(The guy fields his position too, NBD. Courtesy of Getty Images)
What more can you say about Masahiro Tanaka? The guy is a killer. A stone cold assassin. He gave up a home run to the first batter he faced in last night's series opener (the second time he's done that in 2 games against the Blue Jays), then proceeded to shut them the hell down for the next 6 innings. Is it a fair statement to say that the Yankees have the best starting pitcher and relief pitcher in the American League? In all of MLB? It's at least up for debate after the tag team effort by Tanaka and Dellin Betances last night that propelled the Yankees to another win over the Jays at home.
- So yeah, that leadoff homer. Tanaka actually gave up 2 more hits in the top of the 1st, both with 2 outs, before ending the only real threat he'd face on the night with a strikeout.
- The Yankees really made Marcus Stroman work for his outs. They took a lot of pitches, fouled off a lot of pitches, and cashed in on that in the bottom of the 3rd when the lineup cycled around to Brett Gardner and he popped a YS3 Special home run down the right field line to give his team the lead.
- Stroman was knocked out before he could finish the 4th, and the Yanks got their insurance run against the bullpen in the 5th. Derek Jeter singled, moved to second on a wild pitch, third on a groundout, and scored on Mark Teixeira's ribbie base knock to make it 3-1.
- Tanaka only allowed 2 baserunners to reach second after the 1st inning and he struck out 10 through 6 innings, including the side in the 5th (Melky, Joey Bats, Encarnacion) on splitter, slider, splitter. Joe pulled him after 6 and 104 pitches and let his 'pen take him home.
- They did that alright. Betances pitched a perfect 7th and perfect 8th with 3 more strikeouts, David Robertson only gave up a triple because Gardner missed a diving catch attempt and struck out 2 more of his own in the 9th.
- Tanaka: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K. Another win (11th), another double-digit K game (5th), and another line on the ROY resume.
- Gardner: 1-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI, 3 LOB. Only hit was the biggest hit of the game.
- Jacoby Ellsbury: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. They can't all be winners, kid.
Chase Whitley will face the best lineup he's faced by far tonight in the second game of this series. Mark Buehrle gets the ball for Toronto.