Beltran earns his pinstripes
Entering Friday night’s game against the Orioles, the Yankees were one of two teams (along with the Royals) that had yet to have its fans celebrate a walk-off win this season.
Carlos Beltran removed the Yankees from that list with one swing of the bat, hitting a three-run walk-off home run to cap a two-run rally in the bottom of the ninth inning. It was his sixth career walk-off homer and first since 2008 with the Mets. The last Yankee before Beltran to hit a walk-off homer against the Orioles was Nick Swisher in 2010.
Beltran is just the second player to hit a walk-off homer with the Mets and the Yankees, according to friend of IIATMS and ESPN New York writer Mark Simon. The only other player to do it was Darryl Strawberry, who hit three with the Mets and one with the Yankees.
Beltran also joined an exclusive list with his dramatic blast, becoming just the second Yankee designated hitter to hit a two-out, walk-off home run with his team trailing. The other one came off the bat of Thurman Munson in 1974 vs White Sox.
The fun didn’t last through the weekend, as the Yankees four-game win streak came to an end with a 6-1 loss on Saturday afternoon.
Vidal Nuno struggled again, allowing five runs in 6 1/3 innings as he fell to 0-4 in his last eight starts. He is the second Yankee left-hander in the last 20 seasons to go winless in at least eight straight starts, joining Kei Igawa, who had a 10-start winless streak spanning the 2007-08 seasons.
Mark Teixeira provided the only offense with his 353rd career homer and 150th with the Yankees. He also has 153 homers with the Rangers, making Teixeira the first switch-hitter in major-league history with at least 150 homers for two teams.
No runs, no wins
You can’t win any games if you don’t score any runs, even with Masahiro Tanaka on the mound.
The Yankees were blown out in the rubber game of the series, 8-0, suffering just their third defeat in 15 games started by Tanaka. The only other time in the last 20 seasons the Yankees had a shutout loss this bad against the Orioles was a 12-0 loss on August 14, 2007.
Tanaka did his best to keep the Yankees in the game, allowing three runs in seven innings, which extended his streak of quality starts to 15.
That matches Ron Guidry in 1978 for the longest by a Yankee to begin a season over the last 100 years. The only Yankee pitcher with a longer streak of quality starts at any point in the season is CC Sabathia, who threw 16 in a row in 2010.
He now has 119 strikeouts and 17 walks in his first 15 career games, the first pitcher over the last century with that many strikeouts and that few walks in their first 15 major-league games.
Tanaka’s 119 strikeouts are also already tied for the fifth-most by any rookie pitcher before the All-Star break. The record is 139 by Herb Score in 1955 and Kerry Wood in 1998. At his current pace, Tanaka should be able to etch his name in the record books, as he’s likely to make five more starts before the break.