Tanaka has been confirmed as Saturday's starting pitcher against Boston in Game 2 of the ALDS, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. With J.A. Happ getting the nod in Game 1, Tanaka will toe the rubber in Boston on Saturday. He's coming off a rough couple of outings to end the 2018 regular season (eight runs allowed over eight innings) and figures to have his hands full against an elite Red Sox starting nine.
Tanaka (12-6) took the loss Wednesday, giving up four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk over four-plus innings while striking out four as the Yankees fell 8-7 to the Rays. The right-hander threw 80 pitches (52 strikes) before exiting after allowing a leadoff single to begin the fifth inning. Tanaka will wrap up the regular season with a 3.75 ERA and could be an option to pitch the Wild Card Game for the Yankees, but he isn't headed into the playoffs with much momentum after coughing up nine runs in eight innings over his final two starts.
Tanaka allowed five earned runs on eight hits and no walks while striking out three across four innings Thursday against the Red Sox. He did not factor into the decision. Tanaka never got comfortable on the mound, allowing at least one earned run in three of the four innings he completed. It was his highest earned run total since August 10, and the first time he has not worked at least five innings in his last eight outings. That said, it should be expected that he bounces back in his next start, likely to come Monday at Tampa Bay.
Tanaka (12-5) threw six scoreless innings Friday, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out eight as he notched the win over Toronto. Tanaka sailed through the first six innings on 90 pitches (64 strikes). He received plenty of run support, exiting the ballgame with a nine-run lead. The 29-year-old has surrendered just one run over his previous three outings, striking out 24 through 21 frames. Tanaka's next start lines up for Thursday versus Boston.
Tanaka (11-5) tossed eight shutout innings in a win over the Mariners on Friday. He allowed only three hits with no walks and stuck out 10. Tanaka was very efficient in the dominant performance, as he needed 102 pitches to complete the eight frames. The 10 strikeouts were a season high, and he's now pitched at least six innings in five straight starts. He lowered his ERA to 3.61 in the process, and he holds a 144:32 K:BB over 142 innings this season. He'll look to keep things rolling in his next start, currently slated for Wednesday against the Twins.