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Yoshihisa Naruse was the new kid on the block back in 2006, a fresh face in his first season pitching for a Chiba Lotte Marines team that had won the Japan Series the year before.

Lotte’s rotation was loaded with experience that season, with veterans Hiroyuki Kobayashi, Naoyuki Shimizu and Shunsuke Watanabe — a trio that helped Japan win the first World Baseball Classic prior to the ’06 season — alongside longtime hurler Shingo Ono and second-year outlier Yasutomo Kubo.

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