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NPB news: July 9, 2023

Japan had two nail-biting 1-0 games decided by late solo homers, Gregory Polanco was a Marine hero again, Leo Cedeno was the big Buffaloes basher, unheralded Carp rookie Shohei Mori had a game as did Eagles rookie Masaru Fuji, who was the benefactor of a big day from Hideto Asamura.

Deniers 1, Giants 0, 12 innings: At Tokyo Dome, Shugo Maki’s 14th home run broke up this scoreless game in the 12th, and Yasuaki Yamasaki earned his 20th save.

Shugo Maki’s tie-breaking 12th-inning home run.
Continue reading NPB news: July 9, 2023

NPB news: July 8, 2023

Tomoyuki Sugano looked like he was back Saturday, Yoshinobu Yamamoto was also his old self, a new Marines recruit cost his old team a victory in a sentimental game in front of his old fans, and Yakult and Hanshin played a heck of a game.

Saturday’s games

Buffaloes 5, Lions 1: At Kobe Green Stadium, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (8-3) struck out 13, while walking one over the distance. Reserve utility man Tomoya Noguchi threw David MacKinnon out on the bases to end the Lions’ second and hit a two-out two-run triple off Kona Takahashi (5-6) in the home half. Kotaro Kurebayashi hit his sixth home run with a man on in the third, and that was the ballgame.

The win pulled the Buffaloes into a virtual tie for first place in the Pacific League, and before I let this one go, I have to say that Yamamoto was the victim of one of the worst hero-interview questions I’ve ever heard: “Tonight we had fireworks at the ballpark. What are your favorite kind of fireworks?” The poor guy was helpless.

Continue reading NPB news: July 8, 2023