Pitcher Masahiro Tanaka made history on Friday when he led Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles to a 6-2 win over Orix Buffaloes for his 21st consecutive win of the season.
The 24-year-old pitched a complete game as his terrific form continued ahead of an expected move to the Major Leagues once the season in concluded.
Tanaka's 21st win of the season, which contained a solitary earned run and eight strikeouts, was his 25th consecutive in all and smashed the previous record of 20 in Nippon Professional Baseball.
Even more impressive, however, was that this latest win surpassed the 76-year-old MLB record set by New York Giants great Carl Hubbell.
It is the perfect warm-up to the expected move to MLB and will mean Tanaka is probably the most highly anticipated Japanese export since the Texas Rangers acquired the services of Yu Darvish from the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters in 2012.
Tanaka's numbers this season are even more astonishing because, according to Japan Realtime, Nippon Baseball introduced a new ball for this season that is more lively and has seen average scores in matched go up 20 per cent on last year.
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