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Tetsuya Shiozaki

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Tetsuya Shiozaki

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[edit] Biographical Information

Tetsuya Shiozaki lost his father in an accident before he was one year old. As a pitcher, he first achieved notice in the 1988 Olympics when he was 1-0 with a 1.04 ERA, the third-lowest mark in the tourney, for the Silver Medal Japanese club. In the 1988 Baseball World Cup, Shiozaki was 1-1 with a 3.21 ERA and struck out 20 in 14 innings. The next year, he was the first-round draft pick of the Seibu Lions after having played in the 1989 Intercontinental Cup. He made his professional debut in 1990. Teammate Orestes Destrade recalls "I remember when he first came up...I thought he was sixteen years old. I was like, 'Who is this little kid?' But when he started dealing, I was like, 'Ohhh, OK!'" Shiozaki, a sidearm pitcher, threw a fastball in the high-80s (tops out at 91) and a very good screwball.

In his rookie year, Tetsuya was 7-4 with 8 saves and a 1.84 ERA, striking out 123 in 102 2/3 IP in 43 games. On July 5 of that year, he struck out an amazing eight batters in a row. Hideo Nomo beat him out for Pacific League Rookie of the Year honors. In the 1990 Japan Series, Shiozaki won one game and saved another in Seibu's sweep, posting a 2.35 ERA. The next year, Tetsuya was 10-3 with five saves and a 4.48 ERA, leading the PL with 45 appearances on the mound. He allowed three runs in three innings in the Japan Series that year but Seibu won again.

In 1992, the 23-year-old sidearmer went 6-2 with 10 saves and a 2.94 ERA. He saved games two and four of the 1992 Japan Series but lost game 5 and then blew game 6 as well, allowing a homer to Shinji Hata in the 10th inning. He still had a 1.69 ERA on the Series and Seibu won, giving him three championships in his first three seasons. 1993 was his best year arguably, as Shiozaki went 6-3 with 8 saves and a 1.18 ERA. He had a 2.70 ERA in the 1993 Japan Series, saving games five and six, but his team lost game 7.

1994 marked a 4-2, 2.39 year with one save for the Seibu reliever and he had a 2.45 ERA in Seibu's loss in the 1994 Japan Series. In '95, Shiozaki made his only PL All-Star team and he had a 5-6, 1.92 season with 12 saves. For the first time in his career, Seibu failed to take the Pacific League pennant after five in a row.

In 1996, Shiozaki went 8-6 with 11 saves and a 2.84 ERA. The next year, he was moved into the starting rotation and had a 12-7, 2.90 year in which he hit an PL-high 10 batters. He was third in the Pacific League in ERA, trailing Satoru Komiyama and Akira Okamoto. He allowed 8 hits and 3 runs (1 earned) in a 2 1/3 IP in the 1997 Japan Series. He fell from there, going 7-5 with a 4.05 ERA in '98 (1-0, 2.84 in the Japan Series) and 5-3, 4.60 in '99.

2000 marked a rebound year for Tetsuya as he went 3-6 with a 2.85 ERA. He saw limited duty the next four seasons, with lines of 1-0, 4.46; 6-5, 3.89; 1-3, 4.86 and 1-0, 6.57. In his 8th Japan Series in 2002, he pitched one scoreless inning. Overall during the regular season, he was 82-55 with 55 saves and a 3.16 ERA in 15 years with Seibu.

Sources: Remembering Japanese Baseball by Rob Fitts, Japanbaseballdaily.com by Gary Garland, 1989 Baseball Almanac, IBAF site

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