New York Yankees Editorial: Masahiro Tanaka Wants The Ball In One-Game Playoff

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The New York Yankees lineup is filled with veteran bats, most of which have plenty playoff experience.  The same cannot be said for the starting rotation, as only CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova have pitched in the postseason.  Recently, I covered the topic of who should get the ball in a one-game playoff, and said that Masahiro Tanaka would be my pick.  It seems that Tanaka feels the same way, stating, via his translator:

"I think that any starting pitcher would like to pitch on such a big occasion.  I think the important thing is to get yourself ready in the case of pitching in such a big game."

Tanaka, who is pitching in a pennant race for the first time in his MLB career, added that he has felt some of the pressure:

"Not overly, but obviously we’re getting closer to the end of the season and I think the intensity itself is getting a little higher."

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With such a tight division race that figures to come down to the end of the season, it doesn’t seem that, should the Yankees end up in the Wild Card game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi will have the luxury of choosing his starter, and he could likely end up going with the most well-rested pitcher.

The Yankees, like every other team in the MLB, would surely love to avoid playing in a one-game playoff, and Tanaka will be key to that, especially with Nathan Eovaldi likely sidelined for the rest of the regular season.

Tanaka, who took a no-decision Tuesday despite a great start which saw him strike out ten, while allowing just one run over eight innings, has also stated that he wants the ball Sunday in a pivotal matchup versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

When the Yankees signed Tanaka to a seven-year, $155-million deal (plus a $20-million posting fee), it was for big moments like this, in September and October.  His desire to be on the mound in such crucial moments for the team says a lot about his character, and his will to help the ballclub win, no matter what is required of him.

What do you think Yankees fans?  Do you agree with Tanaka that he should be on the mound for a one-game playoff?

Next: New York Yankees Editorial: Sunday Should Be Tanaka Time

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