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Yankees Highlights: Masahiro Tanaka roughed up in disastrous tuneup

The Yankees are supposed to be staying sharp for the playoffs, but played an awful, sloppy game against the Blue Jays.

New York Yankees v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

What a weird stretch this has been in a particularly weird season. The Yankees have apparently decided to exclusively participate in blowouts, as they have spent the past week or so alternating between crushing and getting crushed. They got annihilated tonight, 14-1 at the hands of the Blue Jays. The closest game they’ve played in the past five days was their 11-5 loss on Monday, a game that was 11-1 entering the final inning. The only game they’ve played in their last nine in which neither team scored at least eight runs was last week’s 6-5 victory in Boston.

I’m not sure if something about the fairly meaningless close to this low-leverage regular season has the team playing in snoozefests, or if this is just an odd set of games clustered together. For the sake of us watching, I hope the Yankees manage to get into an actual game one of these nights.

Winner of the Game

Unofficially, let’s anoint “strange ways to score a run” as tonight’s winner, because no one played well (other than DJ LeMahieu, who had two hits). In the first, Masahiro Tanaka yielded two runs largely because a groundball took a terrible hop, and because Gary Sánchez threw away a pickoff attempt down the first base line. The Yankees fought back in the second when they scored a run on a passed ball that struck the umpire and rolled away. The Blue Jays scored again in third when Tanaka slipped on his behind attempting to field a groundball.

Well, I suppose we can also give kudos to everybody’s favorite Erik Kratz. The catcher allowed a run when he entered as a pitcher in the eighth, but watching him try to get his knuckleball across really was the only highlight of the game.

Loser of the Game

Any pitcher who touched the baseball tonight not named Kratz. Tanaka gave up five runs, three earned, in four innings in his tuneup start ahead of presumably starting game two of the Wild Card series. Not to be outdone, Luis Cessa hemorrhaged four runs in 1.1 innings, and Tyler Lyons got into the game and yielded four runs of his own in 1.2 innings.

Also of note, the Yankees officially lost the AL East, as the Rays clinched the division title with a win over the Mets. That makes three different division winners in as many years.