In Masahiro Tanaka‘s last start, he pitched a complete game shutout and got a hit at Citi Field when the Yankees played against the Mets in the Subway Series. This time, Tanaka will hope to go 7-0 on the season as he leads the Yankees to Chicago where they’ll play the Cubs in the first game of a two-game set at Wrigley Field.
Tanaka has faced the Cubs before when they went to Yankee Stadium and he pitched Game 1 of the day-night doubleheader. He shut out the Cubs then, and he hopes he can be just as effective going into tonight.
“I’ll just try to adjust once I get into the game, how the batters react, and looking at that,” Tanaka said. “I’ll try to pitch my best out there.”
This is the first time Tanaka has faced a team twice in the season (Spring Training doesn’t count). In a way, it’s good because he gains interest around baseball, and players are still uncertain on their approach towards him, but all Tanaka is worried about at this point is trying to capitalize on his last game.
“Obviously I felt that I had a pretty good game last time (against the Mets),” Tanaka said. “Basically I’ll just try to carry that on to the next game, but we’re facing a different team and I’ll be facing different batters, so I’m just going to try to focus on getting good outs again.”
Tanaka has been the ace of the Yankees staff this season, with the team going 7-1 in his starts and the media wondered if Tanaka had any doubt in his abilities coming into the season.
“If I had so much doubt I would have never came here,” he said. “Then I would just be playing in Japan.”