Bullpen implodes after Tanaka’s gem, A’s beat Yankees 4-1

The Yankees are coming off a rain shortened series against the Kansas City Royals, where they took two out of three games. The Oakland Athletics split a two game interleague series with the Miami Marlins, earlier in the week, and came into the Bronx with a 21-25 record. Masahiro Tanaka had the ball in game one for the Bombers as he is trying to bounce back, after arguably the roughest patch of starts in his American professional career. The A’s had a late scratch in the rotation, as Kendall Graveman is now sidelined with a sore shoulder. Southpaw Sean Manaea had his start pushed forward to today in place of Graveman.
Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II | AP
This was a huge start for Tanaka in terms of confidence, and he started off strong striking out the side, despite giving up a two-out double to Jed Lowrie. He kept that momentum going in the second striking out two more and not allowing a baserunner. The third inning was like an instant replay as he struck out two more batters and induced a soft line drive. His location was extremely fascinating at the start of the game and his offspeed pitches were sharp, especially his splitter which had the downward action Yankees fans are used to seeing,

Tanaka got into his first jam in the fourth, when back to back singles resulted in an RBI opportunity for Trevor Plouffe, who later became Tanaka’s ninth strikeout victim in just four innings of work. Tanaka allowed a double to Mark Canha in the fifth, but he also did not come around to score.

The pitching was not one-sided as Sean Manaea was also stellar for Oakland. Through the first five innings, he had seven strikeouts and allowed only two hits.

The pitching duel continued as in the top of the sixth Tanaka struck out his eleventh batter, which tied his previous career high. Manaea pitched another scoreless inning in the bottom of the sixth as well.

Tanaka came back out in the seventh and struck out Plouffe to set his new career high in strikeouts with twelve. The next at-bat resulted in a ball that was scorched to deep center by Stephen Vogt, but Aaron Hicks tracked it down and caught it up against the wall to preserve the shutout.
Frank Franklin II | AP
The Yankees had their first real scoring opportunity in the bottom of the seventh, after Aaron Judge hit a bloop single and Didi Gregorius reached on a catcher’s interference. The threat ended, however, as the struggling Chase Headley grounded into an inning ending and in the words of Michael Kay, “rally killing” double play.

Tanaka’s pitch count started to approach the one hundred mark in the eighth inning, but his stuff did not reflect that. He struck his thirteenth batter, but a single from Adam Rosales unfortunately knocked him out of the game as his pitch count got too high. He got a huge round of applause from the fans in attendance, which include some of our own staff here at the BBB. He was replaced by Tyler Clippard. Clippard then made an extremely costly error as he made a poor pickoff attempt allowing Adam Rosales to reach third base. Clippard got bailed out, however, by a nice play by a shallow playing Chase Headley, who threw Rosales out at home. The inning did not go the Yankees way as Clippard walked Matt Joyce on a 3-2 count and then was hit hard by the A’s, resulting in two runs for Oakland and a multitude of boos from the Yankee fans.
Frank Franklin II | AP
Ryan Madson came on to pitch the eighth and set the Yankees down 1-2-3, and the game was on a downward spiral. Stephen Vogt launchd a long two-run home run off of Jonathan Holder to make the score 4-0 in the top of the ninth.

Santiago Casilla pitched the ninth, and the Yankees once again showed that they never go down without a fight. Aaron Hicks walked and Starlin Castro singled to put runners on the corners for Aaron Judge. Aaron judge worked a six pitch walk to bring the tying run to the plate for Didi. Gregorius hit a sacrifice fly to put the Yankees on the board 4-1 and prevent them from being shutout for the first time this season. The Yankees then pinch-hit for Chase Headley and sent Gary Sanchez to the plate to represent the tying run. Sanchez popped out to second base to end the game.

This game was very frustrating on both sides of the ball. The offense was completely absent until the last inning as they were almost shutout for the first time this season, Tanaka earned the loss after pitching one of the best starts of his career, and the bullpen was rocked for four runs after the starting pitcher struck out thirteen batters.

The Yankees will look to even the series tomorrow at 1:05 on YES. Jharel Cotton will pitch for Oakland and CC Sabathia will get the ball for the Yankees.

Winning Pitcher: Sean Manaea (3-3, 4.35 ERA) 7 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 8 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
Losing Pitcher: Masahiro Tanaka (5-4 5.86 ERA) 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 13 K, 0 BB, 0 HR

Austin Romine 1-3 1 2B
Aaron Judge 2-3 1 BB
Didi Gregorius 0-2 1 RBI
Jed Lowrie 3-4 1 2B, 1 RBI
Khris Davis 2-4 1 RBI
Stephen Vogt 1-4 HR (3), 2 RBI, 1 R

Article By: Ryan Thoms



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