Masahiro Tanaka picked up his twenty-first victory of the year tonight against the Orix Buffaloes and is now 25-0 in thirty-one starts since his last loss on August 19, 2012 (vs Seibu). He has also won his last fourteen starts in a row.
What today's victory means:
- Tanaka now holds the NPB record for consecutive victories over the course of one season. The previous record of twenty wins was set by Kazuhisa Inao in 1957.
- Tanaka also holds the "world record" for consecutive victories over multiple seasons. The previous record of twenty-four was set by Carl Hubbell betwen 1936 and 1937.
- Tanaka tied Hisashi Iwakuma's 2008 single-season franchise record for victories in one season.
- Tanaka can tie the NPB record for victories in consecutive games set by Kazumi Saito in 2003 if he wins his next start.
- Tanaka became just the fifth pitcher since 1980 to record twenty-one or more victories: Isamu Kida in 1980 (22-8), Yutaro Imai in 1984 (21-9), Yoshinori Sato in 1985 (21-11), and Hisashi Iwakuma in 2008 (21-4).
Tanaka's post-game interview:
Twenty-one consecutive victories.
It has not really sunk in. But hearing everyone congratulate me does make me happy. Thank you.
What was going through your mind today while you were on the mound?
Nothing in particular. I took the mound as I usually do. Results are what come after you do something. I think it would not be good for me to comment on that kind of stuff. People around me congratulate me, but I do not concern myself with that. I think everything will work out if I do my job properly.
On your outing today.
I wanted to toss a shutout, so I am disappointed.
But you recorded a complete game shutout.
[We are in the middle of playing ten straight games] so I wanted to give the bullpen some rest by pitching well enough to last the entire games. I am glad I was able to give them the night off.
The position players hit the ball well and gave you plenty of run support.
And that is why I really wanted the shutout.
Your teammates say that they cannot lose when the ace gets a start.
That makes me feel good.
How long do you think you can keep the winning streak going?
I am not doing this to extend the streak. I am doing this to win a championship. I want to take things one game at a time. First the league pennant. I will work hard so that I can do well.
Source: Daily Sports 9/13/2013
Sanspo has also posted portions of Tanaka's post-game interview. Below are sections not included in the Daily Sports version.
You were getting hitters to get themselves out.
I knew they were going to keep trying to make contact. But my control inside to right-handed hitters and outside to left-handed hitters was bad.
Do you see the finish line tape for the pennant yet?
I have never seen it before so I do not know.
On looking back at your outing.
I needed to toss a shutout because I was getting run support from the line-up. I had a big lead against Softbank [on August 30] and then I started giving up runs. I got frustrated because I did not want a repeat of that and I ended up giving up runs.
You kept the lead-off hitter from getting on base.
If you let the lead-off hitter get on base, you let the opposition walk all over you. I always have that in the back of my mind.
You took batting practice on the 9th.
Hitting and pitching requires the same kind of upper and lower body balance. I did it because I wanted to make sure I was using my body properly.
Stats during current twenty-five 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||31 GS||25 W||IP||BF||NP||H||HR||SO||BB||HBP||R||ER||ERA|