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In a game that featured a frustrating start, the matinee of today’s Subway Series turned out to be a laugher for the home team. There was plenty of offense and some solid pitching for the Yankees. Let’s jump right into the takeaways:

1.Tanaka With A Solid Performance: The most important parts of Tanaka’s outing today were the efficiency and length. The team needed their Game 1 starter to pitch deep into the game to protect the bullpen for the second game. Tanaka did exactly that. Using 101 pitches, 74 for strikes, Masahiro provided 6 2/3 of solid pitching. He had strong command of both his four seamer and slider, which led to nine groundouts and one flyout. Tanaka also didn’t allow a free pass on the day. This was a big help in allowing him to go deep into the game. He finished with a line of 6.2IP, 7H, 5R (4ER), 7K, 0BB. Tanaka was able to keep the Yankees top relievers in the pen and that is pretty significant. It wasn’t a dominant outing by any means, but it got the job done.

We do have to mention Tanaka’s consistently inconsistent splitter. He started off the game with a good one and then this happened:

That splitter was ticketed for the seats as soon as it was released. The pitch is no longer effective for Tanaka and we’re potentially approaching the point where he may have to lower the usage of it. In today’s game, he threw the splitter 28 times. It was batted in play the most out of all his pitch selections and was hit the hardest. These aren’t good results for your top out pitch. The slider, four seamer, sinker and curve were more effective than the splitter. It may be time to put the splitter away until he can figure it out in his side sessions. Here is one more note about Tanaka’s splitter from Katie Sharp:

2.The Defense Took A Day Off: The Yankees won the game so this isn’t worth spending too much time on, but it deserves a mention. The Yankees did not play a crisp game behind Tanaka at all. The funny thing is the game started with a spectacular play from Gardner in left field:

And then it kinda went downhill for a while. It appears Didi Gregorius is still playing catch up with game speed on the defensive end. His timing and footwork feel a little off, which is totally understandable given the amount of time he’s missed. Didi started off the third inning with a throwing error. Knowing he had a fast runner in Ahmed Rosario busting it down the line, Didi rushed the throw and Morales couldn’t make the play. Later in the inning, with the infield halfway, Didi made a dive for a ball, but couldn’t corral it. I have a feeling the gold glove caliber shortstop makes that play with regular game reps under his belt.

Then to start the fourth inning, fan favorite Kendrys Morales whiffed on a throw from Didi allowing Todd Frazier to advance to second base. It was a pretty inexcusable play. Later on in the game, Gary dropped a fly ball behind the plate. It was a sloppy game all around for both teams. Fortunately for the Yankees they were able to overcome the sloppiness for the win.

3.The Offense Gets Some Home Cookin’: The bats were on fire today against Zack Wheeler. The offense was up and down on the last road trip and they were clearly happy to put the pinstripes back on. The big inning came in the fourth with the team down 4-2. After fan favorite Kendrys Morales hit a one out single, Gio Urshela stepped up to the plate:

This was a rocket to the tune of 105.7 MPH. How awesome has Gio been this year? His at bats are really consistent and he hits the ball hard. I don’t think there are enough positive things you can say about him.

With the score now tied at 4 apiece and two outs in the 4th, old friend Todd Frazier gave the Yankees a gift. DJ Lemahieu hit a routine ground ball to third base and Frazier airmailed it into the camera well. The inning stayed alive. After a walk to Aaron Hicks, Luke Voit stepped up to the plate and put the Yankees ahead for good:

If you give a strong offense extra outs they are going to take full advantage. It was nice to see the Yankees do just that. These two home runs seemed to kick start the rest of the offense as everyone in the lineup registered a hit outside of Cameron Maybin who came into the game late. Gary Sanchez added his AL league leading 20th home run in the 8th inning.

After being stifled by some mediocre pitching on the road trip, it was really nice to see this offensive explosion. This was even more encouraging considering it came against a pitcher with grade A stuff in Zack Wheeler. It is fantastic to see this lineup generate runs and rely a little more on small ball than we’re used to, but nothing beats hitting the ball out of the park. This offense is a relentless machine when they turn it on like this. It was fun to watch.

The Yankees and Mets will conclude this short edition of the Subway Series tonight at 7:05pm. Hopefully, the offense will continue to roll in support of James Paxton who gets the start. The Yanks will be facing Jason Vargas, currently the Mets most consistent pitcher if you can believe that. We will have another takeaways post after that game as well.