Home Sports Aaron Boone on pulling Masahiro Tanaka: ‘Running a little bit empty’

Aaron Boone on pulling Masahiro Tanaka: ‘Running a little bit empty’

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Masahiro Tanaka had thrown just 66 pitches and retired seven straight batters when he was pulled after five scoreless innings in the Yankees 2-1, seven-inning loss to the Braves in the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader loss in Atlanta.

It was a stellar performance from the right-hander, but his early exit was curious and when Chad Green allowed a two-run homer to Freddie Freeman in the bottom of the sixth, it was easy to second-guess Aaron Boone.

Both the manager and Tanaka, though, said Tanaka was tired after five innings and the move was necessary.

“I think Masa was running a little bit empty, even though his pitch count was low,’’ Boone said.

Tanaka had thrown 71 pitches in his previous outing, when he struggled against the Rays on Aug. 18 and Boone said he was ready to let Tanaka “go into the mid-80s” with his pitch count Wednesday.

Masahiro Tanaka
Masahiro TanakaGetty Images

“He emptied the tank a little bit there in the fifth and being a seven-inning game, it was a different scenario coming back [through the lineup a] third time,’’ Boone said.

Tanaka agreed after a conversation with Boone following the fifth.

Tanaka, through an interpreter, said he told Boone he was tired and “I’m good with whatever you decide on.”

Boone hoped to get an inning from Green and then go to Aroldis Chapman to salvage a split, but Freeman’s homer ruined that plan.

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