(Courtesy of the AP)
You've read this intro from me enough already. Masahiro Tanaka's pitching, it's a big game, it's a test for him, blah, blah blah. I just wanted to see him come out and own again like he has in every start he's made. And for the first time this season, I had the chance to sit and actually watch him pitch.
- He had to battle early. His command on the corners wasn't there, especially with his fastball, he walked 3 in the first 3 innings, and he hung a few sliders. He also struck out 5 and kept the Angels off the scoreboard.
- Garrett Richards burned through the Yankee lineup with his array of fastballs the first time through the order, with only a Kelly Johnson single through the shift against him. He was definitely the better of the 2 pitchers early.
- Richards started to lose his fastball command a bit in the bottom of the 5th and the Yankees used that to scratch a run of their own across on a walk, a Brian Roberts double down the left field line, and an Ichiro RBI groundout.
- The Angels scratched a run across on a fielder's choice after loading the bases in the 4th, but Tanaka held it at that and then worked a quick 5th. He looked like he was settling in. Then he left a fastball up to David Freese to start the 6th and the Angels went back out front 2-1.
- Mark Teixeira was one of the few hitters who looked good against Richards, and he never looked better than when he demolished a hanger for a solo HR to tie the game back up at 2 in the 7th. Very encouraging sign.
- Tanaka gave way to Adam Warren in the 7th and Warren got 5 big outs to set himself up as the winner to be when a pair of walks, a passed ball, and a wild pitch allowed Ellsbury to come around and score the go-ahead run.
- For the 4th time in 4 tries, D-Rob was cash money in the 9th. The Yanks came back to steal the series after losing by 12 on Friday night.
- Tanaka: 6.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 11 K. He was far from at his best last night. He got into way too many 2 and 3-ball counts, he tripled his BB total coming into the game, and he gave up a home run to a guy who was one of the worst hitters in baseball coming in. He also reached double digit Ks again and got a shit ton of swinging strikes. His stuff is as fierce as any pitcher's in the game today. As bad as he was by the high standards he's set for himself, he was still good enough to win.
- Teix: 1-2, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1K. Had the best ABs against Richards all night and absolutely crushed that home run in the 7th. I haven't seen him live much this season, but he looked pretty good hitting from the left side in this game.
- Alfonso Soriano: 0-4, 2 K, 4 LOB. Looked really bad against Richards. Took a lot of shitty swings.
- Derek Jeter: 0-4, 2 K, 1 LOB. Tough time keeping up with heat like Richards was throwing.
The Yanks get another scheduled off-day today before welcoming old buddy Robbie Cano back to The Stadium when the Mariners come to town for 3 on Tuesday night. CC will get the ball then.