Seriously, gang. I don’t think we’re worthy of seeing starting pitching like this. Masahiro Tanaka turned in another virtuoso performance last night in his second start against the Toronto Blue Jays, his first time facing them since his first start of the season. His only blemish was the first pitch he threw to Jose Reyes to start the game, a 4-seamer down the pipe that Reyes hit out for a solo home run. After that, he was standard Tanaka. Lotta swings and misses, lotta Ks, and only 1 real scoring threat in 6 innings of work.
Offensively, the Yanks were driven by Brett Gardner‘s 2-run Yankee Stadium Special home run in the bottom of the 3rd. Kelly Johnson hit a 1-run double to put a duck on the pond for Gardner, and he did what a good hitter should do with a hanging curveball. The only other run came on a good manufacturing job in the 5th. Derek Jeter singled to lead off the inning, moved to second on a wild pitch, third on an Ellsbury groundout, and scored on a single by Mark Teixeira.
That was all Tanaka would need through his 6 innings and it was more than enough cushion for the Betances-Robertson tandem. Dellin worked 2 scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts and D-Rob pitched around a 2-out, defense-aided triple with 2 Ks of his own. Those 2 have to be the best bullpen duo in baseball, right?
– Tanaka picked up his 11th win last night, breaking his MLB-leading tie with Mark Buehrle. Buehrle will get a chance to tie the count back up tonight.
– It was also Tanaka’s 5th 10+ K outing of the season. I want to say that’s the best in MLB too, but don’t quote me.
– Another 2-hit night for The Captain. Real or not, sustainable or not, it’s nice to see some signs of life.
– Solid night at the dish for Kelly Johnson too. He’s quietly been getting it done at the bottom of the order since he started getting more PT lately. 5 hits (2 doubles) and 3 BB in his last 4 games.
– In the 6 appearances he’s made since blowing the save against the Twins, D-Rob has recorded 11 of his 17 outs by way of strikeout.