Before the season, Brian Cashman tried to temper expectations for Masahiro Tanaka. He said Tanaka wasn't brought here to be the ace. He said Tanaka was a "solid #3."
Today is May the 14, and that kind of talk is over.
CC Sabathia is hurt. Michael Pineda is hurt and disgraced. Ivan Nova is gone for 18 months with TJ surgery. Hiroki Kuroda's ERA is over 4.5.
Tanaka is all that stands between the Yankees and the end of their season. He is their only reliable starter. The ace. The stopper. The reason to watch.
Tanaka faces off with the Mets' highly touted right hander, #3 prospect Rafael Montero. Cited by the Baseball America as having the best control in the system, Montero has dominated the minor leagues to the tune of less than a hit per inning and nearly a K/9.
In the pitcher's haven of Citi Field, the Yankees have their work cut out for them.
Go Yankees. Go baseball.
|NEW YORK YANKEES||NEW YORK METS|
|Brett Gardner - LF||Eric Young Jr. - LF|
|Derek Jeter - SS||Daniel Murphy - 2B|
|Jacoby Ellsbury - CF||David Wright - 3B|
|Mark Teixeira - 1B||C. Granderson - RF|
|Brian McCann - C||Chris Young - CF|
|Alfonso Soriano - RF||Lucas Duda - 1B|
|Y. Solarte - 3B||Anthony Recker - C|
|Brian Roberts - 2B||Ruben Tejada - SS|
|Masahiro Tanaka - RHP||Rafael Montero - RHP|