Iwakuma to Play in MLB-Japan All-Star Series
Mariners right-handed starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has been selected to play in the MLB-Japan All-Star Series in November. Iwakuma and select MLB stars will play a five-game series against “Samurai Japan” (Japan’s National Team) in the 2014 All-Star Series. In addition, two exhibition games will be played prior to and after the All-Star Series of games.
Iwakuma, 33, will join teammate Robinson Cano in the renewal of the event for the first time since 2006, which will mark the 11th All-Star Series and the 36th time overall that a team of Major Leaguers has toured Japan for exhibition games, dating back to 1908. Iwakuma is scheduled to make one start for the MLB squad during the series, with a limit of 80 pitches has been set for each starting pitcher (Rules for Series).
“I am very happy and honored to be part of this All-Star team,” said Iwakuma. “I look forward to pitching in my hometown during the series.”
Iwakuma went 15-9 with a 3.52 ERA (70 ER, 170.0 IP) in 28 starts with the Mariners in 2014. He ranked 2nd in the Majors with a 1.06 walk rate (21 BB) and 3rd with a 7.33 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and also had the 4th-best WHIP in the American League at 1.050. The Tokyo native became the fifth Japanese-born pitcher with 15 wins in a season, joining Hideo Nomo (3x), Daisuke Matsuzaka (2x), Yu Darvish, Hiroki Kuroda.
In three seasons with the Mariners Iwakuma has combined to go 38-20 with a 3.07 ERA, including 37-19, 2.97 in 77 career starts. Prior to joining the Mariners Iwakuma played 11 seasons in Japan with Kintetsu/Rakuten in the Pacific League, combining to go 107-69 with a 3.25 ERA in 226 G/225 GS. He was named the Pacific League MVP and Eiji Sawamura Award winner (Cy Young equivalent) in 2008 after going 21-4 with a 1.87 ERA. He has represented Japan in the World Baseball Classic (2009) and Olympics (2004).
The team will holds workouts at Dodger Stadium on November 6-7 (12-2:30 pm). The MLB Network will exclusively televise every game of the Japan All-Star Series live in the U.S., beginning with the exhibition game on Tuesday, November 11 at 1 am PT (check local listings for replays).
All-Star Series games will be hosted in Osaka (Kyocera Dome), Tokyo (Tokyo Dome), Sapporo (Sapporo Dome) and Okinawa (Okinawa Cellular Stadium). The complete schedule is as follows:
|2014 Suzuki All-Star Series Schedule|
|Tuesday, Nov. 11:||Exhibition vs. Hanshin Tigers/Yomiuri Giants at Koshien|
|Wednesday, Nov. 12:||Game #1 at Kyocera Dome, Osaka|
|Thursday, Nov. 13:||Travel Day|
|Friday, Nov. 14:||Game #2 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo|
|Saturday, Nov. 15:||Game #3 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo|
|Sunday, Nov. 16:||Game #4 at Tokyo Dome, Tokyo|
|Monday, Nov. 17:||Travel Day|
|Tuesday, Nov. 18:||Game #5 at Sapporo Dome, Sapporo|
|Wednesday, Nov. 19:||Travel Day|
|Thursday, Nov. 20:||Exhibition vs Team Japan, Okinawa|