Grass is Greener in Cleveland
The Yankees started their four-game series against the Indians with a rare offensive outburst in a 5-3 victory on Monday. They pounded Indians starter Justin Masterson, who allowed five runs and failed to get an out in the third inning.
Masterson entered the game 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA in four career home starts against the Yankees. He was the only pitcher in the last 100 years to win each of his first four home starts against the Yankees, allowing no more than one run in each game.
Shane Greene, making his first career start, took a no-hitter into the fifth inning and finished with two runs allowed over six innings for his first major-league win. Dellin Betances then closed the game for his first career save.
This was the third time in franchise history that a pair of Yankee pitchers earned their first career win and first career save in the same game. The most recent instance came on May 13 last year – also in a game at Cleveland – with Vidal Nuno (win) and Adam Warren (save). The other time came in 1971 with Alan Closter (win) and Fritz Peterson (save) at Milwaukee.
For the second straight game, Masahiro Tanaka set career-highs… in earned runs allowed (5) and hits allowed (10). Unlike last week’s win at Minnesota, the Yankee bats could not pick up the slack and the Yankees lost to the Indians 5-3 on Tuesday night.
How unusual was this loss? Prior to the game, Tanaka was 10-0 with a 1.85 ERA in 12 starts when facing a team for the first time.
Jacoby Ellsbury had two stolen bases to give him 25 for the season. He is the third Yankee with at least 25 stolen bases and 40 RBI before All-Star break, joining Rickey Henderson (1986) and Alfonso Soriano (2003).
Lucky No. 14
Wednesday began with the Yankees putting their ace on the disabled list, and then ended in dramatic fashion with a 5-4 14-inning win over the Indians. It was the longest Yankees-Indians game since a 7-6 victory by the Yankees on May 10, 1984.
Ellsbury was the hero with a two-out go-ahead solo homer in the top of the 14th. He is the first Yankee to hit an extra-inning home run against the Indians since Elston Howard on Sept 23, 1964. It is the latest home run hit vs the Indians by a Yankee over the last 75 seasons.
No Yankee center fielder over the last 75 seasons had homered in the 14th inning or later in a road game before Ellsbury on Wednesday night.
Ellsbury has done this before… it is his second two-out extra-inning homer this season (at White Sox on May 24). The last Yankee to hit multiple two-out, extra-inning home runs in a season was Joe Pepitone in 1969.
Mark Teixeira provided the rest of the offense with his 357th and 358th career home runs, tying Yogi Berra and Carlos Lee for 83rd place on MLB’s all-time list. It was his 37th career multi-homer game, moving him past Carlos Beltran and into sole possession of third place all-time among switch hitters.
…Seen Better Days
The news about Tanaka’s injury obviously overshadowed Thursday’s loss to the Indians, as Brian Cashman announced that Tanaka has a partially torn elbow ligament and will be out at least six weeks.
Moving onto a couple positive notes from the game…
David Phelps had another solid outing with two runs allowed over six innings, and now has a 3.13 ERA over his last six starts. He owns a 1.45 ERA in three career starts against the Indians, having not allowed more than two runs in any of the games.
The only other Yankees in the last 100 years to throw at least six innings and give up two or fewer runs in each of their first three career games against the Indians are Hank Thormahlen (1918-19) and Bill Bevens (1944-46).
Derek Jeter had two hits for his 1,000th career multi-hit game. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the sixth player since 1900 to reach that milestone, behind only Ty Cobb (1,293), Pete Rose (1,225), Stan Musial (1,059), Tris Speaker (1,059) and Hank Aaron (1,046).
Ichiro Suzuki’s eighth-inning single was his 2,800th career hit. He is the ninth player in MLB history with 2,800 hits and 450 stolen bases. The others: Honus Wagner, Paul Molitor, Willie Keeler, Henderson, Eddie Collins, Cobb, Lou Brock and Barry Bonds.