Asked if he would like to be chosen for the wild-card game, Tanaka (12-5) said: “It’s hard to answer that at this point. I think anyone of us could pitch in that game. For me, the important thing is to focus on this game and the next game.”
Over the second half of the season, Tanaka’s 2.30 E.R.A. has been the best among Yankees starters, and he has drastically reduced his tendency to allow home runs, giving up just five in 64⅔ innings since the All-Star break compared with 18 in 83⅓ innings in the first half of the season.
“It’s just more of the same from Masa over the second half,” Boone said. “There’s just really good intent on all his pitches right now.”
Andrew McCutchen, acquired in a trade with the San Francisco Giants on Aug. 31, had his best game as a Yankee on Friday, with a home run, a double, a single and a pair of walks. He led off the five-run first inning with a double. Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton drove in two runs each, and Didi Gregorius hit his 24th home run of the season in the eighth inning.
But even during Judge’s absence (45 games because of a broken right wrist), the offense was not the Yankees’ problem. They continued to lead the American League in home runs while maintaining a close second place in runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage plus slugging — just behind the Boston Red Sox, their nemesis in the A.L. East. The Yankees’ run differential was a healthy plus-148, behind only the Red Sox and the defending world champion Houston Astros.
It was the pitching that let them down; over the second half of the season, their team E.R.A. had risen from 3.48 to 4.28.
“All you can hope for is to have a number of people to pick from who are available to pitch that wild-card game,” Boone said.
With Happ, Severino and Tanaka seemingly returning to form, Boone may have exactly that.
Source : https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/14/sports/yankees-aaron-judge-blue-jays.html354