When Masahiro Tanaka pitches, the Yankees don't lose. Seriously.
Starting against the New York Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday night, Tanaka flat out dominated, staying undefeated as he picked up his 6th win of the season by shutting out the Mets for nine innings in the Yankees' 4-0 victory, their first win over the Mets since 2012.
This outing was easily one of Tanaka's best outings this season -- which is tough to say when almost all of his starts have been very good -- as he struck out eight and didn't walk a single batter, while giving up just four hits. He became the first Yankees pitcher since Andy Pettitte in 2002 to shutout the Mets in the Subway Series.
On top of all of that, Tanaka singled to center in the 9th inning for his first big league hit.
The Yankees scored all four of their runs one at a time, with two of them coming on solo homeruns, by Mark Teixeira and Yangervis Solarte.
Solarte scored the first run of the ball game in the 2nd inning when Brian Roberts tripled to left field off of Mets starter Rafael Montero, who was making his Major League debut. Roberts lined a ball to left, and the diving Eric Young Jr. missed it, letting it roll all the way to the warming track.
Two innings later, Solarte hit a blast over the right field off Montero in the 4th inning, his fourth homerun of the year, and second in as many games. We continue to see if this kid will ever fall back down to earth, but it just hasn't happened just. He's a fun player to watch, though.
Teixeira pushed the Yankees' lead to 3-0 in the 6th inning with his 8th homerun of the year, and 7th in his last 15 games. I really can't say that I expected him to perform well coming off of the wrist surgery, but ever since he came off the DL in April, opposing pitchers just can't seem to get him out.
The lead went to 4-0 in the 7th when Derek Jeter scored Brett Gardner on a swinging bunt after Gardner reached base on an infield single, stole second, them moved to third base on a wild pitch.
Now back to Tanaka, he was working pretty efficiently through the game, entering the 8th inning with 92 pitches, then threw a quick nine-pitch inning to go into the 9th with 101. After his single in the top half of the inning, Joe Girardi let him run back out to finish off the game, which he did.
This kid only seems to be getting better with every start he makes. In a season filled with so many ups and downs for the Yankees to this point, Tanaka has been one of the very few ups. In short, the Yankees really, really, needed him to deliver a start like this tonight, and he didn't disappoint.
The Subway Series wraps up Thursday night with a pair of pitchers making their big league debuts, as the Yankees will hand the ball to Chase Whitley, while the Mets put Jacob deGrom on the hill at 7:05 pm ET.