Tag: Masahiro Tanaka

Yankees 4, Red Sox 5: Chapman’s Meltdown & More Sloppy Defense Lead to Benintendi Walkoff

BOSTON – Well, let’s hope this is rock bottom.

After Aroldis Chapman walked three batters in a ninth-inning that also featured a low throw from Miguel Andújar that Greg Bird could not handle, Jonathan Holder allowed a game-winning RBI single through the shift to Andrew Benintendi that officially sunk the Yankees in Beantown on Sunday.

The hard-throwing lefty issued free passes in the ninth to Sandy León, Mookie Betts and Steve Pearce after the Yankees gained a 4-to-1 advantage over their rivals in the seventh inning. J.D. Martinez singled to make it 4-to-3, and then Andújar did not step into his throw on a Xander Bogaerts grounder down the line. Bird could not dig it out, and pinch-runner Jackie Bradley Jr. scored the tying run.

Holder was assigned the 10th inning. After recording the first two outs, León poked a pitch about five inches off the outside corner into left for an opposite-field single. The first pitch to Betts, the next batter, got past Austin Romine (ruled a wild pitch, and he had a passed ball earlier in the game) to get León into scoring position. Betts was intentionally walked and León replaced with pinch-runner Tony Renda. Four pitches later, Benintendi’s grounder beat the shift and Fenway Park erupted into pandamonium.

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It seemed like things would finally break the Yankees way as they scored four runs in the seventh inning. Brett Gardner led off with a single and then Romine worked a walk. That drove David Price from the game, who had an uncharacteristically strong start against the Yankees. Heath Hembree came on, and proceeded to throw three pitches around the head of Shane Robinson, provoking a stare from the Yankees reserve outfielder and some shouts from the Yankee bench. Robinson was looking to move up the runners with a sacrifice bunt, but ended up walking on a 3-2 slider that missed high.

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Five pitches later, Aaron Hicks hit a sharp ground ball up the middle that ate up shortstop Xander Bogaerts and wound up in center field. Both Gardner and Romine came around to score. Next, Giancarlo Stanton gave the Yanks a 3-1 lead with a single to score Robinson. After a Didi Gregorius strikeout, Gleyber Torres lined a sacrifice fly to center field for their fourth and final run.

Before Chapman imploded and Holder gave up the game-winning hit, Yankees pitching largely did their job Sunday night. Masahiro Tanaka had to grind through 4⅔ innings, leaving with 97 pitches on his ledger and his lone mistake being a solo home run allowed to Betts. Sans-high-socks David Robertson pitched a scoreless 1⅓ innings, while Zach Britton and Dellin Betances each battled command issues to throw scoreless frames of their own.

Alex Rodriguez said on the Sunday Night Baseball broadcast that a three-run lead at Fenway Park is like a one-run lead at any other ballpark. That rang painfully true for a Yankees team that desperately needed to win before getting on a plane to Chicago. They now sit 9.5 games back of Boston in the American League East race, and just 2.5 games ahead of the surging Oakland Athletics for the first Wild Card spot.

What’s Next:

The Yankees turn to Lance Lynn to make his first start (but second appearance) in the place of Sonny Gray, whose consistently subpar performance saw him demoted to the bullpen. Lynn threw 4⅓ scoreless innings of mop-up relief August 1 against Baltimore after being acquired from the Minnesota Twins for Tyler Austin and Luis Rijo.

The Yanks will face righty Dylan Covey in Chi-Town, who will be making his 15th start. So far, he has a 4-7 record and 5.57 ERA. He has faced the Yankees once, and gave up eight earned runs on 10 hits through five innings of work last season.

Game 110: Just Win One

Masahiro Tanaka has a 5–2 record with a 2.09 ERA in seven career starts when the Yankees are facing a series sweep, including wins in his two such starts against the Red Sox,” tweeted ESPN’s Buster Olney on Sunday afternoon as the Yankees look ahead to salvaging one game of their four-game set in Boston.

Masahiro Tanaka has looked like a dominant pitcher of late. His last five starts (since June 8) have seen him go 3-2 (bad run support) with a 1.76 ERA and 35 strikeouts to seven walks. He has lowered his season ERA from 4.58 to 3.84 in that time, which is fantastic. He looks to be the much-needed Yankees stopper tonight, carrying an 8-4 record and 4.18 career ERA in 16 career starts against Boston into tonight.

David Price faces off against Tanaka, and the Yankees are hoping for a repeat of July 1. That night, the Yankees knocked the lefty around for eight earned runs on nine hits (including five home runs) in just 4⅓ innings. Since then (four starts), the Red Sox have yet to lose a Price start and he has a 2.81 ERA.

I’m really unsure what’s going on with tonight’s lineup. Giancarlo Stanton started 937 games in right field in his career prior to joining the Yankees, yet he’s somehow incapable of playing out there two nights in a row. He’s DHing again, which means Shane Robinson has to play right field. That takes at-bats away from Neil Walker, who had been swinging the bat well. Brett Gardner bats seventh for the first time all season, and he’s a career .316/.415/.421 hitter in that spot. Greg Bird sits in favor of Luke Voit against the lefty Price. Austin Romine is behind the plate again, meaning Kyle Higashioka has not started since July 31.

Red Sox Lineup:

  1. Mookie Betts – CF
  2. Andrew Benintendi – LF
  3. Steve Pearce – DH
  4. J.D. Martinez – RF
  5. Xander Bogaerts – SS
  6. Mitch Moreland – 1B
  7. Eduardo Núñez – 3B
  8. Brock Holt – 2B
  9. Sandy León – C

Yankees 1, Red Sox 4: Bats Nowhere to Be Found in Adams’ Promising Debut

BOSTON – Chance Adams showed his promise as a prospect in his major league debut Saturday, allowing just three runs on three hits in five innings of work as a spot-starter.

The 23-year-old was called up to debut in Boston after Luis Cessa was forced into long-man duty during Thursday’s 15-to-7 disaster. Adams had been scheduled to start for the RailRiders, but had his plans changed to start for the big-league club instead. Of the three hits he allowed, unfortunately, two of them were home runs. Andrew Benintendi singled before Mitch Moreland tagged Adams for a two-run shot in the first inning. J.D. Martinez then clobbered a 390-foot solo shot over the Green Monster in the fourth inning.

“It’s baseball, it’s a good lineup, they’re gonna hit homers and stuff,” Adams said. “I just had to calm myself down and know to make my pitches.”

For the second consecutive day, the Yankees offense was mesmerized by a starting pitcher with a very low pitch count. After Rick Porcello Maddux-ed the Yanks on Friday with an 86-pitch complete game, Nathan Eovaldi needed just 93 pitches to throw eight shutout innings against his former ballclub. He definitely had enough energy to pitch the ninth inning, but the Red Sox decided to use closer Craig Kimbrel since he hadn’t pitched in six days.

Kimbrel struck out the first two batters he faced, but then allowed consecutive doubles to Didi Gregorius and Giancarlo Stanton to spoil the shutout. He then walked Aaron Hicks and Gleyber Torres to load the bases but managed to retire Greg Bird on a fly out to center field.

Yankee hitters are batting .152/.210/.380 with 28 strikeouts and six walks in these three games with Boston so far. They get a chance to turn it around Sunday night against David Price on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Price is 0-2 with a 24.92 ERA in two starts against the Yankees this season. On the other side is Masahiro Tanaka, who has a 5–2 record with a 2.09 ERA in seven career starts when the Yankees are facing a series sweep, including wins in his two such starts against the Red Sox (per Elias).

Orioles 3, Yankees 6: Andújar’s Lucky 13th Homer Backs Tanaka’s Outing

THE BRONX – Masahiro Tanaka was not as sharp as his complete game shutout in his previous start, but his six shutout innings certainly did the job Tuesday night against Baltimore.

Miguel Andújar homered in the fifth inning to put the game out of reach after the Yankees loaded the bases. Giancarlo Stanton was drilled, Didi Gregorius singled and Aaron Hicks walked. After Gleyber Torres popped out to second base, Greg Bird lifted a sacrifice fly to center field. The next batter was Andújar, who drilled a 2-1 fastball 410 feet out to left field.

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The Yankees got their scoring started in the first off Yefry Ramírez. Brett Gardner and Gregorius walked, then Torres adjusted well on a 3-2 slider to ground it up the middle for an RBI single. In the third, Gardner singled, Stanton reached on a fielding error by Tim Beckham after Gardner stole second. On a 1-1 fastball, Gregorius dumped a bloop single into left that scored Gardner.

After a hairy first inning where he drilled Jace Peterson and walked Adam Jones, Tanaka pitched quite well. He scattered a few hits and one more walk while collecting eight strikeouts. A great start against a bad team, but a win is a win so you know the Yankees will take it. Especially on a night where the Phillies beat the Red Sox.

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A.J. Cole had a bit of a hiccup, allowing three runs (two earned) in 1⅓ innings. He made a 6-0 game into a 6-3 game, which isn’t great if you’re trying to rest the high-leverage guys. Austin Wynns singled, Beckham walked and then Peterson doubled to score both. Dellin Betances entered next, and a fastball of his clanked off the glove of Kyle Higashioka for a passed ball. Things got worse as Higgy’s throw got away and allowed Peterson to score. It was originally ruled a throwing error by the catcher but a check of the box score today shows it to be a missed catch error by Andújar.

Things calmed down in the ninth inning, as Aroldis Chapman struck out the side on 13 pitches.

What’s Next

Sonny Gray (8-7, 5.08 ERA) looks to put together a third consecutive strong start against counterpart Alex Cobb (2-14, 6.08 ERA), who is clearly not living up to his 4-year, $57 million offseason deal so far.

Game 105: Tanaka Tuesday Post-Deadline

The dust has finally settled from another wild non-waiver trade deadline. The Yankees acquired four players and a bunch of international signing bonus pool money, while also clearing excess players well in advance of the 40-man roster deadline.

Masahiro Tanaka will be on the bump this evening. His last start was his best all season, pitching a complete game shutout of the Tampa Bay Rays on July 24. He allowed just three hits and one walk, while striking out nine batters. He gets the benefit of facing a much weaker Baltimore Orioles lineup then he faced July 10, where he allowed three runs on six hits through 4⅓ innings (although he was on a pitch count).

Yefry Ramírez, A former Yankee farmhand, starts for Baltimore. In five starts, he has a 4.24 ERA and has 27 strikeouts to just 10 walks. The Yankees really knocked him around when they faced him July 9, where he allowed four earned runs on nine hits with two walks. He did, however, pick up a win July 24 against Boston with five innings of three-run ball.

The Yankees had no more trading to do in the final 24 hours of non-waiver deals. They did select the contract of journeyman lefty Ryan Bollinger to be active for tonight’s game out of the bullpen. He was supposed to start for Double-A Trenton, but is in the Bronx tonight to take Adam Warren‘s spot until Lance Lynn arrives. Boone goes with the usual non-Judge lineup, except Kyle Higashioka is behind the dish (I have some concerns about that in the next section).

Pre-Game Notes:

  • J.A. Happ was sent home by the team Tuesday after contracting hand, foot and mouth disease. Yes, the same ailment for children that also forced Noah Syndergaard to the disabled list. Happ started Sunday for the Yankees and pitched six innings of one-run ball. I’m a bit concerned because his catcher for that start, Austin Romine, is out of the lineup tonight. Hopefully, he hasn’t been infected. The Yankees have not ruled Happ out for his next start in Boston, which was supposed to come Saturday.
  • The Yankees acquired $3.75 million in international signing bonus pool money in trades, per Brian Cashman. They used some of it to sign RHP Osiel Rodríguez, who was ranked as the No. 1 pitching prospect available by Baseball America. They gave the 16-year-old Cuban a $600,000 bonus.

Orioles Lineup:

  1. Tim Beckham – SS
  2. Jonathan Schoop – 2B Jace Peterson – 2B (Schoop traded to Milwaukee)
  3. Adam Jones – CF
  4. Mark Trumbo – DH
  5. Chris Davis – 1B
  6. Trey Mancini – LF
  7. Joey Rickard – RF
  8. Renato Núñez – 3B
  9. Austin Wynns – C

Yankees 4, Rays 0: Tanaka’s Gem Shuts Out Rays

ST. PETERSBURG, FL – Masahiro Tanaka needed 105 pitches to turn in the best start of his 2018 season, as he pitched a complete game shutout of the Rays on Tuesday.

A single and a double to C.J. Cron, a single for Jesús Sucre and a walk to Ji-Man Choi were the only blemishes on Tanaka’s line. Tanaka did not allow a baserunner until the fifth inning, and pitched 1-2-3 innings in the first, second, third, fourth, sixth, eighth and ninth innings. He struck out nine and recorded 14 groundouts (compared to zero flyouts).

The Yankees got on the board in the first inning when Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge led off the game with singles. They moved to third on Giancarlo Stanton‘s strikeout-wild pitch. Didi Gregorius then scored Gardner on an RBI groundout to shortstop.

In the fifth, Brandon Drury got drilled on the hand by a 2-2 fastball with one out. Neil Walker singled him over to third. Another RBI groundout, this time by Austin Romine, scored Tyler Wade (pinch-running for Drury).

In the seventh, Miguel Andújar singled, Greg Bird doubled and Romine came through again, this time with a sacrifice fly to score the Yankees’ third run. In the ninth, Andújar doubled and scored on a single by Walker.

Aroldis Chapman threw a few warmup pitches in the bottom of the ninth, but ultimately was not needed because of Tanaka’s mastery. More of this would be great from Tanaka, of course.

Trade Alert 🚨

Of course, the Yankees garnered headlines during the game as they closed in on a trade for Orioles lefty Zach Britton. That trade was announced after the game ended in St. Petersburg, as well as in Baltimore. The Orioles acquired minor-league pitchers Cody Carroll, Josh Rogers and Dillon Tate.

What’s Next

Luis Cessa (1-1, 3.00 ERA) comes up from Triple-A to take Domingo Germán‘s rotation spot. He’ll face old friend Nathan Eovaldi (3-4, 4.26 ERA).

Game 99: Let’s Move On

It’s Tanaka Time ⏱ in St. Pete.

With the Gary Sánchez debacle from last night taken care of, the focus for the Yankees now shifts to game two in Tampa Bay.

Masahiro Tanaka was originally scheduled to start Sunday night against the Mets, but the rain had other plans. In his two starts since returning from the disabled list, he’s been classic Tanaka: allowing a home run in each. He has a 4.22 ERA and has allowed 12 hits in 10⅔ innings. He has yet to face the Rays this season, but has a 7-2 record and 4.10 ERA against them in his career.

Yonny Chirinos gets the balls for the Rays. Since debuting this season, the 24-year-old has started five times and carries an 0-1 record and 3.71 ERA. His longest outing came April 17 against Texas where he lasted 5⅔ innings and 89 pitches. He’s part of the Rays’ system of using a wide rotation of pitchers for shorter spurts.

With Sánchez on the disabled list, Austin Romine is catching. Kyle Higashioka is expected to make it to Tampa for gametime. Gleyber Torres is schedule to return tomorrow, but for now, Brandon Drury gets the start at second base. Neil Walker slides to first base as Greg Bird serves as the designated hitter. Aaron Hicks is “banged up” after his rough slide at second base in the ninth inning last night, so Brett Gardner is in center field and Giancarlo Stanton is in left field.

Pre-Game Notes:

  • Gleyber Torres is scheduled to play as the designated hitter for High-A Tampa Tarpons tonight, and return to the Yankees tomorrow.
  • Ronald Torreyes returned to action last night as Torres’ double-play partner at shortstop, but is out of the lineup tonight as the Yankees ease him back into game action.
  • The Yankees are in on the Zach Britton sweepstakes, and were labeled as one of the main contenders by MLB Network’s Jim Bowden.

Rays Lineup:

  1. Kevin Kiermaier – CF
  2. Matt Duffy – 3B
  3. Jake Bauers – LF
  4. C.J. Cron – 1B
  5. Ji-Man Choi – DH
  6. Daniel Robertson – 2B
  7. Mallex Smith – RF
  8. Willy Adames – SS
  9. Jesús Sucre – C