It’s happened again.
Masahiro Tanaka, 35, who is chasing his 200th career win in Nippon Baseball and the Major Leagues, has been struggling. On March 23, he started a game against the Orix Buffaloes in Kobe and was pulled after five innings. He left the game in the fifth inning after allowing three consecutive hits without recording an out.
Allowed seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits in four innings. It was the second time this season he allowed seven runs in a game.
Tanaka was designated for assignment on May 12 after allowing four runs in five innings against the Seibu Lions. He took the mound 11 days after his secondary adjustment and took the worst possible outcome. Without their star pitcher, the Rakuten Eagles are in last place in the Pacific League.
The first inning was shaky. He gave up a leadoff single to Tomoya Noguchi and walked Yuma Mune to load the bases. After getting a first-pitch strike against Mune, he threw four pitches in a row. All four pitches were just outside the strike zone.
A wild pitch put runners on first and second and Musa on first and third. The next batter, No. 3 Keita Nakakawa, walked to load the bases.
They couldn’t get out of the jam. With one out in the third inning, Yuma Tongu (Oryx #5) singled, and with two outs in the fourth inning, Noguchi singled and stole second.
In the fifth inning, he faced the opposing No. 3-5 cleanup trio for three straight hits. One out later, he was stranded with runners on first and third. The next two runners came home to score.
Tanaka was hit by a pitch and Rakuten suffered an 0-8 payroll loss.
Tanaka, who returned to the New York Yankees in 2021, hasn’t lived up to his name the past two years. He went 4-9 with a 3.01 ERA in 2021 and 9-12 with a 3.31 ERA in 2022. He was paid a Nippon Professional Baseball record 900 million yen in salary for the second year in a row, but was cut by nearly half last winter to 475 million.
Third year back in Japan. He started the season with a bang. Started the opening game for the first time in 11 years. Pitched the opening game of the Nippon Ham Fighters’ new home, Eskenfield Hokkaido, and won.메이저사이트
However, he has been unable to maintain his consistency and has been erratic. In his last six games, he’s had two quality starts (six or more innings pitched and three or fewer earned runs allowed), but twice he failed to complete five innings.
He hasn’t won since April 14 against the SoftBank Hawks, his second win of the season (3-0). His ERA has risen to 4.37.
Tanaka has 114 wins with Rakuten and 78 with the New York Yankees. He is eight wins away from his 200th career victory. At this rate, he won’t reach 200 wins this year.