Tanaka received his second loss as the Orioles won 8-0. However, he allowed a mere three runs in seven innings before the bullpen’s doors were blown off in the latter stages of the game. The rookie was unable to get run support, which is why rookie pitchers like him, Dellin Betances and Chase Whitley cannot be relied upon.
New York is currently sitting 1.5 games behind the Toronto Blue Jays for first place in the AL East. When C.C. Sabathia returns and if Michael Pineda returns to the rotation, those two pitchers are going to need to pick up the slack. Both players have been on the shelf since early May, and it does not look like Pineda would be returning anytime soon after suffering another setback on Sunday.
While Tanaka has been great, as he should be, Whitley is going to get a lot of pressure placed upon his shoulders being the current No. 2 in the rotation. He is 3-0 with a 2.56 ERA in seven starts for the Yankees this year. It is great to see someone like him step up in the thick of the season, but for anyone to expect him to continue pitching well down the road is misguided.
In the bullpen, Betances has been a ray of sunshine. He has a 1.50 ERA in 31 appearances for the Yankees this season. The rookies have been great — there is no doubt about that; but Betances, Tanaka and Whitley will all find their own pitfalls. The Yankees should understand that there should be veteran pitching to help back everyone up and when Sabathia comes back and if Pineda ever returns.