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As New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka gets ready to throw out of his windup or stretch, the Major League hitter and Tanaka both know what’s coming: That nasty splitter. As it comes towards the plate the hitter keys-on and anticipates it, yet he cannot touch it. Nobody can.
Saturday, Tanaka threw eight innings of spectacular ball helping the New York Yankees defeat the Minnesota Twins, 3-1, at the Stadium, according to CBS Sports. He struck out nine and allowed only one run on four hits while walking two. Tanaka allowed the only run in the first inning as Josh Willingham singled to right to knock in the Twins only run of the day.
The Yankees offense (which has been downright offensive recently), did get the job done against the Twins bullpen. Like Tanaka, Twins starter Kevin Correia pitched well only allowing one run in six innings of work. Yangervis Solarte’s solo home-run (6) in the fourth provided the only offense off of Correia.
The Yankees did most of their damage in the bottom of the eighth off of reliever Brian Duensing, which secured Tanaka’s eighth win of the season.
Jacoby Ellsbury singled to get things started. He then stole second, and reached third on a throwing error. Brian McCann doubled to knock Jacoby in to give the Yanks the lead for good. Add on an insurance run thanks to Kelly Johnson, and an easy save situation for David Robertson, New York collected the win.
Because the Yankees offense is so pathetic right now, their pitching must save the day. What’s been their biggest strength without question has been their bullpen. Robertson has been solid, but the emergence of Dellin Betances and strong work from Adam Warren will keep them in many games.
Tanaka has been a blessing for this team considering the Sabathia, Nova and Pineda injuries. It seems he is actually being under-paid right now (believe it or not). Coming into today, he was 7-1 with 79 K’s and a 2.29 ERA, according to BaseballReference. The man from Japan is on fire.
Yankees can only hope he keeps this up as the rest of baseball builds a book on him.