When the news broke that Masahiro Tanaka had a partially torn UCL and would miss at least six weeks for rehab the Yankees were winning 3-0. Like our collective emotions, everything went downhill from there. The Indians went on to score nine unanswered runs after the Tanaka news. I'm not saying the team realized that they were doomed but I'm not saying they didn't realize that. It was brutal.
David Phelps pitched really well before everything became terrible. He left with a 3-0 lead that the dark parts of the bullpen could not hold. Phelps gave up seven hits in six innings with two of his runners scoring after he left the mound. Matt Thornton came on in relief of Phelps, giving up two runs in 0.2 innings. A bases-clearing hit tied the score and the Yankees were never able to muster a comeback. Jim Miller came in with a brand new can of gasoline to throw on the fire after Thornton left. He gave up six runs (five earned) in 1.2 innings. Impressive. Really.
Some notable offensive things happened in the midst of all the awful: Derek Jeter's two singles gave him the 1,000th multi-hit game of his Hall of Fame career. Ichiro Suzuki singled for the 2,800th hit of his MLB career. Congratulations to those guys. Brian McCann and Brendan Ryan were the only Yankees to fail to record a hit, though McCann reached via a walk. Zelous Wheeler crushed the second home run of his young MLB career with a two-run shot that scored Francisco Cervelli to put the Yankees on the board in the fourth inning. A Yangervis Solarte RBI single was responsible for their only other run of the game in the fifth.
Ichiro very nearly came on to pitch when Jim Miller struggled to make it through the eighth inning. If Miller had failed to retire the next batter, it looked like Joe Girardi was ready to let his outfielder give it a go. Unfortunately the batter lined out and we were deprived of any small amount of joy we may have gotten out of Ichiro pitching in a real game.
The Yankees have an important series against the division-leading Baltimore Orioles this weekend, but it's really hard to feel any kind of good about the team after the Tanaka news. The hopes that Brian Cashman could go out and supplement Tanaka in the rotation with something other than Hiroki Kuroda and a patchwork quilt seem a little hollow now. We can no longer have Tanaka and pray for rain, we can only pray for rain. This has been the most depressing recap I've ever written, but you'll have to forgive me. Things are just pretty bleak right now. I'm sure you understand.