The big draw in last night’s 2-game series opener against the Nationals was the starting pitching matchup. Max Scherzer vs. Masahiro Tanaka is one of the best possible pitching matchups in baseball today and those 2 didn’t disappoint. The defense and relief work of Washington did in the late innings, however, and the Yankees capitalized to run their winning streak to 7.
So that Scherzer-Tanaka matchup. It definitely lived up to its billing through the first 6 innings. Tanaka retired the Nats in order over the first 3 innings, recording 7 of the 9 outs by way of strikeout or groundout. He was running his fastball into the mid-90s, his sinker had good movement down in the zone, and the slider and splitter were on point as swing-and-miss pitches. Scherzer wasn’t quite as dominant. His only clean inning was the bottom of the 1st. But he did get 7 swinging strikeouts over 6 and made some big pitches to get key groundouts with men on to kill potential 2-out rallies.… Click here to read the rest