Masahiro Tanaka can boast about having six different pitches available in his arsenal. He can brag about taking out even the most prolific hitters. What happens though when things don’t go exactly as planned and the New York Yankees‘ ace looks vulnerable?
Tanaka lived up to the hype. While Tanaka was having an off night and looked a bit rattled, he was able to prove his unwillingness to give up. Against the Los Angeles Angels, Tanaka was given a real test facing an incredible lineup that has the most runs per game in all of MLB this season. He kept fighting and he kept dealing strikeouts.
It’s important that the world knows while he’s incredible to watch and has an impressive resume so far in his career, he is still human. He’s going to make mistakes and will not always be 100 percent at every start.
Despite all that, he did what was needed to keep the Yankees in a good position to win. It’s not always about getting the win personally, but that the team wins. While Tanaka ended up getting a no-decision, the Yankees won and Tanaka did his part. He kept his cool and didn’t have a meltdown in front of the home crowd, which could have easily happened had he not kept his emotions in check.
Even on an off night, Tanaka was brilliant. Able to strike out 11 batters with conviction, Tanaka never gave up and kept at it until his time came to be relieved. It’s extremely important that this happened to him since he’s not going to be amazing every time. Games like this will settle him into what it’s like to play pro baseball in this country. It’s much different here than in Japan and it’ll take him some time to understand the differences.
Considering everything, he did very well in this crucial learning point early on in his Yankees career.
It’s still too early to determine just how Tanaka’s career is going to pan out. So far though, he’s been incredible and has shown that he can handle all the pressure that comes with being an ace. Given time and experience, there is no telling just how successful Tanaka is going to be.
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