The Yankees lost to the Athletics last night, marking their fourth loss in a row. What was a four game lead over the Red Sox in the AL East has shrunk to a single game. In Masahiro Tanaka, the Yankees have the man that, at any point in the past three seasons, they would have wanted on the mound in position to stop the bleeding and end a losing streak.
Of course, this season has been quite different than the past three, and Tanaka (6.07 ERA, 5.49 FIP) is no longer the clear ace of the staff. He is coming off a strong start against the Angels earlier in the week, and the Yankees would love for him to make it two in a row. With a bullpen that's been taxed over the past few days with multiple extra inning contests, some length from Tanaka would be hugely helpful.
He'll be opposed by Oakland's Jesse Hahn (3.56 ERA, 2.91 FIP), a 28-year-old righty in the midst of perhaps his finest season. Hahn will have to navigate a still less-than-100% New York lineup, with Aaron Hicks and Gary Sanchez again not among the starters.
Things feel a little dire at the moment, with key players missing and the division lead dwindling. Even so, three of the Yankees' four losses in a row were by a lone run, and the other was by just two runs. They could easily have taken a few of those games, and they could easily start another winning streak today. The game begins at 4:05 EST and can be seen on the YES Network.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||OAKLAND A'S|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Matt Joyce - RF|
|Chase Headley - 3B||Chad Pinder - SS|
|Aaron Judge - RF||Jed Lowrie - 2B|
|Matt Holliday - DH||Khris Davis - LF|
|Didi Gregorius - SS||Yonder Alonso - 1B|
|Chris Carter - 1B||Ryon Healy - DH|
|Ronald Torreyes - 2B||Matt Chapman - 3B|
|Mason Williams - CF||Jaycob Brugman - CF|
|Austin Romine - C||Josh Phegley - C|
|Masahiro Tanaka - RHP||Jesse Hahn - RHP|