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Kazuhisa Ishii
K Ishii.JPG
Ishiii with the New York Mets
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles – No. 99
Pitcher / Manager
Born: September 9, 1973 (1973-09-09) (age 48)
Chiba, Chiba, Japan
Batted: Left Threw: Left
Professional debut
NPB: June 9, 1992, for the Yakult Swallows
MLB: April 6, 2002, for the Los Angeles Dodgers
Last appearance
MLB: September 28, 2005, for the New York Mets
NPB: August 14, 2013, for the Saitama Seibu Lions
NPB statistics
Win–loss record 143–103
Earned run average 3.63
Strikeouts 2,115
MLB statistics
Win–loss record 39–34
Earned run average 4.44
Strikeouts 435
Teams
As player

As manager

Career highlights and awards
  • NPB ERA champion (2000)
  • 2× NPB strikeout champion (1998, 2000)

Kazuhisa Ishii (石井 一久 Ishii Kazuhisa) (born September 9, 1973) is a Japanese former professional baseball pitcher. He played in Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB) for the Yakult Swallows and Saitama Seibu Lions and in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets.

Career

Ishii was selected in the first round of the 1991 Japanese amateur draft by the Yakult Swallows. He made his debut in the Central League on June 9, 1992 at the age of 18. He was a member of the Japan Series winning team that season, a feat accomplished a total of five times during his career with the Swallows. During his ten years playing in Japan, he amassed a record of 78–46 with a 3.38 ERA and 1,277 strikeouts in 1,184 innings pitched. On September 2, 1997, he threw a no-hitter against the Yokohama BayStars.

Ishii was signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2002 after the Dodgers posted the top bid for the right to negotiate with him. He made his major league debut on April 6, 2002, striking out ten batters and allowing two hits and no runs in five and two-thirds innings against the Chicago Cubs. He went on to win his first six starts and was named National League Rookie of the Month for April 2002.

On September 8, 2002, Ishii was struck in the face by a ball hit by Brian Hunter of the Houston Astros. Ishii underwent emergency surgery for a nasal fracture wherein he had bone chips removed and replaced with a small titanium plate. He did not pitch again that season. Ishii led the major leagues with 106 walks but finished with a 14–10 record and placed fourth in National League Rookie of the Year voting.

During 2003 and 2004, Ishii developed a reputation as a much better pitcher in the first half of seasons. In his three years in the major leagues, Ishii was 29–15 with a 3.50 ERA prior to the All-Star break, but only 7–13 with a 5.77 ERA after. Ishii was also known for his control problems, yielding 305 walks in 473 innings. He was among the top five in walks allowed each of his three seasons in the National League. He was also the only MLB pitcher to give up two bases-loaded triples in 2003.

In March 2005, the New York Mets acquired Ishii in exchange for catcher Jason Phillips to replace injured starting pitcher Steve Trachsel. After posting a record of only 3–9 with an ERA over five, the Mets released him the following December.

Ishii went back in 2005 and played from 2006 for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. He was signed as a free agent to the Saitama Seibu Lions in 2008.

Ishii announced his retirement on September 24, 2013.

In September 2018, Ishii became the general manager of NPB's Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. In November 2020, it was announced that Ishii would take over both managerial and GM duties for the team's upcoming 2021 season.

Personal

Ishii is married to Ayako Kisa, a television presenter for BS Asahi's "Ima Sekaiwa" ("今世界は") program, and has one child, Kanta, and resides in Chiba, Japan.

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