Masahiro Tanaka rebounded from a tough three start stretch to beat the Angels on Sunday. Tanaka generated a bunch of swings and misses including a few from rookie sensation Shohei Ohtani who was not able to solve the splitter.
Ohtani went hitless for the weekend at Yankee Stadium going 0-9 with five strikeouts. I would like to be the first to apologize to Shohei for the noise. We’ll do our best to make it quiet next time you face us. Who knows? Maybe you’ll even find the balls to pitch to us?
Keeping the ball down is always a priority with Tanaka and today he did just that. He did walk three guys which caused his pitch count to rise a bit, but overall he was pretty solid. Getting through six innings was key for Masa, setting up the bullpen for the final nine outs. Tanaka was also able to keep Mike Trout in check, punching him out twice as well, winning a long battle in the first with a blow-by fastball. This was a much needed six inning one run performance that hopefully he’ll be able to build off of.
Offensively the Yankees were fairly quiet, but with the combined pitching from Tanaka-Robertson-Betances-Chapman, they didn’t need to do too much to get this W. Garrett Richards started for the Angels and was insufferably bad. Him and catcher Martin Maldonado just could not get on the same page and needed to use four of the team’s six allowed mound visits in just the first three innings. Garrett Richards is Major League Baseball’s problem with pace of play. I swear to God he threw one pitch per minute at one point in the 3rd inning. I mean it was just insane how slow he was on the mound as he single handedly made the game unwatchable . The Yankees scored all three of their runs in the 3rd with just one hit, an Aaron Judge 119.9 mph single (the fastest hit recorded all year according to Statcast). Richards walked three in the inning while hitting Greg Bird as well. He also threw two wild pitches helping the Yanks advance around the bases. It was not a pretty sight to say the least.
Brett Gardner picked up three hits to continue his recent hot streak. Over his last 13 games he’s hitting .360 with 7 extra base hits and an OPS of 1.018. May is known for one of Gardner’s better months in his career and we’re seeing him climb out of that brutal April that caused many, including ya boy, to question if he should be moved down in the order. For now, he’s staying right at the top as our table setter.
Greg Bird collected his first hit of the season with a nice opposite field single in the 2nd.
Overall it was a solid weekend for the Bronx Bombers, minus Mike Trout’s explosion on Saturday. The Yankees have won six straight series at home and have the fewest losses in all of baseball. Next up, a big home series against the Astros. The pitching matchups don’t necessarily favor us with Domingo German going up against Verlander tomorrow afternoon. CC follows against Charlie Morton with Keuchel facing off against Sevy on Wednesday. As I’m writing this the Astros and Indians are locked in a 14 inning ball game that saw the Astros bullpen blow a 5 run lead in the 9th. With a 1:00 game tomorrow in New York that certainly will be a tough turnaround for Houston. Granted, Verlander will probably throw a shutout because he’s a machine.
We’ll be recording an episode of The Short Porch following Monday’s game so make sure to get your DMs in for that if that’s what floats your boat.