Oct. 8 Masahiro Tanaka postgame interview

Oct. 8 Masahiro Tanaka postgame interview

Q. Masahiro, what was the difference tonight? Joe said that you had a much better fastball, do you agree?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: As far as the fastball goes, I think the command was a little bit off, but I feel that I was able to really be aggressive and throw the -- throw my pitches with conviction.

Q. Masahiro, you showed a lot of emotion on the mound tonight. Where does this start rank for you in terms of your career here with the Yankees?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: Probably be the biggest win that I have gotten since I came here. I came here to pitch in these type of games, and to be able to help the team win in these type of games. And in 2015, I went out there and I wasn't able to do that, but I'm just really glad that I was able to do that tonight.

Q. Masahiro, where were you when Bird hit the home run?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: I was downstairs, beneath the dugout.

Q. Did you see it on TV?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: Yeah, I saw it on television.

Tanaka on stellar performance

Q. Your reaction when it went out?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: You know, obviously, this (gesturing) and I guess a lot of joy.

Q. Masahiro, curious how you felt going into this game. Your team had just come off a very devastating loss in Cleveland, Game 2. People on social media were calling for your manager to be fired. You were facing a great hitting lineup with a lot of momentum. Did you feel a lot of pressure?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: Yeah, obviously, you know, the pressure was there. But, you know, obviously you have to go out there and perform. My thought was that if we're able to get a win here, then we have a chance of turning this series around. So I'm glad how things turned out for us tonight.

Q. Just two things. Was that the best splitter you've had all year? If so, why? And you had a reputation in Japan as being a big game pitcher. What is it about you that you're able to raise your level in these types of games?

MASAHIRO TANAKA: Not sure, but it's definitely up there, as far as the splitter goes. It was definitely good, but I can't -- I'm not sure if it was the very best. As a player, those are the moments that you want to go in there and shine the most, and you really, actually, look forward to these type of games. I think being able to sort of positively look at those games might be the reason why I'm able to go out there and do what I did today.