Baseball history occurred during the Seattle Mariners (54-61) 3-0 win over the Baltimore Orioles (57-56), as M’s starter, Hisashi Iwakuma (4-2, 3.86 ERA) hurled his first career no-hitter.
Kuma was remarkable, and never wavered en route to recording the no-no. Kevin Gausman (2-4, 4.48 ERA) pitched well for Baltimore but came out on the losing end.
Hisashi Iwakuma was unbelievable on Wednesday afternoon. 2015 has been an up and down year for Kuma, but it was clear from the first pitch that he brought his best stuff with him to the ballpark.
The 34-year-old struck out seven and walked three in what will undoubtedly go down as the most memorable outing of his career. Iwakuma effectively used deception to baffle the O’s, mixing speeds and generating the most dip I have ever seen on his split-finger.
Kyle Seager made the play of the game defensively, making an over the shoulder catch in foul territory to preserve Kuma’s no-hit bid in the 9th.
Iwakuma is now breathing rarefied air, as his no-no today was just the 5th ever in Mariners’ history. Kuma’s no-hitter was the first for a Seattle hurler since Felix Hernandez‘s perfect game on August 15th, 2012. Today was also a special day for the entire country of Japan. The Tokyo native joins Hideo Nomo as the only Japanese pitchers in MLB history to accomplish this feat.
Aug 12, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez (34) hugs pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma (18) following the final out of a no-hit, 3-0 victory by Iwakuma against the Baltimore Orioles at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
It was an incredible scene on the field after Austin Jackson caught the lazy fly ball for the final out. Every Mariner sprinted to the mound to celebrate with Kuma.
King Felix even took off his signature crown, and replaced it with a Kuma Bear Hat. After the game, Iwakuma said that his family was in attendance on Wednesday at Safeco Field. I can only imagine the joy his family must have felt like the final out of his masterpiece was recorded.
Finally, on behalf of Mariners’ fans everywhere, I would like to congratulate Hisashi Iwakuma on his incredible achievement today at Safeco Field. 2015 has been mired by disappointment for M’s fans, but today we can finally rejoice in Kuma’s success.
Franklin Gutierrez got the scoring started in the bottom of the 3rd inning for Seattle. The 32-year-old outfielder laced an RBI double into the left-center field gap that plated Ketel Marte. Guti hustled home to score from second base on a Robinson Cano single to left field.
The M’s added to their lead in the home half of the 4th inning. Austin Jackson had himself a nice game, and he led off the frame with a ringing double that split the gap in left-center field. Jesus Sucre helped out his pitcher by coming through with a clutch RBI double down the left field line.
Orioles’ starter, Kevin Gausman had a pretty nice outing himself this afternoon. The 24-year-old allowed three runs on six hits through 7 innings of work. Gausman has a live arm, and he tallied a career-high eight punch-outs. Obviously, these numbers pale in comparison to what Kuma accomplished, but it was not Gausman’s fault Baltimore lost.
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Seattle has now reeled off three consecutive series victories. With today’s win, the Mariners are eight games back of the division-leading Houston Astros. Seattle is slowing inching closer in the Wildcard, as they now trail by just 6.5 games. While they remain long shots to reach the postseason in 2015, at least the M’s are finally starting to play some quality baseball.
The Seattle Mariners (54-61) will now hop on a jet and fly across the country to take on the last place Boston Red Sox (50-64). I’m sure the lengthy flight will be a highly enjoyable one for the players given today’s stellar result.
Thursday is an off day for Seattle, but they will open their 3-game series with the BoSox at 4:10 pm from Fenway Park. Mike Montgomery (4-4, 3.25 ERA) will get the ball for Seattle in the opener, and Joe Kelly (4-6, 5.96 ERA) will be not he bump for Boston. Root Sports Northwest will carry the game live locally, and MLB.tv subscribers can watch worldwide on connected devices.
Let’s hear it one more time for Kuma!