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Kisanuki 8th Rookie to K 15

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Kisanuki 8th Rookie to K 15
Giants' rookie Kisanuki Hiroshi (5 wins, 3 losses, 2.79 ERA, ranked 2nd in CL) is making his bid for Rookie of the Year as, on July 6, 2003, he struck out 15 Dragons in nine innings of work, giving up three runs, two walks, and seven base hits on 162 pitches, not figuring in the final which the Giants won on a sayonara home run in the 12th. The last rookie to strike out 15 batters in a game was Seibu's Matsuzaka on September 2, 1999 against the Fighters.

Nikkan Sports was kind enough to provide a table of rookies who struck out 15 or more batters in a single game:
    Ks  Player            Team        Date        vs.        W/L
    -- ---------------- ---------- ---------- --------- ---
    17 Nomo Hideo Kintetsu 1990.04.29 Orix W
    16 Kida Isamu Nippon Ham 1980.09.02 Kintetsu W
    " Itoh Tomohito Yakult 1993.06.09 Giants L
    15 *Shimizu Hideo Nankai 1940.11.16 Hankyu L
    " Suzuki Keiji Kintetsu 1966.09.27 Nishitetsu W
    " Ueda Jiro Hanshin 1970.04.23 Taiyo W
    " Matsuzaka Daisuke Seibu 1999.09.02 Nippon Ham W
    " Kisanuki Hiroshi Giants 2003.07.06 Chunichi -

    * Shimizu worked extra inning in this game, but struck out 15 through the first nine.

    Sawamura, after whom the Japanese equivalent of the Cy Young Award is named, struck out as many as 14 his (and Pro Yakyu's) rookie year of 1936 (November 19 to be specific).

    Kisanuki's 113 strike outs so far this season ups team mate Uehara's 100 Ks for the league lead. The last time a rookie led the league in strike outs was when the very same Uehara took the Strike Out Title his rookie year of 1999 to become just the 7th rookie to do so since the two league system had started in 1950.


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Michael Westbay
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