NPB news: Sept. 5, 2023

We had five games Tuesday, with Rakuten and Nippon Ham getting rained out in Sendai. Cy Sneed did his best Shohei Ohtani impression, Yusuke Oyama continued to contribute like he’s raising money for Jerry’s kids, something Carter Stewart Jr. could relate to, and Hiroshima and DeNA played a wild one.

In other news, Buffaloes pitcher Taisuke Yamaoka spouted off, while Orix catcher Kenya Wakatsuki announced what he’ll do with his free agency rights this autumn.

Tuesday’s games

Lions 3, Buffaloes 0: At Kobe Green Stadium, Orix appeared headed for its third 1-0 game in its last three, but that plan came off the rails in the top of the eight. A one-out error, a two-out Takuya Hiruma double and a Kento Watanabe homer made it 3-0. Brooks Kriske, who joined Seibu this summer after pitching for DeNA last year, earned his second save.

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Apologies Monday

Monday was a day for public remorse for events on and off the field, for Hotaka Yamakawa, who was accused of, but not charged with sexual assault, but who on Monday was suspended indefinitely,  and the Yakult Swallows’ ballpark DJ Patrick Yu, for his unwitting comments after an on-field incident that drew the ire of the Hanshin Tigers on Sunday.

Both are interesting, less because of what was said than by what wasn’t.

Yamakawa apologizes for causing trouble

The Seibu Lions on Monday suspended first baseman Hotaka Yamakawa indefinitely after Tokyo prosecutors decided not to indict him over an allegation of rape due to insufficient evidence.

The 31-year-old, a three-time Pacific League home run leader who played for Japan in March’s World Baseball Classic, was referred to prosecutors for allegedly raping a female acquaintance at a Tokyo hotel last November.

“We take this situation very gravely and have punished the individual in order to encourage him to do some serious self-reflection,” Lions President and CEO Tsuyoshi Okumura said according to Kyodo News.

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writing & research on Japanese baseball