For six-plus innings, this was everything it was hyped to be. A great pitching duel, Tanaka vs. Scherzer.
In the end, Tanaka got the best of it, the Yanks won their seventh straight game, and opened up a 2 1/2 game lead in the AL East with a 33-25 record.
Stephen Drew had 2 HR. The first came in the bottom of the third, and gave the Yanks a 1-0 lead.
Tanaka then coughed up a HR to Bryce Harper in the top of the fourth to tie the game. I thought it would be a long fly ball, but it just kept carrying.
Then I saw a couple of mistakes. In the bottom of the sixth, the Yanks had first and third and one out. Beltran hit a liner to CF. The Nats CF tried for a shoestring catch but trapped the ball. He still got a force on McCann on second. However, Teix was caught in no man’s land and instead of just staying on the bag, then coming home no matter what happened, he was stuck on third. They did not score. Ugh.
But then Bryce Harper of Washington pulled what I thought was a bad play. In the top of the seventh, Harper, leading off, had two strikes on him. He had homered off Tanaka earlier, his 20th HR of the season. With two strikes on him, he tried to bunt, fouled it off, and that was strike three. In a close ballgame you want him swinging the bat. Break for the Yankees.
In the fourth, the Yanks got a break. With men on first and second, and two out, A-Rod sent one toward the hole. Washington’s SS tried to get a force at third, but the throw hit the runner, Ramon Flores, and ricocheted into the dugout to advance the runners and give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. But (and the most important thing) is that they tacked on. Brian McCann singled in two, and Beltran singled in another one to make it 5-1.
In the 8th, Drew hit his second HR of the game (and the second 2-HR game from him in less than a week) to make it 6-1. Drew now has just 31 hits on the year and a .175 batting average, but he does have 9 HR. He is on course for about 25 HR. Yes, .175 stinks, but 25 HR for a second baseman? I’ll take that. Sometimes batting average is overrated. I am not saying .175 is good, but hey, as long as the hits he does get are extra base hits (9 HR), I’ll take it. .175 or not, he is tied with McCann as far as HR, and only Teix and A-Rod have more. .175 but 25 HR? Ok, I’ll accept that. Not ideal, but…
McCann had 3 hits and 2 RBI. Flores, a rookie in the majors for what, 3 weeks now? had three hits and two were off Scherzer, one of the best pitchers in the game. Go figure.
McCann is hot, raising his average to .266.
Tanaka (W, 4-1, 2.48) 7 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 6 K.
Betances 1 IP, 0 R, 0 h, 0 walks and 1 K. 0.28.
Shreve 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 h, 1 walk, and 0 K. 2.16
Miller 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walk and 0 K. 1.03.
Washington drafted Mariano Rivera’s son, Mariano Rivera III, in the fourth round of the draft today.
The Giants got a no-no from one of their pitchers for the fourth straight year today. After Cain (PG), and Lincecum twice, Chris Heston no-hit the Mets today.