Well, the beautiful thing about baseball is that there’s always a game tomorrow. Thank God for that, because that game sucked. It absolutely sucked. Everything about it was trash. All you really need to know is that Austin Romine, who is now the Yankees starting catcher, pitched the 8th inning in this game as the Yankees got embarrassed 19-3 by Boston. Gross.
Let’s not spend any more time on this one than we have to, so let’s just get right to it.
1. A Very Bad Masahiro Tanaka: That was an absolutely atrocious performance by Masahiro Tanaka, who had nothing from his very first pitch. Never even stood a chance. I mean, all told, he was tagged for 12 hits, 12 runs (all earned), 3 walks and 2 home runs–neither of which were cheap–in 3.1 innings pitched. He did get 4 strikeouts, I guess. Hooray?
Check out his strike zone plot:
He was all over the place, either missing way out of the zone or leaving it right out over the heart of the plate. As you can imagine, he generated only 7 swings and misses on 88 pitches (7%). Absolutely nothing was working, and that’s why it was 3-0 before he even recorded an out and 7-0 before the end of the 1st.
I don’t know why you’d want to see this, but here is the video, which includes a 3-run home run from Xander Boegarts, a 2-out 2-run bases-loaded double from Jackie Bradley Jr., and a 2-out, 2-run double from Mookie Betts:
Tanaka would give up 5 more runs in this game, even as he “rebounded” for two consecutive scoreless innings in the 2nd and 3rd, getting tagged again in the 4th inning. You could criticize Boone for leaving him in that long, but this one was just miserable all around. What can you do? I can complain about it on the internet, is what I can do.
Tanaka, who is very good (a lot of people forget this), has really struggled against Boston in his last two starts, and his line is too ugly not to share. Here it is: 4.0 IP, 16 H, 18 R (18 ER), 5 BB, 4 K, and 3 HR. That’s a 40.50 ERA right there, folks, and that’s why Tanaka’s season ERA is approaching 5.00. That was painful to watch. Good gravy.
2 Don’t Call it a Comeback, Because it Wasn’t: The Yanks were down 7-0, but they almost–almost!–made a game of it in the 2nd inning. They made Boston starter Rick Porcello throw 49 (!) pitches in the 2nd, and it probably should have been worse but for an atrociously-called at-bat against Edwin Encarnación to lead it off. Encarnación was mouthy on his way back to the dugout, and he did have a case:
Pitches 1 and 4 were both called strikes, and EE did not like them. Oh well. It didn’t matter whatsoever.
In any case, Gregorius stayed red hot with a double in the next at-bat, Voit advanced him with a single, and Torres drove him in. That led to a hard-earned Tauchman walk, which loaded the bases for Kyle Higashioka. The Yankees were down 7-1, and it felt at the time that this was their real change to get back in it. They did not take advantage.
Higashioka struck out, although the at-bat wasn’t that bad, and then DJLM drew an extremely impressive bases-loaded walk. That brought up Judge, who of course drew a 3-2 count. He then hit the ball 99 mph and 374 feet…but to dead center, where Bradley was waiting for it. Statcast says it’s a hit more than half the time, but luck was not on the Yankees’ side today. There went that rally, and the only half-decent chance the Yankees had at making this game not a completely miserable affair.
3. The Yankees Really Could Use Some Good Pitching: Yankees starters have not gotten the job done lately, have they? No, they have not. Check this out, from YES’ James Smyth:
This, of course, only got worse as Tanaka’s night continued. I think we all know that the Yankees are going to make a trade for a starter in the next few days, and we all know why. And yes, the Yankees starters have been capital-a Atrocious of late. But it’s also important to remember that the guys that are here are pretty good. Again, from Smyth:
It wasn’t that long ago that the Yankees had an effective rotation that needed one more piece, and it won’t be long until that’s true again (and, hopefully, not long before they don’t need that extra piece, either). In other words, it’s a long season–these stretches happen sometimes. Let’s just hope Paxton comes out tomorrow and gives the Yankees some effectiveness, and maybe even some length. Wouldn’t that be nice?
It would be nice, because just when I thought this game couldn’t get more disgusting, Austin Romine, the starting catcher, mind you was called on to pitch. He threw the 8th inning, and he gave up some runs. Whatever.
I was at the Stadium the last time Romine pitched–hint: it was in October and it was against Boston–and I did not need a reminder about that game, but alas. When it rains, it pours.
- A Rough Night Behind the Dish: That was not the best performance of D.J. Reyburn’s career, now was it? Both sides were in his face all night (Brock Holt was ejected), and Reyburn’s calls really were all over the place. I mean, there were questionable calls in multiple at-bats in both halves of the first two innings alone. They weren’t particularly close, either. The inconsistency helped and hurt both teams, and this game was never close, so it’s whatever, but it was a brutal game back there.
- The Short Bench Hurts the Yankees: When you get crushed like the Yankees do tonight, a hidden upside can be to give some of your regulars a few extra innings off. You can bet the Yankees would have liked to do so tonight after a long, grueling series win in Minnesota, but a two-man bench rendered that impossible. Now, the bullpen is worked, too, so I can see the argument for the 9-man pen, but the obvious pitfalls of that strategy were also on display tonight. Again, Austin Romine even pitched. Oh well.
The first-place Yankees will take on Boston for the second game of this four-game set tomorrow evening at 7:05 pm, and thank god for that. Tonight’s game will be ancient history by then. That’s the beauty of baseball.
James Paxton (5-5, 4.20 ERA) will try to get back on track, taking on former Oriole Andrew Cashner (9-5, 4.19 ERA). Hope the rest of your night is better than this game was, everyone.