Category Archives: Baseball

NPB games, news of Aug. 25, 2019

Pacific League

Fighters 6, Buffaloes 1

At Kyocera Dome, Nippon Ham’s Chihiro Kaneko (5-6) survived a scary first inning with big help from his defense, after surrendering three singles, and went on to pitch five scoreless innings in a win over Orix.

The Buffaloes, who entered Sunday’s game leading both leagues in the percent of runners thrown out on the bases 6.1 percent to go with their PL-worst .312 on-base percentage, lost leadoff runner Shuhei Fukuda (caught stealing) for a Japan-worst 14th time. Yuma Mune then was out trying to stretch a single to a double.

The Fighters appeared to get lucky when Masataka Yoshida hit into their shift, but second baseman Ryo Watanabe was playing too far into right field to throw him out at first. With a man on first, Stefen Romero hit a bullet that was gloved, however, for the third out.

Kaneko issued a pair of walks in the third to load the bases with one out for Yoshida, who hit into a double play started by Watanabe who was shifted well towards first.

Buffaloes starter Daichi Takeyasu (3-2) snapped his string of pitching well against teams he hadn’t faced before, giving up five runs, four earned, over 5-1/3 innings in his first game against the Fighters.

Kaneko was pulled after facing his 19th batter, and four relievers allowed a run on three hits the rest of the way.

Former Kintetsu Buffaloes great Ralph Bryant threw out the ceremonial first pitch, a nasty 12-6 curve to Steven Moya, who took a called strike rather swing as is customary in Japan.

Game highlights are HERE.

Marines 4, Hawks 3

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Atsuki Taneichi (7-2) allowed two runs, one earned, while striking out eight as Lotte swept SoftBank for the second time this season.

With Yuki Yanagita as DH, Taisei Makihara took over in center for the Hawks. He threw out a runner at the plate in the fifth to keep the Marines from making it 2-0, and drove in two late runs after Lotte’s Daichi Suzuki capped a three-run seventh with a two-run double.

Taneichi threw 118 pitches. He walked five and allowed four hits as he became the first Marines pitcher to seven wins.

“If you’re going to become an ace pitcher, the pitches you throw after your 100th are critical,” Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi said. “I had planned on having him go out again for the eighth (after 95 pitches through seven).”

Game highlights are HERE.

Eagles 14, Lions 2

At MetLife Dome, Jabari Blash hit a two-run, first-inning double, and Hideto Asamura hit his eighth home run of the season against his former team, a two-run shot in the fourth, as Rakuten walloped Seibu.

Ren Wada, a mid-season acquisition from the Yomiuri Giants, went 4-for-5 with a double, a triple and three RBIs for the Eagles.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

BayStars 3, Giants 0

At Tokyo Dome, Shota Imanaga (12-5) struck out eight over six innings, and three relievers allowed one hit over the final three innings as DeNA capped its weekends series against Yomiuri with a three-hit shutout.

Tomo Otosaka singled home Tatsuhiro Shibata in the third off former BayStar Shun Yamaguchi (12-3), and tripled in another run in the seventh. Neftali Soto moved into a tie for the CL home run lead with his 32nd, off lefty Kota Nakagawa in the eighth. Yamaguchi allowed two runs over 6-2/3 innings while striking out eight.

BayStars closer Yasuaki Yamasaki earned his 26th save and his first since Aug. 4.

Game highlights are HERE.

Dragons 10, Carp 4

At Nagoya Dome, Toshiki Abe went 3-for-4 with a home run, a double and four RBIs as Chunichi came from two runs down to beat Hiroshima.

Carp starter Allen Kuri (6-7) allowed six runs over 4-2/3 innings to take the loss, while 19-year-old Dragons rookie Takumi Yamamoto (2-3) allowed two runs in the first. He left with one out and the bases loaded in the sixth, but lefty Hiroto Fuku kept the Carp off the board.

Swallows 5, Tigers 1

At Jingu Stadium, two-run, pinch-hit singles by Yuhei Nakamura and Shingo Kawabata lifted Yakult past Hanshin. Swallows star second baseman Tetsuto Yamada left the game after flying out to first in the third inning, but manager Junji Ogawa said there didn’t appear to be any serious problems.

NPB games, news of Aug. 24, 2019

Oh, happy day! The first magic number of the season has arrived and it’s a 20 for the Yomiuri Giants. If they lose a bunch of games, it could disappear, though as I wrote about this past week.

In the eighth inning of the Giants’ game against the second-place BayStars, the announcer filled some air time by announcing that this was a crucial game to win because the Giants’ magic number would not light up unless they won. After their “crucial” win, the Giants have 28 games left to play and a 6-1/2 game lead. Sounds make or break to me, Bill.

The good thing about them having a magic number is that now we no longer have to see daily stories about teams being fired up about preventing them from getting one.

Central League

Giants 8, BayStars 6, 11 innings

At Tokyo Dome, it was the worst of times for Yomiuri’s bullpen, it was the worst of times for DeNA’s bullpen. The BayStars overturned a three-run deficit in the eighth when Kota Nakagawa only threw his fastball in the strike zone and gave up four runs.

With the BayStars leading by a run in the ninth, closer Yasuaki Yamasaki struggled to throw strikes until he walked two and hung an 0-2 splitter to Hayato Sakamoto, who bounced it into left for a game-tying single.

Edwin Escobar (3-4) worked a scoreless 10th but surrendered a two-run pinch-hit sayonara homer to Shingo Ishikawa in the 11th.

Yoshihiro Maru homered twice for the Giants and made a big catch in center, while Alex Guerrero blasted a fat fastball from lefty Kenta Ishida for a two-run shot that put Yomiuri ahead in the fourth. When he homered, Guerrero pointed at the Giants bench as if he’d just won his bet that Ishida would too throw him a fastball and he’d put in the seats.

Game highlights are HERE.

Carp 5, Dragons 4, 10 innings

At Nagoya Dome, back as Hiroshima closer, Shota Nakazaki (3-3) surrendered three runs in the ninth by throwing too many fat pitches in the heart of the zone. The right-hander got the win, however, when Chunichi’s current closer, Toshiya Okada (2-2) snapped his string of scoreless saves at three when Seiya Suzuki doubled and scored in the 10th on a Tsubasa Aizawa single.

Carp rookie Atsushi Endo changed speeds with a good fastball to earn his first career save.

“I’d like to use him in games we’re winning,” Carp manager Koichi Ogata said. “The only question is now whether he can be effective on consecutive days.”

New Carp Academy graduate Juan Santana, starting at second in place of Ryosuke Kikuchi, made a costly error but smashed a two-run single.

Tigers 7, Swallows 4

At Jingu Stadium, Yakult rookie Kengo Tagawa (0-1) allowed six runs in 3-1/3 innings including two on a first-inning home run by Kosuke Fukudome, allowing Yuki Nishi (6-8) to pick up the win despite allowing four runs over five innings.

Thirty-nine-year-old Kyuji Fujikawa struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to record his ninth save.

Pacific League

Marines 9, Hawks 5

At Zozo Marine Stadium, SoftBank starter Ariel Miranda (6-4) got burned on a good 3-2 fastball at the bottom of the zone that leadoff hitter Takashi Ogino hit for a first-inning home run to tie it. Daichi Suzuki doubled off his next pitch, and then the lefty’s control went out the window. He allowed seven runs over 1-1/3 innings in the loss to Lotte.

Game highlights are HERE.

Lions 6, Eagles 5, 10 innings

At MetLife Dome, Katsunori Hirai, pitching for the sixth time in five days and in his NPB-leading 65th game, surrendered three runs, allowing Rakuten to tie it in the eighth. Seibu won it in the 10th when Takeya Nakamura doubled in Shogo Akiyama with the winning run off Rakuten closer Yuki Matsui (2-6).

Kona Takahashi allowed two runs in 6-1/3 innings with the help of three double plays behind him, while Akiyama homered for the third-straight game.

Game highlights are HERE.

Fighters 7, Buffaloes 1

At Kyocera Dome, Nippon Ham’s Kohei Arihara (13-6) struck out nine in seven innings to leave with a 2-1 lead after Orix’s Andrew Albers (2-3) allowed two runs over five innings. Albers took the loss after the Fighters broke the game open in a five-run ninth.

Game highlights are HERE.