NPB games, news of Aug. 29, 2019

“He’s just like any other man, only more so.”

Rick Blaine in the movie “Casablanca”

To a certain extent, that was the Seibu Lions’ win over the Nippon Ham Fighters on Thursday. It was a game like any other Lions game, only more so.

Pacific League

Lions 5, Fighters 2

At Obihiro Stadium, Seibu’s starting pitcher didn’t allow over three runs, but other than that, the Lions series-finale win over Nippon Ham showed off the things Seibu does a lot of.

The exception was starting pitcher Keisuke Honda (6-5), who did not issue a walk or hit a batter. That marked the sixth time a Lions starter had managed to do that. He allowed one run though six, but left after allowing two-straight singles in the bottom of the seventh.

The Fighters’ second run scored on Seibu’s Japan-leading 53rd wild pitch. It was also the 16th time an opposing runner had scored on a wild pitch against the Lions. The next two teams in that ranking (prior to Thursday night’s games) were the Fighters with eight and the Yakult Swallows with seven.

The three players with the PL’s RBI totals, each drove in at least a run. PL leader Hotaka Yamakawa (105) improved his Japan-best home run total to 38 and drove in two runs, as did Takeya Nakamura (101), while Tomoya Mori (85) homered and drove in one.

With the Lions leading 4-2 in the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded, Katsunori Hirai made his 66th appearance, the most in either league, and got four straight outs.

Game highlights are HERE.

Wild things

Even though you didn’t ask for it and at risk of setting off those Lions fans who think I pick on them, here is the NPB ranking for run-scoring wild pitches. Anyway, the Lions are making lots of runners’ hearts sing this season.

LeagueTeamRSWP
PLSeibu Lions16
PLNippon Ham Fighters8
CLYakult Swallows7
CLHanshin Tigers6
PLOrix Buffaloes6
CLChunichi Dragons5
PLRakuten Eagles5
CLDeNA BayStars3
CLHiroshima Carp3
PLSoftBank Hawks3
PLLotte Marines3
CLYomiuri Giants2

Marines 5, Eagles 4, 10 innings

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Daichi Suzuki hit a two-run homer as Lotte tied it in a three-run sixth, and Seiya Suzuki homered in the 10th in a win over Rakuten.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

Giants 12, Carp 4

At Tokyo Dome, Yoshihiro Maru drove in five runs in the third inning with an RBI single and a grand slam as Yomiuri slapped Daichi Osera (10-8) for 10 runs, while Toshiki Sakurai (8-3) allowed three runs over seven innings to pick up the win.

Game highlights are HERE.

BayStars 4, Swallows 2

At Yokohama Stadium, Tatsuhiro Shibata’s two-run single tied it in the sixth inning, Takayuki Kajitani singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh as DeNA came from behind to beat Yakult.

BayStars manager Alex Ramirez switched into postseason mode in the fifth inning when he brought in starter Kenta Ishida to relieve in the sixth inning. The lefty had been pitching out of the bullpen until July 7. Since then, he’d been 3-0 with a 2.84 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in the starting rotation.

Ishida (4-0) inherited a two-on, one-out pickle, and allowed one runner to score. He pitched himself into and out of a jam in the seventh and wound up the winning pitcher.

Yakult second baseman Tetsuto Yamada stole two bases, giving him 31 on the season and running his record successful attempt streak to 36 and become the first player in Japan to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in the same season four times.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Must be because of their horrible catcher, eh Jim? (Of course, he is leading all of NPB in hitting…)

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