Tuesday, June 13, 2017
Tanaka Straightened Out, Judge Goes Opposite, Yanks Beat Angels
Masahiro Tanaka started. For the Yankees, who came in having won 5 straight and in 1st place in the American League Eastern Division, having Tanaka pitch well, after having pitched so poorly, was more important than actually winning the game.
As has been his tendency, he allowed a home run in the 1st inning, in this case to Kole Calhoun. (Sounds like a law firm.) But it was a solo home run, and he shook it off, and cruised from there. Through the 5th inning, he had allowed only that 1 run, 2 hits and a walk. In the 6th, he faltered a little, allowing a walk and a double, but no run. He struck out 8.
And the Yankees gave him a lead. Cliche alert: Walks will kill you. With 2 out in the top of the 3rd, Matt Holliday and Starlin Castro both drew walks on Angel starter Alex Meyer. Didi Gregorius singled Holliday home to tie the game.
In the 5th, with 1 out, Aaron Judge walked. There's that cliche again. After another out, Castro and Gregorius both singled, and it was 2-1 Yankees. In the 7th, a Chase Headley single brought home another run. 3-1.
But after Headley giveth in the top of the 7th, he taketh away in the bottom half. His error set up 2 Angel runs, and the game was tied. A nice effort by Tanaka would not result in a win.
But Judgment came in the top of the 8th. With 1 out, Aaron Hicks doubled, and Judge crushed another home run, this one 438 feet to right-center, the opposite field. It was his 22nd home run of the season. We are not yet halfway through June. If you had told me on Opening Day that Judge would have hit 22 home runs through the entire regular season, I would have happily accepted that.
Tyler Clippard and Dellin Betances finished the game off. Yankees 5, Angels 3. WP: Clippard (1-3), although Tanaka's performance is the bigger deal. SV: Betances (6). LP: Jose Alvarez (0-3).
The series continues tonight. CC Sabathia starts against JC Ramirez. No periods on either man's initials. I'll take that weirdness, if the Big Fella gets us another win.