Game 42: NYY vs. OAK — Tanaka makes it 4 for Girardi’s 1500th

Yankees manager Joe Girardi helmed his 1500th game as a manager in this afternoon’s game against Oakland. And today’s win helped boost his overall record to 833 wins-667 losses (or 755-583 just with the Yankees these last 8 seasons). Girardi jokingly chalked it up to “getting old”, but really expressed his gratitude to be in such a position. A big congrats to him on this milestone!

In this 3rd of 4 games this weekend at Oakland, Masahiro Tanaka got the nod for this afternoon’s game and continued the streak set by the last three starters and threw a rather nice, efficient, clean game. Tanaka threw 92 pitches through his 7 innings, giving up 5 hits, 2 walks, and a run, and struck out 4 batters. In fact, the only sticky inning for Tanaka was the 5th. Tanaka loaded the bases with 2 walks, a single, and 1 out before a sacrifice fly scored the A’s lone run of the afternoon.

Nick Goody came in and took over for the final 2 innings of the game and continued to prove his value to the bullpen with just 24 pitches and 1 allowed hit, keeping the A’s swinging at grounders and fly balls.

In the mean time, the Yankees continued their small-ball offense, taking advantage of the less than stellar pitching and defense from Oakland this weekend. In the 4th, the Yankees loaded the bases with 2 walks and a single before small ball kicked in. Carlos Beltran’s single scored lead runner Ellsbury, and Aaron Hicks’ sacrifice fly scored Castro. But it was Rob Refsnyder’s double (in his 2016 debut with the Yankees) that scored Teixeira and Beltran that really pushed the Yankees comfortably ahead.

They added one more run in the 7th after Torreyes, on base with a 1-out single, scored on Starlin Castro’s 2-out double (Castro having a very good day again with 3 nice hits). That run forced the A’s starter out of the game so that they juggled through 3 more relievers to close out their game. And while they might not have been the cleanest 7 outs, the Yankees were halted from adding to their nice lead.

Final score: 5-1 Yankees.

One more game in Oakland tomorrow, and the Yankees are going for the weekend sweep, which would make it 5 wins in a row. Something the Yankees desperately need if they want to end up on the plus side before the end of the month. After a Monday off (for jetlag purposes, I assume), the Yankees host the Blue Jays for a quick 3 games before heading back out on the road to Tampa, Toronto, Detroit (for that 1-game make-up), and Baltimore.

Now, seeing how the Yankees are doing pretty well on the road recently, perhaps now might be the best time to continue in visiting clubhouses. I guess, like they say, keep doing something that way until it doesn’t work for you, then do something else that does. Playing against teams on the road seems to be working for the Yankees. But then again, in the entirety of the season, they face teams 81 games on the road, so they’ve got a decent shot to make it work.

So much for the home team advantage… but then, I did say, “until it doesn’t work for you…” Ah, ’tis a very long season, and we’re only just getting started! There’s still 120 games left to play this year. And really anything is still very possible.

Go Yankees!

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