Game 4: Yankees at Blue Jays
We’ve been waiting for this day since the moment Masahiro Tanaka chose the Yankees’ seven-year, $155 million offer and chartered that Japan Airlines jet to New York City for his introductory press conference. After weeks of hype, scrutiny and adjustments, the 25-year-old right-hander will make his Major League debut tonight here at Rogers Centre in Toronto, taking on the Blue Jays.
Dustin McGowan has the ball for the Jays, making his first big league start since 2011, and it should be an electric scene — this is also Toronto’s home opener. The action is scheduled to begin at 7:07 p.m. ET, and you can join the worldwide audience for this event by watching on the YES Network or listening on WFAN.
Here are the quick hits you need to know, courtesy of the Yankees’ media relations department:
AT A GLANCE: Tonight the Yankees will play their first game of a three-game series at Toronto… is the fourth game of a six-game road trip that also included a season-opening three-game series at Houston (went 1-2)… following this road trip, return home for a 10-day, nine-game homestand vs. Baltimore (Mon.-Wed.), vs. Boston (4/10-13) and vs. Chicago-NL (4/15-16)… will play 18 of their first 31 games at home.
CURTAIN CALL: SS Derek Jeter leads all active MLB players and is the Yankees franchise leader with 3,318 career hits… needs just 1H to tie Paul Molitor (3,319) for eighth place on MLB’s all-time hits list and fourth place on the all-time AL hits list.
MADE IN JAPAN: The Yankees have three Japan-born players on their active roster: OF Ichiro Suzuki, RHP Hiroki Kuroda and RHP Masahiro Tanaka… the Yankees have had six Japan-born players in their history: Hideki Irabu (1997-99), Hideki Matsui (2003-09), Kei Igawa (2007-08), Hiroki Kuroda (2012-13), Ryota Igarashi (2012) and Ichiro Suzuki (2012-13)… with Tanaka and Kuroda, the Yankees will have two Japan-born pitchers in their starting rotation, becoming the first team to do so since the Dodgers had starters Hideo Nomo and Kazuhisa Ishii in 2004.
YESTERDAY’S NEWS: The Yankees won their first game of the season on Thursday, defeating Houston, 4-2 at Minute Maid Park… 3B Yangervis Solarte (3-for-3, 2R, 1 double, 1BB, RBI-single in the seventh inning) reached base in all four plate appearances in his first career start… became the first Yankee with a 3H game within his first two career games since Mike Lowell went 3-for-5 in his second career game on 9/20/98 at Baltimore… also became the first Yankee with a 3H game in his first career start since Oscar Azocar went 3-for-4 on 7/18/90 vs. Kansas City… the Elias Sports Bureau notes that Solarte was the first Yankee to go 3-for-3 or better in his first career start since Ralph Houk went 3-for-3 with a double on 4/26/47 vs. Washington.
NEW BLOOD: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, INF Yangervis Solarte (672 career minor league games) and INF Dean Anna (554 career minor league games) are the only players who made a 2014 MLB Opening Day roster who had played at least 500 games in the minors without ever having previously played in the Majors.
The lineups for both clubs:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Masahiro Tanaka RHP (24-0, 1.27 in 2013)
|BLUE JAYS (2-2)
Melky Cabrera LF
Dustin McGowan RHP (0-0, 2.45 in 2013)