Masahiro Tanaka
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Video: Masahiro Tanaka’s wild inning-ending play ends in injury

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Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka went above and beyond the call of duty during Saturday’s 2-1 loss to the Rays. He held the Rays scoreless through five innings and had struck out both Austin Meadows and Tommy Pham in the top of the sixth when Ji-Man Choi roped a double out to left field. With a one-run lead to protect, Tanaka induced a first-pitch groundout from Yandy Díaz, but things didn’t go quite as expected: the ball ricocheted off of his right leg, then caromed back toward first base for an easy 1-3 putout.

It’s a play that might not have worked quite so perfectly if the ball hadn’t struck Tanaka’s shin at just the right angle. Unfortunately for the pitcher, it was also one of the hardest-hit batted balls he’d allowed all year — and one that left a definite contusion on his leg. He exited with a trainer and did not return for the seventh inning, when Tommy Kahnle stepped in for the starter and gave up the tying run on a Brandon Lowe solo shot.

For now, however, it doesn’t seem as though the Yankees have much to worry about. X-rays returned negative for any fractures, and Tanaka is likely to make a full recovery well before his next scheduled start. So far this season, the 30-year-old righty is 3-3 through 10 starts with a 3.09 ERA, 2.1 BB/9, and 8.1 SO/9 across 58 1/3 innings.

The Yankees, meanwhile, are now 27-17 following Saturday’s loss and sit just half a game behind the Rays for first place in the AL East.

Report: Mets sign Brad Brach to one-year, $850,000 contract

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The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Mets and free agent reliever Brad Brach have agreed on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The contract includes a player option for the 2021 season with a base salary of $1.25 million and additional performance incentives.

Brach, 33, signed as a free agent with the Cubs this past February. After posting an ugly 6.13 ERA over 39 2/3 innings, the Cubs released him in early August. The Mets picked him up shortly thereafter. Brach’s performance improved, limiting opposing hitters to six runs on 15 hits and three walks with 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings through the end of the season.

While Brach will add some much-needed depth to the Mets’ bullpen, his walk rate has been going in the wrong direction for the last three seasons. It went from eight percent in 2016 to 9.5, 9.7, and 12.8 percent from 2017-19. Needless to say the Mets are hoping that trend starts heading in the other direction next season.