In 1978, Ron Guidry went 25-3 en route to the Cy Young Award and one of the greatest pitching performances in New York Yankees history. According to Steven Marcus at newsday.com, Guidry feels that Tanaka can be the first Yankees pitcher to accomplish the feat since "Gator" did it some 27 seasons ago.
"He's got a good opportunity," Guidry told Marcus at Yankees Old-Timers' Day, on Sunday. As long as he stays away from injuries, he has a real good shot." With one start left this month, Tanaka could finish June with a 12-2 record if he wins his last start of the month against Boston on Saturday. Marcus pointed out that Bob Welch finished June with a 13-2 record in 1990 for the Oakland Athletics. Welch went on to finish the season at 27-6, and stands as the last pitcher to win at least 25 games.
Many in baseball feel that Tanaka has a legitimate shot winning 25 or more in his first season with the Yankees. New York Mets GM, Sandy Alderson was the General Manager for the 1990 A's when Welch won 27 games. Alderson told Marcus, " The fact that he's won 11 that's a pretty good ratio. That's testimony to his dominance so far." According to Newsday.com, former Baltimore Oriole great, Jim Palmer agrees. "No one is going to win 31 games," Palmer said. "but 23, 24, 25 that could happen, and Tanaka has pitched long enough where they are not going to limit his innings."
Tanaka appreciates all the support, but he told Marcus through an interpreter, that his main concern is that his team wins games.
Basically, just the number one thing is that our team wins the game that night. So I don't really look at it in a way that it's going to be one win for me. And I think that sometimes winning games comes down to being lucky. All I try to do when I start a game is to win that game. I believe that's my job. Maybe other people around or the media are making a big deal out of it, but I don't look at it. So it's nothing that I should get excited about.
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