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Chunichi Dragons: Hitoki Iwase sets a new NPB record for saves

by on Jun.16, 2011 @ 9:33 pm, under NPB

Hitoki Iwase set a new NPB record when he struck out Hiroki Kokubo and closed out his 287th game of his career.

UPDATE 10:36pm - Daily Sports has posted Iwase's post-game comments:

How are you feeling right now?

I'm glad I was able to get it over with on the first attempt.

And you got it at home.

I just want to thank the players [for the opportunity].

What were you feeling while you were on the mound?

I wasn't really thinking [about the record] and was just pitching as I usually do.

How do you feel now that you've set a new record?

Hmm, I wonder...  I guess, I'm happy.

What do you think helped you set this new record?

I want to thank my parents.

And who would you like to share this happiness with?

My parents.

You've save a lot of games.  Any of them particularly memorable?

The Nippon Series [game].

You're talking about the perfect game you helped close [on 11/1/2007]?

My legs have never shaken so much, other than during opening day and the Nippon Series.

Your next goal?

I'll work hard for 300 next.

UPDATE 6/17 @ 12:50am - Sanspo has posted a brief interview:

Who would you like to share you happiness with?

My parents. I really want to thank both of them. They were the ones that brought me into this world.

Your thoughts on breaking the record.

Unlike the time when I tied the record, my phone is now ringing constantly.  I'm glad I was able to break the record.

What were you feeling during the hero interview?

I couldn't really say anything funny, so I had to be my usual self.  The entire park celebrated it and the cheers really sunk in.

What were some of the difficulties [you experienced while breaking the record]?

There were a lot of difficulties [over the years].  Too many to really remember.  The last few years, I've been booed a lot.  I need to make sure I can pitch well.

Your next goal?

During my [hero interview] I mentioned 300 [saves], but [what I really wanted to say is that] my goal is to throw every pitch well and [help the team] win.

===

Top 10 in Saves

Name JPN Name ENG Sv G
岩瀬 仁紀 Iwase, Hitoki 287 705
高津 臣吾 Takatsu, Shingo 286 598
佐々木 主浩 Sasaki, Kazuhiro 252 439
小林 雅英 Kobayashi, Masahide 228 463
江夏 豊 Enatsu, Yutaka 193 829
クルーン Kroon, Marc 177 304
馬原 孝浩 Mahara, Takahiro 169 298
藤川 球児 Fujikawa, Kyuji 168 476
永川 勝浩 Nagakawa, Katsuhiro 164 374
豊田 清 Toyoda, Kiyoshi 157 531

Player names in italics are still active.