Masahiro Tanaka
AP Photo/Sarah Stier

New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka looking forward to facing another Japanese pitcher on Tuesday.

Masahiro Tanaka has struggled as of late for the most part. In his previous seven starts, the New York Yankees right-hander is posting a record of 3-2 with a 7.15 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP. He’s walked 11 batters and struck out 26 as well.

Tanaka will be looking forward to Tuesday’s start against the Seattle Mariners for a few reasons. One, to get back on the right track. And two, because he’ll get the chance to face another Japanese pitcher. The Mariners will be throwing left-hander Yusei Kikuchi out there on the mound as well.

“I am looking forward to it. There are only a handful of Japanese pitchers in the league,” Tanaka said Monday, per George A. King III of the New York Post. “Going against each other will be a lot of fun.”

Tanaka is 9-7 this year with a 4.68 ERA and a 1.253 WHIP through 26 starts (150.0 innings pitched). He’s also walked 36 batters and has struck out 121.

Kikuchi, on the other hand, is 5-8 on the year with a 5.19 ERA and a 1.441 WHIP through 26 starts (135.1 innings pitched). The Seattle pitcher has additionally walked 43 batters and has struck out 103 thus far in his inaugural season in the majors.

The Yanks will play these last two games in Seattle (Tuesday and Wednesday) before finally returning to Yankee Stadium this Friday. They’re currently seven games through on a nine-game West Coast road trip.

When they return to the Bronx, they’ll take on a six-game homestand that features two three-game series against the Oakland A’s and the Texas Rangers.

The Bombers are currently tied for the best record in baseball at 86-47. They sit 9.5 games ahead in the American League East division.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.