Road interleague games are not made for this version of the Yankees. The loss of their regular #3 hitter at the expense of a pitcher hitting for himself is a huge blow to the currently shaky offense, and the lack of run support typically associated with a weakened lineup was the reason for last night's loss. Masahiro Tanaka pitched another good game and still lost to a guy I've never heard of. TO quote Joe Girardi, that's not what you want.
There was another early lead in the cards for the Bombers last night, courtesy of Mark Teixeira's 18th home run of the season. He got a 3-1 fastball from Miami starter Tom Koehler to lead off the top of the 2nd and he didn't waste it, launching it well over the right center field wall. It really is amazing what Teix is doing this year. Too bad he's not a Kansas City Royal. Then he'd make the All-Star Game for sure.
The early lead would also be a short lived one, as the Marlins struck back in the bottom half against Tanaka. Derek Dietrich laced a 1-out double to left to start the quick rally and Adeiny Hechavarria wrapped it up with a base hit to left to plate Dietrich. Both hits came on poorly placed fastballs in hitters' counts, and that was really Tanaka's biggest problem last night. He didn't have the command of his sinker that he needed and it cost him a few hits.
Those few hits sure would have done the Yankee lineup some good. They managed just one over the next 5 innings after Teix's homer, a Didi Gregorius double in the 5th. They went down in order in the 3rd and 4th innings, and wasted a leadoff walk in the 7th. That came around to bite them damn quick when Tanaka got burned by a bad fastball to Dietrich again. This time Dietrich hit it for a go-ahead solo home run of his own.
The Yankees went down quietly in the last 2 innings, striking out for all 3 outs in the 9th and spoiling a Brian McCann leadoff walk in the 9th. In another questionable decision, Joe went to Jose Ramirez in the 8th to relief Tanaka in a 1-run game. Ramirez promptly loaded the bases on 11 pitches with a single, HBP, and 4-pitch walk, and Sergio Santos had to come into that mess to keep the deficit where it was. Amazingly enough, he was able to do that, so props to him. But another example of how tough life is when you only have a few good relievers.
- In fairness to the Marlins, they deserve some credit for robbing the Yankees of more than a few hits defensively. Hechavarria himself snagged 2 liners off the bat of Chase Headley to prevent a pair of hits, and Dee Gordon made a nice play ranging to his left late in the game to steal a hit from Mason Wiliams.
- 7 IP, 9 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 94 pitches, 60 strikes, 10 whiffs. He wasn't as good as he was the last 2 times out, but Tanaka still put together a good outing. He gave the team length and gave them every opportunity to win. Hopefully he finds his sinker for the next start. Missing with that in the strike zone was his undoing.
- Brutal night for the top of the order. Brett Gardner, Headley, and McCann combined to go 0-10 with 2 BB and 4 K.
- Now that I think of, brutal night for the rest of the order too. Teix had the solo home run, DIdi had the only other 2 hits for the team, and the Jones/Drew/Williams trio went 0-9. This offense absolutely stinks without A-Rod in the lineup.