"You always have the good times and the bad times. You have to fight through the bad times and try to go about your business."
Tanaka was scheduled to throw 65 pitches, but he wound up throwing 62 (44 for strikes). He allowed three earned runs on four hits in three innings, with two walks and four strikeouts.
It only took Tanaka one pitch to get in trouble as Jackie Bradley Jr. lined a one-hop double off the right-field fence. Quintin Berry then singled and Allen Craig walked to load the bases. Tanaka fanned Bryce Brentz, but Travis Shaw lofted a sacrifice fly to score Bradley.
During Shaw's at-bat, Tanaka summoned the grounds crew to do extensive work on the mound.
"A chunk of clay came off from the mound," Tanaka said. "It was my planting foot [that gave Tanaka problems]."
Tanaka got out of the first inning when he fanned Luke Montz.
Deven Marrero drew a leadoff walk in the second and Humberto Quintero lined a single to right, which advanced Marrero to third. Mike Miller's groundout scored Marrero, and Bradley completed the scoring off Tanaka by pulling an 0-2 pitch into the right-field seats for a 3-0 lead.
In order for Tanaka to be effective he must have command of all four of his pitches, especially his splitter, which he showed last season can be virtually unhittable.
"I've caught him before when his split was good," catcher Austin Romine said. "It's still good. You have to remember this was his second time pitching. But it was hard and had good action."
When asked about his ability to throw all of his pitches without harboring any thoughts of incurring another injury, Tanaka was evasive.
"All I'm thinking is just trying to go out there and pitch the best way I can," he said. "There obviously are going to be ups and downs as you go through the season. But for me it's always go out there and try to do my best."
Tanaka topped out at 93 mph on McCoy Stadium's radar gun, although his fastball didn't have the same velocity his last inning, even though he retired the side in order.
"His cutter in to lefties was real good," Romine said. "The fastball command was here and there. I think that kind of got him into a little trouble.
"He was able to put the curveball in for strikes early. But fastball command [was Tanaka's major problem]."
Tanaka admitted the decision is up to the Yankees regarding if he needs another rehab start or if he'll rejoin the big league rotation.