Irabu accepts Expos' offer

It was learned Dec. 23, that Irabu will be traded to the Montreal Expos. It'll be the first time a Japanese will be playing for a Canadian team. He has one more contract left, but according to his agent Dan Nomura, Irabu apparently was happy with Expos' offer. The Expos' is believed to have offered him a 2 year contract totalling 4.5 million dollars. And has probably assured him to start games.
Michiyo's Note: Irabu insisted on playing for the Yankees initially. I wonder what made him change. He said he wished to play "only" for the Yankees.

In the playoff, October 16
For the first time, Irabu got to pitch in the playoffs. He took over from Clemens in the 3rd inning. But he immediately succumbed to a homer. Up until the middle of the 5th inning he was on, he gave up a whooping 8 runs. The Yankees winning streak of 12 was put to an end with the 1 to 13 loss against the Boston Red Sox.

25th game as a starter, September 27
He was worse than ever. In the 1st inning, he lost 2 runs. And lasted only 2 innings giving up a total 5 runs. He succumbed to his 7th loss. The Yankees lost to the Tampa Devil Rays 6 to 10.

24th game as a starter, September 22
From the very start Irabu was homered by the Chicago White Sox. All 3 runs he lost in 5 1/3 innings were homeruns. But he did not have to record a loss.

23rd game as a starter, September 15
Irabu pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 runs. The Yankees finished the game 9 to 5 over the Cleveland Indians and Irabu secured a victory for the first time in a month. It's his 11th this season.

22nd game as a starter, August 30
In the 2nd inning, Irabu gave up a 2 run homer to the Oakland Athletics. And in the 5th, former Chunichi Dragons Matt Stairs scored 2 runs off him. Irabu was out after 4 1/3 innings. Luckily, he did not have to take a loss. The Yankees reversed the game and clinched it 7 to 4.

21st game as a starter, August 25
It appears Irabu had not been able to prove his reliability as a main starter. In 5 0/3 innings, he gave up 6 runs to the Texas Rangers. The Rangers took the game 7 to 3, and Irabu marked his 5th loss.

20th game as a starter, August 20
The Yankees scored first. And Irabu was able to hang on. He lost 3 runs to the Minnesota Twins in 7 0/3 innings. His team won 9 to 3 and collected his 10th win.

19th game as a starter, August 15
This time, Irabu took care not to exhaust too many pitches. That attempt however worked against him. In 6 1/3 innings, he lost 5 runs to the Minnisota Twins. The game ended 5 to 3. Irabu succumbed to his 4th loss agains 9 wins.

18th game as a starter, August 9
The Yankees slammed 12 runs while Irabu pitched. But Irabu couldn't last. In 4 inning he gave up 6 runs to the Oakland Athletics. His team won 12 to 8.

17th game as a starter, August 4
Irabu was announced July MVP on Aug. 2, and in this game against the Toronto Blue Jays he proved he deserves it. He hurled 7 innings, lost 3 runs. He collected his 9th win--that's his 8th win in a row.

16th game as a starter, July 30
Irabu struck out a Boston Red Sox in every inning--totalling 12, a record for him. The Yankees battered the Red Sox 13 to 3 and Irabu earned his 8th win.

15th game as a starter, July 24
The Yankees were exploding in this game against the Cleveland Indians. Already in the 1st inning, the team batted in 7 runs. Irabu was able to keep his concentration up despite the large lead. He lost only a run in 7 innings and struck out 7. He clinched his 7th win, in a 21 to 1 game.

14th game as a starter, July 19
Facing the Montreal Expos, Irabu hurled 6 innings and gave up 4 runs. The game was neither counted against of for him.

13th game as a starter, July 11
The Yankees faced local neighbor New York Mets. They were tied 3 - 3 in the 5th inning, then the Yankees reversed the game. Irabu pitched a total 7 innings, struck out 8 and lost 3 runs. He won his 6th game of the season.

12th game as a starter, July 6
Even though Irabu lost 4 runs in 6 1/3 innings with his team leading, he had a chance to win. But the Detroit Tigers reversed the game. In the end, though, the Yankees won 9 to 8.

11th game as a starter, July 1
It was a great game for Irabu. He held the Detroit Tigers to a no hitter until the 4th inning. He finished the game, shutting out the Tigers and with ample support from his teammated won his 5th game. It's his 2nd shut out victory in the US Major League. The game finished 6 to 0.

10th game as a starter, June 25
In the first inning, Irabu gave up 2 runs. He was homered in the 4th and 5th. In all, he succumbed to 4 runs. He could've won, but was not lucky enough although the Yankess in the end defeated the Baltimore Orioles 9 to 8.

9th game as a starter, June 19
Irabu did not begin the game peacefully, but gradually improved. He hurled against the Anaheim Angels a total of 7 innings and took on 2 runs. The Yankees won 6 to 2, and gave Irabu his 4th win.

8th game as a starter, June 14
Irabu was perturbed with runners on base in the first few innings. But after Davis supported him with a 3 run homer, he got better. The game was then halted because of the rain. It was resumed, and in the 6th inning, Irabu lost a 2 run homer to Gonzalez of the Texas Rangers. He pitched a total 7 innings. The game finished 8 to 2 for the Yankees, and Irabu marked his 3rd win.

7th game as a starter, June 8
Irabu lost 2 runs in 5 1/3 innings to the Philadephia Phillies, but the Yankees at that point was leading 5 to 2. Still Irabu was told to step down. The relief pitchers were terrible that the game was reversed. The Yankees in the end lost 5 to 11.

6th game as a starter, May 30
The Yankees supported Irabu batting in 4 runs early in the game. Irabu then lost a homer in the 2nd, then another 2 runs in the 3rd. He was able to pull himself together thereafter. Irabu put a halt to his losing streak, and earned his 2nd with of the season by pitching 6 1/3 innings.

5th game as a starter, May 25
In the 6th inning, with the game a tie, Irabu lost a 3 run homer to the Boston Red Sox. That cost him his 3rd loss. The game came out to a 2 to 5.

4th game as a starter May 19
In the first inning, Irabu already lost 2 runs. In the 2nd, he was homered. Then in the 4th, with runners on 1st and 2nd bases, he was doubled. In just 3 2/3 innings, Irabu lost 5 runs to the Red Sox.

3rd game as a starter, May 13
Irabu pitched well until the 6th inning. That's when he was homered. Then in the 7th, he lost another run to a sacrifice fly. Then, he was taken off the mound. The Yankees lost 0 to 2 to the Anaheim Angels. It's the first time in 2 years that the Yankees lost 2 shutout games in a row.

2nd game as a starter May 7
For the first time, starting pitchers for the competing teams were both Japanese. Irabu started for the Yankees, and Mac Suzuki for the Seattle Mariners. They were both pitching a scoreless game until the 4th inning. However, in the 5th inning, Suzuki was stuck. Derek Jeter smashed a 3 run homer from him. He was taken off the mound in the 6th inning and lost a total of 7 runs. Meanwhile Irabu lost only a run in 7 innings and picked up his first win of the season

1st game as a starter, May 2
After several trials, Irabu was back as a starting pitcher. He pitched against the Kansas City Royals. But in 4 1/3 innings he lost 6 runs.

Irabu is not a started
In Oakland Irabu made his first appearance of 1999 on Apr.7. He came on in to relief starter, Mendoza, in the ninth inning and retired all 3 batters. The Yankees won 4-0. On Apr. 16, Irabu pitched 3 innings against the Detroit Tigers, demonstrating that he can start again.