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Masahiro Tanaka earns a save in the Japan Series clincher

Nov 4, 2013, 3:54 PM EDT

Masahiro Tanaka AP

Get used to hearing the name Masahiro Tanaka this offseason. He’s likely to get huge money to come to the U.S. If he does, his last act in Japan was something special.

As we noted over the weekend, Tanaka’s record unbeaten streak finally came to an end on Saturday, as the Rakuten Golden Eagles lost 4-2 to the Yomiuri Giants in Game 6 of the Japan Series. Tanaka threw a crazy 160 pitches in that game. So he was dead for Game 7, right?

Wrong:  yesterday he took the mound in relief and threw 15 more pitches to get the save in Game 7, giving the Golden Eagles their first ever Japan Series title.

This guy finished the regular season at 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA and 183/32 K/BB ratio over 212 innings. His 160 pitches notwithstanding, he’s gonna be the biggest draw of them all next year, assuming he makes the jump.

  1. rickdobrydney - Nov 4, 2013 at 4:29 PM

    IF his arm hasn’t fallen off——

  2. rje49 - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:24 PM

    Nolan Ryan’s arm never fell off. Neither did the two pitchers who both threw 26 innings on May 1, 1920.

  3. kylewo - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    And, it was a six out save. You could tell he was gutting it out, but he still had his splitter working like crazy.

  4. ilovegspot - Nov 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    He will gook great in Dodger Blue.

    • kylewo - Nov 4, 2013 at 6:42 PM

      A very unfortunate typo there. I hope.

  5. kingkershaw - Nov 4, 2013 at 9:16 PM

    Newest edition to the blue crew in 2014

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