Analysis

Masahiro Tanaka’s 3 Best Yankees Moments

With Masahiro Tanaka heading back to Japan, we look back at his three-best moments in his seven-years as a New York Yankee.

Masahiro Tanaka‘s time in the Bronx is officially over.

After seven-years in Pinstripes with the Yankees, Tanaka rejoined the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, which was the team he pitched for before coming to the United States and signing with the Yankees in December of 2013. 

With seven-years of consistency on the mound, here’s a look back at Tanaka’s three-best Yankee moments. 

#3: First career complete-game shutout (2014)

In his first year in the majors, Tanaka earned all-star honors as his seven-pitch repertoire overwhelmed big league hitters.

On May 14, 2014, Tanaka continued his rookie season run of dominance while making his Subway Series debut. Tanaka tossed his first of four career complete-game shutouts at Citi Field as he struck out eight Mets, did not walk a batter and allowed just four hits.

Tanaka’s outstanding Subway Series debut and ability to show he had the potential to finish any game he started is a moment that will not be forgotten by the Yankee faithful.

#2: Game 1 ALCS one-hitter vs. Houston (2019)

While the 2019 ALCS is a series most Yankees, fans would like to forget, Game 1 was plenty of fun, especially for Tanaka.

In a 7-0 Yankees win, Tanaka, tossed six-scoreless innings in which he struck out four Astros, walked one and allowed just one hit to guide the Bombers to a Game One ALCS victory for the first time since 2010.

Tanaka would struggle later in the series, taking a Game 4 loss, but his Game 1 gem will not go forgotten.

#1: Game 3 Gem vs. Cleveland (2017)

Best known for his playoff heroics, Tanaka’s first and best playoff gem came in Game 3 of 2017 against the Cleveland Indians.

Down 0-2 in the series, Tanaka tossed seven scoreless innings with seven strikeouts, one walk, and just three hits. His seven innings gave the Yankees just enough time to find the scoreboard as Greg Bird hit a solo home run in the bottom of the seventh to give New York a 1-0 lead that they’d go onto closeout.

Tanaka’s outing shifted the series’ momentum as the Yankees went onto win Game 4 at home and Game 5 in Cleveland and advance to the ALCS.

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