It has been a rather difficult season for New York Yankees starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. At the beginning of August, Tanaka saw his season earned run average increase to 4.93, significantly higher than his 3.75 ERA from 2018.
However in his last two starts, there have been strong signs of improvement for Tanaka. On August 11, he pitched eight shutout innings in a 1-0 Yankees win over the Toronto Blue Jays and on August 16, he only gave up two earned runs in a 3-2 Yankees win over the Cleveland Indians. In that time, Tanaka has lowered his season ERA from 4.93 to 4.56.
In the Yankees win over the Indians on Friday at Yankee Stadium, Tanaka threw 83 pitches of which 56 were strikes. However the Yankees must be extremely pleased with Tanaka’s control. That is because for the second straight start, he did not give up a walk.
Tanaka threw 6 2/3 innings against the Indians and gave up two earned runs, four hits and had two strikeouts. Both of Tanaka’s earned runs allowed were home runs as he gave up solo shots to Jose Ramirez in the second inning and Yasiel Puig in the seventh inning.
The Yankees got their first two runs of the baseball game on Friday in the first inning. Catcher Gary Sanchez recorded a run batted in single which scored Aaron Judge of Linden, CA and Gleyber Torres recorded a run in batted in single which scored Didi Gregorius.
The Yankees earned their third run in the bottom of the fifth inning. That is when Gio Urshela recorded a single and scored Judge from second base thanks to an error by Puig.
With the win, the Yankees improved to a record of 82 wins and 42 losses and the Indians fell to 73 wins and 50 losses. This is a much bigger series at Yankee Stadium for the Indians than the Yankees. The Yankees have a 10.5 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays and are comfortably in first place in the American League East. The Indians are one and a half games back of the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central and lead the Rays by two games and the Oakland Athletics by two and a half games in the American League Wildcard.