Game 115 / 64-51 / 1st / +1.5G : A statement game? Dunno, maybe too early for that. But in a way — yes. A Toronto victory would have handed the momentum right back to them, and relegated last night’s dramatics to a distant memory. But a dominant, complete game performance from ace Masahiro Tanaka that not only increased the division lead over the Blue Jays, but gave a critical day off to New York’s all-important bullpen? Oh, hell yes.
Here’s the box score, full recap, and video highlights.
Yankees 4, Blue Jays 1
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- Masahiro Tanaka With needed respite for the bullpen an understatement, staff ace Tanaka provided that and then some, turning in New York’s second complete game of the season (Michael Pineda has the other one) — scattering a mere 5 hits against the vaunted Toronto offense, walking 3 while striking out 9. Tanaka improved to a 9-5 record, lowering his ERA to 3.56 in the process.
- Carlos Beltran A 2-3 day beginning with a home run in the first inning, and almost hitting another one out off LaTroy Hawkins in the 8th inning. Red hot at the plate over the last 7 games.
- Mark Teixeira Given most of the afternoon off from first base duties, Tex responded with a 2-4 day at the plate, including a *huge* solo home run on a 79MPH change up from reliever Marco Estrada in the 6th inning for a 2-1 New York lead, which proved to be game deciding run.
- Greg Bird After just missing a booming home run that hit the facing of the third deck in right — just foul, Bird finally achieved a major league batting average, getting his first big league hit on the first pitch from Jays’ reliever LaTroy Hawkins in the 8th inning — a tailing 94MPH four-seam fastball that the left-handed hitting Bird went with, slashing a single to left center.
“My mindset was I wanted to go as deep into the game as possible. I’m just really satisfied that I was able to do that.” ‐ Masahiro Tanaka
MEMORY LANE : On today’s date in 1916, although he wasn’t a New York Yankee yet (that would come 2+ years later), Babe Ruth, pitching for the Boston Red Sox, out-dueled legend Walter Johnson over 13 innings in a 1-0 Boston victory …. (h/t: Baseball-Reference.com, Today in Baseball History)