Irabu to return to Japan
The Hanshin Tigers announced on Dec 7 that it has acquired Hideki Irabu. It's the first time in 7 years that Irabu will play in Japan. It will be a one year contract for 250 million yen.

Irabu falls to chest pain
Irabu was reported to be hospitalized on July 15 after feeling a chest pain in his hotel room in Kansas City. A blood clot was discovered behind his lung. He's been placed on the disabled list and is unknown when he can be back.

July 4
Irabu managed the save the game which the Rangers took a 3-run lead when he took over in the 9th inning. He walked, gave up a 2 base hit. But his team achieved a double play. The Rangers defeated the Tampa Bay Devil Rays 11 to 8. Irabu won his 16th save.

July 3
It was a terrible 9th inning for Irabu. His teammates were terrible out in the field. In 2/3 inning, he had to be blamed for losing 2 runs and his team being caught up with the Tampa Bay DevilRays. But in the end the Rangers won 6 to 5.

July 2
Irabu was on in the 9th inning. He saved the game smoothly and earned his 15th save in a 3 to 1 game against the Tampa Bay DevilRays.

June 24
It was a double header for the Rangers. Irabu hurled in both games. In the first game, he gave up a run in 2/3 inning. In the second one, he successfully closed the game to win his 14th save.

June 22
Irabu was on in the 9th inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Most impressive was in final pitch with which he completed a strike out. It was 153 km/hr. Irabu has at last earned a save in the 3 to 2 game. It's his 13th. It appears Irabu is fully recovered from a rear ache.

June 8
It was a disasterous game for Irabu. He was up to pitch with the game a tie. Andrew Jones of the Atlanta Braves blasted a 3 run homer off him. His team lost 3 to 6. And Irabu faces his 6th loss.

May 29
The game was a tie when Irabu was on to pitch in the 9th inning. In the bottom of that inning the Rangers, with bases loaded and no outs came home to clinch the game 9 to 8 over the Minnesota Twins. Irabu clinched his 2nd win.

May 26
It was an awful day for Irabu. He took over form the 8th inning with his team leading by 3 runs. But the 9th inning was a nightmare for Irabu and his team. He gave up 3 RBIs. And in the end, his team lost to the Kansas City Royals 5 to 7.

May 22
The Rangers were ahead by 3 runs when Irabu pitched in the final inning. But he was not the same, giving up 2 runs. Still he earned his 11th save and the Rangers defeated the Minnesota Twins 6 to 5.

May 16
Irabu continues to pich well. He picked up his 10th save in a 5 to 2 game against the Chicago White Sox.

May 10
Irabu closed the game again in the 9th inning. This time he faced the Detroit Tigers. He gave up a two base hit but otherwise was all right. The Rangers won 2 to 0, and Irabu won his 9th save.

May 9
Irabu was on in the 9th inning with the Ranger ahead 4 to 1 over the Chicago White Sox. He closed the game to earn his 8th save.

May 6
The game was tied in the 9th inning when Irabu came on. In the bottom of that inning, the Rangers clinched the game 6 to 5 over the Chicago White Sox. Irabu clinched a win--it's his first in 2 years.

May 3
Irabu was on again in the final inning. Although he gave up a base hit this time, he was able to close the game for his 7th save. His team won 4 to 2 against the Cleveland Indians.

May 2
The Ranger were ahead by 2 runs and Irabu pitched the 9th inning. He did not even give up a base hit and clinched his 6th save. The Rangers defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 5 to 3.

April 28
It's another save for Irabu. It's already his 5th, finishing the game against the Cleveland Indians 2 to 1

April 27
Irabu was on again in the 9th inning. He got a runner on base due to an error. But he safely finished the game 4 to 2 over the Cleveland Indians. It's his 4th save.

April 25
Irabu got all 3 Toronto Blue Jays out in the 9th inning with just 8 pitches this time. He earned his 3rd save in a 11 to 9 game.

April 24
Irabu was on in the 9th inning. He needed on 7 pitches to end the game. And he earned his 2nd save. The Rangers defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3 to 2.

April 20
Irabu was the third pitcher on for his team. But to start the 9th inning, he lost base hits after base hits, and the Mariners caught up with the Rangers. He faced Ichiro of the Seattle Mariners for the 2nd time succeeding to get him out. In the 10th inning, Irabu was again in trouble. But was able to finish the inning without giving up more runs. In the 11th inning, the pitcher who took over walked the Mariners to lose the game 2 to 3.

April 17
Irabu was chosen to be his team's closure. He pitched the final inning all right. And as the Rangers won 4 to 1 over the Anaheim Angels, Irabu earned a save. It's the first time for him since playing for the US Major Leagues.

April 16
Irabu pitched one inning in the 9th inning smoothly with the game tied. In the 10th inning the Rangers batted in a run giving Irabu hope to gain a win. But the bottom of that inning, the Anaheim Angels clinched the game 6 to 4.

April 13
Irabu faced Ichiro of the Seattle Mariners for the first time in the US, and the first time in 6 years. Ichiro took to first and also stole base, but he didn't get on base the next two times at bat. Irabu's team got runs in ahead of the Mariners. But Irabu succumbed to Mike Cameroon's 2 run homer to catch up. Irabu left the mound after pitching 5 2/3 innings giving up in all 5 runs. In the end, the Rangers lost 4 to 9, and Irabu took his 2nd loss.

April 6
It was actually the 2nd game of the season Irabu pitched, but the first he started. He gave up a homer in the 4th inning. In all he pitched 5 1/3 innings succumbing to 3 runs. Unfortunately the pitchers who followed him lost more runs. The Rangers faced a 3 to 6 defeat to the Anaheim Angels.

Irabu signs with Rangers proper
Irabu secured his place with the Texas Rangers on Mar 28. He played 5 exhibition games. His ERA 3.79. He is expected to be a closure.