After pitching five season in Japan, 26-year-old Hideo Nomo debuted with the Los Angeles Dodgers in 1995. The right-hander made six starts before he earned his first decision as an MLB pitcher, which was a loss.
Nomo earned his first win the following start as it quickly became evident he was capable of piling up strikeouts. Through his first seven starts, Nomo had at least six strikeouts in six of them. In his fourth start, Nomo struck out 14 batters in a game with the Pittsburgh Pirates that the Dodgers lost by one run.
On June 14, Nomo took the mound for the second time in his career against the Pirates and picked up where he left off. The Dodgers got Nomo an early lead in the top of the first and he set the tone by striking out the side in the bottom half of the inning.
Nomo struck out the side in three more innings, including the eighth, which was his last and had at least one strikeout in seven of his eight innings pitched. The right-hander did allow three runs, two earned on eight hits, but finished the game with a total of 16 strikeouts; setting a Dodgers rookie record.
“The Tornado” posted a 13-6 record with a 2.54 ERA in his rookie year and was the fourth Dodger during a five-year stretch from 1992-1996 to win the Rookie of the Year award.
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