Spring Game 22: NYY vs. DET — Tanaka Time leads to lucky no-hitter

According to the people that know things, today’s game ended up being the first spring training no-hitter for the Yankees since Guidry and Murray combined for a game against Pittsburgh on March 14, 1983. Not exactly a bad way to spend St. Patrick’s Day — a beautiful sunny day, warming weather (from the recent “cold snap”), the other team in rather bright green hats and jerseys, and a no-hitter. And with the way, Masahiro Tanaka’s been playing this Spring, I think we can consider today a little lucky.

Tanaka got his 4th start this afternoon in Lakeland at the Tigers’ Spring home, throwing into the 5th inning. He gave up no hits, but allowed 2 walks (the only base runners the Tigers got today), and struck out 6 Detroit batters in the process, setting himself up for his 2nd win of the Spring. Tanaka keeps putting up the zeroes on the scoreboard, as so far this Spring, he’s allow no runs and just 2 walks and 3 hits in his 13.1 innings pitched. So with an ERA of 0.00, Tanaka’s biggest contribution is his 19 strikeouts.

Chasen Shreve came on to relieve Tanaka in the 5th inning, adding his own strikeout to the total and continuing the no-hit, no-run streak of the day. But it would be Jordan Montgomery that would solidify things for the Yankees. Montgomery, a young pitcher in the Yankees farm system, is showing some promise this Spring and continued to impress with his hitless, scoreless 4 innings, adding 2 more strikeouts to the collective total.

Now, the Tigers’ pitching staff actually did a pretty good job on their own of keeping the Yankees from doing much. But like so often in these games, all they needed with a single inning, a single opportunity to alter the scoreboard and that made all the difference. For today’s game, it would be the 4th inning.

Holliday led-off with a double, moved to 3rd on a fly out, and then scored on Chase Headley’s double. Rob Refsnyder doubled and scored Headley, and a fielding error allowed Refsnyder to end up at 3rd. After a pitching change took the Tigers’ starter out of the game, Ronald Torreyes’ single easily scored Refsnyder to give the Yankees a comfortable lead.

With the stellar pitching, the Yankees’ offense didn’t need another chance to pad the lead. And, well, they didn’t really get one.

Final score: 3-0 Yankees.

The roster cuts continue today as the Yankees optioned prospect (and outstanding Spring player) Jorge Mateo to Single-A Tampa and reassigned him to minor league camp. Don’t think this is the last we’ve seen of him. That kid has quite the future with the Yankees, even this season.

And last night in San Diego at the World Baseball Classic, the team representing the reigning champs of the Dominican Republic beat the team from Venezuela 3-0, with the biggest difference being the 14 total strikeouts issued by Dominican pitchers (to the 5 by Venezuelan pitchers). Later tonight, in a true American match-up, Team USA faces the team from Puerto Rico in a much-anticipated game (broadcast at 10 pm EST).

Go Yankees!

{I’ve been asked to clarify: Puerto Rico is a part of the United States. And while Puerto Ricans have no voting rights, they are considered US citizens and carry US passports. Puerto Rico is its own country, technically an unicorporated territory and considered a commonwealth of the US, so all Puerto Ricans are also Americans. Much like Canada and Australia are commonwealths of the United Kingdom — their own countries, but part of the British Empire. Cue the rainbow: the more you know… (please, don’t make me explain that one)}

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