(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
NEW YORK (AP) Cold, shorter rest, a bigger ball. No matter the challenges, Masahiro Tanaka is making a smooth transition from Japan to the major leagues for one major reason: his split-fingered fastball.
Tanaka allowed two bunt hits in eight dominant innings on a frigid Monday, Carlos Beltran homered for the third straight game and New York welcomed the Chicago Cubs to the current Yankee Stadium with a 3-0 victory in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.
"That split is not something you want to sit on. It's not something you're going to be able to handle," Cubs manager Rick Renteria said. "But, as it was coming out of the hand, as the guys were coming in, they were saying, `Gosh, it looks like a fastball. It ends up diving.'"