For the second time in as many years, Yoshinobu Yamamoto of the Orix Buffaloes has thrown a no-hitter. He victimized the Chiba Lotte Marines yesterday, flirting with a perfect game until the sixth inning and ending up throwing only 102 pitches while striking out eight, walking one and hitting one batter. This was the 100th no-hitter in Japanese professional baseball history and Yamamoto is the tenth pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters (and the first since Keishi Suzuki did it in 1971* - not including the two no-hitters Hideo Nomo threw in MLB). Yamamoto has also become the first pitcher to throw no-hitters in back-to-back seasons since Tadashi Kameda did it in 1940-41.
*I put something up on Twitter that the last pitcher to throw multiple no-hitters was Yoshiro Sotokoba in 1972. While Sotokoba DID throw a no-hitter that season, it was the third of his career so he already had multiple no-hitters. The last guy to throw his second no-hitter (and therefore join the multiple no-hitter club) was Suzuki in 1971.
We nearly had back-to-back no-hitters today as Orix starter Hiroya Miyagi held the Marines hitless until the fifth inning. The Marines only managed two hits all weekend against Orix (Friday night's game was rained out).
Here's two cards of Yamamoto in honor of him having thrown two no-hitters. The first one is the "Secret Version" of his 2021 BBM 1st Version card (#140 and the second is his card from the 2023 Topps NPB set (#7) showing him after his no-hitter from last year: