On This Day in Baseball History May 7, 1999: The game between the New York Yankees and the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium marked the first time that two Japanese born starting pitchers faced each other. Hideki Irabu of the Yankees and Makoto “Mac” Suzuki of the Mariners matched up for five innings before the Yankees knocked Suzuki out of the game. The Yankees would win the game 5-1.
For those of you not familiar with Mac Suzuki, he was the third Japanese player to play in the major leagues, after Masanori Murakami and Hideo Nomo and the first to pitch in the American League.
For Further Reading:
- With His Job on the Line, Irabu Silences Seattle by Jack Curry from the May 8, 1999 edition of the New York Times
- Hideki Irabu’s career statistics from Baseball Reference
- Mac Suzuki’s career statistics from Baseball Reference
- By the Numbers: MLB’s 11 All-Japanese pitching matchups from the YES Network dated June 26, 2013
- The 10 Best Pitchers from Japan in MLB History by Walker Harrison from the Bleacher Report dated December 29, 2013