Game 4: Yankees at Blue Jays

We’ve been waiting for this day since the moment Masahiro Tanaka chose the Yankees’ seven-year, $155 million offer and chartered that Japan Airlines jet to New York City for his introductory press conference. After weeks of hype, scrutiny and adjustments, the 25-year-old right-hander will make his Major League debut tonight here at Rogers Centre in Toronto, taking on the Blue Jays.

Dustin McGowan has the ball for the Jays, making his first big league start since 2011, and it should be an electric scene — this is also Toronto’s home opener. The action is scheduled to begin at 7:07 p.m. ET, and you can join the worldwide audience for this event by watching on the YES Network or listening on WFAN.

Here are the quick hits you need to know, courtesy of the Yankees’ media relations department:

AT A GLANCE: Tonight the Yankees will play their first game of a three-game series at Toronto…is the fourth game of a six-game road trip that also included a season-opening three-game series at Houston (went 1-2)…following this road trip, return home for a 10-day, nine-game homestand vs. Baltimore (Mon.-Wed.), vs. Boston (4/10-13) and vs. Chicago-NL (4/15-16)…will play 18 of their first 31 games at home.

CURTAIN CALL: SS Derek Jeter leads all active MLB players and is the Yankees franchise leader with 3,318 career hits… needs just 1H to tie Paul Molitor (3,319) for eighth place on MLB’s all-time hits list and fourth place on the all-time AL hits list.

MADE IN JAPAN: The Yankees have three Japan-born players on their active roster: OF Ichiro Suzuki, RHP Hiroki Kuroda and RHP Masahiro Tanakathe Yankees have had six Japan-born players in their history: Hideki Irabu (1997-99), Hideki Matsui (2003-09), Kei Igawa (2007-08), Hiroki Kuroda (2012-13), Ryota Igarashi (2012) and Ichiro Suzuki (2012-13)…with Tanaka and Kuroda, the Yankees will have two Japan-born pitchers in their starting rotation, becoming the first team to do so since the Dodgers had starters Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii in 2004.

YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Yankees won their first game of the season on Thursday, defeating Houston, 4-2 at Minute Maid Park…3B Yangervis Solarte (3-for-3, 2R, 1 double, 1BB, RBI-single in the seventh inning) reached base in all four plate appearances in his first career start…became the first Yankee with a 3H game within his first two career games since Mike Lowell went 3-for-5 in his second career game on 9/20/98 at Baltimore…also became the first Yankee with a 3H game in his first career start since Oscar Azocar went 3-for-4 on 7/18/90 vs. Kansas City…the Elias Sports Bureau notes that Solarte was the first Yankee to go 3-for-3 or better in his first career start since Ralph Houk went 3-for-3 with a double on 4/26/47 vs. Washington.

NEW BLOOD: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, INF Yangervis Solarte  (672 career minor league games) and INF Dean Anna (554 career minor league games) are the only players who made a 2014 MLB Opening Day roster who had played at least 500 games in the minors without ever having previously played in the Majors.

The lineups for both clubs:


YANKEES (1-2)

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Kelly Johnson 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Yangervis Solarte 2B
Dean Anna SS

Masahiro Tanaka RHP (24-0, 1.27 in 2013)

BLUE JAYS (2-2)

Melky Cabrera LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Jose Bautista RF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Dioner Navarro C
Brett Lawrie 3B
Ryan Goins 2B
Jonathan Diaz SS

Dustin McGowan RHP (0-0, 2.45 in 2013)

8 Comments

Master Tanaka!!!!! GREAT game for him. As for Tex and his ongoing injuries, frankly I long ago wrote him off. The guy is always injured. Try stretching, Mark!!!!! Fed up with him.

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I have been a Yankee fan since 1944, sneaking into the pregame warm-ups and conversing with some of the players.
This team…on paper…can go all the way but, if anyone thinks they will do it easily, forget it!
We have had a few hot players over the years that fizzled out and were sent packing…I like Solarte. He brings a hunger and plays hard, it also helps that he is a Switch Hitter.
My hope is they don’t sit him if he has a bad game, he should have the same opportunity as guys like Jeter, Posada, Andy and Mo had when they first came up…all four of them had a tough time at first. But they were given chance after chance and we see now what good that was for the team…very good!

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Salarte and Nuno have really caught my eye. I also like Adam Warren speed last night.

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This would appear to be Solarte’s first start. It would be nice if they encouraged this guy a little as he barely made the team .After a really nice spring, at the end there he was on the squad. The endless babble praising Jeter, Texeira and some other over paid dream stars ought to extend to newcomers like Solarte to make them feel good and important. As a fan for sixty five years I know there is no pressure on Jeter and Tex. Nothing is expected from these wounded warriors and listening to Texeira when he speaks about his situation, read between the lines and expect litte. Same for Jeter.
Tex has time as he usually is a slow starter followed by a little more as the season progresses, until the next excuse…….another injury.Encourage these guys to play well.Put a muzzle on Cashan and Girardi.

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By Ron Hirschkind on April 3, 2014 6:50 pm – Reply ”

The danger now Ron is overhype. 2 of his 3 hits would normally have been outs. The catch was amazing, hopefully he builds on this.

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Yanks need to learn how to focus on those that can PLAY and less on those who they PAY too much.This club continues to overspend and will continue to do so until someone with ability replaces Cashman. Doesn’t matter how Solarte got his hits. The key lies in the fact that he got them and hasn’t gotten injured yet. Not having Nunez around is the best sign that perhaps, just maybe someone is wising up. I’m probably too optimistic but we’ll see.

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He was hyped by YES all last night. Not sure what else you wanted. Hell of a catch by the kid. No way Kelu makes that play.

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Ron..
I respectfully disagree on all this being Cashmans’ fault.
He has had to put up with years of interference from the “Tampa Cabal”, they overrule him many times.
The contracts of Our 3rd baseman and Tex were not trades or signings he wanted, but his bosses are the Boss. Unlike Joe T, Cashman follows orders from his bosses. He has made many mistakes as have other GM’s but we don’t hear about them as we do our own. Besides, I don’t think he will sign another contract with the Yankees. Daddy talked him into the last contract, with promises that were not kept by the kids.
How many very good GM’s out there would want to put up with the Cabal…?

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Yankees need to at least win this series with the blue jays. The Jays always play the Yankees tough particularly in their own park. Need Tanaka to be good as well as bull pen and need more offense. Hopefully Girardi has found room in his lineup for
Solarte again. Need to stay with the hot hand as long as it’s hot. He was the best position player in spring training so deserves to play. We need to get more from guys like Tex and Soriano and McCann and Ellsbury.

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