In his third start as a member of the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka owned the Chicago Cubs in a 3-0 win for the Bronx Bombers during the first game of the day-night doubleheader at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.
Tanaka, who was supposed to pitch yesterday but had to wait an extra day thanks to inclement weather, didn't miss a beat and had his best outing of his still young Major League Baseball career.
In eight sensational innings, Tanaka surrendered just two hits and one walk while compiling ten strikeouts en route to a shutout performance in 107 pitches.
He now owns a 2-0 record with an ERA of 2.05.
The ten K's gives him 28 strikeouts in total, which is the most for a Yankees pitcher in their first three starts.
— Michael Cambria (@mikecam12) April 16, 2014
Tanaka allowed just one hit through his first six innings and was mowing down Cubs hitters with ease. Nothing was ever hit hard off the right-hander and the two hits he allowed were both bunt singles.
Check that: Tanaka almost got his head taken off by a come back line drive during the seventh inning, but he was able to block the incoming missile and got some assistance from Dean Anna in making the out.
The theories about cold weather possibly being an issue for Tanaka early in the season didn't hold water this afternoon. It was a cold day in the Bronx with the temperature at around 40 degrees. If the Japanese star gets better as the days get warmer, the rest of the league better look out.
— Christopher Kamka (@ckamka) April 16, 2014
In his first two outings with the Bronx Bombers, Tanaka had allowed three runs in each start (two earned versus the Toronto Blue Jays), but he's never looked overmatched or rattled in any of them.
— Joe Giglio (@JoeGiglioSports) April 16, 2014
You certainly could not have asked for more out of Tanaka as getting length from a starter in one game of a doubleheader is huge for conserving the bullpen in what amounts to a long day.
It's safe to say after three stellar outings in the pinstripes that Tanaka has major-league stuff and his swing-and-miss repertoire will make him at least a definite impact starter, or quite possibly the best New York has this season.
After all, the 25-year-old has been the ace of the staff so far.
Follow Michael Moraitis on Twitter: @michaelmoraitis
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