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Hitoki Iwase: Is He that Good?

Discussion in the Rumor Mill forum
Hitoki Iwase: Is He that Good?
I see that Iwase is up to 43 saves this year. Finally he got hit the other night and gave up 2 ERs. Is this guy really as good as his numbers have been this year? There are few MLB teams that need closers next year. Can Iwase do as well in the MLB?
Re: Hitoki Iwase: Is He that Good?
[ Author: Deanna | Posted: Oct 9, 2007 11:25 AM | NIP Fan ]

Those were not really earned runs. I was at the game and it was pretty stupid.

Fujita led off the 8th inning and hit the ball to short, and Ibata's throw was off, so Fujita ended up on second on the throwing error. Kuremoto walked after that, and Nonaka grounded into a 1-5-3 double play, nicely fielded by Iwase I may add, catching the lead runner Fujita at third base, and Morino firing a shot off to first to get Nonaka as well.

The inning should have been over at that point, but instead, there was two outs and a runner (Kuremoto) on second. Aikawa walked, and then Tatsuhiko Kinjoh, who is also pretty awesome (and received a bunch of awards before the game for said awesomeness, and then became game hero afterwards), hit a big double to center, scoring Kuremoto and Aikawa, before Murata lined out to third.

Maybe I misunderstand the rules for earned runs, but I thought that if an error occurred, and runs scored after the inning should have ended, the runs aren't earned. On the other hand, there might be some funkiness with "never assume a double play" working in there, too. I'm not sure. Maybe the scorer was as astounded as I was at Ibata making an error.

Either way, Iwase's great. I was at his 150th save game last month too, and I saw him recover from a lead off error in a game a few weeks ago as well. The only truly earned run I think I've seen him give up was when Shinnosuke Abe launched a homer off him at the Giants game two weeks ago.

However, I hope he doesn't go to the MLB. I'd be very sad if I didn't get to see him closing out games for the Dragons next year; plus he's one of the only lefty closers in Japan, Alex Graman being the other one.

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