Saturday, August 20, 2016

Tanaka, Bomber Bats Embarrass Angels in 7-0 Series Opener

In Anaheim tonight, Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees absolutely put it on the Angels in game one of the three-game weekend set. Tanaka hurled his third consecutive start with at least eight strike outs and no walks as he improved to 10-4 in his dominant game one win. Jared Weaver took the ball and the loss for the Halos and was smashed all over the yard, falling to 8-11 on the season.

The Yankees didn't take long to get to the struggling Weaver, and by not long, I mean the first batter of the ballgame. Jacoby Ellsbury blasted Weaver's third pitch of the night, a "hanging fastball" and deposited it into the right field seats to give the Yankees an early one run advantage. And it was Ellsbury who drove in their second run in the top of the third by lining a single to center that scored Ronald Torreyes who had doubled to lead off the frame, making it a 2-0 contest.

The Bombers absolutely laid it on Weaver in the top of the fifth as they showed why they must get so excited when they face the veteran righty. Ronald Torreyes hit his very first major league homerun and second hit of the night leading off the frame to increase the Yankee lead to three. After Ellsbury flew out, Didi Gregorius smacked his 17th homerun of the campaign, Widening the gap to four. Gary Sanchez followed with his second double of the night, but got thrown out on a fantastic relay throw by Cliff Pennington to record the second out of the inning. Weaver was forced to hit the showers early after Brian McCann launched the third longball of that fifth to make it a 5-0 score.

The Yankees offensive onslaught continued in the top of the sixth as they kept beating up the Angels pitching staff. Aaron Hicks led off the frame with a single, advancing to second on a Tyler Austin ground out and scoring when Ronald Torreyes recorded his third hit of the night, a single to center off Mike Morin that made it 6-0. Jacoby Ellsbury followed with his third hit of the night, forcing Angels manager Mike Socia to pull Morin for Brett Oberholtzer, who immediately served up Didi's second hit of the game, aground-rule double to right that scored Torreyes to open it up to 7-0.

As for Tanaka, the Yankee ace was just awesome tonight. Tossing 7.2 innings of shutout ball, allowing just five singles with no walks and a season-high nine strikeouts. In fact, if Aaron Hicks hadn't mis-read a fly ball by Gregorio Petit that was scored a base hit, Tanaka would have gotten out of the inning and I probably would have been writing about a complete game shut out. As it turned out, Tommy Layne came on in relief and walked Kole Calhoun to load the bases, only to be pulled for Adam Warren. In one of the most important at bats of the game, Warren got Mike Trout to strike out looking on a 3-2 breaking ball to end the bases-loaded threat.

Here's to hoping the Bomber bats stay hot tomorrow night as they face Ricky Nolasco and the Angels in game two, with first pitch scheduled for 9:35 PM/EST.

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