Tag Archives: Ernesto Mejia

NPB Wrap 6-1-21

Interleague Day 7

The Pacific League began the second week of interleague by going 3-2-1 in Central League’s lead this season to 19-17-4. The PL has outscored the CL 180-167. The Dragons’ 1-0 win kept them top of the IL standings at 5-1-1.

Yuya Yanagi continued to be the CL’s pitching star, with a one-hit shutout of the Lotte Marines.

Giants go back to international scouts

The Yomiuri Giants, who fired their international scouts last year and reassigned their Japanese international staff, announced Tuesday that they have signed five scouts, all former Giants, which gives them the largest contingent in NPB with most teams relying on two at the most.

The team said Hideki Okajima would be in charge of the west, with Casey McGehee and George Arias handling the middle of the U.S. and Scott Mathieson and Garret Jones in charge of the east.

Lions 4, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Ernesto Mejia hit a two-run pinch-hit ninth-inning homer and Tomoya Mori a game-tying shot off Yomiuri closer Rubby De La Rosa as Seibu pulled even in the top of the ninth and Kaima Taira secured the tie.

Seibu starter Wataru Matsumoto kept it close through the fourth inning, when Kazuma Okamoto opened the scoring with his 15th home run. Matsumoto, whose career has been dogged by walks, didn’t walk a batter till the fifth, when he walked three and the Giants took a four-run lead.

The Lions, who have been severely afflicted by the coronavirus, got on the board through rookie Shunichiro Kishi’s leadoff homer in the seventh. Kishi singled to lead off the ninth and scored on Mejia’s first homer.

Giants-Lions highlights

Swallows 7, Eagles 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult rookie Hiroki Onishi pitched two scoreless innings of relief and the Swallows came from behind in a five-run seventh to hand him his first career win. Munetaka Murakami capped the rally with a two-run home run, his 15th, keeping him even with the Giants’ Kazuma Okamoto.

Takahiro Shiomi allowed a run over five innings in his season debut, and Tomohiro Anraku followed with a scoreless inning before Tomohito Sakai (1-1) retired just one of the four batters he faced.

BayStars 4, Hawks 3

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA rookie Shugo Maki went 4-for-4 with a second-inning RBI single and a pair of doubles, including one with that plated two in the eighth inning to give the BayStars their first lead.

DeNA’s bullpen outpitched SoftBank’s, so we get to say that at least once this season, as the Hawks wasted a solid start from Shota Takeda, who allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings. Ryoya Kurihara brought the visitors from behind with a two-run third-inning home run, his sixth, off Michael Peoples, who allowed three runs over four innings.

Tyler Austin reached base three times for the BayStars and scored twice, while closer Kazuki Mishima secured his eighth save when pinch-runner Ukyo Shuto made the final out trying to go from first to third on a wild pickoff throw with Maki getting the assist on the out.

Dragons 1, Marines 0

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (5-1) continued to look the best pitcher in Japan this season, facing one batter over the minimum after allowing a hit, a walk, getting a double play and striking out eight.

The Dragons had three of their eight hits in the first inning off Kota Futaki (2-3), Daiki Mitsumata and Nobumasa Fukuda doubling with one out, although Fukuda was cut down trying to score from second on Dayan Viciedo’s one-out single.

Buffaloes 5, Tigers 2 

At Koshien Stadium, 19-year-old rookie Kotaro Kurebayashi doubled, singled and drove in four runs as Orix broke a 2-2 tie in the eighth with three unearned runs off reliever Suguru Iwazaki.

Yuki Nishi worked seven innings against his former team, and drove in a run for the Tigers. With one out in the eighth, an error by rookie shortstop Takumu Nakano helped prolong the inning. Iwazaki allowed an RBI single and a walk, and Kosuke Baba surrendered a two-run single to Kurebayashi that iced it.

Buffaloes starter Taisuke Yamaoka (3-4) struck out nine and also allowed two runs over seven. Tyler Higgins pitched the eighth, throwing his second straight scoreless innings since returning from the minors. Yoshihisa Hirano earned his second save.

Fighters 7, Carp 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Nippon Ham’s Ryo Watanabe and Kensuke Kondo each hit two-run homers, Watanabe his first, Kondo his seventh, off Hiroshima ace Daichi Osera (2-2), who gave up six runs over four innings. Fighters starter Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-2) who allowed three runs, two earned, while striking out seven over 6-2/3 innings.

Starting pitchers

My favorite matchup on Wednesday is going to Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama against Orix Buffaloes rookie Hiroya Miyagi: a poised veteran right-hander against an uncannily poised teenage lefty.


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

Kai Yokogawa (0-1, 1.80) vs Matt Dermody (0-1, 3.43)

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

Kazuto Taguchi (2-3, 3.08) vs Takahiro Norimoto (4-2, 3.18)

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

Ko Nakagawa (0-0, 5.84) vs Nao Higashihama (0-0, 4.76)

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

Shinnosuke Ogasawara (3-2, 2.55) vs Daiki Iwashita (4-3, 3.48)

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

Takumi Akiyama (4-2, 2.78) vs Hiroya Miyagi (5-0, 2.32)

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

Yusuke Nomura (0-3, 5.64) vs Takayuki Kato (3-2, 2.94)

Active roster moves 6/1/2021

Central League


TigersP65Atsuki Yuasa
DragonsC39Ayatsugu Yamashita
SwallowsIF39Takeshi Miyamoto



Pacific League


MarinesIF23Ryo Miki
MarinesIF61Takuya Takahama
LionsOF7Yuji Kaneko
EaglesP17Takahiro Shiomi



NPB 2020 Oct. 31

Saturday’s games

Other news

Futaki, Marines get over hump

Kota Futaki (8-3) had one hiccup in his seven-inning stint, Stefen Romero’s ice-breaking three-run fourth-inning home run, but allowed nothing else as the Lotte Marines snapped a four-game losing streak to beat the Rakuten Eagles 6-3 at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium on Saturday.

The win gave the second-place Marines a two-game lead in the fight for the Pacific League’s final playoff spot over the Seibu Lions, who were busted up 11-2 by the SoftBank Hawks. The Eagles, in fourth, are another half-game further back.

Futaki allowed only one base runner before the fourth and retired the last 10 batters he faced after hanging a 2-2 pitch that Romero blasted into the left-field stands for his 24th home run.

Eagles starter Ryota Ishibashi (1-6) allowed four runs over 5-1/3 innings. D.J. Johnson got Rakuten out of the five run inning, retiring all five batters he faced, while J.T. Chargois also stamped his initials on the proceedings in a scoreless ninth.

HIrokazu Sawamura, the loser on Friday, worked a scoreless eighth for the Marines, while Naoya Masuda recorded 30 saves for the first time in seven years.

Hawks tattoo Lions

Shuta Ishikawa (10-3) allowed a run over six innings, and Kenji Akashi doubled twice, tripled, singled scored three runs and drove in four in the SoftBank Hawks’ 11-2 win over the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome.

Seibu’s Ernesto Mejia enlivened the game in the seventh inning by scoring after hitting his first triple in six years.

Kawano ends win drought

Nippon Ham Fighters rookie Ryosei Kawano (3-4) allowed a run over six innings in a 6-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes and southpaw Andrew Albers (4-8) at Sapporo Dome. Kawano, who hadn’t won since August, gave up three singles. The lefty struck out three without issuing a walk.

Okamoto powers Sugano to victory

Kazuma Okamoto hit his Central League-leading 29th home run, a three-run shot that bumped his league-best RBI total to 89 as ace Tomoyuki Sugano (14-2) allowed a run over five innings despite giving up five hits, walking two and hitting two in the 6-4 win at Tokyo Dome.

Rubby De La Rosa worked the ninth for his 17th save.

Giants-Swallows highlights

Yokawa bombs Yokohama

Naomasa Yokawa gave the Hanshin Tigers the early lead with a first-inning grand slam and added a solo shot in a 13-5 win over the DeNA BayStars at Yokohama Stadium, although his home runs might not have been as memorable as two of the three hit by the BayStars.

Jose Lopez’s fourth-inning solo shot off Takumi Akiyama (10-3) was his 11th of the season and was his 1,000th hit in Japan. He is the 14th imported player to reach the milestone and only the third player to reach that figure in both NPB and MLB. The other two are Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui.

Lopez is the 14th import to reach 1,000 hits in Japan and the fourth Venezuelan after Alex Ramirez, Bobby Marcano and Alex Cabrera.

Tyler Austin reached 20 homers in the 61st game of his debut season, while Yamato Maeda took former teammate, retiring Tigers reliever Kyuji Fujikawa out in the ninth for two runs.

Jefry Marte and Jerry Sands also helped power the Hanshin onslaught. Marte went 2-for-2 with two runs and three walks, while Sands went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.

NameGHlast year
Alex Ramirez1,7442,0172013
Tuffy Rhodes1,6741,7922009
LeRon Lee1,3151,5791987
Leon Lee1,2561,4361987
Bobby Marcano2,5991,4181985
Boomer Wells1,1481,4131992
Alex Cabrera1,2391,3682012
Wally Yonamine1,2191,3371962
Jose Fernandez1,2531,2862013
Robert Rose2,0371,2752000
John Sipin1,8891,1241980
Chico Barbon2,5981,1231965
Matt Murton8321,0202015
Jose Lopez9891,0002020*
Wladimir Balentien1,0819912020*
Japan’s 1,000-hit foreign imports through Oct. 31, 2020 and the next guy

Note: This table has been updated. It originally omitted Wally Yonamine, Chico Barbon and Matt Murton.

Aizawa, Carp get ‘lucky’

Tsubasa Aizawa’s three-run eighth-inning double brought the Hiroshima Carp from behind against a lefty whose last name means luck in Japanese, Hiroto Fuku (5-5) in a 9-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome.

Active roster moves 10/31/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 11/10

Central League


DragonsP59Takumi Yamamoto


BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama
DragonsP25Yu Sato
DragonsIF55Nobumasa Fukuda
SwallowsP91Hiroaki Saiuchi

Pacific League


LionsIF0Daichi Mizuguchi
FightersP17Hiroshi Urano
FightersP31Toru Murata
FightersP63Ryuji Kitaura


LionsIF3Hotaka Yamakawa
FightersP25Naoki Miyanishi
FightersP27Nick Martinez
BuffaloesP19Taisuke Yamaoka

Starting pitchers for Nov. 1, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Buffaloes: Sapporo Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Kohei Arihara (7-9, 3.52) vs Hitomi Honda (-)

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

Wataru Matsumoto (5-6, 4.58) vs Shunsuke Kasaya (4-3, 2.60)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Daiki Iwashita (6-7, 4.20) vs Ryota Takinaka (2-1, 2.97)

Central League

Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Seishu Hatake (3-4, 3.52) vs Albert Suarez (4-3, 2.62)

BayStars vs Tigers: Yokohama Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kosuke Sakaguchi (0-2, 11.57) vs Haruto Takahashi (5-4, 2.28)

Dragons vs Carp: Nagoya Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Yuya Yanagi (5-6, 3.88) vs Masato Morishita (9-3, 2.04)