Making his debut as a member of the New York Yankees, Masahiro Tanaka had to feel the pressure right away in the first inning, even if this game was not in New York.
Pitching in the Rogers Centre against the Toronto Blue Jays, Tanaka surrended a home run to the first MLB hitter he faced in official regular season action. With international coverage of his debut and flash bulbs everywhere, the 25-year-old had the chance to feel plenty of heat, Yankees Stadium or not.
The team has to be pleased with how Tanaka responded as he went on to turn in seven strong innings, allowing two earned runs and striking out eight to earn the W as the Yankees won 7-3.
Tanaka dazzled with the array of pitches we heard about in various scouting reports this off-season. On prominent display was Tanaka’s splitter,the devastating pitch that made him famous before his arrival in the states.
Tanaka is on track to make his home debut against the Baltimore Orioles this week.