Tag Archives: Fernando 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 5-21-21

Carp schedule gutted by COVID-19

The Hiroshima Carp’s three-game series at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium starting Friday has been postponed due to the effects of the coronavirus, NPB announced.

The Central League team announced Friday night that five new players, including regular veterans Hisayoshi Chono and Seiya Suzuki, had tested positive as well as one coach and one other member of the team’s staff. Three players tested positive Sunday and did not travel with the club to Tokyo for the two-game series against the Yomiuri Giants.

Eagles 11, Marines 6

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, the Pacific League-leading Rakuten Eagles blew open a close game with a five-run fifth inning, capped by Hiroaki Shimauchi’s sixth home run, a three-run shot off Lotte starter Ayumu Ishikawa (2-2), who gave up six runs over five innings.

With a six-run lead to work with, former Marine Hideaki Wakui (5-2) allowed four runs in the sixth, three coming on Brandon Laird’s ninth home run. Laird walked but also contributed to the Eagles’ fifth-inning rally.

With the leadoff man on and a 1-0 lead, the Eagles sacrificed to play for the next run, but Laird failed to charge on the bunt, turning it into an infield single and help power the big inning.

Takero Okajima opened the scoring in the fourth, when he tripled home Hideto Asamura in the wind and rain. Asamura singled in the first two runs in the fifth, while Okajima singled in the first of two runs in the seventh after Lotte made it a 6-4 game.

Former Marines captain Daichi Suzuki reached base five times, scored three runs and put an exclamation point on the win with a two-run homer, his first of the season.

Lions 7, Fighters 1

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Kona Takahashi (5-0) scattered six hits and three walks to allow one run over seven innings, and the Lions broke a 1-1 tie with a five-run fifth, when they chased rookie lefty Hiromi Ito (1-4), who got the kind of run support he’s become accustomed to.

Takeya Nakamura doubled in two runs to break the tie, while Wu Nien-ting singled in one more and Cory Spangenberg doubled in another. Hotaka Yamakawa hit his fourth home run for the Lions.

Two of the games’ big plays occurred in left field, where, according to one analyst, both Cory Spangenberg and Haruki Nishikawa, didn’t know where to play. — This article is paid content. If you are unable to see it, please consider subscribing to unlock more insight, news and all the other content on the site.

BayStars 5, Swallows 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, DeNA’s Taiki Sekine, who as expected has been relegated to dish-washing or some other glorious duties but remains one of my favorite BayStars due to his superb track record on the farm, sparked a ninth-inning rally with a two-out pinch-hit single off Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama (0-3).

Masayuki Kuwahara singled and both scored on a Yamato Maeda double. Former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki (3-1) earned the win after allowing the Swallows to tie it in the eighth, while incumbent closer Kazuki Mishima retired the meat of Yakult’s order in the ninth to earn his sixth save.

Rick van den Hurk made his Central League debut and had his first hit in Japan, while allowing three runs in four innings. New DeNA import Fernando Romero also had a rough go of it, allowing two runs, one earned, in three innings. Tyler Austin doubled twice, scoring DeNA’s first run and driving in the second, and Edwin Escobar pitched a scoreless seventh against the middle of the order to protect a 3-2 lead.

Dragons 1, Giants 1

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi banged out eight hits and drew five walks but stranded 11 runners, twice leaving the bases loaded and allowing Yomiuri to walk away with a tie.

With captain Hayato Sakamoto out with a broken hand, Taishi Hirooka slid into his spot to start at shortstop – although not head-first one supposes. The infielder, acquired in the preseason trade from the Yakult Swallows that sent underappreciated lefty Kazuto Taguchi to Jingu Stadium, homered off Yudai Ono in the fifth. Seishu Hatake went 6-1/3 innings for Yomiuri, leaving after Akira Neo doubled and scored on a Yohei Oshima triple.

Carp vs Tigers, postponed, coronavirus

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Wataru Matsumoto (3-3, 2.63) vs Drew VerHagen (1-3, 5.59)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Manabu Mima (2-2, 3.86) vs Masahiro Tanaka (2-3, 3.19)

Hawks vs Buffaloes: PayPay Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Nick Martinez (2-1, 2.00) vs Daiki Tajima (2-1, 2.61)

Central League

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

Yasuhiro Ogawa (3-1, 4.19) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (2-3, 3.60)

Dragons vs Giants: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Yariel Rodriguez (0-0, 1.35) vs Angel Sanchez (3-2, 4.26)

Active roster moves 5/21/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/31

Central League


GiantsP12Rubby De La Rosa
GiantsP35Toshiki Sakurai
GiantsP92Shohei Numata
DragonsP22Yudai Ono
SwallowsP15Rick van den Hurk
SwallowsOF49Daiki Watanabe


DragonsP46Hiroshi Suzuki
CarpIF69Ryutaro Hatsuki
CarpOF1Seiya Suzuki
CarpOF5Hisayoshi Chono
SwallowsC33Soma Uchiyama

Pacific League


FightersC60Takuya Kori