Last night I posed the question on the IIATMS email chain about how good Masahiro Tanaka would have to be for the Yankees to win last night. They were without yet another key bat in the middle of the order in Mark Teixeira, they had Dustin Ackley hitting in the 5-spot, and they still have Chase Headley toiling around in the bottom third of the order. Well as the old saying goes, you just can't predict baseball, Suzyn. The Yankee bats made up for an off night from Tanak and the usually reliable Andrew Miller, slugging their way to a 10-7 victory. Tanaka has done a great job keeping the ball in the yard so far this season, but he got bit hard by the long ball last night. His slider command wasn't up to par and the Royals teed off on it twice for multi-run home runs. Chester Cuthbert hit a 2-run home run off it in the 2nd and Lorenzo Cain smashed one for a deflating 3-run shot in the 5th. Cain also hit a YS3 cheapie in the 3rd, totaling up the 3 homers and 6 earned runs Tanaka served up. He did complete 7 innings and he didn't walk a batter, so it wasn't a total garbage start. Just a night where Tanaka wasn't as sharp as we've seen him in previous starts and got hit by the defending World Series champions.
And he picked a good night to have an off-night because the Yankee B-squad lineup was feeling it last night. They battered KC starter Kris Medlen for 4 runs on 6 hits and 3 walks in 2+ innings and made sure this was going to be a long night for the Royal 'pen. Didi Gregorius was in on a lot of the early action, hitting a leadoff double and coming around to score in the bottom of the 2nd and clearing the bases with another double to put the Yankees ahead 5-3 in the 3rd.
There was a bit of a lull in the middle innings and Cain's second homer took some wind out of their sails, but the bats got cracking again in the late innings. They put 2 runs on the board in the 7th against Joakim Soria on a pair of singles and an Aaron Hicks ribbie double, and another 3 on in the 8th against Kelvin Herrera on a Brett Gardner base hit and a Brian McCann 2-run double. They didn't hit a single home run a night after hitting half a million, but they strung together 13 hits on the night and went 6-15 with RISP.
It ended up being a blip on the radar, but Miller did cough up the lead in the top of the 8th. Cain got him for his third home run of the game and tagged Miller for his first earned run of the season. He got through the rest of the inning unscathed, however, and Aroldis Chapman did his thing for the save. Just like last weekend, the Yanks have taken the first 2 of a series.
- 3-5 night with 2 ribs for Big Mac. He's hitting .286/.375/.462 on the year.
- 2-4 night with 2 doubles and 3 ribs for Didi. Beltran and Hicks also had 2-hit nights and every starter had at least 1 except Ben Gamel.
- Congrats to Gamel on making his first career big league start by the way. And congrats on having incredible hair.
- 6 runs in 7 innings and your season ERA only goes up to 3.11? That's a testament to how good Tanaka has been so far this season and why there's no reason to worry about him. Everybody has a bad start now and then.
- Don't look now, but the Yankees have won 5 of 7.