World Baseball Classic (WBC) Masahiro Tanaka (35, Rakuten Golden Eagles), who was not selected for the Japanese national team, became the winning pitcher in the opening game of Scorn Field. He also left his name as the third pitcher ever to win the opening game in both the American Major League and Japanese professional baseball. 

Tanaka made a start against the Nippon Ham Fighters in the 2023 Nippon Professional Baseball opening game held at Scorn Field in Kitahiroshima City, Hokkaido, Japan on the 30th, and played a good fight with 2 hits, 2 walks, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts and 1 run in 5⅔ innings, winning Rakuten’s 3-1 victory. led 

The match on this day was the official opening match as the first game of the regular season at Scornfield, a retractable dome with 35,000 seats. Against the home team Nippon Ham, Tanaka was honored with the first win with a starter win. It was a meaningful day in many ways for Tanaka, who spent his high school years in Hokkaido.  먹튀검증

Tanaka, who demonstrated his power to the point of making 13 consecutive perfects with one out in the fifth inning, gave up a sacrifice fly to Yuki Nomura in the sixth inning with one out and bases loaded, the only run scored. He struck out with a fastball of up to 150 km and a sharp slider, leading to a miss. 

It is the first time Tanaka has become the winning pitcher in the opening game in Japan. In 2012, he first scrambled as a starter for the opening game against Chiba Lotte Marines, but became a losing pitcher. After 11 years, he won the opening game as a starter. Even during his time with the New York Yankees in the US Major League, Tanaka was the starting game four times, winning against the Baltimore Orioles in 2019. 

According to Japanese media including ‘Nikkan Sports’, there are a total of 7 Japanese pitchers, including Shohei Ohtani (LA Angels), who started the opening game in the US-Japan league. Among them, the pitcher who won both leagues was Hideo Nomo (Japan 1 win, USA 2 wins) and Kuroda Hiroki (Japan 3 wins, USA 1 win), and Tanaka was the third all-time. 

Tanaka, who was born in Itami City, Hyogo Prefecture, but attended Tomakomai High School in Hokkaido, said, “It was good to be able to pitch my first game at a new stadium in Hokkaido. I threw it in a good tension, but I’m really happy that I even won,” he said. I felt the warmth of the people of Hokkaido even before I entered high school, and I am grateful that they have always welcomed me like that.” 

Tanaka, who lived in the major leagues for the Yankees for seven years from 2014 to 2020, did not play as well as his reputation after returning in 2021. Last year, he recorded 9 wins and 12 losses in 25 games (163 innings) with an ERA of 3.31, the most losses in both leagues. He struggled with an earned run average higher than league average (3.16) for his two-going batter season. The annual salary was also reduced by a whopping 425 million yen from 900 million yen to 475 million yen, and the WBC Japan team entered the preliminary entry, but was eliminated from the final 30 people. This year, which was greeted with great pride, he became a winning pitcher from the opening game and took the first step toward a revival. /waw@osen.co.kr

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