Masahiro Tanaka started his twenty-third game of the year and recorded his twentieth victory of the year. Throw in his winning streak from the tail end of last season and he is 24-0 in thirty starts since his last loss on August 19, 2012 (vs Seibu).
The twenty consecutive victories over the course of one season ties the NPB record set by Kazuhisa Inao in 1957. The twenty victories makes Tanaka the first Rakuten pitcher to reach that total in one season since Hisashi Iwakuma in 2008 (21-4).
Incidentally, Tanaka also extended his winning streak against Nippon Ham to eleven and his winning streak at Kleenex Stadium to twelve.
Daily Sports has posted portions of Tanaka's post-game hero interview:
Your pitching helped win an important game.
Well, I held us back a bit. I will do better next time.
You shut the opposition down after the first few innings.
Our guys worked hard to score three runs to take the lead and I got into a good groove after the first few innings.
This is number twenty.
It is just one win at a time. The was build on a team effort. I will do my best to continue winning as many games as possible.
What is next?
What I really want is a pennant. I will do my best to get there one step at a time.
Source: Daily Sports 9/6/2013
Sanspo has also posted portions of Tanaka's post-game hero interview. I have taken the sections not included up above.
This was your first complete game victory in about a month.
The bullpen is always helping me out. When I pitch, I always go in thinking I will go the distance.
A new franchise high was set in attendance.
We have new seats and those were full and it felt like a lot of people got together for us. I am very thankful.
The crowd got into it with each pitch in the 9th.
The chance to be in that kind of situation is part of what makes being a pitcher fun.
Each time you pitch, it is about the record.
I am beginning to feel a bit suffocated, but being a professional baseball player means getting good press when you do well and getting bad press when you do poorly. I just want to keep on doing what I need [to win].
Source: Sanspo 9/6/2013
Sanspo has posted other portions of Tanaka's post-game hero interview.
You are the first to record twenty victories since Iwakuma in 2008.
With Iwakuma-san, when he [took the mound] it felt like you were going to win that day. He provided a sense of stability, that is how I saw it.
You went past the MLB 1912 record as well.
That was before I was born so I do not know about it. Records are meant to be broken. I will take things one at a time for the rest of the season.
Source: Sanspo 9/7/2013
Other points of interest:
- He is the first to record twenty or more wins over losses since Mutsuo Minagawa went 31-10 in 1968.
- He set a speed record with twenty victories in his twenty-third game of the season. The previous record of twenty-four games belonged to Eiji Sawamura and was set in 1937.
- He had the fewest numbers of losses (none) when he recorded his twentieth victory. The previous record was two losses, set by Masaichi Kaneda in 1958.
- MLB records: Tim Keefe (1888; after the start of the season) and Rube Marquard (1912; from the start of the season) hold the record for consecutive victories in one season with nineteen; Carl Hubbell holds the record for consecutive victories over multiple seasons with twenty-four between 1936 and 1937.
Stats during current twenty-four game winning streak
|08/26/2012||Nippon Ham||Kleenex Stadium||SP||W||10.0||32||112||3||0||8||0||0||0||0||2.36|
|04/09/2013||Nippon Ham||Tokyo Dome||SP||W||7.0||25||109||5||0||6||0||0||1||0||0.64|
|05/01/2013||Nippon Ham||Kleenex Stadium||SP||W||8.0||32||129||5||0||10||3||0||1||1||1.70|
|05/08/2013||Nippon Ham||Sapporo Dome||SP||W||7.0||25||95||4||1||7||0||0||2||2||1.84|
|07/09/2013||Nippon Ham||Tokyo Dome||SP||W||9.0||31||116||4||0||7||1||1||0||0||1.24|
|08/02/2013||Nippon Ham||Sapporo Dome||SP||W||9.0||34||136||8||0||12||1||0||1||1||1.26|
|09/06/2013||Nippon Ham||Kleenex Stadium||SP||W||9.0||34||128||7||1||11||2||0||2||2||1.24|
|Date||Opponent||Venue||30 GS||24 W||IP||BF||NP||H||HR||SO||BB||HBP||R||ER||ERA|