The Yankees' Pitcher Improves to 6-0
Joe Girardi sat behind a podium at Citi Field late Wednesday night for the post game interview and ran down the list of firsts achieved earlier in the evening by New York Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka.
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"First big league hit, his first major league shutout, his first Subway Series win," the Yankees manager said.
Tanaka pitched a four-hitter for his first major-league shutout and the Yankees received home runs from Yangervis Solarte and Mark Teixeira on Wednesday night, snapping a four-game skid with a 4-0 victory over the Mets.
"Overall, I think that today was my best day," Tanaka said through a translator.
"Stopping a losing streak, knowing that we needed a win bad, we needed distance bad -- you look up and he's in the fifth inning and he's only thrown (56) pitches," Girardi said. "He did what we had to do for our club, and he really stepped up."
Tanaka, who was given a $155 million, seven-year contract in February, has shown the Yankees every bit of the ace pitching they hoped he would have after acquiring him.
Tanaka has pitched into the seventh inning in all eight starts this season, walked none and struck out eight Wednesday. He improved to 6-0 with a 2.17 ERA, and he won his 34th consecutive decision dating back to his second to last season in Japan in 2012.
"I knew that we were in a little funk, losing four in a row, and I also knew that we hadn't won a Subway Series in a while," Tanaka said. "So yes, I did want to go out there and try to get a win for us."
Tanaka was able to complete his first game for the Yankees as a pitcher when he stepped to the plate in the 9th inning with two outs. He then went on to single for his first hit with the team on American soil.
According to a report by Fox Sports, Tanaka is 34-0 combined in Japan and North America over his last 42 regular-season starts. He did lose Game 6 of the Japan Series last year — before earning a save in Game 7.
"I just go up there and basically try to win every single game," Tanaka said.
On the Mets side, pitcher Rafael Montero (0-1) allowed three runs and five hits. He struck out three and walked two after getting called up from Triple-A Las Vegas to step into the rotation slot previously held by Jenrry Mejia, who was moved to the bullpen.