Yankees relief corp, Tyler Austin and Masahiro Tanaka tell the tale
Tyler Austin hit his second home run in as many days to give the Yankees the 5-4 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
Tyler Austin’s opposite-field power showed up just in time to greet the news that free agent Adam Lind had been acquired by the Yankees to vie for the back up first base position; a position that Austin appeared to have a lock on.
Let the battle for first base depth rage — especially if it results in long walk-off home runs.
Masahiro Tanaka made his spring debut as Braves’ fans cheered on Friday, which is not the result he wanted. Tanaka gave up four runs on four hits in only 1.1 innings of work, including a long home run by Braves’ top prospect Ronald Acuna, Jr.
In an interview with Meredith Marakovits after the outing, Tanaka said, “The location wasn’t there; the command was inconsistent, and that showed.”
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Going forward, Tanaka said he, “Will go through the mechanics and try to get them right for the next time out.”
Yankees’ beat writer, Eric Boland of Newsday, reported that a Braves’ scout had this to say in support of Tanaka’s outing:
"Body looked good, arm action looked fine,” one opposing team scout said. “Just threw some ‘get over’ breaking balls. Really no sliders or splits that tax the arm. Wasn’t cutting it loose at all. I’d be encouraged if I was [pitching coach Larry] Rothschild."
Remember, folks; it was Tanaka’s first outing of SPRING TRAINING, an inning and a third just to make sure all the moving parts are working.
If Tanaka’s outing panicked fans, the relief corp certainly calmed things down with eight and two-thirds inning of scoreless, six-hit relief. Jordan Montgomery did the heavy lifting in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings.
Montgomery gave up two hits and struck out five over three innings of work. He looked to be in good form and was throwing the breaking ball for strikes.
Chasen Shreve and Tommy Kahnle each saw two innings of work, followed by Jonathan Loaisiga and J.P. Feyereisen to close it out.
Next: Jacoby Ellsbury to give left field a try
The relief corp was efficient and effective, recording 11 strikeouts and one walk over eight and two-thirds innings with the only excitement being a hit batsman by Loaisiga in the eighth inning.