LADY AT THE BAT: Rested Tanaka, Strong Offense Let Yankees Enjoy Laugher

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Rested Tanaka, Strong Offense Let Yankees Enjoy Laugher

Friendly note to the New York Yankees media:  Joe Girardi knows that Masahiro Tanaka pitches better on six days rest but, unless "they" want to give him a 26 man roster, there's absolutely nothing he can do about it.

Do his blood pressure a favor and stop asking him about it.  The Yankees manager made it clear during his post-game press conference that he's tired of answering the question.  Not that it stopped anyone from asking it.

Girardi sees the results.  The record bears it out and, if any further proof was needed, Tuesday night's game provided it.

Tanaka went a strong 7.2 scoreless innings, struck out six batters and threw just over 100 pitches in the outing.  Chasen Shreve closed out the game in a successful return to the roster and, between the two, they saved the back-end of the bullpen.

It was the icing on the cake of a game that the Yankees won in a decidedly fun manner. They rapped out 20 hits (this with Sir Didi Gregorious, one of the Yankees hottest hitters, getting a day off), including nine extra-base-hits (three by the oldest players on the team), and chased starter Carlos Rodon in just 5 IP. Brett Gardner had four hits all by himself (The entire White Sox team had just six.).

Even Aaron Hicks had a double so you know it was a hit parade. By the time the Yankees were done with him, Rodon had a game score of just 15 and his sweaty glove was in the stands.

Even on defense the Yankees looked downright sprightly. Mark Teixeira, despite being so fragile he can’t even slide into home plate, continued to show the value of his glove, turning in multiple excellent plays (the airtime on this one was particularly impressive). 

Rob Refsnyder, filling in at 2B while Castro filled in for his “step brother” at SS, carried out an excellent play (though the Yankees attempt to compare his jump throw to The Captain's was a stretch).

For one night, all was well in Yankees Universe.  Yes, they are still below .500 and have a hole to dig themselves out of before they can even get back into the contender conversation.  

But consider this. The Yankees are 4.5 games out in the Wild Card race. Know who was 4.0 games out at the All-Star Break this time last year? The 2015 A.L. East Division winning Toronto Blue Jays. The Texas Rangers, 2015 A.L. West Division champs, were 5.5 out.

Yes, things had to break right for those two teams. Of course they did. That’s the nature of the game. But if this team is capable of nights like tonight then why aren’t they capable of doing much more? 

If they can play they way they were drawn up to play and get back to .500 by Sunday night then, in my opinion, there’s no reason to give up. At least not just yet. Not after a night like Tuesday.

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