The New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins are playing live on the MLB schedule on Thursday night and the game is streaming live from Target Field at 8:10 pm ET and has the Yanks looking for a win badly as Masahiro Tanaka takes on Phil Hughes and this comes as NY has dipped under .500 and now they really need to bounce back to get into playoff position in the AL.
Tanaka comes into the game after losing to the Boston Red Sox and that came after a home run in the ninth that broke a tie game to Mike Napoli. Tanaka had won five in a row before losing two in a row and now he is trying to get back in shape with his 11-3 record and 2.10 ERA for the Yankees, who desperately need a win. Tanaka and Felix Hernandez are the best pitchers this season in the AL and Tanaka is just a hair back under Hernandez based on the overall stats.
Tanaka gave up that home run in a game the Yankees really needed to win and Napoli was heard saying throwing him a fastball was an idiot move in that moment. Tanaka had gotten Napoli earlier in the game on his splitter and Tanaka shook off catcher Brian McCann twice before tossing that pitch and that was the game. The Yankees have now lost five straight games and nine of 11 matchups and Tanaka has the chance to stop the bleeding. The team is still not far out of the division race or of the wild card, but a few more losses here or there and they will be in trouble.
The AL East still has teams bunched at the top, as the Toronto Blue Jays have not run away with things yet, while the Orioles are second and still tight as well. The Yankees could be in danger of falling into fourth place from third if they don't start winning and a three game sweep against the Rays hurt, as the team is one of the worst in baseball. The Yankees need to get back into their groove and they have not been hitting or scoring as of late and they need pitching help as well with CC Sabathia and Michael Pineda still on the mend.
The team has patched the rotation together for now with Vidal Nuno, David Phelps and Chase Whitley, but that has put extra pressure on the bullpen and on Tanaka and Hiroki Kuroda as well. The Yankees come in after Nuno lost to the Rays and now they face the Twins for four and they have Whitley going on Friday for July 4. The team comes into the game ranked 20th in runs in the league and it feels worse right now, while the team is 16th in batting average and they need players like Carlos Beltran and McCann to play to their potential, or it will be one long season. The team is missing Robinson Cano badly and while they will never admit that, he is making a huge impact in Seattle, as they are nine game up over .500 and looking like a playoff team.
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