Thursday, June 1, 2017

Concerns for Tanaka, Yanks Still In 1st as May Ends

The Yankees have now lost their last 4 series to the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards. Last night, in the rubber game of this series, for the 3rd time in his last 4 starts, Masahiro Tanaka got hit hard. He allowed 7 runs in the 3rd and 4th innings, and didn't get out of the 6th, allowing 9 hits and 2 walks.

#YankeesTwitter is already whispering that he may be injured, and we just don't know it yet. If that's true -- or even if it isn't, and he's just lost his command -- the Yankees have a big problem.

The Yankees offense got a run in the 4th and 2 more in the 5th off Oriole starter Kevin Gausman, and 1 more off the Baltimore bullpen, but bad relief pitching by Giovanny Gallegos insured that it wasn't nearly enough. Orioles 10, Yankees 4. WP: Gausman (3-4). No save. LP: Tanaka (5-5).


So here we are, on June 1. Where do we stand?

* The Yankees are 30-20, playing .600 baseball. That translates to 97 wins over the course of the season. As I've learned, 92 is the average number of wins, going back to the start of Divisional Play in 1969, by the 2nd place team in the American League Eastern Division. Therefore, 93 wins is, on the average, enough to win the AL East. The Yankees are on such a pace, and then some.

* The Yankees lead the Boston Red Sox by 2 games, the Orioles by 3 1/2, the Tampa Bay Rays by 4, and the Toronto Blue Jays by 5 1/2. In the all-important loss column, they lead the Sox by 3, the O's by 4, and the Rays and Jays by 7 each.

* I said a few days ago that it didn't make sense to post "Magic Numbers" (or "Elimination Numbers") in May. Well, we are now in June, and here we go: The Yankees' number to eliminate the Rays from winning the AL East title is 103, the Jays 105, and the O's and Sox both 109. Therefore, any combination of Yankee wins and Boston losses -- or any combination of Yankee wins and Baltimore losses -- adding up to 109 the rest of the way, and the Yankees win the Division.

* The Yankees trail the Houston Astros by 4 games for the best record in the AL.

* The Mets? 23-29, 10 games behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East, 9 in the loss column. They are 8 games out of the 2nd NL Wild Card slot. Their fans complain that they've had a lot of injuries. This is true. Well, Boo-hoo, poor you: The Yankees didn't have Gary Sanchez and Didi Gregorius for most of April, and have Aroldis Chapman out for a month. Man up and win some ballgames.

* Oh yeah: Mr. Met flipped the bird at a fan last night. The actor playing him was fired and replaced. And the Twittereaction was fantastic.

* If the current MLB standings hold to the end of the season: The Minnesota Twins would travel to Boston to play the Red Sox in the AL Wild Card Game, with the winner playing the Astros in the AL Division Series; while the Yankees would have home-field advantage over the Cleveland Indians in their ALDS. The Arizona Diamondbacks would go to Denver to play the Colorado Rockies in the NL Wild Card Game, with the winner playing the Washington Nationals in the NLDS; while the Milwaukee Brewers would play the Los Angeles Dodgers in the other NLDS.


Tonight, the Yankees begin a 4-game series in Toronto, against those pesky Blue Jays. Here are the projected pitching matchups:

* Tonight, 7:07 PM: CC Sabathia vs. Marco Estrada.

* Tomorrow, 7:07 PM: Michael Pineda vs. Francisco Liriano.

* Saturday, 1:07 PM: Jordan Montgomery vs. Joe Biagini.

* Sunday, 1:07 PM: Luis Severino vs. Marcus Stroman.

Then a travel day, and, on Tuesday, home to The Scum. Come on you Bombers!

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