There was plenty of drama in Japan Thursday. One catcher joked about his pitcher being more afraid of him than of the opposing hitters, while another got a strange vote of confidence from his skipper, while Chunichi is having more troubles than it looks like.
It’s also Roki eve in Japan, and if that’s not good enough for you, he’ll be matched up against diabolically difficult lefty Takayuki Kato, while the lefties with my two favorite fastballs in Japan, Keiji Takahashi and Shota Imanaga, will both be starting as will Masahiro Tanaka and Hanshin’s Koyo Aoyagi.
Forgot to mention this on Tuesday, when a reader, who I believe said his name was Ryan, who was wearing a Takumi Kuriyama Seibu Lions shirt, was kind enough to stop the Japan Times’ Jason Coskrey and I outside Tokyo Dome that afternoon and say hi. Thanks again for the kind words of support! And if your name isn’t Ryan, that’s my bad.
Speaking of bad, the Chunichi Dragons may not be last in the Central League, but their Western League farm team has NPB’s worst record. On Thursday, Dragons broke the franchise’s record for minor league losses set last year with their 14th straight Thursday and are now two shy of the WL record of 16 straight defeats set by Hiroshima’s farm club in 1961.
Swallows 3, Dragons 2, 11 innings: At Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Yuhei “Mucho” Nakamura, who caught Japan’s WBC final win over the United States, came off the bench for defense in the 10th inning, and singled in the winning run.
The Swallows scored twice in the first and both runs could easily have been unearned. Dragons shortstop Ryuku Tsuchida‘s throw skipped past first, allowing rookie Ryusei Takeoka to reach on an infield single. A walk and a Jose Osuna double made it 1-0 with two outs, and left fielder Aristides Aquino‘s third misplay of the series, allowed Domingo Santana to score from first.Continue reading NPB news: April 20, 2023