Ogawa Throws First No Hitter of the NPB Season

Yasuhiro Ogawa of the Yakult Swallows threw the first no hitter for the NPB 2020 season, blanking the Yokohama DeNA Bay Stars 9-0. It was the 93rd no hitter in Japanese baseball history. In the NPB a no hitter is only awarded when a pitcher tosses a shutout. Ogawa struck out 10, including the last hitter, while throwing 129 pitches. Three hitters reached base on walks and two on errors.

The 31 year old Ogawa had a rough year last year when he finished 5-12 with a 4.57 ERA. Statistically it was his worst season in the NPB, with his most career losses and worst ERA. This year he has started out better (5-2, 3.43), already equaling his 2019 win total. He has yet to match his first season in 2013 when he went 16-4, 2.93 to win the Rookie of the year award.

He is a short 5′7″, but uses a high leg kick, fashioning his pitching style after Nolan Ryan. His fastball sits in the high 80s, but touches the low 90s. To make up for his lack of height and overpowering fastball he throws a number of different breaking pitches (cutters, sliders and forkballs).

The Swallows hope to be rewarded by his success. Last year they were mired far in last place in the Central Division. This year they are battling a pack of five for the two wild card spots.

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