The Yankees were awful all over the field on Tuesday night.
But the sloppy, uninspired 9-1 loss to Derek Jeter’s woeful Marlins took its cue from starter Masahiro Tanaka, who gave up six earned runs for the second straight start.
“I just feel like I wasn’t able to control the game,” Tanaka said through a translator. “They got runners on, that’s going to happen. I wasn’t able to minimize the damage.”
Right now, the drop off from No. 1 starter Luis Severino to Tanaka, the 29-year-old Japanese righthander expected to be the Yankees’ second starter, is deep enough for concern.
He allowed another home run, his fifth of the season, and has given up at least one in all four of his starts this season after giving up a career high 35 in 2017. Tanaka (2-2) saw his ERA rise to 6.45 as he gave up eight hits, walked two and struck out five with 57 of his 83 pitches being thrown for strikes.
“Sometimes he gets in a little bit of trouble with his fastball, when he gets a little bit predictable with it,” manager Aaron Boone said of the home runs Tanaka has allowed. “Pitch selection is important for Masa. He’s got to be able to mix in his fastballs.”
Tanaka, pitching on an extended rest after the Yankees were rained out both Saturday and Sunday at Detroit, allowed three hits and a walk to start the game as the Marlins took a 3-0 lead in the first.
That included Miguel Rojas scoring as J.T. Realmuto reached on shortstop Didi Gregorius’ throwing error.
In the second, Cameron Maybin led off reaching second on a bunt single and an error by first baseman Tyler Austin, who could not catch Gary Sanchez’s low throw, and scored on Dietrich’s single off second baseman Neil Walker’s glove with the infield playing in.
“Early on in the first inning, he had three, two-strike counts and he wasn’t able to put the guy away,” Boone said. “He was not crisp early on but we didn’t do him any favors behind him.”
Tanaka’s awful start on Tuesday was a continuation of his awful finish last Wednesday, when he gave up five earned runs in the fifth inning of the Yankees’ 10-7 win at Boston. Tanaka earned the victory despite allowing seven hits and six earned runs over five innings against the Red Sox as J.D. Martinez hit the third grand slam Tanaka has allowed since joining the Yankees.
Realmuto, subject of trade rumors with the Mets seeking a catcher and playing his first game this season after being sidelined with a back contusion, lined a two-out, three-run home run to right on a 3-1 pitch to push the Marlins’ lead to 7-0 in the fifth.
“I was very disappointed in myself,” Tanaka said. “After that first inning I felt like I settled down a bit. I was more efficient.”
Tanaka completed his shaky outing by hitting Brian Anderson before fanning Tomas Telis.