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Masahiro Tanaka’s spectacular kick save preserves New York Yankees’ lead


He may have potentially injured his ankle but Masahiro Tanaka’s phenomenal kick save ended up preserving a 1-0 New York Yankees lead on Saturday.

Allison Case

Masahiro Tanaka has proven over the years to be a pretty stellar defender on the mound for the New York Yankees. Saturday afternoon was no exception for the righty.

With a 1-0 lead and two outs in the top of the sixth inning and Yandy Diaz at the plate for the Tampa Bay Rays, Tanaka hurled a strike that was shot right back up the middle.

Whether on purpose or by sheer luck, the ball struck Tanaka’s foot and bounced right to Luke Voit at first. Just like that, instead of two outs and a tie game, Tanaka worked out of trouble and saved the day.

Let’s hope that he saved his ankle because God knows that the IL is already crowded enough.

That ball was destined for center field before it met Tanaka’s foot on the mound. The perfect ricochet preserved their lead for the time being.

With runs hard to come by in such a dynamic pitcher’s duel, the Yankees managed to sneak a run off of Blake Snell on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third inning. Brett Gardner scored the run to put the Yankees up 1-0.

And that should’ve been all they needed. Tanaka did everything in his power, including potentially sacrificing his foot, to keep the Yankees in their newly acquired first place slot before Tommy Kahnle surrendered a game-tying home run to Brandon Lowe the very next inning.

However, some good news came out of the Yankees camp after the scary moment. Multiple sources confirm that Tanaka’s X-rays were negative and the diagnosis was a right shin contusion.

Here’s hoping that his shin is feeling up to par when it comes time to face his next opponent. The IL doesn’t need any more star power.

Allison is just a girl with an enormous passion for the game of baseball and the written word. Based in Upstate New York, her life-long relationship with the New York Yankees is something that she developed through close relationships with her mother and grandfather. An aspiring sports writer, she graduated with a journalism degree and is finding places to share her excitement about the sporting world and how it affects us all.