Tanaka achieved a 197-win U.S.-Japan career, his first time in the bullpen in 10 years, and his last game with fall baseball on the line.
The 143rd game of the season, the final game of the pennant race, will determine whether or not they advance to fall baseball. Rakuten Eagles right-hander Masahiro Tanaka, 35, will be in the bullpen for the first time in 10 years.
Rakuten will advance to the first stage of the Climax Series (postseason) in third place if they win at home against the Chiba Lotte Marines on Sept. 9.
With the Orix Buffaloes clinching first place in the Pacific League by a comfortable margin, the final game will decide second through fourth place. The second-place SoftBank Hawks and third-place Chiba Lotte are one game back, with fourth-place Rakuten a half-game behind. 바카라사이트 SoftBank’s opponent on Monday will be the Oryx, who are in first place and are headed directly to the Final Stage.
Rakuten has announced Takahiro Norimoto (33) as its starter for Game 9. The veteran right-hander, who has 114 career wins, is 8-7 with a 2.60 ERA this season.
Norimoto started against SoftBank on April 3 and allowed three runs in six innings. He’ll get five days of rest before his most important start of the season on the sixth. There were reports that Tanaka, who pitched the previous two days against SoftBank, could get the start, but manager Kazuhisa Ishii opted for Norimoto. Tanaka was removed from the game after giving up three runs in five innings.
It will be the first time in 10 years that Tanaka has pitched in relief in an official game since 2013. Tanaka, who was 24-0 in 27 starts that year, closed out the final game of the pennant race. He clinched the franchise’s first league title. He went 24-1 with a 1.27 ERA.
Rakuten defeated the Yomiuri Giants four games to three in the Japan Series to lift the championship trophy. Tanaka pitched the ninth inning of Game 7 of the Japan Series to preserve a 3-0 victory. He pitched one scoreless inning to seal the win.
After the season, Tanaka was traded to the New York Yankees via the postseason system. He signed a seven-year, $155 million contract. In seven seasons in the majors, he went 78-46 with a 3.74 ERA before returning to Rakuten in 2021.
“I have bullpen experience, so I don’t have any problems,” Tanaka said. The final game of fall baseball in two years. A two-hitter.
Tanaka said that even if he couldn’t pitch, he would do what he could in the dugout. “I want to share the joy with the fans (by winning the final game),” he said.
Tickets for the game are sold out.
Tanaka, who started the opening game of the year, did not perform as expected. He’s 7-11 with a 4.11 ERA in 24 starts, his second straight year with double-digit losses. It’s the most losses in the Pacific League. Tanaka has 197 career wins in Japan and the United States.