So, a game that was scheduled to start at 1:05 pm today ended up concluding about 8 hours later thanks to just continuous thunderstorms that swept through the area several times this afternoon and into the evening. Before the finale against the Tigers even started, the game was in rain delay. One hour and twenty-six minutes after the scheduled start, Masahiro Tanaka took the mound.
Overall, Tanaka actually had a pretty strong outing. He threw 100 pitches in his 6 innings, gave up 6 hits, a walk, and 2 runs (only 1 earned), and struck out 7 batters along the way. Tanaka had trouble in the 1st giving up consecutive singles to start the game. A double scored the first run before Tanaka zeroed in and got those 3 outs quickly. With 2 outs in the 4th, Tanaka gave up his lone allowed walk who then scored on a single and fielding error (the unearned run).
Tommy Kahnle got through the 7th inning in just 8 pitches, breezing his way through the Tigers’ roster. Tanaka’s fairly strong start and Kahnle’s speedy scoreless outing should have been enough that the Yankees’ offense could build something on it. But they didn’t do much on the 6 allowed hits from the Tigers’ starter.
And then it rained. Pretty hard, actually. So the game came to a screeching halt between the 7th and 8th innings. For 3 hours and 11 minutes. Rain delay #2. Tarp on the field, rain pouring down the dugout steps. It was so heavy at times that fans seated behind home plate could barely make out the Yankee Stadium sign over the left field seats.
So they waited it out. The groundscrew came out to test the field. Things seemed to look okay to finish the last 2 innings, so the game resumed at 8:30 pm. Yes, about 7 1/2 hours after the original scheduled start time. And for the handful of faithful fans, they got to see quite the treat as Dellin Betances came on and promptly threw a perfect 9-pitch, 3-strikeout inning, sending the game back to the Yankees’ offense.
Despite a lead-off walk, the Yankees had no such luck. So Betances tried again in the 9th, still keeping the Tigers from adding to their lead. And the Yankees tried again in the bottom of the 9th, facing a former teammate who just plowed right through them in just 8 pitches. The Yankees were shut out for just the second time this season.
Final score: 2-0 Tigers, Tigers win series 2-1.
Now, the Yankees are off to Cleveland for a 4-game weekend series. Actually, despite Cleveland leading in their division, they’re pretty much evenly matched with the Yankees. With these last 2 losses, the Yankees have dropped to a game behind Boston in the AL East.
Actually, looking at the standings right now, it’s still very much anyone’s game. At least in the American League. There’s quite a bit of a divide in the NL between the bottom teams and the top. But the AL is really tight in nearly every division, and especially for the Wild Card. With 56 game still left in the season, it’s really far too early to tell who’s going to be playing October baseball, and who’ll be watching it from their couch.
And doesn’t that make things a bit more interesting?