Feb 19, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (19) throws during spring morning practice at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

Masahiro Tanaka faces four in first inning as Yankee

In the top of the fifth on the afternoon of March 1st, Masahiro Tanaka threw a first pitch fastball to Darin Ruf of the Phillies. It was swung on and missed.

The bulbs flashed and the cameras clicked as Tanaka debuted for the Yankees. Two pitches later, Ruf singled into center field on an 0-2 fastball that caught a lot of the plate.

Two pitches later, Tanaka induced a pop-up to right field on a sinker. The next batter was retired on five pitches on a fly-ball to right, as well. His first strikeout came to Cesar Hernandez, after going 3-2, having one pitched fouled off, and then inducing a foul tip into the glove of Brian McCann on a 94 MPH fastball.

The first inning of Masahiro Tanaka in Yankees’ Spring Training consisted of 17 pitches, decent fastball command, and a breaking ball with a strong, sharp hook. The splitter was also as good as advertised, inducing a couple of swings and misses. 17 pitches, one hit, no walks, one strikeout. It’s just one inning in Spring Training, but that’s not a bad sight for Yankees’ fans to see.

Tags: New York Yankees