Tag Archives: Frank Herrmann

NPB wrap 9-15-21

The Marines’ march toward their first regular season championship since 1974 continued in Fukuoka, while Orix got whacked in Sendai to fall four games off the pace on Wednesday.

The Central League got a little tighter, as the Swallows scraped past the Tigers and the Giants came from behind late to beat DeNA thanks largely in part to Scott Heinemann, leaving both clubs 2-1/2 back.

Swallows 1, Tigers 0

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Munetaka Murakami singled in a first-inning run, Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa (8-4, 3.96) scattered five walks and six hits over 7-2/3 innings, reliever Noboru Shimizu struck out Jerry Sands to retire the side in the eighth with the bases loaded, and closer Scott McGough, who surrendered a game-tying three-run home run the night before, worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his 20th save.

Hanshin rookie Masashi Ito (7-7, 2.98) allowed a run on five hits and a walk over six innings, but Sands went 0-for-2 with two outs and the bases loaded.

Giants 7, BayStars 6

At Tokyo Dome, new Giant Scotte Heinemann saved three runs with a big catch to end DeNA’s ninth inning, and then singled to lead off Yomiuri’s three-run ninth off DeNA closer Kazuki Mishima (1-5), who blew his second save in three games.

Hayato Sakamoto hit his 14th and 15th home runs to keep the Giants close and singled in tying run in the ninth. Kazuma Okamoto hit his 37th home run and capped the ninth-inning comeback with a sacrifice fly.

Giants starter Shosei Togo allowed two hits and issued three walks in a three-run first. Neftali Soto’s two-out walk pushed in one run, and rookie Shugo Maki’s two-run single capped the rally. Sakamoto’s 14th home run, off Shinichi Onuki made it a 3-2 game. Maki’s 18th made it 4-3 in the sixth before Sakamoto struck again in the home half. Tyler Austin’s 26th gave the BayStars a two-run lead in the eighth before Kazuma Okamoto’s Japan-leading 37th made it 5-4 in the bottom of the inning.

The BayStars scored on two singles and a fielder’s choice in the ninth off Rubby De La Rosa (1-5), and then loaded the bases. With two outs, Heinemann made an inning-ending catch against the right-field wall to rob Toshiro Miyazaki of a three-run double.

Heinemann led off the Giants’ ninth with a single against closer Kazuki Mishima, who issued a one-out walk to Zelous Wheeler before surrendering three straight singles and Okamoto’s sac fly.

Giants-BayStars highlights

Carp 5, Dragons 3

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Hiroshima rookie Yuya Shozui singled in one run and his three-run seventh-inning home run brought the Hiroshima Carp from two runs down, and rookie closer Ryoji Kuribayashi notched his 24th save.

Naomichi Donoue, who drove in five late runs for Chunichi on Tuesday, opened the scoring in the second with a two-run home run, his fifth.

Marines 5, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Lotte leadoff man Takashi Ogino reached base three times and scored the game’s first two runs off Carter Stewart, Jr. Shogo Nakamura singled home Ogino in the first, and walked and scored along with Ogino in the Marines’ two-run third, Katsuya Kakunaka singling in one run and Adeiny Hechavarria doubling in the other.

Yuki Yanagita brought SoftBank back with a two-run third-inning home run, his 26th, off Manabu Mima, who surrendered two runs in the fourth, the first on Alfredo Despaigne’s third to lead off the inning. Kenta Imamiya chased Mima with a one-out RBI single that left two on, but rookie lefty Shota Suzuki steadied the ship. Suzuki retired four straight, the first three on strike outs but had to pitch out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the Hawks from blowing the game up.

Hechavarria doubled and scored the tying run on a Yudai Fujioka single, while Nakamura was hit by a pitch in the seventh and scored the go-ahead run on a Kakunaka double.

Frank Herrmann (1-1) worked a 1-2-3 sixth to earn the win, and three scoreless innings from Yuki Kuniyoshi, Chihaya Sasaki and Naoya Masuda, for his 33rd save, closed it out.

Eagles 7, Buffaloes 0

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Rakuten continued to recover from its weekend scarring at the hands of Lotte by piling misery on Orix. Ryota Takinaka (7-4, 4.05 worked seven innings a week after bowling six scoreless frames against Nippon Ham. While Soichiro Yamazaki (0-2, 5.30) got a reality check after his sublime dominant start against the Marines a week earlier, allowing five runs on two walks, a hit batsman and six hits over 4-2/3 innings.

Yamazaki’s night collapsed with his command after two were down with one on in the fifth. His fat 1-0 pitch to Tsuyoshi Yamasaki was drilled for an RBI triple, and he grazed the next batter’s elbow guard before Hideto Asamura got the end of the bat on a two-strike fastball away for an RBI single. Hiroaki Shimauchi doubled in two and Takero Okajima capped the rally with an RBI single.

Asamura euthanized the Buffaloes by homering for the second straight day, a two-run seventh-inning shot, his 13th.

Lions 3, Fighters 3

At MetLife Dome, Wang Po-jung hit his eighth homer in the first inning off Keisuke Honda with Haruki Nishikawa aboard. Tomoya Mori doubled and halved the Fighters’ lead when he scored in the first on a Takeya Nakamura single.

Wang singled home Nishikawa in the third only for Mori to draw his second walk of the game to open the fifth off Hiromi Ito. Takumi Kuriyama, who struck out to end the third with two on, delivered Mori with a sacrifice fly in the fifth. The Lions tied it in the eighth on a Shuta Tonosaki double and a Kuriyama single.

At that point, the closers came in and preserved the tie. Kaima Taira pitched out of a two-out bases-loaded pickle in the top of the ninth, while Toshihiro Sugiura stranded two in the home half.

Starting pitchers

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

Takahiro Norimoto (9-5, 3.49) vs Daiki Tajima (5-7, 3.88)

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

Wataru Matsumoto (7-7, 3.75) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (8-6, 3.20)

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

Nick Martinez (7-3, 1.91) vs Kota Futaki (5-5, 3.93)

Thursday’s starting pitchers

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

Takahiro Norimoto (9-5, 3.49) vs Daiki Tajima (5-7, 3.88)

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

Wataru Matsumoto (7-7, 3.75) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (8-6, 3.20)

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

Nick Martinez (7-3, 1.91) vs Kota Futaki (5-5, 3.93)

Active roster moves 9/15/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/25

Central League


GiantsOF51Takumaru Yaoita
DragonsP47Shotaro Kasahara


GiantsP64Ryusei Ohe

Pacific League


HawksP35Livan Moinelo
LionsP45Keisuke Honda
LionsOF7Yuji Kaneko
BuffaloesP57Nobuyoshi Yamada


MarinesP48Toshiya Nakamura
MarinesP91Enny Romero
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda
BuffaloesP58Kazuyuki Kaneda

NPB wrap 5-16-21

Let there be Roki, and Leonys Martin, too

People came to see Roki Sasaki, OK, and Takaki Ishibashi (Taka Tanaka of the “Major League” movie franchise) throw the ceremonial first pitch, but mostly Sasaki, who a third of the way through his second pro season, made his first-team debut at the Lotte Marines’ home ground.

But if those two were the star attractions, Leonys Martin was the star, and would have been a hero (on the postgame hero interview podium if his ninth-inning drive had gone over the fence instead of being caught for an out on the warning track. As it was, Sasaki showed off a good fastball (topping out at 96 mph) and splitter, and Martin hit two homers, drove in three runs, doubled and was hit by a pitch and leads both leagues with 12 home runs.

Marines 6, Lions 6

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Sasaki allowed four runs, two earned, over five innings. He gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out five. He missed some pitches that were hit, but you have to give credit to the Lions hitters for adjusting and hitting some tough pitches as well.

Seibu starter Katsunori Hirai gave up a first-inning leadoff homer on his second pitch of the game to Takashi Ogino, and another on his third pitch to Martin, and allowed four runs in four innings. Ogino singled in a run in Lotte’s two-run second and singled ahead of Martin’s fifth-inning home run.

Frank Herrmann, Lotte’s third pitcher, recorded his 100th hold in Japan, but Yuki Karakawa issued two one-out walks in the eighth and a two-out two-run single to Cory Spangenberg.

Reed Garrett returned to his ninth-inning role by surviving Martin’s drive to the wall to nail down the 6-6 tie when pinch-runner Koshiro Wada was thrown out to end the game trying to steal second. The Lions stole five bases.

Fighters 2, Hawks 2

At Sapporo Dome, SoftBank’s Kenji Akashi singled in two seventh-inning runs off Nippon Ham starter Naoyuki Uwasawa, and both closers, Toshihiro Sugiura for the Fighters and Livan Moinelo for the Hawks, stranded three runners in a scoreless ninth.

Eagles 1, Buffaloes 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Rakuten’s top draft pick last autumn, lefty Takahisa Hayakawa (5-2) threw his first shutout and first Maddux, with Hiroaki Shimauchi ruining the win-loss record of Orix’s Sachiya Yamasaki (1-4) with a second-inning solo home run, his fifth of the year. Hayakawa allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Yamasaki walked one, hit one and gave up five hits in his 6-2/3-inning effort.

Tigers 6, Giants 5

At Tokyo Dome, Hanshin’s Raul Alcantara (1-0), who went 20-2 last year for KBO’s Doosan Bears, nearly let this victory in his Japan debut slip away in a three-run sixth after four straight singles to start the inning, but retired the last three batters he faced and three relievers shut the door to hold off Yomiuri.

Tigers leadoff hitter Koji Chikamoto doubled and singled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs, while Naomasa Yokawa hit a two-run homer for the visitors, while Robert Suarez recorded his Japan-best 12 saves. Kazuma Okamoto hit his ninth home run for the Giants, and Zelous Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 21 games.

Giants-Tigers highlights

Dragons 2, Swallows 2

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami hit his Central League-leading 11th home run, a two-run shot in the first inning but that was all the offense the visitors’ could muster against Yuya Yanagi, who pitched yet another marvelous game, allowing four hits and walking two over seven innings while his nine strikeouts raised his Japan-best total to 67.

Swallows rookie Yasunobu Okugawa also pitched well. The other big pitcher out of high school in 2019 along with Roki Sasaki, Okugawa allowed a run on seven hits over six innings while striking out seven and walking none. Dragons leadoff man Yohei Oshima had two hits and a sac fly, while, Yota Kyoda singled in the game-tying run in the ninth after Kosuke Fukudome opened the inning with a pinch-hit single off Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama.

The game, which could also be confused by a defensive highlight reel, saw two big plays from the Swallows outfield . Rookie reserve Hidetaka Namiki prevented a loss by robbing Dragons catcher Takuya Kinoshita of an RBI eighth-inning double. In the ninth, center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi prevented the game-winning run from scoring with a game-ending throw to the plate.

Carp 3, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, it was perhaps a good thing this game could only go nine innings, otherwise who knows how many base runners the DeNA BayStars would have squandered. As it was they entered the seventh trailing Hiroshima 2-0 having put 14 on through six innings, largely thanks to four double plays. But that changed in the seventh, when Neftali Soto homered after singles by Tyler Austin and Keita Sano.

Michael Peoples allowed two runs over five innings for the BayStars. Ryuma Nishikawa twice singled in runs for the Carp, including one in the eighth off former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki to tie it. Both closers, rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi of the Carp and Kazuki Mishima of the BayStars, stranded two runners in the ninth to end this game in a tie.

Active roster moves 5/16/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/26

Central League


TigersP44Raul Alcantara
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa



Pacific League


HawksP13Akira Niho
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
FightersC10Yushi Shimizu
FightersC68Ryo Ishikawa
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki
BuffaloesIF53Sho Gibo


FightersC30Shingo Usami
FightersOF66Chusei Mannami