This is the type of game that would have totally sucked had it meant something but is easily brushed off because it didn’t. The Yankees got clobbered by the Red Sox by the score of 10-4 on Saturday afternoon, in the second to last game of the 2014 season. Let’s recap:
- Ugly Ending: This was definitely not the way Masahiro Tanaka wanted to go into the offseason. He looked pretty terrible on Saturday afternoon — stuff was flat, no command at all, laboring from start to finish — and the result was seven runs (five earned) in only 1.2 innings (50 pitches). Some really bad defense didn’t help but it’s not like Tanaka was fooling anyone either. As long as his elbow is healthy — Joe Girardi said he was fine physically after the game, no injury just ineffective — the bad performance doesn’t really matter. It just would have been nice to end the season on a high note.
- Swing Away: The Yankees went into “let’s get this over with” mode after Boston’s eight-run second inning — 17 of the next 19 men they sent to the plate swung at the first or second pitch. The plan went awry in the three-run eighth inning, which was highlighted by Chris Young’s one-run single and Stephen Drew’s two-run ground-rule double. Three singles, including infield hits by Frankie Cervelli and Chase Headley, set that rally up. The Yankees put two on the ninth but did not score.
- Bullpen On Parade: Preston Claiborne replaced Tanaka, faced six hitters, and retired one (three hits, one walk, one error). He was charged with two unearned runs. Bryan Mitchell allowed one run while soaking up four efficient innings (44 pitches) then Chase Whitely closed it out with two quick innings. Three September call-up relievers combined to allow three runs (one earned) in 6.1 innings while striking out seven. Not awful despite Claiborne.
- Leftovers: Derek Jeter started at DH and went 1-for-2 with an infield single before being replaced … the Yankees allowed a season-high four unearned runs, which is amazing considering how terrible the infield was for much of the year … Headley, Cervelli, and Young each had two hits while Ichiro Suzuki, Jeter, Austin Romine, Drew (double), and Jose Pirela (triple) each had one. Drew and Pirela walked … Tanaka is the first Yankee to allow at least seven runs in fewer than two full innings since Phil Hughes last May.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some other stats, and ESPN has the updated standings. Since this was their 78th loss of the season, the Yankees will officially have a worst record than last year (85-77). Gross. Michael Pineda and Clay Buchholz will be on the mound in the 2014 season finale Sunday afternoon.