Tanaka pitched himself another solid game for the Eagles the other night. People are quietly beginning to mention the possibilities of him winning the Rookie of the Year award this season. The manager even went so far as to dub him the ace of the staff (and in looking at the rotation right now, that may very well be the case).
He did have a little scare in the game against the Softbank Hawks. In the top of the 7th with one out, Hawks centerfielder Tamura drilled a liner back up the box. The ball struck Tanaka somewhere on his left hand. He managed to recover, grab the ball, and make a throw to first, but Tamura was safe. Immediately after making the throw over to first, Tanaka crouched down and didn't move -- he was in obvious pain. Nomura promptly removed him from the game with the Eagles leading 7-3. Fortunately, it looks like it will be nothing more than a serious bruise. And since the ball struck his left hand, he shouldn't have any problems gripping the ball (although he may have difficulties on fielding plays).
Final Line Score
6.1 IP, 25 BF, 98 pitches, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 3 ER