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Rakuten Eagles: May 17, 2010

by on May.17, 2010 @ 4:05 pm, under NPB

...Masahiro Tanaka recorded his first pro timely hit on Sunday against the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium.  Seems he was using a Hiroyuki Nakajima model bat from Adidas -- slightly lighter than the bat he was using last year: 920 grams > 900 grams.

Incidentally, Tanaka drove in his first RBI against the Yakult Swallows on 5/25/2008 with a ground out to short.

It was also Tanaka's first victory at Koshien Stadium since 8/19/2006.  That's back when he was in high school and beat Chiben Wakayama in the Summer Koshien semifinals.  In that game, Tanaka went 8 innings, faced 30 batters, allowed 1 run on four hits and two walks, and struck out 10.

In addition, Tanaka marked his 16th double-digit strike out game of his career with 10 strikeouts.  Tanaka also became the 2nd Pacific League pitcher to record double-digit strikeouts, drive in at least one run, and win a game.  The other pitcher: Daisuke Matsuzaka.  Matsuzaka accomplished the feat twice in his career: vs Yokohama on 5/19/2006 (10 SO, 1-for-3, RBI) and vs Hanshin (14 SO, 1-for-4, 2 RBI).

...Takeshi Yamasaki might be turning things around.  He has a 3-for-4 game on Sunday and is riding a modest four game hitting streak, during which he has gone 6-for-13.  So far in the month of May, Yamasaki is 10-for-37 (.270).  That may not seem like a huge improvement, but considering he finished March / April 25-for-120 (.208), it's a good start.

...The Eagles have posted information about the upcoming specials (food and merchandise) during Inter-league play.