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New York Yankees’ Prized Starter Tanaka Continues to Struggle



The dazed look on New York Yankees right hander Masahiro Tanaka’s face explained it all as he stared blankly into the left field seats watching Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve round the bases after a game tying home run.

Tanaka continued to struggle on Saturday as he allowed six runs with three homers among seven hits before being taken out by Yankee manager Joe Girardi in the fifth. His previous time out, Tanaka went five innings, allowing seven runs (five earned) on 10 hits and three more homers against Detroit.

The back-to-back bad outings for Tanaka made history as the Japan native became only the second Yankees’ pitcher in 100 years to give up six-plus runs, and three home runs in back to back starts.

Tanaka’s fastball reached 94-95 but insisted that his mechanics were off. However, prior to the start, Tanaka had two bullpen sessions to work on his stuff, one more than the norm.

Brian Cashman once described his $155 million pitcher as a “solid, consistent No. 3 starter.” Tanaka blew that projection out of the water with a 1.99 ERA in his first 14 major league starts. He also partially tore his elbow.

In 2015, Tanaka is 4-3 with a 3.88 earned run average, and in his career he has a record of 17-8 with a 2.88 earned run average.

Since storming onto the scene in 2014 Tanaka has spent 15 total weeks on the disabled list and has had his struggles at times.

The Yankees did win the game 9-6 on Saturday, but for Yankee fans back to back bad starts by a so called “ace” is definitely concerning.

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