by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/20/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma allowed a season-high five runs in six innings during a no-decision Monday at Cleveland. He allowed seven hits and three walks, while striking out six.
Iwakuma was handed a 2-0 lead before he took the mound in the bottom of the first, but he gave up the lead in the bottom of the second inning as Ryan Raburn clubbed a three-run homer and Yan Gomes added a solo home run. Seattle battled back to tie the game at 4 in the third inning, but Iwakuma allowed Cleveland to jump back out to a one-run lead in the bottom of the inning. The right-hander then settled down to toss three scoreless innings before hitting the showers.
Iwakuma's ERA jumped from 1.84 to 2.37. He had allowed a total of five earned runs in his previous three starts. Iwakuma has failed to make it six innings just once this season.
Iwakuma, who hasn't lost a decision in his last five starts, will be back on the mound Sunday against the Rangers. He is 1-0 with a 1.35 ERA against Texas this season.
Seven-run first hands Hisashi Iwakuma easy win
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (5/15/2013) Taking on the Yankees in New York Wednesday, the Mariners got out to a seven-run lead in the top of the first inning, giving starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma all the run support he needed in a 12-2 win.
Iwakuma needed just 89 pitches to complete seven innings, allowing two earned runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking none. Iwakuma moved to 5-1 after earning a win in his third straight start. He has surrendered just 12 earned runs in nine starts while posting a 1.84 ERA.
Iwakuma's next start will come Monday in Cleveland against the Indians.
Hisashi Iwakuma continues to roll
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (5/11/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma continued his strong start to the season Friday, as he tossed seven strong innings in a win over the Athletics.
Iwakuma allowed just two runs on four hits and no walks in the outing, while striking out nine. This was just the third time Iwakuma has allowed at least two runs in a start. He earned an easy 6-3 win, to improve his record to 4-1 on the season.
Mariners manager Eric Wedge praised Iwakuma's performance after the game.
"He repeats. He's so consistent with his delivery, his arm action, his arm slot, release point, it's tough to see what is coming out," Wedge said. "That's what you have to do. If you're going to be a solid starting pitcher up here you've got to do that."
Iwakuma has a 1.74 ERA, and he has thrown a quality start in all but one of his eight outings. He ranks first in the American League with an 0.74 WHIP and seventh with 51 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings of work. He is second on the team in strikeouts and ERA, thanks to the presence of Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez.
"Those two have just been on another level," Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager said. "Everybody knows Felix, obviously, but (Iwakuma) he's been flying under the radar a little bit but he's been just as impressive. It's been pretty fun to play behind those two especially."
He is scheduled to make his next start Thursday, at Yankee Stadium.
Mariners shift order of rotation
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (5/10/2013) With a break in the schedule schedule upcoming Monday, the Mariners used that off day to alter their rotation for a three-game series against the Yankees, MLB.com reports. Felix Hernandez will be moved up a day and start the series opener at New York on Tuesday before being followed by Hisashi Iwakuma (Wednesday) and Aaron Harang (Thursday).
Hisashi Iwakuma pushed back a day
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/5/2013) The Mariners made a slight adjustment to the starting rotation going forward, MLB.com reports Sunday. Hisashi Iwakuma will start Saturday against Oakland, and not Friday.
The team moved Brandon Maurer's next start back to Friday ahead of Iwakuma.
Iwakuma has gone 2-1 with a 1.17 ERA over his last five starts spanning 30 2/3 innings with 32 strikeouts.
Hisashi Iwakuma should continue to thrive
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (5/5/2013) It's safe to say Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has been one of the most pleasant surprises at the beginning of the season. Now comes the difficult task for Fantasy owners trying to assess whether or not the 32-year-old hurler can keep it going?
Honestly, I don't view Iwakuma as a trade candidate. I say keep him and enjoy the ride. You look at some of Iwakuma's numbers and it screams market correction. For instance, Iwakuma's ERA is 1.61, but his FIP is 3.18 (per FanGraphs.com), which indicates his ERA should be higher. Well, last season Iwakuma had a 3.16 ERA and his FIP was 4.35. Also, Iwakuma has an 89.3 percent strand rate through seven starts, which is well above the league average for starters (72.7). Though, Iwakuma's strand rate in 2012 was 81.9 percent, so he just seems to be efficient working out of the stretch. Not a surprise seeing how he began last season as a reliever.
Look, Iwakuma is probably going to run into a bad game and might even endure a cold stretch to get his numbers closer to the norms, but this dude can pitch. He's 11-5 with a 2.32 ERA and 1.08 WHIP in 23 MLB starts. His numbers might not add up, but not everybody has to follow the norm. There are always outliers, which Iwakuma could be.
Hisashi Iwakuma masterful yet again
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (5/4/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma had another outstanding performance Saturday at Toronto. Iwakuma lowered his ERA to 1.61, just a shade higher than teammate Felix Hernandez's at 1.60.
Iwakuma (3-1) went seven innings in win against the Blue Jays. He allowed one earned run on five hits and three walks with five strikeouts over 108 pitches, 74 for strikes.
The 32-year-old Iwakuma won for the first time since April 12 against Texas. But he's given up two runs with 21 Ks over his previous three no-decisions spanning 17 innings.
Iwakuma will make his next start Friday against Oakland.
Hisashi Iwakuma pushed up to Saturday
by Adam Moore | CBSSports.com (5/3/2013) Mariners manager Eric Wedge decided to change his rotation a bit for the remaining two games of Seattle's series against the Blue Jays.
Hisashi Iwakuma, who was originally scheduled to start Sunday, will now pitch Saturday, while Joe Saunders, who was originally slated to start Saturday, will pitch Sunday.
"We had it set up one way, but we didn't feel the need to push Iwakuma back because his finger is coming along nicely," Wedge told MLB.com.
Iwakuma is 2-1 with a 1.67 ERA and MLB-best 0.69 WHIP over six starts. He has held his opponents to a .160 batting average while posting a 7.40 strikeout-to-walk-ratio (37 Ks, five walks), which ranks fourth among qualified big-league starters over that stretch.
Hisashi Iwakuma's start pushed back
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (4/29/2013) Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma will receive some extra rest for his next scheduled start as Seattle has moved it back to Sunday in Toronto, MLB.com reports.
Bothered by a blister on the middle finger of his throwing hand since spring training, Iwakuma continues to be held back. He's been pulled earlier than he normally would in recent outings.
Manager Eric Wedge said he's not even definite for Sunday, either.
"We're still working through that," he said. "A lot will depend on how we see the finger doing in the next couple days and how he feels when he throws his next bullpen."
That said, Iwakuma has been fantastic this season as he's fifth in the American League with a 1.67 ERA. He's 2-1 in six starts and has held opponents to a .160 batting average, third in the AL.
Hisashi Iwakuma lowers ERA to 1.67
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/28/2013) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma continued his strong start to the year in Sunday's series finale against the Angels. He allowed an unearned run on three hits over six innings of work.
Iwakuma retired 11 in a row after a double in the second inning by Howie Kendrick before surrendering his lone damage in the sixth. In that frame, he gave up a leadoff single and the runner would come around to score on an error.
The right-hander threw 66 of his 92 pitches for strikes and lowered his ERA to 1.67. He left in line for the loss but luckily his teammates were able to battle back for the 2-1 win.
Iwakuma also struck out eight with no walks in the no-decision.
His next start is scheduled for Saturday against the Blue Jays. He went 1-0 with a 5.00 ERA in two appearances (one start) against Toronto last season.
Hisashi Iwakuma should remain attractive
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013)Hisashi Iwakuma has been tough to figure out this season.On the one hand, you have to love Iwakuma's strikeout and walk totals so far this season. On the other hand, he has been getting awfully lucky with batted balls so far.
Iwakuma's 1.99 ERA is getting a lot of help from an unsustainably-low .171 batting average on balls in play, a usual warning sign that regression is on the way. However, Iwakuma has 29 strikeouts and just five walks while pitching in a pitcher's park for the Mariners. Even when the regression comes, it should not be a drastic fall. We could still see the 32-year-old hovering in the low-3.00's, exactly where he spent his rookie season.
Iwakuma has some extreme outliers in his stat line that are due for some normalization, but that is not to say he is going to be a scrub from here on out. There is a lot to like about his season so far, and he should certainly be active in most Fantasy formats at this point.
Hisashi Iwakuma Ks 11 in defeat
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (4/23/2013) Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma mowed down 11 batters over just five innings on Tuesday night in Houston. It wasn't enough to avoid taking the loss.
Iwakuma dropped his first decision as the Astros beat him 3-2. He allowed a Marwin Gonzalez solo homer in the third inning and also hit Justin Maxwell with the bases loaded in the frame. He was sharp after that, but the three runs he gave up in the first three innings were enough for Houston.
Iwakuma (2-1) allowed three runs -- two earned -- on six hits and three walks over his five innings and 93 pitches. His ERA is 1.99.
With 29 strikeouts over 31 2/3 innings, Iwakuma has been excellent for the Mariners. The 32-year-old has shown his consistency and will look to keep that going when he next takes the mound for the Mariners on Sunday against the Angels.
Hisashi Iwakuma refusing to give up walks
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (4/22/2013) In 26 2/3 innings, Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma has only surrendered two walks.
Iwakuma's profile has changed a bit since moving to the rotation. While most pitchers see their performance improve in the bullpen, Iwakuma has been much better in the rotation. In 121 2/3 innings as a starter, Iwakuma has a 2.44 ERA.
Aside from his new-found control, Iwakuma's approach is a bit different. He's allowed a much higher percentage of fly balls to start out the year. Iwakuma has allowed home runs frequently in his major-league career, so that's something to watch going forward. Unbelievably, he has stranded 100 percent of his runners this year. While that's not going to continue, Iwakuma's 3.86 FIP suggests that he'll still be effective once those runners start coming around. It's a skill set that will work in Safeco.
Hisashi Iwakuma in line for next start
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (4/19/2013) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (2-0) said he will make his next scheduled start Tuesday at Houston after being removed from Thursday's outing due to a recurring blister issue on the middle finger of his right hand, the Tacoma News reports.
Iwakuma tossed six shutout innings and permitted only three hits before being removed after just 70 pitches.
"I've been fighting through the whole situation," he said. "I should be OK."
The Mariners have maintained a cautious stance with Iwakuma as he has dealt with the issue since the end of spring training. The right-hander has not thrown more than 90 pitches in his four starts this year.
"(We're) trying to be careful in between starts; not to put too much pressure on it or anything that would really irritate it," manager Eric Wedge said. "But … you’ve still got to keep your arm going. It’s just a fine line."
Hisashi Iwakuma goes six innings strong in ND
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (4/18/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma turned in a solid outing but didn't factor into the decision during Thursday's contest against the Tigers.
Iwakuma threw six scoreless innings and 70 pitches before leaving the game. It was his shortest outing since June of last season. The right-hander allowed three hits, walked one and struck out two in a 2-0 victory.
The 32-year-old is scheduled to take the mound Tuesday at Houston. Iwakuma has yet to face the Astros in his career but has allowed just four runs on six hits in 14 innings of work combined away from Safeco Field.
Hisashi Iwakuma posts another strong performance
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (4/13/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma improved to 2-0 after allowing just one earned run, which came on a barely-out home run to Ian Kinsler in the fourth inning. Iwakuma surrendered just three hits while striking out six and walking one in 6 2/3 innings.
Iwakuma has opened the season with three straight quality starts, and he'll go for his fourth against the Tigers at home Thursday.
Hisashi Iwakuma strong again for M's
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/7/2013) After an impressive season debut, Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma turned in his second straight quality start to begin the year on Sunday against the White Sox.
The right-hander allowed three runs on four hits over eight innings of work. He surrendered a two-run homer to Adam Dunn in the first for his only damage over his first six frames.
Then in the seventh, Alex Rios lead off the inning with a solo shot off Iwakuma.
The 31-year-old left with the game tied at 3-3 and did not factor in the decision. He also struck out three with no walks while throwing 89 pitches, 62 for strikes.
Iwakuma, who has a 10-to-0 strikeout-to-walk ratio thus far, is scheduled to make his next start Friday against the Rangers.
Iwakuma was unable to throw any breaking balls in a Thursday bullpen session. He was able to work on his fastball, but throwing offspeed pitches irritates the blister. Iwakuma has been dealing with the issue since spring training.
Don't be surprised by Hisashi Iwakuma's performance
While Kris Medlen got all the attention for his conversion from reliever to starter, Iwakuma pitched brilliantly for the Mariners in the shadows, with a 2.19 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in his final 12 starts. This season is just an extension of his success last year and in Japan. As a starter, Iwakuma is a solid asset, and should see a leap in his Fantasy ownership (81 percent as of Wednesday morning) as people take a deeper look at what he can do.
Hisashi Iwakuma Ks seven in quality start
by Ed Gauna | CBSSports.com (4/3/2013) Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma received more than enough run support in his outing against the A's on Tuesday night. He allowed one run on two hits over six innings of work in a 7-1 win. The right-hander surrendered a solo homer to Yoenis Cespedes in the second for his lone damage. He did not give up a hit over his final three frames.
Iwakuma, who threw 88 pitches, also struck out seven with no walks while earning his first win of the season.
Hisashi Iwakuma a viable Week 1 start
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com (3/31/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma posted a 4.20 ERA away from home last season. Why's that important? Because he's slated for two road starts in Week 1 (March 31-April 7).
However, that number indicates his ERA in all of his 13 road appearances, including seven relief outings. In six road starts, Iwakuma was 3-2 with a 2.80 ERA. He allowed three or fewer earned runs in each of those outings.
Iwakuma has matchups against the A's and White Sox in Week 1. Chicago averaged 4.62 runs per game in 2012, which was seventh-best in the majors, and Oakland averaged 4.40 runs per game, which is 15th-best, but if I'm an Iwakuma owner, then I'm starting him in this scoring period, especially in Head-to-Head formats where he has relief-pitcher eligibility.
Iwakuma was 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA and 1.05 WHIP in six spring outings (five starts).
Hisashi Iwakuma has final tune-up cut short
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com (3/28/2013) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma turned in a decent performance in Thursday's Cactus League game against the Cubs. He cruised through the first two innings before allowing a run-scoring single to Zeke DeVoss and a two-run home run to Alfonso Soriano in the third inning.
Iwakuma, who was scheduled to throw 80 pitches, came out of the game after four innings due to a dry skin patch on his fingertips. He told reporters through an interpreter that it was nothing to be worried about. He allowed three runs on five hits over four innings. Iwakuma also struck out four and did not issue a walk.
Iwakuma has a 4.76 ERA and 0.79 WHIP in six appearances this spring. He is expected to open the season as the No. 2 starter Tuesday at Oakland.
Hisashi Iwakuma should be going earlier in drafts
by Nando Di Fino | Senior Fantasy Writer (3/26/2013) For H2H leagues, where it's possible to plug Hisashi Iwakuma in at RP while accumulating all his valuable SP stats, his value makes sense. But in Roto leagues, where Iwakuma's value will be based solely on his stats as a starting pitcher, should he be getting a little more love?
Iwakuma is going off boards at around the 262nd pick. That's Chad Billingsley/Paul Maholm territory. While Iwakuma's numbers for the Mariners looked good overall last year -- a 3.16 ERA and 1.28 WHIP -- he really started to shine when he was moved from the bullpen to the rotation. In 16 starts, Iwakuma had a 2.65 ERA and 1.23 WHIP. Once he was properly stretched out and went past the sixth inning, Iwakuma was even better, with a 2.19 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in his final 12 starts.
Iwakuma won't get a ton of strikeouts, but once he was moved to his natural role -- as a starter, where, in his final five years in Japan, Iwakuma compiled a 2.67 ERA and 1.13 WHIP -- he was stellar. And this is why I have him among the top 45 starters in the game. He's no Kris Medlen, but he'll help your Fantasy team more than Billingsley.
Hisashi Iwakuma named No. 2 starter
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com (3/26/2013)Hisashi Iwakuma will open the season as the Mariners’ No. 2 starter, manager Eric Wedge confirmed.
The 32-year-old had a 3.16 ERA and a 4.35 FIP in 125 1/3 innings last season. He’ll make his first regular season start April 2 against the Athletics.
Hisashi Iwakuma allows two runs in Triple-A start
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com (3/23/2013) Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma had a strong line against the Reds' Triple-A team Saturday, surrending two runs on 10 hits and no walks in seven-plus innings. He struck out five. It was a nice bounce-back outing for Iwakuma, who had allowed five earned runs over nine innings in his last two starts combined.
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/18/2013) Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma failed to strike out a batter over five innings on Monday afternoon in a Cactus League start against Oakland. Iwakuma had both his longest and worst spring outing to date against the A's.
Oakland's Derek Norris took him deep in the fourth inning for a two-run blast. Otherwise, Iwakuma was decent as he walked two batters and gave up six hits over five frames. His spring ERA is solid at 3.60, though he's given up five earned runs over his last two outings spanning nine innings with just one strikeout.
Iwakuma, who figures to be the No. 3 starter for the Mariners to start the year, will be a full-time starter for the first time in his short major league career. Coming over from Japan last year, Iwakuma made 30 appearances and 16 starts and went 9-5 with a solid 3.16 ERA with 101 strikeouts over 125 1/3 innings.
Iwakuma impressive against Royals
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (3/13/2013) Mariners starter Hisashi Iwakuma had a solid outing on Wednesday in a Cactus League start against the Royals. Iwakuma gave up two earned runs on four hits and no walks over four innings as he struck out one batter. His spring ERA is now at 2.70 and the Royals' Billy Butler was impressed with his ability to get ground-ball outs, reports the Tacoma News Tribune.
Iwakuma getting the job done
by Chris Towers | CBSSports.com (3/7/2013) Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma continued his strong spring start Thursday, as he shut out the Royals in three innings of relief work. He threw 27 of his 40 pitches for strikes in the outing, striking out one batter and allowing just one hit. He continued to keep the ball down, picking up five groundball outs and just one flyball. Iwakuma now has a 1.50 ERA through thee Cactus League appearances.
Iwakuma staying under control
by Bill Passonno | CBSSports.com (3/2/2013) Seattle starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma gave up a run and two hits over two innings of work during the Mariners' 9-5 win over the Dodgers in Cactus League action Saturday. Iwakuma, who was making his second start of the spring, recorded two strikeouts and did not walk a batter. He needed 24 pitches (15 strikes) to complete his outing as his earned-run average grew to 3.00.
Iwakuma throws spotless inning
by Jeff Lippman | CBSSports.com (2/26/2013) Seattle starter Hisashi Iwakuma made his Cactus League debut on Tuesday against the Brewers. Iwakuma started the game but pitched just one inning. He breezed through his inning as he did not allow any hits, walks or runs. He also didn't have any strikeouts. Iwakuma told the Japanese media following the start that he's much much stronger and feels more comfortable heading into this season than he did last year.