“I’m not worried too much just because I used to pitch in a city called Sendai, which is in the northern part of Japan, which was usually cold around this time of the season,” Tanaka said through an interpreter.
Of course, if Tanaka pitches the way he did last year in his 24-0 Rakuten run or like he did in the final five innings of his win Friday night when the Yankees were in Toronto, he should receive a lot of warmth from the home crowd. Tanaka will be making his Bronx debut in the series finale against the Orioles.
And he’s looking forward to it, especially after experiencing the festivities at Monday’s home opener.
“I was going through the ceremony; I felt that the fans are here to back us up,” Tanaka said. “So unlike Toronto, it should be nice.”
His 29-game regular-season winning streak will be on the line, dating to Aug. 19, 2012, when the Seibu Lions beat him. After giving up three runs in the first two innings of his Yankees debut, the 25-year-old righty fired off five scoreless innings against the Blue Jays and picked up a 7-3 win.
“For me, it’s all about the mechanics of how I pitch,” Tanaka said. “That said, I know what I need to fix.”
Ivan Nova knows he has to fix some things, too, after reverting to his inconsistent ways in his first two starts. Here’s the link to my story on LoHud.com and in The Journal News today about what went on with him and the team in yesterday’s 14-5 loss.
Photo by The Associated Press.