It was a 96 m.p.h fastball that Napoli hit out of the park to give the Red Sox their ninth inning lead and while celebrating in the dugout, he called Tanaka an idiot for throwing it. Napoli claimed afterward that he was just shocked Tanaka didn’t offer his splitter.
Well, now Tanaka knows better.
The main takeaway from last night’s game is not the loss but that this year is a learning experience. Tanaka is learning how to handle pitching in the Majors and so far, he’s doing a pretty good job. He was bound to hit a bump or two in the road along the way, but as he has demonstrated in his 16 starts this season, he has been able to bounce back.
[Graphic courtesy of ESPN Stats and Info]