Tag Archives: Enny Romero

NPB wrap 9-14-21

The Lotte Marines seem to be full of surprises and determined to take control of the Pacific League pennant race this month, and started their week on Tuesday in what looked like a clash between their irresistible force and an immovable object, SoftBank Hawks ace Kodai Senga, wheeled out on five-days rest to see if he could arrest the Marines progress.

The Central League’s week also began with a clash of two contenders as the Hanshin Tigers came to Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium to take on the Swallows in which each of NPB’s two Suarez brothers had a role to play for his team.

Eagles 4, Buffaloes 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Rakuten’s Takahisa Hayakawa (8-5, 3.63) won a matchup between two left-handed rookies who in April appeared ready to set the PL on fire. Hayakawa had one of his best starts of the season, while Orix 20-year-old Hiroya Miyagi (11-2, 2.26) continued his struggles.

Miyagi surrendered a first-inning homer to Hideto Asamura, who hit his 12th. Asamura hit 30 or more in each of the last three seasons but might not reach 19 for the first time since 2015.

When the season started, Miyagi was striking out about one batter per inning and walking about two to three per nine with a WHIP less than one. First, he stopped striking people out as often, and the hit totals began to climb but he continued to attack the zone. But the walks, too, are now on the rise.

The Eagles took a 2-0 lead on three two-out fifth-inning singles, and Miyagi made it 3-0 by issuing back-to-back walks. Yuma Mune, who had three of Orix’s five singles, brought in a run with an infield single in the eighth. And Eigoro Mogi made it 4-1 in the home half with his 13th home run.

The Eagles, who may be without closer Yuki Matsui this year, got a three-run save from Tomohito Sakai, his second.

Marines 3, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, red-hot SoftBank ace Kodai Senga (5-2, 3.12) struck out 14 but lost a pitchers’ duel with former Dragon Enny Romero. Taisei Makihara drilled Romero’s second pitch for a home run, but the lefty escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam to keep it 1-0.

Senga retired 10 straight after a one-out walk in the first before Shogo Nakamura doubled in the fourth and scored a Katsuya Kakunaka single. Lotte’s bullpen did not allow a base runner after Romero’s six impressive innings.

Senga, who had already thrown 103 pitches on five days rest, watched his command evaporate in the Marines’ two-run eighth. Yudai Fujioka led off with the second of his three singles. A sacrifice and four-pitch walk put two on and a Koki Yamaguchi’s single off a bad pitch loaded them.

After going to 3-2 by missing a pair of splitters below his knees, Brandon Laird finally made contact with a low pitch and grounded it into center for a two-run single. Chihaya Sasaki (5-2) pitched the eighth to earn the win, and Naoya Masuda recorded his 32nd save by striking out the side in the ninth.

The Marines deactivated Leonys Martin after he developed a fever, but his PCR test came back negative, so he could be activated for Wednesday’s game.

Lions 3, Fighters 1

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Kona Takahashi (10-5, 3.22) allowed an unearned run on three hits and two walks over six innings while striking out seven. Takumi Kuriyama singled three times and scored the Lions’ first run on a two-run second-inning Junichiro Kishi single.

The Fighters run came in the third on a dropped throw by Takahashi at first and a Haruki Nishikawa double.

Kuriyama singled home Tomoya Mori in the third to make it 3-1 against Fighters starter Takahide Ikeda (3-10, 3.98).

Lions closer Kaima Taira saved his 15th despite allowing two hits in the ninth, although the Fighters lost their leadoff runner when Yuki James Nomura was out trying to take second on a wild throw from Kaima, who fell on his butt to avoid getting hit by the barrel of Nomura’s broken bat.

Swallows 3, Tigers 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Albert Suarez opened the game and his younger brother, Robert – who has 31 saves, finished it with a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the tie after Jefry Marte’s three-run ninth-inning homer, his 18th, tied it off Swallows closer Scott McGough.

Marte also beat the Carp on Saturday when his three-run sixth-inning homer lifted the Tigers to a 4-1 win in Hiroshima.

Swallows cleanup hitter Munetaka Murakami had a hand in Yakult’s first three runs, with leadoff singles in the second and fourth off side-arm righty Koyo Aoyagi. He didn’t score, however, until he led off the sixth with his 34th home run to make it 3-0.

Albert Suarez worked four-plus, receiving an automatic ejection for hitting Takumu Nakano in the head to open the fifth. A single and a Jefry Marte walk loaded the bases with no outs, but Hanshin failed to score. Nakano singled in a run in the seventh off deposed closer Taishi Ishiyama who left with no outs and two on for Ryuta Kono, who popped up Marte before striking out Yusuke Oyama and Yoshio Itoi.

A Norichika Aoki single and a Jose Osuna RBI double gave the Swallows some breathing room in the eighth, but the insurance couldn’t ensure a victory.

McGough walked two to bring Marte to the plate with one out, and the Tigers first baseman put a good swing on a slider that McGough left in the lower half of the zone and drilled it over the wall in left-center.

Giants 3, BayStars 2

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri’s Shun Yamaguchi (2-5, 3.33) fell to 1-3 with a 4.09 ERA against his former team, DeNA, allowing two runs over 7-1/3 innings while striking out seven, walking one, hitting one and allowing three hits, including Masayuki Kuwahara’s 10th homer, tying the game to open the sixth. 

With one out in the seventh, Yamaguchi was gone after hitting Neftali Soto in the head. BayStars rookie Shugo Maki broke the tie by hitting new pitcher Toyoki Tanaka’s first pitch for his 17th home run.

The Giants chased DeNA starter Fernando Romero (2-2, 3.80) with one out in the eighth after a leadoff Takumi Oshiro double and an RBI pinch-hit single by new Giant Scott Heineman.

Venezuelan lefty Edwin Escobar struck out both batters he faced before closer Kazuki Mishima bounced from a three-run disaster five days earlier in his last game, also against Yomiuri, with a 1-2-3 ninth and his 21st save.

Giants-BayStars highlights

Dragons 10, Carp 1

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Chunichi resumed its September run surge after its 1-0 win on Monday. Catcher Takuya Kinoshita doubled in the ice-breaker in the second off Masato Morishita (6-7, 3.12), and an RBI single from 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome made it 2-0 in the third.

Kaito Kaizono doubled to open Hiroshima’s fourth and scored on a single by Carp catcher Tsubasa Aizawa, but Dragons lefty Takahiro Matsuba (4-3, 3.21) allowed just one run on four hits and a walk over six innings. With Chunichi leading 3-1 after Yohei Oshima’s fifth-inning RBI single, Naomichi Donoue entered the game for defense and had a three-run sixth-inning double and a two-run eighth-inning single.

Starting pitchers

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

Ryota Takinaka (6-4, 4.48) vs Soichiro Yamazaki (0-1, 3.86)

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

Keisuke Honda (0-2, 3.57) vs Hiromi Ito (9-5, 2.54)

Hawks vs Marines: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Carter Stewart, Jr. (0-1, 4.95) vs Manabu Mima (5-4, 5.32)

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

Shosei Togo (8-6, 3.96) vs Shinichi Onuki (6-5, 4.46)

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

Yasuhiro Ogawa (7-4, 4.29) vs Masashi Ito (7-6, 2.98)

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

Shotaro Kasahara (-) vs Shogo Tamamura (2-6, 3.89)

Active roster moves 9/14/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/24

Central League


GiantsIF52Takumi Kitamura
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez


TigersP16Yuki Nishi
SwallowsIF46Kengo Ota

Pacific League


HawksOF60Go Kamamoto
MarinesOF31Tsuyoshi Sugano
EaglesP47Masaru Fujii
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda


MarinesOF79Leonys Martin

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NPB wrap 9-5-21

SoftBank’s Richard Sunagawa show began in earnest on Sunday, as the 22-year-old Sunagawa, whose full name is Richard Makoto Sunagawa O’Brien, led the Western League in home runs and RBIs last year, and was leading the WL in home runs this year before being called up.

On Sunday, he drove in his first Pacific League run, with a sac fly, compounded that with a grand slam for his first home run, and hit another home run.

Sunagawa, who is the brother Mariners minor league pitcher Joey O’Brien, was cheered on by his father and mother and maternal grandfather at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

When asked if he had a message for them, he said in Japanese, “Yes. Keep coming to games.”

The Buffaloes’ loss dropped them into second place behind the Lotte Marines, and just when it seemed like two Kanto teams would seize league leads from the Kansai teams that opened the day in first, the Giants suffered another late collapse in Hanshin land.

Hawks 12, Buffaloes 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, it was a real battle of the ages. The Hawks started with a battery of 39-year-old Hiroaki Takaya catching 40-year-old lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (5-5, 4.32), which made me wonder whether the Hawks guys engaged in any trash talk with Orix starter, 27-year-old Hirotoshi Masui (3-6, 4.95), and what that might sound like. Would the gentlemanly Wada tell Masui, “Get off my mound you young punk!”?

Masui allowed seven runs over 3-1/3 innings, while Cesar Vargas, Orix’s fifth pitcher, gave up four in the eighth – including Sunagawa’s second homer and another by Taisei Makihara.

The Buffaloes took a 2-0 second-inning lead on an Adam Jones single and a home run, catcher Kenya Wakatsuki’s fourth. Wada left after throwing five innings. In a kind of prototypical Wada outing, he allowed three hits and a walk while striking out five.

He was replaced by 21-year-old Carter Stewart Jr., who dominated through 2-1/3 innings. But after striking out six straight, issued a walk and allowed three straight singles before his three innings were up.

Eagles 8, Lions 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Hiroaki Shimauchi scored twice and drove in two runs from the No. 3 spot in Rakuten’s lineup and Eigoro Mogi, batting cleanup, drove in three runs for the third-place Eagles.

Shimauchi’s two-run third-inning double off Yutaro Watanabe (2-3, 2.74) broke the ice and he scored on a Mogi single. Shimauchi walked and scored in the Eagles’ five-run fourth, when Mogi capped the rally with a two-run double.

Marines 2, Fighters 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, retreads Enny Romero (1-0, 1.56) – formerly of the Dragons — and Yuki Kuniyoshi – formerly of the BayStars, turned over a lead to Japan’s leading closer this year, and Naoya Masuda worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 30th save.

Romero allowed a run on seven hits and a walk while striking out nine over seven innings. Nippon Ham starter Kazuaki Tateno (1-1, 4.12) pitched out of a first-inning bases-loaded jam but his mojo was not there in the second, when the Marines scored twice after the tail end of the order loaded the bases with one out.

Leadoff man Takashi Ogino plated Katsuya Kakunaka with an infield single, and Kyota Fujiwara, a good candidate to be the PL’s batter of the month for July and August, delivered a sacrifice fly.

Carp 6, Swallows 1

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki hit his third home run of the series and his ninth this season in 17 games at Tokyo Dome, to open the scoring in a two-run second. Ryosuke Kikuchi went 4-for-4, doubling in Shogo Sakakura in the second, and plating him with singles in the fourth and seventh before leading off the eighth with his 13th homer and his fourth at the dome, equaling his total from 46 games at Mazda Stadium.

Hiroki Tokoda (3-2, 3.19) allowed a run on four hits and a hit batsman while striking out seven over seven innings. Yakult lefty Kazuto Taguchi (4-8, 4.11) allowed four runs on five hits over three-plus innings. Juri Hara took over in the fourth with two on and no outs but surrendered back-to-back RBI singles to Kikuchi and Kota Hayashi.

Dragons 2, BayStars 0

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Kosuke Fukudome drove in the winning run for the second time Chunichi’s three-game series with DeNA, which slipped into sixth place behind Hiroshima.

Shota Imanaga shut the Dragons down on three hits and a walk over seven innings, before Fukudome delivered a two-out pinch-hit double off Edwin Escobar (3-3), who surrendered another RBI double to leadoff man Yota Kyoda.

Dragons starter Yariel Rodriguez struck out eight but walked five over five scoreless innings. Katsuki Matayoshi (1-2) survived a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth to earn the win, and Raidel Martinez picked up his 15th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Tigers vs Giants 6

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin came from behind for the third straight game. C.C. Mercedes left with a 6-0 lead after five innings, but that lead and Mercedes’ eighth win of the season evaporated as more Giants bullpen drama unfolded.

Takumu Nakano tripled to open the Tigers’ sixth off Yohei Kagiya. Nakano scored as Jerry Sands reached on error by new shortstop Akihiro Wakabayashi. Jefry Marte walked. New pitcher Ryusei Ohe got one out before walking danger man Yusuke Oyama to load the bases.

Pinch-hitter Fumihito Haraguchi singled in one run, and another scored on a groundout before Mel Rojas Jr. singled off Seishu Hatake to make it a 6-4 game.

A Sands single and an error on Taishi Hirooka, the Giants’ third shortstop of the game set the table for Hanshin to tie it in the seventh. An RBI groundout made it 6-5, before Yoshio Itoi came up with his second big pinch-hit of the series, doubling in the tying run.

A night after Oyama beat him with a two-run home run, Giants closer Thyago Vieira retired one batter before Oyama came to the plate in the ninth. He didn’t homer but he did swat a hanging slider for a double. An infield single put runners on the corners before a two-out walk loaded the bases, but Yoshihiro Maru was able to go back and haul in a line drive off the bat of Koji Chikamoto to end the game.

Hanshin starter Takumi Akiyama gave up three runs in two innings, but got an assist when Hayato Sakamoto ran into an out in the Giants’ three-run first inning, capped by Hiroyuki Nakajima’s two-run home run, his fifth.

Shintaro Fujinami worked three innings of relief and served up Kazuma Okamoto’s Japan-best 35th home run, a three-run shot that appeared to ice the game.

Active roster moves 9/5/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/15

Central League


SwallowsP34Kazuto Taguchi



Pacific League


EaglesP56Sora Suzuki
FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui
BuffaloesOF41Kodai Sano


EaglesP22Kazuhisa Makita
BuffaloesP98Chang Yi
BuffaloesOF34Masataka Yoshida

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