New York Yankees: Mashiro Tanaka

Stats to know: The Subway Series

May, 12, 2014
May 12
1:15
AM ET
Both the New York Mets and New York Yankees enter this year’s Subway Series a little cold, though the Mets can say they have a sliver of momentum after rallying from three runs down in the ninth inning to beat the Philadelphia Phillies, while the Yankees couldn’t complete a comeback against the Milwaukee Brewers.

Let’s take a look at some of the statistical storylines in this matchup.

The rivalry
The Mets won all four of their meetings with the Yankees last season and currently ride that winning streak, the longest against their crosstown rival. In fact, their pitchers were walk-free in each of the last three games in that series.

The Mets are 40-54 all time in regular-season games against the Yankees, including 17-30 all time at Yankee Stadium, but have won their past two games there.

Who’s hot?
The hottest players on each team are not names you’d expect -- Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy and Yankees utility man Yangervis Solarte.

Murphy is coming off a series against the Phillies in which he went 5-for-12 with five walks. He’s hitting .343 with a .918 OPS over his past 24 games, missing on only nine percent of his swings.

Solarte is 9-for-20 with seven RBIs in his past six games, with at least one hit in each one. That includes six hits in nine at-bats against left-handed pitching (started the season 10-for-44).

Who’s not?
Both team’s starting catchers are slumping.

The Yankees' Brian McCann has a hit in each of his past two games, but he is 6-for-43 in his past 11. The effects of the shift continue to take their toll on McCann, who is 2-for-17 when hitting a ground ball in that span.

The Mets' Travis d’Arnaud has hovered at or below .200 all season. He’s currently in a 5-for-30 slump that has dipped his batting average to .202.

One of d’Arnaud’s biggest issues is that once he gets to two strikes, he’s an almost automatic out. He’s 3-for-41 in two-strike counts this season.

Captains Clutch
You can read all about Derek Jeter’s career history of tormenting the Mets in our latest “Jeet Sheet,” but it’s worth noting that David Wright has a pretty good history against the Yankees.

Wright has a .316/.381/.546 slashline (batting average/on-base percentage/slugging percentage) in 46 games against the Yankees. Wright’s .927 OPS against the Yankees is his third-best against any team he’s faced at least 10 times (trailing the 1.021 against the Dodgers and 1.010 against the Rockies).

Tanaka meets the Mets
Masahiro Tanaka will face the Mets at Citi Field on Wednesday. It will be interesting to see if the Mets’ patient approach at the plate works against Tanaka, who has gotten hitters to miss on 52 percent of swings against his split-fingered fastball this season.

Granderson returns
Curtis Granderson returns to Yankee Stadium as a Met, and though he’s struggled this season, he’s hitting .308 with 12 hits in his past 11 games.

Granderson will try to find his power stroke in the Bronx. He had 47 home runs combined at Yankee Stadium in 2011 and 2012. He’s hit only three in 48 home games since then.

Flick of the RISP
The Mets have endured some significant struggles with runners in scoring position of late. However, they are hitting .247 in those situations this season, which is actually two points better than the Yankees, who have boosted their season numbers by going 12-for-30 in their past four games.

Tarp is off, here comes Tanaka

March, 6, 2014
Mar 6
1:55
PM ET
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- The tarp has been removed from the field and the rain has stopped somewhat. The Phillies have announced the game will begin at 2:30. You can watch on MLB Network.

Masahiro Tanaka is scheduled to start. Joe Girardi made one change in his lineup, scratching Carlos Beltran. The Yankees did not give an official reason why.

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Brian McCann, C
Alfonso Soriano, DH
Kelly Johnson, 3B
Brian Roberts, 2B
Mason Williams, CF
Ramon Flores, RF

Tanaka, P

GM: 'Closer to 80 wins,' Yanks need Tanaka

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
12:21
PM ET
Alex Rodriguez doesn't really matter. When you look at how good the Yankees are going to be in 2014, A-Rod doesn't help that much. Over the past three years, he only played 88 games because of injury. His "gummy-aided" numbers were actually better than most third basemen, but still not great.

SportsNation

How many games will the 2014 Yankees win?

  •  
    4%
  •  
    17%
  •  
    30%
  •  
    37%
  •  
    12%

Discuss (Total votes: 7,257)

So, yes, the Yankees don't really have anyone to replace A-Rod who can make you feel confident. Kelly Johnson, Eduardo Nunez and Dean Anna are the third basemen on the 40-man, while Scott Sizemore and Yangervis Solarte are under minor league contracts.

At second, the Yankees have the injury-prone Brian Roberts, Anna and maybe Johnson or Sizemore. At short and first, two stars (Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira) are coming back from serious injuries.

"What they have now is closer to 80 wins than 90 wins," one NL general manager said.

The GM liked what the Yankees did with their checkbook so far, upgrading at catcher with Brian McCann and in the outfield with Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but the pitching still has question marks, making this GM believe the Yankees will make sure to sign Masahiro Tanaka.

"I'd guess the Yankees," the GM said when asked who he thinks will win the sweepstakes.

The Yankees have improved, but their infield -- which in recent vintage years has been a major strength -- has nothing definite about it. The starting staff is led by three pitchers (CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda and Ivan Nova) who are not sure things for various reasons. After that, from Michael Pineda, David Phelps, Vidal Nuno and Adam Warren, the Yankees will need to find some strong innings.

The bullpen is unsettled with David Robertson set to take Mariano Rivera's place. Grant Balfour is still out there and could be a fit, adding a proven closer and keeping Robertson in the eighth inning. If not, Robertson will be supported by Matt Thornton, Shawn Kelley and Preston Claiborne.

The Yankees are trying to spend their way back to the top -- but, at least according to one GM, they need take out their wallet one more time.

QUESTION: How many wins do you think these Yankees have in them?

SPONSORED HEADLINES

TEAM LEADERS

BA LEADER
Brett Gardner
BA HR RBI R
.281 14 47 68
OTHER LEADERS
HRM. Teixeira 18
RBIM. Teixeira 50
RB. Gardner 68
OPSB. Gardner .813
WM. Tanaka 12
ERAM. Tanaka 2.51
SOM. Tanaka 135