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Hurdle The Mediocre, Trample The Terrible. Or Else.

Hurdle The Mediocre, Trample The Terrible. Or Else.

With their current level of play, the New York Yankees will not win the American League East, nor go deep the post-season. At this rate they’ll likely be the visiting club in the win-or-go-home Wild Card play-in game.
 
Unlike with the surging and in first place Boston Red Sox, there is a sense of dread with Yankee games lately. As Kenny Singleton says ‘2 can’t carry 9’ and the offense has become so anemic that they are depending on pitching heroics to win games. And some of these games, like yesterday’s opener, are against Triple-A pitchers.
 
It’s either that or they score 5 runs early, then shut it down for the remainder of the game while the opponent claws back and takes the lead. They rarely tack on. They just stop scoring runs.
 
How can this be said about a team that is 59-30? One that has won 19 of its last 23 series? Easy. Because their incredible start is being matched and exceeded by their mortal enemy. And the mojo seems to be skewing toward Beantown.
 
Before the season began, you looked at the Yankees lineup on paper and literally could not wait for the games to start. With Stanton added, a full season of a heathy Greg Bird, an improving Didi, along with Judge, Sanchez and Gardy. Then we get the surprise firepower from Gleyber and Andujar! This was going to be monstrous! Well it’s a been horror show alright, but not with the plot lines we expected.
 
With yesterday’s inexcusable loss in the first game, the Yankees dropped to 2.5 back in the AL East, and down to +3 in home field advantage for the Wild Card game over Seattle. The Astros are only 2 games behind New York now in the best record race.
 
It’s hard to put your finger on it, but unless things start turning around and quickly, this once-invincible club will find itself needing help to qualify for the post-season. If that happens, you won’t recognize the team next season.
 

Tanaka Time

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Like any good self-improvment plan, today is the first day of the new and improved you. In this case it’s the Yankees, and Masahiro Tanaka is fresh off the DL and rested up for the task.
 
Since coming to the Yankees in 2014, Tanaka has made 10 regular-season starts against Baltimore, with a 3-3, 3.90 ERA mark. At Camden Yards, he is 1-1 in 4 starts with a 5.25 ERA, allowing 4 home runs and 14 earned runs in 24 innings.
 
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In the O’s current lineup Adam Jones (.407) and Jonathan Schoop (.276) hit Tanaka well, with 3 home runs apiece. Shortstop Manny Machado is 5-29, but has 2 home runs and 2 doubles.
 

Cashner Trouble For Yanks

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Baltimore righty Andrew Cashner sports a 2-2 career mark against the Yankees over 5 starts, allowing 8 earned runs in 32 innings of work. In that span he has struck out 21 and walked 7.
 
Two of those starts have come this season, the first coming on a 5-2 victory out-dueling Tanaka at Yankee Stadium on April 5th. Cashner 2-hit New York over 6 innings, but one hit was a 2-run blast by Aaron Judge. His second start came on June 1st at Camden Yards where he pitched decently but had the bad luck to go up against one of Sonny Gray’s best starts as a Yankee, taking the loss after allowing 3 earned runs over 6 innings.
 
Overall, Cashner is 2-9 with a 4.39 ERA over 17 starts in 2018, with a WHIP of 1.56. Current Yankee hitters who see Cashner well include Brett Gardner and Aaron Hicks. Didi Gregoruis and Judge are the only Yankees to take Cashner deep, and both are swinging the bat well — but you have to be cautious about drafting Judge on the road.
 
Let’s go, Tanaka! Let’s go, Yankees!

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