June 4, 2015

With Tanaka back, the Yankees have a chance

Masahiro Tanaka returned from the disabled list yesterday, and he was flat-out filthy. Here's what pitching dominance looks like:

Tanaka was held to a hard 80-pitch maximum in his return, but he made the most of them with seven pretty innings in 78 pitches (3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K).

The only knock on Tanaka's return was it was against one of the weaker offenses in baseball. Still, his stuff looked good enough to get most hitters out: he painted corners with a two-seam fastball, embarrassed hitters with his splitter, and surprised hitters with his backdoor slider.

Tanaka isn't the only surprise on the Yankees this season. Mark Teixeira finally looks healthy and his production has been huge. He leads the league in RBIs (41) and is second in homers (16).

The Yankees are one game up in the relatively weak AL East, but if Tanaka and Teixeira can keep this up that one-game margin should expand.

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