Hisashi Iwakuma, Starting Pitcher, Seattle Mariners
Date of Birth: 4/12/1981
Birthplace: Tokyo, Japan
Hisashi Iwakuma, starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, started playing baseball in Japan when he was in first grade. He was a top Japanese pitcher from 2000 through 2011. In 2008, he won the Pacific League MVP award and he led the league in wins in 2004 and 2008 and in ERA in 2008.
Iwakuma signed a one-year contract with the Mariners prior to the 2012 season. As both a starting pitcher and a relief pitcher in 2012, he had a 3.16 ERA with a 9-5 win-loss record and 2 saves in 30 games. Following the season, he signed a two-year, $14 million contract extension that includes a 2015 option. In 2013, as a starting pitcher for the Mariners, he had a 2.66 ERA with a 14-6 record in 33 games. He finished the 2014 season with a 15-9 record, 154 strikeouts to 21 walks, and a 3.52 ERA in 179.0 innings in 28 games.
In 2015, Iwakuma was on the DL from April 25th through July 5th. A month after he returned to the Mariners, he pitched his first complete game no-hitter on August 12th. He finished the season with a 9-5 record, 111 strikeouts to 21 walks, and a 3.54 ERA in 129.2 innings in 20 games.
Iwakuma and the Mariners agreed to a one-year contract on December 16, 2015. He finished the 2016 season with a 4.12 ERA, a career high 16 wins to 12 losses, and 147 strikeouts to 46 walks in 199.0 innings in 33 games.
Iwakuma spent most of the 2017 season on the DL, pitching just 31.0 innings in 6 games with the Mariners.
Iwakuma became a free agent on November 2, 2017. He rejoined the Mariners on a minor league contract on November 27th.
Career pitching statistics for Iwakuma through 2017 include:
- 150 games played
- 883.2 innings pitched
- 63-39 win-loss record
- 714 strikeouts to 185 walks
- 3.42 ERA
Iwakuma and his wife Madoka have two children.