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Masahiro Tanaka dominates the Cubs

Apr 16, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka AP

Three games have been completed this afternoon. All three have been shutouts. The Yankees-Cubs game is the second one which featured a dominating starting pitching performance. Masahiro Tanaka allowed only two hits in eight innings while striking out 10 Chicago Cubs batters and walking only one while throwing 107 pitches.

Tanaka now has 28 strikeouts in his first three starts. That’s Strasburgian territory for major league debut dominance.

The Yankees won 3-0 thanks in part to a Carlos Beltran homer. I still have no idea how they’ll do this year, but two of the big questions the Yankees had entering the season was (1) how much of Tanaka’s Japanese success will carry over to the United States; and (2) how Michael Pineda will do following two years off due to injury. So far, both of those questions are being answered in pleasant fashion from the perspective of the Yankees.

  1. jcmeyer10 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    And to think he can do it all without the Gyro ball.

  2. Kevin S. - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    Well, maybe Tanaka isn’t going to totally suck, but you can’t read anything into beating up the Cubs and he’s shown a distressing vulnerability to the bunt.

    There, got it out of the way.

    • chip56 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:29 PM

      I really hope this was meant as a sarcastic comment.

      • proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        He simply dominated the mighty Cubs, a team with World Series aspirations this Century.

      • Kevin S. - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:05 PM

        One of these days, I’ll realize it’s impossible to make the sarcasm obvious enough without the /s at the end. But not today.

      • Wesley Clark - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:24 PM

        Hey now. As a Cubs fan some day we will go all the way. I know that because Eddie Vedder told me. I just wish he would have told me when that someday is.It’s got to be soon, right?

      • American of African Descent - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:56 PM

        Lay off the Cubs, guys. Any team can have a bad century.

      • bigharold - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:58 PM

        “… a team with World Series aspirations this Century.”

        Sort of like the Jays??

    • lukedunphysscienceproject - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:10 PM

      Well played, sir. No, you shouldn’t have needed the /s symbol. It’s them, not you.

  3. Wesley Clark - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    As a Cubs fan, and realizing their offensive struggles so far this season, I was interested to see what Tanaka would do today. Dominating performance. If he and Pineda can pitch well the Yankees could be in the driver’s seat for the division. The only plus for the Cubs was that the bullpen couldn’t blow it today.

  4. bronx77 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:45 PM

    LOL @proudlycanadian that was great. But seriously tanaka dominated today. He avoided the big hit that he has given up in his first two starts.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:48 PM

      Thanks, as I did not see the game. If the Yankees and Pineda win tonight, The Yankees will be all alone in first place as the Jay game in Minnesota has been snowed out.

  5. highpowered350 - Apr 16, 2014 at 4:48 PM

    And the two hits were bunts.

    • labfan30 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:26 PM

      Great post. For those who didn’t see it, one was a bunt where the batter was ruled out at first and it was overturned on replay. The second was a bunt from Rizzo with the shift on. It really couldn’t be described at a bunt as there was no attempt to deaden the ball. He just placed it down where the 3B normally would be and could have walked to first.

      Other than that? You’ll be hard pressed to find a more dominating performance. He changed speeds, controlled every pitch and dominated the Cubbies. Can’t stand the Yankees, but this guy can deal.

      • Wesley Clark - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:21 PM

        Totally dominating performace form Tanaka. I wonder why more guys don’t bunt to beat the shift. I mean if they bunt it hard enough it could be a double with how far off the line some of these shifts are.

  6. cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:18 PM

    Well, thats a hell of a start for Tanaka. I was hoping he would be good. Still, its the Cubs. Not the best team around. At any rate beating who you SHOULD beat is important.

    Speaking of who you should beat, the effin Rays lost again. They are supposed to win the division, not languish like this. Time for a Maddon patented slump busting themed road trip.

    And a bummer: Beavers postponed for snow. On the upside, double Beaver action tomorrow! Yowza.

    • happytwinsfan - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:35 PM

      your boys gotta get 54 outs tomorrow, and as they try you’re gonna see why we tricked you into pitching the bottom of the ninth last night.

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 7:38 PM

        Win lose or draw, I’m looking forward to it.

    • mikhelb - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:15 PM

      “double Beaver action tomorrow”

      uhm.. aahm.. :D

      • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 10:39 PM

        National Rodent of my country so don’t mock him.

  7. bronx77 - Apr 16, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    I don’t know what’s goin on with the rays. I chose them to win this division. I know it’s early but I was expecting them to dominate

    • cur'68 - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:35 PM

      You and me both. They seem determined to break our hearts.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:00 PM

      The Ray’s rely heavily on their starting pitching; however that rotation has been hit hard by injuries.

      • lazlosother - Apr 16, 2014 at 8:30 PM

        It’s early. The Rays never go away. The Beavermen have an awesome lineup and the Sox can always get hot, Baltimore can hit as well and Machado is coming back. NY has better pitching so far than expected. No telling what happens in the AL Beast, but as a baseball fan I’ll appreciate whatever develops. It will be a fascinating season.

  8. uyf1950 - Apr 16, 2014 at 6:51 PM

    Tanaka has been more then advertised so far. Whether or not he can keep it up who knows. But for now he’s been a great addition to the Yankees staff.

  9. kastout11 - Apr 17, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    It appears as though Tanaka might be as good as advertised. The Cubs really stink. Their offense is terrible. I guess it is not that hard to look as dominant as he did facing that offense. It is really tough being a Cubs fan, especially when you don’t live in Chicago and they are as bad as they are.

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