Yankees RHP Masahiro Tanaka had an early exit in his start against the Mets on Friday due to "stiffness in both hamstrings," the team announced.
After reaching base in the top of the sixth inning, Tanaka tagged up on an Aaron Judge fly ball to right field. During the sprint to home plate, Tanaka can be seen pulling up a little bit as he scored.
He went into the tunnel after walking back into the dugout, and manager Aaron Boone made the call to end his night. Jonathan Holder took over for him in the sixth.
Tanaka allowed a solo homer to Brandon Nimmo to leadoff the game, but was cruising after that. It was the only hit Tanaka allowed all game, and he set down 12 straight Mets following Nimmo's homer. He finished his night with eight strikeouts as well.
I've had it with pitchers still hitting in Major League Baseball. There is no point to it. Pitchers collectively across the game are hitting a little over .100 this season. Who wants to see that?
Honestly, what's the point? Strategy? Come on. Tradition? Be serious. It is high time for the game to move on from pitchers hitting.
MLB asking pitchers that simply do not hit or run on a remotely regular basis is begging for the exact issue that popped (no pun intended) with Tanaka. Teams are paying way too much money for pitchers -- to pitch -- for them to have to worry about getting plunked, tweaking an oblique while batting, or pulling up lame on the bases.
Now, the Yankees will hold their breath and simply hope that Tanaka built up some lactic acid from sprinting down the line, but it didn't look that way. It's a shame.