On a sunny, but winter-cold afternoon in The Bronx, Yankees number four starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka delivered another brilliant outing. The low temps had no effect on his pitches, limiting Chicago to 2 hits and racking up 10 strikeouts over 8 innings. All the runs Tanaka needed were provided in the bottom of the first by another Carlos Beltran home run. In the 9th, Shawn Kelly closed it out for the 4th save out of 4 opportunities.
Also featured was some nice defensive work with exciting catches from center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury on a fading line drive in the 6th, and another by 9th inning defensive replacement Ichiro in right, a leaping grab reminiscent of his catch against Boston on Sunday night.
Another thing you don’t see every day was the result of a catcher’s interference call on Cub’s backstop John Baker in the bottom of the 5th. In what first appeared to be a bad call after Baker clearly interfered with Ellsbury’s swing, as the ball dribbled out to the pitcher’s mound, and the putout was made at first. Brett Gardner, who was on third at the time, crossed the plate as the throw was made to first. Ellsbury is awarded first base on the interference, and Gardy scores, no? No. Apparently (like in football), manager Joe Girardi had the option of accepting the infraction — which would have forced Gardner back to third, while awarding Ellsbury first base. Or accepting the putout at first and taking the run. Like a good football coach, The General decided not to take points off the board. Ellsbury was out, Gardner scores, and it’s 3-0 Yanks. Here’s the video.
Here’s the play-by-play, and box score.
With their third straight win, the Yanks improve to 8-6, and look to Michael Pineda to take care of business in the nightcap. ‘Till then!