Tanaka Breaks Through — Aug 11, 2019: NY 1 Toronto 0

Masahiro Tanaka finally broke through his recent slump — pitching a shutout into the 9th against Toronto; his slider sliding; his splitter (with new grip) splitting. Brett Gardner doubled in a run in the 5th after Gio Urshela led off the inning with a double — and that was it — ballgame!

Aroldis Chapman relieved Tanaka after a leadoff single in the 9th, and had an epic encounter with Vladimir Guerrero Jr. before Vlad hit a ground ball for a double play.

Tanaka Has been Working on the Grip of the Splitter

Tanaka’s nadir came against Boston 2 weeks ago — 12 runs all earned in 3.1 innings on July 25. Since then he’s been getting a little better each start — his next start 4 innings 2 runs vs Arizona, and his last start saw him navigating many extra base but pitching 5 innings 1 run before getting clobbered in the 6th vs Baltimore.

After the game Tanaka said he has been “focusing on the splitter, working on it on the side and looking into the mechanics of it. It’s been my 3rd game since changing the grip (of the splitter). I think everything’s moving in the right direction. I think there’s more depth to the pitch.”

Trent Thornton pitched 6 strong innings for Toronto but got tagged for the loss.


Aaron Judge, Gio Urshela, Austin Romine, and Gardner got the only Yankee hits (Urshela had 2).

The Boxscore


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