By staff writers Jeff Giuliani and Ben Goldstein
In his second rehab start this season, and his first with the Tacoma Rainiers Hisashi Iwakuma threw four innings of shutout ball.
Iwakuma gave up three hits, walked one and struck out four batters. He threw 68 pitches, and 47 were strikes.
Steve Baron started at catcher and said the experience was much different catching Iwakuma.
“It was nice catching a major leaguer,” Baron said. “Someone of that caliber teaches you a little bit about the major league level.”
Baron said Iwakuma was missing pitches arm side, but made an adjustment in the fourth inning to fix it.
“His stuff was good overall,” Baron said.
Manager Pat Listach said Iwakuma had a couple rough innings, but more important didn't have any setbacks with his strained lat muscle.
“He threw all of his pitches early and velocity looked good,” Listach said. “He makes pitches when he has to.”
Listach said the night before his plan was to follow Iwakuma with Forrest Snow, who was originally scheduled to pitch Thursday. But Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik attended Thursday’s game and wanted to see relievers Edgar Olmos and David Rollins.
So, by bosses orders, they pitched and threw scoreless fifth and sixth innings respectively. Snow followed with four more innings of scoreless relief in the 1-0 shutout win in 10 innings.
“(Zduriencik's) got the cards in his hands to trump everything,” Listach said. “He wanted to see those two guys and he saw those two guys.”