Where would the Yankees be without their ace, Masahiro Tanaka?
Given the fact that they are 21-7 in games in which their ace starts and haven’t lost a game that featured the righty since August 2, New York would be everything except in the hunt for a chance to take home title number 28.
To sidetrack for a second, translating the Yankees record with Tanaka on the mound to a 162-game span, they would be 122-40. OK, back to business.
Since Aug. 2, Tanaka is 5-0 with a 2.08 ERA with 38 strikeouts compared to just four walks with an opponents batting average of .226.
Beyond the numbers, though, this is a time in which the Yankees need Tanaka the most. Someone to step up and be their trustworthy go-to guy as they progress in their march.
Without him, by no means would the Bombers be where they are now. If anything, the Yankees are actually a sub-.500 team without their $155-million ace from Japan.
With him, however, the Yankees are a team that can turn to an utterly dominant ace in any start. If they were to nab that second Wild Card spot, one could argue if home field advantage really matters.
Tanaka and his 2.18 ERA on the road will quiet even the rowdiest crowds in baseball. Yes, even in the hostile Rogers Centre.