NPB Wrap 5-26-21

Interleague Day 2

Let the good times roll CL

…and the Central League advocates are pretty happy with the results so far, after going 3-2 on Opening night and 4-1 on Wednesday, the CL guys are enjoying the best early results.

The CL has now improved its record in interleague to 973-1,101. Baby steps.

Tigers 3, Marines 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin right-hander Takumi Akiyama (4-2) brought his “A” game against the Marines, attacking the strike zone with precision off-speed munitions, while sniping away with his fastball as he allowed a run over eight innings, and nothing but a flair single over the first seven.

A night after the Tigers lost thanks to a wild throw by the pitcher in the first and a three-run outburst against setup man Suguru Iwazaki, Akiyama said he wanted to prevent that and did, by giving the bullpen a rest until Robert Suarez came in and allowed an unearned run on two singles and an error in the ninth before getting his 14th save.

Ryuhei Obata walked, singled and scored twice, Koji Chikamoto doubled, drove in one run and scored one, and rookie Takumi Nakano drove in two with a sac fly and a double off Lotte’s Daiki Iwashita (4-3).

Giants 5, Eagles 2

At Tokyo Dome, Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto (4-2) appeared in complete control until the fourth inning having struck out six of the first 10 batters. With one out and one on in the fourth, Kazuma Okamoto tied for the CL lead in home runs with his 13th to put Yomiuri up 2-0. Akihiro Wakabayashi hit a two-run shot, his second, and Takumi Oshiro added his fifth.

All three Giants home runs in the inning came off the first pitch. Asked if this was the result of the pre-inning pep-talk huddle “enjin,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara laughed, according to Daily Sports, “If that happened every time we huddled up, we’d do it before every inning.”

I haven’t been to one of Hara’s postgame pressers in years, but that made me feel nostalgic for the level of stupidity that sometimes appears.

Yuki Takahashi (6-1) took over the CL lead in wins after allowing two runs, one earned, over 7-1/3 innings. The Eagles loaded the bases with one outs in the eighth, but lefty Yuhei Takanashi retired two batters on three pitches, and Rubby De La Rosa worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Giants-Eagles highlights

Swallows 4, Fighters 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada hit a three-run first-inning home run, while Jose Osuna and Domingo Santana each doubled to account for the Swallows’ other score off Takayuki Kato (3-2), who singled and scored a run, but allowed four runs.

Kazuto Taguchi (2-3) allowed two runs over five innings to earn his first win at Jingu as a Swallow. Taichi Ishiyama, who had been closing, came in for the second straight day in the eighth, and Scott McGough worked the ninth for his third save.

Ronny Rodriguez hit his first home run in Japan for the Fighters, and his 20th between MLB and NPB. Sharing the spotlight was another former Brewer, Norichika Aoki, who had his 2,500th hit between MLB and NPB with 163 of them going for four.

Buffaloes 14, BayStars 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Orix’s 19-year-old left-handed rookie Hiroya Miyagi (5-0) struck out seven over six innings while allowing three runs in the blowout. Takahiro Okada went 5-for-5 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs as the Buffaloes chased DeNA starter Shinichi Onuki (1-5) in the second inning.

Five Buffaloes runs scored on catchable balls that could have ended innings: a bases-loaded three-run error on a fly to shallow center that was dropped by starting center fielder Masayuki Kuwahara in the second and a two-run triple on a ball at the wall that came out of the glove of Kuwahara’s replacement, Kazuki Kamizato.

Tyler Austin accounted for two of DeNA’s runs with his seventh home run.

Dragons 4, Hawks 3

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, the Chunichi Dragons overcame a late game-tying two-run homer from Yuki Yanagita, his 10th, on Toshiki Abe’s third, in the bottom of the eighth off SoftBank reliever Keisuke Izumi (1-1). The Hawks are currently without closer Yuito Mori, non-pitching elbow discomfort, and setup man Livan Moinelo, national team duty.

Dragons lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings and twice got out of tough spots by ending innings against Yanagita. Abe’s fifth-inning RBI single tied it against Nao Higashihama, who was making his season debut. Yohei Oshima tripled to open the Dragons’ sixth and scored on Dayan Viciedo’s two-out single. Takuya Kinoshita singled with the bases loaded to make it 3-1.

The Dragons, who are also without their Cuban closer, Raidel Martinez, turned to Katsuki Matayoshi for three straight outs in the ninth for his second save.

Starting pitchers


Giants vs Eagles: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kai Yokogawa (-) vs Ryota Takinaka (2-2, 5.18)

Swallows vs Fighters: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Yasunobu Okugawa (1-1, 5.00) vs Takahide Ikeda (2-4, 3.05)

BayStars vs Buffaloes: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Fernando Romero (0-2, 5.25) vs Yang Chi (-)

Dragons vs Hawks: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-3, 3.68) vs Shunsuke Kasaya (1-2, 5.10)

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

Raul Alcantara (1-0, 7.50) vs Roki Sasaki (0-0, 3.60)

Carp vs Lions: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hiroki Tokoda (1-2, 3.35) vs Zach Neal (1-1, 3.75)

Active roster moves 5/26/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/5

Central League


TigersIF0Seiya Kinami


TigersIF00Yasuhiro Yamamoto

Pacific League


HawksP16Nao Higashihama
EaglesC44Yuichi Adachi


EaglesP11Takayuki Kishi

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