Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Marlins' Garcia Shuts Down Stanton, Yankees

Miami's Jarlin Garcia pitching to Aaron Judge of the Yankees. Photo by Jason Schott.

The Yankees suffered a tough loss on Tuesday night, 9-1, to the Miami Marlins to split the two-game series and are now 8-8 on the young season.

Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka had a tough night, as Miami got to him early.

The game began with a single from Derek Dietrich, a walk to Miguel Rojas walked, and an RBI single from ex-Yankee Starlin Castro to put Miami on the board. J.T. Realmuto followed with an RBI single, with a second run coming in on the play due to a throwing error by Yankee shortstop Didi Gregorius, and that made it 3-0 Miami.

It appeared the Yankees were going to get those right back in the bottom of the first, as Brett Gardner and Aaron Judge opened the frame with walks.

Giancarlo Stanton, in need of a big hit at Yankee Stadium, was up next and he grounded into a double play, which brought out the boo birds.

Didi Gregorius followed with a walk, and then Gary Sanchez then hit one down the third base line, and Miami's Brian Anderson made an amazing throw across the diamond to get Sanchez out and end the inning.

Miami tacked on another run in the top of the second to make it 4-0 on an RBI single from Derek Dietrich, which scored Cameron Maybin, who reached on an error which was on a low throw by Sanchez, but was credited to first baseman Tyler Austin for not coming up with it.

In the Yankee third, with one out, Gardner and Judge walked again to give Stanton another chance at a big moment, and he popped out to Castro at second base, leaving Gardner and Judge stranded once again. Gregorius hit a liner to third base to end the inning.

Miami blew it open in the top of the fifth when Realmuto launched a three-run home run to right field to make It 7-0.

That was all for Tanaka, who went five innings, allowing seven runs (six earned), eight hits, with five strikeouts and two walks.

Yankees Manager Aaron Boone said of Tanaka, who dropped to 2-2 on the season, "Early on in that first inning, getting three two-strike counts where he wasn't able to put a guy away. He was not as crisp stuff-wise early, and then obviously, we didn't help him out behind him. We've got to play better than that. Settled in and started pitching alright for us, and then it got away there in the fifth. We didn't do any favors behind him tonight."

Miami's Jarlin Garcia did not allow a hit of the game until there was one out in the bottom of the fifth when Yankee third baseman Miguel Andujar hit a rocket to left center field.

Garcia then responded with a strikeout of Gardner and got Judge to hit a routine pop-up to center field.

That closed an impressive performance for Garcia, who went five innings, allowing just that one hit, no runs, two strikeouts, and five walks.

Garcia threw 92 pitches and kept it in the strike zone, meaning the Yankees couldn't wait around and get the pitch they wanted. The relatively low pitch count was a great achievement considering Monday's starter for Miami, Caleb Smith, threw 84 pitches in 2 1/3 innings.

The five walks he allowed were not an indication that he was wild, as two each went to Judge and Gardner, showing who he wanted to avoid in the Yankee lineup. 

Luis Cessa threw two-plus innings for the Yankees out of the bullpen, as he was called up to take Tommy Kahnle's spot out there when he was placed on the disabled list.

Cessa had to leave in the eighth with an oblique strain, an inning in which Miami added a couple more to make it 9-0.

With two outs in the ninth for the Yankees, Andujar hit a bomb to left field for his first career home run to break the shutout.

Stanton went 0-4  with two strikeouts and four runners left on base, and saw his average dropped from .210 to .197.

Boone said of Stanton's tough start, especially at home, "I see a guy that's really focused. You know, obviously he's frustrated. You want to go out there and perform, especially when you're an MVP. Obviously, he expects a lot of himself, but I think his focus is tremendous and I'm really confident that the work he's putting in - and he's a worker, he gets after it - and I'm confident that once he gets rolling, it'll be a juggernaut. I don't worry. I want him to just for peace of mind to get going a little bit and kind of settle into the rhythm of the season. Long term, he's too good for it not to start happening."

The Yankees made two errors tonight to give them 17 in the club's  16 games on the season. Boone was asked if he is alarmed by that number, and he said, "That's got to be better. When you're trying to get traction, that's one of those areas where if it's not going well, if you're catching the ball, it always gives you a chance. We have to get better in that department, and we will. We've got to just keep grinding on that part of the game, as well as all the little details that will help you on a night that's not perfect and it's not clicking and you're not slugging a team to death, so something that we have to keep grinding away on and get better at."

Mattingly Honored By Fans: There was a nice moment in the first inning when the Bleacher Creatures did their roll call and concluded it with "Donnie Baseball" in honor of Yankee legend and Marlins Manager Don Mattingly, who responded by tipping his cap toward the fans in right field.

Big Day In Yankees History:

1951: Public address announcer Bob Sheppard and Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle each make their debuts during a 5-0 win over the Boston Red Sox. Mantle went 1-for-4 with a sixth-inning single off Boston's Bill Wight.

1953: Mickey Mantle clears the left-field wall at Washington's Griffith Stadium with a 565-foot home run off Chuck Stobbs in the fifth inning of a 7-3 Yankees win. Yankees PR representative Red Patterson retrieves the ball and measures off the distance, giving birth to the term "tape-measure home run."

1976: Thurman Munson is named team captain, the club's first since Lou Gehrig retired during the 1939 season.

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