NPB news: april 27, 2022

We had a full slate of games, and three with the visitors winning 8-2. Entering this season, there were 361 games in Japanese pro baseball history that ended like that, so a little less than 1 percent of those took place Wednesday. 

We also had a triple play with a difference. Ready? Let’s go.

Tigers’ Takahashi  has Tommy John

I missed this the past couple of days, but Tigers lefty Haruto Takahashi, a guy who his an absolute delight to watch when he’s on, was discharged from the hospital on Monday after having Tommy John surgery.

He’d had elbow cleaning surgery in November, but began feeling discomfort in camp.

Wednesday’s games

Tigers 3, Dragons 1: At Koshien Stadium, Yuki Nishi (2-1) struck out 10 over six innings while allowing a first inning-run. The Tigers tied it in the second on a Yoshio Itoi double and an error, while Nishi scored the go-ahead run in the third after leading off with an infield single. His sacrifice in the fifth contributed to a Hanshin insurance run.

The weird play of the game came in the fourth with runners on first and second and no outs. Shun Takayama lined into a double play. Itoi, the runner on second, thought the inning was over, left his base, turning it into a self-fulfilling prophecy as the Dragons retired him to complete a triple play.

The Dragons lost leadoff hitter Yohei Oshima when he was hit in the right elbow by a pitch but did not appear to suffer a fracture. Starting pitcher Akiyoshi Katsuno left the game in the middle of a fifth-inning plate appearance after feeling discomfort in his left oblique muscles.

Giants 8, BayStars 2: At Yokohama Stadium, C.C. Mercedes (4-0) allowed two hits and three walks over seven shutout innings after loading the bases with one out in the first.

The Giants took a four-run lead after Gregory Polanco and Adam Walker set the table with a pair of flare singles. A walk to Yoshihiro Maru loaded the bases for a Hiroyuki Nakajima grand slam, his first homer of the season.

Polanco singled and Walker was hit by a pitch in the Giants’ two-run sixth, and Kazuma Okamoto hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his eighth.

Taishi Ota earned a Yoshinobu Takahashi Award nomination for getting hurt going all out on a play that had virtually zero chance of impacting the game. The former Giant hurt his left thigh diving into first base while trying to beat out a ground ball to short in the sixth inning with DeNA losing 6-0 with two outs and nobody on.

Swallows 8, Carp 2: At Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Juri Hara (2-2) allowed two runs over eight innings, while Yasutaka Shiomi, Tetsuto Yamada and Munetaka Murakami each homered and had an RBI single. Shiomi’s was his fourth, Yamada’s his fifth, and Murakami’s his sixth.

Hiroshima’s Ryoma Nishikawa singled three times, doubled and scored both Carp runs.

Lions 8, Hawks 2: At Fukuoka Dome, Hotaka Yamakawa hit his sixth and seventh home runs and drove in five, while Brian O’Grady homered, singled and had a sac fly, scored twice and drove in three for the Lions.

Seibu’s Wataru Matsumoto (3-1) allowed a run over seven innings.

Manager Hiroshi Fujimoto was asked about Freddy Galvis, who brought the Hawks from behind on Opening Day with a grand slam but who has struggled.

“I think he’ll find his form,” Fujimoto said. “Right now, it’s not good. If I don’t use him, it will get worse for him. It’s tricky.”

Eagles 3, Marines 3, 12 innings: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Lotte lefty Fumiya Motomae allowed a run over six innings on a first-inning Hideto Asamura homer, and got the lead when Shogo Nakamura hit a three-run homer, his first, off Takayuki Kishi in the third.

After 98 pitches, Motomae left, and José Marmolejos belted a two-run homer to tie it off rookie Atsuya Hirohata. The Marines had a chance to win it in the 11th, when Koshiro Wada opened with a double. Nakamura, with a career.339 OBP, bunted him to third and the Marines ran out of outs.

Buffaloes 4, Fighters 2: At Tokyo Dome, Masataka Yoshida hit a two-run homer, his second, in the first for Orix off Cody Ponce, and Yuma Imagawa tied it the third with a two-run shot, his third, off 2021 rookie of the year Hiroya Miyagi. Nippon Ham right fielder Chusei Mannami threw a runner out at the plate in the Buffaloes’ fifth to preserve the tie.

Miyagi left with no outs and the bases loaded in the seventh on a single and two errors, but 29-year-old rookie Shota Abe erased the threat on three flies. Jesse Biddle (3-0) struck out the side in the eighth, Orix took a two-run lead on RBI singles by Kotaro Kurebayashi and Yoshida, and Yoshihisa Hirano worked the ninth for his eighth save.

Thursday’s starting pitchers

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

Hiromi Ito (2-2, 3.60) vs Daiki Tajima (0-0, 1.45)

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

Manabu Mima (0-2, 2.31) vs Masaru Fujii (-)

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

Colin Rea (1-1, 8.56) vs Burch Smith (1-0, 0.00)

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

Katsuki Azuma (0-2, 3.18) vs Iori Yamasaki (0-0, 3.86)

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

Takumi Akiyama (0-2, 9.35) vs Yudai Ono (1-2, 3.60)

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

Allen Kuri (1-1, 2.10) vs Keiji Takahashi (2-0, 2.13)

Active roster moves 4/27/2022

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/7

Central League


SwallowsP16Juri Hara
DragonsP41Akiyoshi Katsuno

Pacific League


MarinesP49Fumiya Motomae
MarinesC99Tomoya Kakinuma
HawksP40Kazuki Sugiyama


BuffaloesP22Ryota Muranishi
BuffaloesOF99Yutaro Sugimoto
MarinesC66Takuma Kato

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