The Yankees jumped out early on Wednesday to the tune of three runs after a Neil Walker three run jack, but the bats went silent after that. Masahiro Tanaka, making his final bid to be the Wild Card starter, laid an egg and was not good at all. The Yankees staged a rally in the 9th and I thought had tied the game, but came up just short. Oakland won, so the Wild Card lead has been trimmed back to 1.5 games (2 in the loss). I want this thing over with.
Let’s talk about the most important part about last night, which was Tanaka absolutely stinking up the joint. Tanaka was only able to go four innings, allowing four runs (one off his own error) on six hits, in 80 pitches. He was staked a three run lead early and gave it right back. I’ve said it all week that I’d be comfortable starting either of the three in the wild card game considering we could just pull them after three innings anyways, but Happ is my guy. I could see them going with anyone, and if I had to bet money I’d say Severino is the guy, but Happ is more of a sure thing in my brain. Tanaka has had an up and down month of September, starting off by reeling three starts of a combined 0.43 ERA. His last two have resulted in an 11.25. People who want Tanaka to start look solely on his playoff performance last year. In those three starts he pitched to a 0.90 ERA, limiting opponents to a .145 batting average. He was virtually untouchable and when it comes to big games he’s typically our best guy to throw out there.
Offensively last night the Yankees struck early with Walker’s three run bomb, but were quieted after that until late. After a Gary Sanchez lead off walk and a Gleyber Torres strike out, the Yankees strung together five consecutive singles in the top of the 9th. This Louis Voit blast somehow didn’t go out. I’m not arguing baseball dimensions because that would be so hypocritical of me, but I’m just saying off the bat I thought this was headed to Miami.
I actually jumped when Voit made contact for his third hit of the night, thinking it was game-tying grand slam. Instead it stayed in the park and because Judge had to hold at first in case it got caught, Voit had to settle for the longest single of all-time. With Tyler Wade being inserted for pinch running earlier, he had to come up in a big spot with 1st and 2nd, trailing by just one. All he did was fly out to right, moving Voit to third. Andujar came up next and swung on the very first pitch, to a pitcher in Romo who struggled to find the zone all inning, and thus popped it up to end the game. Not the best at bat Miggy.
We got cock-teased for sure. Oakland was able to gain a game and move within 1.5 games of the first wild card spot. The Yankees wrap up their festivities at the Trop at 1:00 today with CC getting the ball. This is a huge fucking game. He has to come up big. I’m not nervous right now about losing home field, but I sure as hell will be if they lose this game. Do not lose this game.
Some good news, Didi Gregorius was cleared for baseball activities and expects to be back with the team this weekend and in the playoffs. Aaron Hicks will return to the lineup on Friday after his hamstring scare and Gleyber could be back in the lineup today after pinch-hitting last night.
P.S. Shout out to Greg Bird for his huge impact in this one. In the top of the 6th he pinched hit for Hechavarria only to be called back when Tampa made a pitching change. Way to go Bird Man!