Sunday’s Mariners-Yankees game was historic because it featured a starting pitching match-up between two pitchers who were former teammates in Japan, the first meeting of its kind in the major leagues, as MLB.com’s Greg Johns and Bryan Hoch note.
Tanaka and the elder Iwakuma were teammates on the Rakuten Golden Eagles between 2007-11. Iwakuma then signed with the Mariners (one year, $1.5 million) and debuted in the majors in 2012. Tanaka signed with the Yankees (seven years, $155 million) and debuted in 2014.
Tanaka got the upper hand on Sunday, getting the win by limiting the Mariners to three runs (two earned) on six hits with no walks and six strikeouts over seven innings. Iwakuma went seven innings in a losing effort, yielding four runs on eight hits and a pair of walks with three strikeouts in seven innings.