The Yankees send their ace to the mound for the second time this season to face the Baltimore Orioles hoping he can put a finger in the dike and the lineup can wake up.
The Yankees send Masahiro Tanaka to the mound in a 4:05 P. M. EST start at Camden Yards versus the resilient Baltimore Orioles.
It’s inconceivable that Tanaka can have two consecutive bad starts unless there is a physical impairment no one knows about. And that’s not likely, so this one should go into the win column for the team.
Unless of course, the hitters wake up on the wrong side of the bed and sleepwalk through the game. This is also not likely since Greg Bird is not a .033 hitter and Gary Sanchez probably will never go through four games in his career again with only two hits.
Having said that, though, the Yankees need this game. The bullpen needs a rest and Tanaka is the right man for the job of getting that done. The team’s ability to hit with men on base (3-10 last night) needs to improve and, basically, the team just needs to relax and play baseball.
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As a team, the Yankees can’t show any signs of panic and Joe Girardi has to continue to maintain a “we got this thing” presence in the dugout and with the media.
There’s help on the way if it turns out they need it, but it’s way too early to make those kinds of moves now. The lineup that looked good on Opening Day and most everyone was pleased with is still the lineup that is capable of producing an offense that can score runs and hit with power.
Nothing has changed, except for the fact that the Baby Bombers haven’t fully woken up yet. They’re not whining and crying as babies often do when they can’t get their way. Instead, they’re showing up at the ballpark ready to play.
Good teams are the ones who fight and claw their way through adversity. They welcome it and breed on it.
With Tanaka today and CC Sabathia tomorrow, the Yankees have a good chance to win the series against the Orioles, coming back to New York for their Home Opener on Monday against the Rays at the .500 mark.
As it was for so long last season, the .500 mark remains the barrier to a successful season. Because until you get there, there is nothing to build on. You can’t be 8-14 and then win a three-game series to pretend that you are going anywhere when all you’ve done is get just one game closer to even.
As a team, the Yankees are not as bad as they seem now. And they’re not as good as they looked in the spring when they went 24-9.
The 2017 season is all about finding out what this team is (really) all about. And with the possible subtraction of Sabathia and the possible addition of Gleyber Torres, this is essentially the same team that will take the field in 2018, plus a couple of tweaks in the rotation.
Of all the great Yankees pitchers who have contributed to 27 World Championships over the years, who are the Top Five Most Effective Pitchers All-Time?
Good teams are the ones who fight and claw their way through adversity. They welcome it and breed on it. And most of all, they learn from it. The Yankees have an opportunity to do that. And there’s no better place to start than today’s game in Baltimore.