The Yankees won a come from behind 5-2 game on Monday night against the Angels (26-31) at Yankee Stadium as they did not have the lead until the bottom of the eighth inning. Carlos Beltran’s homer to right just over the wall drove in Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner to break the 2-2 tie from the seventh inning.
That homer was Beltran’s team leading 14th of the season and he now also has a team leading 36 RBIs. His is leading the team in both categories by a wide margin as Starlin Castro and Brian McCann are tied for second with eight homers and Castro is second in RBIs with his 24. Beltran, who should be a DH instead of a right fielder at this point, has been performing very well at the plate since May of last year, and the Yankees would definitely be further under .500 than they are right now without the 39-year-old Beltran (27-30).
McCann and Castro smashed back-to-back mammoth homers in the seventh inning to tie the score at two. McCann pulled a pitch from Matt Shoemaker to the suite level in the second deck in right field and Castro pulled a pitch from Shoemaker that went 413 feet to left field.
“There’s power in this offense,” manager Joe Girardi said. “They can do it, and do it quickly.”
McCann’s homer was a much needed one since before this game he had previously only had two hits in his last 29 at-bats. His previous hit during the loss to the Blue Jays on May 30 was also a homer. It was a rarely seen at-bat by McCann because he just missed a homer since the previous ball did not stay fair and then he hit the round tripper on the very next pitch. His average is all the way down to .222 and the Yankees need him pick up his production on offense.
Masahiro Tanaka had another dominant performance to give the Yankees a chance to win the game. He pitched seven strong innings and only allowed two runs on six hits and two walks but got another no decision because the Yankees only scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Even though he has an ERA of 2.76, which is the eighth best in the American League, he only has three wins this season because he has eight no decisions.
The Yankees have repeatedly not scored runs for Tanaka this season but he has been an elite pitcher this season. His 1.01 WHIP is the third lowest among starters in the AL this season and has been able to command his sinker, slider, splitter and cutter while not having to rely as much on his splitter.
Tanaka has allowed a combined four earned runs in his last four starts, which has lowered his ERA from 3.51 to 2.76. He has remarkably allowed two earned runs or fewer in 10 of the 12 starts that he has made this season. Giving up too many walks can lead to trouble for a starting pitcher and Tanaka has eight starts this season with one or zero walks.
Former Yankee David Huff will pitcher for the Angels in the second game of the series at Yankee Stadium. Michael Pineda will get the start for the Yankees, and he will be looking to have similar results as he had in his last start. He struck out eight and walked none while allowing one run against the Tigers last week.