Masahiro Tanaka
Fred Thornhill/The Canadian Press via AP

Masahiro Tanaka was dealing against the Toronto Blue Jays, leading the New York Yankees to a 1-0 win to salvage a series split.

It has not been Masahiro Tanaka‘s year in 2019. He’s been bullied by the long ball and burdened by the loss of his best pitch due to changes in the ball itself. Just a couple weeks ago, the New York Yankees starter had to take one for the team, pushing through 3.1 innings and giving up 12 earned runs.

However on Sunday against Toronto, Tanaka reached in the bag for one of the best outings of his career. He tossed eight innings of shutout ball, allowing only three hits and not walking a single batter.

Most importantly, Tanaka gave the Yankees length today. The failure of the Yankees starters to regularly work deep into games has left the bullpen taxed. Today, the only reliever Aaron Boone needed was Aroldis Chapman.

A dominant performance like that gives Yankees fans hope in the starting rotation. While he’s struggled with inconsistency all year, Tanaka has shown that he has the ability to be a lockdown starter. If he continues to tap into this ability, he and James Paxton will dominate in the postseason.

On the other side of the ball, the Yankees offense was quiet. They recorded only five hits, with the damage coming on an RBI double by Brett Gardner.

Additionally, Gio Urshela came up with yet another multi-hit game. He doubled in the fifth to put himself in position for Gardner to drive him in.

Savage of the Game — Masahiro Tanaka

Tanaka was fantastic today—no ifs, ands, or buts. Tossing eight innings of shutout ball puts the team in position to win every single time.

Lifetime ballplayer and Yankee fan. Strongly believe that the eye-test and advanced stats can be used together instead of against each other.