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It was a record that was bound to fall to the right man in the right circumstances, and on Sunday the mark for career games pitched in Nippon Professional Baseball was eclipsed by Chunichi Dragons lefty Hitoki Iwase, Japan’s all-time saves leader.

The previous mark was held by Hankyu Braves ace and Hall of Famer Tetsuya Yoneda, who not only pitched in 949 games but started a record 626 times and won 350 games. In his career, Iwase has been asked to start just once — a byproduct of specialization that made Yoneda’s mark vulnerable to be broken by the most durable of relievers.

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