Yankees putative ace Masahiro Tanaka was lit up last night, surrendering seven runs on nine hits in five and two-thirds innings to the Orioles.
Such results are not exactly new for Tanaka in 2017, unfortunately. Indeed, this was the fourth time this season that Tanaka has given up six or more and at the moment he’s sitting at 5-5 with a 6.34 ERA in 11 starts. He’s given up 14 homers as well.
As the season began, the question facing the Yankees rotation was whether anyone besides Tanaka could be depended upon. Now he’s the weak link of a staff that has helped the first place Yankees go 30-20 in the early going. What gives? Is he hurt? Tanaka says no. Manager Joe Girardi says no as well, noting that Tanaka was sharp in his last start, dominating the Oakland A’s on May 26. If he was hurt, Girardi says, he’d be getting lit up all the time. This is merely wild inconsistency.
Pitchers do have ups and downs from time to time. It’s just that, until now, Tanaka’s hallmark has been his consistency. Now that’s gone and everyone is scratching their heads.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.
Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.
“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.
The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.
“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”
The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.
“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”
Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.
Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.
Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.