Once again it wasn't the sweep it should have been, but the Yankees looked pretty damn good closing out their road trip yesterday with a crisp, commanding, all-around well played win over the Mariners.
Masahiro Tanaka was back on the bump following his 7 shutout innings against the Angels and he picked up right where he left off, throwing another 7 scoreless against a slightly better Seattle lineup. He wasn't as dominant as last time. He had to work out of consecutive 2 on/1 out situations in the 2nd and 3rd innings. But once he cleared those hurdles, Tanaka was on point. He got ahead in the count, he mixed pitches, and he finished strong, retiring the final 8 batters he faced in order and recording 4 of his 5 strikeouts in that span.
The offense wasn't electric as a whole, but it was consistent in putting runs on the board against Hisashi Iwakuma. They got started with a bang on yet another Gary Sanchez moonshot in the top of the 1st. It was a hanger and Sanchez waited on it to bash it into the left field upper deck. From there the Yankees tacked on runs in the 2nd (Tyler Austin single), 4th (Brett Gardner sac fly), 7th (Mark Teixeira single), and 9th (Starlin Castro sac fly).
Joe had a well-rested bullpen and a day off today, so he used his best to finish the game off. Tyler Clippard got into some trouble in the 8th, and that brought on Dellin Betances for the 4-out close. He struck out 3 batters for 75% of the outs and picked up a save for the effort thanks to his early entry in the 8th. Not a bad way to finish up a road trip.
- 14 straight scoreless innings for Tanaka. If he could have picked up a few more W decisions earlier in the season, he'd be right in the mix for the AL Cy Young. Hell, he probably is anyway without the gaudy win numbers.
- Sanchez doubled in his 3rd at-bat and then got the Barry Bonds treatment by being intentionally walked in his final 2 plate appearances of the day. Word gets around quick when you're that nasty.
- Balanced attack from the lineup. Everybody got on base at least once, only Starlin and Aaron Judge didn't have hits, and 5 different players drove in a run. It could have been a blowout too. They left 10 men on base.