Tag Archives: Adam Jones

NPB wrap 8-29-21

The Central League race is getting real tight.

The Tigers started Sunday with a 1-1/2 game lead, but they now lead the Giants by a half game, with the Swallows a half game further back. Forget about fourth, fifth and sixth — at least as far as the pennant goes — since those guys are done like dinner.

The top four teams in the Pacific League all appeared headed toward ties but that didn’t work out.

Live chat with former NPB star Leon Lee

Monday, Aug. 30, 11 am Japan; Sunday, Aug. 29, 7 pm Pacific Daylight Time.

Lee, who played 1,255 games over 10 years in Japan from 1978 to 1987 for the Lotte Orions, the Taiyo Whales, and Yakult Swallows. In addition to his accomplishments, Lee is a keen observer with a knack for explaining complicated things simply. 

Bring your questions and enjoy.

Exclusive for jballallen.com and newsletter subscribers.

Buffaloes 6, Hawks 3

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Yuma Mune singled in the go-ahead run in a four-run seventh inning, when three SoftBank relievers combined to give up four straight two-out hits. Cesar Vargas (1-0), who just signed with Orix and made his first-team debut on Saturday, earned the win after a scoreless seventh before allowing a consolation home run to the Hawks, Ryoya Kurihara’s 13th, in the eighth.

Carter Stewart Jr. (0-1) took the loss. He survived an eight-pitch walk to open a scoreless sixth by striking out Adam Jones and getting a double play. With the score tied 2-2 in the seventh, he collided with his catcher on a one-out bunt single. After a sacrifice, Stewart threw a good 1-2 fastball at the bottom of the zone but was foiled by a good swing from Shuhei Fukuda, who ripped a single past first.

Lefty Shinya Kayama came in to face Mune, who – after Fukuda stole second — produced a good swing for his third hit of the game. Kayama missed with an 0-1 slider to Masataka Yoshida, who doubled to make it 5-2, and with the outfield, Sugimoto’s high fly to the center-field wall off Yuki Tsumori went for an RBI triple instead of the third out.

Another new Buffalo, Glenn Sparkman pitched out of a no-out bases-loaded predicament in the second and allowed two runs over five innings. SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada returned to duty after being scratched from a start two weeks earlier. He retired the first nine batters he faced before an error gave the Buffaloes a leadoff runner in their two-run fourth.

SoftBank tied it in the fifth on Dariel Alvarez’s first-homer for the Hawks.

Marines 1, Eagles 0

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Lotte catcher Tatsushi Tamura came on as a defensive substitute in a scoreless tie to face Rakuten’s stand-in closer Sung Chia-hao (1-2). Sung got two outs after runners reached second and third. Tamura fouled off four straight 3-2 pitches before knocking a changeup past short to drive in the game’s only run.

Sung issued a leadoff walk to Shogo Nakamura, and a Leonys Martin single and an error put him in serious jeopardy, that he eased by striking out Brandon Laird and popping up Toshiya Sato. Tamura, however, spoiled pitch after pitch until getting one he could handle.

Naoya Masuda worked around a leadoff infield single in the ninth to record his Japan-best 28th save.

Rakuten’s Ryota Ishibashi worked six solid innings in his season debut, while former Dragon Enny Romero struck out five while allowing a walk and two singles over six innings.

Fighters 6, Lions 0

At MetLife Dome 5 pm, Nippon Ham Fighters rookie Hiromi Ito (8-5, 2.54) bounced back from his dreadful first start after the Tokyo Olympics (6 runs, 5 IP) to strikeout nine while allowing four hits and three walks in his first career shutout.

Seibu’s Keisuke Honda (0-2, 3.57) gave up four runs over four innings, all in the fourth, when the first four batters reached. Wang Po-jung did most of the damage with a no-out three-run double.

Swallows 5, BayStars 2

At Tokyo Dome, Yakult’s Juri Hara (1-1, 1.69) outdueled Shota Imanaga (3-4, 3.49), who doubled and was thrown out on the bases in scoreless fifth before Yakult scratched out a run in the home half. Hara worked seven scoreless innings, while Imanaga gave up one run over six.

The Swallows put the game away against Kevin Shackelford in the seventh. The right-hander retired two batters before a single and a walk set the table for Yasutaka Shiomi’s ninth home run. Shackelford allowed four hits and two walks.

The BayStars’ Masayuki Kuwahara hit a two-run homer, his ninth, against former closer Taichi Ishiyama in the ninth.

Giants 5, Dragons 1

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Yomiuri’s Yuki Takahashi (10-3, 2.71) threw five scoreless innings and doubled in the Giants’ third run against Chunichi lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (6-7, 3.23). The Dragons’ lone run came in the seventh, when Naomichi Donoue singled to reach base for the third time and scored on Shuhei Takahashi’s pinch-hit double.

Carp 5, Tigers 0

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Seiya Suzuki and Shogo Sakakura continued to tear up opposing pitchers. They each went deep in the first off Takumi Akiyama (9-5, 2.70), Suzuki with a two-run shot, his 19th and second in two nights, and Sakakura his eighth.

All three runs in the first, the only ones charged to Akiyama, were unearned after an error charged to Jerry Sands prolonged the inning and put a man on in front of Suzuki. Akiyama allowed seven hits, walked one and hit one over six innings, but the Carp added two more against his relief, Masaki Oyokawa, in the seventh.

With one on and two outs, the Tigers walked Suzuki intentionally so that Sakakura could get two RBIs instead of one on his double.

Carp lefty Hiroki Tokoda (2-2, 3.47) struck out 10 over six innings in which he allowed five hits and a walk.

Active roster moves 8/29/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/8

Central League


TigersOF97Dan Onodera
CarpP28Hiroki Tokoda
CarpC27Tsubasa Aizawa


TigersP41Shoki Murakami
CarpP19Yusuke Nomura
CarpC22Shosei Nakamura

Pacific League


HawksP21Tsuyoshi Wada
HawksIF00Hikaru Kawase
LionsIF3Hotaka Yamakawa
EaglesP60Ryota Ishibashi


HawksP17Sho Iwasaki
HawksIF23Ukyo Shuto
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
LionsIF49Brandon Taiga Tysinger

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NPB wrap 8-15-21

There’s a first time for everything

…and sometimes there are more than one, as we learned Sunday when Carter Stewart Jr., who has made a bunch of starts in the minors since he turned pro in Japan in 2019, made his “first pro start” according to Japan’s sports media on Sunday.

Stewart who has started exhibitions with the first team as well was making his first-team official game starting debut and it was pretty impressive, leading to a six-pitcher no-hit relay for the SoftBank Hawks.

Yakult rookie Yasunobu Okugawa also struck out nine on Sunday, and Seibu’s Yutaro Watanabe, the Lions’ second pick out of high school in 2018, won his first career game, so three rookie starters won — or rather deserved to win in Stewart’s case.

Lotte rookie Roki “Rocket” Sasaki, however, only lasted five and got banged up a bit preventing it from being a complete rookie pitcher banner day, but nobody’s perfect.

Hawks 0, Fighters 0

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Carter Stewart, Jr. struck out nine over five innings in his starting debut and five SoftBank relievers completed the day without allowing a hit, making it a combined no-hitter to you and me, but not in the eyes of Japanese pro baseball, where those are exclusively individual accomplishments.

Stewart, starting in the place of Tsuyoshi Wada, who is suffering from arm issues, brushed the arm guard of the first batter he faced before retiring the next 15.

The Fighters, behind Drew VerHagen, who allowed one hit over three innings, while striking out three, used five pitchers to complete a three-hit shutout.

The Hawks had a scoring opportunity in the eighth against Bryan Rodriguez with one out and speedy Ukyo Shuto on third but tried to squeeze him home. Rodriguez bounced the pitch. The batter, Hawks catcher Takuya Kai, who repeatedly showed his bunting chops during the Olympics, missed it. Fighters catcher Ryo Ishikawa caught it and made the putout when Shuto ran out of the baseline to avoid the tag.

The Hawks’ final pitcher, Hiroshi Kaino, pitched for the first time since 2019 after last year was wiped out by injury and surgery and hit 98 mph in a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Fighters, who lost on Friday and Saturday, struck out 41 times in 27 innings over the weekend.

Lions 10, Eagles 2

At MetLife Dome, it was a different day, and a different former Lions ace as Seibu smacked around Hideaki Wakui (6-7, 5.18), hammering him for six runs in two innings.

Seibu rookie Yutaro Watanabe (1-2, 3.50) allowed a run over five innings to earn his first pro win, knocking the Eagles 1-1/2 games back of the first-place Buffaloes.

Buffaloes 5, Marines 3

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Roki Sasaki allowed three runs in five innings, took a shot off his body and surrendered a two-run Adam Jones home run, his third, but didn’t figure in the decision. Sachiya Yamasaki (5-6, 3.45) allowed three runs over five innings but earned the win because Yutaro Sugimoto smashed a two-run sixth-inning double off Fumiya Ono (0-2).

Giants 4, Dragons 2

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri starter Shosei Togo worked four scoreless innings but was yanked with two outs in the fifth after hitting pinch-hitter Ariel Martinez to force in Chunichi’s second run. 

Dragons lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (6-5, 2.93) allowed a pair of solo homers, in the first to Hayato Sakamoto, his 12th, and in the fourth to Takumi Oshiro, his ninth. The Giants’ Zealous Wheeler singled in a pair of runs in the third.

Thyago Vieira worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 11th save.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Swallows 4, BayStars 1

At Niigata’s Hard Off Eco Stadium, Jose Osuna bounced a two-run bases-loaded single through the infield to give rookie Yasunobu Okugawa (5-2, 3.88) the lead after the right-hander surrendered a run on Toshiro Miyazaki’s ninth homer in the second.

Okugawa struck out nine over seven innings, while allowing four hits and no walks, while Shota Imanaga (3-3, 3.50) gave up three runs over 6-2/3 innings on two walks and six hits. He also struck out nine.

Swallows relievers Noboru Shimizu and Scott McGough each struck out two in a scoreless inning, with McGough fanning fellow Team USA Olympic silver medalist Tyler Austin in the ninth as he recorded his 17th save.

Tetsuto Yamada, the Olympic tournament MVP, singled, doubled, walked twice and scored twice for the Swallows.

Tigers 3, Carp 0

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama (8-4, 3.12) escaped a series of tight spots as he allowed six hits and two walks over five scoreless innings thanks to seven strikeouts. Koji Chikamoto opened Hanshin’s first with his seventh home run, and singled and score the Tigers’ second off Haruki Omichi (4-3, 4.20) on a third-inning Jerry Sands RBI single.

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