The Yankees were shutout for the first time in 220 games as Mike Minor and the Rangers won in New York, 7-0, after sitting through a long rain delay. Masahiro Tanaka grinded through six solid innings before Nestor Cortes Jr. let the game get away (Box Score).
The Yankees fall to 90-49 and are back in a tie with the Astros for the American League’s best record.
To the recap/takeaways:
Minor Hitting Issues
If you wanted to know why the Yankees and many other teams were interested in Mike Minor, today was your answer. Undeterred by the long rain delay, Minor shut out the Yankees for 7 1/3 innings and is the main reason why the Yankees’ run-scoring streak came to a close.
The left-hander carved up the Bombers with his high-spin fastball, allowing just five hits and facing more than the minimum in just three innings, departing mid-way through the eighth. He walked just one batter and required just 97 pitches for the first seven innings.
Riding that four-seamer, he allowed an average exit velocity of just 83.8 mph, an elite number. He allowed just two balls hit over 100 mph.
He faced two somewhat jams in his outing, moments where the Yankees could have capitalized and scored. In the first inning, with the Yankees down 1-0, Gleyber Torres worked a two-out walk before Gary Sanchez doubled. The Sanchez double was too hard off the left field wall to score Torres, and Minor got yesterday’s hero, Mike Ford, to ground out weakly.
In the fourth, Luke Voit led off with a 108.7 mph double to left. The Yankees followed with two line drives later in the inning off the bats of Mike Tauchman and Tyler Wade, but both hits fell into the glove of the speedy Delino DeShields.
He allowed singles to Tauchman and Wade in the eighth, but the game was already 6-0 at that point and was lifted for reliever Shawn Kelley.
Tanaka Grinds to Quality Start
Today was not Masahiro Tanaka’s masterpiece. This was a grind of an outing, sitting low 90s for much of the outing and sitting in jams more often than not.
But look at his final numbers: In six innings, he allowed just two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out five. He closed strong with his lone 1-2-3 inning.
Tanaka didn’t have his crisp slider, instead turning to his splitter more than any other pitch and earning five swings and misses on 38 splits.
Shin-Soo Choo greeted him with a line drive out and that was the least of his worries during the first inning. After an Elvis Andrus single, Willie Calhoun lined a ball off the wall in right for a long single. Tanaka beared down and got a sacrifice fly, limiting the damage to just one run.
He ran into similar issues in the third, fourth and fifth with the Rangers putting runners into scoring position. In the third, he stranded Choo after a leadoff double. An inning later, he induced a double play with men on first and second.
Tanaka gave up the obligatory homer to the No. 9 hitter, backup catcher Jose Trevino, and later allowed two men on in the fifth. Clint Frazier bailed him out with a sterling defensive play, throwing Andrus out at the plate after a single.
Can’t get Relief
With the Yankees down 2-0 and showing little life offensively, Aaron Boone went to his C-list relievers to close the game. So we saw the good and bad of Nestor Cortes Jr. in this one.
In the seventh inning, he relieved Tanaka and struck out the side. In the eighth, he allowed a single to Nomar Mazara and walked Rougned Odor on four pitches. That set up an RBI single from call-up Ronald Guzman and a towering three-run homer from DeShields. That’s an unlikely homer, just DeShields’ fourth this year.
The ninth inning belonged to former Cardinals/Pirates lefty Tyler Lyons, making his Yankee debut. He immediately gave up a home run to the lefty Choo and a single to Andrus. From there, he struck out Calhoun and made a nice play to double up Mazara on a line drive. Could have been much worse (See Ryan Dull’s debut from yesterday).
Long Delay and Leftovers
- If you’re wondering when the last time the Yankees were shutout, it was Chris Sale and the Red Sox on June 30 last season.
- As mentioned up top, the game started after a two-hour, 50-minute delay. Has to be miserable to sit through that kind of delay, even though the teams had the window to play later in the afternoon. Easily turns Labor Day into a seven-hour day at the park, which can be exhausting without phone chargers and ample food.
- Tauchman singled in the second inning but was erased on a Frazier double play. Frazier had his beautiful throw in the fifth inning and also let a ball go past him on a single in the eighth, though it didn’t cost the Yankees a base. He genuinely looked better in the field in a small sample.
- In all, Tauchman had two hits while Wade, Voit, Sanchez and Mike Ford each had one. Torres walked while DJ LeMahieu, Aaron Judge and Clint Frazier went hitless.
- Injury news: Edwin Encarnacion is on his way to New York and will be activated in the coming days, while Aaron Hicks began his throwing before today’s game. With Tauchman slowing down at the plate and the playoffs approaching, these are significantly positive developments for the Bombers.
The Yankees resume their set with the Rangers on Tuesday night in the return of the 6:35 p.m. starts. Keep that in mind if you’re planning on watching on YES/listening on WFAN or going to the game! It’ll be James Paxton (11-6, 4.39 ERA) coming off an undefeated August and facing RHP Ariel Jurado (7-10, 5.19).