On Saturday afternoon in Tampa, Florida, New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka saw his first bit of action on the mound in the spring training game against the Philadelphia Phillies. In two innings pitched, Tanaka struck out three batters while giving up no runs in the fifth and sixth.
Those in attendance said that he wasn’t mind-blowing by any means, but he was about as good as you can be for someone making their first spring start following the media debacle that was his courting and subsequent signing.
However, what is mind-blowing is that split-finger fastball that we’ve all heard so much about and that was on full display Saturday.
Now that pitch, that definitely lived up to the hype.
What’s even scarier to think about is the fact that he still has a whole spring to improve, and that pitch can only get nastier with the Yankees coaching staff behind him.
Something tells me that we’re going to see a lot of American League batters biting the dust on that pitch this summer.
[h/t Yankee Source]