NPB News: April 26, 2022

My wife rescued me from my typical day off of working on a never-ending computer program and catching on other tasks today, insisting we go sightseeing, and so she took me to one corner of Tokyo I’d never been, that area within the Yamanote Line between Mejiro and Ueno stations.

I had someone to meet at Tokyo Dome, but we had a nice walk on a day that felt like rainy season had come a month and a half early. She introduced me to Nezu Jinja and its famous terraced azalea garden, and then to Yanaka Ginza shopping street which was really a fun little spot.

But since this is a baseball blog, I’d better get to the games. Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Masahiro Tanaka both pitched Tuesday, but the guy who reached a milestone reliever Yoshihisa Hirano. Ready?

Buffaloes 3, Fighters 2, 10 innings: At Tokyo Dome, Takayuki Kato went eight innings to keep Nippon Ham in the game against Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who left after seven and gave up a couple of soft runs in the fourth on two well-hit balls, a lucky double and a defensive miss-play that.

Kensuke Kondo singled, went to third on Go Matsumoto lucky bouncer over third base. Kazunari Ishii squared up a fat pitch for an RBI single and stole second. When the throw went to second and was dropped Matsumoto easily stole home.

Kato took a 2-0 lead into the eighth but a one-out Shuhei Fukuda single and a fat pitch to Kotaro Kurebayashi for his first home run tied it. Jesse Biddle worked the eighth and survived a leadoff single to Arismendy Alcántara. The Buffaloes escaped a two-out jam when 39-year-old side-arm righty Motoki Higa (1-0) struck out pinch-hitter Kotaro Kiyomiya looking at a borderline third strike.

Fighters rookie Koki Kitayama (3-1) issued a leadoff single to Torai Fushimi, and a pinch-hit single to Breyvic Valera. Lefty Mizuki Hori then made a pickoff throw to first, without a first baseman covering the bag, because Kiyomiya was busy charging home in case of a bunt. The runners advanced, Fukuda was hit by a pitch and Masataka Yoshida singled in the go-ahead run.

Yoshihisa Hirano worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his seventh save, his 192nd in Japan, and his 200th in major league competition counting his eight in MLB.

Eagles 3, Marines 2, 10 innings: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Rakuten’s Masahiro Tanaka can be forgiven for thinking he’d dropped acid and was having a 2021 flashback, as he struck out nine and allowed a run over seven innings with nothing to show for it. In the home of the PL’s weakest offense, the Eagles stopped scoring for Tanaka again.

Lotte lefty Kazuya Ojima got the big outs when he needed them most to hold Rakuten to two runs, one earned, over seven innings. Haruki Nishikawa scored both of the Eagles’ runs and they took a 2-1 lead into the eighth, when Leonys Martin singled in the tying run off Alan Busenitz.

Tomohiro Anraku (2-0) workd out of a one-out, two-on pickle in the ninth, and Yuki Matsui got his seventh save in the 10th after José Marmolejos singled in Hiroto Kobukata with the go-ahead run.

Hawks 3, Lions 0: At Fukuoka Dome, Yuki Yanagita returned to the Hawks lineup for the first time in three weeks and singled and scored a run, but Yurisbel Gracial had the big game. He tripled and scored on a second-inning Tatsuru Yanagimachi single, walked, and homered with Yanagita on board in the seventh.

Katsuki Matayoshi got past the middle of Seibu’s order in the eighth, working around a leadoff walk to Brian O’Grady, and Livan Moinelo worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his third save.

BayStars 6, Giants 4: At Yokohama Stadium, Keita Sano’s two-run double and Shugo Maki’s two-run home run, his fifth, highlighted a five-run BayStars’ fifth off Shosei Togo (3-2). Fernando Romero, who allowed Kazuma Okamoto’s two-run first-inning homer, his seventh, walked with one out in the DeNA fifth to put two on ahead of Masayuki Kuwara’s RBI double.

With two outs and one on in the sixth, Adam Walker’s second double drove in a run and Kazuya Katsuki doubled him in to chase Romero (2-2). Neftali Soto completed the scoring in the seventh with his fourth homer. Edwin Escobar allowed back-to-back singles to open the top of the ninth before retiring three straight to earn his first save.

Wednesday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Buffaloes: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Cody Ponce (0-1, 7.20) vs Hiroya Miyagi (1-2, 4.94)

Marines vs Eagles: Chiba Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Fumiya Motomae (0-0, 3.60) vs Takayuki Kishi (2-0, 1.35)

Hawks vs Lions: Fukuoka Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Kazuki Sugiyama (0-0, 8.31) vs Wataru Matsumoto (2-1, 3.70)

BayStars vs Giants: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuya Sakamoto (0-1, 6.75) vs C.C. Mercedes (3-0, 2.74)

Tigers vs Dragons: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuki Nishi (1-1, 2.00) vs Akiyoshi Katsuno (0-0, 2.84)

Carp vs Swallows: Hiroshima Citizen’s Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hiroki Tokoda (2-0, 1.65) vs Juri Hara (1-2, 5.28)

Active roster moves 4/26/2022

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/6

Central League


TigersIF94Fumihito Haraguchi
BayStarsIF31Tatsuhiro Shibata
BayStarsOF1Masayuki Kuwahara

Pacific League


BuffaloesP20Taisuke Kondo
BuffaloesOF50Yuya Oda
EaglesP30Shinri Komine
EaglesIF24Fumiya Kurokawa
HawksOF9Yuki Yanagita
FightersP58Masaki Tanigawa
LionsP44Kaito Yoza
LionsP45Keisuke Honda


HawksOF30Naoki Sato

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