Tanaka throws 7+ strong innings as the Yankees beat the A’s 6-2 and take the series

Gardner headed to All-Star Game as injury replacement for Alex Gordon
Thursday Night Open Thread

Back in late May, the Yankees lost three out of four at Oakland against the lowly Athletics. They were shut down by the likes of Sonny Gray and Jesse Chavez and, by the end of the series, their record was hanging just barely over .500 at 26-25. This time around, New York took two out of three at home. Today’s game was particularly satisfying — Masahiro Tanaka pitched like an ace, the lineup was able to solve Jesse Chavez and, of course, the game win meant the series win. Oh, and The Yankees lengthened the AL East lead to three games.

Sensei (Source: Getty)

He’s Back!

In the second inning, it seemed like nothing was going right for Tanaka. With 2-0 count, Josh Reddick got on first base on catcher’s interference. Billy Butler followed it up with a RBI double to left and Ike Davis walked. That just seemed like a familiar storyline with Tanaka’s recent struggles. He did, however, get Brett Lawrie to GIDP to ease the situation to two outs and runner at third. However, Mark Canha took a fastball up in the zone for another RBI double. Womp. 2-1 Athletics.

Well, that turned out to be the only major jam for Tanaka. From the third inning and on, he allowed ZERO hits and only one baserunner, when Billy Butler reached first after the strikeout pitch escaped McCann’s glove in the fourth. That was more dominant than Tanaka has been in his past few starts and hopefully he’s figured something out. Yankees have a need for an upgrade for the rotation and Tanaka stepping up to his ace form would be huge.

When it was all said and done, Tanaka threw 7.2 innings, allowed only two hits, one earned run and struck out six. Another important thing — no homers! Home runs had been killing him a bit this year (1.52 HR/9 prior to this game) and keeping balls in park — especially at the Yankee Stadium — is a pretty good sight.

The bats

Prior to today’s game, Yankees didn’t do well against the journeyman RHP Jesse Chavez — he had held the current Yankee position players to a cumulative .235/.279/.370 line. There was a good news though: Chavez himself had been in a funk. After tossing eight scoreless versus the Yanks in May 31, the righty had been 2-4 with 5.00 ERA in 6 starts.

Chavez didn’t have a horrible outing but it was still not great. The righty tossed 5.0 innings, allowed seven hits, four runs, three walks and struck out three. That’s really mediocre and given on how brilliant Tanaka was, and the bats did a more-than-an-adequate job.

How about Cole Figueroa? He went 2-for-4 in his Yankee debut. It could have been a 3-for-4 performance too — in the second inning, he hit a hard grounder that went right to first baseman Ike Davis to end the frame, but, off the bat, I thought he could have had himself a single. He, however, catalyzed the rally in the fourth with a double to right, setting up a one-out, runners on second and third situation for Jacoby Ellsbury. Ellsbury ended up driving both in with an RBI-single for a 4-2 Yankee lead.

Figueroa contributed to another rally in the eighth, hitting a ground-rule double to set up another situation with runners on second and third. Ellsbury followed it up with what seemed to be an inning-ending ground out … but Marcus Semien threw offline and Ike Davis couldn’t handle it. Both runners scored and Semien was charged with his 28th (!!!) error of the season.

Back to Figueroa — he will probably be sent down as soon as Chase Headley is ready to play again but I would guess he’ll be up again later this season if he keeps up the 130 wRC+ he had down in the minors.

(Source: Getty)

Hey Now, You’re An All Star

It’s been quite a past few days for Brett Gardner. Hot streak? Check. Being talked about as a possible All-Star? Check. Teammates campaigning for him? Check. Making it as an All Star? Check.

In his the first at-bat of the day, Gardner took a Chavez fastball deep to right field to give a 1-0 Yankee lead. That was also his tenth homer of the year — the most in his career prior to the All Star Game. At the age 31 season, Gardner is simply having his best offensive season — .303/.381/.490 line with an isolated power at .188. If you go with isolated power stat alone, he’s having a better power season power season than Adam Jones (.187), Prince Fielder (.178), Justin Upton (.175) and Troy Tulowitzki (.163). How about that?

Well, besides the homer, Gardner added two more hits later in the game for a 3-for-5 performance. To put a cherry on top, he was also announced to be injured Alex Gordon’s replacement for the All Star Game. Well, no more bald caps for other Yankee players I guess. Congrats, Brett!

Box score, standing, highlights, WPA

Here’s today’s box score, updated standing, video highlights and, of course, WPA


Source: FanGraphs


Yankees head to Boston to play their final series before the All-Star break. Enjoy the rest of Thursday! Maybe watch more baseball coming up later if you feel like it because that’s what I’ll probably do.

Gardner headed to All-Star Game as injury replacement for Alex Gordon
Thursday Night Open Thread
  • Asher Dratel

    It seems like this season Tank has been missing up a lot more, but hopefully today is a sign that he’s straightening things out.

  • n0exit

    I’m going to continue to worry about Tex. That’s obviously the key to his success.

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      He’s chugging your anxiety instead of gluten.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Cole Figueroa following the “unheralded UTL” formula, I see.

    Squeeze the juice out of that fruit, I guess.

    • Y’s Guy

      who knew we had another 2B in waiting?

    • W.B. Mason Williams

      Looking forward to the 2016 INF of 3B Solarte SS Figueroa 2B Adams and 1B Roller.

      The dream is alive

      • n0exit

        You forgot cojo.

  • Some Asshole

    Just need Ben Gamel to come up for one day to make the Sporcle feel more complete.

  • 28 this year

    The extension to Gardner will pay for itself by next year

  • DeutschlandNY

    Is Tanaka’s ankle in his head?

    • IVoted4Kodos

      No, it’s attached to his foot.

      • n0exit

        Haven’t you heard the saying: foot in mouth, ankle in head?

        • IVoted4Kodos

          I must be too old/young.

  • https://twitter.com/missvykki vicki

    the W guarantees the yankees will go into the break leading the division; worst case scenario they’re tied for first with the o’s.

    tanaka threw 114 pitches, but leverage index tells me they were highway miles.

    also, this is the cutest thing ever.

    https://twitter.com/Yankees/status/619250669862563840/photo/1

    • RetroRob

      Wonders how that jersey was produced and delivered so quickly.

      • Some Asshole

        “Hecho en…Cambodia. Yeah, that’s it.”

      • IVoted4Kodos

        Wizards.

    • Jonathan Gallo

      And MLBShop shut up and take my money.

    • Mandy Stankiewicz

      Gardner said this is the first uniform he’s ever had in the pros (majors/minors) with his name on it.

  • Hankflorida

    Cole Figueroa pulled the ball every at bat and hit the ball hard getting two hits. He had a hot bat down on the farm getting hits in half of his at bats in the last ten games, and maybe if he stays hot, we have our 2015 version of Solarte, and then all of you on the anti-Drew brigade have some one to hoist the flag for to make Drew a bench player.

    • renzostew

      Is it wrong to want a second baseman hit around .250 or so?.I think a platoon is best for the Yankees and Drew can give DIDI a rest too.Refsnyer is hitting over .290 with 2 hits today so he is ready for a platoon and if he is not ready than admit Cashman has not done his job in drafting&devloping young players.If he makes as many throwing errors as Headley then he doesn’t belong in the infield.

  • W.B. Mason Williams

    Solid all around game. I’ll take 3 more for the first course, garcon!

  • RetroRob

    The best Yankees win of the day.

  • disqus_8E66WIUyso

    Nice win. Figueroa a hot bat. Play him. No brainer.

  • http://yankeecanada.com/ Bob(bobby) M.

    why send him down when Headley comes back? Actually with Headley’s errors in the field and his inconsistent bat maybe Figueroa should stay up and platoon with Headley. Headley has the major league experience but he’s not performing near where expected or needed yet

    • n0exit

      One game people. One game. Petit goes down when Ryan comes back.

      • http://yankeecanada.com/ Bob(bobby) M.

        yeh but Petit didn’t give us what Figueroa gave us in one game. And can Figueroa play 2nd base?

        • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          It’s one game. Everyone has a good game now and then. Example: http://atmlb.com/1J6TWZX

          • http://yankeecanada.com/ Bob(bobby) M.

            yeh but give him enough games to see how he performs over a longer period. How do you expect these young guys to come up and perform for a few games and go back down to the minors again. Sounds like he’s been doing well in the minors before coming up

            • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

              He’s 28

              • Some Asshole

                PLAY TEH OLD KIDZ!!

                • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

                  “He’s like an MLB teenager, teens are still kids under the law! PLAY HIM!”

                • IVoted4Kodos

                  He does still play with Matchbox cars I hear.

            • IVoted4Kodos

              He’s not a young guy. He’s almost 29 years old.

              • Kenthadley

                My 98 year old dad would say he’s a young guy. Of course my dad still talks about Lefty Grove……

                • IVoted4Kodos

                  He was no Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown.

                  • Kenthadley

                    Yeah, dad talked about him too…..most of dad’s sweaters are older than Cole Figueroa.

        • IVoted4Kodos

          Is this serious?

          • n0exit

            I dunno but the Cole bandwagon seems a little fuller than it should be after one game.

            • Centaur Hips

              Just imagine the Ref bandwagon if he gets called up and has a good game.

        • n0exit

          Petit was pretty good early going.

          • http://yankeecanada.com/ Bob(bobby) M.

            ok give Cole the same amount of time and see how he performs. If he drops off like Petit they probably both need to be sent back down

      • renzostew

        Yeah and thy are facing two LHP in Boston but I do not think Ryan will be ready yet.

    • Hankflorida

      The hate Drew Crowd are looking for somebody to replace Drew and not Headly yet. Fig has to be the one without a trade.

      • renzostew

        No I do not think it is hate but the Yankee fans have been waiting so long for some young players to play more than 10 games and do good they will follow a younger player even after one good game.

    • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

      rlly

    • IVoted4Kodos

      I’d sign up for it if you have a Jeff Schultz article to support your opinion.

  • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

    Guys sitting behind me made a couple “get the surgery” comments during the 2nd inning after the 2nd run scored. I don’t think they said anything of the sorts after he left the game in the 8th.

    • Mike Myers

      but…but….elbow….head…..runs…..bad….

      • IVoted4Kodos

        “He has a tear in his elbow! My dad is a doctor! He’s gonna explode! You’re all idiots!”

        – That guy in the offseason.

        • Mike Myers

          EDIT – that guy after every hit

          • Some Asshole

            Yes, but there was one particular fuckface during the offseason.

          • IVoted4Kodos

            I hear it in a Mad Dog Russo voice.

    • Tom

      He obviously got the surgery after the second inning.

    • Some Asshole

      Hmm…you must investigate the source and eradicate the hive.

  • Tom

    Hey now you’re a rock star get the show on get paid

  • Centaur Hips

    Pineda throws 6 shutout innings tomorrow and I’ll change my handle to Pineda is greata

    • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

      “Pineda’s greata Centaur Hips”

  • Tom

    Hey, now, you’re an All Star get your game on, go play

    Hey, now, you’re a Rock Star get the show on get paid

    And all that glitters is gold

    Only shooting stars break the mold

    • Mike Myers

      no no no no

      • Sung Min Kim

        didn’t you play the voice of Shrek tho

        • https://twitter.com/missvykki vicki

          and come out of the pen for the 2006-07 yankees.

  • http://yankeecanada.com/ Bob(bobby) M.

    nice to see us put some daylight between us and the teams who were nipping at our heels. Now we need to keep it going after the ASB

  • Jacoby Eddardsbury

    I thought it was the best win of the season, Mike. Tanaka silenced all of the doubters, Gardy was named an All Star and we found our answer to the 2nd base problem – Cole Figueroa. This kid looks like a winner. Give him a shot and see what he can do. He should stay over Petit and Ryan. I said this club would create distance once Ellsbury and Miller have returned and they’ve already built a 3 game cushion.

  • Y’s Guy

    “He should have been on the all star team anyway”
    Kirkjien on Garder

    • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

      TRUTH

    • John in Forest

      Maybe he can take Figueroa along.

  • Bertin Lefkovic

    Gardner and Refsnyder for Altuve? Gardner, Martin, Nova, Pirela, Wilson, and another prospect for Chapman, Cueto, and Phillips?

    • Tom

      Gardner, Williams, Heathcott, Refsnyder, Pirela for the Fish in Anaheim.

      • Bertin Lefkovic

        I doubt it.

      • NYCORNERSTONE

        Not trading Brett there’s no way

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Altuve and a prospect for Gardner is more appropriate if you ask me.

      • Tom

        How many years of control does Altuve have?

        • Bertin Lefkovic

          Two more after this year. FA in 2018.

        • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

          ..

        • NYCORNERSTONE

          Why would Astros trade him

          • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

            Tonight on Strange Minds of America: A look inside the mind of Bertin

          • Bertin Lefkovic

            Would Gardner not be an upgrade over Marisnick or Tucker?

      • Bertin Lefkovic

        Really? Gardner has more trade value than Altuve? I’ll take your word for it. Can you explain why?

        • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          I was being facetious after Gardner’s game today and the ASG thing.

    • NYCORNERSTONE

      NO , Severino Sanchez Mason for Cueto and Phillips Yes PHillips would thrive in NY 4X Gold glover ik his personality sucks buts hes no #9 hitter either

      • NYCORNERSTONE

        Ik mike hates Phillips guts too lol

      • Bertin Lefkovic

        I don’t disagree that Phillips could be good in NYC. I don’t give a damn about personality. There would be enough strong personalities on this team to keep his ego in check. I just don’t know why you would want to give up Severino in a package for a rental pitcher, even one as good as Cueto, and Phillips.

        • NYCORNERSTONE

          Cause we do that deal we win the east bet the house doubt Reds would say no i k Cuetos arm could go any minute but hes in FA year he’s going to be right on if he’s healthy

          • Bertin Lefkovic

            I would prefer to save Sanchez and Severino for a Hamels package.

            • NYCORNERSTONE

              Doesnt do nothing for the 2nd base problem unless you risk Utley has some life in his body someplace Utley in Yankee Stadium could wake his butt up u never k

              • Bertin Lefkovic

                The Yankees can solve the 2B problem in other ways.

  • Sir Didihiro Nakamura
  • Austinmac

    Figueroa hits left handed. Once Headley can play, he is sent down.

  • https://twitter.com/missvykki vicki
    • dave_8

      Ice cream vendor or patron?

      • Y’s Guy

        Trumbo as a Mariner (92 ab’s); .195/.221/.250.

        • dave_8

          Hey, why not? What else to do besides give him a try? Can’t control him forever.

        • Y’s Guy

          LoMo the past 28 days: .176/.248/.374

        • cashmoney

          I don’t keep track of the Ms, but trumbo’s one true skill is that he is a legit homerun hitter, that don’t jive in safeco.

          • Monterocouldstillbedinero

            This. Montero hit 16 HR’s a few years ago with the M’s. I’m sure that # would have been 28-30 with the Yanks. His RF power is tremendous.

    • Y’s Guy

      Hoping to build up a little trade value…

      • dave_8

        After 1800 PAs, he’s finally hitting at AAA the way he did at the lower levels. Practice makes perfect. But how does he have 5 triples???

        • Monterocouldstillbedinero

          and 3 SB’s!

          I assume his triples were bombs off the outfield wall that the outfielder misjudged/fell down.

          • dave_8

            That’s what I thought. Like Judge, maybe he’s hitting missiles off the RF-CF wall and they’re bounding away. But even then, back when he was fat, that would’ve barely been a double.

    • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

      And so it begins…

      • Monterocouldstillbedinero

        Yes!!!!

        Jesus playing for his new baby.

        Baby Jesus Jr.???

    • Y’s Guy

      Good luck to him. It’s been really downhill for him since NY but he’s stuck with it, lost the weight this offseason and apparently is finally getting another chance. I hope he does well.

      • dave_8

        It was always up to him. No one on the Yankees said he couldn’t do it — even catching. The question was about him wanting it bad enough to do the work required.

    • cashmoney

      Zunino has a 527 ops. For a team that is full out machines, nothing to lose imo. I wish him the best, frankly I think he deserve a shot and still only is 25.

    • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

      Final option year sink or swim time!

    • cashmoney

      I remember when Jesus was a god on rab and Axisa having orgasmic seizure when baby jesus had good days on dotf. It was a good time.I suspect the same else across yankees, on lohud as well.

      • Monterocouldstillbedinero

        I made the mistake of seeing Jesus at AAA on several occasions. He caught well and absolutely crushed it at the plate in the days before exit velocity was given. He hit a HR to left center at Scranton that left the crowd silent as he circled the bases. A man among boys at the time.

        Prospect love is a terrible drug.

  • Centaur Hips

    R leaders:

    1) Donaldson – 65
    2) Trout – 64
    2) Dozier – 64
    4) Gardner – 62

    RBI leaders:

    1) Goldschmidt – 68
    2) Arenado – 68
    3) Stanton – 67
    4) Teixeira – 62

    Don’t usually look at Runs or RBIs but that’s an impressive pace for our two All-Stars.

    • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

      Having 62 RBI’s is still very impressive, it just doesn’t show the whole story.

      • Tom

        It is well known that number 3, 4 and 5 hitters will usually have more RBIs because they get the most chances to drive in runs.

        • cashmoney

          It is also well known 3.4.5 are placed there because it’s an indication batter ability to drive the ball with risp. They are there for a reason. Not that it conflicts with what you have stated.

      • Emilio

        It’s a good indicator of the success of the teams offense as a whole this year.

        • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

          It’s also a good indicator of who in the league is very good, but as a general thing. Guys leading the league in RBIs are obviously going to be very good, but you’d need other stats to see who’s better and such.

      • Austinmac

        RBIs are important when we say so. That is, when we have someone with a lot. Please understand the system.

        • Sir Didihiro Nakamura

          Truth

  • Sir Didihiro Nakamura
  • Bertin Lefkovic

    Would either Gardy or Tex be on the AST if Gordon and Miggy hadn’t gotten hurt? Sucks to be them.

  • Y’s Guy
    • cashmoney

      I skip the whole thing but noticed a much fitter jesus in the press picture. That’s not a bad sign.

      • Monterocouldstillbedinero

        Jesus will do just fine in time. His righty power to all fields, his slimmed down/in shape, first base capabilities will find a team in the majors soon if the M’s don’t want him.

    • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

      He’ll Go 9 for 40 with 2 HR’s and a double and Yankee message board clowns will #Cashmanfailed thier hearts content with every at bat update.

      Who was that Jerk that used to post on Lohud that claimed to be a former catcher always posting Montero updates ? Never saw him post again after Montero bombed out as a catcher.

      • Y’s Guy

        Randy l

        • http://riveraveblues.com/ Mick

          He was big on the stories.

          • Y’s Guy

            Yeah, he pretty much went a little crazy and started openly rooting for the Yankees to lose so that Cash would get fired. I’m pretty sure he came over here and posted a time or two. Not sure if he got himself banned here, too.

        • https://youtu.be/alYXF7a9N3U Memory Bread

          A.k.a The worst.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Just wait until someone claims the Yankees weren’t patient enough with him.

        http://ashevillemunchies.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/Ham.jpg

    • vwnut13

      He will probably outperform Cano, so…

    • Re2pect

      eh forgive me if i yaaawn. he was one of my biggest prospect heartbreaks lol

  • BearNJ

    I don’t understand this statement “shut down by the likes of Sonny Gray” . Gray has a 2.20 ERA. I agree that it was an ugly series in May but gray isn’t exactly a stiff.

    • Ewing33

      Yea, I don’t think he realizes how good Sonny Gray is.

  • Monterocouldstillbedinero

    What about Jose Iglesias on the Tigers. Slick hitting SS who could easily move to second. Tigers could use some pitching.

    • n0exit

      What CY Green isn’t enough?

    • Re2pect

      guy cant hit, sounds nuts but he is all babip, its a facade. I would rather not deal for him. top notch fielder though! Like simmons than iglesias for best fielding ss