Thursday Jun 08, 2023

13 batters in a row up to 5 innings and 1 out… Tanaka New Stadium Scorn Field Opening Day Starter, US-Japan total ‘191 wins’

He won 191 victories in the U.S. and Japan.

Rakuten Eagles ace Masahiro Tanaka (35) left his name in the history of Japanese professional baseball. On the 30th, he started and became the winning pitcher in the opening match against the Nippon Ham Fighters held at Scorn Field in Hokkaido. He scored his first win in the opening game of Nippon Ham’s new home stadium, S Corn Field.

Nippon Professional Baseball entered the 2023 season starting with the match between Nippon Ham and Rakuten on this day. The remaining opening five games will be held on the 31st. 안전놀이터

Tanaka has a deep connection with Hokkaido. Born in Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture, he attended a high school affiliated with Komazawa University located in Tomakomai City, Hokkaido.

In Nippon Professional Baseball, it was the first time in 11 years since 2012 that he started the opening match. One time before he reached the major leagues, he returned from the New York Yankees and played in the opening game after three years.

From the beginning of the game, he overwhelmed the opponent’s batting line with a fast tempo. He hit 13 batters in a row until one out in the fifth inning.

He faltered after one out in the sixth inning, leading 3–0. Last year, he was hit with a double by Go Matsumoto, the Pacific League batting champion. It was the second hit of the day. Next, Daigo Kamikawabata in second and Kazunari Ishii in third walked, and the bases were loaded with one out. After giving up one run on a sacrifice hit, he passed the mound at 2nd and 3rd base.

5⅔innings, 2 hits, 5 strikeouts, 1 run, 98 pitches.

Rakuten won 3-1.

Tanaka is the third pitcher to start and win in the opening game of Nippon Professional Baseball and Major League Baseball. Prior to Tanaka, Hideo Nomo and Hiroki Kuroda started the opening games of both leagues and scored victories.

In an interview after the game, Tanaka said, “It feels good to be the winning pitcher in the opening game held in Hokkaido, where I have a relationship. I’m glad I lived up to expectations.” Rakuten manager Kazuhisa Ishii announced early on in February that Tanaka would start for the opening game.

After 7 years with the New York Yankees, he returned to Rakuten in 2021. His last two years have not been as good as expected. He went 9-12 with an earned run average of 3.31 in 25 games last year. He received the highest annual salary of 900 million yen in Japanese professional baseball, which was reduced to 4475 million yen this year.

Tanaka, who recorded 78 major league wins, won 113 with Rakuten. It is his 191st victory in the US and Japan.


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