(Lotta these talks today in the 4th and 5th. Courtesy of Getty Images)
Masahiro Tanaka was on the mound for this afternoon's series finale against AL kings of the mountain Oakland and he was the team's best chance to win. Actually, he may have been their only chance to win with the way they've been playing. The A's had yet to experience Tanaka and all that comes with him, and even though they made him work for it they were unable to solve the riddle and get enough against him to get the sweep.
- The Oakland hitters knew how to approach Tanaka even without any experience against him. John Jaso got a first-pitch sinker that stayed up on the second AB of the game and hit it out for a solo home run and a quick 1-0 lead.
- The Yanks created plenty of early chances against Oakland starter Drew Pomeranz. They blew one stranding runners on second and third with 1 out in the bottom of the 1st, but made up for it with an Alfonso Soriano (!!!) RBI single in the 2nd and Brett Gardner solo HR in the 3rd.
- Tanaka and Pomeranz each traded zeros after the 3rd, with Tanaka's coming much more difficultly. He lasted 6 innings and needed 104 pitches to get through them, with only 4 strikeouts. Pomeranz pitched 7 on 101 pitches and struck out 7.
This early scoring chances disappeared in the later innings. The Yankees only managed to get 1 baserunner to second after the 3rd inning and failed to put more than 1 runner on in any inning.
- Joe went back to his bullpen horses to maintain the lead this time and they were back to normal. Dellin Betances struck out 2 in a perfect 7th, Adam Warren pitched around 2 RISP with 2 BIG strikeouts in the 8th, and David Robertson locked down the 9th with 2 whiffs of his own.
- Gardner: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K. That solo HR ended up being pretty damn important.
- Tanaka: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. He would tell you he wasn't at his best again today, and he struggled to put guys away at times. He also kept Oakland from doing much of anything after the homer in the 1st and on what was probably a bad day for him pitched 6 innings of 1-run ball. If that's a bad day, I'll take 5 of those.
- Jacoby Ellsbury: 2-3, 1 BB, 2 SB. Don't look now, but Ellsbury is starting to heat up. His double was almost another home run.
- Teix & Beltran: Combined 0-7, 4 K, 7 LOB. Big stinker from these 2 with plenty of ducks on the pond in front of them. Just 1 hit and this win is a lot more comfortable.
The Yanks hit the road again for a 4-game weekend series in Kansas City. Kicks off tomorrow night with Chase Whitley and Jeremy Guthrie on the mound.