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Yankees Hot Corner – Tanaka ready to roll in Game One

Is there anyone the Yankees would rather have on the mound than Masahiro Tanaka? The Japanese ace is 4-2 in the postseason with a 1.54 ERA. He’s 1-2 against Houston but he’s never given up more than two runs in a start against them.

Tanaka is nails in the postseason because he’s a perfectionist. He obviously cares about pitching well in the regular season, but his focus and determination ramp up exponentially in the playoffs.

Tanaka is the perfect foil for what will be a raucous crowd in Houston on Saturday night. Tanaka is headstrong and stubborn to a fault, but that helps him zone out any distractions. Masa is money because the only thing he cares about is his next pitch.

Tanaka’s detriment his entire career has been giving up solo home runs. For some reason, when he loses it’s always death by papercuts. If anything can go toe to toe with Zack Greinke and the rest of the Astros’ aces, it’s Masahiro Tanaka.

Tanaka will have his A game going from start to finish on Saturday night. There’s clearly a reason why he’s starting off the ALCS instead of James Paxton. He has an innate ability to step up his game when it matters most, and there’s no one more game for a pitcher’s duel than Masahiro Tanaka.

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