Masahiro Tanaka owes his teammates a thank you. After Tanaka put the New York Yankees in an early 4-1 hole Tuesday afternoon (GameTracker), his offense scored eight runs in a three-inning span against Zack Wheeler and the Metsto take him off the hook. To Tanaka's credit, he did settle down and pitch into the seventh inning.
For Tanaka, Tuesday was the third time in three starts he allowed four runs in an inning, including at least one home run. The list:
May 28 vs. Padres: Four runs in first inning (Eric Hosmer three-run homer)
June 4 vs. Blue Jays: Four runs in fifth inning (Randal Grichuk solo homer, Freddy Galvis two-run homer)
June 11 vs. Mets: Four runs in third inning (Jeff McNeil three-run homer)
The home run Tuesday came on a flat 88 mph splitter that ran across the plate and into McNeil's wheelhouse. When right, Tanaka's splitter dives down and out of the zone. This year it's been running side-to-side more often than not.