Seattle Mariners pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma tossed a no-hitter this afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles.
Iwakuma’s no-no is the fourth during the 2015 season. The three previous no-hitters came from San Francisco Giants rookie Chris Heston, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer and Cole Hamels in his final appearance with the Philadelphia Phillies (he has since been traded to the Texas Rangers).
Iwakuma became the first AL pitcher to throw a no-hitter since his teammate Felix Hernandez threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays in August 2012. He is also the first Japanese pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Hideo Nomo did so in his debut with the Boston Red Sox in 2002. Curiously it was also against the Orioles. Nomo also threw a no-hitter with the Los Angeles Dodgers against the Colorado Rockies in 1996.
Iwakuma has always been kind of under the radar in comparison to the likes of Masahiro Tanaka, Yu Darvish or Daisuke Matsuzaka a few years back. But Iwakuma did finish third in AL Cy Young balloting in 2013 with a 14-6 record and a 2.66 ERA behind Darvish and Scherzer (who was then with the Detroit Tigers). Iwakuma followed that up with a 15 win campaign in 2014. He has been hurt most of this year, but since joining the Mariners in 2012 Iwakuma is 42-22. Had Iwakuma been healthier this year a lot of GMs would have been interested in his services at the trade deadline.