2006 Japan Pacific League Highlights:
SUMMARY: Led all NPB teams with 13 complete games, ranked second in the Pacific League with 17 wins, a 2.13 earned run average, and 200 strikeouts...placed third in the PL with 186.1 innings, and tied for fifth with two shutouts...established a lifetime best for victories, posted the lowest ERA of his pro career and finished third in the Pacific League's Most Valuable Player Award voting.
BY THE NUMBERS: Allowed one earned run in eight-inning complete game loss to Fukuoka in season's first start on March 30, then was 7-0, 2.12 (14 ER/59.1 IP) in his next eight starts through May 26...went 4-3, 2.14 (15 ER/63 IP in his next nine outings before winning six consecutive starts from Aug. 16-Sept. 19 with a 1.41 ERA (8 ER/51 IP)...allowed season high six earned runs in five innings in season-ending defeat to Chiba on Sept. 26...issued three runs or less 21 times, permitting one or fewer earned runs in 15 starts...allowed just 34 walks in 186.1 innings, an average of 1.64 every nine innings...permitted just 20 walks in final 128 innings beginning May 26...limited opponents to a .206 batting average.
COMPLETE WHAT YOU START: His 13 complete games were two shy of career high set in 2005...went the route in consecutive starts on three occasions...worked seven or more innings in 19 of 25 starts with high of 10 innings in CG win on July 8 versus Hokkaido...had a pair of CG shutouts, a three-hitter on May 26 versus Hanshin and a five-hitter on Sept. 13 against Hokkaido...worked less than six innings just four times, lasting just 0.2 innings on June 24 against Chiba.
PLAYOFFS: In final appearance with Seibu, defeated Fukuoka, 1-0 in opening game of Pacific League playoffs on Oct. 7...issued six hits with no walks, 13 strikeouts, and four hit batters in the complete game, nine-inning performance...threw 137 pitches...Lions dropped the next two games of the best of three series to the Hawks.