There were six games and a trade on Wednesday, which gave the Pacific League has a new league leader and a 42-year-old winner, while Shugo Maki arrested DeNA’s slide with a two-homer game.
Giants trade for pitching
In a story that could also be titled “trading in irony,” the Yomiuri Giants have shipped 26-year-old shortstop Taishi Hiraoka to the Orix Buffaloes for 29-year-old right-hander Kohei “formerly known as ‘K'” Suzuki. The Giants’ 4.31 ERA is Japan’s worst, and manager Tatsunori Hara has been vocal about his inexperienced relievers getting roasted the past few weeks.
The irony is that Hiraoka, acquired as cover for Hayato Sakamoto on March 1, 2021, cost the Giants a reliever they’d given up on, then 25-year-old Kazuto Taguchi. Since then, the lefty has turned his career around with the Yakult Swallows, where he has stepped into the closer’s role this season following the departure of Scott McGough to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Since that trade, Hiraoka has slashed .190/.263/.348 in 207 plate appearances over 115 games, while Taguchi has pitched in 93 games. The lefty’s 6-11. After going 5-9 in 100-2/3 innings in his first season at Jingu, Taguchi is 1-2 with 13 saves and 20 holds, striking out 48 in 49-2/3 innings while walking 12 and allowing one home run.
Marines 7, Buffaloes 3: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Kazuya Ojima (4-1) allowed two runs over eight innings for his sixth straight quality start as Lotte edged into first place ahead of Orix on winning-percentage points.
Kenta Chatani and Hisanori Yasuda put Lotte on the board with back-to-back fourth-inning RBI singles. Chatani’s RBI double made it 3-0 in the fifth against Daiki Tajima (4-3). Marwin Gonzalez broke up Ojima’s shutout bid in the seventh with his seventh home run, a two-run shot.
Hisanori Yasuda doubles in his second run of the game in Lotte’s three-run fifth.Continue reading NPB news: May 17, 2023