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The Yankees swept the first half of their 4-game "home and home" series against the Cubs last month and they did it all in 1 day without allowing the Cubs to score 1 run. The second half of the series kicked off last night in Chi-town with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound again for the Yanks. He's now fully taken over the role of staff ace in title and in production. If the Yankees are going to stay afloat while Pineda and Sabathia recover, they're going to do it on the back of Tanaka. He wasn't able to carry them last night, breaking his 42-game regular season streak without a loss.
- The Yanks put 2 runners on in the top of the 1st and almost knocked Jason Hammel out of the game with Brett Gardner's comebacker. They didn't score though, and that was the toughest time Hammel would have all day.
- Tanaka, for whatever reason, just wasn't as sharp as he was against the Mets. His slider command wasn't all that great, he missed with a few splitters, and his sinker didn't have its usual bite on it. The Cubs turned that into a run apiece in the 3rd on 4th on a pair of RBI singles.
- The Yanks finally got on the board in the 6th when Mark Teixeira singled in Gardner. He had led off the inning with a double and almost got stranded. That kind of day from the offense.
- A pair of Chicago singles to start the bottom of the 6th turned into 2 more runs thanks to sac flies by Mike Olt and John Baker and a Teix throwing error. More missed spots by Tanaka.
- He was out after 6 and Joe went to his second tier of relievers. That put 2 more runs on the board for the Cubs and the game out of reach for the Yanks.
- Just to hammer the point home of how bad they were, New York left the bases loaded in the top of the 9th.
- Gardner: 2-4, 1 2B, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K. He's a 1-man band at the top.
- Tanaka: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R (3 ER), 1 BB, 7 K. I don't know what it was. Maybe it was the weather (it rained on and off early), something Tanaka didn't have to deal with in Japan. Maybe it was him overthinking trying to outsmart a lineup that had seen him before. Maybe he just had an off day. Whatever the reason, this performance wasn't up to the high standards Tanaka has already set for himself and his team wasn't there to help him out.
- Jacoby Ellsbury: 0-4, 2 K, 4 LOB. Has fallen waaaayyyyyy off the cliff.
Series finale is this afternoon. Chase Whitley faces off against potential Yankee trade target Jeff Samardzija.