Offense wastes Tanaka’s gem, Yankees drop series opener 4-1 to Athletics

Game 45: Will the Real Tanaka Please Stand Up?
Game 46: My Kingdom For Some Runs


Source: FanGraphs

I miss offense. I miss the days when the Yankees were putting up like seven runs a night and smacking dingers like Gary Sanchez circa August 2016. Those were the days. It was called April. The bats were mostly silent Friday night in the series opener against the Athletics. The final score was 4-1 bad guys. It’s Friday night and I’m sick, so let’s recap this with bullet points:

  • Masahiro My Hero: So Sanchez is never gonna catch Masahiro Tanaka again, huh? Coming off back-to-back disaster starts, Tanaka dominated the A’s on Friday, striking out a career high 13 in 7.1 innings of work with Austin Romine behind the plate. He threw 111 pitches and generated a career high 26 swings and misses. Splitters, sliders, first pitch curveballs, it was all working. Welcome back, good #TANAKA. We’ve missed you.
  • Blown By The Bullpen: Apparently Romine’s magic only applies to the starters, not the relievers. Tyler Clippard inherited a runner on first with one out from Tanaka in the eighth inning, and he managed to allow two runs even though that inherited runner was thrown out at home on the contact play. It would be nice to see Dellin Betances on the mound in one of these eighth inning game on the line situations one of these days. Closers don’t always have to be for closin’. Jonathan Holder allowed a two-run homer to Stephen Vogt in the ninth to put things out of reach.
  • At Least They Weren’t Shut Out? The good news: the Yankees were not shut out! They’ve scored in every game so far this season. The bad news: the Yankees didn’t score their one and only run until there were two outs in the ninth. A Didi Gregorius sac fly did the trick. Jairo Garcia Santiago Castillo loaded the bases with one out that inning, so the Yankees got both Gregorius and Sanchez to the plate as the tying run. Alas, there was no miracle comeback this time.
  • Leftovers: Aaron Judge had two hits and a walk. Aaron Hicks had a hit and a walk. The non-Aarons had two hits and a walk … the Yankees had their best chance to score in the seventh, then Chase Headley banged into a 5-4-3 double play with runners on first and second and one out. The Yankees are going to have to do something about third base soon. Headley’s play is untenable … Matt Holliday went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts and is now 5-for-21 with 12 strikeouts in his last six games. That works out to a 50.0% strikeout rate and a .556 BABIP.

Here are the box score, video highlights, and updated standings. Also make sure you check out our Bullpen Workload page. The Yankees and A’s will continue this three-game series with the middle game Saturday afternoon. That’s a regular old 1pm ET start. CC Sabathia and Jharel Cotton are the scheduled starters. Perhaps the offense will do something crazy and score multiple runs.

Minor League Update: Like I said, I’m not feeling well, so I’m going to take the easy way out with DotF tonight. Here are the box scores and here’s the short version: 3B Gleyber Torres had two singles, OF Clint Frazier had a double and a homer, RHP Chance Adams struck out four and allowed two runs in five innings, SS Thairo Estrada had three singles, 3B Miguel Andujar had two singles and a walk, DH Jorge Mateo went 0-for-5, OF Estevan Florial hit a solo homer, and OF Blake Rutherford had a single.

Game 45: Will the Real Tanaka Please Stand Up?
Game 46: My Kingdom For Some Runs