Tag Archives: Dayan Viciedo

NPB Wrap 4-21-21

Okamoto lightning strikes twice

Giants 3, Tigers 2

At Tokyo Dome, a terrific game basically came down to two good pitches that got murdered.

Kazuma Okamoto homered twice on a pair of low first-pitch two-seamers from side-armer Koyo Aoyagi (2-1) and assisted in the go-ahead run as the Yomiuri Giants overcame two first-inning homers from the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers to snap the visitors’ eight-game winning streak.

Seishu Hatake (2-1), who got beat up in his April 1 start against Hanshin, looked like going that route again, surrendering a leadoff homer to Koji Chikamoto, and a one-out shot to Jefry Marte, his fourth in three games and sixth of the season.

Koyo Aoyagi got out of the first by throwing out Takayuki Kajitani trying to steal on a 1-2 pitch to Okamoto. The Giants right fielder made up for it by saving a run by tracking down a drive into the gap with one out and a man on in the top of the second. Okamoto then led off the second, golfing Aoyagi’s first pitch for his second homer of the season.

The Tigers battery must have been thinking, “There’s no way he hits that pitch again,” because Aoyagi started Okamoto with the same pitch with one out in the fourth and got the same result: a low two-seamer that ended up as a souvenir.

The Tigers pitcher allowed infield singles in the sixth, but showed he’s been doing his PFP, pitchers fielding practice, by fielding a squibber in front of the mound and nailing Okamoto at home with a glove toss.

With two outs and two on, however, he hung a pitch to Naoki Yoshikawa. The Giants second baseman, who’d made a sparkling play to end the Tigers’ sixth, singled to left to put Yomiuri in front.

Kota Nakagawa worked the eighth for the Giants and Thyago Vieira worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his first save in Japan and his first since Aug. 4, 2018, when he saved a 2-1 Chicago White Sox win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

Giants-Tigers highlights

Dragons 7, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Chunichi’s Akiyoshi Katsuno threw six no-hit innings before surrendering Tyler Austin’s leadoff homer in the seventh. Katsuno improved to 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two games – against DeNA. Including his two starts against the Giants, the right-hander is 2-1 with a 4.19 ERA.

Dragons third baseman Shuhei Takahashi robbed Austin of a hit to end the BayStars’ first by protecting his face with his glove and catching a line drive at the same time. Takahashi then made a diving stop to his left to rob Keita Sano of a second-inning leadoff single. When Katsuno pitches against the BayStars, that stuff happens.

Toshifumi Abe’s three-run fourth-inning home run capped a five-run inning off Taisei Irie (0-4). The BayStars’ top signing from last year’s draft coughed up five runs over four innings. With one out and two in the inning, Dayan Viciedo broke the ice with an RBI single under the glove of third baseman Toshiro Miyazaki. Takahashi hit a well-place fly for a double before Abe laid into a high straight fastball from the rookie.

Neftali Soto followed Austin’s homer with a double, but was picked off second by 20-year-old rookie Dragons catcher Kota Ishibashi.

Edwin Escobar made his season debut for the BayStars, allowing a run in the eighth on a hit batsman and Ryosuke Hirata triple.

The BayStars have lost their last nine decisions.

Carp 1, Swallows 1

At Mazda Stadium, Yakult starter Albert Suarez struck out seven and scattered seven hits, a walk and a hit batsman, allowing a run over six innings. He’s now allowed two runs over his last 18 innings. He had a little help from Seiya Suzuki. The Carp cleanup hitter doubled off the wall with two outs in the fourth, but was caught trying to sneak home from third when Hisayoshi Chono beat out an infield single.

Hiroshima’s Hiroki Tokoda was better, only facing one tough spot, but surrendering the go-ahead run on a two-out Norichika Aoki single. The Carp tied it on Tsubasa Aizawa’s one-out bases-loaded sac fly in the home half. Carp rookie closer Ryoji Kuribayashi closed it out with his third straight two-strikeout 1-2-3 ninth.

Hawks 4, Eagles 1

At PayPay Dome, 40-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada (2-1) put on a pitching clinic through five innings before his command faltered in the sixth. Yurisbel Gracial had three singles and a pair of RBIs for the Pacific League champs.

Takahiro Norimoto did not look that bad but the Hawks hitters generally get good swings and that was the case on Wednesday. He did miss to Gracial with a breaking ball up in the zone that resulted in an RBI single to open the Hawks’ three-run third.

Wada began missing up in the sixth, and Takero Okajima hit a high pitch out to make it a 3-1 game. A pair of one-out singles off high pitches and the Hawks brought in a lefty and a righty to get out of the inning. Sho Iwasaki, Livan Moinelo and Yuito Mori finished up for SoftBank with Mori earning his sixth save.

Buffaloes 4, Lions 2

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-2) worked eight innings without his best stuff, while his Orix teammates put some superb swings on pitches from Seibu’sTatsuya Imai (1-2).

Lions’ No. 2 hitter Sosuke Genda owned Yamamoto in his first three at-bats with three solid singles, and after a Tomoya Mori sixth-inning double, the Buffaloes brought the infield in to protect their 1-0 lead. Takeya Nakamura, who wasn’t hitting Yamamoto bounced a ball past Yuma Mune at third and into left for a two-run single.

Masataka Yoshida opened the scoring for the Buffaloes with his second long homer in two days, and Adam Jones tied it 2-2 with a sixth-inning RBI double with a sweet swing on a fastball away while Mune’s two-run seventh-inning homer on a big curve completed the scoring.

Tyler Higgins bounced back from a four-walk nightmare blown save on Sunday to work a 1-2-3 ninth and earn his second save.

Marines 6, Fighters 5

At Zozo Marine Stadium, Hiromi Oka hit a two-out, two-run ninth inning homer to lift Lotte to a walk-off win over his former team, Nippon Ham, which blew a five-run lead after six innings.

Fighters’ top draft signing Hiromi Ito held the Marines to two singles and a walk over the first six innings while striking out seven. He left with a 5-3 lead after allowing three runs in the seventh. Takashi Ogino doubled and scored on a sac fly in the eighth.

Closer Toshihiro Sugiura (0-1) struck out the first batter he faced in the ninth before walking Yudai Fujioka on four pitches. With two outs, Oka blasted a 1-0 fastball out to center to end it.

The Fighters’ Kensuke Kondo appears to be going for a home run cycle. He hit his first of the year, a solo shot on Sunday, a two-run blast on Tuesday. His three-run homer off lefty Kazuya Ojima made it 4-0 in the fifth.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Daiki Iwashita (2-1, 2.12) vs Takahide Ikeda (1-2, 4.32)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hirotoshi Masui (1-2, 2.20) vs Sho Ito (0-0, 1.69)

Central League

Giants vs Tigers: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Yuki Takahashi (3-0, 0.41) vs Takumi Akiyama (2-1, 1.80)

BayStars vs Dragons: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (0-3, 5.40) vs Koji Fukutani (0-1, 5.79)

Carp vs Swallows: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Atsushi Endoh (0-0, 4.91) vs Yuto Kanakubo (1-0, 2.53)

Active roster moves 4/21/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/1

Central League

Activated

None

Dectivated

CarpOF59Minoru Omori

Pacific League

Activated

FightersP41Bryan Rodriguez

Dectivated

MarinesP18Kota Futaki
FightersP47Kenya Suzuki

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NPB Wrap 4-8-21

I wrote this after learning that Japan is working on a plan to vaccinate Olympic athletes ahead of its most vulnerable senior citizens, which should come as a surprise to no one.

Japan loses its battle against the coronavirus to the Olympics.

and now back to baseball.

Yamamoto rolls over Marines

Buffaloes 5, Marines 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, age met youth on Thursday as 22-year-old ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (2-1) allowed a run over seven innings to earn the win for the Orix Buffaloes. Orix’s fourth pitcher, 37-yaer-old former Diamondback and Mariner Yoshihisa Hirano needed six pitches to end a ninth-inning bases-loaded jam and earn his first save in Japan since he racked up 29 in 2017 for the Buffaloes.

Lefty Fumiya Motomae (1-1) started for the Marines and allowed a run on two no-out singles in the first and a groundout. Fumiya Sugimoto hit his first homer, with red-hot Yuma Tongu on base in the second for the visitors. After Brandon Laird’s second homer, leading off the second, Tongu delivered a two-run double with no outs in the third that completed the scoring early.

Eagles 4, Lions 0

At MetLife Dome, Ryota Takinaka (1-0), the Rakuten Eagles’ sixth starter, bounced back from allowing 10 runs in his season debut by going seven innings striking out five and not allowing a runner through five as the Pacific League leaders swept the Lions in their yard.

Lions right-hander Towa Uema (0-1), a seventh-round pick in 2019, retired the first four batters he faced in his pro debut before giving up Eigoro Mogi’s fourth home run with one out in the second. He walked a pair of batters in a scoreless fifth before the Eagles knocked him out in the sixth. Ryosuke Tatsumi opened with his fourth homer.

Uema left with one out and two on after a jam shot by Hideto Asamura, and Mogi doubled over rookie left fielder Gakuto Wakabayashi on the third pitch from Bangkok-born Yasuo Sano to drive in two.

Tanaka throwing

Masahiro Tanaka, whose season debut has been delayed by a calf-muscle injury, threw 33 pitches in the MetLife Dome bullpen and appeared to be ready to return to action within a week.

Hawks 4, Fighters 2

At Sapporo Dome, Akira Nakamura’s two-run eight-inning single capped a three-run Hawks rally against veteran lefty Naoki Miyanishi (0-1 ) to complete a three-game sweep. It was Nippon Ham’s seventh straight loss.

Second-year Fighters lefty Ryusei Kawano allowed a run over five innings, while Hawks starter Shota Takeda allowed two runs on three walks and nine hits, including two RBI singles by Ryunosuke Higuchi over 5-1/3 innings. Takeda couldn’t have been helped by getting smacked by the barrel of a broken bat when he fielded a comebacker between Taishi Ota’s leadoff triple and Higuchi’s first single.

The Fighters, who stranded 11 runners through six innings, stranded three more in the seventh. Yuki Yanagita singled to open the eighth off Miyanishi, who then dropped a sharp comebacker for an infield single. After a walk loaded the bases, Alfredo Despaigne tied it with a sac fly, and Nakamura hit a flair over the drawn-in infield to put the Hawks in charge.

LIvan Moinelo, making his second appearance of the season, struck out two of the three batters he faced to raise his total to five over two innings so far.

Giants 3, Tigers 0

At Koshien Stadium, Yuki Takahashi (2-0) worked seven-plus innings, and lefty Kota Nakagawa kept two inherited runners from scoring and tying the game as Yomiuri salvaged the final game of the series.

Hayato Sakamoto made it 1-0 in the first off Takumi Akiyama (1-1) with his first home run. Fourth-inning one-out singles by Takumi Oshiro and Shinnosuke Shigenobu and a fumble by left fielder Jerry Sands set Ginjiro Sumitani up for a sac fly that made it 2-0.

Shigenobu homered in the top of the ninth and Rubby De La Rosa worked around a Jefry Marte leadoff single in the bottom of the inning with three strikeouts to notch his third save.

Akiyama struck out 10 over six innings. He gave up six hits and two walks.

Swallows 11, Carp 7

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, 19-year-old rookie Yasunobu Okugawa (1-1) allowed five runs in five innings and weathered a 54-minute rain delay to earn his first pro win as Yakult twice came from behind to beat Hiroshima.

Each team scored four runs in the first inning before the center of Tokyo was given a thunder-and-lightning show. After a scoreless second Seiya Suzuki hit the first of his two home runs, only for the Swallows to come back for two in the home half against right-hander Yuta Nakamura (0-2), who was charged with six runs over three innings.

Swallows leadoff man Kotaro Yamasaki went 4-for-5, reached on an error, homered and doubled to power the hosts’ offense, while Naomichi Nishiura drove in three runs on three RBI singles.

Okugawa, whom the Swallows signed after winning his rights in a three-way first-round draft lottery in 2019 and who only pitched two innings on the first team last season, struck out four without a walk, but gave up 10 hits.

BayStars 5, Dragons 2

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, a ninth-inning error on a hard grounder with one out and the infield in by third baseman Shuhei Takahashi allowed the go-ahead run off Dragons set-up man Daisuke Sobue (0-1) as the BayStars left Nagoya with two wins.

With the game tied 2-2 in the eighth, troubled former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki (1-1) worked recorded his first 1-2-3 inning of the season and earned the win after Sobue was tagged for three unearned runs and Kazuki Mishima recorded his second save in the ninth.

Ryosuke Hirata tripled and scored off BayStars starter Kentaro Taira in the second. Taira left after five innings as the pitcher of record after rookie Shugo Maki took veteran lefty Takahiro Matsuba deep with a man on in the sixth for his third homer. The Dragons, however, tied it straight away against 23-year-old Hiromu Ise, who gave up a Hirata leadoff single and an RBI pinch-hit double to 43-year-old Kosuke Fukudome.

Starting pitchers

Friday is ace day, ostensibly, and tomorrow will bring some interesting matchups. The Pacific League-leading Rakuten Eagles will send their Opening Day starter, Hideaki Wakui (2-0) against the SoftBank Hawks first-game pitcher, Shuta Ishikawa (1-1). The Seibu Lions’ Kona Takahashi (2-0) will go for his third victory in Chiba, and former Orix Buffaloes ace Chihiro Kaneko will start at his old home park for the Nippon Ham Fighters.

Shintaro Fujinami, the Hanshin Tigers’ surprise Opening Day starter will go for his first decision, in Yokohama, while the Hiroshima Carp will send their ace, Daichi Osera (1-0) against Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano, who reportedly hurt his knee on Opening Day.

Pacific League

Eagles vs Hawks: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Hideaki Wakui (2-0, 1.29) vs Shuta Ishikawa (1-1, 4.85)

Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kota Futaki (1-1, 3.75) vs Kona Takahashi (2-0, 2.93)

Buffaloes vs Fighters: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Taisuke Yamaoka (0-2, 6.30) vs Chihiro Kaneko (-)

Central League

BayStars vs Tigers: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (0-1, 7.00) vs Shintaro Fujinami (0-0, 2.45)

Carp vs Giants: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Daichi Osera (1-0, 1.26) vs Tomoyuki Sugano (0-0, 4.50)

Viciedo out

The Chunichi Dragons deactivated cleanup hitter Dayan Viciedo on Thursday to the dreaded “lack of upper-body fitness.” Hiroshima Carp newcomer Kevin Cron is currently beginning rehab since he is suffering from that ailment’s partner in crime, “lack of lower-body fitness.”

The Orix Buffaloes have deactivated Steven Moya after he fouled a pitch off his right foot in Friday’s game against the Marines.

Active roster moves 4/8/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 4/18

Central League

Activated

DragonsIF55Nobumasa Fukuda
BayStarsP59Kentaro Taira
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Dectivated

DragonsIF66Dayan Viciedo
BayStarsP94Takamasa Kasai
SwallowsIF60Ryusei Takeoka

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP66Yuki Matsumoto
LionsP64Towa Uema
LionsOF53Aito Takeda
FightersP29Kazutomo Iguchi

Dectivated

LionsIF63Ryusei Tsunashima
BuffaloesOF1Steven Moya