Truth be told, the Yankees just didn’t play very well tonight. The pitchers weren’t really on their best outings, and the Yankees bats just didn’t spark alive against the Tigers’ pitchers. Of course, it didn’t help that the Tigers’ starter is back into the form that made him a fierce name around the league. Timing is a funny issue sometimes.
Masahiro Tanaka got the start tonight, and like I said above, he just wasn’t at his strongest tonight, despite being rather efficient with his pitches. Tanaka threw 92 pitches into the 7th inning, gave up 6 hits, a walk, and 5 runs, striking out 4 Detroit batters. A lead-off solo home run in the 2nd inning got things started for the Tigers.
In the 5th, a lead-off single stole 2nd base, moved to 3rd on a 1-out single, and then collectively scored on a big 3-run home run into the left field seats. And with that, the Tigers were nicely in the lead. And in the 7th, with 1 out, Tanaka gave up a single and then called it a night. Kirby Yates came in to finish off the inning, but a single and 2-RBI double later, the Tigers went from a nice lead to a strong lead. Yates did finish off the inning with a couple of ground outs, a couple of runs too late.
Nick Goody had a decent outing in the 8th with 3 great strikeouts, and Richard Bleier continues to be a good call-up with his quick 12-pitch scoreless 9th.
But the Yankees just weren’t able to make up the difference despite the decent last couple of innings from their pitchers. They had their biggest shot in the 3rd inning tonight. With 1 out, Chase Headley hit an amazing triple off the left field wall (just inches from the foul pole). Due to a minor rule that could’ve made that hit a home run, the umpires called for a review just in case the ball hit the cement or foul pole. MLB HQ upheld the original call as a triple as the ball hit the padding, making it a hit or a triple in this case. But no worries, Headley did cross the plate on Rob Refsnyder’s single for the Yankees’ lone run of the game.
Final score: 6-1 Tigers. (Winning streak broken, back to .500 on the standings.)
Draft update: Over the last three days, the Yankees selected 40 young athletes with the potential to become the next great pinstriped hero. Just 1st round draftees that have made their own MLB impact (and not always with the Yankees) include Aaron Judge (2013), Cito Culver (2010), Slade Heathcott (2009), Gerrit Cole (2008), Ian Kennedy (2006), Phil Hughes (2004), Derek Jeter (1992), and Thurman Munson (1968).
This year, represented by Yankee legend in his own right Andy Pettitte, the Yankees selected a young high school outfielder named Blake Rutherford for their 1st round draft pick. He was followed by Nick Solak, Nolan Martine, Nick Nelson, Dom Thompson-Williams, Brooks Kriske, KeithSkinner, Dalton Blaser, Tim Lynch, Trevor Lane, Connor Jones, Taylor Widener, Brian Trieglaff, Jordan Scott, Tony Hernandez, Zach Linginfelter, Mandy Alvarez, Greg Weissert, Evan Alexander, Miles Chambers, Timothy Robinson, Blair Henley, Braden Bristo, Joe Burton, Edel Luaces, Gage Burland, Phillip Diehl, William Jones, Bo Weiss, Ben Ruta, Miles Sandum, Juan Cabrera, Bryson Bowman, D.C. Clawson, Zack Hess, Tyler Honahan, Corey Dempster, Sam Ferri, Brian Keller, and Nate Brown.
Some notable details: that’s 3 catchers, 4 infielders, 10 outfielders, and 23 pitchers (17 righties, 6 lefties). While they selected just 13 high school seniors, the majority were junior or seniors in college — a sophomore, 12 juniors, 13 seniors, and one college-aged player with no college. So, it looks like they’re aiming for older, more established players, heavy on the pitchers. And based on the current roster and what I’ve seen from some of their farm system, that makes sense in their thinking.
But then, who knows? Pettitte was a 21st round draft pick and became one of the Yankee greats, his number retired in Monument Park, beloved by so many now nostalgic Yankee fans. That’s where the unpredictability of life and of baseball intersect. You just never know when the next “great one” will pop up and change the whole game.
Congrats to all those drafted! I hope you make the right decisions for you and your family and end up doing exactly what you were created to do. Especially if that’s to play for the Yankees one day…