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Chunichi Dragons: Hitoki Iwase notches 300th career save

by on Sep.03, 2011 @ 6:43 pm, under NPB

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).

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Saves over the Years

Year Team G W L SV IP ERA
1999 Chunichi 65 10 2 1 74.1 1.57
2000 Chunichi 58 10 5 1 80.1 1.90
2001 Chunichi 61 8 3 0 62.2 3.30
2002 Chunichi 52 4 2 0 59.2 1.06
2003 Chunichi 58 5 2 4 63.2 1.41
2004 Chunichi 60 2 3 22 64.1 2.80
2005 Chunichi 60 1 2 46 57.1 1.88
2006 Chunichi 56 2 2 40 55.1 1.30
2007 Chunichi 61 2 4 43 59.0 2.44
2008 Chunichi 51 3 3 36 49.0 2.94
2009 Chunichi 54 2 3 41 46.2 2.12
2010 Chunichi 54 1 3 42 48.0 2.25
2011 Chunichi 40 0 1 24 33.2 1.87
Totals 730 50 35 300 754.0 2.05