Tag Archives: Drew VerHagen

NPB wrap 7-7-21

Eagles offense hiding from Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka produced another solid start in which a couple of mistakes were exacerbated by good swings and bad luck, while his team extended its streak of not scoring while he’s the pitcher of record to 14 innings. He would have suffered his sixth loss had not the Rakuten bats come to life after Tanaka was out of the game, scoring six late runs in a 6-5 win over the Orix Buffaloes.

The win trimmed Orix’s Pacific League lead to 2-1/2 games over the Lotte Marines, with the Eagles percentage points back in third and the Hawks, 4-1 losers to Lotte, another two back in fourth.

In the CL, the Swallows and Tigers played a thriller to even their series at one game apiece, leaving the Giants 1-1/2 back and Yakult two games further back in third.

Eagles 6, Buffaloes 5

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Rakuten’s offense waited until Masahiro Tanaka had left the game to show up, scoring five runs after Daiki Tajima held them scoreless for seven innings. With two outs and one on in the ninth, Yang Chi allowed a run on his second and third singles of the inning before Hiroaki Shimauchi tied it with his 11th home run.

Takero Okajima greeted new pitcher Taisei Urushihara with a tie-breaking home run, and the Eagles had their second five-run ninth inning in two nights. Yuki Matsui worked the ninth for the Eagles to earn his PL-leading 22nd save. Alan Busenitz (1-0) allowed a run in the eighth but earned the win.

Tanaka allowed three runs in his final inning, the sixth when a couple of good pitches and a couple of mistakes were hit and batted balls found space in the defense. Tanaka struck out six, walked one, and allowed five hits in yet another solid, but unrewarded outing.

Marines 4, Hawks 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Tokito Kawamura (1-0) allowed a run over five innings in his first career start, and Mexico Olympic team member Brandon Laird hit a three-run homer off SoftBank’s Nao Higashihama (2-1), his 18th.

Fighters 2, Lions 1

At Asahikawa Starffin Stadium, Nippon Ham used six pitchers, with Robbie Erlin working three scoreless innings before Drew VerHagen (2-6) worked another two and allowed Seibu’s only run, while they each struck out four.

Kona Takahashi (7-4) gave up two runs over seven innings to take the loss.

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Swallows 6, Tigers 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Daiki Watanabe, a career minor leaguer and reserve outfielder, doubled in the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning and scored an insurance run on a Tetsuto Yamada sacrifice fly. Yamada had given the Swallows a three-run first-inning lead with his 23rd home run, off new Tiger Akira Niho. The right-hander allowed four runs over five innings.

Hanshin’s Jerry Sands drove in two first-inning runs with his 15th home run, off Hirotoshi Takanashi, and saved two runs with a diving sixth-inning catch after the Tigers tied it 4-4 in the fourth on rookie Teruaki Sato’s two-run homer, his 20th.

Scott McGough entered in the ninth to shut it down, but gave up a booming pinch-hit single to Fumihito Haraguchi. On a single to right pinch-runner Takahiro Kumagai challenged Watanabe’s arm but was gunned down on a sweet throw just in time for third baseman Munetaka Murakami to lay on the tag.

McGough allowed two hits and a walk but no runs to earn his 16th save.

Giants 3, Dragons 1

At Tokyo Dome, Shun Yamaguchi (2-1) allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings, and Kazuma Okamoto and Yoshihiro Maru homered for Yomiuri, Okamoto, his Japan-leading 25th, and Maru, his 10th. Japan’s oldest player, 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, opened the scoring in the second with his first home run for Chunichi since 2007.

Thyago Vieira worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Carp 3, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Keita Sano’s eighth homer and Neftali Soto’s 14th, a two-run shot off Allen Kuri made it 3-0 in the fourth. Shota Imanaga allowed two runs over six-plus innings, Seiya Suzuki’s 13th homer trimming DeNA’s lead to 3-2 in the seventh. Edwin Escobar got out of the seventh, but Yasuaki Yamasaki blew the lead in the eighth, the tying run scoring on a Ryosuke Kikuchi single.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Soichiro Yamazaki (0-0, 0.00) vs Takayuki Kishi (3-6, 3.89)

Central League

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

Daisuke Naoe (0-0, 0.00) vs Yuya Yanagi (6-4, 2.72)

Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Albert Suarez (2-3, 4.91) vs Joe Gunkel (6-0, 2.01)

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

Koya Takahashi (2-4, 5.92) vs Taiga Kamichatani (0-3, 10.69)

Active roster moves 7/7/2021

Central League


TigersP34Akira Niho



Pacific League


MarinesP58Tokito Kawamura



NPB wrap 6-29-21

Happy birthday skipper

On what would have been late Hall of Fame manager Katsuya Nomura’s 86th birthday, the Hanshin Tigers hosted the Yakult Swallows, both teams managed by Nomura, at Koshien Stadium, where a moment of silence was held before the memorial contest.

The Swallows were the second club Nomura managed, and the one where he had the most success, improving a solid young talent base to win four pennants and three Japan Series. The Tigers were a bit of a dumpster fire when he took them over but he did much of the groundwork for the 2003, 2005 Hanshin championships.

Tigers 5, Swallows 3

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin came from behind in a five-run second inning that comprised of seven hits but no walks, hit batsmen, errors or extra-base hits off lefty Kazuto Taguchi (4-5).

Koyo Aoyagi (7-2) allowed two runs over seven innings, while the Swallows’ two big boppers both hit solo homers. Munetaka Murakami hit his 23rd and Tetsuto Yamada his 20th.

Giants 11, Carp 8

At Tokyo Dome, Kazuma Okamoto reached base five times, scored four runs, drove in six and pulled into a tie with Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami for Japan’s home run lead with his 22nd, with one on in the first, and a tie-breaking three-run shot in the eighth.

Yomiuri won its eighth straight to remain 2-1/2 games back of the Tigers.

Giants-Carp highlights

BayStars 3, Dragons 2, 6 innings rain

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Shugo Maki’s fifth-inning pinch-hit RBI triple tied it 2-2 off Yudai Ono (3-6), scored on a Masayuki Kuwahara double, and Kevin Shackelford pitched a scoreless sixth – earning his first save in Japan after the game was called in the bottom of the sixth.

We learned Dragons rookie Akira Neo can juggle–he was shown on TV trying to teach a teammate how to juggle three baseballs without great success.

Eagles 5, Fighters 5

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Nippon Ham gave Drew VerHagen a 5-0 lead against

Yoshinao Kamata, who was making his season debut for Rakuten, before VerHagen blew that advantage with Hiroaki Shimauchi’s two-run fifth-inning double capping a four-run inning to tie it.

After Rakuten’s first reliever, Yuya Fukui, surrendered back-to-back singles in the fifth, neither team managed any offense.

Buffaloes 5, Marines 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yutaro Sugimoto drove in three runs with a pair of homers, his 16th and 17th, and Orix tied it on four hits, including an Adam Jones pinch-hit RBI single, against Frank Herrmann in the seventh after Buffaloes reliever Kohei “K” Suzuki pitched out of a huge jam in the top of the seventh.

Jones’ RBI was his 1,000th of his career in top-flight baseball.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Masahiro Tanaka (3-4, 3.18) vs Kazuaki Tateno (0-0, 4.66)

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

Daiki Tajima (4-4, 4.09) vs Shota Suzuki (1-3, 3.76)

Hawks vs Lions: Kitakyushu Municipal Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Nao Higashihama (1-0, 3.28) vs Katsunori Hirai (3-2, 4.84)

Central League

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

Shun Yamaguchi (1-0, 1.59) vs Allen Kuri (5-5, 3.57)

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

Shota Imanaga (1-2, 3.99) vs Koji Fukutani (4-6, 3.86)

Tigers vs Swallows: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Raul Alcantara (2-1, 3.82) vs Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-1, 3.81)

Active roster moves 6/29/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/9

Central League


TigersOF97Dan Onodera
DragonsIF1Yota Kyoda
SwallowsIF66Taisei Yoshida


SwallowsOF25Domingo Santana

Pacific League


EaglesP41Yoshinao Kamata
BuffaloesP61Tsubasa Sakakibara


LionsIF99Ernesto Mejia
BuffaloesP47Tomoyuki Kaida