Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Monday, April 28, 2014

Jack O’Connell: Tanaka still undefeated thanks to Yanks’ comeback

As Amado Samuel Clemens once said…“Many an Aaron Small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”

Masahiro Tanaka still has a shot at another unbeaten season. He came close to sustaining his first loss in the major leagues Sunday night but got off to hook when the Yankees tied the score in the bottom of the seventh inning against the Angels and went on to a 3-2 victory despite totaling only three hits.

Tanaka, who was 24-0 in Japan last year, pitched well enough to win but came out of the game trailing, 2-1, with one out in the top of the seventh. The Yankees had only two hits off Angels starter Garrett Richards at that point, but Mark Teixeira got them even with his second home run of the season, a bomb to right field off a 2-2 fastball.

That kept Tanaka’s record at 3-0. The righthander struggled somewhat with his command. He walked four batters, twice as many as he had combined over his first four starts, and hit one. But Tanaka piled up 11 strikeouts and pitched exceedingly well with men on base, which the Angels had regularly with five hits in addition to the walks and the hit batter.

...The winning decision went to Adam Warren (1-1), who pitched 1 2/3 innings of shutout relief and benefit from the Yanks getting a gift run in the eight from the leaky Angels bullpen as the result of two walks, a passed ball and a wild pitch. David Robertson struck out pinch hitter Raul Ibanez with a runner on second base to end the game and earned his fourth save.

Repoz Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:23 AM | 42 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: yankees

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:41 AM (#4695723)
So this guy is for real, I'm presuming. I saw about 1 batter's worth of him in a ST game and his stuff looked nasty.
   2. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:46 AM (#4695733)
Wow, between Utley hitting .400 and Tanaka going undefeated, this is gonna be quite the historic season in MLB. Can't wait.
   3. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:47 AM (#4695735)
Wow, between Utley hitting .400 and Tanaka going undefeated, this is gonna be quite the historic season in MLB. Can't wait.


Tanaka being 3-0 is not interesting. Tanaka having not lost a regular season game since 2012 is interesting.
   4. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4695740)
And Tanaka striking out 11 batters in 6.1 innings against the best hitting team in baseball, in his worst performance of the year when his command was clearly off, isn't exactly worth sneezing at.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:06 AM (#4695759)
Tanaka being 3-0 is not interesting. Tanaka having not lost a regular season game since 2012 is interesting.


Not to get all RDP here, but the fact that Tanaka is an excellent, exciting new (to MLB) pitcher is interesting. A flukish run of a basically irrelevant stat is pretty much just a curiosity.
   6. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:12 AM (#4695764)
Not to get all RDP here, but the fact that Tanaka is an excellent, exciting new (to MLB) pitcher is interesting. A flukish run of a basically irrelevant stat is pretty much just a curiosity.

In substance you're right, but from a marketing POV it's certainly a fluke that's definitely worth highlighting. What's really kind of neat is that he lost game 6 of the Japanese World Series last year, and then came back in relief to win game 7.
   7. TVerik, the gum-snappin' hairdresser Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4695766)
Aaron Small himself hasn't lost a game since 2006. Amazing.
   8. Danny Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM (#4695771)
What's really kind of neat is that he lost game 6 of the Japanese World Series last year, and then came back in relief to win game 7.

He didn't win game 7. He picked up a save for pitching a scoreless ninth in a 3-0 game.
   9. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4695776)
He didn't win game 7. He picked up a save for pitching a scoreless ninth in a 3-0 game.

Correction noted and appreciated.
   10. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:25 AM (#4695779)
A flukish run of a basically irrelevant stat is pretty much just a curiosity.


The Yankees are all about collecting wins. He seems a good fit.
   11. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 28, 2014 at 11:57 AM (#4695819)
The strike out rate is surprising since the scouting report on him seemed to suggest he profiled more as a #2 Dan Haren type and his k totals in Japan weren't crazy off the charts. Last night, he didn't even seem to have his best stuff and still managed to give them a very good start. Very encouraging beginning to his career.
   12. cardsfanboy Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:01 PM (#4695824)
A flukish run of a basically irrelevant stat is pretty much just a curiosity.


It's not an irrelevant stat (that would be something like WPA) it's an overrated stat, and probably not even as good of a stat as quality starts, but this is making news because he's been pretty lights out for the team, regardless of whether he's acquiring wins or not. He's allowed no more than 3 runs in any of his starts, has good peripherals (46k/ 6bb in 35 ip, .925 whip)

Obviously he's not going to go all season without a loss, but in conjuction with his performance last year, it's a nice bit of trivia.
   13. gehrig97 Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:04 PM (#4695825)
Oh, I'm sure Jason Stark will compile one of his "Rumblings and Grumblings" listicles about Tanaka's "streak" any day now.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:09 PM (#4695828)
#12, we're saying the same thing, roughly.
   15. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 28, 2014 at 12:53 PM (#4695877)
He's not undefeated, he lost to the Orioles on April 9th, just as he lost starts last year (first one April 16th to SoftBank).

Wins matter, but how a totally useless stat poorly apportions them (at least compared to WPA) doesn't.
   16. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:05 PM (#4695893)
The strike out rate is surprising since the scouting report on him seemed to suggest he profiled more as a #2 Dan Haren type and his k totals in Japan weren't crazy off the charts. Last night, he didn't even seem to have his best stuff and still managed to give them a very good start. Very encouraging beginning to his career.
The league hasn't seen him yet, so the first time around they're all flailing at that slider and and splitter that just falls off the table. (He made Trout look very, very bad last night swinging at one that bounced so far off the plate Trout would have needed a telephone pole to reach it.) Maybe the K rate drops a bit in the next few years, but he doesn't look like a guy who's afraid to challenge batters and with a 2-strike count guys are still going to be swinging and missing at that split.
   17. Shredder Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:09 PM (#4695899)
The strike out rate is surprising since the scouting report on him seemed to suggest he profiled more as a #2 Dan Haren type and his k totals in Japan weren't crazy off the charts. Last night, he didn't even seem to have his best stuff and still managed to give them a very good start. Very encouraging beginning to his career.
I may be getting this wrong, but last night they showed a stat that said his percentage of pitches in the strike zone is among the worst (bottom four, I think) in baseball among qualifiers, but he has the best chase rate in the game, which explains all the strikeouts so far. At some point you'd think hitters will adjust and start laying off the splitter, at least early in the count. The Angels had a really hard time laying off it last night.
   18. SoCalDemon Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:28 PM (#4695913)
Re #15: The Yankees lost to the O's on April 9th, but what does the two runs that Shawn Kelley gave up in the 9th have to do with Tanaka?
   19. DKDC Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:33 PM (#4695916)
His stats are certainly very impressive, and I think the only dwindling hope for him to become a bust is that he is so dependent the splitter.

The rest of his repertoire looks pretty ordinary, and nearly half of his K’s have come on the splitter, which he throws 20% of the time. He has a ridiculous 37% whiff rate on that pitch, and he throws it out of the strike zone 75% of the time.

I have no idea whether it can be picked up and game planned for, but if for whatever reason, if a team faces him a second time and does a better job picking up the splitter, I think he’s a very hittable pitcher. Easier said than done, of course, especially since Tanaka doesn’t need pinpoint command of the splitter on any given day for it to be effective.
   20. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 28, 2014 at 01:36 PM (#4695920)
I think if it were as easy as just not swinging at the splitter, people in Japan would have figured that out and exploited it.
   21. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 28, 2014 at 02:07 PM (#4695941)
The rest of his repertoire looks pretty ordinary, and nearly half of his K’s have come on the splitter, which he throws 20% of the time. He has a ridiculous 37% whiff rate on that pitch, and he throws it out of the strike zone 75% of the time.
If you watch him, it's easy to see why. The movement on his ball is ridiculous. His slider bends left, his change (or is that a true screwball?) fades right, the split dives, and he's got two different fastballs. Nothing he throws seems to spend much time on the plate, but they're all close enough that if a batter's already got a strike, he may not want to chance taking another one and staring at strike two. Plus, even if the pitch is hittable, those pitches have to be hell to square up on.
   22. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 02:37 PM (#4695970)
He's not undefeated, he lost to the Orioles on April 9th


(Checks box score)

No he didn't.
   23. rufus was here Posted: April 28, 2014 at 02:40 PM (#4695974)
I went to the game at Fenway. Remarkable difference between most of the game and the fourth inning.

The Ortiz home run that night was the furthest I've ever seen a ball travel, and it was a cold rainy night in April. (Imagine if it were a warm August night.)

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/hrdetail.php?id=2014_538

Pitch was right down the middle. He and Napoli didn't seem the slightest bit fooled.

And he had the same trouble when facing the O's, in the second inning. Schoop crushed that ball for a LONG 3-run home run.

Are there other pitchers who go between being so dominant and serving up meatballs so quickly? Does he make adjustments, or are these just rare mistakes? Seems like an odd combination.
   24. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 28, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4695976)
Are there other pitchers who go between being so dominant and serving up meatballs so quickly? Does he make adjustments, or are these just rare mistakes? Seems like an odd combination.


Peak Josh Beckett and Javier Vazquez both pitched like this.
   25. DKDC Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:00 PM (#4695996)
Peak Josh Beckett and Javier Vazquez both pitched like this.


So did another big-name pitcher from Japan who also put up a 2.91 FIP through his first 5 starts.
   26. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:16 PM (#4696006)
So did another big-name pitcher from Japan who also put up a 2.91 FIP through his first 5 starts.


God, it really bothers you that the Yankees came up with a good one, doesn't it? It's funny how much you wish Tanaka to suck.
   27. You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR) Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:23 PM (#4696011)
God, it really bothers you that the Yankees came up with a good one, doesn't it? It's funny how much you wish Tanaka to suck.


In all fairness I find this wishcasting far more palatable than the overt hoping for Yankee players to suffer horrible injury that is commonly encountered around the more fetid Yankee-hating corners of the internet. Haters gonna hate, that's inarguable calculus, but wishing injury on any person for the sin of associating with the most popular and successful franchise in all of sports is pathetic even for the losers who revel in their hatred of the Yankees.
   28. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4696013)
As it is for all players the second time around the league will be telling for Tanaka. The fact that he gets better the second time through the order then better than that the third time through suggests that guys aren't figuring him out too quickly. Still, a book will get out on him, he'll get knocked around a bit then he'll either adapt or he won't. So far he has looked very very impressive though. That K/BB rate is something else. I think he's for real.
   29. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:27 PM (#4696014)
He made Trout look very, very bad last night swinging at one that bounced so far off the plate Trout would have needed a telephone pole to reach it.

So the Gashouse Gorillas have a chance, you are saying?
   30. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:31 PM (#4696018)
People have different reasons for wanting players to succeed or fail. I would like to see Tanaka succeed simply because I root for all Japanese players in MLB, regardless of what team they play for. I'm not a Yankees fan, but I want to see Tanaka (and Kuroda and Ichiro) play well.
   31. nick swisher hygiene Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:40 PM (#4696029)
I know I should stop trying, but....somebody tell me the relevance of Repoz's intro?

I haven't seen a guy trying so hard to be clever since the Clever Dicks pressed their debut single on pink vinyl!
   32. Sonic Youk Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:48 PM (#4696032)
Tanaka reminds me a bit of Schilling, another pitcher who gave up a bunch of homers because he pounded the zone with fastballs
   33. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:50 PM (#4696033)
I know I should stop trying, but....somebody tell me the relevance of Repoz's intro?

Only Michael Burke knows, and he ain't talkin!
   34. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: April 28, 2014 at 03:55 PM (#4696038)
As Amado Samuel Clemens once said…“Many an Aaron Small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising.”


My guess is that you can attribute any quotation to Mark Twain, so this gives Repoz the freedom is paraphrase a quote that doesn't necessarily exist but is banal and cliched enough that it sounds like a bit of wisdom. There is the obvious play on Aaron Small-- the ultimate smoke and mirrors success story-- and Repoz's abiding hatred of all things Yankee-related ("I don't need this corporation attitude!"). The peculiar thing is the link to Amado. Is it an intentional mis-spelling of Amaro and then are we supposed to make a connection to the poorly-regarded Ruben's general managing skills?
   35. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: April 28, 2014 at 04:40 PM (#4696071)
I think that Amado Samuel is an old Mets' player.

EDIT: Bing, bing. A very 1964 Mets-type player, quintessential futility infielder, who spent 62-63 with the Braves. Career ended at age 25, plagued by sulkiness. -2.4 WAR win 393 Pas.
   36. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: April 28, 2014 at 05:25 PM (#4696113)
My guess is that you can attribute any quotation to Mark Twain


It is well known that every witty thing ever said was simultaneously uttered by Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, and Dorothy Parker.
   37. KT's Pot Arb Posted: April 28, 2014 at 05:45 PM (#4696124)
Re #15: The Yankees lost to the O's on April 9th, but what does the two runs that Shawn Kelley gave up in the 9th have to do with Tanaka?


What did Tanaka have to do with Texieras HR last night? Tanaka was already done and left the game, he never pitched with a lead and threw his last pitch while still losing.

Pitchers don't win games, teams win games, and arbitrary scoring rules give some pitcher credit for a team accomplishment. I can applaud Tanaka for an amazing stretch of dominance without using a misleadingly bad stat to justify my applause.
   38. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: April 28, 2014 at 06:18 PM (#4696148)
I can applaud Tanaka for an amazing stretch of dominance without using a misleadingly bad stat to justify my applause.
In that case, you shouldn't write things like "He's not undefeated, he lost to the Orioles on April 9th, just as he lost starts last year (first one April 16th to SoftBank)." Tanaka didn't lose those starts, his team did.
   39. SoCalDemon Posted: April 28, 2014 at 06:32 PM (#4696151)
Not to pile on, but that was exactly my point. You are the one who said he lost. I think the win is a pretty useless statistic to judge individual performance, but there are in fact criteria for wins in losses. You can ignore them (that is my choice), but if you just make up your own rules, people are probably going to call you on that.
   40. toratoratora Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:00 PM (#4696191)
His stats are certainly very impressive, and I think the only dwindling hope for him to become a bust is that he is so dependent the splitter.

The rest of his repertoire looks pretty ordinary, and nearly half of his K’s have come on the splitter, which he throws 20% of the time. He has a ridiculous 37% whiff rate on that pitch, and he throws it out of the strike zone 75% of the time.

I've seen him a few times this season, once live, and he has really good control. As in pinpoint. Right now he's carrying a nice 7.67 K/W ratio.
Mix in changing speeds, being able to paint corners,always getting ahead in the count, no fear of throwing strikes and/or hitting spots and that hellish slider and that's a nasty combination to face.
The guy can pitch, and as a Sox fan, you have no idea how much that hurts to say
   41. Jolly Old St. Nick Still Gags in October Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:19 PM (#4696200)
My guess is that you can attribute any quotation to Mark Twain


It is well known that every witty thing ever said was simultaneously uttered by Mark Twain, Winston Churchill, Oscar Wilde, and Dorothy Parker.

As Duke Ellington once said, the Battle of Waterloo was won on the playing fields of Elkton.
   42. BDC Posted: April 28, 2014 at 08:31 PM (#4696212)
The exception is Yogi Berra, who never said most of the things he said.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam S
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOTP - July 2014: Republicans Lose To Democrats For Sixth Straight Year In Congressional Baseball Game
(3406 - 6:40pm, Jul 28)
Last: tshipman

NewsblogESPN: Yankee Fan Returns Lost Red Sox World Series Ring
(11 - 6:39pm, Jul 28)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogFormer OF Jason Lane takes loss in first start
(4 - 6:38pm, Jul 28)
Last: JRVJ

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread- July 2014
(992 - 6:36pm, Jul 28)
Last: HMS Moses Taylor

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread July, 2014
(460 - 6:35pm, Jul 28)
Last: Darkness and the howling fantods

NewsblogDmitri Young explains his amazing weight loss
(27 - 6:33pm, Jul 28)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogFull Count » Mike Carp explains why he requested a trade from Red Sox
(34 - 6:25pm, Jul 28)
Last: villageidiom

NewsblogGossage on Bonds, McGwire Hall hopes: ‘Are you f–king kidding?’
(125 - 6:16pm, Jul 28)
Last: Walt Davis

Newsblog2014 Prospect Watch | MLB.com: UPDATED
(9 - 6:09pm, Jul 28)
Last: Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora

NewsblogDodgers and Diamondbacks Triple-A teams involved in wild brawl
(24 - 6:08pm, Jul 28)
Last: alilisd

NewsblogSchoenfield: Why didn't the Braves win more titles?
(87 - 6:01pm, Jul 28)
Last: toratoratora

NewsblogHall of Fame Announces Changes to Voting Process for Recently Retired Players, Effective Immediately
(97 - 5:59pm, Jul 28)
Last: Ray (RDP)

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 7-28-2014
(43 - 5:55pm, Jul 28)
Last: Davo Dozier

NewsblogDeadspin: David Ortiz Pissed Off the Rays Again
(51 - 5:48pm, Jul 28)
Last: Joe Bivens, Minor Genius

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 7-28
(21 - 5:32pm, Jul 28)
Last: boteman is not here 'til October

Page rendered in 0.2316 seconds
54 querie(s) executed