Thursday, June 12, 2014

Masahiro and Villains

With Masahiro Tanaka starting, the Yankees are now 11-2.

With anybody else starting, they're 22-29. Ouch.

Tanaka started last night, in the 2nd of a 3-game series away to the Seattle Mariners. As you might guess, he was brilliant. Over the first 8 innings, he had a shutout going, allowing 4 hits and 1 walk.

Of course, he needed runs. He got them. Brian Roberts led off the top of the 3rd with a single. Brett Gardner walked. Derek Jeter tried to bunt them over, but popped up. Jacoby Ellsbury singled Roberts home. 1-0 Yankees.

Gardner led off the 6th win a single. Jeter lined out. (He did, however, get 2 hits on the night -- now up to 3,374 for his career.) Ellsbury singled. And Mark Teixeira hit one out to right field, his 11th "Teix Message" of the season. 4-0 Yankees.

So on to the 9th. Could Tanaka complete the shutout? Would Joe Girardi toss the binder aside and let him?

With 1 out, James Jones hit a grounder to 2nd. Roberts couldn't make the play. Infield single.

On Twitter, I saw a fan invoke the 2nd baseman the Yanks let get away, to Seattle: "Cano would have gotten that."

So I tweeted, "Need I remind you, Brian Roberts has as many home runs as Robinson Cano this season. Two."

That was true for about 5 more seconds. It was like the Curse of Kay: Anytime Yankee broadcaster Michael Kay cites an overwhelming stat, the exact opposite occurs. Cano hit one out to make it 4-2. It was his 1st homer of the season at Safeco, and it came against the Yankees.

So, in this case, Cano is the "villain," and I'm... a henchman? the heavy? a dupe?

So, next, I tweeted, "Now, I guess, enter Sand-- Oh, that's right... "

No more Mariano Rivera. David Robertson got warmed up. But Girardi kept Tanaka in the game. He struck out Kyle Sager and Logan Morrison to end it, giving him 11 strikeouts on the night, against 1 walk.

WP: Tanaka (10-1). No save. LP: Chris Young (5-4).

And the Toronto Blue Jays lost, so the Yankees close to within 4 1/2 games of first place in the AL East -- only 3 in the loss column.

As bad as the Yankees have looked this season -- we haven't scored 5 or more runs in a game since May 28 -- we're still very much in the race.

The series concludes tonight at 10:10 PM Eastern, with Chase Whitley starting for the Yankees, and Roenis Elias for the Mariners.

Come on you Bombers!

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