DH for the long foreseeable future.
    Was there no other way to add his bat to the Yankee line up? He looks like he can roll out of bed and hit, like Pinella used to do.

    • ChuckIt

      I guess Phil couldnt handle NY – Always liked him though-

  • Jersey Joe

    Would’ve liked to have broken the four run barrier just to really get the offense going, but I’ll take four runs in Safeco, especially with such a great game from Tanak.

    Tonight, I ‘m hoping Whitley can break the six inning barrier, and that the offense can really wake up against the lefty, Elias.

  • ChuckIt

    Dave Huff back any sense?