Tampa Runs Away from Tanaka & NY in Game 3, 8-4 — 4 Reasons Why

This one got away from the Yanks in a big way. It was Tanaka Wednesday, and the Yanks hoped that with extra rest — they having started Deivi Garcia in game 2 instead of Tanaka — Masahiro would pitch well.

He didn’t.

Here’s how it went down:

1. Tanaka Struggled

After his last start last week in the wild-card series, Masahiro Tanaka posted on Instagram a post saying he couldn’t believe his 7-year contract with the Yankees was coming to an end. This led to fan speculation that Tanaka himself felt he was not going to resign with the Yanks this winter.

Tanaka struck out the first two batters of the game, but it was all downhill from there. He stranded a 2-out single in the 1st but got into trouble in the 2nd — 3 singles for a run. He got thru it and pitched a shutout 3rd and all hopes were that he’d settle down for a vintage performance although his pitch count was rising.

A single, walk, and 3-run homer to Kevin Keirmaier in the 4th made it 4-0 Tampa. A leadoff homer by Randy Arozarena in the 5th sent Tanaka to the showers down 5-1.

Tanaka’s line: 4 innings 8 hits, 5 Earned Runs, 4 K’s.

If the Yanks do not advance past this series and that is Tanaka’s last start as a Yank — it does not bode well for him resigning.

2. Yanks Couldn’t Put Morton Away

On the other hill was Charlie Morton, the crafty off-speed maestro. The Yanks looked like they were going to get to him in the 3rd, when he couldn’t find the plate and NY loaded the bases with 1 out. Aaron Judge hit a sacrifice fly to tie the game 1-1.

With 2 outs Aaron Hicks walked to load the bases again. Morton’s count against Luke Voit went to 3-0 — a ball away from another run. But Morton threw 2 straight 95 mph fastballs that nicked in for strikes, and then Luke Voit grounded out on a 3-2 pitch.

3. Green Plan Didn’t Work

Chad Green looked great in the 5th but got hit in the 6th for a double by Kiermaier and a home run by Perez and it was 7-2. Luis Cessa walked Arozarena and allowed an RBI double to Ji-Min Choi and it was 8-2.

4. Consolation Points

Giancarlo Stanton hit a 2-run BOMB in the bottom of the 8th to make it 8-4 but the Yanks were never ever to get closer.

Nick Nelson pitched a shutout 7th and Mike King pitched a shutout, no-hit 8th and 9th. With Dellin Betances gone to the Mets, and Tommy Kahnle out for the year with Tommy John, and with Adam Ottavino struggling — the Yankee bullpen has been limited to Chad Green, Zack Britton, and Aroldis Chapman for late inning pressure situations. Nelson and King may loom large if the Yanks are to advance.

The Boxscore




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