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Yankees 2, Mets 7: Tanaka not sharp, strikes out seven anyway

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, this was an incredibly uneventful game. The only thing it had going for it was that Masahiro Tanaka was making his third start of the spring and in the end he wasn't even that great. Sure, he was effective at times–he struck out seven batters in 4.2 innings–but he also left some pitches over the plate and allowed two earned runs on four hits. Mets pitching, meanwhile, proved to be tough on the Yankees again as Rafael Montero kept the Bombers to one run on three hits over four innings. Overall it was a pretty quiet day for Yankee baseball.

The game got off to a rocky start for the Yankees when the Mets scored in the bottom half of the first. Juan Lagares doubled and eventually stole third base. When John Ryan Murphy tried to nab him at third, the errant throw allowed Lagares to score the first run of the game. The Yankees were able to tie the score in the third when Didi Gregorius hit a ground rule double and Chase Headley doubled to left field to tie the game.

Tanaka proved to be hittable when John Mayberry hit a solo shot in the fourth to take back the lead. He then allowed a ground rule double to Matt Reynolds in the fifth inning and was finally chased from the game. Dellin Betances, in the midst of a poor spring training, came in and allowed a two-run home run by Lagares to make it a 4–1 game. Andrew Miller had an ugly sixth inning where he hit Lucas Duda, and allowed singles to Mayberry and Travis d`Arnaud to expand the Mets lead to 5–1. He was then taken out of the game after only securing one out in the inning. Chase Whitley got two outs in the eighth before things went bad. He allowed a singled to Cesar Puello and a double to Anthony Recker and it was 6–1. In the ninth, David Carpenter allowed a hit and a double to up the score to 7–1 Mets.

Things got a little interesting in the bottom of the ninth when Chase Huchingson lost the plate, hitting Cole Figueroa and walking Ramon Flores. Greg Bird got a shot to do some damage, but alas, the first baseman grounded out. Nick Noonan had Bird's back though and he singled to score a run. Rob Refsnyder, who previously hit a scorching line drive directly at the third baseman, got a chance to hit with two outs in the inning, but he popped out to end the game.

Surprisingly, the most effective reliever of the day was Andrew Bailey, who pitched for the third time this spring and struck out two batters while walking one in one inning of work. Justin Wilson also got into the game, but was able to avoid any incident. The offense only managed six hits today with Headley collecting two and Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Noonan, and Didi each collecting one. The team struck out a eight times, earned only one walk, and left five runners on base.

While Tanaka was not amazing, he was still pretty effective and it looks like he's just about ready for the regular season. He's currently lined up to be the Opening Day starter, though he'll likely get one more start this spring and hopefully he will be a little sharper next time out. Whitley didn't do himself any favors in his shot to make the rotation, though that competition has likely already been decided at this point. Betances and Miller both struggled, but there shouldn't be too much to worry about just yet. Maybe tomorrow will be more fun.