Masahiro Tanaka (10-1, 2.02 ERA) and the Yanks take on Marcus Stroman (3-1, 5.18 ERA) and the AL East leading Blue Jays in the first game of six being played this month. The Blue Jays had the honor of being Tanaka’s first MLB opponents on April 4th, now they will be the first team to get a second look at him. Tanaka is coming off a complete game win over the Mariners allowing six hits and just two runs with one walk and 11 K’s. He has won his last four starts. “I know how to prepare before games, the preparation going into a game,” he said. “That would probably be a difference from the first time going into now. As far as from the first game, I really don’t have any thoughts from that. Toronto is a team that is the best team in our league right now, so obviously I want to go out there and try to get a win.”
Stroman has tossed six innings and has recorded a quality start in all three of his outings as a starter. He walked two over those 18 innings but suffered the first loss of his career against the Twins due to a lack of run support. The rookie is a Medford, NY native and is expecting to have a lot of support in the stands. “Any time you have an opportunity to pitch in front of a bunch of family and friends it’s exciting,” Stroman said. “I have a bunch of people texting me, a lot of people from high school, college reaching out to me telling me they’ll be at the game.”
The Yankees are coming home from a West Coast swing and 15 of their games coming up are against the division, six of 11 being against the first place Blue Jays. “You don’t want to make too much of it, but it’s obviously an important period when you’re going to see the teams that we’re going to see,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s a huge stretch against East Coast teams, and you have a chance to make up ground and put distance between other teams and yourself. I think it’s really important.”
Notes on the game
Tanaka is tied for the lead with 10 wins in the league and his 2.02 ERA is the best in the AL.
The Yankees won 2 of 3 so far against Toronto.
Francisco Cervelli will likely rejoin the team this week.
First pitch at 7:05 PM on My9