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Masahiro Tanaka a 'complete' pitcher for Yankees

The Yankees hold an introductory press conference for

The Yankees hold an introductory press conference for new pitcher Masahiro Tanaka in Legend Hall at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Feb. 11, 2014. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams, Jr.

It was a virtuoso performance.

Masahiro Tanaka completely shut down a Mets lineup that had scored 21 runs during the previous two games, restoring order to the Yankees' universe. Tanaka allowed four hits (one double), walked none and struck out eight over nine scoreless innings.

It was the third complete game shutout in Subway Series history. Dave Mlicki tossed the first for the Mets on June 16,1997, allowing nine hits and two walks, striking out eight in the first Subway Series game. Andy Pettitte pitched one for the Yankees on June 30, 2002, allowing three hits and two walks, striking out eight.

But Tanaka's feat goes beyond Subway Series history.

He's the 19th player in Yankees history to toss at least nine shutout innings with four or fewer hits, no walks and eight or more strikeouts. He's the first to do it since Mike Mussina on Aug. 17, 2003. Tanaka is the 78th player in baseball to post those stats since 2000.

Pitchers only post a performance like Tanaka's a few times a year.

When they do it, it's pretty special.

New York Sports