Masahiro Tanaka may be pitching himself (General)

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into a start at the AL wild-card game.The Japanese right-hander struck out 10 over eight innings Mitch Williams Jersey , Gleyber Torres and Andrew McCutchen each hit two-run homers and the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners 4-0 on Friday night.Tanaka (11-5) allowed three hits and didn’t walk anyone, but he wasn’t all that impressed.“I felt like I didn’t have my best stuff,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I didn’t have good command of my slider and had to make adjustments throughout the game. But as the game went one I felt I was able to get my focus. It’s just grinding it out.”Tanaka has allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his last five starts. Yankees manager Aaron Boone felt Tanaka’s splitfinger fastball was the pitch that made him so effective Friday night.“The splitfinger right from the get-go was a factor,” Boone said. “And we even saw him reach back when he needed a little extra velocity on his fastball. He was in complete command out there tonight. He was terrific.”Boone has yet to commit to a starter for the wild-card game if New York ends up there, in part because ace Luis Severino has been off his game of late. With more results like this, Tanaka could be Boone’s guy in the winner-take-all showdown.The Yankees maintained their 3 1/2-game lead over Oakland for the top AL wild card and stayed 8 1/2 back of AL East-leading Boston. Seattle is 6 1/2 games behind the A’s for the final AL wild card.Tanaka is 7-0 against the Mariners in his career.“That’s about as good a pitched game we’ve had against us in quite some time,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “He used all four quadrants of the strike zone with his fastball and he had a really good splitter going. We didn’t get much to square up at all.”Torres and McCutchen squared up two pitches against starter James Paxton (11-6). Torres hit a two run-homer in the second inning, his 23rd of the season. The home run came after Luke Voit hit a two-out single to left.Torres, 21, is the youngest Yankee since Mickey Mantle to get 100 hits in a season.“I feel really good for that,” Torres said. “Hitting in this game is not easy. You have to stay humble and stay focused. I’m trying not to do too much. Now I’m more relaxed at the plate.”McCutchen added a two-run shot in the third for his first homer as a Yankee. He entered the game with one single in 16 at-bats in his first five games with the Yankees since coming over in the trade with the Giants.“I made some mistakes there in the second and third inning and they made me pay,” said Paxton, who pitched six innings and struck out eight. “Other than that, I felt pretty good. I hung a curveball in the third inning and the second inning was a cutter that I just didn’t get to the back foot.”DIDI RETURNSThe Yankees activated shortstop Didi Gregorius from the 10-day disabled list before the game and he entered as a defensive replacement in the sixth inning. He grounded out to second in his only at-bat.Gregorius bruised his left heal on Aug. 19 and missed 16 games. He is hitting .269 with 22 home runs and 74 RBIs.TRAINER’S ROOMYankees: RF Aaron Judge hit balls off a tee before the game, did some throwing in the outfield and fielded balls in early batting practice. Judge broke his right wrist when he was hit by a pitch on July 26.Mariners: Manager Scott Servais said LHP Marco Gonzales will come off the 10-day DL and start Tuesday’s game against the San Diego Padres. Gonzales http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-dave-cash-jersey , who was placed on the DL on Aug. 27 (neck strain) threw in the bullpen Friday. Servais said the Mariners will use a six-man rotation the rest of the season. … 1B Daniel Vogelbach (hamstring strain) was available to pinch hit Friday but still isn’t ready to play in the field.UP NEXTRHP Lance Lynn (8-10, 5.10 ERA) will make his seventh start for the Yankees on Saturday against the Mariners. He never has faced Seattle in his career. Lynn is winless in his last three starts, going 0-2 with an 8.59 ERA. RHP Felix Hernandez (8-13, 5.55 ERA) will make his 28th start of the season Saturday. Hernandez has not won a game since June 30. He has lost four of his last five starts, allowing 19 runs in 28 2/3 innings. NEW YORK (AP) — Wearing red Santa’s helper hats, Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz got right to work for the New York Mets — as elves, handing out presents to school kids during the team’s holiday party at Citi Field.A day after the club added the star second baseman and ace closer, new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen offered a gift to all Mets fans, too.“We did not make this move to have it be our last move,” Van Wagenen vowed Tuesday.Chimed in Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon: “I think there’s a lot more that’s going to happen.”Still too early to tell if that means something major, such as a swing at free agent slugger Bryce Harper. That was the buzz on radio talk station WFAN, where the seven-player trade with Seattle drew strong, mixed reaction from Mets rooters.Van Wagenen, however, seemed to throw shade on the notion that pitcher Noah Syndergaard was going anywhere. Despite recent speculation the Mets might trade him Steve Carlton Jersey , the GM said it would take “very special circumstances for us to even consider” swapping Syndergaard.Sporting the No. 24 he wore when he helped the Yankees take the 2009 World Series, Cano said he was pumped to play for the Mets.“Happy to be back in New York,” he said, later adding, “win another ring, especially on this side of the city.”The 36-year-old Cano is halfway through a $240 million, 10-year contract — that deal was negotiated by Van Wagenen in his prior job as a player agent. The Mets are responsible for $100 million of the $120 million remaining.An eight-time All-Star, Cano served an 80-game suspension this season after a positive test for Furosemide, a diuretic that can be used to mask performance-enhancing drugs. Cano said the substance was given to him by a licensed doctor in the Dominican Republic.Wilpon accepted Cano’s “good explanation” for the episode, saying, “I don’t think he’s a drug cheat.”As Cano’s former agent, Van Wagenen was privy to the details of the suspension, but didn’t share them. He pointed out that the penalty wasn’t for PEDs, and said Cano is “motivated more than most people realize.”Cano hit .303 with 10 home runs and 50 RBIs in 80 games. He waived his no-trade clause to return to New York and is expected to stay at second base.Diaz led the majors with 57 saves last season. The 24-year-old will fill the void left when the Mets traded closer Jeurys Familia to Oakland last July.Diaz was diagnosed with a bone spur in his right elbow as a teen, but said the condition has never caused him any trouble.“I think for me http://www.philliesfanproshop.com/authentic-aaron-nola-jersey , nothing,” he said.The Mariners initially told the Mets that Diaz wasn’t available. But when the Mets heard he might be included in a trade to NL East rival Philadelphia, they accelerated their efforts.The Mets sent outfielder Jay Bruce, reliever Anthony Swarzak and three prospects — including former first-round draft picks Justin Dunn and Jarred Kelenic — to Seattle for Cano, Diaz and $20 million.“They gave everything for us,” Diaz said.Coming off a pair of sub-.500 seasons, the Mets realize they need to do a lot more. The Mets figure to have cash on hand, with insurance money coming for now-finished third baseman David Wright and big-hitting Yoenis Cespedes, whose return from double-heel surgery is uncertain.Van Wagenen said this trade was not the “end-all move” and the winter meetings starting this weekend in Las Vegas could prove him right.Brandon Nimmo said he already likes the direction the Mets are headed. The outfielder played Santa Claus at the party for 126 grade-school children from Queens, wearing batting gloves as he handed out presents.“We want to win now,” Nimmo said. “That’s the path we’re taking.”

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