Two terrific pitchers met tonight in the Bronx, and while Masahiro Tanaka threw well, Carlos Carrasco proved nigh unhittable and once again took down the New York Yankees. Just like when he spoiled Luis Severino's first start, Carrasco could hardly be touched - his fastball sat in the mid-nineties all night, and his wicked change-up left Yankee hitters flailing away at pitches well out of the strike zone. While Tanaka pitched well, sometimes you just have to tip your cap, and Carrasco threw nearly seven great innings tonight.
Tanaka, as he's been for much of the year, was good - just not great. He got off to a solid start, surrendering just one hit over the first two innings. In the third, though, he ran into a bit of trouble when he gave up a one-out triple to Jose Ramirez (he of the .207 batting average). While Tanaka managed to get Jason Kipnis, one of Cleveland's most dangerous hitters, to ground out without scoring Ramirez, promising rookie Francisco Lindor lined a base hit into left, scoring Ramirez and giving the Indians a one-run lead.
The Yankees tied the game up in the fourth, though, and Greg Bird once again showed why the Yankees are so high on him. After a two-out double by Carlos Beltran, Bird went the other way and lined a hit of his own to left, allowing Beltran to score (albeit super awkwardly because he's an old man now) and knotting the game at one.
In the top of the fifth, Tanaka found himself in a bit of a jam again after Abraham Almonte singled and Ramirez walked. With two outs, Tanaka appeared to get out of the inning when Lindor chopped one up the middle, but Brendan Ryan mishandled the ball and couldn't make the play, allowing Almote to score and the Indians to retake the lead.
The Indians added another run in the sixth, when Carlos Santana lined a solo shot to lead off the inning. The Yankee bats finally came alive in the eighth, though, making things a bit more interesting for all the fans that had hung around. Brett Gardner led off with a drag bunt single, and Chase Headley followed that up with a single of his own. The Yankees scored for the first time since the fourth when the next batter, Alex Rodriguez, singled up the middle to give the Yankees a bit of life, making it 4-2. After two fly outs, Greg Bird got lucky when the grounder he hit right at Jose Ramirez went through the infielder's legs, allowing Headley to score and pulling the Yankees to within one.
That would be as close as they could get, though. In the top of the ninth, Justin Wilson came in and Cleveland tacked on three more, eliminating any real chance of a comeback, and the Yankees hitters couldn't muster any heroics in the bottom of the inning against Cody Allen. While mostly an exciting pitcher's duel, this game had plenty of sloppy plays and a lack of clutch hitting from the Yankees (although Carrasco was dealing all night). Tomorrow, the Yankees will look to break their two game losing streak when Luis Severino takes on Danny Salazar.