Game 61: Tanaka’s Last Stand?

With the Yankees looking to extend a five-game winning streak, righty Masahiro Tanaka looks to end a five-game streak of his own.

Tanaka is on a personal five-game losing streak, during which time he has a 10.72 ERA. In those 22⅔ innings, he has given up 11 home runs. Those struggles saw the team push back his start from Sunday to today in order to give him extra rest.

“It can be minor, just a tick late with your arm or your hip opens up a tick early,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Your shoulders open up a tick early. That’s what leads to the inconsistency of the pitches. We’ve seen good sliders. We’ve seen good splits. We’ve seen good location of his fastball, but when you’re off a little bit mechanically, there’s inconsistency.”

Tanaka pitched well against the Angels last year, with a 1.23 ERA in two starts. Joe Girardi has said that the Yankees will continue with their regular five-man rotation even if Tanaka falters. That schedule would put Tanaka on the mound for Saturday’s matchup with the Oakland Athletics.

The Yankees will get their first glimpse at Angels right-hander Alex Meyer in the series opener. He allowed three hits over six innings against the Detroit Tigers in his last time out. The 6’9″ hurler also struck out a career-high nine batters in that outing. No Yankee has recorded an at-bat against Meyer.

Gary Sánchez gets the night off in the series opener after playing six consecutive games, only DHing June 9 against Baltimore. Austin Romine gets the call behind the plate in his place. The Yankees hope their offense made the trip to Anaheim too, as they have scored at least eight runs in each of their past five wins.

Starting Lineups

New York Yankees
  1. Brett Gardner – LF
  2. Aaron Hicks – CF
  3. Aaron Judge – RF
  4. Matt Holliday – DH
  5. Starlin Castro – 2B
  6. Didi Gregorius – SS
  7. Chase Headley – 3B
  8. Chris Carter – 1B
  9. Austin Romine – C
Los Angeles Angels
  1. Cameron Maybin – CF
  2. Kole Calhoun – RF
  3. Albert Pujols – DH
  4. Yunel Escobar – 3B
  5. Luis Valbuena – 1B
  6. Andrelton Simmons – SS
  7. Eric Young Jr. – LF
  8. Martín Maldonado – C
  9. Danny Espinosa 2B

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