It's Tanaka Time With a Vengeance in Series Finale


Coming off his first loss in almost two years, Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka takes the mound today in the series finale against the Chicago White Sox. There’s been some hand-wringing about how he’ll react after suffering a loss. Are you kidding me? There is not one indication that he will be anything less than what Yankees fans have seen so far: tough, focused, and unfazed by any situation. If anyone thinks Tanaka was rattled by the outcome of the Cubs game and will carry it over to today’s game, they have not watched this man pitch. No worries here, he’ll be fine. Maybe even perfect.
It’s the same maddening chatter we were subjected to over the last 24 hours about David Robertson. “How will he respond to blowing a save?” “Will he be able to shake it off?” Give me a flipping’ break. We saw how Robertson responded yesterday – with business as usual results. Tanaka and D-Rob did not reach this level without the requisite mental-toughness, so let’s not waste airwaves and bandwidth with this drivel.
In a game the Yankees need to both keep pace with the resurgent Toronto Blue Jays and salvage a series split, here’s the announced line-up:
Brett Gardner (LF)
Derek Jeter (SS)
Jacoby Ellsbury (CF)
Mark Teixeira (1B)
Brian McCann (C)
Yangervis Solarte (3B)
Alfonso Soriano (RF)
Ichiro Suzuki (DH)
Brian Roberts (2B)
P: Masahiro Tanaka
PRE-GAME ROUNDUP: Tanaka, who enters the contest with a 6-1, 2.39 ERA stat, will face right-hander Andre Rienzo (4-0, 4.00 ERA). Rienzo has the distinction of being the first Brazilian born pitcher to start and win a game in MLB. While averaging about 5 1/2 innings per start, he has improved in recent outings, going deeper into games and with an overall average pitch count around 100. The White Sox have won all of Rienzo’s seven starts this season, with him earning a win in four.
No matter what happens, it’ll be nice to get the hell out of Chicago. Here we go, Yan-kees, here we go!


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