When Toronto leadoff batter Melky Cabrera took Masahiro Tanaka deep in the first inning, people wondered how Tanaka would handle it. Well, after a shaky first two innings in which he gave up three runs (two earned), Tanaka settled down and when all was said and done, he pitched seven innings, kept Toronto at three runs, gave up six hits, struck out eight and didn’t surrender a walk.
I’d say his debut was a success.
There was bad news from the game. Mark Teixeira had to exit after straining his hamstring trying to run down a foul ball hit by Cabrera. He was replaced by Kelly Johnson. I guess it’s good that it wasn’t a wrist injury but you never want to see a hamstring injury either because those can be just as tricky.
I guess we can use this again:
Jacoby Ellsbury returned to the starting lineup and made the most of it by going 3-4 with two doubles, two stolen bases, a walk and two runs scored. He also made a nice sliding catch to end the sixth inning.
Ichiro Suzuki also had a nice night finishing 3-5 with two runs scored. Yangervis Solarte, who has been impressing everyone so far in 2014, went 2-5 with three RBI. He hit a two-run double in the third inning to give the Yankees a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
- The Yankees scored seven runs.
- The bullpen had another nice night and though Dellin Betances made things slightly scary with two walks, he got one out in the eighth inning when he needed it.
- The Yankees had four stolen bases – two by Ellsbury, one by Brian Roberts and one by Brett Gardner.
- Teixeira’s hamstring. This could be a big problem. The Yankees don’t have much of a Tex injury contingency plan and after 2013’s debacle of a season, you think they would. Maybe Kelly Johnson can fill in and Solarte can man third?
- Betances’ two walks were the kind that exposed his out of whack mechanics that tend to get him into trouble from time to time.
- The Yankees still haven’t hit a home run. The Royals are the only other team with this distinction.
One last thing…
- Joe Girardi was 1-2 in challenges tonight. Ichiro was called safe after a review – the initial call was ‘out’ – and Ellsbury was rightly called out after a review.
The Yankees are now 2-2 on the season and Michael Pineda will be making his season debut tomorrow afternoon.