Former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka is having a rough time with the Rakuten Golden Eagles this season.
Based on his numbers entering Tuesday, Tanaka was in the midst of another solid season. He had produced a 3.48 ERA and a 1.234 WHiP in his 41.1 innings, striking out 28 batters with nine walks. While his strikeout rate is not what it had been, those were respectable numbers.
Consistency eluding former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka
The problem is that Tanaka has struggled with consistency this season. He has had moments of brilliance while allowing four or more earned runs twice heading into his outing against the Orix Buffaloes. Those struggles with consistency continued as he was shelled by the Buffaloes, allowing seven runs on ten hits and a walk over his four innings, striking out two batters.
It is not a surprise that Tanaka would have his struggles. He is 34 years old with 17 seasons of professional experience. He has also fired 2748.1 innings between the majors and Nippon Professional Baseball. Age and all that mileage are bound to catch up at some point. The only question was when that would happen. At this point, it may be fair to wonder if those innings are catching up with him this season.
A handful of rough starts are no reason to panic. Tanaka’s track record indicates that he will find his way at some point. However, the Golden Eagles are last in the Pacific League standings. If they are going to find their way back into contention, they are going to need their star players to perform to expectations. That includes finding a way to keep Tanaka on track.
Former New York Yankees pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has had a roller coaster of a season. His inconsistency continued again on Tuesday.