The kids, or at least Japan’s two biggest young stars, were alright Friday, when the Yakult Swallows and DeNA BayStars began their battle for Central League supremacy, while the third-place Orix Buffaloes and second-place Seibu Lions slugged began slugging it out.
Shall we get to it?
Marines 2, Eagles 0: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Roki Sasaki (8-3) struck out eight over seven innings while walking two a week after the Eagles lit him up in Sendai. Takashi Ogino homered off Takayuki Kishi (7-8) homered in the third, and Hisanori Yasuda doubled in Seiya Inoue with an eighth-inning insurance run on his fourth hit, off Tomohiro Anraku. An unrepentant domestic abuser earned the save for Lotte.
Continue reading NPB news: Aug. 26, 2022
If you pitched in an extreme home run park, and you had the ability to change your approach to go for fly-ball outs or ground-ball outs, most people would assume that the obvious choice would be to keep the ball on the ground in your home park.
I mention this because the Swallows’ pitchers are an extreme ground-ball staff when Yakult is the visiting team, and an extreme fly-ball staff when they are at home, where most of their games are played at home run-friendly Jingu Stadium.
I noticed this first in the 2022 data, but it’s been consistent, and points to an important thing about baseball that is frequently glossed over—that hitters have more influence in how plate appearances turn out than pitchers do.
Continue reading Fly balls & the pitching-batting balance