Thursday night was a battle of aces between Boston Red Sox ace Chris Sale and New York Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka. However, all money was placed on Sale to win the famed match-up since he had an ERA under one prior to Thursday night’s game.
No one expected Tanaka to go the distance, outmatch Sale and lead the Yankees to an abbreviated two-game sweep against the Red Sox.
Even though the Yankees were able to get the best of Sale, Tanaka wasn’t exactly pleased with his performance after the game ended. Everyone was happy with Tanaka’s performance, but Tanaka felt he could have done better.
“Perhaps not,’’ Tanaka said when asked if it was his best performance, “Coming out of the game I didn’t think it was the best.’’
Tanaka threw 97 pitches and issues no walks in the Yankees 3-0 win over the Red Sox. And while Tanaka didn’t bat an eyelash over his performance, his teammates were thrilled.
“Honestly, I don’t remember him being better,’’ Yankees third baseman Chase Headley said during post game.
Prior to the competition between Sale and the Red Sox, Tanaka knew that he was the underdog simply because of the pitcher Sale was. However, Tanaka did the impossible and matched Sale pitch by pitch…until Sale blinked in the fourth inning.
“I enjoy the competition. I think a lot of people thought about how well he was pitching up to this point and that Chris Sale had the upper hand,’’ Tanaka said. “I wanted to go in there and try to beat the odds, I guess.’’
Not only was Tanaka’s performance applauded among the Yankees, but even Chris Sale had to tip his cap to the competition.
“We all know what he brings to the table. He is as tough as anybody when he is throwing like that,’’ said Sale, who is 1-2. “He was wearing out the bottom of the strike zone and that’s all you can ask for from someone who features those pitches.’’