Carlos Martinez delivers an all-time weird performance against the Yankees

Apr 17, 2017, 04:53
Carlos Martinez delivers an all-time weird performance against the Yankees

The Yankees merited two runs in a wild string of events. The left-hander, who has become a crafty pitcher in recent years, recorded his 225th win and also allowed three or fewer hits in at least 7 1/3 innings for the first time since September 21, 2012 against Oakland. Tyler Clippard got his first save despite Piscotty's home run, striking out Randal Grichuk with two on to end it. DH Matt Holliday (lower back tightness) missed his first game after being a late scratch from New York's original lineup. NY is also 0-4 in Sabathia's last four Saturday starts, and 5-2 in Sabathia's last seven starts.

Girardi has tied Tanaka's early struggles to poor control and difficulties with his split-finger fastball. Sabathia's stuff was better and he lowered his ERA to 1.47 by allowing one run, three hits and five baserunners in a strong 7 1/3-inning performance.

Tanaka mostly cruised after that. He threw first-pitch strikes to 13 of his first 16 batters and retired 10 straight before Matt Adams' broken-bat single to start the seventh. A fielder's choice and a walk followed, and then Grichuk ended Tanaka's outing with an RBI double to left. We've won some close games, which I think are extremely important and we've had some come from behind wins, which I think are extremely important.

Wacha faced the Yankees on May 26, 2014, and allowed three runs and four hits in seven innings.

You will not see Mariano Rivera jog to the mound, but the Yankees bullpen-led by Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances-has performed satisfactory, whereas St. Louis' relief corps is the No. 1 cause of heart attacks among its fans.

Tanaka finished last season 14-4 with a 3.07 ERA, and went 7-0 with a 2.28 ERA in his final nine starts. Austin Romine also homered off Wacha to give NY a 3-2 second inning lead. It took a passed ball by Yadier Molina and a wild pitch by Martinez for Gardner to cross the plate with two outs in the opening inning.

Wong's throw wasn't far off target, but it also wasn't necessary with Ellsbury already stopped at third.

"Two starts is a pretty small sample size", manager Joe Girardi said before Friday's game.

"He hasn't had the great command which we're used to seeing", Girardi said. "It will be an absolute no". The two-run shot was his second this season, both to the opposite field.

NY got help in scoring twice in the sixth for a 3-0 lead.

Matt Bowman pitched a flawless seventh inning and has 15 consecutive scoreless innings dating to last season.

Wacha had pitched very well during Spring training and brought that forward in his season debut. That was because Martinez, St. Louis' young ace, was all over the place, whiffing six but also walking the same number.

As much as the Cardinals wanted to give away the game, the Yankees nearly handed it right back. Lyons is on the 10-day disabled list with a right knee injury.

Sabathia, who surrendered just three hits and struck out six batters in another standout performance, saving the Yankees' worn out bullpen. He left five guys on base, going 0-for-3 with a walk and two strikeouts.