HomeBad Ass AsiansKensuke Tanaka's First Official Week in the Major Leagues. @emilamok @sfgiants

Kensuke Tanaka’s First Official Week in the Major Leagues. @emilamok @sfgiants

Kenji Tanaka
By Emil Guillermo
Guest Blogger
After the game, Kenji Kensuke Tanaka, spoke through a Japanese media translator, and said after his first official week as a player in the American big leagues, he’s “very happy to be here” with the Giants.
As he was introduced during the game, the score board at AT&T Park, proclaimed Saturday night, Tanaka’s 7th day of service in the MLB. The Giants hope the 32-year old veteran Asian player becomes one of the spark-plugs they need for a pennant drive in the second-half of the season.
While Tanaka didn’t start on Saturday, the 7th day was no day of rest.
Tanaka was inserted as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning, as the Giants sought insurance runs to pad a 4-2 lead. Tanaka hit a grounder to the second baseman to force out a runner, but landed on first on the fielder’s choice. Not the best result, but not the worst.
In 7 days of service, he’s started six games in left field  and has gone 6-21 with a RBI and a stolen base.
He’s now  0-2 as a pinch hitter.
Tanaka says he’s “not nervous at all,” coming in cold as a pinch-hitter.
But the record shows, Tanaka can provide some offensive help if he can get hot.
In his last 29 games with Fresno this summer he was batting .378 (34-90), with seven RBI.
The Giants won Saturday’s game, 4-2 against the Diamondbacks, behind the offense of Buster Posey who hit his 14th home run.  Starting pitcher Matt Cain had help from 7 relievers, including closer Sergio Romo.
Romo described the game as a “teeter-totter” with the momentum constantly shifting.
The Giants go for a three-game sweep on Sunday. Madison Bumgarner, the Giants’ de facto ace, will seek to cut the D’backs lead over the Giants to 3.5 games in the NL West.
(About the Author: Emil Guillermo is a veteran TV, radio, pring and online journalist. His blogs can be read at amok.com)


  1. RE: Kenji Tanaka: Good, but not great first seven days in majors. But a lousy 8th day. He started and made two fielding plays on fly balls that weren’t errors, but could have been caught. The first turned into a triple that cost Giants the run that pretty much stood up for most of the game. The second one didn’t end up as a run. But the third miscue, a base-running mistake in the 9th, pretty much killed what was developing into a scrappy comeback. Tanaka doesn’t inspire confidence. Until he shows he’s the second coming of Ichiro, Tanaka doesn’t seem like he’s the answer to Giants’ problems in left field.

  2. RE: Tanaka’s First Week in Majors: Saw Tanaka in BP and during outfield practice. He did not start today, but could take some lesson from Shin-Soo Choo of Reds. The 31-year old S.Korean is the top lead-off man in the Majors in three categories (homers 14), walks, and on-base percentage. Choo did not disappoint in his first trip to AT&T this season with a double and a homer.
    Tanaka did get to pinch hit in the 8th, with the Giants down 11-0. He’s got a left hand slap hit style. Hit a 3-2 pitch down third base line for a single. If he keeps hitting he’ll stick. But he’s got to field better.

    • RE: Tananka's first week in the Majors: I think you're too hard on Tanaka. The dude's got a great story. Passing up a larger pay check from playing baseball in Japan where he was an All Star to go to the Minor Leagues and work his way up to the Big Leagues with the SF Giants. He's not a left fielder. He's a second baseman, but only agreed to play out there because the Giants need help in left. He will be key if the Giants are to to get back into the NL West race.

      • RE: Kenji Tanaka The Giants don’t have time to wait. They need an instant spark. If Kensuke isn’t it, they’ll find another. Right now, the entire outfield they have is expendable. Kensuke has an opportunity,but he can’t have more bad days, or he will be back in Fresno.


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