Monday, April 6, 2015

Tanaka staying optimistic after tough Opening Day

After lasting just four innings and allowing four earned runs Monday against the Blue Jays, Yankees ace Masahiro Tanaka isn't making excuses.

"I was in bad counts," Tanaka said during a press conference following the 6-1 loss. "And obviously that's going to give an advantage to the batters."

Tanaka surrendered five hits and five total runs in the defeat -- each of which came in the Blue Jays' half of the third. He gave up a two-run single to Russell Martin and a two-run home run to Edwin Encarnacion in the frame, striking out six while walking two.

Tanaka has said in recent weeks he's hoping to use his sinker more in an attempt to induce more ground balls, but denied the notion that the new strategy contributed to his bad numbers.

"No, I don't think that has anything to do with it," he said.

Tanaka fanned three of the first four Blue Jays he faced in his outing, but struggled with his command from then on. In all, he threw just 50 of 82 pitches for strikes on the afternoon -- raising his early 2015 ERA to a hefty 9.00.

Tanaka still looks at his performance positively, however, and says he saw some good signs outside of his rough third inning. 

"Overall, I think my pitches were good," Tanaka said. "Obviously, the results in the third inning weren't the ones I wanted. But looking back to the first two innings, I think I was pitching well."

And though his start Monday was disappointing at best, Tanaka assures he can get back to his old ways. 

"If I'm able to make some adjustments, then I should be able to get back into the form that I want," he said.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)