Nick Greco brings us the sad tale of a Yankees' loss:
In game two of a four-game weekend set against the Rangers, the Yankees sent recently brilliant Masahiro Tanaka to the mound to oppose the Texas Rangers and their most consistent starter, Mike Minor. Tanaka looked good early, but wound up making the last place Rangers look like an All-Star team.
Both pitchers looked to be locked in through the first 3 innings as Tanaka and Minor exchanged scoreless frames. The top of the 4th however saw Tanaka topple.
After Elvis Andrus led off the inning with a single to right, the ageless wonder, Adrian Beltre took an elevated Tanaka slider to right field and deposited it into the front row, giving the Rangers a 2-0 lead. The next batter, Jurickson Profar, grounded right back to Tanaka for a quick out, but the next batter, rookie Ronald Guzman, took a Tanaka splitter that didn’t split deep into the right field stands for the first of his three….yes THREE...home runs of the night. Rangers led the Yankees 3-0 after three and a half innings.
The Yankees offense continued to put zeros on the board in the bottom half of the 4th, only managing a soft Didi Gregorius single to short.
The 5th inning didn’t stop the bleeding for Tanaka, as the Rangers continued the onslaught of runs with back to back walks issued to Drew Robinson and Shin-Soo Choo by Tanaka to start off the inning. A grounder to first by Rougned Odor moved Robinson and Choo to second and third, setting up a 2-run double by Andrus, scoring Robinson and Choo and extending the Rangers lead to 5-0. Tanaka then got out of the inning with a good piece of fielding, catching Andrus in a run down on a fielder’s choice grounder back to Tanaka and then inducing a flyout of Jurickson Profar to Gardner in left.
Brett Gardner decided to get the Gardy Party started in the bottom of the 5th, with his 10th home run of the season to right center, bringing the score to 5-1, but sadly, no other Yankees wanted to join the party and failed to add anything to scoring.
For some reason, Aaron Boone decided to leave Tanaka in the ball game to start the top of the 6th, but only long enough to let Tanaka give up Ronald Guzman’s second home run of the night. Boone then went to the mound to take the ball from Tanaka and give it to A.J. Cole, who would not fair any better than Tanaka. Cole retired the first two batters quickly, but then the wheels came off. A walk to Robinson, a double to Choo, a single to Odor, a throwing error by Didi, a single to Andrus….I started to wonder, "When will it end???" In a heartbeat, the Rangers jumped out to a 9-1 lead and Yankee nation wondered where Adam Warren went as A.J. Cole let the flood gates open.
There was a little fire being lit in the bottom of the 6th as the Yankees ralled with a walk to Stanton, a Didi single, and an Andujar ground rule double that scored Stanton. Luke Voit, decided to get in on the action with a two-run single to center, plating Didi and Andujar. The Yanks showed signs of life and the score was 9-4. Eddie Butler then replaced Mike Minor and immediately got Gardy to ground out to Guzman to end the inning.
Ronald Guzman continued to have the best Friday night in New York, this time with an opposite field blast to left off of A.J. Cole. 10-4 Rangers and we now have a football score. Cole, got out of the rest of the inning unscathed.
Austin Romine led off the bottom of the 7th with a line drive home run to left, taking back a run and bringing the score to 10-5. Stanton walked, but the Yanks didn't capitalize and did no further damage.
Chad Green came in and decided to do his best Tanaka and Cole impression promptly giving up Odor and Andrus singles, which quickly turned into runs on a 2-run double by Adrian Beltre. It was now 12-5 in favor of the Rangers and Yankees fans around the world were having a terrible Friday night.
The Yankees continued to fight back in the bottom of the 8th. Didi singled then then Miggy singled. New Ranger’s pitcher, and my former travel ball teammate, Chris Martin, hurled a wild pitch allowing Didi and Andujar to advance to 3rd and 2nd and allowing Austin Romine to continue his good night with a 2-run single to right. The Yankees crept to within 10-7, but wouldn't get any closer.
Zach Britton came on in the top of the 9th to redeem himself and the Yankee bullpen. He would yield one walk in between his three strikeouts.
In the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees sent the top of their order to the plate, but it proved to be to no avail. Hicks led off with a walk, but that’s all she wrote….Stanton k’s, Gleyber k’s, Didi flied out and that’s the ballgame.
The Rangers won a disgracefully pitched game by the Yankees and evened the series at 1-1. You can’t expect to sweep a series, but the Yankees need to bounce back, take care of business and take the remaining two games against the sub 500, last place Texas Rangers and take the rest of the series.