Tag Archives: Akinobu Okada

NPB news: April 12, 2023

Wednesday brought another day in Japanese baseball, and another gem from a rookie pitcher. Two veterans, however, did not get off easy in their league games against Japan WBC teammates. In other surprises, the Chunichi Dragons scored a bunch of runs, the Swallows’ bullpen, unscored upon through 10 games, gave up a bunch, and Lotte’s hefty first baseman Seiya Inoue had a vision of himself that included speed.

Wednesday’s games

Dragons 5, Carp 2: At Nagoya Dome,  Dragons right-hander Koji Fukutani retired the first nine batters before Ryoma Nishikawa singled in two with one out and the bases loaded.

Second-chance draft acquisition Seiya Hosoya singled and scored in the bottom of the fourth on Ryuku Tsuchida sac fly off Atsushi Endo (1-1).

Zoilo Almonte, back in Japan for the first time since he played for the Dragons from 2018 to 2020, homered to lead off the Dragons’ sixth to tie it. Hosoya doubled and scored on a Takumi Kinoshita single, and new import Aristedes Aquino made it 5-2 with a two-run pinch-hit home run. Raidel Martinez earned his third save.

Dragons-Carp highlights

Tigers 2, Giants 1, 10-innings: At Tokyo Dome, rookie right-hander Shoki Murakami retired all 21 batters he faced, but failed to earn his first win as a pro. He was pulled for a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning, and his replacement, Daichi Ishii surrendered the lead on Kazuma Okamoto’s first home run.

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Japan and the save

We tend to think of Major League Baseball and even Nippon Professional Baseball to some degree as being organized, but sometimes the state of disorganization and simple failure to check work is astounding. And so it was with NPB’s save rule.

This is a story of how teams change roles and tactics to align with changes in scoring rules. How the game is scored doesn’t actually change the game, but teams responses to the new scoring rules does impact how the game is played.

It’s also a story of how I cost a player the NPB saves record in 2007, but I’ll get to that later.

Continue reading Japan and the save