Baseball’s funny. If I’d have told you in February that on June 1 Brett Gardner would have 11 HR, Masahiro Tanaka would be the worst of the Yanks’ five starters in a group that included a true rookie in Jordan Montgomery and that the Yanks would be in first place at 30-20 despite getting the worst production in the majors out of first base, you may have been stunned.
But so far, that’s how it’s been.
Tanaka was tagged again last night in the Yankees’ 10-4 loss to Baltimore that reduced their AL East lead to 2 games.
It’s mystifying how bad he’s been. Some games good, like a CG shutout up in Boston or with his last outing before this one. Other times, awful, like last night.
The Orioles got 4 in the third off of him, and a misplay by Aaron Judge cost three runs. Instead of grabbing a liner for the third out of the inning, it went for a 2-run double to make it 3-0 Orioles, and a single later made it 4-0.
In the fourth, the Yanks cut it to 4-1 on an Orioles’ error.
But Tanaka gave up a 3-run HR in the bottom of the fourth to make it 7-1.
The Yanks got two in the fifth on a single by Refsnyder, forceout by Gardner, RBI double by Hicks, and RBI single by Holliday, but Ronald Torreyes bounced into a forceout with the bases loaded to spoil the chance of getting further back into the ballgame. The Yanks had chances, but were 1 for 12 with RISP in the game.
Before the game, Bryan Mitchell was sent down to SWB and Giovanny Gallegos brought up, but Gallegos gave up a 2-run HR in the seventh that made it 9-3 Orioles.
The Yanks got a run in the eighth on an RBI groundout by Gardner, but Gallegos gave up another run in the bottom of the inning for the final score of 10-4.
Starlin Castro, Aaron Judge and Rob Refsnyder had 2 hits apiece.
But as far as Tanaka, if he isn’t hurt, it’s baffling. He’s got to get it together. His ERA is twice what you’d expect it to be.
Maybe the Yanks (and I’ve mentioned this before) should order an MRI just to be sure nothing is wrong.
You have to wonder.
Tanaka (L, 5-5, 6.34) 5 2/3 IP, 7 R, 9 H, 2 W, 4 K. Gave up 1 HR.
Layne 1/3 IP, 0 r, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K. 7.50
Gallegos 1 2/3 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 0 W, 2 K. 7.71 Gave up 1 HR.
Holder 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 W, 0 K. 3.27