Masahiro Tanaka to make spring debut Thursday

5 Comments

It had been expected and has now been confirmed: Masahiro Tanaka will make his 2015 Grapefruit League debut this Thursday against the Braves.

Tanaka worked through a successful two-inning simulated outing on Saturday in Yankees camp and figures to go two innings in his first start of the spring.

The right-hander was diagnosed last summer with a partially-torn ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow, but opted for rehab instead of Tommy John reconstructive surgery and the decision has worked out so far. The Yankees badly need it to keep working out.

Tanaka, 26, boasts a 2.77 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 9.3 K/9 in his first 20 major league starts.

Video: Cubs score run on Pirates’ appeal throw

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Leave a comment

2019 has been one long nightmare for the Pirates. They’re in last place in the NL Central, have had multiple clubhouse fights, and can’t stop getting into bench-clearing incidents. The embarrassment continued on Sunday as the club lost 16-6 to the Cubs, suffering a three-game series sweep in Chicago.

One of those 16 runs the Pirates allowed was particularly noteworthy. In the bottom of the third inning, with the game tied at 5-5, the Cubs had runners on first and second with two outs. Tony Kemp hit a triple to right field, allowing both Ben Zobrist and Jason Heyward to score to make it 7-5. The Pirates thought one of the Cubs’ base runners didn’t touch third base on their way home. Reliever Michael Feliz attempted to make an appeal throw to third base, but it was way too high for Erik González to catch, so Kemp scored easily on the error.

The Pirates lost Friday’s game to the Cubs 17-8 and Saturday’s game 14-1. They were outscored 47-15 in the three-game series. According to Baseball Reference, since 1908, the Pirates never allowed 14+ runs in three consecutive games and only did it two games in a row twice before this series, in 1949 and in 1950. The Cubs scored 14+ in three consecutive games just one other time, in 1930.