Apologies for the delay in this recap. The family is out for a few days to visit and see The Rolling Stones on Tuesday night, so my afternoon was spent entertaining. Not that you really need a detailed description of what happened yesterday if you glanced at the final score. Masahiro Tanaka was way off, the Tigers hitters crushed him (particularly the Martinezes), and they put a sour note on the end of an otherwise positive series.
It didn't take long for Tanaka's command issues to surface. With 2 outs in the top of the 1st, Miguel Cabrera singled to keep the inning going. Tanaka left a 2-1 splitter up in the zone to Victor Martinez in the next at-bat and Martinez took it for a ride over the fence to give Detroit a quick 2-0 lead. A Didi Gregorius error gave the other Martinez a chance to hit, and he copied his namesake with a 2-run shot of his own on a non-sinking sinker. Just like that, 4-0 Tigers.
The trouble continued in the top of the 2nd, when Tanaka loaded the bases on a pair of singles and a walk to Cabrera to give Victor a chance with runners in scoring position. He came through with a 2-run single and the rout was on. Tanaka managed to get through the 3rd and 4th unscathed despite putting more runners on base, but J.D. Martinez touched him up for his second homer of the day to lead off the top of the 5th. Tanaka got through the rest of the inning, but that was all for him. Some days you just don't have it and yesterday was one of those days for Ma-kun.
The lineup made a token effort at coming back from the early deficit. They got 2 runs in the bottom of the 2nd on a 1-out Brian McCann solo home run and an improbable 2-out rally by the bottom of the order. Chris Young singled with 2 outs and quickly stole second during Stephen Drew's at-bat. Drew took a 4-pitch walk from Anibal Sanchez to pass the baton to Brendan Ryan, and Ryan singled back up the middle to bring Young home and make it a 4-run game. It looked like things were getting out of hand for Sanchez as the lineup turned back over to Brett Gardner, but he got Gardner to ground out and settled down to get through the 6th without further damage. It wasn't until Drew homered off him to lead off the 7th that the Yankees got to him again, and by then the game was way out of hand.
That came courtesy of the bullpen again, as Joe went to his new guys to soak up some innings in relief of Tanaka. Danny Burawa got the first shot and he showed he was definitely in over his head against the top of the Detroit order. He walked Cabrera with 2 outs, gave up back-to-back singles to Victor and Yoenis Cespedes to surrender another run, and then got to be part of history as J.D. took him deep for a 3-run shot. It was his third homer of the day, something that hadn't been done at Yankee Stadium by an opposing player since 1990 (h/t Katie Sharp). Burawa couldn't get out of the inning and Jose De Paula took over from there. He managed to complete the final 3 innings with only 1 more run coming across despite walking 4 batters. Hooray for small victories.
Of course Stephen Drew hit another home run in the bottom of the 9th. Of course he did. His 1-man comeback attempt fell far short, however, and the Yankees' 4-game win streak was ended.
- 65 strikes on 90 pitches for Tanaka, so the control was there. But he had no command inside the strike zone and left a ton of pitches up and over the plate. The 3 homers off him came on a sinker, splitter, and a curveball, so it was clear he didn't have the feel for anything. Shame too, since he did generate 16 swinging strikes.
- Pretty hideous line on the 2 guys who followed him too. 4 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 5 BB, 2 HR, 3 K. Both Burawa and De Paula are expected to be sent down today for Nick Rumbelow and Diego Moreno. Hopefully one of these call-ups sticks soon because the Yankees are going through almost every option they have down there.
- Another 2-hit day for McCann, who's up to .275/.339/.475 with 10 homers and 43 RBI on the year. He's at .333/.390/.500 for the month of June.
- Drew's 2-homer, 1-walk day brought him up to .188/.254/.390. Make all the jokes you want about how much longer this will keep him around, and I agree that he's a bum and I don't want him around much longer. But there is something to be said for a guy being on pace to hit 25 HR this season.
- No hits for Gardner in his 3 at-bats before being pulled early. Gotta be another slump setting in for him.