In saving his 24th game of he season (vs Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium), Hitoki Iwase also became the first pitcher in NPB history to reach the 300 save milestone.
UPDATE 9/4 @ 12:40am - Sanspo posted a brief interview with Iwase:
Was 300 saves ever on your mind when you first started closing games?
Not at all. I never even thought of 100 or 200. I just wanted to do my best as a closer.
What about the game ball?
I don't remember who gave it to me. I'll bring it home with me.
Will saving 300 games become a good memory?
I wonder. It would be nice if it turned out like that. But we're still in the middle of the season. Who knows what will happen moving forward.
You struggled during the first half of the current season...
Things haven't changed much since then. They scored runs off me, but it isn't like I made mistakes.
Do you have any personal goals you're aiming for?
Not really. That's just the kind of person I am.
UPDATE 9/4 @ 1:10pm - If you include MLB saves, Iwase is actually third on the All-time list behind Kazuhiro Sasaki's 381 (252 NPB + 129 MLB) and Shingo Takatsu's 313 (286 NPB + 27 MLB). He's also just 10 games in relief away from tying Yoshitaka Katori's relief appearance record of 739 games (Iwase is currently at 729).
Saves over the Years