Tanaka took the loss during Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays on Wednesday after surrendering five runs on eight hits with four strikeouts and one walk over four innings. The right-hander generated 11 swinging strikes on 73 pitches, but Kevin Kiermaier's three-run homer during the fourth inning and Randy Arozarena's solo shot in the fifth doomed the outing. Tanaka also struggled in his first postseason start as he gave up six runs against the Indians. The 31-year-old's seven-year, $155 million deal concludes at the end of the season, and he may have made his last start for the Yankees with the team on the brink of elimination.
Tanaka will start Game 3 of the ALDS against the Rays on Wednesday, Pete Caldera of NorthJersey.com reports. Tanaka was knocked around by the Indians in his first start of the 2020 postseason, surrendering six runs over four innings of work. Despite a rough showing Thursday, the right-hander was reliable for New York during the regular season, posting a 3.56 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with a 44:8 K:BB across 48 frames. The Yankees will hand the ball to Gerrit Cole in Game 1 and Deivi Garcia in Game 2.
Tanaka was knocked around in Game 2 of the AL Wild Card Round against Cleveland, allowing six runs on five hits in four innings, striking out three and walking three. The Yankees' bats eventually bailed Tanaka out, as New York came back to win 10-9, but it certainly wasn't the performance the Yankees hoped to see from their second starter. Most of the damage was done in the first inning, a frame which saw five Cleveland hitters reach base and four come around to score. He later allowed the first two batters in the fifth inning to reach base, both of whom would come around to score after he was replaced by a reliever. He'll look to rebound in his next outing, which will likely come in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Rays on Tuesday.
Tanaka allowed five runs (three earned) on eight hits and three walks across four innings during the Yankees' 14-1 loss to the Blue Jays on Wednesday. He struck out three. The Yankees recorded three errors in the field, which skewed the box score. Nonetheless, Tanaka labored through 91 pitches (55 for strikes). It is an uncharacteristic conclusion to a strong bounce-back campaign for the Japanese 31-year-old. Tanaka finishes the regular season with a 3.56 ERA over 48 innings.
Tanaka's next scheduled start has been pushed back a day to Wednesday against Toronto, Pete Caldera of The Bergen Record reports. Tanaka was originally lined up to pitch the second contest of the four-game series Tuesday, but he'll get an extra day of rest and instead start Wednesday. The move was presumably decided upon with an eye toward the Yankees' postseason rotation.