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Masahiro Tanaka had a heck of a game against the Marlins on Friday

Mar 28, 2014, 10:10 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka AP

Yankees GM Brian Cashman signed Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka to a seven-year, $155 million contract in January, then spent some time deflating expectations for the right-hander. His spring performance, including his final outing Friday afternoon against the Marlins, may have reinflated those expectations.

Hiroki Kuroda started and tossed three scoreless innings before Tanaka entered the game to start the fourth. Tanaka went six innings, allowed zero runs on three hits (all singles), walked none, and struck out ten. To put that in perspective, there were only eight games pitched in all of 2013’s regular season that matched Tanaka’s outing: six or fewer innings pitched, ten or more strikeouts, and zero runs allowed.

Player Date Tm Opp Rslt IP H R ER BB SO
Justin Verlander 2013-09-29 DET MIA L 0-1 6.0 3 0 0 1 10
Justin Verlander 2013-09-23 DET MIN L 3-4 6.0 6 0 0 3 12
Scott Kazmir 2013-09-06 CLE NYM W 8-1 6.0 4 0 0 0 12
Max Scherzer 2013-08-24 DET NYM W 3-0 6.0 3 0 0 4 11
Gio Gonzalez 2013-07-20 WSN LAD L 1-3 6.0 4 0 0 2 11
Julio Teheran 2013-06-28 ATL ARI W 3-0 6.0 4 0 0 1 10
Tony Cingrani 2013-04-28 CIN WSN W 5-2 6.0 2 0 0 1 11
Yu Darvish 2013-04-24 TEX LAA W 11-3 6.0 3 0 0 2 11
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 3/28/2014.

The Yankees’ only regret is that Tanaka didn’t turn in that impressive performance during a game that counts, but they hope he has more than one of those up his sleeve.

  1. NatsLady - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:22 PM

    I was there for Gio’s game. No one knows from that day to this why Davey pulled him after 6 innings. Very aggravating.

    • genericcommenter - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:03 PM

      Looks like pitch count to me.

  2. tfbuckfutter - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:26 PM

    Wow. Doing that against the Marlins in spring training IS really impressive.

    He could easily clean up in AA ball…. Our against the Marlins in the regular season.

    • dcarroll73 - Mar 28, 2014 at 10:56 PM

      tf…, save the snark, or, if you’ll excuse me, Mr. Censor, BITE ME!

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      If he pitched for Red Sox, you’d be touting him as a pre-season Cy Young favorite.

      • tfbuckfutter - Mar 29, 2014 at 3:47 PM

        You know nothing of my work, my friend.

  3. slaugin - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Yea but how many did it in relief? Tanaka Wins

  4. dirtyharry1971 - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:17 PM

    I can’t wait to see him destroy boston and the blugay’s line up, FACT!

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:33 AM

      I suspect that nobody else can wait to see you catch your typing fingers in a revolving door. You’re even an embarrassment to Borg fans.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:10 AM

        I suspect that nobody cares what you think or say or even if you are alive….reality CHECK

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        You’re not suspicious. What you are is paranoid. Of course, as the old adage goes, the fact that you’re paranoid doesn’t mean that everyone fails to realize what a drooling cretin you are.

      • unclemosesgreen - Mar 29, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        There are no revolving doors on Rikers’ Island.

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 29, 2014 at 2:14 AM

      “Blue”GAYS” is it? You are a low life

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 8:22 AM

        And a homophobic bigot to add to his other accouterments of sociopathy whereby to line the floor of his cage, to boot. He truly is such a loathsome creature that you can’t even feel pity for him.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:09 AM

        yea bluegays it is, I hope your legs grow together you pos

      • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:29 AM

        I hope your legs grow together

        What in tarnation does this even mean? You want me to become a mer-person? This is among the stupidest things you’ve ever written and that’s saying a lot since you’re a such a smelly fool. We need only add “homophobic ass” to your list of descriptors.

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 11:36 AM

        You can only compare poor dim Harry’s fumblings with the English language to Gargantua’s incontinence.

      • groupofsevenrules - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM

        @old gator: I’m a long time lurker here and my politics might be a little to the right of yours, but I wanted you to know that last comment really forced me to post for the first time – I’m a part-time French teacher (and other times oil worker in western Canada) and the side-long Rabelais reference and its appropriateness drove me out of the shadows. It has been a truly wretched “weenter,” as you would put it, not that we have another kind, and I needed a laugh like that for my cabin fever. It is a shame that poor dim Harry, berk that he is, could NEVER possibly appreciate it. Your posts always make me laugh and usually force me to the dictionary (also forced me to listen to the Cowboy Junkies again after many years and introduced me to the Firesign Theater) for ALL of which you’ve got my thanks.

        Under most circumstnces I would advise you to ignore a hoser like your “virtual village idiot” (the Inuit word for him would be ‘illitsuitok’) but honest, it’s just too much fun to imagine him reading your comments and blinking without comprehension and then coming back with one of his typically low-brow responses, which are all of a kind anyway. So keep up the verbal experiments! They do keep this mid-continental in hilarity!

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 2:11 PM

        groupofseven: well thanks, I do appreciate it. But when you get right down to it, poor dim Harry really does most of the work of making a fool of himself. I can hardly take credit for rhetorical achievements that were so ably assisted and abetted, you know?

        Incidentally, love the handle, speaking of arcane information. Big Lawren Harris fan here – always found his arctic and weenter paintings much like some of the wood block prints by Hiroshige and Hokusai. Big fan of Tom Thomson as well.

        Oh, and thanks for the Inuit word. I just checked out an Inuit glossary online but there was no etymology to speak of, so I just giggled a bit about how, especially with regard to poor dim Harry, ‘illitsuitok’ resembles “illiterate.” I was trying to see if it was a loan word in part from English. Do you know?

    • unclemosesgreen - Mar 29, 2014 at 1:20 PM

      In an ideal HBT you would be banned and no one would ever have to see your virtual crayon-scrawl again.

  5. Eutaw's Finest - Mar 28, 2014 at 11:36 PM

    Comparing ST against the Marlins to regular season games? It’s a stretch to say the least.

    • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:39 AM

      Tanaka will seem less remarkable when four, five and plugin starters for everyone else work similar juju on the Feesh. The shtick on both MLB.com and in the local feeshwrappers to day were about the manager and brainstem trust extolling “thinking like a team,” which, I guess, is a benign euphemism for not stabbing each other in the back to the press during long losing streaks. So, it was good of Tanaka to serve up a dose of reality to the Rainbow Warriors on the eve of the reality season.

  6. plmathfoto - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:36 AM

    Didn’t the Marlins lose the Spring Training game that they complained to mlb about Boston not sending enough regulars (and they got them fined)?

  7. campcouch - Mar 29, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    MLB greed. They’ve already kicked the regular season off with LAD and the Diamondbacks…yet there are still Spring Training games going on…this guy could have had an outing when it meant something,but nope,he came in as relief during a meaningless game.

    • renaado - Mar 29, 2014 at 4:27 AM

      MLB greed? No I don’t think that’s the reason they’ve done that.

  8. uyf1950 - Mar 29, 2014 at 6:40 AM

    The game may not mean anything but it was a darn good performance anyway. Especially since so many non Yankee fans seem to think he has something to prove every time he takes the mound. Those of you that are making light of Tanaka’s performance against the Marlins just need to ask yourselves how critical would you have been if he only went 1 inning and gave up 3 or 4 runs and several hits? You would have been all over him like flies on chit. Give the guy credit he pitched well last night and has pitched well all spring.

    • gc1998 - Mar 29, 2014 at 7:03 AM

      Well said uyf1950. The article never said it was an important game and it’s not Tanaka’s fault if he pitched to batters who suck. The article simply says he struck out 10 over 6 innings, which he did. This guy has to justify his existence every time he pitches to non-Yankee fans and he has been excellent in every way so far, for whatever it us worth. You are so right that in that same meaningless outing, if he had surrendered 4-5 runs on several hits he would have been vilified by all those fans whose team lost out on getting him.

      • Old Gator - Mar 29, 2014 at 9:11 AM

        Plus, look at the odds. “Batters who suck” often subscribe to the “swing hard in case you hit it” principle. Since the bat and the ball will usually be within a few inches at most of each other, the odds that some kind contact will be made are ackcherley pretty high (though batters who really suck impact those odds negatively, as witnessed last night). Ergo, even buzzsawing though nine batters who suck is an accomplishment, being that pitchers who are not that good would doubtless have given up quite a few more…um…ah…contact events. Ten Ks in 6 innings is impressive, period.

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