Law of Averages Catches Up to Masahiro Tanaka

With a chance to clinch the Rakuten Golden Eagles’ first Japan Series title in their history, Masahiro Tanaka lost for the first time this season.  Tanaka went 24-0 during the regular season and had won his only start in the Climax (playoffs) Series and his first Japan Series start in Game 2.  He’d also saved a game in the regular season and the clinching game in the second round of the Climax Series.

Today Tanaka threw a complete game but lost 4-2 to the Yomiuri Giants.  All the runs allowed were earned, with Tanaka giving up 12 hits in all.  Rakuten was leading 2-0 through four innings, but Jose Lopez‘s three-run homer in the top of the 5th ultimately decided the game.  With the championship on the line, Tanaka threw a whopping 160 pitches in his complete game effort.

That’s why they play the games — no matter how dominating a pitcher or team looks going into a game, anything can happen once the teams actually take the field.

Meanwhile, this year’s Japan Series is turning into a classic.  It’s now knotted at three games a piece, with Game 7 to be played tomorrow at the Golden Eagles’ Kleenex Miyagi Stadium in Sendei.  Of the six games played so far, only one (the Golden Eagles’ 5-1 win in Game 3) has been decided by more than two runs.

The Game 3 winner and loser, Manabu Mima and Toshiya Sugiuchi, face off tomorrow in the rubber game.  Although the Golden Eagles are playing at home, my money is on the Giants and their ace Sugiuchi.

Explore posts in the same categories: Baseball Abroad

One Comment on “Law of Averages Catches Up to Masahiro Tanaka”

  1. Burly Says:

    Proves what I know: Manabu Mima shut down Yomiuri today and Toshiya Sugiuchi was again ineffective, as the Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Giants 3-0 to win the first Japan Series in the team’s nine year history. Mima went six innnings and Masahiro Tanaka pitched the 9th for his first Japan Series save and his second of the post-season.

    The Golden Eagles’ Japan Series win perhaps makes it more likely that Rakuten will post Tanaka this off-season. A report from Sponichi this morning says the Golden Eagles are leaning toward posting Tanaka if Tanaka requests to be posted. Needless to say, the $60 million-plus posting fee that Tanaka is likely to command will ease the Golden Eagles’ pain in losing their best player.

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