Dutch starting pitcher of the Softbank Hawks, Rick van den Hurk, won hit fourth game of the season and his thirteenth straight game since his debut in the NPB last year.
In today’s game vs the lowly Orix Buffaloes, Rick threw 87 pitches in six full innings. Rick gave up two runs on three hits and allowed one homerun. He did not give up a walk and struck out six. His ERA now stands at a low 1.55.
The sole homerun that Rick gave up to the Buffaloes was a two run blast that gave the team from Osaka a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. But from their, Rick cruised through the game once again. In the second, the fourth, the fifth and the sixth inning, Rick retired the side.
Thanks to this win, Rick tied to long standing NPB records: Winning streak to start a career, set by Tsuneo Horiuchi in 1966 and winning streak for a foreign pitcher set by Tai-Yuan Kuo in 1987-1988. The longest winning streak by a pitcher was set by current Yankee pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, with 28 consecutive wins between 2012 and 2013.
Last seaseon Rick debuted with the Softbank Hawks after a long stay with the Ni-Gun team (minor league team) of the Hawks. But in June 2015 he was finally called up. After two starts he was removed from the active roster again but then in July he was called up again and was never removed from the active roster ever since.
The following tweet shows the footage of Rick’s outing today.