Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Yankees 3, Cubs 0
By Andrew Marchand
NEW YORK -- Masahiro Tanaka totally dominated the Chicago Cubs in the first game of a day-night doubleheader at frigid Yankee Stadium. He went eight innings, allowed just two hits -- on bunts -- while striking out 10 and walking one. Tanaka is 2-0 with a 2.05 ERA.
Dominant: Tanaka took care of his business against the inexperienced Cubs. The Cubs had only one runner reach second on Tanaka; it took until the seventh on a bunt and a fielder's choice. They got no further.
Bunt hits: The Cubs could not hit Tanaka, so they tried to bunt on him. That's the only way they were able to make a mark in the hit column.
In the second, Junior Lake beat out a bunt (he was originally called out, but replay overturned it). Leading off the seventh, Anthony Rizzo beat the shift by bunting toward third base. That was it, with Tanaka making the Cubs look silly with his splitter.
History: Tanaka has struck out 28 in his first three starts. In the history of the Yankees, no one has more strikeouts in their first three times out. Al Leiter, who was working the game for YES on Wednesday, had the record with 25, set in 1987. How old was Tanaka in 1987? He wasn't born until 1988.
Next up, the Fens: Because the Yankees were rained out Tuesday, Tanaka is now in line to pitch one of the games in Boston in the middle of next week.
Ninth:Shawn Kelley pitched the ninth and picked up his fourth save.
Player of the Week: Carlos Beltran, the reigning AL Player of the Week, started to make a case for a repeat with a first-inning solo homer to give Tanaka the lead.
The weather outside is frightful ... It was 43 degrees at first pitch. There was not a cloud in the sky, though.
Keep the points: In the fifth, the Yankees scored a run with some weird baseball. First, Brett Gardner hit a double when Lake, in left field, lost the ball in the sun. Gardner moved to third on a groundout.
Next, Jacoby Ellsbury hit a chopper in front of home. He was tagged out by Cubs starter Jason Hammel. Gardner scored. However, on his swing, Ellsbury's bat hit catcher John Baker's glove. So it was catcher's interference.
That means that Ellsbury would be on first and Gardner would remain at third. However, manager Joe Girardi decided to take the run and the out, utilizing Rule 6.08c.
The way that Tanaka was pitching, Girardi made the right call in not trying to be greedy and go for the big inning.
Sparse crowd: As is often the case when a night rainout is scheduled for the next afternoon, there were not many fans in the stands. The announced attendance was 36,569.