On a somewhat muggy Friday night in Yokohama, Masanori Ishikawa strode to the center of the diamond at Yokohama Stadium, bent down and bounced the rosin bag around in his hand a few times — seemingly every pitch later that night was accompanied by a puff of white — and proceeded to make his 20th start of the season for the Tokyo Yakult Swallows.

Ishikawa is nothing if not reliable on that front. He’s taken the mound at least 20 times for 13 straight years, dating back to his rookie season in 2002. He’s one of the few constants on a pitching staff that’s been overrun by injuries the last few years.

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