Game 64 Preview: Tanaka, Yankees Look To Take Series From M’s


Mandatory Credit: David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees pulled out a much-needed victory over the Seattle Mariners last night in a 3-2 nail biter at Safeco Field. While the offense wasn’t explosive, the Yankees finally got some big hits in the clutch from Carlos Beltran, Derek Jeter, and the game winner off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury. Having lost seven of their last ten games going into last night, it was surely one of the better wins of the season for this team.

Tonight, the Yankees look to start a winning streak, and take the first two of this three-game set from the Mariners, and who better to turn to when you’re trying to get on a roll than Masahiro Tanaka? Tanaka has taken over as the Yankees’ ace this season, currently flaunting a 9-1 record, (second most wins in the majors), and a 2.02 ERA (lowest in AL). Tanaka was originally scheduled to start yesterday’s game, but his start was pushed back a day due to a rainout on Monday. So he’ll get the start tonight instead.

Opposing Tanaka will be 35-year-old Chris Young (5-3, 3.42 ERA). Young is having a nice bounce back year for the Mariners after missing all of last season due to shoulder surgery. The Yankees may be hard pressed to score a lot of runs tonight, as current Yankees who have faced Young before only combine for a .216 BA against him.

Some things to look for in tonight’s game:

Ellsbury Hit Streak: With his base hit in the eighth inning last night, not only did Jacoby Ellsbury win the game for the Yankees, but he also extended his hitting streak to 14 games. Ellsbury has been one of the only Yankees swinging a hot bat as of late, and we’ll see if it continues tonight.

Kelley Coming Back: The Yankees have announced it is likely that reliever Shawn Kelley will be activated from the DL before tonight’s game. Kelley has been on the DL since May, recovering from a back injury. The return of Kelley will be a welcomed sight for the Yankees, who have been going with relievers Dellin Betances and Adam Warren in the late innings. And while both of them have done outstanding jobs for the Yankees, they could use all the pitching help they can get with how stagnant the offense has been.

Tanaka Time: Will Masahiro Tanaka’s red-hot season continue tonight?