Saturday, May 3, 2014

Game 29 Wrap-Up: NYY 9 TB 3

It's been a frustrating 3-game losing streak for the Yanks.  Their offense hasn't been able to get anything done, against big name familiar foes or no name first-timers, the rotation has been uneven, and the baby shit soft back end of the bullpen has been a killer when it's been called on.  The Yankees added a fresh arm to that back end in Al Aceves before the start of today's game, but I think they were hoping he wouldn't be needed to support Masahiro Tanaka.  Tanaka has been the ace through 5 starts and his team needed a big ace-like performance from him today.

Game Notes:

- He wasn't looking very ace-like early.  He gave up a solo homer to Desmond Jennings in the top of the 1st, a second run on a trio of singles in the 2nd, and a third on a Wil Myers solo shot to lead off the 4th.

- The Yankee lineup didn't do much to help Tanaka against Tampa starter Jake Odorizzi the first time through.  He retired the first 9 in order with 3 strikeouts and it was shaping up to be another long day.

- Something funny happened after the Myers HR though.  Tanaka got it together and shut Tampa down while Odorizzi fell apart and let the Yankees take over.  It started with a Mark Teixeira 2-run shot in the bottom of the 4th to make it 3-2, his 4th HR in 5 games.

- It continued in the 5th with an Ichiro double, a Solarte walk, and an RBI ground-rule double by Jacoby Ellsbury.  That knocked Odorizzi out of the game and the re-energized Yanks beat up on the bullpen to the tune of 6 more runs in the next 3 innings.

- Once his team got on the board, it was like Tanaka had new life.  He gave up a single single in his final 3 innings, with 3 strikeouts and 5 groundouts.  His sinker and splitter came back to him and he rode them to strong finish.

- Equally strong finish by the bullpen.  Dellin Betances worked a scoreless 8th with 2 more strikeouts and Preston Claiborne a perfect mop-up 9th.

F*ck Yeahs:

- Ellsbury: 3-4, 1 2B, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB.  Another excellent day setting the table at the top for Jake.

- Brett Gardner: 2-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 3 LOB.  And an almost equally excellent day in the 2-hole for Gardy.  He was only there because Jeter got the day off, but Joe might want to start entertaining the idea of using these 2 at the top more often.

- Teix: 2-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 LOB.  This week has been vintage Teix, 2009-2010 edition.  I think it's safe to say the wrist is back to 100% now.

Oh Nos:

- Brian McCann: 1-5, 1 2B, 1 K, 6 LOB.  Still waiting for the breakout and the consistency to come.  Almost 30 games in, it's fair to say he's been a disappointment so far.

Next Up:

We got a little lefty-on-lefty action in tomorrow afternoon's series finale when CC Sabathia and Erik Bedard get the starts.  A big start from the big guy and a series win before heading out west would be fantastic.

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