Tanaka Time Again | Bonehead Picks

Tanaka Time Again

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The hot topics for the Yankees so far this season have been Alex Rodriguez’s return, and Masahiro Tanaka’s health. After opting to rest and rehab his elbow injury, many feel that Tanaka is just postponing the inevitable.

There was no doom and gloom in the air on Thursday night though. Tanaka started the game with 5 straight strikes, inducing 2 grounders from Alberto Callaspo and Andrelton Simmons. He then struck out Freddie Freeman, who went down looking, to cap off a very strong 11 pitch first inning.

In the bottom half of the inning Carlos Beltran hit a hard single, but that was the only positive production as Teixeira went down swinging. This would be a recurring event as he struck out two more times to complete the hat trick. Tex has always been a slow starter, but he really needs to find his stroke at the plate. At this rate, his biggest contribution to the lineup will be the slight chance that the breeze from his swings will give the opposing pitchers a cold.

In the second, Tanaka was back to business and was very economical. An 8 pitch inning where he struck out Jonny Gomes on a good splitter, and got two ground outs to end the inning. Tanaka showed good command of all his pitches, and exited the game after throwing 19 pitches, only one of which was outside the strike-zone.

The Yankees drew first blood in the 3rd when Didi Gregorius tripled to open the inning. Jacoby Ellsbury would hit a dribbler that turned into an infield single, but Gregorius couldn’t score. Then Brett Gardner grounded out but got credit for the RBI as Didi was able to score.

Scott Baker took over for Tanaka and was cruising until the 5th inning when Bethancourt belted a double off him and then he score on a single. Baker is in the running now for the 5th starter job because of Capuano’s injury. Baker has started before when he was a young prospect for the Twins. I would get a big laugh if Baker does really well for the Yankees the same way Phil Hughes excelled with the Twins.

Former Brave David Carpenter would allow his former team to take the lead on a Callaspo sac fly. However Justin Wilson, the new lefty reliever from the Pirates, looked very good out of the bullpen. He got Chris Johnson swinging on a good breaking pitch and retired the other two batters he faced.

The Yankees won 3-2, and received more good news as C.C. Sabathia is ready for the next step after his 2 inning simulated game. Overall a positive game which featured the projected Opening Day lineup. However certain players like Stephen Drew need to start hitting.

 

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(Photo- Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

 

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