The Yankees have been winning a lot lately but tonight, they fell quite short. It seemed like they had some offensive momentum going in the second inning by scoring two, but after that, New York got completely shut out by Colby Lewis and the Rangers pen. Masahiro Tanaka didn’t allow any dingers this start but he looked unimpressive overall. But hey – a lot of us had to like what we saw out of the new RHP Caleb Cotham.
- Two in second: Yankees drew first blood when Carlos Beltran hit a solo homer to lead off the second inning. He battled Lewis in a nine-pitch at-bat and eventually drilled a fastball down the middle over the right field fence. Always good to see the old guy show some sign of life in bat. Yankees did not stop there – with two outs, the red hot Didi Gregorius singled to left. Stephen Drew followed it up with another single and Gregorius advanced to third as soon as he saw that CF Delino DeShields Jr. bobbled the ball. Jacoby Ellsbury then drove Didi in with a grounder up to center for an RBI single. 2-0 Yankees.
- Get’em next time: Tanaka seemed quite off tonight and it showed in his pitching line: 6.0 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K. His stuff didn’t seem all that crisp and he missed more spots that he could afford to. But hey, at least he avoided dingers in Globe Life Park! I’m not too worried about Masahiro but it’d be nice to see more consistent brilliance from him. 6 IP 4 ER start is not awful, but New York is paying him like an ace.
- Cotham for Gotham: In the seventh, RHP Caleb Cotham made his ML debut, relieving Chasen Shreve with one out and runner on first. Cotham was a 5th rounder from Vanderbilt back in 2009 and finally made it to the bigs at age 27. He’s gone through series of injuries that set him back and recently saw sustained success as a reliever so I assume that’s what his long-term niche will be. With the first ML batter he faced, he induced a grounder from Adrian Beltre … that Didi couldn’t come up with, go figure. He struck out Mitch Moreland on three pitches but allowed the runner on second to score when Josh Hamilton lined a slider down the middle to right. Cotham looked brilliant overall though – striking out four in 1.2 IP. His fastball was around 91~94 and the hard slider had that nice bite to it. I’d be in favor of keeping him around to see if he can be another late-inning guy because, frankly, I think he’s got promise based on his stuff, command, and performance down in minors.
- Leftover: In the sixth, Carlos Beltran recorded one of the weirdest OF assists I’ve seen. Shin-Soo Choo lined a base hit to right and aggressively extended it to double when Beltran was late to get to the ball. However, it turned out that Drew had put a tag on him when Choo put his foot off the bag briefly and the umpires called him out after the instant replay – Beltran earned the assist from a play that he seemingly didn’t put too much effort on! How about that.