Masahiro Tanaka continues to make progress in his attempt to return from a partially torn elbow ligament without needing Tommy John surgery, as the Yankees announced that he’ll throw a bullpen session Saturday.
That represents a big step for Tanaka, who’ll advance to throwing off a mound after playing catch from flat ground earlier this week.
Tanaka was shut down in mid-July, but rather than immediately go under the knife and begin the 12-month (or longer) recovery process he’s hoping rest and rehab will do the trick.
Things got a little wild in the fifth inning of Game 7 of the ALCS on Saturday. With one out and runners at the corners, Astros’ right-hander Charlie Morton fired a 1-1 fastball to Todd Frazier. Frazier returned the ball to third baseman Alex Bregman, who tossed a perfect throw over to Brian McCann at the plate just as Greg Bird came charging home. McCann’s setup was flawless, nailing Bird as he slid into the plate and nullifying the Yankees’ first real attempt to get on the board.
That’s as close as the Yankees have come to scoring so far. The Astros took an early 1-0 lead with Evan Gattis‘ 405-footer off of CC Sabathia in the top of the fourth inning. Jose Altuve chimed in with an opposite-field solo shot in the fifth, while McCann followed his lead-preserving tag with an equally jaw-dropping two-out, two-RBI double. Houston currently leads 4-0 in the bottom of the fifth.