Kei Igawa, pitcher of the Orix Buffaloes, at Hanshin Koshien Stadium.
|Born: July 13, 1979|
Ōarai, Ibaraki, Japan
|NPB: May 2, 1999, for the Hanshin Tigers|
|MLB: April 7, 2007, for the New York Yankees|
|MLB: June 27, 2008, for the New York Yankees|
|NPB: 2014, for the Orix Buffaloes|
|Earned run average||3.21|
|Earned run average||6.66|
|Career highlights and awards|
Kei Igawa born July 13, 1979) is a Japanese former left-handed pitcher. He played for the Hanshin Tigers and Orix Buffalos of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) and New York Yankees of Major League Baseball (MLB). He led all pitchers in the Central League for strikeouts in 2002, 2004 and 2006. He also played in the 2006 Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.
Hanshin Tigers (1998–2006)[change | change source]
He was the number two draft choice of the Hanshin Tigers in 1998. After a couple of years in the Hanshin minor league system, Igawa entered the starting rotation in 2001. In his first full season as a starter, Igawa went 9-13 for the last-placed Tigers, but finished with a Central League second-best 2.67 ERA, behind only Chunichi's Shigeki Noguchi.
In 2002, Hanshin improved to fourth, and Igawa's record was 14-9. He finished third in ERA (2.49), trailing Masumi Kuwata and Kenshin Kawakami. He also led the Central League with 206 strikeouts.
In 2003, the Tigers won the Central League pennant. Igawa made a great contribution with his brilliant performance. He pitched very well and finished with a 20–5 record, a 2.80 ERA, and was third with 179 strikeouts. He was named to the Best Nine, won the MVP in the Central League and also won the Eiji Sawamura Award, the Japanese equivalent of the MLB Cy Young Award. In 2004 he lead the league at 228 strikeouts, he went 14-11 with a 3.73 ERA. In 2005, Igawa went 13-9 with a 3.86 ERA, fifth among his team's starters in ERA,. He was only tied for fifth in strikeouts (down significantly to 145) and 10th in ERA.