Not since a pitcher named Daisuke Matsuzaka has a rookie racked up double-digit wins in a season in the NPB. That is, not until Tanaka beat the Seibu Lions last night. It took him four tries before he was finally able to wrap up his 10th win of the season. He struck out 10 hitters (3rd time this season), matching Matsuzaka's first year season total of 151.
Tanaka gave up 1 run on 2 hits (and walking none) in his 23rd start of the season. The lone run he gave up was a solo homer to G.G. Sato in the top of the second. The other hit he surrendered was a double to Yoshihito Ishii in the top of the 5th.
Rakuten still has 26 games left to play this season. That probably means Tanaka will have another 3-4 more starts to improve on his totals.
With his 10th win of the season Tanaka also becomes the first Rakuten starter with double-digit wins in frachise history. He and Matsuzaka are now in the books as the only rookie pitchers straight out of high school to get double-digit wins in their rookie seasons.
Final score: Rakuten 14 - Lions 2
FINAL LINESCORE VS SEIBU LIONS IP BF P H HR SO BB HB ER R W 7 23 89 2 1 10 0 0 1 1
And for comparison purposes, Matsuzaka's first year totals and Tanaka's totals so far this season.
Daisuke Matsuzaka W L CG ShO IP H HR BB HBP SO WP ER R ERA 16 5 6 0 180 124 14 87 8 151 5 52 55 2.60 Masahiro Tanaka W L CG ShO IP H HR BB HBP SO WP ER R ERA 10 5 2 1 147 150 13 55 7 151 9 62 66 3.80