Tag Archives: Cody Ponce

NPB news: Sept. 26, 2023

Yomiuri’s Iori Yamasaki outpitched Central League wins leader Katsuki Azuma in Tuesday’s most pivotal game, while Hiroki Tokoda had a game Shohei Ohtani would be proud of, and Cody Ponce and Chusei Mannami made things miserable for the ill-fated Marines, who have now deactivated 11 players over the last five days due to COVID.

Elsewhere, Hirokazu Ibata has reportedly received a formal offer to manage Japan’s national team, for November’s Asia Pro Championship and the next Premier 12, in November 2024. It has not been decided whether Ibata will be engaged through the 2026 World Baseball Classic, which is the first sign that his hiring makes any sense.

Tuesday’s games

Deniers 1, Giants 0: At Yokohama Stadium, Azuma (16-2) was the second-best starting pitcher, but won a pitchers’ duel with Yomiuri’s Iori Yamasaki (9-5), and J.B. Wendelken got his first save in Japan as DeNA put the Giants’ playoff hopes on the rocks.

The Giants trail third-place DeNA by four games with four left to play, while DeNA has five. Should Yomiuri finish fourth again this year, it will mark the second time in franchise history that they have finished fourth or worse in consecutive seasons. The last time it happened, Tatsunori Hara finished fourth when he started his second term as Giants skipper in 2006 after Tsuneo Horiuchi was cast out following his fifth-place 2005 campaign.

Yamasaki retired the first six batters he faced and then surrendered a run in the third on Yudai Yamamoto’s seeing-eye grounder and a lucky bounce past third base for a two-out RBI double from former Giant Taisei Ota.

Azuma struck out Yamasaki looking to leave the bases loaded in the second, and stranded two more in the third by retiring NPB home run leader Kazuma Okamoto and power-hitting catcher Takumi Oshiro and 12 of the next 13 after that, surrendering only a leadoff single to Yamasaki in the sixth.

Wendelken came in to face the heart of the Giants lineup in the ninth but issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to Okamoto. Oshiro, whose 16 homers are third on the Giants, sacrificed the pinch-runner to second, only for Wendelken to strike out Yuto Akihiro – pinch-hitting for Lewis Brinson – and Yoshihiro Maru, who had gotten ahead in the count 3-0.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 26, 2023

NPB news: Sept. 11, 2022

The Yakult Swallows went from being a fish food feast to creating famine in Yokohama, while the Pacific League lead changed again and another pitcher may be headed to the next “Yuki Yanagita got me too” support group, while Adam Walker had a big game, and Hiroto Kobukata made sure the PL playoff is not exclusively about three teams.

Before we get into it, one of my favorite unbelievable Yanagita homers, from the May 26, 2021, interleague game against the Giants.

Let’s get to the games:

Swallows 1, BayStars 0: At Yokohama Stadium, Yasuhiro Ogawa (7-6) went seven innings, allowing five hits but no walks while striking out four and singling in the game’s only run in the fifth inning off Shinichi Onuki (10-7). This game was not that close as Yakult stranded 10 runners. Noboru Shimizu and Scott McGough each allowed a hit in a scoreless inning with McGough earning his 36th save.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 11, 2022