Category Archives: News

NPB games of May 24, 2019

Central League

Carp 8, Giants 3

At Tokyo Dome, Xavier Batista hit a pair of solo home runs, giving the former Cubs farmhand 11 on the season as Hiroshima rolled to its 10th straight win.

Seiya Suzuki hit his 14th for Hiroshima as the Carp overcame three solo home runs by the Giants, including two by shortstop Hayato Sakamoto, who took over the league lead with his 14th and 15th.

Taylor Jungmann (3-1) gave up four runs on four hits and a hit batsman over five innings, while striking out three for the Giants. Rookie Hiroki Tokoda (5-2) allowed three runs over five innings, but five Carp relievers allowed just three base runners over the final four innings.

Dragons 6, Swallows 1

At Jingu Stadium, rookie Akiyoshi Katsuno (1-1) allowed a run over 6-1/3 innings as Chunichi handed Yakult its ninth straight loss. Yohei Oshima went 4-for-4 with two runs and two RBIs, while Shuhei Takahashi drove in three more for the visitors.

Yasuhiro Ogawa (1-6) allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out eight over six innings, but Wladimir Balentien accounted for Yakult’s only run, with his 11th home run of the season.

Tigers 3, BayStars 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Hanshin cashed in its scoring opportunities, while DeNA put runners on but could only manage a two-run, first-inning homer by cleanup hitter Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. The Tigers broke a 2-2, seventh-inning tie on a triple by rookie Koji Chikamoto and an RBI double by 24-year-old cleanup hitter Yusuke Oyama, who reached base three times.

The BayStars’ Neftali Soto reached four times, but Hanshin starter Yuki Nishi twice struck Tsutsugo out with runners in scoring position. Rafael Dolis worked the ninth for his 11th save.

Pacific League

Eagles 3, Buffaloes 2

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Manabu Mima (3-3) allowed two runs over six innings, and rookie Ryosuke Tatsumi drove in one run with a triple and scored the other in a two-run fifth inning.

Orix starter Taisuke Yamaoka (4-1) allowed five hits and two walks, while striking out nine on 96 pitches over the eight-inning complete game loss.

The Buffaloes’ struggling offense wasted a golden opportunity in the seventh against reliever Alan Busenitz, but the right-hander escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam and the Eagles bullpen retired the last eight batters to close it out. Sung Chia-hao worked the eighth, while Yuki Matsui recorded his 12th save.

Lions 10, Fighters 5

At MetLife Dome, seibu came from a run down in a five-run fifth inning, highlighted by Sosuke Genda’s game-tying RBI double and Shuta Tonosaki’s two-run homer.

Tonosaki also doubled, tripled, walked, scored three runs and drove in four. Fighters starter Takayuki Kato (1-4) and Lions starter Daiki Enokida (2-1) each gave up five runs, but Seibu’s bullpen delivered four scoreless innings.

Hawks 6, Marines 3, 10 innings

At Zozo Marine Stadium, SoftBank starter Kodai Senga, working on five days rest, allowed two runs over eight innings, while striking out nine, but failed to win his sixth straight start.

Hawks closer Yuito mori (2-3) allowed a solo homer in the ninth to Ikuhiro Kiyota as Lotte tied it. But Marines reliever Naoya Masuda (2-3) gave up three runs for the second-straight game, surrendering Alfredo Despaigne’s second two-run homer, and a solo shot to Nobuhiro Matsuda.

Yurisbel Gracial had four hits and scored three runs, while Cuban compatriot Livan Moinelo worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save.

News

  • The Orix Buffaloes’ position players spent their day off Thursday taking extra batting practice after the club failed to record 10 hits in 20 consecutive games. That hadn’t happened to the franchise since the Hankyu Braves failed to reach double digits in hits for 28 straight games in 1963.
  • The Chunichi Dragons have not cleared 38-year-old Daisuke Matsuzaka to begin pitching in rehab games, noting that the condition of his right shoulder has not improved. He was hurt in February when a fan gave him a particularly strong high five during a fan event in Okinawa.
  • The Dragons called up Steven Moya on Friday, and put him in the starting lineup for the first time this season, batting sixth and playing right field in the absence of injured regular Ryosuke Hirata. In 42 farm games, Moya has posted a .372 OBP and a .559 slugging average in the pitcher-friendly Western League.
  • The Nippon Ham Fighters activated Kotaro Kiyomiya for the first time this season after he broke the hamate bone in his right hand on March 3. Kiyomiya, who will turn 20 on Saturday, hit seven home runs in 53 games last season.
  • Chunichi center fielder Yohei Oshima became the 76th NPB player with 200 career steals on Friday, when he stole his 13th of the year, in the fifth inning against the Hanshin Tigers. Oshima led the Central League in steals in 2012, and started the day with 12, one back of Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada and Hanshin rookie Koji Chikamoto.

Active stolen base leaders (through 5/23/2019)

  1. Yoshio Itoi (Fighters, Buffaloes) 290 in 1,446 games
  2. Haruki Nishikawa (Fighters) 232 in 884 games
  3. Kensuke Tanaka (Fighters) 203 in 1,555 games
  4. Yohei Oshima (Dragons) 199 in 1,214 games
  5. Takashi Ogino (Marines) 172 in 642 games

Boras on NPB signing U.S. amateurs

This is a transcript of the chat with Scott Boras at the 2018 winter meetings in Las Vegas, when the nature of MLB’s signing bonus pools was screaming for a market correction from a strong rival league — enter NPB, and the SoftBank Hawks. Note the remarkable transformation that has come over Boras’ stance on the possibility of a U.S. amateur entering MLB as an international free agent since December.

–With the CBA and penny-pinching by MLB, is Japan an option? Have you talked to Japanese teams about amateurs?

“We have a number of players with Japanese teams. Of course, they’re limited to four per roster, so that part makes it a little bit more resigned as to what they do with prominent…”

“They have scouting teams and they are involved, but you would like to see it greater involved than what it is. We have had some very positive impacts. Japanese baseball is an extraordinary brand of baseball. It’s really good. It’s got good audiences. A number of those teams draw 2-1/2 million people.”

–I ask that because of the signing bonus pools depressing the prices for amateurs, there are so many…

“…No. I think it’s very wise for Japanese teams to take a look at that and take advantage of it. I think they should.”

–Have you got a response from Japanese teams about amateurs?

“I think it’s something that if they look at it and see the kind of value in that kind of player, you can go forward.”

–The NPB teams have been telling me about two-year deals so a player could re-enter the MLB draft or a five-year deal so he can enter MLB as a free agent.

“One of the real problems with signing with a Japanese team is that when a player leaves Japan, he comes back here, he’s still subject to the draft.”

–Even if he’s a six-year pro?

“If you’re in Japan and you’ve never signed here (in the States), then you’re still subject to the draft. That rule kind of restricts that.”

Scott Boras on the subject of amateurs signing in Japan. Dec. 13, 2018