Tanaka seemed to struggle a lot with his command against the Lotte Marines the other day. After giving up a lead-off single in the first, he retired the next three batters in a row (2 strikeouts and a ground out). In the second inning, he retired the first two batters before walking the third batter and then striking out the fourth batter he faced for the final out of the inning. The third inning is where everything fell apart.
He got the first batter to ground out to second. The second batter followed with a double. He then walked then next two hitters to load the bases. He managed to strike out the 5th batter of the inning, but that's where his lucky streak ended. With the bases loaded, Jose Ortiz droped a single into right putting the Marines on the board first with 2 runs. The next batter, Shoitsu Oomatsu, then drilled a shot into the right-field stands for a 3-run homerun, giving the Marines a commanding 5-0 lead.
Tanaka managed to retire the side in order in the fourth, but he one again ran into some trouble in the fifth. He allowed the first 5 hitters he faced to reach base (two singles, a hit batsman, a run scoring single, and a walk) before getting his first out on a fly out in foul territory and a much needed double-play to end the inning. And that would end up being his last inning of the day.
But, as luck would have it, the Rakuten offense scored just enough runs in the remaining 4 innings to take Tanaka off the hook (two in the 6th, two in the 7th, and then a gaming winning run in the bottom of the ninth). Rakuten beat the Marines by the final score of 7-6.
FINAL LINESCORE VS LOTTE MARINES IP BF P H HR SO BB HB ER R W 5.0 26 100 6 1 6 4 1 6 6 SEASON TOTALS ERA G CG ShO W L IP H HR SO BB HBP R ER WP BF 4.20 20 2 1 9 4 124.1 126 11 132 52 6 61 58 8 551