Tag Archives: Bryan Rodriguez

NPB wrap 9-10-21

The JBU, the Japanese Baseball Universe, on Friday occupied a space in time between the Moody Blues and the X-Men, with a day of future past in Chiba, where Japan’s future met its past in a pitchers’ duel between Roki Sasaki and Masahiro Tanaka that didn’t disappoint.

Marines 3, Eagles 2

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, the pitchers’ duel between Lotte rookie rocket Roki Sasaki and Rakuten’s former Yankee Masahiro Tanaka didn’t disappoint and neither did another former Yankee, Brandon Laird, who opened the scoring with his 21st home run and closed the scoreline with his 22nd, a two-out walk-off shot against reliever Tomohito Sakai (3-2).

Laird did his sushi thing after feasting on a first-pitch fastball with one out in the second that came in straight and high and went out the same way for a 1-0 Lotte lead. Yudai Fujioka opened the third with a single off a good 0-1 slider from Tanaka and scored on a sacrifice and a one-out Takashi Ogino single. Ogino, whose ninth-inning homer lifted Lotte into a 2-2 tie with Orix on Thursday, fouled off two two-strike pitches before lining a forkball that Tanaka left up in the zone.

Sasaki retired the first 12 Eagles before getting a run on four pitches. Eigoro Mogi hammered Sasaki’s first pitch, a slider above the letters for a double. Three pitches and two ground balls behind the runner and it was a 2-1 game.

Career minor league infielder Tsuyoshi Yamasaki, whose been playing second while cleanup hitter and captain Hideto Asamura is benched due to “poor form” hammered a 151-kph Sasaki left up and drove it out to center for his first home run in two years.

Both starters went eight innings. Sasaki’s command was often not as sharp, but he missed in the zone with better stuff than Tanaka did and touched 158 kph (98.2 mph) — his highest figure on the top team.

Sasaki allowed two hits and struck out nine without allowing a walk and needed just 99 pitches to go eight. Although he got away with a couple of bad mistakes in the first inning, he settled in with that nice easy throwing motion of his, challenging hitters in the zone with his slider, heater and forkball.

Tanaka threw more of his fastball than we’ve seen and threw some really good ones, and though both of the runs scored occurred on mistakes, he didn’t make a ton of them. He struck out seven, walked one and allowed four hits in his 120-pitch outing.

Buffaloes 7, Lions 1

At MetLife Dome, Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (13-5, 1.54) struck out nine while allowing two walks and two hits over six scoreless innings, while Takahiro Okada homered to lead off the second with his 11th home run and singled the Buffaloes’ run in the third off Wataru Matsumoto (7-7, 3.72). Yamamoto’s winning decision was his 10th straight.

Kotaro Kurebayashi’s triple made it 3-0 in the fourth. Yutaro Sugimoto opened the fifth with his 25th home run, tying him with Yuki Yanagita and Leonys Martin for the league lead, while rookie Ryoto Kita capped the three-run inning with a two-run single.

Glenn Sparkman worked two innings, surrendering Shuta Tonosaki’s fifth homer in the seventh before retiring six straight. Tyler Higgins followed suit with a 1-2-3 ninth as Orix kept pace with Lotte.

Fighters 4, Hawks 4

At Sapporo Dome, SoftBank’s Nick Martinez pitched out of a couple of tight spots to go six scoreless innings against his former club. The Hawks opened the scoring in the fourth after side-arm lefty Ryusei Kawano hit Yuki Yanagita and Ryoya Kurihara. Alfredo Despaigne’s seeing-eye single brought one run home and another scored on a grounder by Richard Sunagawa, who reached on an error. Masaki Mimori singled and scored in the fifth on a booming double by Yanagita.

With Martinez watching from the bench, the Hawks bullpen gave up four runs in the seventh. Yugo Bando left with two outs and one on after a walk and a Ryusei Sato RBI double on a good 1-2 pitch. Back-to-back singles off two different relievers and a walk loaded the bases and made it a one-run game. The Hawks’ fourth reliever of the inning, rookie Yuto Furuya, gave up a two-run single to Daiki Asama.

Bryan Rodriguez was called on to save the game but hit Sunagawa and issued a walk to start the ninth. Mimori’s two-out single tied it. Yanagita walked to load the bases but Rodriguez averted disaster by striking out Kurihara.

Yuito Mori, in his second game back from injury, worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning to lock down the tie.

Tigers 4, Carp 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki failed to match the NPB record of homering in seven straight games, but Hanshin starter Yuki Nishi (5-9, 3.48) allowed a run over five innings, and Jerry Sands, batting for him in the sixth, singled in the go-ahead run, helping him become the 140th pitcher to reach 100 career wins, 74 of which came with Orix.

Koji Chikamoto doubled to open the game off Daichi Osera (6-5, 3.26) and scored. The Carp held Nishi’s feet to the fire in the home half, loading the bases with one out for red-hot Shogo Sakakura, but had to settle for a sacrifice fly and a tie game. In the fifth, Nishi walked Suzuki intentionally to load the bases with two out and Sakakura flied out.

Osera, who drew a leadoff walk in the fifth and spent the entire inning on base, allowed the Tigers to load the bases with one out in the sixth. Sands made it 2-1, and Takumu Nakano singled to make it 3-1.

An eighth-inning Chikamoto RBI single completed the scoring, and the fifth Tigers reliever, Robert Suarez, recorded his CL-leading 30th save.

Dragons 10, Giants 1

At Tokyo Dome, Chunichi’s Yota Kyoda hit the first pitch of the game from Yuki Takahashi (10-4, 3.01) for a home run and made it 5-1 in the fifth with his third home run of the season.

Nobumasa Fukuda, making his first start in forever, led off the second with his sixth home run, and catcher Takuya Kinoshita singled in a run to cap the two-run inning. Kinoshita brought home Fukuda with a sixth-inning sac fly and drove in two in the eighth with his ninth home run.

Yudai Ono (6-8, 2.99) allowed a run over seven innings to win his third straight start.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Saturday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Hawks: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Takayuki Kato (3-6, 3.88) vs Shuta Ishikawa (5-8, 3.16)

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Tatsuya Imai (6-5, 3.72) vs Cesar Vargas (1-0, 9.64)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Kazuya Ojima (6-3, 4.92) vs Takayuki Kishi (7-7, 3.49)

Giants vs Dragons: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Cristopher Crisostomo Mercedes (7-1, 2.38) vs Yuya Yanagi (8-5, 2.07)

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

Cy Sneed (2-2, 4.50) vs Masaya Kyoyama (2-4, 4.35)

Carp vs Tigers: Mazda Stadium 1:30 pm, 0:30 am EDT

Koya Takahashi (3-4, 5.25) vs Takumi Akiyama (9-5, 2.92)

Active roster moves 9/10/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/20

Central League


GiantsP59Toyoki Tanaka
TigersP48Yukiya Saito
TigersIF4Takahiro Kumagai
DragonsP28Hiroto Mori


TigersP19Shintaro Fujinami
TigersIF8Teruaki Sato
DragonsP41Akiyoshi Katsuno
DragonsP43Takuya Mitsuma
BayStarsP20Yuya Sakamoto

Pacific League


HawksP17Sho Iwasaki
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
FightersP57Toshihiro Sugiura
FightersOF12Go Matsumoto


MarinesP12Ayumu Ishikawa
FightersP31Toru Murata
FightersOF69Hokuto Miyata

NPB wrap 5-29-21

Interleague Day 5 – Respect for the elderly

Sapporo Dome held a respect for the elderly promotion on Saturday giving up four hits to players 40 and over, and 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, Nippon Professional Basesball’s oldest active player, cashed in with three singles and a double, two RBIs. He left after his eighth-inning leadoff single put the go-ahead runner on ahead of Dayan Viciedo, who broke the tie with an RBI double.

So show Kosuke some respect. He’s earned it.

On Sunday, we’ll get to see if the Yomiuri Giants have any similar promotions planned for when they face 40-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada in Fukuoka. The Giants have now lost 11 straight official games to the Hawks, including all eight from the 2019 and 2020 Japan Series.

The losing streak started with a loss to Wada at Tokyo Dome on June 23, 2019, in the finale of a three-game series in which the Giants won the middle game. Wada started and won Game 4 of the 2019 series and started Game 4 last autumn, but left after allowing a run over two innings in SoftBank’s 4-1 clincher in Fukuoka. He’s 6-3 against them over his career. His last loss to them was on May 28, 2009.

Dragons 7, Fighters 4

At Sapporo Dome, the Fighters came back to tie it 4-4 on a two-out two-run Wang Po-jung pinch double, but Bryan Rodriguez couldn’t hold the line in the eighth, after Fukudome’s leadoff single, he surrendered an RBI double to Dayan Viciedo. Takuya Kinoshita, who put Chunichi ahead 3-2 in the fifth with his sixth home run, was intentionally walked and scored on Daiki Mitsumata’s two-run double.

Drew VerHagen started for Nippon Ham and allowed four runs over six-plus innings on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.

Eagles 1 BayStars 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Masahiro Tanaka was extremely sharp over eight innings, but one of his few mistakes cost him, when he missed down the pipe to Tyler Austin, who teed off on it to blast his eighth home run and give DeNA a 1-0, sixth-inning lead. Tanaka allowed five hits and hit a batter while striking out six. 

Lefty Haruhiro Hamaguchi twice pitched out of tight spots, two on with no outs in the first and a no-out bases-loaded can of worms in the fourth to allow a run over six-plus innings. He left after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, a runner the bullpen allowed to score.

Eagles closer Yuki Matsui pitched out of a no-out bases-loaded jam in the ninth, while former DeNA closer pitched a scoreless ninth against the bottom of the Eagles order to seal the tie.

Marines 7, Carp 3

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Adeiny Hechavarria went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs, while Lotte leadoff man Takashi Ogino homered, walked twice, doubled and singled as the Marines overran Hiroshima.

Manabu Mima (3-2) allowed two runs over six innings, while Frank Herrmann surrendered another in the seventh, but the last seven Carp hitters bit the dust, while Hechavarria made mincemeat of the visitors’ bullpen.

Swallows 7, Buffaloes 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa (5-1) allowed three runs over seven innings – on a three-run seventh-inning Steven Moya pinch-hit home run, Jose Osuna doubled, singled, homered and drove in three runs, and Scott McGough struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save. Domingo Santana also homered and singled for the Swallows.

Hawks 8, Giants 3

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Yuya Hasegawa delivered a rare performance in a rare start for SoftBank. He hit two of the Hawks’ five home runs, one that tied the game 2-2 in the second and a three-run shot that broke the game open and chased Angel Sanchez (4-3) in the fifth inning. Hasegawa also made a terrific catch in left on a foul ball over the railing to end the Giants’ fifth with a man on.

Nick Martinez (4-1) allowed three runs over seven innings, in which he struck out 10 and walked one. He gave up Zelous Wheeler’s seventh home run, a two-run shot in the first, and allowed another run on four straight one-out singles in the sixth.

Yuki Yangita hit his 12th homer to start the Hawks’ second-inning fightback, while catcher Takuya Kai broke the 2-2 tie with a two-run fourth-inning home run, his fifth, and Nobuhiro Matsuda completed the carnage in the sixth with a solo shot that was his sixth of the season.

Lions 1, tigers 0

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Hotaka Yamakawa hit his fifth home run and Tatsuya Imai (3-2) outdueled rookie Masashi Ito (3-2). Imai, whose professional existence has been plagued by walks, struck out six without a walk, while allowing three hits over 5-1/3 innings, when he left the game after a batted ball struck him on the left hand.

Tetsu Miyagawa retired the first three batters he faced before Hanshin loaded the bases in the seventh on a single and two two-out walks. Rookie Teruaki Sato, who blasted three home runs the night before, went down swinging for the second out, and veteran Yoshio Itoi struck out pinch-hitting to end the inning.

A night after Reed Garrett blew a two-run ninth-inning lead, Kaima Taira came into hold the lead in the ninth. After a leadoff walk and a stolen base, Taira struck out Sato and retired Mel Rojas Jr. on a fly out against the foul netting, that Tigers manager Akihiro Yano argued long after the video replay upheld the ruling.

Starting pitchers


Fighters vs Dragons: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Robbie Erlin (1-0, 3.60) vs Koji Fukutani (2-4, 3.94)

Eagles vs BayStars: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Takahisa Hayakawa (6-2, 3.28) vs Shota Imanaga (0-1, 12.46)

Lions vs Tigers: MetLife Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Katsunori Hirai (3-2, 4.37) vs Shoki Murakami (-)

Marines vs Carp: Zozo Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kazuya Ojima (1-2, 4.81) vs Dovydas Neverauskas (-)

Buffaloes vs Swallows: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Hirotoshi Masui (1-4, 4.94) vs Albert Suarez (2-2, 3.89)

Hawks vs Giants: PayPay Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Tsuyoshi Wada (3-2, 4.53) vs Shosei Togo (4-2, 3.94)

Active roster moves 5/29/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/8

Central League


CarpP65Shogo Tamamura
SwallowsP68Kohei Miyadai


CarpP41Takuya Yasaki
SwallowsP15Rick van den Hurk

Pacific League


LionsP34Yasuo Sano
LionsC37Sena Tsuge
LionsOF53Aito Takeda
LionsOF58Masato Kumashiro
EaglesP53Hosei Takata


LionsC78Masato Saito
LionsIF31Ryusei Sato
LionsOF46Shohei Suzuki
EaglesP64Hiroyuki Fukuyama
BuffaloesP21Daichi Takeyasu