Sunday, April 18, 2021

Card Of The Week April 18

Yesterday was a big day in NPB with Masahiro Tanaka making his first appearance in a meaningful game in Japan since Game Seven of the 2013 Nippon Series and Carter Stewart Jr, made his NPB debut.  Stewart did better than Tanaka - he pitched a scoreless ninth inning against the Lions, facing four batters, striking out two and walking one.  Tanaka on the other hand went five innings against the Fighters, striking out five, walking one and giving up only four hits.  This doesn't sound bad until you realize that two of those hits were home runs - a two run shot by Sho Nakata in the first* and a solo shot by Kazunari Ishii in the second.  Those three runs were enough to seal the defeat for Tanaka which I believe was his first regular season loss in NPB since August 19th, 2012.

*If Sho Nakata hitting a home run off of Tanaka in the first inning of his first start sounds familiar, it's because it also happened in Tanaka's first spring training start back in February.

Here's a card celebrating Tanaka's first ever victory in NPB on April 18th, 2007, 14 years ago today, from the "Highlight" subset of the 2007 Konami Baseball Heroes 3 set (#B07H006):

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