NPB games, news of Sept. 25, 2019

News

Former big leaguer Takatsu to manage Swallows

For the third time in recent years, the Yakult Swallows have turned to a man with experience running their farm team to manage their Central League team, according to a story published by Kyodo News.

Fifty-year-old Shingo Takatsu will succeed Junji Ogawa, who called an end to his second stint as the birds’ manager after finishing last this season. Ogawa, a former farm manager, was promoted to manager after Shigeru Takada quit. Ogawa, who led the Swallows to the playoffs three times in seven years, was replaced in 2015 by another farm manager, Mitsuru Manaka, who won the league that year and served for three seasons.

Takatsu becomes the second former Japanese major leaguer to run a top-level club in Japan after Tadahito Iguchi. So Taguchi has managed in the minors for the Orix Buffaloes, while Kazuo Matsui managed the Seibu Lions’ Eastern League club starting this season.

Under Takatsu, the Eastern League Swallows finished fifth in the seven-team EL this season.

Takatsu saved 286 games, second most in NPB, over 17 seasons. He pitched two seasons in the majors, another in South Korea and another in Taiwan. He also served as a player manager in the independent BC League.

Pacific League

Eagles 7, Lions 1

At Rakuten Seimei Park, Takahiro Norimoto pitched well in the season finale for both clubs, and Hideto Asamura hit his 33rd home run, tying Jabari Blash for the team home run lead, and finishing the regular season with 11 homers against his former club and 22 against the rest of NPB.

Sendai native and injury-plagued right-hander Yoshinori Sato finished the game in his debut with the Eagles, his first game since leaving Yakult over the winter.

Game highlights are HERE.

Fighters 4, Buffaloes 1

At Sapporo Dome, two teams with nothing to play for played, with former MVP Mitsuo Yoshikawa finishing up on the mound for Nippon Ham with 2-1/3 scoreless innings.

Game highlights are HERE.

Jim Allen

sports editor for a wire service in Tokyo

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