The good news is that after a couple of poor performances, the Yanks got Masahiro Tanaka back to being the real Tanaka last night. Better, even.
The bad news is that they didn’t take advantage of it and lost to Oakland, 4-1. The loss drops the Yanks to 27-18 and cut their AL East lead to two (over Boston).
Tanaka took a shutout into the eighth, and wound up pitching 7 1/3 innings, striking out a career-high 13.
But in the eighth, after striking out the first batter he faced, Tanaka gave up a single and was pulled after 111 pitches.
Tyler Clippard committed a two-base throwing error in trying to pick off the runner. On a ground ball by the next hitter, and with the runner going on contact, Chase Headley nailed the runner at the plate.
But Clippard could not finish off the inning. He had problems recently against the Rays giving up a huge walk, and here he did it again, giving up a walk to put two on with two out.
Up to the plate came Jed Lowrie, who is hot right now and who had three hits last night. Manager Joe Girardi stuck with Clippard here and let him face Lowrie, instead of a) bringing in a LOOGY like Shreve or Layne to turn him around after he already had two hits from the left side or b) going right to Betances. Ok, I could see saving Betances, but this was the key batter in the ball game right here, and sticking with Clippard didn’t work out. Lowrie singled in a run. The next hitter reached on an infield single and it was 2-0, A’s.
Jonathan Holder gave up a single and HR to the first two batters he faced in the ninth, 4-0 A’s, and the game was over.
Didi Gregorius got a SF in the bottom of the ninth, and the Yanks got the tying run to the plate, but lost 4-1, getting just five hits, two by Aaron Judge.
Chase Headley is really slumping. He went into April 19th with a .409 average, which you knew he wouldn’t sustain, but he’s down to .228 right now. That’s some drop-off, a .158 average since April 19th.
Tanaka (L, 5-4, 5.86) 7 1/3 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 W, 13 K.
Clippard 2/3 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 1 W, 0 K. 1.77
Holder 1 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.60 Gave up 1 HR.
Refsnyder was brought back up to replace Ellsbury, who went on the DL with a concussion and neck sprain after he made that catch Wednesday night.