The Chicago Cubs beat the New York Yankees by a final score of 6-1 Tuesday night and in the process gave Masahiro Tanaka his first loss in 42 starts. This dates back to his Rakuten Golden Eagles days: August 19, 2012.
Tanaka allowed four runs, three earned, in six innings of work. That’s the most he’s allowed and the fewest innings he’s thrown in nine starts with the Yankees. His ERA bumped to 2.39 which is still good. He leads the league with a 0.97 WHIP.
This is the second time he’s faced the Cubs this year. Every other team he’s only faced once. The Cubs may have figured him out the second go-around. Here’s manager Joe Girardi thoughts on the matter, via Chad Jennings of the Journal News :
“I wouldn’t make too much of (the Cubs seeing him a second time),” Girardi said. “If he has his good splitter tonight, I think he gives a much better performance. Since it’s the first time he saw a team twice and they scored four runs, people are probably going to make a big deal out of it.”
As for Tanaka, he blamed the loss on a lack of command saying his pitches “went to locations which were easy for the batters to hit.” His team isn’t worried. Losses happen.
Up until Tuesday, Tanaka had gone 34-0 in his last 42 regular season starts.