Are you an optimist or a pessimist?
If you're a dreamer of improbable dreams, then you must find yourself filled with awe and hope each time Tanaka takes the mound as an unbeaten major league rookie.
If you're a tactician, then you accept that everything has to end (or else nothing new could get started). And each time Tanaka takes the mound there's a nagging little voice that says, "Today?"
When Hammel and Tanaka matched up in April, Hammel allowed only 3 runs in 7 innings but took the loss because Tanaka pitched 8 shutout innings as part of a doubleheader sweep. Without the DH, the Yanks have to put one of their best bats on the bench.
Since Vidal Nuno's meltdown last Tuesday, the Yankees have allowed more than 3 runs only once. That once, they lost; the other four games they won. And that's how you claw your way over .500 and how you stay in first place in the AL East. With only 6 losses separating the top and bottom of the AL East, there's no margin for error.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||CHICAGO CUBS|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Emilio Bonifacio - CF|
|Derek Jeter - SS||Junior Lake - LF|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||Anthony Rizzo - 1B|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||Starlin Castro - SS|
|Brian McCann - C||Luis Valbuena - 2B|
|Alfonso Soriano - RF||Nate Schierholtz - RF|
|Yangervis Solarte - 3B||Mike Olt - 3B|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||John Baker - C|
|Masahiro Tanaka - RHP||Jason Hammel - RHP|