Tag Archives: Gregory Polanco

NPB news: Sept. 17, 2022

It’s Saturday and was a rare night out with the missus, did some dancing, and said hi to some friends. It was fun, but full disclosure: It meant missing almost all of the games, so I won’t be able to report on anything I saw through careful observation of whole games because for the most part I didn’t.

There was some fun stuff, however, and

Yoshinobu Yamamoto stood in the way of the Hawks lowering their magic number, while the Chunichi Dragons are once more playing the role of the troll under the bridge the Yakult Swallows need to cross. The DeNA BayStars, meanwhile, were playing THEIR kryptonite team, the Hiroshima Carp.

The Rakuten Eagles sent Masahiro Tanaka to the mound with a chance to put Rakuten into third place, while the Hansin Tigers sent Yuki Nishi against the Yomiuri Giants’ Shosei Togo in their battle for the CL’s third-place spot in a game decided by home runs.

Elsewhere, a full crowd nearly brought one Fighters player to tears, while Chunichi skipper Kazuyoshi Tatsunami spills on Munetaka Murakami‘s failures.

Pitching metrics

The last two weeks I’ve been analyzing pitches, with batters’ runs created per pitch a key measure. I’m sticking with runs created per pitch but have switched to a fielding-independent model, that prevents the anomaly of Manabu Mima’s 85 mph fastball getting the highest rating of any starting pitcher’s fastball in Japan. It doesn’t miss many bats, doesn’t get called for strikes an unusual amount and is not hard to put in play, but when it has been put in play, very few have failed to find gloves this season.

With this new tweak, Hanshin reliever Atsuki Yuasa’s heater ranks as the most effective pitch thrown 400 or more times this season through Saturday, with batters creating .0113 runs per pitch he throws, to edge out Roki Sasaki’s .0117.

Let’s get to the games, shall we?

Buffaloes 2, Hawks 0: At Osaka Dome, Yamamoto (14-5) won a pitchers’ duel with Yugo Bando (2-3), with both starters allowing four hits over the distance. Yamamoto allowed four singles and a walk over nine while striking out seven. Bando Keita Nakagawa’s first-inning home run and walked three, two of which allowed Orix to load the bases in the third and score an insurance run on a Yuma Tongu sac fly.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 17, 2022

NPB news: Sept. 7, 2022

There was a plentiful supply of whoop-ass in Japan Wednesday, when it was not a good night for most of the teams in the top half of their league’s rankings.

Earlier on Wednesday I woke up to some weird talk of people saying stupid things about MLB home run records, and realized Japan regularly partakes in its own record stupidity, and so I had to write about it. We also had the monthly awards, which went to form.

The guns of August

Munetaka Murakami won his third straight CL hitter of the month award, while Shota Imanaga, who went 5-0 while leading the league with 36 innings and a 1.25 ERA. It was his second award of the season after he won for May.

The PL hitter’s award went to Rakuten’s Hiroaki Shimauchi and was also well deserved after he led the PL with a .381 average, 17 runs, 37 hits, 64 total bases, 21 RBIs, and a .660 slugging average. It was the first monthly award for the 11th-year pro.

The pitcher was a kind of a surprise since it went to Orix’s Hiroya Miyagi, who had a 3-1 record rather than Kona Takahashi who went 3-0 with a good ERA. Miyagi threw his first career shutout and led the league with a 1.14 ERA.

Pitcher’s arsenal reports

Starting today, I’m going to begin sharing the fruits of one of my projects, collecting and analyzing pitch-by-pitch data. There’s precious little publicly available, but we can have some fun by seeing how pitchers’ arsenals and individual pitches shape up against other players: I’ll be talking about whether pitches are thrown ahead or behind in counts, how effective they are — not just in final results but also in contributing to better counts, how often their missed, called for strikes or put into play.

OK, so let’s get to the games, the starting pitchers for Thursday and more.

Giants 18, BayStars 3: At Tokyo Dome, Adam Walker hit a fourth-inning grand slam, Gregory Polanco added a three-run homer in the same nine-run inning, and added a two-run shot, his 21st, in a five-run seventh. Giants rookie Iori Yamasaki (5-4) allowed a run over seven innings, while DeNA starter Haruhiro Hamaguchi (7-5) allowed 11 runs on 10 hits and two walks over 3-2/3 innings. Ouch.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 7, 2022