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New York Yankees Reaction: Tanaka Masterful; Offense Flexes As Yanks Prevail

Thanks to a pair of home runs and an epic pitching display, the New York Yankees were able to take game one in Tampa. 

  • New York Yankees: 4 (23-24)
  • Tampa Bay Rays: 1 (21-25)
  • American League, FINAL, Box Score
  • Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, FL

After losing a brief series at Yankee Stadium, the New York Yankees reverted back to their winning ways and took the opening game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field.

Masahiro Tanaka dazzled for New York by going seven innings and allowing absolutely zero runs on a mere two hits. The 27-year old has yet to lose a ballgame this season and has allowed two runs or less in seven of his first ten starts while watching his ERA drop to 2.89.

The man he faced, Chris Archer was looking for a bounce-back start against New York but ended up getting tapped for two home runs in his eight innings of work.

Even though three out of the four runs were not charged to the righty, he left with his sixth loss of 2016.

The Yankees and Rays exchanged zeroes until Brett Gardner reached on a walk followed by an Archer error in an attempt to pick off the speedy outfielder. His throw went into foul territory down the right field wall and Gardner was able to get to third.

A couple of batters later, Brian McCann grounded one to Logan Morrison to score Gardner on an RBI ground out.

The very next batter, Alex Rodriguez, took a mighty hack on one of Archer’s electric fastballs and drove it 422 feet to extend the Yankees’ lead to 3-0.

It was his sixth home run of the 2016 season and his 30th dinger in 109 games played at Tropicana Field. It was also Rodriguez’s 56th career home run against the Rays overall which is the most against the Rays by any player.

After an inning in which the offense went quietly, the Yankees decided it was in their best interest to provide some insurance. They looked no further than Carlos Beltran who belted his 11th home run on the year off Archer. It was also his 11th RBI since May 19.

With Beltran and Rodriguez going deep tonight, it was the first time in Yankees’ history that two players who are 39-years old or older launched home runs in the same game. 

That would prove to be plenty enough as the Aroldis Chapman and New York Yankees finished off the Rays by a score of 4-1.

Plays Of The Day:

In the bottom of the fifth inning, the Yankees’ flashed the leather twice.

First, Tanaka fielded a sharp comebacker off the bat of Logan Morrison then used his cat-like reflexes to sprint at the greedy runner, Steve Pearce to nab the first out of the frame.

Then, to end the inning Brett Gardner made a leaping play followed by a collision with the left field wall to rob Corey Dickerson of extra bases.


Who’s Your Daddy?

Coming into tonight, Jacoby Ellsbury maintained a .667/.714/.833 slash line with a 1.548 OPS in 24 at bats against him including one home run against Archer.

After recording two hits off him in today, he extended those numbers against one of the toughest pitchers in the game. Now, the speedster is 18-for-26 against the righty which is an absurd .692.

Time To Move To The Six-Man?

We all know how effective this Yankees’ starting rotation is when given an extra day to rest, but could it happen?

Entering tonight’s contest, Tanaka owns a 1.57 ERA while maintaining a WHIP of .872 and, on five days rest tonight, he dazzled yet again which could influence the decision it utilizing the scheme.

It all depends on what the plan is when Luis Severino returns from his triceps injury. Despite a send-down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre being the ideal option, the numbers speak for themselves and they are buzzing about how good each starter is when they take an extra day in between starts.

What’s Next:

The series continues into the holiday weekend on Saturday with Michael Pineda is slated to get the start opposite Matt Moore.

Even with a quality start his last time out, Pineda owns a 6.34 ERA in his first nine starts of 2016 including a whopping 64 hits in 49.2 innings of work. Want to scratch your head? His K/9 ratio is 10.1 which ranks twelve in all of Major League Baseball.

He did, however, turn in a quality start last time out against Oakland to help lower his May ERA from 7.02 to 6.34.

Moore is in a similar boat in terms of struggles as the lefty has given up nine home runs already this season despite only working 51 innings on the hill. Against the Miami Marlins on Monday, he gave up five runs on ten hit in five innings of work.

First pitch will come our way at approximately at 4:10 PM ET being broadcasted on WPIX. If you’re wondering where the pre and postgame will be, you can catch them on the YES Network at three and immediately following the conclusion.

NEXT: What Happened To Didi Gregorius’ Defense?