Iwakuma to Play in MLB-Japan All-Star Series

Hisashi Iwakuma has been added to the roster for the MLB Japan All-Star Series.

Hisashi Iwakuma has been added to the roster for the 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

Japan Series

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