Tuesday, March 11, 2014

By: Gavin Ewbank | Lead Writer

While the Yankees were getting ready to play the Washington Nationals in Viera today, Masahiro Tanaka was back in Tampa pitching in a simulated game, which you could count as his third start of the spring.

Tanaka struck out nine of 18 batters he faced in four innings, according to the Associated Press, giving up three hits, including a solo homerun. He threw 49 strikes during the 63-pitch outing, his longest of the spring so far.

Jake Cave hit the homer off Tanaka, while Cito Culver had two singles.

“I felt that I was able to do what I wanted to do today,” Tanaka told the AP through an interpreter. “Given that my split-finger wasn’t that good my last outing, I worked a lot on that today.”

Tanaka has made a pair of starts against actual Major League clubs this spring -- both against Phillies -- and he has been very impressive. He's given up one run on four hits in five innings overall. His splitter has been everything people say it is, and catcher Brian McCann has said that Tanaka is as good as advertised.


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