Since the Yankees got rained out last night, they take on the Cubs today in a double header. Game Two is currently going on, and Game 1 was this afternoon. If you missed it (i had to listen to it at work), you missed out on Masahiro Tanaka‘s coming out party. Here’s how it went down.
Tanaka had it all working from the get go, and it was apparent after the very first inning that the Cubs were in for a long afternoon, but more on him later. The Yankees offense, meanwhile, got on the board in the bottom of the first inning when Carlos Beltran crushed a Jason Hammel offering about 10 rows back in right field for a solo dinger. The homer was Beltran’s fourth of the year, and his third in many games. After winning the American League Player of the Week Award for his .423 average, 4 doubles, 3 homers 6 RBI and 7 runs scored last week, it seems he has picked up right where he left off, and he has been worth every penny so far this season (after his somewhat shaky start, at least)a. The Yanks would add two more runs, one on a Dean Anna sacrifice fly and one on a weird play where Joe Girardi declined a catcher’s interference call and took the run instead.
Now that that’s out of the way, et’s get back to Tanaka. I wish I’d been able to see this game on TV, because it seems like he was just dead on and at his best, which we hadn’t truly seen in his other two starts. Tanaka made those three runs stand up, using 107 pitches to get through 8 innings, only allowing 2 hits and a walk while striking out 10 Cubbies. Those two hits, by the way, were bunt singles against the shift. Other than that, the Cubs got nothing done. 76 of Tanaka’s 107 pitches were strikes. As part of that, he threw 29 splitters. The Cubs swung at 17 of those, and made contact on just 7b. Ridiculous. Tanaka’s performance put him in some pretty elite territory, as he became the first pitcher to strike out at least 8 guys since Stephen Strasburg in 2010c (thanks to our good friend @brother_love25 for that as well).
I know it was the Cubs, who aren’t very good, but would we have been impressed if he held them to 3 runs in 7 innings like he did against the Orioles? Probably not right? Dominant pitchers are supposed to dominate crappy teams. That’s what Masahiro did.
So far, so good for our latest, greatest import. I’ll check in after Game Two, to see how Michael Pineda faired.
Featured image courtesy of: Elsa/Getty Images
- http://www.nj.com/yankees/index.ssf/2014/04/yankees_carlos_beltran_named_american_league_player_of_the_Week.html (back)
- http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/pfx.php?s_type=1&batterX=0&year=2014&month=4&day=16&pitchSel=547888.xml&game=gid_2014_04_16_chnmlb_nyamlb_1/&prevGame=gid_2014_04_16_chnmlb_nyamlb_1/ (back)
- http://www.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/mlb-big-league-stew/masahiro-tanaka-s-career-in-mlb-is-already-off-to-a-historic-start-215759336.html (back)
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