Just a few hours ago, an idiot (me) wrote the following: "Tonight the Yankees will face Tom Koehler, who hasn't had much success in his 419.2 professional innings... He's essentially a replacement level pitcher, and these are the guys the Yankees need to beat up on." Yeah, about that. Koehler allowed just one earned run, three hits, and two walks on five strikeouts over seven innings, and that's just dreadful (for the Yankees, not for Koehler).
The Yankees struck first in the second inning on a booming Mark Teixeira home run, his 18th of the year, but that's it. The Marlins quickly evened the score in the bottom half of the frame on an Adeiny Hechaverria RBI single, and then things settled down. Masahiro Tanaka was very good. He wasn't totally there--there were some command issues here and there--but he was definitely good enough to keep them in the game. His only real mistake came in the seventh inning when he allowed a home run to Derek Dietrich. That would be the deciding blow.
But even after that home run, the game was still close. The team was still within a run, but unfortunately their relief pitching was thin as none of their big arms were available. They instead turned to Jose Ramirez in the eighth inning, and he nearly blew the game wide open after loading the bases on a single, hit batter, and walk. Then, Joe Girardi turned to who would become the unsung hero of this game: Sergio Santos, the veteran reliever who was most recently released by the Dodgers. With no one out and the bases loaded, Santos induced two strikeouts and a fly ball out, and he temporarily saved the game.
But the Yankees were unable to score a run in the ninth inning, and so they fell in this first game of the four game set. This is definitely a tough loss. An anemic offense against a replacement level pitcher and poor team essentially wastes a very competent Tanaka start, but they'll look to rebound tomorrow for a Freaky Friday match-up: Nathan Eovaldi vs. David Phelps.