Tanaka, making his first appearance since complaining of elbow
pain on July 8, threw all his pitches without discomfort, going five
and one-third innings and allowing one run in a 5-2 win over the
Toronto Blue Jays as he improved to 13-4.
ďItís been a while," the 25-year-old Tanaka said through an
interpreter. "Overall Iím pretty satisfied with how I pitched today.
"I wanted to check to see how well my elbow responded. Iím very
relieved. I feel I was able to do all the things that I wanted to do
today. Itís pain free."
The victory kept alive New York's slender hopes of snaring a wild
card berth, improving the Yankees record to 80-75.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi admitted there was a fear factor in
putting Tanaka to the test.
"I think there was probably a little anxiety from the first pitch
on," the manager said.
Tanaka was supported by a pair of home runs by Brian McCann and
another from Brett Gardner, while Derek Jeter had two hits, a run
batted in and a stolen base to the delight of a sold-out crowd of
Beyond providing a late-season boost to the Bronx Bombers, the
positive outing by Tanaka assuaged worries for now that the talented
young right-hander might ultimately need elbow surgery.
"Pretty darn good," Girardi said about the performance by Tanaka,
who was given a standing ovation when he was relieved in the sixth
inning after giving up five hits, with four strikeouts and no walks.
[to top of second column]
"I kept asking Mac (catcher McCann), because obviously Mac sees him
better than any of us, was his stuff the same and he said yes it
"It's extremely encouraging and now we'll get him ready to start
again on Saturday. I was really pleased."
"Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope he feels good
Girardi said the return of Tanaka, signed in the off-season to a
$155 million, seven-year deal following a 24-0 season with a 1.27
earned run average for the Rakuten Golden Eagles and the 2013 Japan
Series title, might have given the team a pick-up.
"I think a lot of guys were curious to see how he would come back,
how he would feel and I think it was a little emotional pick-up for
the guys," said Girardi.
"We haven't gotten a lot of good news lately and we got some today."
(Editing by Gene Cherry)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.