NPB news: July 2, 2024

On Tuesday in Japan, the results of the All-Star fan voting were announced from which we learned that Fighters fans voted early and often as Nippon Ham had nine players named to the team, including outfielder Chusei Mannami, who received the most overall votes, and all three pitchers’ slots.

I won’t say a bunch of the Fighters players don’t deserve to go. They deserve to go because the rules say they are deserving. If NPB wanted good results, it would fix the system so that it got them. We seem to be in a minority-rule mode the world over, so why not in NPB?

On the field, Tigers and Carp played a heck of a game, while Hotaka Yamakawa‘s home run drought came to an end for the Pacific League-leading SoftBank Hawks.

Tuesday’s games:

Fighters 8, Marines 3: At Kitahiroshima Taxpayers Burden Field, Yuya Gunji and Daigo Kawakamibata celebrated Fighters fans voting them to the PL All-Star team with two-run homers in the fourth and fifth off C.C. Mercedes that overturned Lotte’s 1-0 lead from Akito Takabe‘s second-inning solo homer off Shoma Kanemura (2-4), who went six.  Lotte got two back in the sixth, starting with Neftali Soto‘s ninth home run. Gunji singled in a run the Fighters’ three-run seventh, and Kawakamibata singled in a run in the eighth as Nippon Ham snapped a three-game losing streak after being swept at home over the weekend by the Hawks.

Hawks 3, Lions 2: At Tokyo Ugly Dome, SoftBank took the lead on Ryoya Kurihara‘s two-run third-inning double off rookie lefty Shinnosuke Hada (0-1), and made it 3-0 in the sixth when Hotaka Yamakawa broke his 30-game home run drought with his 13th. Seibu’s Manaya Nishikawa hit a two-run homer off Kohei Arihara (8-3) in the seventh. Arihara struck out nine over seven innings.

Dragons 2, Giants 1: At Matsumoto Stadium, Takumi Oshiro doubled and scored on a Gakuto Wakabayashi single off Shinosuke Ogasawara (3-7) in the second. Hiroki Fukunaga hit a two-run homer off Giants starter Iori Yamasaki (6-2) in the fifth. Yamasaki struck out seven over seven innings but took the loss. Raidel Martinez worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 25th save.

Buffaloes 4, Eagles 1: At Hirosaki Stadium, Hideto Asamura doubled and scored on Maikel Franco‘s second-inning sacrifice off Ryuhei Sotani (5-3). Eagles starter Seiryu Uchi (3-6) faced one batter over the minimum through 4-1/3 innings before Ryoma Nishikawa and Leandro Cedeno singled ahead of Yutaro Sugimoto‘s third home run. The Buffaloes tacked on an unearned run on a Cedeno single after a flubbed catch from infielder Toshiki Abe who was making one of his cameos in left field. Andres Machado recorded his 12th save.

BayStars 6, Swallows 4: At Yokohama Stadium, rookie Ryuki Watarai‘s three-run second-inning double opened the scoring against Kojiro Yoshimura (5-5). Yota Kyoda, who doubled and scored in the second, singled to lead off DeNA’s four-run fourth, when Watarai and Tyler Austin each singled in one, and Keita Sano doubled in two to make it 6-0. Jose Osuna singled in two runs in the top of the fifth for the Swallows off rookie right-hander Yutaro Ishida (3-0).

Tigers 3, Carp 0, 10 innings: At New Hiroshima Citizens Stadium, Hanshin’s Hiroto Saiki and Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita delivered a heck of a pitchers’ duel with Saiki going seven and Morishita eight, during which he struck out nine. Saiki allowed one hit and two walks, but his three-base error put Hiroshima’s leadoff runner on third with no outs in the second. With one out, however, Saiki snagged a hot comebacker to put out the lead runner on the third-base line.

The Tigers broke the deadlock in the 10th on a one-out walk, a single and a Takayoshi Noma throwing error. Koji Chikamoto doubled in one and Takumu Nakano singled in another. The Carp loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning against Javy Guerra before he got pinch-hitter Ryuhei Matsuyama to hit into a game-ending double play and secure his ninth save.

Morishita became the 20th player in Japanese pro baseball to throw an immaculate nine-pitch, three-strikeout inning, fanning the bottom of the Tigers’ order in the fifth. The 19th player to do it, Carp reliever Daisuke Moriura, did it on June 1 against the SoftBank Hawks.

Subscribe to weekly newsletter

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.