Okay, so tonight’s outcome wasn’t good and Masahiro Tanaka ran into some trouble in the form of Jonathan Schoop (pronounced Scoop which is disappointing) who hit a three-run home run in the second inning to put the Orioles up 3-0 but the Yankees did fight back to tie it before ultimately falling 5-4 thanks to a bullpen failure and some offensive ineptitude.
The good thing about Tanaka was he settled in after that three-run home run and while he let some guys on base, he got himself out of trouble. He struck out 10 Orioles in seven innings of work and only gave up those three runs.
The Yankees scored two runs in the bottom of the second thanks to a home run by Carlos Beltran on an 84 mph changeup from Miguel Gonzalez and a home run by Kelly Johnson who hit a 91 mph fastball to right center. I only heard Johnson’s home run from John Sterling and it was “Kelly Kills It.” Really, John? You had time to come up with something better than that! (Leave suggestions in the comments, please.)
The game remained 3-2 until the fourth when Beltran who hit a double to start the inning ended up scoring on an Alfonso Soriano RBI groundout.
The Yankees had their scoring chances in this game. The most disheartening innings were the bottom of the eighth and the bottom of the ninth. The eighth which started off with a Brett Gardner double. Derek Jeter followed with a sac bunt to move Gardner to third and after a pitching change – Brian Matusz replaced Evan Meek – Jacoby Ellsbury popped up to foul territory, the Orioles intentionally walked Beltran and Brian McCann flied out to centerfield.
The Orioles started the top of the ninth with a double but their runner came home to score. So did a second runner. They had four hits off Shawn Kelley and were up 5-3 thanks to a sacrifice fly by Chris Davis.
The Yankees once again started the bottom of the ninth with a double, this time by Alfonso Soriano which was followed by a Johnson single which advanced Soriano to third. Joe Girardi replaced Johnson with pinch runner Ichiro at first and Brian Roberts came to bat. On the eighth pitch of his at bat, Roberts hit a sac fly to get the Yankees to within one but the Yankees hopes for a tie or walk off were dashed when Yangervis Solarte hit into a double play to end the game.
The Not So Good Stuff
- Not being able to get the runners home in the 8th and 9th innings.
- The Schoop home run was a big blow.
- Per Jack Curry of YES: All four hits that Kelley gave up in the 9th came on sliders, including three with 2 strikes. Yikes. That sounds Phil Hughes–esque.
The Good Stuff
- Per Sweeny Murti on Twitter: Tanaka had 58 pitches through three innings, 101 through 7 innings. Only needed 16 pitches for his last six outs and retired 13 of the last 15 he faced.
- Tanaka got 22 swings and misses on his 101 pitches. Swoon.
- Beltran finished 3-3 with a walk, two runs scored and an RBI.
- The extra base hits were nice to see: Two home runs and three doubles.
- Per Jeff Quagliata: Tanaka only second Yankee starter to strike out 10+ in his first or second career game. Household name Dan Tipple did it 9/25/1915.
- Per YankeeSource: Tanaka has the 2nd most strikeouts in the MLB (18), one behind Felix Hernandez (19).
Tomorrow, the Yankees welcome the defending champion Boston Red Sox to the Bronx for a four game series.