Jul
08

Game 89: Tanaka Tuesday

By
Tanaka preemptively applauding his own performance. (Jason Miller/Getty)

Tanaka applauding his own performance in advance. (Jason Miller/Getty)

It’s the best day of the week. Masahiro Tanaka is making his penultimate start of the unofficial first half and he has a chance to give the Yankees their third straight win (and fifth in the last six games). It’s a good night for a win. Here is the Indians lineup and here is the Yankees lineup:

  1. LF Brett Gardner
  2. SS Derek Jeter
  3. CF Jacoby Ellsbury
  4. DH Mark Teixeira
  5. C Brian McCann
  6. 2B Brian Roberts
  7. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  8. 1B Kelly Johnson
  9. 3B Zelous Wheeler
    RHP Masahiro Tanaka

It’s hot and humid in Cleveland, but there is no rain in the forecast. There was earlier today. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET and you can watch on YES. Enjoy the game.

Injury Updates: Carlos Beltran‘s knee feels “a lot better” and he is available to pinch hit tonight … Brandon McCarthy has officially reported to the team. He is wearing No. 38, if you’re curious. Bruce Billings was optioned to Triple-A Scranton in a corresponding move … Shane Greene is still listed with the starters on the lineup card while Chase Whitley remains listed with the relievers. Between that and Billings (the other long man) being sent down, it’s likely Greene will make another start.

Categories : Game Threads
  • Ethan

    Not baseball related: The World Cup game was just awful. On par with the Superbowl.

    • yankees=warriors

      Um…only if you’re a fan of Brasil. For us fans of Germany, it was great.

      • Ethan

        It was ONLY good for fans of Germany. Most people I know just wanted an exciting game, which that wasn’t. Same with the Superbowl. Good for Seahawks fans. Boring/bad for everyone else.

        • Daniel

          What is the world cup and who is brasil?

          • vicki

            right? unless you count bartending with my back to the tv’s i haven’t watched one minute.

            i just don’t get the allure. and that most of the world are maniacal about it makes me feel kind of isolated.

            • Yankee$

              Bartender? Where do you work? I don’t mean specific establishment, I mean Manhattan, NJ, LI…etc.

              • vicki

                east village. and sometimes i trek out to woodside to pick up shifts at a friend’s bar.

                • Yankee$

                  Cool. I bet you mix a mean Perfect Rye Manhattan on the rocks.

                  • vicki

                    with fee brothers bitters.

                    i’ll happily prepare the classics. but if somebody asks for a cosmopolitan or somesuch nonsense, they get budweiser. drink-making is the very least of my skills.

                    • Yankee$

                      How’s your Sazerac?

                    • vicki

                      ha. rye and bitters.

                      it ain’t the ritz.

                    • Jorge Steinbrenner

                      Vicki don’t need no absinthe.

            • yankees=warriors

              Tell me about it, it’s especially bad if you’re living in Europe…and a baseball fan!

              Tonight’s game is actually the first game I’ve watched up to this point. And I only started watching halfway because I thought Germany was going to score more goals.

              Sadly, despite the high score, I was still bored. It’s just a game with too much mindless running around…

              • Yankee$

                “It’s just a game with too much mindless running around…”
                ===
                That’s pretty much all they did in Europe for centuries only with weapons in their hands. At least now just playing with a ballie.

  • Deep Thoughts

    “Penultimate?” That’s a sesquipedalian word understood only by the likes of Brandon McCarthy and Craig Breslow.

    • vicki

      and jim brosnan, r.i.p.

      • Wolfgang’s Fault

        Wow, hadn’t heard. I remember him way back when as he appeared to my then young eyes as a very tall & imposing relief pitcher on the ’61 Reds. Baseball ran him out of the game ’cause he had the brains to think for himself and the strength of character to stick up for himself despite the threats from the bullies & powers that were. Sorry to hear this. Besides being a great writer, he was a damn good pitcher too.

        • vicki

          i saw his obit in sunday’s times. weren’t some of us talking about The Long Season a few months ago?

          • Daniel

            I just found out about that book today. I am planning on reading it as soon as I can. He also has another one called “Pennant Race”. Is that one worth picking up too?

            • vicki

              yep. the full canon, really.

          • ropeadope

            Start with this comment and scroll downward. I eventually mention Brosnan’s The Long Season. Somehow I still haven’t read The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop. Need to find it.

            • ropeadope

              Well, that would have worked better if I actually remembered to include the link.

              http://riveraveblues.com/2013/.....nt-6542743

              • vicki

                a year ago? holy cats, it goes fast. gather ye rosebuds.

                • ropeadope

                  I hate to tell you this, but it goes faster and faster the older you get. Like a ball rolling down an infinitely long hill whose slope steepens the further along it runs.

    • ropeadope

      If today is Tanaka’s penultimate start of the unofficial first half, will Sunday’s game be his ultimate start?

    • Macho Man “Randy Levine”
  • trr

    I know Kelly Johnson is an awful first baseman, but having Brian Roberts play there too tonight is a bit of an overkill

  • cooolbreeez

    I saw the first two goals. On the corner kick, the scorer was totally unmarked. No one for Brazil was near him. It was flat out terrible defense.

    On the second goal, one defender is standing a yard behind the goal line. WTF was that. and defenders walking back on defense. Brazil didn’t show up on their own national stage.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    W/sun and shadows between mound and HP, advantage pitchers through first couple of innings.

  • vicki

    no abreu in the derby. shame.

    • Daniel

      Its ok. Brian Dozier is there.

      • vicki

        captains have robbie’s lesson to learn from. the famous billy butler faux pas.

        • ropeadope

          Have the Mariners visited Cleveland this season? Is Robbie still booed.

          • ropeadope

            Or Kansas City. Whichever you choose.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Thanks for the free run.
    Much appreciated.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Tex is the king of awkward looking slides.

    • vicki

      his entire baserunning game is merrie melodies. i say that with love.

  • WhittakerWalt

    As most of you know, John and Suzyn are idiots who understand nothing about baseball. One of the things they complain about the most is guys swinging on 3-1. They have such disdain for this practice, sneering “they ALLLL swing 3 and 1″ as if that’s the dumbest thing you can imagine. Yes, of course there are times when you don’t want to swing 3-1. If the pitcher’s been walking the ballpark and can’t find the plate, you want to make him prove he can throw you a strike.
    But usually 3-1 is the best pitch you’re going to get. That’s why they say you’re in the driver’s seat when it’s 3-1. It’s the best pitch to swing at.
    Try telling that to Ma and Pa though.

    • Angelo

      No surprise…unfortunately.

  • Angelo

    Lawd. Swisher scared me…

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    Brilliant bunt in the 2nd inning. Coney hates it.

  • ropeadope

    Ichiro on fire!

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    Joe will keep bunting now since Gardy drove in the run. Tanaka should be able to hold this lead.

    • vicki

      you shut your jinx mouth, eddard.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Ref set to play RF in game 2 of their DH tonight (weather permitting).

    I’d rather they keep developing him at second for the future, but this is a pretty good indication that they are seriously considering giving him a call up soon.

    • Angelo

      I don’t think this means they’re giving up on him at 2B, but maybe they’re just desperate to get him in the mlb line up.

      It’s definitely interesting.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s a long term move.
        I’d just rather they have him focus on 2B, and have him hopefully ready to takeover at 2B next year, even if it means delaying a callup.

        • Angelo

          Completely agree.

          • Yankee$

            I agree too. Based on what I read from Baseball America today, he’s still got a lot of work to do at 2B. Seems he’s a “Batting Cage Rat” which is fine and all but maybe right now he should be taking 200 groundballs a day at 2B every morning.

            • Wolfgang’s Fault

              I’d be surprised to learn he isn’t doing both. Great to be young (& a Yankee).

  • Tom

    Bauer has retired 3 of the first 8 batters (one on a 3-0 count, which should haven’t been a greenlight)…and Girardi is handing away outs to a guy who can’t find the plate.

    • vicki

      national league fish gotta swim.

  • yankees=warriors

    It’s always so refreshing to hear Conie talk “smart-baseball”.

  • No 2013 again

    Second straight shaky outing by Tanaka.. time for concern?

    • WhittakerWalt

      They seem to be jumping on his first pitch fastballs.

      • No 2013 again

        command is way off

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    What the hell is Tanaka doing? Stop laying those first pitch FB’s in there. That’s all they can hit.

  • WhittakerWalt

    That’s at least three hits that came on the first pitch. Might want to mix it up a little bit there, Hiro.

  • whoopsydaisy

    Wonder if Tanaka is getting gassed. He’s hasn’t been locating well for a few games now. Tonight it seems like he’s guessing. The stuff just doesn’t look crisp.

    • Nathan

      Yup, hasn’t looked as sharp. Could be getting a little tired, ASG break can’t come soon enough.

  • YankeeDJW

    Anyone else having mlb.TV trouble tonight?

    • Nathan

      Me too. It’ll play 5 seconds and then freeze. Back out of the game, come back in and same thing. 5 seconds, freeze.

      I know it’s not my connection, I’ve got 20+ speeds.

      • YankeeDJW

        Yep exact same issue here. I was watching on my TV through the app on my bluray player and it was unbearable. I have since switched to watching on my laptop and so far, it’s working much better.

    • Slap-Ass

      Yeah and it’s pissing me off.

    • Nathan

      PS3 and computer was unwatchable…on iPad is a little better but far from perfect.

  • Tom

    Seems like a good time to bunt. (which had it not been Tex up there, probably would have happened)

  • Tom

    Send the runner.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Kelly Johnson thought he was playing 2B on that play.

  • Tom

    Nice quick inning there for Tanaka – he needed that.

  • The Other Matt

    I’ve been impressed with Tanaka’s slider throughout this season. That one he threw to Santana was crisp.

  • The Other Matt

    I’m pretty sure the answer is David Cone.

  • YankeeDJW

    Tanaka just picked up some trash on his way to the dugout. This guy is the man.

  • No 2013 again

    here we go, hibernation mode

  • No 2013 again

    2-9 with RISP already.. hope they break out soon

    • vicki

      two-for-nine is .222. team batting average is .253, and they hit .251 with men in scoring position. we should probably temper our expectations.

      • No 2013 again

        if we get 1 more hit with RISP we are probably leading 4-1 or 5-1 and feeling a lot more safe. Point is, they waste a lot of opportunities

      • ropeadope

        Surprise Quiz:

        Who went 2 for 9 in his final major league season (long, storied career)? Two of those seven outs were double plays, and he said he knew it was time to retire when he made four outs in two at-bats.

        Hint: Former Yankee

  • Tom

    Tanaka seems to be a lot more effective pitching backwards the 2nd time through the lineup – curveball/sliders early and he’s gotten the last 2 guys on 2 strike fastballs.

    Not sure if that’s McCann or Tanaka, but it’s good to see them adapting pretty quickly

    • vicki

      i figure more deference to mccann, since the napoli episode.

  • No 2013 again

    here we go! now he’s got it going!

  • No 2013 again

    stupid ass play by Elsbury

  • Tom

    ‘Moar’ smart play.

    Good to see it’s not limited to just the manager and 3rd base coach.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Why??????

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    That was stupid by Ellsbury. 2 outs, already in scoring position. No need to go.

    • Jim

      The only advantage to being on 3rd with 2-outs is the chance of a wild pitch/passed ball. Bauer has been throwing lots of balls in the dirt.

      I wonder if his motivation to steal were his own stats vs. increasing the chances of a win.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Just got back from my game. I heard Swisher has been making new friends in Cleveland.

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      Just made a bunch of new ones there.

  • Tom

    So Bauer might now somehow get through 6 innings?

    Ridiculous…. and it started by bunting into the 4th freaking out of the game.

  • RetroRob

    This is concerning. It’s too late for Derek, but maybe Dellin can be saved.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/not/t.....-they-now/

    • ropeadope

      lol, intensive research went into that article.

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    I just don’t know what the hell Tanaka is doing out there. Don’t pitch to Brantley. Pitch to the .200 hitter and he just popped it up.

    • Wolfgang’s Fault

      It doesn’t always work that way, Eddard – re.: Swisher goes yard hitting .199, but you knew that.

  • No 2013 again

    alright, this offense will not score again tonight. Can we get 2 more from Tanaka and then Warren-DRob? Only 12 more outs!

  • Tj

    Omg I swear I just called tht!!!

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    Unbelievable. Another former Yankee beats us. I just don’t know what Tanaka is doing out there.

  • No 2013 again

    ASG break can’t come soon enough for Tanaka… running on fumes

  • trr

    I can’t believe how often ex-Yankees come back to hurt us!

  • BigBlueAL

    Yankees single-handedly trying to revive Swisher’s season.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    G’mornin’, g’afternoon, c u later. Take a seat, son.

  • No 2013 again

    I love when they give up after 3 innings! They are not even putting competitive ABs together anymore.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    Hope Gardner gets him up to 115 pitches.

  • No 2013 again

    gardner has a point, that’s not close to being a strike..

  • Tom

    And the “value” of playing small ball giving away early outs to struggling pitchers turns out to bite them in the ass again.

    Girardi GIFTED 2 of the 4 first outs of the game – turning HR hitting Brian Roberts loose on 3-0 in the first inning with Bauer struggling and then takes an extra dose of his stupid pills by bunting after the first 2 guys in the 2nd inning reach base. And shockingly he settled down and breezed through the next 4 innings (and looks like he will now breeze through the 7th)

    One of the reasons the Yankees play so many close games is this fascination with “small ball” which normally turns a potential big inning into a 1 run inning (and sometimes a 0 run inning).

    • Mikhel

      Maybe you have not noticed but this team can not play for big innings because their bats are mediocre at best besides two or three of them.

      What is the excuse not to score with men on third and one out? “uuuu the homerun didnt come”.

      With a team full of slap hitters with no power your best bet to score is small ball.

  • Need Pitching & Hitting

    Ugghhh…

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    I’d just shut him down until after the AS break. This club is in big trouble when it can’t even when Tanaka starts anymore. 3 straight L’s.

  • Tom

    Is there a reason Thornton isn’t throwing sliders to the lefty (11 of his 12 pitches have been fastballs)?

    • vicki

      brooks says he’s thrown just five (all for balls) to LHH all season.

      • Tom

        Huh – that’s kind of odd. I never noticed that.

        You’d think a LOOGY would use his breaking ball to same handed hitters. He seems to throw it to righties more.

  • vicki

    thirteen pitches for one out. two fewer than dellin threw to get six outs last night.

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    This team is in huge trouble. They still can’t score. Cautionary Joe played for one run in the 2nd inning and that’s exactly what they got. Tanaka will have 3 straight L’s after tonight so they ain’t even winning his starts anymore. And Tanaka’s starts are supposed to be automatic W’s.

    • BigBlueAL

      Tanaka won his last start, but this will be his 3rd loss in 4 starts.

      • Dr. Martin van Nostrand

        Considering he had an ERA of 2.82 in the two games preceding these past two games, but only got one total run of support, it’s pretty shitty of someone to try and lay the blame for those losses at Tanaka’s feet.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    That slider to Jeter was like 12-14 mph slower than his heater. Very tough to make contact w/that.

  • RetroRob

    Tanaka Night not going as planned.

  • Mikhel

    Desperation in the Yankees hitters is showing in these last games even when they get away with a victory. Too many swings on high fastballs out of the strike zo e, and they expand the zone themselves swinging at ankle high balls away from the plate.

    They are becoming worse to watch everyday, not even the early 90s teams looked as mediocre as 2013-2014 yankees… heck even the 2012 yankees were insufferable to watch with no strategy whatsoever besides just waiting to see if a 3r-hr came.

  • Tom

    Nice inning by Kelly – be good to get him going again.

    At least down 2 Joe won’t be bunting in all likelihood (I hope) and they may actually force the pitcher to get 3 outs in an inning.

  • No 2013 again

    thats one shitty ump.. couple with a mediocre offense and it’s damn hard to score

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    Get Roberts or Ichiro on to give Kelly Johnson a shot to tie it up.

  • Tom

    Good to see Ichiro trying to hit the game tying 2 run homer (with noone on base)

    Most people would take a strike down 2 runs in the 9th with noone on… but not this high IQ baseball team.

    • trr

      You just hit the nail on the head.
      What’s the problem with this team’s offense?
      Partially it’s a simple lack of talent.
      But mostly, it’s their approach.
      That’s why they fail w/RISP.

      It’s their approach.

  • Wolfgang’s Fault

    Swisher’s such a badass. Decent player, but an asshole mixed in there.

    • trr

      You got the asshole part right, anyway

  • vicki

    that. sucked.

  • Zeddard Wheeler

    We’re in big trouble. Kelly Johnson needs to go. I just don’t know how many .220 hitters you can have in one lineup and it’s not like he’s hit 10-15 HR’s either. He’s hit 5, less than Solarte hit.

    I’d shut Tanaka down until after the ASB. Clubs are mashing him now and he just continues to throw a straight FB on the 1st pitch while making no adjustments.

    Cautionary Joe played for one run in the 2nd inning and that’s what they got. He treated Zelous like he was an NL pitcher. If the opposing starter is wild you don’t just lay down a bunt and give him an out. Make him throw strikes.

  • Frank

    Appears the luster is starting to wear off the new toy that is Tanaka. The league’s adjusting to him, now he needs to make the adjustment.

  • Dro413

    500 million dollars and still pretty much a 500 team record. No playoffs again!

  • ropeadope

    Whaddaya know, Tanaka is human after all. No need to jump off the bridge, imo. Believe both he and the team will right themselves shortly.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      Agreed. No one said it’d be flowers and blowjobs every night.

      • ropeadope

        Every night? I’d take it once a decade!

    • BigBlueAL

      Tanaka will be fine, the team is another matter.

  • Jack

    I have been saying for about a month now that Tanaka is simply not the same as the first two months and a half. Opposing batters have been smashing the ball off him in every start lately, and theres only so many times one can work out of a jam. He looks fatigued and the league is catching up to him. Rest him until after the all star break and pray he doesn’t have a Kuroda-like second half meltdown bc its starting to feel like that could be coming.

    • Chicken Little

      I agree. Also, about the sky…

    • Old Man Time

      Yeah, King Felix has never given up 5 runs before….

  • OldYanksFan

    Am I wrong…. or did we NOT get a hit after the 2nd inning?

  • OldYanksFan

    Make that…. after the 3rd inning.

  • Mick taylor

    If I were yanks I would not pitches tanaka on Sunday and not pitch him again for at least 10. Days. Also I hope we are done with zealous wheeler he sucks.

    • Paisa

      “10. Days.”

    • Old Man Time

      How about you give Wheeler more than 10 at bats?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        He’s had 11. That should be plenty to judge any player ;)

        (He likely does kinda suck though)

        • Wolfgang’s Fault

          No, he doesn’t. He’ll hit if he gets the chance to.

  • stuart a

    Ichiro. I harp on this all the time. Can any guy ever hit 304 and be less productive? After the missed catch triple about 2 weeks ago which stopped about a 50 game no extra base hit he has not gotten another extra base hit since.

    Jeter looks like Babe Ruth compared to Ichiro. He is friggin awful. His 10th or 11 th rbi yesterday was on a weak infield hit. To say he never hits the ball with any authority is not a stretch. Put Refsnyder in right please..

    • Dr. Martin van Nostrand

      the decision to re-sign him because he had a well-timed five-ish weeks to end 2012 where he was hot was always going to come back looking like a horrible mistake. This is not very surprising.

    • OldYanksFan

      Ichiro gets a lot of his value from defense and speed.
      He’s a decent bench guy/4th OF’er, LIDR and PR.
      Sori was supposed to be the regular RFer…. remember?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Actually, Beltran was.
        Soriano was supposed to be the DH.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Jesus Christ. What makes you think a triple-A player with zero big league at-bats is going to be any better than Ichiro?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        I’d say it’s worth a shot in the sense that we really already know that Ichiro isn’t the answer offensively in RF, and shouldn’t be a starting RF, while there’s at least a chance Ref could.

        But considering Ref is currently a 2B, and likely has a lot more long-term value to the Yankees at second, I’d rather they just focus on him developing him as the 2B of the future (hopefully).
        Especially since it’s not like Ref in RF is going to turn this from a mediocre team to a good team by himself anyways.

        Missing the playoffs by maybe 1 fewer game at the expense of potentially delaying his development doesn’t make much sense.

        • WhittakerWalt

          Oh sure. It’s worth a shot. I just think it’s funny how many people on here act like Refsnyder is a sure thing, as if every young prospect pans out.

  • stuart a

    ichiro’s 335 slugging % is still slightly higher then jeters.

    wow. together they have 2 homeruns…..

  • nycsportzfan

    Hey, we win tomorrow and we take the series, after taking 3of4 against the twinkies. Every loss shoulden’t change the attitude of fans toward the team. Lets see if we can take the series and then how can you be mad?

    As far as Tanaka, its wierd, as early in the yr, he seemed to have more velocity. What is with Yankee pitchers and not holding there MPH? Maybe its like that with all teams, and I just don’t pay much attention to it, but it seems with Yankee pitchers, they always end up losing velocity.

    At least they didn’t sign Choo. Dude is the epicenter of mediocre. Ells was the way to spend outta those 2 if you ask me.

    • bw1tz

      Ellsbury: .280/.347/.392/.739

      Choo: .250/.373/.393/.766

      I dont know. *Right now* I think I’d rather have the OBP, no option for 2021 and 23 million less on the books.

      • Angelo

        If you also consider defense, speed, and stolen bases, I think your answer would be different.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        I’d rather have the better player. It’s not my money.
        All around, Ellsbury has been the better player so far.

      • Old Man Time

        Ellsbury: 1.5 bwar

        Choo: 0.9 bwar

    • Tom

      It’s a 4 game series.

  • Joe

    Meanwhile, Vidal Nuno has thrown 7 scoreless innings in Arizona #TheOneThatGotAway

  • Angelo

    So…no DotF tonight, Mike?

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Really, Nuno? 7 IP 0ER and 7K?

    You dick.

  • cranky

    The Yankees V.2014 isn’t a championship club.
    They ought to sell this month.
    Offer up Kuroda and Gardner. See what comes back.
    Kuroda’s been pitching well, and could help any team.
    I like Gardner, a lot. But with his pay scale, he’s the Yanks’ most marketable player.
    And Ellsbury makes a fine leadoff guy.

    Cashman ought to make a couple of good deals to build for the (near) future, make a big splash
    before his contract expires.

    • Old Man Time

      Gardner has been by far their best position player. He’s signed to a team friendly contract. Unless you get back someone who is more beneficial, why trade?