It was the showdown of former teammates and Japanese media were frenzied all over the stadium. Masahiro Tanaka faced off with his former teammate in Japan in the final game in this weekend series against the visiting Mariners.
Tanaka threw a pretty decent game today, going a full 7 innings with 93 pitches (fairly efficient), giving up 6 hits, no walks, and 3 runs (only 2 earned), and striking out 6 Seattle batters. He got off to a rough start in the 1st inning, loading the bases with singles and 1 out, before a force out (an almost double play really) allowed just 1 run to score and Tanaka got his 1st strikeout.
Then he coast through the next couple of innings. In the 4th, a batter made it safely to 2nd on a fielding error (the unearned run), moved to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on an RBI single. And a really nice 1-out triple scored on an RBI single to cap off the Mariners’ scoring for the afternoon.
Tanaka was able to hand over the game to the trusty hands of the Dynamic Duo — Betances and Miller who wiped the floor with the Mariners again, striking out the next 6 batters in order. They’re just showing off now.
And on the offense side, the Yankees eked out a win today on the bat of Alex Rodriguez. In the 2nd, McCann on base after a hit-by-pitch, Rodriguez hit a nice 2-run home run into the corner of the left field seats to put the Yankees ahead. The Yankees added to that in the 3rd with Ellsbury’s lead-off single. He then stole 2nd and ended up at 3rd when the catcher missed the stolen base throw. Ellsbury’s top-of-the-order partner Brett Gardner smacked a giant ground-rule double (it bounced just shy of the outfielder and into the visiting bullpen), which scored Ellsbury.
Then with the game tied up, the Yankees went in to seal the win in the 5th. With Gardner and Beltran on the corners, a wild pitch mishandled by the catcher easily allowed Gardner to race on home to score the winning run.
A couple of pitching stats to praise today — no walks were issued by Yankee pitchers today, and they got the Mariners’ batters swinging at a whopping 12 total strikeouts. I can live with those numbers. And comparatively (to the much less impressive stats put up by Mariners’ pitchers today), those numbers did add up to a well-earned win today.
Well, that and those runs they scored.
Final score : 4-3 Yankees, Mariners win series 2-1.
Enjoy your off day tomorrow! Home games all week against Oakland and Tampa.
There’s still so many games left to play!