Game 81. Yanks reach halfway point with 6-3 win.

Yankee Stadium Frieze

The Yanks reached the halfway point of the season at 44-37, thanks to a 6-3 win Monday night over Toronto.

They remain three games behind Boston, in second place in the AL East, and in the top wild card position.

Masahiro Tanaka pitched a great game, giving up just one run in seven innings, to even his record at 7-7.

Hopefully he has turned it around after an awful start to the season.

Here is an example of someone turning it around. After signing with the Yankees, Catfish Hunter had a great year in 1975, going 23-14, 2.58 and being the runner-up for the CYA. In 1976, while the Yanks won the pennant, Hunter slipped to 17-15, 3.53. When the Yanks won it all in 1977, Catfish was 9-9, 4.71.

While we remember 1978 for the great comeback and Ron Guidry’s 25-3 (and some may also recall Ed Figueroa winning 20 that year as well), people forget about Catfish Hunter’s resurgence. After the games of July 27, Hunter was 3-4, 6.51. Hunter went 9-2, 2.23 from that date to the end of the year. It was the last great stretch of his pitching career. In 1979, Hunter went  2-9, 5.31 and he retired after that 1979 season at the age of 33. The Hall of Famer’s best work came before he turned 30.

But without that two month resurgence at the end of the 1978 season, that great comeback and WS title never would have happened.

I thought of that with Tanaka’s troubles earlier this season. That as bad as he was, maybe a Hunter like resurgence would happen in the second half of the season. Hopefully so.

The Yanks got two runs in the first on a bases-loaded HBP by Headley followed by a walk to Ellsbury.

Toronto got a run in the seventh, so it was a tight 2-1 game going into the bottom of the eighth.

Aaron Judge led off the inning with a single, Gary Sanchez doubled him to third and Didi Gregorius walked to load the bases with no one out. Headley doubled in two runs. After Ellsbury struck out, an error brought in two runs.

Toronto got two runs in the ninth.

Judge, Sanchez and Headley had two hits each, Headley had 3 RBI.

Tanaka (w, 7-7, 5.25) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 W, 8 K.
Betances (H, 8) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 W, 2 K. 3.00
Chapman 1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 0 w, 1 K. 3.86

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