Tag Archives: Domingo Santana

NPB wrap 9-11-21

Saturday saw no lead changes in Japan, although the Pacific League’s last-place Nippon Ham Fighters did lay an epic beating on the SoftBank Hawks, leading the manager of the run-starved Fighters to say, “If we score runs like that, we absolutely have to win.”

We had a couple of complete-game wins in the PL, with Seibu’s Tatsuya Imai throwing 142 pitches to get out of a ninth-inning bases-loaded jam to secure his second career shutout, while Lotte lefty Kazuya Ojima needed just 109 pitches to finish his first complete-game win.

Tigers 4, Carp 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama (10-5, 2.81) made the most of his 85 mph fastball to retire 19 of the first 20 batters he faced, Jerry Sands reached base three times, Jefry Marte hit a three-run home run, his 17th, Mel Rojas Jr. had a pinch-hit RBI single and Robert Suarez saved his CL-leading 31st game.

Akiyama struck out three and hit a batter while allowing one hit, Ryoma Nishikawa’s 10th home run, over seven innings. Hiroshima starter Koya Takahashi (3-5, 5.26) allowed three runs in five-plus innings seven hits and two walks.

Dragons 5, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, leadoff man Yota Kyoda primed Chunichi’s pump, again. A day after homering twice, he reached base three times and scored on Nobumasa Fukuda’s first-inning RBI double and minor league reserve Masaru Watanabe’s three-run second-inning homer off C.C. Mercedes (7-2, 3.02), who lasted three innings. 

Yuya Yanagi (9-5, 2.12) worked 5-1/3 innings. He left one batter after Seiya Matsubara’s two-run homer, his ninth. The Giants got two runners on with no outs in the seventh, on a single and Hayato Sakamoto walk on a 3-2 pitch in the zone. With two outs, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Matsubara singled.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Raidel Martinez worked around Hayato Sakamoto’s leadoff double and a two-out hit batsman (Nakajima) in the ninth to earn his 17th save. Nakajima appeared to want a word with Martinez after getting hit, but when the pitcher approached the baseline and the ump got between them, they bumped fists and went their separate ways.

Swallows 9, BayStars 2

At Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Domingo Santana and Jose Osuna each homered and drove in three runs, while Cy Sneed (3-2, 4.34) allowed two runs on five hits and no walks over 5-2/3 innings to collect the win. 

DeNA’s Masaya Kyoyama (2-5, 5.08) surrendered four runs in the first. With two on and one out, Munetaka Murakami and Osuna each singled in a run, and Santana capped the rally with a two-run double. Santana made it 5-0 in the third with his 11th homer. With Yakult leading 7-2 in the eighth, Osuna polished off the BayStars with a two-run homer, his 10th.

Fighters 17, Hawks 5

At Sapporo Dome, Nippon Ham left a mark on SoftBank’s Shuta Ishikawa (5-9, 3.36), who threw 54 pitches but didn’t make it out of an 11-run first inning, allowing 10 runs, three earned. One of the two errors was pretty harsh, when a tougher-than-routine catch was dropped to put the leadoff man on. Ishikawa, however, should have gotten out of the inning trailing 4-0 but a double play ball was dropped, and the scoring continued until Wang Po-Jung’s second two-run double.

The Fighters batted around again in a five-run second, causing Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama to say, “With this many runs, it was a game we absolutely had to win.”

Fighters starter Takayuki Kato (4-6, 4.04) allowed five runs over seven innings to earn the win. The Hawks had two solo home runs. Wang and Haruki Nishikawa, who had a three-run first-inning triple, each drove in five runs for the Fighters.

Richard Sunagawa, who made the error that really blew up the first inning, hit his third, and Nobuhiro Matsuda his 12th.

Lions 7, Buffaloes 0

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Tatsuya Imai (7-5, 3.44) struck out 13 in a 142-pitch three-hit shutout in which he walked four.

Orix’s Cesar Vargas (1-0, 11.00), making his first start, surrendered six runs in 4-1/3 innings. The Mexico international worked out of a first-inning bases-loaded jam and didn’t allow a run until Shuta Tonosaki singled with one out in the fourth and scored on Hotaka Yamakawa’s two-out double. Cory Spangenberg made it 3-0 against his former Padres teammate with his sixth home run.

Vargas left with an injury in the fifth after Takeya Nakamura singled in Sosuke Genda with one out. Kohei “K” Suzuki took over and surrendered back-to-back doubles to Tonosaki and Takumi Kuriyama.

Marines 4, Eagles 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte’s Kazuya Ojima (7-3, 4.57) allowed a run on four hits over the distance while striking out eight in his first career complete game as Lotte moved a full game ahead of second-place Lotte.

Rakuten veteran Takayuki Kishi (7-8, 3.62) surrendered a first-inning run on Takashi Ogino’s leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly. Kishi retired 10 straight before Shogo Nakamura and Leonys Martin doubled with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0. After eight straight outs, Kishi surrendered no-out seventh-inning doubles to Martin and Brandon Laird with Lotte’s fourth run scoring on a sacrifice fly.

Hiroaki Shimauchi’s 17th home run accounted for Rakuten’s eighth-inning run.

Sunday’s starting pitchers

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

Kazuaki Tateno (1-1, 4.12) vs Tsuyoshi Wada (5-5, 4.32)

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

Yutaro Watanabe (2-3, 4.44) vs Sachiya Yamasaki (5-8, 3.83)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 4 pm, 3 am EDT

Tokito Kawamura (1-0, 4.95) vs Ryota Ishibashi (0-0, 1.80)

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

Shota Imanaga (3-4, 3.16) vs Joe Gunkel (7-1, 2.52)

Dragons vs Swallows: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Yariel Rodriguez (0-2, 3.90) vs Juri Hara (1-1, 1.98)

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

Hiroki Tokoda (3-2, 3.19) vs Tomoyuki Sugano (3-6, 3.97)

Active roster moves 9/11/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/21

Central League


GiantsOF28Scott Heineman
BayStarsP53Sota Ikeya


GiantsIF10Sho Nakata

Pacific League




HawksP16Nao Higashihama
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki

NPB wrap 9-9-21

After merely ticking for much of the spring and summer and again during the Olympics, Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki has become the time bomb that goes off on a daily basis. On Thursday, the Carp outfielder, who will likely move to the majors after this season via the posting system, went deep twice.

By homering in his sixth consecutive game, Suzuki is one game shy of the Japan record set by Hall of Famer Sadaharu Oh with the Yomiuri Giants in 1972 and equaled by Hanshin Tigers first baseman Randy Bass in 1986.

In two of the three games featuring pennant contenders, two closers blew leads in the top of the ninth and then watched as their teams wasted scoring opportunities in the bottom of the ninth.

On top of that, we had two wild plays, a runner tagged out at first after beating out an infield single, and a 3-2-5 double play, so all in all, it was a pretty good evening’s worth of baseball.

And if that didn’t whet your appetite, Nick Martinez, Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Masahiro Tanaka, Yudai Ono and rookie rocket Roki Sasaki are all set to star for the teams in the weekend series openers.

Buffaloes 2, Marines 2

At Hotto Motto Field, the game between two teams separated at the top of the Pacific League standings by a few winning percentage points, couldn’t have been tighter. After a tremendous pitchers’ duel between Orix lefty Daiki Tajima and returning Lotte right-hander Ayumu Ishikawa, the Marines trailed by two but came back on home runs by Tetsuya Kokubo in the seventh and Takashi Ogino in the ninth.

Ishikawa, in his first game back since having shoulder cleaning surgery in June, was razor-sharp. A couple of good swings resulted in a fifth-inning Orix run. Masahiro Nishino singled off a two-seamer that got up a little too much, and Ishikawa threw one too many of his good changeup-sinkers to Shuhei Fukuda, who lined the fourth straight one he saw into center field for a two-out RBI single. Yutaro Sugimoto belted his 24th homer to lead off the fifth when Ishikawa tried to get a strike with a 3-0 fastball up and away.

Tajima allowed three hits and two walks but was extremely loose and sharp as he struck out 10 over eight innings. He threw a decent 1-1 inside fastball to Kokubo, and the former Carp pinch-hitting specialist, who’d been toiling in independent ball until Lotte signed him last week, hammered it for his first home run in two years.

Orix closer Yoshihisa Hirano, going for his 18th save, threw an 0-1 forkball low and in that Ogino upper-cut just over the fence in left for his eighth home run. In the bottom of the ninth, Lotte closer Naoya Masuda allowed two to reach with no outs and missed taking the loss by a few inches. Rookie Kotaro Kurebayashi hammered a low 1-2 slider toward the left-field corner, but Ryo Miki, an eighth-inning defensive replacement at third, jumped up to make the game-ending catch.

Eagles 4, Fighters 0

At Sapporo Dome, Drew VerHagen (3-7, 4.91) saw his string of solid outings snapped as he allowed four runs over six innings and Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto (9-5, 3.49) threw a three-hit shutout in which he struck out 11 and walked one.

Hiroaki Shimauchi’s two-run bases-loaded double opened the scoring in the third. The Eagles manufactured a run in the fifth after a leadoff walk, and Takero Okajima led off the sixth with his eighth home run.

When things go bad, sometimes they go so bad that one is forced to learn a rule to understand how it could possibly get worse.

One of the Fighters’ three singles, a leadoff infield single in the seventh, resulted in the inning’s first out. Yuki James Nomura beat out a grounder to second only to be tagged out. When the throw got past first baseman Daichi Suzuki, Nomura, in foul territory after over-running the bag, glanced at the ball and took a half step toward second before giving up and walking back to first. Before he could get back, Suzuki tagged him out and umpire Atsushi Fukaya ruled Nomura showed his intent to advance to the next base and was eligible to be put out.

BayStars 5, Giants 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Yomiuri rallied for three runs in the ninth off DeNA closer Kazuki Mishima, and then held on to secure the tie without closer Thyago Vieiara, who was deactivated earlier in the day for undisclosed reasons.

Yoshiyuki Kamei led off the top of the ninth with a pinch-hit double, but there were two down before Naoki Yoshikawa hit the first of four straight singles. Yoshihiro Maru’s tied it 3-3 before Mishima avoided blowing the lead.

Masayuki Kuwahara doubled to leadoff DeNA’s ninth but the BayStars couldn’t bring him home.

Tyler Austin and Toshiro Miyazaki homered back-to-back in the first inning off Shosei Togo. Austin’s two-run homer was his 23rd and Miyazaki’s his 12th. The Giants made it 3-2 in the fourth on an error, a Zelous Wheeler single, a groundout and an RBI single by rookie reserve catcher Yukinori Kishida.

The Giants loaded the bases with one out in the sixth against reliever Kevin Shackelford, but DeNA held onto the lead. Reliever Yoshiki Sunada served up a smash to first but got out of the inning on a slick play by Neftali Soto, who short-hopped the ball and fired home instead of touching the bag, and poor base running by the Giants allowed Tobashira to complete the 3-2-5 double play.

Tobashira doubled in two runs in the eighth to make it a 5-2 game, with starter Yuya Sakamoto set up to earn the win after allowing two unearned runs over five innings.

Swallows 13, Tigers 3

At Koshien Stadium, Munetaka Murakami had a two-run single, and Domingo Santana a two-run double as Yakult gave Haruto Takahashi (0-1, 11.25) a five-run first-inning baptism of fire in his season debut. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the first, but failed to score, and Norichika Aoki singled and scored his second run in the second on a Jose Osuna sac fly.

With two on and two out in the fourth, rookie Dan Onodera batted for the pitcher and singled in a run and Koji Chikamoto added a two-run double against Swallows starter Keiji Takahashi (3-1, 2.79). The lefty allowed three runs over six innings while striking out six to earnhis first pro win at Koshien, where seven years earlier he pitched Kyoto’s Ryukoku University Heian High School to the spring invitational championship.

Osuna singled in two runs in the sixth, and Santana capped a five-run seventh by drawing a bases-loaded walk. The win moved Yakult within a half-game of Yomiuri and 2-1/2 of the Tigers.

Carp 12, Dragons 5

At Mazda Stadium, Ryoma Nishikawa hit a two-run first-inning home run, his ninth, and Seiya Suzuki, the gift that keeps on giving, followed with his 26th. Nishikawa singled to open the Carp third, and Suzuki walked before a bases-loaded groundout made it 4-0.

The Dragons tied it in the fourth when four straight batters reached with one out. Journeyman reserve catcher Iori Katsura tripled in two runs, pinch-hitter Ariel Martinez walked and two more runs scored on a groundout and an error.

Nishikawa walked with two outs in the fourth off lefty Toshiya Okada, and Suzuki belted his 27th home run. The Dragons made it a 6-5 game in the fifth. Dayan Viciedo doubled and Shuhei Takahashi, whose single started the fourth-inning rally, singled him home.

The Carp came back for seconds against Okada in the fifth, with rookie Kota Hayashi singling in two with no outs before Nishikawa and Suzuki reached to open the Carp’s three-run sixth.

Atsuya Horie (4-3) preserved the Carp’s 5-4 lead by getting out of the fifth with a double play on one pitch. Horie was credited with the win by Japan rules that give it to the pitcher who inherits the lead before five innings provided no other pitcher works at least one inning more. He became the 21st CL pitcher to earn a win with one pitch.

I’ll leave you tonight with this catch by 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome. And if one more person refers to him as an “old guy” this 61-year-old old guy will have some words for them.

Friday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Hawks: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Ryusei Kawano (2-3, 2.43) vs Nick Martinez (7-3, 2.03)

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Wataru Matsumoto (7-6, 3.42) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (12-5, 1.61)

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

Roki Sasaki (2-2, 3.22) vs Masahiro Tanaka (4-5, 2.86)

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

Yuki Takahashi (10-3, 2.72) vs Yudai Ono (5-8, 3.10)

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

Daichi Osera (6-4, 3.18) vs Yuki Nishi (4-9, 3.55)

Active roster moves 9/9/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/19

Central League


TigersP29Haruto Takahashi
DragonsP41Akiyoshi Katsuno
CarpOF49Yuya Shozui


GiantsP49Thyago Vieira
CarpIF7Shota Dobayashi

Pacific League


MarinesP12Ayumu Ishikawa
MarinesIF36Tetsuya Kokubo
MarinesOF38Akito Takabe
FightersP20Kenta Uehara
BuffaloesOF55Takahiro Okada


MarinesP60Rikuto Yokoyama
MarinesC32Toshiya Sato
LionsP54Zach Neal
BuffaloesP48Koki Saito

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