The Rays suffered a disappointing loss last night to the Yankees, or rather so Alex Rodriguez as he connected for 2 homers and knocked in four of New York's five runs. Tonight, they'll return to the Trop to take on Masahiro Tanaka in the second game of this three game set.
Tanaka was in the midst of an excellent season his first year being in the states. Unfortunately for him, and the Yankees, he experienced soreness in his throwing arm heading into the allstar break. It was revealed that he had a partially torn UCL, but it was decided he could still pitch. He'd return at the end of September, but got battered in his last start of the season, not being able to get out of the second inning.
Heading into this season, the Yankees expected Cash to be their ace, but in his first two starts, he's been anything but that. He allowed five runs in his first start, only lasting four innings. Then in his second start, he did slightly better allowing four runs five innings.
Although it's a SSS, Tanaka's been using his fastball out the outer edge to lefties, while doing the same righties, trying to keep the ball low in the zone. With his sinker, Tanaka likes to bear it in on righties, while keeping it low and away from lefties. So far he's only used his cutter once on a lefty, but he tries to keep it on the outside corner when he's thrown it. With his slider, Tanaka nitpicks at the bottom of the zone, while nibbling at the corners. Masahiro buries his splitter in the bottom of zone, no matter the batter. Tanaka also has a curveball but rarely throws it, only having done twice so far this season.
So far this year, Tanaka had done a good job of mixing his pitches, having thrown his slider 27%, sinker 24%, splitter 24%, fastball 14%, cutter 10%, and his curve 1% of the time
Here is how Ian's projections predicts the matchups will be like
Here's how the Rays lineup against Tanaka, with Longoria back at third.
#Rays lineup: DeJesus DH, Souza rf, Cabrera SS, Longoria 3b, Jennings cf, Dykstra 1b, Forsythe 2b, Guyer lf, Rivera c, Odorizzi p
— Marc Topkin (@TBTimes_Rays) April 18, 2015
In other Rays news:
Nick Franklin and James Loney are each progressing with their injuries
#Rays Franklin and Loney, each out with oblique strains, taking ground balls. Longo, Beckham, Wilson getting ready for some early BP
— RMooneyTBO (@RMooneyTBO) April 18, 2015