Tanaka shuts down Mariners in first game back

Masahiro Tanaka made his first start today in over a month.  He had spent over a month on the DL due to forearm tightness.  In his absence the New York Yankees had been able to stay afloat without him anchoring the starting rotation, but it was clear they missed him in their starting lineup.  Today he finally made it back from injury and looked good as new as he was able to spin seven innings of masterful work against the Seattle Mariners and limit them to just one run on the day.

His biggest challenge of the day came in the third inning when he allowed back-to-back extra base hits to the Mariners to allow them to tie the game at 1-1.  Some solid defensive work and clutch pitching enabled him to get out of the inning without allowing any further damage.  From there he found his rhythm and made his way through the Seattle lineup as they were unable to mount any sort of rally against him.  He was given a 3-1 lead in the fourth inning on a Garrett Jones two-run homer to right and never looked back.

He finished the day throwing a grand total of 78 pitches through seven innings.  He threw 58 pitches for strikes and fanned nine Mariners’ batters.  Seven of his nine strikeouts had the batters caught looking.  He was able to get ahead early by throwing first-pitch strikes to 17 of the 23 batters he faced.  His off-speed stuff was crisp and he was able to show some serious heat on his fastball as he was able to consistently throw it up to 95 MPH.  The Bronx Bombers currently sit atop the AL East division with a one game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays so getting their ace pitcher back only helps improve their chances at taking the AL East division crown and propel them back into the postseason.



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