Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees
(Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)


3. Masahiro Tanaka: April 4, 2014

Masahiro Tanaka continues to befuddle Yankees fans, mixing flat-out dominant performances with outings that make you wonder how he’s in the majors. But he was more dominant than deflating the first time the Yankees saw him in a real MLB game.

Facing the Toronto Blue Jays on the road, things didn’t start off well. The first batter he saw—former Yankees outfielder Melky Cabrera—took him deep in the bottom of the first to cut the Yanks lead in half, 2-1.

But Tanaka mostly silenced the Rogers Centre crowd after that, finishing the game having allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits over seven innings, walking nobody while striking out eight. The Yanks won, 7-3.

He’s since delivered six other outings in which he went at least seven innings, struck out at least eight and allowed no more than two earned runs, most recently in the second game of a doubleheader against the Boston Red Sox on July 16, 2017.

I've been dunked on by Shaq and yelled at by Mickey Mantle. ESNY Editor In Chief. UMass alum. Former National Columnist w/Bleacher Report & former member of NY Knicks Basketball Ops department. Nephew of Rock & Roll Royalty.