April 21 vs Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome – Messenger recorded his twentieth double-digit strikeout game. He became the first foreign pitcher to accomplish the feat and the fifth player in Hanshin franchise history (behind Yutaka Enatsu’s 69, Minoru Murayama’s 32, Masaaki Koyama’s 27, and Kei Igawa’s 24).
Double-digit strikeout totals, beginning with his first year in 2010:
Source: Nikkan Sports 4/22/2017
August 4 vs Yakult at Kyocera Dome – Messenger notched his tenth shutout and became the fifth foreign pitcher in NPB history to record at least ten shutouts during their NPB career. The other four: Tai-Yuan Kuo with twenty-four, Gene Bacque with twenty-two, Joe Stanka with eighteen, and Genji Kaku with seventeen.
Source: Nikkan Sports 8/5/2017
October 10 vs Chunichi at Koshien Stadium – Messenger struck out seven in a row between the second and fourth innings and tied a Hanshin Tigers’ franchise record held by five other pitchers: Masaaki Koyama (1956), Minoru Murayama (1960), Atsushi Nomi (2011), and Shintaro Fujinami (2014).
The NPB record of nine was set by Takao Kajimoto in 1957 and Masayuki Dobashi in 1958.
Source: Sponichi 10/10/2017
July 22 vs Yokohama at Yokohama Stadium – Messenger picked up his tenth win of the year and set a new record for foreign pitchers with his seventh double-digit win season. He started the game tied at six with Tai-Yuan Kuo.
Messenger also recorded his 100th strikeout of the season in the third inning. His streak of eight consecutive seasons with at least 100 strikeouts is third longest in Tigers’ history, behind Minoru Murayama (twelve) and (nine)
August 29 vs Yakult at Koshien – Messenger reached the 1,500-inning milestone after finishing the sixth inning. He became the 178th player in NPB history to reach the milestone (fourth foreign player behind Genji Kaku, Tai-Yuan Kuo, and Gene Bacque).
Messenger also became the first foreign pitcher in NPB history to record eight consecutive season of 143 or more innings (enough to qualify for a title).
October 3 vs Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium – Messenger pushed his strikeout career total to 1,416 and set a new NPB record for foreign pitchers. Genji Kaku held the previous record of 1,415.
January 29 – Messenger is listed at 121 kilograms, but arrived in Japan at 113 kilograms last year and 109 kilograms this year. Source: Sanspo 1/29/2017
January 9 – Messenger contacted the Hanshin Tigers and asked them to adjust his weight from his current listed 121 kilograms to 109 kilograms.