As splits go, this was half bad for the Yankees.
Because their rotation continued to go round with limited merit. Masahiro Tanaka did enough Tuesday to win the Subway Series opener, or the Mets did enough to lose it. Either way, when Aaron Boone praised his starter afterward, he was scoring on a curve more deceptive than any thrown by Tanaka — unless five runs in 6²/₃ innings is a new standard of Yankees excellence.
Still, Tanaka was brilliant in comparison to James Paxton, whose velocity was down and whose effectiveness was absent in the nightcap.
Following a 10-4 Mets response, Boone happy-talked that what he saw left him convinced Paxton is “close to being a dominant guy.” But after getting knocked out in 2²/₃ innings, Paxton more objectively analyzed: “I was not very good today. That was on me. I didn’t pitch a good game.”
Paxton had yielded just three runs (one earned) and no homers in his first five Yankee Stadium starts. Then, following the Yankees’ 12-5 Subway-opening triumph, Paxton’s first 11 pitches included a double by Jeff McNeil, a single by J.D. Davis and a three-run homer by Pete Alonso. For good measure, he allowed three more runs before exiting it the third.
Greater weight is on Tanaka and Paxton with Domingo German joining Luis Severino and Jonathan Loaisiga on the injured list and the Yankees’ decision not to stretch a few million bucks more to land Dallas Keuchel.