Well hello there everybody. Welcome to This Week In Yankees Baseball! The pitching staff took center stage this week, with some good news and some bad news for the Yankees.
It didn´t take a genius to figure out that something just wasn´t right with Masahiro Tanaka. He had taken a couple of tough losses in recent starts due to a lack of run support. But in Tuesday´s 5-3 loss to the Indians, he just didn´t seem to be up to his usual form. Tanaka´s fastball and off speed pitches were high in the zone, resulting in five runs by Cleveland in Tanaka´s 6.2 innings. That included a pair of home runs.
So when the news broke that Tanaka had a partial UCL tear in his elbow, it was big disappointment for Yankees fans, but not a surprise. The immediate good news is that surgery is not necessary. Let´s all keep our fingers crossed that the Yankee sensation is back and healthy soon.
The week got started with a thriller on Sunday, though it looked like a yawner as the Yanks jumped on top of the Twins 9-0. The big blow was a three-run home run by Jacoby Ellsbury. But Minnesota fought back. Hiroki Kuroda perservered through 5.2 innings,allowing four runs on seven hits. David Robertson wasn´t sharp in the ninth, but he held the Twins to one run as the Yanks won 9-7.
On Monday, Shane Greene got his big chance. He had a no-hitter going against the Twins into the fifth inning. Brett Gardner, Brian McCann and Ichiro Suzuki gave Greene the biggest support with three hits each as the Yankees won 5-3. Another bright spot was Dellin Betances´first save. Great job Dellin! And congratulations on making the All Star team!
And it was another first time starter for the Yankees on Wednesday. Brandon McCarthy, the newly acquired right hander in a trade with Arizona for Vidal Nuno, took advantage of two home runs by Mark Teixeira. Jacoby Ellsbury´s 14th- inning homer sealed it for the Yanks. Chase Whitley pitched two scoreless innings out of the pen and David Robertson earned his 22nd save in the 5-4 victory.
Then David Phelps had another quality start on Thursday. Phelps allowed two runs and seven hits in six innings. Zelous Wheeler hit his second home run and Yangervis Solarte, back from Triple A with his head held high, contributed an RBI in the fifth. Wheeler, Jeter and Ellsbury all had two hits. But it was not enough as Cleveland exploded late with five runs off of Jim Miller to win it 9-3.
On Friday, Kuroda took the mound again against the Orioles. Hiroki gave up only three hits and two runs in seven innings. Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson homered for the Yanks, but Baltimore prevailed 3-2, on a tenth inning home run by Nick Hundley.
But the week will be remembered most for the turning of the Carousel. Alfonso Soriano was designated for assignment, McCarthy came for Nuno, and Jeff Francis came from the A´s for a player to be named. Francis has an ERA of 6.08 this season, but gives the Yankees another left- hander out of the pen. Matt Daley is also back up from Triple A, and Jim Miller is designated for assignment.
That´s a lot of moves. But The Boys From The Bronx are not standing still. Even with four of the five opening day starters on the DL, they are within striking range of the first place Orioles, five games back. As always, Yankees fans are behind them through thick and thin.
And the All Star game is right around the corner. It promises to be a memorable one for The Captain.
How about that!