TOKYO – Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has won his 21st straight game to set a new Japanese professional baseball record for consecutive victories in one season.
Tanaka improved to 21-0 on Friday after giving up two runs in a complete game in the Rakuten Eagles' 6-2 win over the Orix Buffaloes. The previous record of 20 was set in 1957 by Kazuhisa Inao.
The last time Tanaka lost a game was Aug. 19, 2012. Since then, the 24-year-old right-hander has won 25 straight, one more than the Major League Baseball mark set by Carl Hubbell of the New York Giants from 1936-37.
Many in Japan are suggesting that Tanaka will pursue a career in MLB after this season, a move that would make him the most sought-after Japanese export since Yu Darvish.