Back home
Nomo arrived in Narita Airport on October 14. He did not come from New York, but rather from Los Angeles. That's because he went to see his physician, Dr.Frank Jobe for a checkup of his right elbow. There weren't as many press waiting to catch Nomo at the airport compared to previous years. Still, there were about a dozen. He was asked whether he was going to play in the U.S. the next season too, amidst rumors that Yomiuri Giants manager Shigeo Nagashima is interested in him. Nomo said, "of course".


September 27
The Mets'possibility to go to the playoffs depended on the result of this game against the Atlanta Braves. Already in 3 innings, the Mets were behind 0 to 5. The man who replaced the starter was-- lo and behold, Nomo. It's the first time Nomo pitched as a reliever in the U.S. Major Leagues. Nomo hurled 4 scoreless innings. The Mets still lost 2 to 5. The Mets' first playoff in 10 years was not realized.

Nomo is taken off the starting rotation
It was reported on Sept. 13, that Nomo will not pitch as the starting pitcher for the Mets. He was scheduled to pitch that day against the but never got to.
Michiyo's Note: The chances appear to be very slim for Nomo to get to join the rotation again. How devastating!

16th game, September 8
Nomo hurled the shortest inning with the Mets. In just 2 2/3 innings Nomo gave up a total 7 runs to the Philadelphia Phillies. Nomo had to take his 12th loss. The Mets finished the game 4 to 16.

15th game, September 1
This time, Nomo lost 5 runs in 4 innings. They include 2 homeruns. At the point Nomo left the mound, the Mets had not scored from the San Diego Padres. In the top of the 7th inning, the Mets took over the lead with Mike Piazza's 3 run homer. But in the bottom of that inning, the Padres came back with 3 runs. The Padres, in the end clinched the game 9 to 8. Nomo, at least, did not have to take the loss for the Mets.

14th game, August 26
It was only in the 5th inning that Nomo lost a run to the San Francisco Giants. He hurled over the distance! The last time he's been able to complete a game was in April 28 as a member of the L.A. Dodgers. Nomo clinched his 6th victory in the 4 to 1 game. He struck out 10.

13th game, August 21
In the 2nd inning, Nomo gave up a single homerun to Gant of the St. Louis Cardinals. In the 5th, Luis Lopez's error to first put Nomo in trouble. It cost him a run. Mets' Harris came back with a 2 run homer in the 6th, but Nomo could not even take an out in the 6th and left the mound with 2 runners on base. Both came home later, so Nomo had to take responsible for 4 runs lost. The game finished 5 to 10. Nomo recorded his 11th loss this season.

12th game, August 16
There was premonition of an unlucky game for Nomo from the very beginning. In the 1st inning, Mike Piazza upon trying to stop the Arizona Diamondbacks from stealing base, overthrew the ball to second. A runner came home. In the 5th inning, Jorge Baerga dropped the ball that was thrown to him, and 2 came home. Nomo gave up only 3 hits, but walked 6 in 5 innings. He lost a total of 4 runs. The Mets were not able to reverse the game, so Nomo had to take his 10th loss.

11th game, August 9
Nomo had a disappointing start, giving up a run already in the 1st inning to the Colorado Rockies. The Mets sailed ahead with 2 runs in both the 2nd and 3rd innings. However, Nomo failed to allow his team to keep the lead. He fell into a total turmoil in the 4th with wild pitches and a balk. He was out of the game in 3 2/3 innings. Nomo succumbed to 7 runs in all and his 9th loss of the season. The game ended 4 to 11.

10th game, August 3
For the first time, Nomo faced his former team, the Los Angeles Dodgers. He gave up 2 runs in 6 innings. One of them was a homer by Raul Mondesi. Otherwise, Nomo pitched fairly well. When he left the mound, the Mets was leading 5 to 2 and it seemed like Nomo had a good chance to win this game. But life is not so kind. The pitcher who followed Nomo lost 5 runs in the 7th inning. The Mets lost the game 5 to 8.

9th game, July 28
Nomo had a good start, however in the 3rd inning, he gave up a 2 run homer to Gwynn of the San Diego Padres. He was homered again in the 4th inning. He was replaced by a pinch hitter when his turn to bat came in the bottom of the 5th. At that point, it was assumed Nomo had no chance of winning this game. There was. The Mets batted in 4 runs including a 3 run homer by John Olerud that inning, and finished the game 7 to 3. Nomo picked up his 5th win against 8 losses. He struck out 8.

8th game, July 22
In the 2nd game of a double header against the Milwaukee Brewers, Nomo pitched. He sailed swiftly through 5 innings. He had a tough 6th inning, but overcame it. In the 7th inning though, Darrin Jackson, who played in 1995 and 1996 for the Seibu Lions drove in a run. Meanwhile, Nomo helped himself with the bat in the 4th inning. He singled in a run, plus 2 more came home. The 6 to 1 game gave Nomo his 4th win of the season. He struck out 9 again.

7th game, July 17
We saw the best of Nomo this year. He pitched against the Philadelphia Phillies. In the 2nd inning, the Mets already led 3 to 0, which included a double by Mike Piazza. Nomo led off with his bat in the 5th inning, and he came home. Nomo pitched 7 scoreless innings, and struck out 9. He clinched his 1st win as a member of the Mets. It's his 3rd victory of the season in the game that finished 6 to 0.
Michiyo's Note: I am delighted! It would have been even better if Nomo was allowed to pitch the entire game. Oh well, the coaches must know what they're doing.

6th game, July 12
It's Nomo's first game after the All Star break. He had a good start. However, in the 6th inning, he walked 4 Montreal Expos batters one after another. Naturally, he lost a run, and another came home after he left the mound with the bases loaded. The Mets immediately turned the game over in the bottom of that inning. Although Nomo was unable to win, his team did 5 to 2.

5th game, July 1
On a sunny day in Toronto, Nomo pitched against the Toronto Blue Jays. He was having a hard time from the 1st inning. He lost a run to a sacrifice fly. The Mets came back with 2 runs in 3rd inning, but in the bottom of that inning, Nomo lost 2 more runs. After finishing that inning, Nomo was gone. The reason, according to reports is that Nomo was suffering from a pain in the hip. Although the Mets lost in a highly competitive batting game of 10 to 15, Nomo was not held responsible, therefore finishing his last game before the All Star break with 2 wins and 8 losses.

4th game, June 25
In the Interleague game between the Baltimore Orioles, Nomo pitched. The O's are not used to facing Nomo, and he achieved 7 strike outs. But Alomar's homer in the 4th and a run earned by a double in the next inning put the Mets behind. But the Mets caught up in the 7th when Nomo left the mound. In the end, the Mets reversed the game 3 to 2 with Carlos Baerga's single.
Michiyo's Note: Too bad the Mets didn't reverse the game in the 7th inning. Then Nomo could've marked a win.

3rd game, June 20
Nomo pitched until the 6th inning again, but this time, he lost 4 runs to the Florida Marlins. The Mets eventually lost 3 to 8 and Nomo had to take his 8th loss of the season.

2nd game, June 14
Until the 6th inning, Nomo had a shut out game against the Florida Marlins on 4 base hits. He struck out 7. The relief pitchers though were unable to keep the Marlins from scoring and in the end the Mets lost 3 to 4 in Florida. So Nomo keeps his record at 2 wins 7 losses.
Michiyo's Note: It is a good enough news for fans like myself to hear that Nomo was able to hurl 6 innings scoreless even though he was unable to pick up a win. He has been losing too many runs in previous games.

1st game, June 9
The biggest crowd this season flocked to Shea Stadium in Flushing N.Y. to see Nomo pitch for the first time as a member of the Mets. It is said there was a turnout of over 30,000 or 10,000 more than the average for the Mets. The first batter Nomo faced was Randy Winn of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Winn tripled off Nomo. He eventually came home, and Nomo lost his first run with the Mets. Meanwhile, the Mets batted in runs in the 2nd and 3rd innings to lead 4 to 1. However, Nomo lost 2 runs in the 4th, and lost another due to a balk in the 5th. He was out after finishing that inning, and with the game tied. The game when into 11 innings. The Devil Rays beat the Mets 5 to 4.
Michiyo's Note: The attention Nomo's attracting in New York seems to be quite amazing. He had to hold 2 press conferences--the first in Boston when he joined the Mets on June 5, and then on June 8 when he got to New York. In New York, it is said that 150 came including paparazzi . Perhaps, a new group of "Nomomania" will emerge!

Nomo joins Piazza and Yoshi in the Mets
On June 4, on a few days after he expressed his will to play in another environment, Nomo's next team was decided. It's the New York Mets. The next day, he joined the Mets in Boston. There, he was reunited with former teammates, Masato Yoshii with whom he played in the Kintetsu Buffaloes, and Mike Piazza who caught his pitches in the Dodgers. Manager Bobby Valentine who managed the Lotte Marines 2 years ago welcomed Nomo warmly to his team. Nomo is again given uniform number 16.
Michiyo's Note: I'm sure glad Nomo has found a place where he can feel comfortable. I hope he can pitch as well as he did before.

Nomo leaves the Dodgers
Nomo spoke before the press on June 1 his decision to leave the Los Angeles Dodgers. His performance was on a sour note with only 2 wins and 7 losses this season. Nomo mentioned that he desires for change, and would like to play for some other team. Immediately, a number of teams are said to have shown interest in acquiring Nomo.

12th game, May 30
The rumor of Nomo's trade to the Seattle Marines for Randy Johnson and others shocked Japanese fans on May 28. As of a May 30 report, this possibility was said to have completely vanished. Nomo pitched against the Cincinnatti Reds that day. He was in total turmoil losing 6 runs in 3 2/3 innings. The spectators booed at him as he was leaving the pitcher's mound. The Dodgers lost 3 to 7.

11th game, May 25
A personal record tie was marked in this game. It's not a good one. Nomo walked 7. Inspite of so many balls, Nomo held the Houston Astros to 3 runs in 6 2/3 inning. The Dodgers were leading the Astros until the top of the 7th inning. The Astros caught up in the bottom of that inning with Ricky Gutierra's base hit. The Dodgers, however, in the end won the game 4 to 3.

10th game, May 20
It was the first time since all-star catcher Mike Piazza left the Dodgers that Nomo was on. Catching instead was Charles Johnson, traded from the Florida Marlins. Nomo did swell until the 5th inning. In the 6th inning, Chicago Cubs Henry Rodriguez homered a double. In all, Nomo lost 3 RBIs. He was off the mound after walking the first batter in the 7th inning. The Dodgers could not score at all, and it turned out to be a 0 to 5 game. Nomo is down to 6 losses.

9th game, May 14
Nomo pitched great until the 6th inning. He walked a batter with bases loaded. Then in the 8th inning, he was singled a homer by the Philadephia Phillies. Nomo lost 2 RBIs and struck out 9 in 8 innings. He really did not perform bad. His teammates though could not hit any runs, and the game finished 0 to 4. Nomo suffered his 5th loss of the season.

8th game, May 9
An accident occurred. Nomo ripped his nail in the game against the Florida Marlins. He decided to stop pitching in 2 2/3 innings because of it. Nomo lost 4 RBIs in this game and took the loss of the 4 to 7 game.

7th game, May 4
Todd Zeile homered in the 8th inning, which gave the Dodgers a lead over the Braves. Nomo, however, in the bottom of that inning was homered himself. He left the mound with the score tied 2 to 2. The Dodgers, in the end lost 4 to 2. Nomo was not held responsible for the loss. He took 5 strike outs that day.

6th game, April 28
Nomo marked his 100th game in the U.S. Major Leagues in this game against the Milwaukee Brewers. The game was celebrated with not only Nomo's strike out performance of 11. He himself blasted a homerun, his first in the Major Leagues, and the first ever by a Japanese. The game began as a contest between pitchers. Nomo was homered by Jeremy Burnitz in the 2nd inning, but kept the Brewers from hitting anymore for a while. The exciting part was in the 7th inning. Nomo lost a base hit, then walked another with no outs. But thereafter, he struck out 3, and finished the inning. The audience was in standing ovation. And in the bottom of that inning, Mike Piazza led off in the attack of the Dodgers. Matt Luke yielded a 3 run homer, and Nomo followed with a homer. Although Nomo was tripled in the 9th, he hurled over the distance and won his 2nd game of the season. It finished 6 to 3 for the Dodgers.

5th game, April 23
It was the first time Nomo hurled the entire game. He lost only 2 RBIs to the Milwaukee Brewers. Unfortunately, his team was capable of hitting in just 1 run. so Nomo had to take another loss. It's his 3rd this season.

4th game, April 18
Never had Nomo pitched so horribly. It's not only the first ever game in the Major Leagues that Nomo was unable to strike out a batter. He left the mound in just 2/3 of the 1st inning walking 5 batters and losing 3 base hits. The team lost 1 to 8 to the Chicago Cubs. Nomo is down to 1 win 2 losses.

3rd game, April 13
The game started out bad for Nomo again. He lost an RBI to the Houston Astros already in the 1st inning. The Dodgers caught up in the 3rd inning. Nomo afterwards hurled without being scored further. He finished 7 innings. Then on the bottom of the 7th, the Dodgers, thanks to Raul Mondesi and Todd Zeil scored 2 runs. Nomo, therefore, earned a win this time. It's his first this season with the Dodgers winning 3 to 1.

2nd game, April 8
It's the first time Nomo faced newly founded team Arizona Diamondbucks. After losing 1 RBI in the 1st inning, it appeared as though Nomo was in good shape. In the 4th inning, Nomo was homered a single, twice. He finished 5 innings with 8 strike outs. The Dodgers were unsuccessful with their bats and the game turned out to a 0 to 3 defeat. Nomo took the loss.

1st game, April 3
Nomo was assigned to pitch against the Cincinnatti Reds to start his 1998 season. He amazingly struck out 7 batters in a row. However, he wasn't perfect in his controls. Nomo walked 5 during the 4 innings he pitched. Although he succumbed to only 2 RBIs, the pitchers who followed him lost a total of 4 RBIs. The Dodgers lost 3 to 6.
Michiyo's Note:
Despite the fact that the Dodgers lost, it was great to see Nomo back in form. He was pitching rather horribly during the exhibition games. That had made me so suspicious of whether Nomo's elbow had recovered.

Nomo faces Yoshii
It was a dream come true match. Only it was still an exhibition game. On Mar. 4 in Port St. Lucie, Florida, Nomo started for the L.A. Dodgers, while the pitcher of the New York Mets was former Kintetsu Buffaloes teammate Masato Yoshii. Nomo even got to hurl against Yoshii, and struck him out. Pitching wise, Yoshii had a better result. He was lost only 2 base hits, including a homerun, in 3 innings. Nomo lost 3 RBIs in 2 innings. The relevant point of the game was that for the first time in the history of the U.S. Major League, Japanese pitchers faced against eachother. After the game, the two pitchers held a friendly press conference together.

Nomo flies to the U.S.
Nomo left for Los Angeles on Jan. 13. That's a month earlier than the average year. The members of Dodgers are undergoing individual training, and its the first time Nomo is joining them in the activity. The reason for his early start may have to do with his eagerness to work out his operated elbow. Also, it may be a way for him to appeal to the team with whom his contract ends in the 98 season.