The Yankees-Red Sox rivalry continues to be one of the best rivalries in all of sports, especially this season. New twists have been incorporated in the rivalry, such as Jacoby Ellsbury‘s change of heart this off-season. Now, a new piece reveals itself on the chess board as Masahiro Tanaka will make his first mark on this epic rivalry on Tuesday night. The last time a Japanese pitcher entered this historic rivalry was when Boston’s Daisuke Matsuzaka made his debut against the Yankees. Now it seems the tables have turned as time has passed.
It was the Yankees this off-season who won out on a big name pitcher. Many other Major League teams were looking to sign Tanaka. Tanaka chose the Bronx Bombers because he wanted to win championships. This was the biggest off-season splash for the Yankees since signing C.C. Ever since Tanaka has been worth every penny for the Yankees. According to Jorge Castillo of NJ.com, Tanaka has registered at least eight strikeouts in each of his first three starts, joining Stephen Strasburg as the only pitcher to accomplish this feat since 1900.
Tanaka knows about the rivalry. All the way from Japan on TV, Tanaka could watch the intensity of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. In the Japanese league the equivalent to this was the Toyko Giants vs. the Hanshin Tigers, but even Tanaka knows the rivalry in the states is a lot more intense.
This will hopefully allow Tanaka not to be fazed by the bright lights of Fenway Park. Tanaka was pretty blunt with the media when he issued the statement: “I am very much looking forward to it”, according to NJ.com.