Thursday, April 10, 2014

Tanaka is Strong, but he's the only one

Masahiro Tanaka's first couple of innings were rocky tonight, much like his first two innings in Toronto went. He allowed three runs in the first two innings but the Yankees were able to tie the game until the ninth inning when Shawn Kelley came into a tie game and allowed two runs to score, which would cause the Yankees to lose the game down by one run in the bottom of the ninth. Tanaka was strong following his first two innings at Yankee Stadium. He ended up going seven strong, allowing three earned runs and striking out ten batters, which is a great number compared to the innings he pitched. He only walked one batter which was his first walk in the Major Leagues after not issuing a walk in his start in Toronto on Friday. Tanaka will be a huge piece for the Yankees for the next seven years, and if he is able to provide the Yankees with anything near the level of pitching he has given them in his first two Major League starts, I believe this pitcher will be the most valuable player on the team. Despite a high pitch count early on, Tanaka settled in and managed to go seven strong innings. Following his start last week, Tanaka admitted he was very nervous. Now, imagine how nervous he was pitching at Yankee Stadium against an AL east foe for the first time in his life. If Tanaka can go seven quality innings in his first two starts for the Yankees, I believe that it will be smooth sailing for the 25 year old pitcher from here on out. Tanaka is a special arm, and with some more adjustment to the ball and to the atmosphere of the bright New York lights, he can pitch the Yankees into the postseason and hopefully to a World Series ring.

The series at home did not begin how the Yankees would have liked it to, but they have a chance at redemption with the Red Sox coming to town for four games beginning tomorrow night. Michael Pineda will make his first start at Yankee Stadium as a member of the Yankees. Pineda pitched very well in Toronto last week, allowing one earned run in six innings. Injury prone Clay Buchholz will be on the mound for the Red Sox tomorrow, and the Yankees have done well against him in the past and will certainly be hoping he does not show up with filthy stuff tomorrow.

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