By Oh Sang-jin Reporter= Veteran pitcher Masahiro Tanaka (35) of the Rakuten Eagles of the Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) suffered a second straight loss.
Tanaka took the mound against the Seibu Lions at the Bernardome in Tokorozawa City, Saitama Prefecture, Japan on Sunday, giving up four runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts in 5⅔ innings. The loss was his eighth of the season, tied for the most in the Pacific League.
Tanaka cruised through the first inning, retiring the side in order in the first and second innings as he looked to make up for a poor outing in his previous start on Tuesday (a six-run loss in 5⅓ innings). After giving up the first hit of the game in the bottom of the third inning, when Rakuten took a 2-0 lead, he had runners in scoring position in the second and third innings, but was able to get through the inning without allowing a run.
In the fourth inning, however, Tanaka faltered sharply. After giving up a walk to leadoff hitter Mark Peyton, Tanaka walked Takeya Nakamura to load the bases, but then gave up another walk to Shuta Tonosaki to put runners on first and second. To make matters worse, a wild pitch put runners on second and third, and Tanaka gave up a sacrifice fly to David McKinnon, followed by a game-tying single to Kento Watanabe.
The fifth inning was just as tough. Tanaka gave up a leadoff double to Shinya Hasegawa, and Seibu moved the runners to third with a sacrifice bunt. After giving up a sacrifice fly to Sosuke Genda, Tanaka gave up an infield single to Peyton to load the bases again. Nakamura followed with a two-run double, pushing Tanaka’s deficit to four runs.
Tanaka took the mound again in the sixth inning. After walking the leadoff batter, Tanaka gave up an infield single to Watanabe and then a wild pitch to put runners in scoring position. After getting the second out on a grounder, Tanaka was eventually removed from the game after a walk put runners on second and third. Tomohiro Anraku, who took over for Baton, ended the inning with a foul fly ball to end the threat.
Rakuten, who were unable to score after the batsmen scored two runs in the first inning, fell to Seibu 2-4. Tanaka, who suffered his eighth loss of the season, saw his ERA jump to 4.97 and was on the verge of reaching the five-run mark. Tanaka is the only pitcher in the NPB this season with an ERA in the four-run range among the 22 pitchers who have pitched in regulation innings. That’s more than three times the 1.50 ERA of Yoshinobu Yamamoto (Orix Buffaloes), the NPB’s overall leader.바카라사이트
After earning a league-high 900 million yen ($8.297 billion) last year, his second year in the NPB, and suffering the humiliation of the most losses (12), Tanaka re-signed this season for half the salary, 475 million yen ($4.379 billion). Despite nearly halving his salary, which is still the ninth-highest in the NPB, Tanaka hasn’t been able to hold up his end of the bargain, going 6-8 with a 4.97 ERA in 18 games. With 78 wins in the major leagues and 118 in the NPB, Tanaka is just four wins shy of the 200-win plateau in Japan, but the road to the milestone is a long one.