Satoru Komiyama

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Satoru Komiyama

Satoru Komiyama (小宮山 悟)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Satoru Komiyama pitched 18 years in the Nippon Pro Baseball and reached the major league in 2002. He was called "Mr. Control" for his elite control ability.

Komiyama was drafted by the Lotte Orions in the first round of the 1989 NPB draft. He joined the rotation as a rookie, and went 6-10 with a 3.27 ERA. He was 4th in ERA, .36 behind Hideo Nomo. He was selected into the 1991 NPB All-Star Game, and pitched 2 shutout innings in each game. Komiyama had a 3.95 ERA in 1991,but he collected a league-leading 16 losses because Lotte was a weak team.

The Lotte moved to Chiba and changed their name to the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1992, but their ace Komiyama didn't had a good season. He was 8-15 with a 3.96 ERA, and became the first pitcher since Osamu Higashio in 1972 to led the league in losses for back-to-back seasons. Komiyama bounced back soon, and set the NPB record for complete 6 consecutive games since the opening day in 1993. He ended up 12-14 with a 3.44 ERA, ranked 6th in wins (5 behind Koji Noda) and 4th in strikeouts (116 behind Nomo). He also attended the 1993 NPB All-Star Game2, and pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings with 4 Ks.

Komiyama suffered a right elbow injury in 1994, so he only went 3-9 with a 4.24 ERA. He recovered well in 1995 as his ERA lowered to 2.60, and he collected 11 wins. He was 6th in wins (5 behind Kip Gross), 3rd in ERA (.07 behind Hideki Irabu) and 3rd in Ks (70 behind Irabu). Komiyama was also selected into the 1995 NPB All-Star Game, started in Game 2 and allowed 2 runs in 2 innings.

The Chiba native slumped to 8-13 with a 4.54 ERA in 1996, but he bounced back soon in 1997 and had a career year. He was 11-9 with a 2.49 ERA, and won his only PL ERA title. He also ranked 7th in wins (4 behind Hideo Koike) and 6th in strikeouts (62 behind Fumiya Nishiguchi). Komiyama finally had an solid performance in even number years in 1998, and he attended the 1998 NPB All-Star Game 2; he started and pitched 2 shutout innings. He ended up 11-12 with a 3.57 ERA in this year, and led the league in complete games and innings.

Komiyama was selected into the 1999 NPB All-Star Game, but he allowed a run in one inning and got the loss in Game 3. He struggled in the 1999 season, and he only had a 7-10 record with a 4.07 ERA. After this season, Komiyama announced that he would become a free agent, and transferred to the Yokohama BayStars. In the first year with the BayStars, Komiyama had a 8-11 record with a 3.96 ERA, and led the league in shutouts. He attended the All-Star Game for the seventh time and the last time, and he collected a shutout inning in Game 3. Komiyama improved to 12-9 with a 3.03 ERA in the next year, ranked 4th in wins (2 behind Shugo Fujii) and 5rh in ERA (.57 behind Shigeki Noguchi).

The New York Mets signed 36-year-old Komiyama in 2002, but he couldn't adapted the Major League. Although he had good command, a lack of stuff made him struggled. He was 0-3 with a 5.61 ERA in 25 relief outings, and the Mets released him after this season. Komiyama didn't pitched in 2003 because if a NPB team want to signed him in this year, they should give the BayStars a compensation. The Chiba Lotte Marines then signed Komiyama in 2004.

The veteran still struggled in the first year after he returning from the big league, only had a 5.22 ERA in 18 appearances. He was moved from the rotation in 2005, and bounced back a little as he recorded a 3.79 ERA in 23 appearances in 2006. The manager of the Lotte Bobby Valentine often used Komiyama as low-leverage reliever, and he had a 4.63 ERA in 24 appearances in 2007, then recorded a 3.99 ERA in 41 appearances in 2008. His ERA rose to 5.72 in 2009, and he announced his retirement after breaking the NPB record for oldest player to notch a save in 2010. Indeed he coundn't deal with the batters in 2010 as he allowed 15 runs in 13 2/3 innings, but the Lotte sent him to the mound when the team had a 3-run lead in 2 outs to help him set the record. After retiring, he became the coach for the Waseda University since 2019.

Overall, Komiyama was 117-147 with a 3.71 ERA and 1,533 strikeouts, pitched 2,293 innings in 18 years in NPB.

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