What a night to be a Yankees fan! Huge turnaround from yesterday’s horrific lost. The Yankees beat the Rays 4-0 tonight and even closed the gap a bit in the AL East against Boston who lost 7-6 against the Orioles. It’s nice for the Yankees to finally capitalize on a Red Sox loss and win a game that they were meant to win for a change.
Masahiro Tanaka was hands down the star of the game tonight. He pitched an absolute gem. A complete game shutout. He allowed 3 hits, walked 1 batter and struck at 9. He managed all of that while only throwing 105 pitches. Not too shabby. Definitely a start the Yankees needed. That’s Tanaka’s 6th complete game since 2014. He seems to be rebounding well since coming off the DL each start better than the last. It will be key for him to pitch to his potential especially down the stretch if the Yankees want any chance of winning the division.
Gary Sanchez the very very sore spot of last nights game, was not in the lineup tonight and actually headed back to the 10 disabled list. Austin Romine, the winner of the Heart And Hustle Award, started in his place tonight. Heart and Hustle. Hmmm, maybe take some notes on that Gary. Romine mustered up 2 RBIs even though he went 0-3 at the plate. One from a sac fly and the other from a fielders choice. The bats weren’t great tonight but they got the job done.
A bigger headline than the game tonight was the rumors swirling around the fact that the Yankees were front runners in the Zach Britton sweepstakes. No later than an hour after the game ended it was official. The Yankees acquired Zach Britton from the Orioles for three prospects, Dillon Tate, Cody Carroll and Josh Rogers. All three prospects are pitchers and the only one worth noting is Dillon Tate. Tate is a 24 year old right handed pitcher, he hasn’t pitched in the majors yet and has put up decent numbers in the minors. With the emergence of Justus Sheffield and the Yankees still being very high on Chance Adams it made Tate expendable. Not a bad trade at all and it gives the Yankees hands down the best bullpen in the American League maybe even the entire league.
So let’s get some background on Zach Britton and what he brings to the table. You may know Zach Britton as the guy Buck Showalter left out in the bullpen in the Orioles extra innings loss to the Blue Jays in the wild card game two years ago. He was arguably the best closer in the majors that year. With an ERA of 0.54 and 47 saves in 47 save opportunities. That’s insanity. He was automatic all season. 2017 was a different story for Britton, he battled injuries all season long and only recorded 15 saves. This year his stats are meh due to the fact he’s on a team that is just a bottomless pit of atrocious. Luckily Brian Cashman saved him from that.
What Britton does for the Yankees is adds another lefty out of the pen that throws fire. He has a fastball and sinker that can both top out at 99mph. That’s scary. Lets say the Yankees still can’t find another starter to kick the tires on come next weeks deadline the addition of Britton shortens the game for the Yankees. If the Yankees get 5 strong or somewhat decent innings from the starter the bullpen can handle the rest. With arms like Britton, Chapman, Green, Warren, Kahnle and Betances you have plenty of arms that can you give plenty of leeway to control the game at the drop of a dime. It’s a great trade for the Yankees and I can’t wait to see Brittons first appearance out of the pen wearing pinstripes.