Eventually, his three-run average collapsed.
There’s nothing left to say about him as a below-average pitcher. Gone is the dominant pitcher who dominated the mound in Japan and dominated the major leagues.
This is the story of Masahiro Tanaka (35, Rakuten), once revered as a “child of God” in Japanese professional baseball.
Nippon Professional Baseball is a pitcher’s league. Pitchers with an average ERA in the 3-run range are considered average. You need to be in the low 2’s to be considered a top 3 starter.
However, Tanaka’s ERA has fallen into the triple digits. His ERA skyrocketed to 4.24.
This was due to a poor seven-game stretch.
Tanaka started the game against Hanshin at Rakuten Mobile Park, but was tagged with the loss after giving up five runs (four earned) in five innings.
His ERA, which he had been protecting, fell to 4.24.
He gave up eight hits and four walks. Conversely, he only struck out three. He gave up three runs in the third inning and two more in the fifth.
Tanaka was the best pitcher in Japan.
He won the Sawamura Award, Japan’s highest pitching honor, twice (2011 and 2013).
In 2013, he set a mythical record of 24 wins and no losses. This earned him the nickname “God’s Child”.
This year, he moved to the 메이저사이트 American Major League Baseball and became the ace of the New York Yankees, the most prestigious team in baseball.
This is not the Tanaka of today. He’s become a below-average pitcher.
At first, his struggles were newsworthy. Tanaka’s struggles were big news. But now, it’s fading away. The story is no longer about Tanaka not pitching well.
In 10 appearances this season, Tanaka is 3-4 with a 4.24 ERA.
In 57.1 total innings pitched, he has allowed 64 hits (5 home runs), 38 walks, 14 strikeouts, and 29 runs (27 earned).
He has a quality start rate of just 40%.
His BABIP is high at 0.287 and his WHIP is 1.36, which isn’t great.
Before this game, Tanaka ranked 12th in ERA. He was second from the back among pitchers who pitched in regulation.
However, after this game, he was last among pitchers who pitched in regulation.
This is largely due to his declining command of his pitches. He’s no longer able to overpower hitters with his power.
When your command is down, you need to rely more on your pitches and your cerebral pitching. When your pitches are shaky and you’re not able to fight for pitches, there’s nothing left to fall back on.
Tanaka needs to find a new pitching pattern that fits his declining pitches, and the longer that takes, the deeper the fall will be.