Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka had another strong outing, but unfortunately suffered the loss in Game 1 of the American League Championship Series.
Tanaka knew he needed to pitch similar to his ALDS performance if he wanted to match Astros' ace Dallas Keuchel. That is exactly what he was doing to start the game as he didn't let up a hit through the first three innings. However, when Jose Altuve notched an infield single in the fourth, it would be just enough for the Astros to take the lead.
With Carlos Correa at the dish, Altuve stole second setting up a Correa single to put the first run on the board for the Astros. Tanaka was in a groove with no runners on base, but when he was forced to throw from the stretch, he knows he needed better command of his pitches.
"The stuff was there, but when I had runners on base I needed to command my pitches better," Tanaka told The Post's Dan Martin.
Correa would score on a Yuli Gurriel single to make the lead 2-0 in favor of the home team. The two runs was all Keuchel needed in a seven-inning, 10-strikeout performance.
It was Tanaka's only hiccup in six innings of work. He allowed just four hits while striking out three and walking one.
Tanaka was also on the receiving end of a Josh Reddick bullet back to the mound that caught him in the leg. He recovered and made the throw to first for the out, but his night would be done following the inning. Manager Joe Girardi said his exit wasn't due to the hit, but because Tanaka had given in all in another great outing.
"That's not the reason I took him out," Girardi said. "I took him out because I thought he gave us everything he had and I thought it was time to make a change. But just another great outing."
Tanaka is now 0-4 in six career starts against the Astros, including the 2015 Wild Card Game where he was also outdueled by Keuchel.