The Yankees’ 2017 season is off to an inauspicious start, as ace Masahiro Tanaka got smacked around early and often in the team’s opener against the Rays and was pulled in the third inning.
The Rays got to Tanaka immediately as a Corey Dickerson lead-off single was followed by a Kevin Kiermaier double. Dickerson then scored on an Evan Longoria sacrifice fly, and things snowballed from there for Tanaka and the Yanks. Tampa led 3-0 after the first inning.
In the second inning, Longoria smashed a two-run homer and Tanaka served up another home run to Logan Morrison in the third.
With one out in the third inning and the Rays up 7-2, Derek Norris flied out with a shot to deep center. At that point, Yankees manager Joe Girardi had seen enough, making the call for Tommy Layne to relieve Tanaka.
It was the worst outing of Tanaka's MLB career.
While three innings into the first game of a 162-game season is obviously far too soon to start writing the Yankees’ obit, the early returns are disconcerting to Yankees. Tanaka had a stellar spring training, with a 0.38 ERA through 23.2 innings over six starts. More importantly, the team’s rotation after Tanaka doesn’t provide much reason for optimism.
CC Sabathia is scheduled to start Tuesday in the second game of the series against the Rays, with Michael Pineda slated for Wednesday and Luis Severino on the mound when New York takes on Baltimore on Friday.