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Masahiro Tanaka first in majors to 12 wins; fails to notch quality start for first time in MLB

Jul 3, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka Getty Getty Images

Masahiro Tanaka became the first pitcher in the majors to reach 12 wins after the Yankees defeated the Twins by the score of 7-4 tonight at Target Field, but he did so while failing to notch a quality start for the first time in MLB.

Tanaka gave up four earned runs and nine hits (both career-highs) and struck out just three batters (a career-low) over seven innings. And so, his quality start streak will end at 16. Still, it was the longest such streak to begin a career since Steve Rogers also had 16 straight quality starts with the Expos in 1973.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak for the Yankees and brought them back to an even 42-42 for the year. Carlos Beltran launched a three-run homer in the victory while Zelous Wheeler homered and singled in his major league debut.

Tanaka began tonight’s action tied with Felix Hernandez for the American League ERA lead at 2.10, but he’s now sitting at 2.27 for the year. You could make a strong case for either to start the All-Star Game for the American League, but Tanaka’s schedule might render the debate moot. He’s currently lined up to start the final game before the All-Star break next Sunday.

  1. renaado - Jul 3, 2014 at 11:15 PM

    Tanaka doesn’t care about the record, just as long he saw his team win that day then it’s alright with him… He’ll make adjustments when facin the Twins next time. Cause this is a game he will surely remember.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:23 AM

      So you and Tanaka are tight huh Renaado? Cause that’s some serious inside information!

      • renaado - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:57 AM

        “Four runs is way too many. I didn’t pitch well at all but the team won. That’s the important thing. I wasn’t able to keep it (the quality-start streak) going, but there will be days when you win like today. That’s baseball. It’s no big deal.”

        I already know his personality quite well… I’ve been watchin him pitch in videos durin his time back in Japan with the Rakuten Eagles, I already know this quite hand cause I can understand a little bit of Japanese.

  2. campcouch - Jul 4, 2014 at 12:00 AM

    Quality Start. Ridiculous stat. A win is a win.

    • Kevin S. - Jul 4, 2014 at 4:40 AM

      Pitcher Win. Ridiculous stat. How the offense performs in no way affects how the pitcher did.

    • stlouis1baseball - Jul 7, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Get off the couch and you might learn to grasp what the hell a quality start is.
      Otherwise, please know anytime a pitcher goes a full six innings and gives up no more than three earned runs…it’s a good thing. A thing that allows his team to stay in (and potentially win) the ballgame. But as a bonus…it also allows you to save some bullpen arms!
      I know…I know…shocking how ridiculous that is. You know what is even more ridiculous?
      Nolan Ryan (you may or may not have heard of him)…coined the term “high quality start.”
      It’s essentially the same but involves the pitcher going 7 full innings.

      • micknangold - Jul 7, 2014 at 3:34 PM

        Get off the couch is a funny phrase to use in this context.

  3. bkbell3 - Jul 4, 2014 at 1:47 AM

    I guess the new guy was a little over Zelous? yea yea, I know, I couldn’t help

  4. jayquintana - Jul 4, 2014 at 2:29 AM

    Cashman needs to make a big deal if the Yankees are to have a chance this year. The team, as currently construction, ain’t going nowhere.

  5. uyf1950 - Jul 4, 2014 at 6:09 AM

    Good to see Wheeler get into the action in his first game in the Majors going 2-4 with a HR and 2 Runs Scored. Now if he can just keep the good time rolling. As for Tanaka, he may not have had a “quality start” but he had a winning start. From this fans standpoint give me a winning start over a losing quality start every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

  6. nbjays - Jul 4, 2014 at 9:04 AM

    Tanaka got lucky winning this one. If the Yankees gave him as little run support as they have been giving their other starters of late, he loses this one 4-1 or 4-2.

    • mikhelb - Jul 4, 2014 at 11:51 AM

      He already has loses and two ND in games where he pitched fine, with earned runs or less in ip or more (he already lost a 2-1 complete game). He has a run support below the league’s ERA (lower RS than Félix Hernández) and has a better record than other players with similar ERA.

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