Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka WINS vs. Orioles

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March 11, 2016

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

George M. Steinbrenner Field

Tampa , Florida

Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka WINS vs. Orioles

By: Rocky Julich

The fans who were lucky enough to watch the Orioles seasons with the Ripkins, Cal Sr., Manager, Cal Jr., and Billy Ripkin, remember glory days of the team of Baltimore. During the 1980s and 1990s, every game was special, especially with the run that Cal Ripkin, Jr. had on Lou Gehrig’s 2,130 consecutive game playing record. Those baseball seasons were awesome as Cal Ripkin challenged to became the new “Iron Man”. On September 6, 1995 he surpassed the record with 2,131 consecutive games played. Ripkin continued playing to establish a record of 2,632 consecutive games. A record that now will never be broken. The Hall of Fame shortstop retired from Baltimore in 2001.

Spring Training is another story for the Baltimore Orioles. It seems the team has experienced difficulty deciding where to call home. In 1954, they started training in Arizona, moved to Daytona, Florida in 1955 then back to Arizona in 1956. During 1959 they returned to Florida to train in Miami. Then during 1989 they started training in Sarasota; while moving to different locations in 1991, 1992. The team trained during 1995 St. Petersburg. In 1996, the Orioles moved into Ft. Lauderdale Stadium, which the New York Yankees vacated when they move to Tampa. During 2010 the Baltimore Orioles moved their Major League operations to the newly renovated Ed Smith Stadium and Buck O’Neil Baseball Complex in Sarasota. They have never had a Spring Training camp built for their organization.

In a recent article, I wrote that during early Spring Training games the starting pitcher rarely gets a win. The reason, because the starter is limited to 2-3 innings and an under 50 pitch count.

Then came the visiting Baltimore Orioles to face the Yankees starting pitcher RHP Masahiro Tanaka.

The O’s posting a record of 0 wins – 9 losses – 2 ties. During Spring, in last place in the American League East. The Yankees spring record at 2 – 6 – 2.

Masahiro Tanaka limited the Orioles to an infield single with 3 Ks and a hit batsman with 30 of 40 pitches for strikes. It was Player Development at the Major League level as the Orioles were held scoreless for seven innings, until the Yankees third pitcher in relief RHP Vicente Campos gave up a hit to RF Nolan Reimbold who then scored a run with a sacrifice fly to left by 1B Christian Walker. It proved to be the only run by the Orioles.

Masahiro Tanana pitched 3 innings, gave up a hit, struck out 3 of the 11 Orioles he faced and received the rare early Spring Training win and remained at 0.00 ERA.

After the game, Tanaka said through his interpreter “I feel that I am exactly where I need to be at”. The most encouraging sign about Tanaka is that the Yankees can hardly tell there was ever an issue at all with his surgically-repaired right elbow. Tanaka expressed some hesitation upon reporting to camp last month about his starting on opening day. As of this date, He continues to be on track to start the Yankees 2016 season opener.

Pitching in his third spring start, Baltimore RHP Mike Wright in 2-2/3 innings was charged with 5 hits – 2 BB – 5 runs. The right-hander struck out six Yankees, including DH Alex Rodriguez and 1B Mark Teixeira. Yankees shortstop Didi Gregorious got 3 hits, 2 runs scored and an RBI. C Brian McCann got a hit, a walk, scored a run and two RBIs. The defeat dropped the O’s to 0-10-2 this spring. After the loss, Mike Wright was quoted “that’s the game of baseball”.

Game Notes:

Orioles used 22 players – 5 pitchers

Orioles scored 1 run – 3 hits – left 2 men on base

Yankees used 23 players – 5 pitchers

Yankees scored 7 runs – 11 hits – 2 errors – left 8 men on baseball


Yankees 7 – Orioles 1

WP: Masahiro Tanaka (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

LP: Mike Wright (0-1, 945 ERA)

Time: 2:27

Attendance: 9,743

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This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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