Tag Archives: Ayumu Ishikawa

NPB games, news of Sept. 16, 2019

Well-prepared Marines grind down Lions

After a pair of embarrassing extra-inning walk-off losses due to poor play in their outfield, the Lotte Marines on Monday simply looked better prepared than the Seibu Lions as they salvaged the finale of their series at MetLife Dome with a 9-3 win.

Riding a high after taking over the Pacific League lead the day before and seeing their magic number to clinch a second-straight pennant drop to nine, the Lions simply could not keep up.

Ayumu Ishikawa (7-5), whose career went downhill after he was selected for Japan’s team to the 2017 World Baseball Classic, barely outpitched Lions starter Keisuke Honda, but with his teammates putting on a clinic in disciplined hitting, that’s all he needed to win his third-straight start.

Ishikawa allowed three runs over seven innings on the road against Japan’s No. 1 offense. He gave up eight hits and issued three walks while striking out seven.

The Lions opened the scoring in the second on back-to-back no-out singles by Takeya Nakamura and Shuta Tonosaki on a pair of bad pitches, and a two-run Hotaka Yamakawa double off a 0-1 fastball that was low and straight. But the right-hander got the next three Lions to chase out of the zone.

Ishikawa repeated the feat in the fourth, with three-straight strikeouts after Tonosaki led off with a double.

Keisuke Honda (6-6) gave the Lions a solid start, holding the visitors scoreless through four innings. With one out in the fifth, he hung a first-pitch slider and light-hitting Yudai Fujioka pulled it out to right for his second home run of the season.

The Marines had been having good at-bats against Honda and crushed him in the sixth by swinging at every pitch he threw in the strike zone.

Leonys Martin hammered a hanging 1-0 changeup for a leadoff single. Honda hung a first-pitch slider to Seiya Inoue who doubled to left. Katsuya Kakunaka loaded the bases with a walk in a super at-bat in which he laid off or spoiled tough pitches. Ikuhiro Kiyota, who saw 14 pitches in his first two at-bats against Honda, put a nice compact swing on an inside 1-1 fastball and smashed it past third to tie the game.

Tatsuhiro Tamura then put the visitors in front with a good swing on a first-pitch low-and-away slider to drive in two. Honda was yanked, but lefty Shogo Noda allowed both inherited runners to score and was charged with another.

Despite their defeat, the Hawks’ loss in Hokkaido dropped the Lions’ magic number to eight. The Lions have eight games remaining, the Hawks nine. This game marked the last time any of the PL’s top three teams will play each other during the regular season.

Game highlights are HERE.

Fighters 7, Hawks 2, 8 innings, rain

At Asahikawa, Hokkaido, Chihiro Kaneko (7-7) allowed a run through six innings, while Nippon Ham scored three off SoftBank starter Ariel Miranda (7-5) in 3-1/3 innings.

Game highlights are HERE.

Eagles 8, Buffaloes 2

At Kyocera Dome, Rakuten got to Andrew Albers (2-5) for four runs, three in the fifth inning, while Takayuki Kishi (7-7) worked seven innings to get the win against Orix. The victory kept the Eagles one game back of Lotte in the race for the PL’s final playoff spot.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

Tigers 2, Giants 1

At Tokyo Dome, Onelki Garcia (3-8) allowed a run over 5-1/3 innings and four relievers completed a five-hitter as Hanshin outlasted Yomiuri. Kyuji Fujikawa walked a batter in the ninth but converted his 12th straight save opportunity.

My recent interview with Fujikawa is HERE.

After the game, Tigers skipper Akihiro Yano said, “Strong relief pitching is our trademark, but we sure could use an insurance run sometimes.”

The Giants’ magic number to clinch the pennant dropped to four thanks to the DeNA BayStars’ loss in Nagoya.

Game highlights are HERE.

Dragons 8, BayStars 1

At Nagoya Dome, diminutive 19-year-old right-hander Takumi Yamamoto (3-3) threw seven scoreless innings as Chunichi clobbered DeNA in a bullpen day for the BayStars.

Swallows 6, Carp 4

At Mazda Stadium, 19-year-old Munetaka Murakami homered twice, bringing his record total for a teenager in Japan to 35 as Yakult hit four home runs in a win over Hiroshima’s best pitcher, Daichi Osera (11-9), who gave up five runs, four earned, over six innings.