October 5, 2019
New York, New York – postgame 2
Yankees – 8, Twins – 2
Q. Against a lineup like that that is as potent as it is and sits on fastballs like that, what is it about your off-speed stuff that was able to throw off their timing tonight?
MASAHIRO TANAKA: Yeah, I think the off-speed stuff, slider and splitter, I think they were both pretty consistent throughout the game, which helped me, made me successful in the game, obviously. I wish the fastball was a little bit better, you know, tried to use that a little bit, but I feel like I was able to use that enough so both the off-speed stuff were working.
Q. From your perspective during that third inning watching the offense go and then leading to Didi’s grand slam, what’s the emotion like as you’re watching that long inning?
MASAHIRO TANAKA: Obviously, it’s big for the team, getting that type of offense in. Obviously, it’s big for the pitchers, as well. Particularly, we were talking about starting pitchers. I think pitchers are a little bit, they’re a different animal in a way. You still have to go out there, and you still have to shut down the opponent. So you can’t really be there going up and down because the offense — like today, like the offense got us some runs. So, yeah, that’s kind of what I was going through during that time.
Q. During that long third inning, do you do anything special as you’re sitting on the bench to stay loose? Especially on a cool night like tonight?
MASAHIRO TANAKA: Yeah, you obviously try to stay warm, keep the arm loose. You play catch down there underneath the dugout. But I gave up a run after I came in after that long inning, so I feel like I need to do a better job of keeping myself warm and game ready. This is something I need to take when I go out there in a similar type of situation.
Q. And at what point did you know that the slider/splitter were going to be on for you tonight? Whether it was the bullpen or first inning or whatever.
MASAHIRO TANAKA: I think it was in the second inning. The first inning, I don’t think it was as good, but I think it was the second inning that I felt that it was going to be good.
Q. Why do you think your results get even better in the postseason? And what does it mean to you personally that you’re gaining a reputation as a big game pitcher at this time of year?
MASAHIRO TANAKA: I actually don’t get too caught up on being good in the postseason and all that. Come to think about it, I think it’s still a small sample. My thing is just go out there and be the best that you can be, compete, and, yeah, just be the best that you can be.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sport