For the third consecutive starts after coming off the DL, Masahiro Tanaka pitched pretty well. He had another seven-inning outing, limiting the Marlins to two runs despite not having his best command. But the New York offense went quiet against Tom Koehler and their bullpen – the Yankees fell tonight 2-1 and lost for the third time in last four games. Oh well. This one does hurt.
Tanak Tanak Tun
Tanaka has been very, very good since coming off the DL. Tonight, while he did allow nine hits in seven innings, you can’t complain too much about the way he pitched – he didn’t allow any walks (again) and struck out six.
In the second inning, Tanaka allowed a one-out double to Derek Dietrich and Adeiny Hechavarria followed it up with an RBI-single on a hanging splitter.
In the third, Masahiro allowed two consecutive singles to Ichiro Suzuki and Christian Yelich. Luckily, Giancarlo Stanton hit a hard grounder right at Did Gregorius for a 6-4-3 double play. Boy, that was a break, especially against a guy like Stanton.
In the seventh, after retiring eleven consecutive batters, Tanaka allowed a homer to right to Dietrich. It was a fastball right down the middle and yeah, it was a goner off the bat. In a 1-1 game like this, especially after being on such a roll, that hurt quite much. For shame. The score remained 2-1 for rest of the game and Tanaka took a hard loss.
Despite the loss, his numbers are still quite elite. In seven starts, Tanaka has a 2.49 ERA and 2.71 FIP – doing it well on both conventional and sabermetric numbers. By the way, if you don’t “get” the title of the section, check this out.
Tom Koehler is from New York City and grew up a big Yankee fan. Tonight, he earned a win against the team he rooted for.
Now, Koehler is not a bad pitcher. Before tonight, the righty had a 4.13 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) with a 4-4 record, which is not that shabby. But then again, if you put him in a matchup against Masahiro Tanaka, who would have a better chance to be victorious? Probably Tanaka. Didn’t really work out that way for New York tonight.
Leading off the second inning, Mark Teixeira hit a big solo fly to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead. That was his 18th of the year and the gluten-free triumph continued! After that, Yankees didn’t get too much going on. I blame the Marlins infield for robbing at least three hard hits though – Hechavarria robbed Chase Headley twice (two at-bats in a row actually) and Dee Gordon robbed Brett Gardner of one. And, of course, Koehler reached first base safe because Mark Teixeira botched picking up a slow roller down the first base line. BABIP gods weren’t that great for New York tonight.
Joe Girardi put in Jose Ramirez to relieve Tanaka to begin the eighth. Now, Ramirez is no Chasen Shreve – the righty has a decent minor league track record but he’s yet to show a sustainable ML success. In fact, he has close to none – 5.40 ERA in 10 IP last year and 36.00 ERA in 1 IP in 2015 prior to tonight’s game. It came to no surprise when he got the bases loaded pretty quickly without getting an out. He just looked really, really bad out there not being able to throw strikes.
Now, the Yankees were trailing 2-1 in the bottom of eighth. The goal there is to keep it a 2-1 game and hope for a rally in the ninth. To increase the chance of keeping the same score, Girardi would have probably put a better pitcher – or at least a reliever with better track record – in.
Fortunately for the Yankees, Sergio Santos managed to get out of that situation unscathed. That was another head-scratching decision but it worked out in the end. The end does not always justify the means but I’m glad (or I was at the time) that the righty got out of it somehow.
Yankees faced Ichiro for the first time he signed with the Marlins in the offseason. The Japanese veteran went 2-for-4 with a strikeout tonight, getting closer to the 3,000th hit. The 41-year old is doing eh this season – he does have a .288 batting average but that’s just about the only positive. He has a 89 wRC+ and a -0.3 fWAR. I do admire that he’s still out there and grinding in the Major Leagues though. (Also happens to be one of my idols since he started to play for the Mariners in 2001)
If you watched the ninth inning, you saw that Alex Rodriguez got a standing ovation on a road game. That was a weird yet pretty cool moment. Al from Miami got some love there. Also there were a lot of Yankee fans in the game – the “Let’s go Yankees” chants tonight were one of the loudest I’ve heard in Yankee road games, if not the loudest.
Box Score, standings, highlights, WPA
Here is the box score, updated standings, video highlights and WPA. Rays have already won tonight so Yankees are no longer in the first place of division anymore. Oh well. I have a feeling that it won’t stay that way for too long though.
How about the matchup for tomorrow – David Phelps vs. Nathan Eovaldi! Will it determine who #wonthetrade? We’ll see.