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It was Tanaka Day for the second time of the 2014 season last night, and the first one ever to be held at Yankee Stadium. After a rocky early going and a stellar finish to his MLB debut, Masahiro Tanaka took the hill in front of his new hometown fans looking to make a good first impression. The first first impression may not have been the best one possible, but once again it was the finish to Tanaka's night that was the big story.
- Tanaka worked around a leadoff double in the top of the 1st. He wasn't so lucky in the 2nd. A pair of singles put 2 runners on, and with 2 outs he hung a 1-0 slider that Jonathan Schoop clubbed for a 3-run HR.
- That early sting didn't face the lineup. They came back with a pair of solo HRs in the bottom half of the inning, the first by Carlos Beltran (his first) and the second by Kelly Johnson (his second).
- Beltran got things started on the tying run in the bottom of the 4th with a leadoff double. He moved to third on Brian McCann's sac fly and scored on a groundout by Alfonso Soriano to tie the game at 3.
- That early 3 was all the Orioles would get from Tanaka. He allowed a measly 3 singles in his final 5 innings, striking out 7 batters for a total of 10 on the night and retiring the final 7 he faced in order. He wasn't quite as sharp as his first start, but he was still very good.
- Unfortunately for him, the D-Rob-less bullpen couldn't repeat their Monday performance. Thornton and Warren got through the 8th, but Shawn Kelley melted down in the 9th, giving up a leadoff double, 3 straight singles, and a sac fly to score 2 and put the game out of reach.
- The Yanks made it interesting by plating 1 run in the bottom of the 9th. With a runner on 1st and 1 out, Yangervis Solarte came up and grounded into a heart-breaking game-ending double play. Sucks.
- Beltran: 3-3, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. That's what you're looking for from your cleanup hitter. Carlos looks like he's starting to come around.
- Tanaka: 7 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 10 K. Like I said before, not quite as good as his first start but still very good. As in 22 swinging strikes good. There's no doubt that Tanaka's stuff is world class. Once he settles into MLB life and gets used to the level of competition he's facing, I think we're going to see some really dominant outings from him.
- McCann: 0-4, 4 LOB. Saw 11 pitches in his 4 PA. Swung at 6 of them. Slow down, guy. There's no rush.
- Kelley: 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. You mean Shawn Kelley isn't as good as D-Rob?? Shocker.
That's 2 straight losses for the Yanks as they head into the big weekend 4-gamer against the Red Sox. Michael Pineda makes his Yankee Stadium debut tonight against Clay Buchholz.