He and his wife, Yukiko, have three daughters: Kurumi,
Momoka and Airi...Attended Tohoku Fukushi University in Japan...Selected in the first round of the CL draft by the Taiyo Whales, which later became the Yokohama BayStars.
Made just 30 relief appearances due to a strained left hamstring, going 4-2 with a 2.03 ERA (6 ER in 26.2 IP), 10 holds and 23 strikeouts...was unscored upon in 25 of his 30 appearances...Opponents hit just .216 (21-for-97), including a .167 (9-for-54) mark by right-handers...Was placed on the 15-day disabled list on April 11 (retroactive to April 6) with a strained left hamstring strain...was transferred to the 60-day disabled list on May 25...was reinstated on July 2...Posted a 0.96 ERA (2 ER/18.2 IP) in 22 outings from July 17-Sept. 24, including 9 consecutive scoreless appearances
(7.2 IP) from Aug. 22-Sept. 24...POSTSEASON: Went 1-0 with a 0.00 ERA (7.0 IP) and 2 holds in 6 postseason relief outings...earned the win in NLDS Game 2 with 1.0 scoreless inning...tossed 2.0 scoreless innings in NLCS Game 6.
Went 2-3 with a 2.83 ERA and 1 save in 56 relief appearances with Atlanta. ... Held opponents to a .203 batting average with 69 strikeouts in just 54.0 innings. ... Was on the 15-day disabled list from 6/4-6/21 with a strained left hamstring
. ... Posted a 2.92 ERA in 25 games prior to going on the disabled list (24.2ip, 8er) and a 2.76 ERA in 31 games after being reinstated (29.1ip, 9er). ... Notched his only save of the season on 8/8 vs. San Francisco. ... Left the game on 9/17 at New York-NL with right shoulder soreness and made just one appearance the rest of the season (10/2 vs. Philadelphia). ... Was released by Atlanta on 10/20 and signed with Milwaukee on 1/5/11/.
Completed his first season in the AL after pitching for the Dodgers from 2006-08...Tossed 55.2 innings over 56 appearances, both his highest totals since 2007 (64.1 IP, 63 G)...Finished 10th among qualifying AL relievers with a 2.43 ERA (15 ER/55.2 IP), 2nd in the Red Sox bullpen behind Jonathan Papelbon (1.85)...Earned his first AL win on 6/11 vs. NYY, was his 100th career victory between the Japanese Central League (87) and the Majors...Ranks 8th among Major League relievers with 297 strikeouts since the start of the 2006 season...Held left-handed hitters to a .195 (22-for-113) batting average, including a .103 (3-for-29) clip over 15 appearances from 7/4-8/23...Limited opponents to a .179 (10-for-56) average with runners in scoring position, including a .133 (4-for-30) mark with two outs in that situation, 7th in the A.L. among pitchers with at least 50 appearances...On 8/7 at NYY, joined Junichi Tazawa and Hideki Okajima as the first trio of Japanese hurlers ever to appear for a Major League team in a single game.
Went 4-4 with a 2.49 ERA (13 ER/47.0 IP)
and 18 saves but was limited to just 45 relief appearances due to injury...Suffered a sprained right elbow during his July 12 outing vs. Florida...Exited the game in the top of the 9th inning of a 3-3 ballgame after retiring the first 2 hitters via strikeout...Landed
on the 15-day disabled list on July 18, transferred
to the 60-day list on September 3 and returned on
September 13, missing a total of 53 games.
SAVES: Converted 17 of 20 save tries prior to his DL stint...
Suffered 2 blown saves in his first 4 chances through
April 25 but converted 15 of his next 16 opportunities
before his injury, including his last 9 in a row...Earned a
save in a season-high 6 straight appearances for the 2nd
time from June 28-July 9...Ranks 8th in Dodgers history
with 81 saves, 2 behind Clem Labine for 7th.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Went 3-3 with 17 saves and a 2.18
ERA (10 ER/41.1 IP) in 39 games before landing on the
DL...Did not immediately serve as the team's closer upon
his return, but made 6 appearances over the remainder
of the regular season, going 1-1 with one save and a
4.76 ERA (3 ER/5.2 IP)...Struck out 60 batters in 47.0 total
innings, an average of 11.49 K's per 9 innings...Went 10
straight appearances without giving up an earned run from April 16-May 14, allowing only one
unearned run in 11.1 innings over that time...The Dodgers posted a 31-8 record in his games,
including a streak of 15 straight wins in those contests from April 16-May 25...Was the longest single-season streak by a Dodger reliever since an 18-game run by Eric Gagne from June 27-August 4,
2004...Limited to just 6 appearances in spring training due to a strained right calf.
Named to the National League All-Star team and fired a scoreless inning in the Midsummer Classic...was the eighth-oldest player to appear in his first All-Star Game...became just the sixth native of Japan to appear in an All-Star Game, joining Shigetoshi Hasegawa, Hideki Matsui, Kazuhiro Sasaki, Ichiro Suzuki and former Dodger Hideo Nomo, who was the first...saved 39 of 43 games (90.6%), which was the second-best percentage in the NL and fourth best in baseball...the 39 saves ranks sixth on the franchise single-season list...converted 47 of his first 50 save opportunities to start his career, the best save percentage (94.0) of anyone in Major League history after 50 chances...became the fourth Dodger to record 30 saves in a season, joining Eric Gagne (three times), Todd Worrell (three times), and Jeff Shaw (two times)...his career-high 39 saves ranked eighth in the Majors and fourth in the NL...only Kazuhiro Sasaki (45 in 2001) has had more saves in a single season and Sasaki's 129 career saves are the only total higher than Saito's 63 career rescues among Japan natives...his 1.40 ERA was the best in the National League and second in the Majors among pitchers with at least 50 innings pitched... that mark was also the third-lowest in Dodger franchise history behind Eric Gagne (1.20 in 2003) and Jim Brewer (1.26 in 1972)...his 6.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio (78 K/13 BB) was the best in the National League and fourth best in baseball among players with at least 50.0 innings pitched.
Averaged 10.91 strikeouts per nine innings, which was tied for seventh in the NL among pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched...posted a .209 opponent on-base percentage, the second-lowest single-season mark in franchise history behind Eric Gagne (.199 in 2003) Held opposing hitters to a .151 batting average, the best mark in the NL and second-lowest mark in the Majors among pitchers with 50 or more innings behind only Jonathan Papelbon (.146)...in Dodger franchise history, only Eric Gagne's .133 opponent average in 2003 was lower...converted 26 straight save opportunities from August 26, 2006-June 1, 2007...that streak was the second-longest active streak in baseball at the time...in 18 non-save appearances, pitched 21.1 innings and allowed just five hits, no runs, four walks and struck out 22 batters...had a 1.42 ERA in April and a 1.93 ERA in May while going 15-for-15 in save opportunities...gave up just one run in 11.2 innings (0.77 ERA) while saving seven games in June...earned MLB's Delivery Man of the Month Award in August when he saved 10 games in 10 tries and boasted a 0.68 ERA (1 ER/13.1 IP) while striking out 21 and walking just two...entering the All-Star break, was 1-0 with a 1.47 ERA (6 ER/37.2 IP) and 23 saves in 36 games...struck out 47 and walked just four batters...gave up more than one run in only one outing on the season and did not yield more than two runs in any month...allowed just five home runs on the year...had a 0.97 ERA (4 ER/37.0 IP) at Dodger Stadium and a 1.98 ERA (6 ER/27.1 IP) on the road...right-handers hit just .114 against him and lefties batted .186...opposing hitters were just 5-for-33 (.152) with runners in scoring position and they hit .118 with RISP and two out...was phenomenal in the second half, sporting a miniscule ERA of 1.30 (4 ER/27.2 IP) while striking out 31 and walking just nine...during Spring Training, went 0-0 with a 1.04 ERA (1 ER/8.2 IP) and eight strikeouts in nine games.
Was signed to a Minor League contract and invited to Spring Training on Feb. 7, 2006 after spending 14 seasons in the Japanese League where he won 87 games and was a four-time All-Star...As the oldest rookie in Dodger history, had a standout season for the Dodgers, becoming their closer in May and finishing with 24 saves in 26 opportunities to go along with a 2.07 ERA...his ERA was the ninth lowest in Dodger history among pitchers with 60 or more appearances...Appeared in a career-high 72 games, surpassing his previous best of 50 in 2001 while with Yokohama...Set the franchise rookie record for saves, surpassing Yhency Brazoban's mark of 21 set in 2005...became just the 12th Major League rookie to notch 24 saves since it became an official statistic in 1969...His 24 saves led all National League rookies and ranked second among Major League rookies to Boston's
Jonathan Papelbon...was second among NL rookies and first on the Dodgers in games pitched with 72...His 92.3 save percentage ranked third in the Majors...converted his first 12 big league save opportunities...Fanned 107 batters in just 78.1 innings pitched...averaged 12.29 strikeouts per nine innings, the third-best mark in the Majors (minimum 50 IP)...his 107 strikeouts ranked sixth among NL rookies...Recorded a season-high four strikeouts twice...on April 18 vs. Chicago and June 6 vs. New York...His 2.07 ERA ranked second behind Cla Meredith (1.07) in the NL among all pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched...Led all NL relievers in opponent batting average with a .177 mark (minimum 200 batters faced)...Was dominant on the road, going 1-1 with a 1.16 ERA and 13 saves while batters hit just .152 against
him...was 5-1 with an 2.95 ERA and 11 saves at Dodger Stadium...Right-handed hitters batted a paltry .129 (18-for-140)...Began the season at Triple-A Las Vegas, but was recalled on April 5 to replace Eric Gagné on the roster...Made his Major League debut on April 9 at Philadelphia, coming into the game with two on and one out with
the scored tied at 3-3 and got David Bell to hit into an inning-ending double play...Finished the month of April with a 2-0 record and a 0.69 ERA (1 ER/13.0 IP)...Recorded his first Major League save on May 15, the same day he took over as the closer...after becoming the closer, allowed just 12 earned runs in 58.1 innings for a 1.85 ERA in his final 53 outings...During the month of June, had three saves and did not allow a run over 11.2 innings in 10 appearances while striking out 17 and walking just one...Did not allow a run from May 20 to July 2, a span of 15 appearances and 16.2 innings that saw his ERA drop from 2.86 to 1.63...At the All-Star Break, ranked among the NL rookie leaders in wins (3, T-7), games (38, 3rd), strikeouts (57, 7th) and saves (8, 1st)...was 8-for-8 in save opportunities during the first half...Dominated in August, going 2-0 with seven saves and a miniscule ERA of 0.63 (1 ER/14.1 IP)...batters hit just .100 (7-for-48) against him and he fanned 19 in the month...earned the Dodgers' 3-Day Blinds Player of the Month Award...Opponents hit just .175 (30-for-171) in close and late situations...Was 3-2 with a 2.14 ERA and eight saves at the All-Star break...followed that by going 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA
and 16 saves following the break...Became the sixth Japanese player in Dodger history, joining Hideo Nomo, Kazuhisa Ishii, Masao Kida,
Norihiro Nakamura and Dave Roberts...became the 20th Japanese pitcher to earn a victory in the Major Leagues...Nomo was the third in 1995 when he pitched for the Dodgers...Attended the grand opening of the Dodger Dream Field at Seoul International Park in Los Angeles'
Koreatown along with fellow Dodger pitcher Hong-Chih Kuo on Sept. 16.
Finished with a 3-4 record and a 3.82 ERA in 21 appearances ... Reached 1,500 innings pitched for his career on Sept. 19, becoming the 156th pitcher in NPB history to reach that mark ... Struck out 93 batters while walking just 29.
Named the 1998 Comeback Player of the Year as he helped lead the Bay Stars to its first Japan Series Championship in 38 years.
Missed the entire 1997 due to offseason surgery on his right shoulder.
Led the CL in strikeouts (206) and innings pitched
(196.2) in 1996.