Friday, August 25, 2017


(Aug. 22, 2017 - Source: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images North America)
It was nice to see Masahiro Tanaka get a win on Tuesday night. It's even better to hear him say that he feels good and he has no issues with the arm. His return from his time on disabled list has cured his dead arm and now we will get the REAL Tanaka back. We are going to get Tanaka from the last three years back right?

I would like to think so but I am still cautious and skeptical. Tanaka had a quality start on Tuesday against the Tigers and while it was nice to see some of the same issues still dead arm. I'm thankful that his first start back was against the Tigers and not the Red Sox because let's face it the Tigers are not a force to be reckoned with this year. Tanaka's mechanical struggles are still there but they were masked against the Tigers lineup.

Photo: Getty Images
Tanaka's next start will be in Seattle....and then against the Red Sox. As much as I want to be excited about Tuesday's game I need to see some consistency before I can truly buy into having the old, reliable Tanaka back and the series against Boston is going to give us the real answer to that.

I never like to doubt anything this team can do, but I'm not convinced that if Tuesday's performance was against the Red Sox instead of the Tigers that we would have seen the same results. The 7 innings, 6 hits, 3 earned runs and four strike outs are nice, but mechanically he's still off which could be seen in his 9 fly balls and another home run allowed. In fact, Tanaka has allowed six home runs in his last seven games see more HERE. Interestingly enough, the game that he didn't allow a home run in was also against Detroit and we will have to wait and see if Tanaka can neutralize the Seattle offense this time. When Tanaka pitched against Seattle in July he allowed two home runs. He can't make that mistake again.

Photo: Getty Images
I still see Tanaka struggling with his splitter, which is his go-to pitch. He relies on it to induce ground balls and on Tuesday too many of those were fly balls. The 2.62 ERA in his last four starts is definitely encouraging but those were also against weaker teams as opposed to the Red Sox. I hope he keeps it up because he is key to the Yankees making it into the postseason.

I'm still a Tanaka believer....I'm just cautiously optimistic.

--Jeana Bellezza
BYB Managing Editor 
Follow me on Twitter: @NYPrincessJ

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