The Yankees introduce Masahiro Tanaka

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The Yankees held a press conference today to introduce Masahiro Tanaka. It was the largest assemblage of media for a Yankees player introduction since Hideki Matsui came to town in 2003. But for all of the scribes and television cameras in attendance, no actual news was broken.

Indeed, Yankees pressers are pretty much a game of bingo these days. The Yankees consider nothing short of a championship to be a success [check]. The big stage of Yankees stadium is what it’s all about [check]. There is nothing as intense as Red Sox-Yankees series [check]. More talk of wanting and expecting to win championships [check]. It is interesting because, apparently, players who play for other teams do not attempt to win championships — that’s a uniquely Yankees thing. I’m not sure what they say.

He’s happy to be there. They’re happy to have him. The press doesn’t yet have an angle on him. At the moment, everyone’s happy.

 

Clayton Kershaw struggles with control, walks six Marlins

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Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw entered Wednesday night’s start against the Marlins without having issued a walk in his previous three starts. In fact, his last walk came on April 3 when he issued a free pass to Paul Goldschmidt with the bases empty and two outs in the bottom of the first inning. All told, Kershaw was on a streak of 26 walk-less innings before he took the mound at home to take on the Marlins.

Kershaw started off Wednesday in character, striking out the side in the first inning. He issued a walk in a tough second inning, but escaped without allowing a run. Kershaw walked two more in the third and again danced out of danger. In the fourth, Kershaw walked Lewis Brinson to load the bases with no outs and — you guessed it — didn’t end up allowing a run. His errant control finally came back to bite him in the fifth when Kershaw issued back-to-back two-out walks, then served up a three-run home run to Miguel Rojas down the left field line. His night was done when he completed the inning. Five innings, three runs, five hits, six walks, seven strikeouts, 112 pitches.

The six walks Kershaw issued over five innings marked his first six-walk outing since April 7, 2010 when he issued six free passes to the Pirates in 4 2/3 innings. The only other time he walked as many was on August 3, 2009 against the Brewers in a four-plus inning outing. Kershaw hasn’t even walked five batters in an outing recently — the last time was September 23, 2012 against the Reds.