After all the anticipation, the foreshadowing, the predictions of doom and success, Masahiro Tanaka has his first big league start under his belt. Things looked a tad shaky when on his third pitch in the show, former Yankees’ outfielder Melky Cabrera introduced Tanaka to “Pitcher’s Whiplash” by leaving the yard. Once the nerves were under control, Tanaka was all business, tossing 7 innings, allowing 3 runs (2 earned) and striking out 8 en route to a debut victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.
Tonight in the Bronx, Tanaka takes his second turn through the rotation, this time facing the Baltimore Orioles in his Big Apple debut. Some are concerned with how Tanaka will handle the chilly spring weather, especially during a night game.
I’m not worried too much just because I used to pitch in a city called Sendai, which is in the northern part of Japan, which was usually cold around this time of the season.
The Yankees’ newest off-season acquisition is trying to give the Yankees another series win, after getting slapped around in yesterday afternoon’s game 14-5. Yankees’ starter Ivan Nova‘s pitches hit a lot of bats, and those bats did damage throughout the day. Every time the Yankees would chip away, the Orioles would come right back and add the runs right back to the deficit.
Tanaka is taking on his second straight AL East opponent in the Orioles, who should be one of the most dangerous lineups in the American League in 2014. Tanaka has a 29-game regular season winning streak on the line tonight, that goes all the way back to August 19th of 2012, when the Seibu Lions were victorious. Tanaka is excited about making his home debut adding: “I was going through the ceremony; I felt that the fans are here to back us up,” Tanaka said. “So unlike Toronto, it should be nice.”