Tag Archives: Hirokazu Sawamura

NPB 2020 Oct. 9

Friday’s games

Other news

2 trees, 1 run, 0 games behind

Lotte Marines right-hander Kota Futaki (6-2) improved to 3-0 this season against the SoftBank Hawks in a 3-1 win at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

The Marines, who improved to 11-4-1 this season against the Hawks, pulled into a virtual tie with the league leaders, trailing only by winning-percentage points.

Futaki struck out nine, walked one and allowed three hits. The Hawks’ only run came when Akira Nakamura connected with a high straight fastball in the first inning and launched his sixth home run into the home run terrace in right field.

The right-hander located his fastball and had a particularly nasty slider that he used to change speeds and stay ahead of the game.

Hawks lefty Matt Moore (4-3) fought a gutsy rearguard action after fate conspired against him in the Marines’ two-run first. He allowed three runs, two earned, on seven hits, three walks and a hit batsman.

He notched three of his eight strikeouts in the third after Leonys Martin was on third with no outs in a bad night for Hawks catcher Takuya Kai, who gave up three steals and bobbled a throw to the plate that allowed a run to score in the first.

Marines rookie Kyota Fujiwara, their first pick out in the 2018 draft, singled in an insurance run in the sixth after catcher Tatsuhiro Tamura singled and stole his first base of the year.

Hirokazu Sawamura dialed his fastball up to 157 kph in a 1-2-3 eighth and Naoya Masuda worked an easy ninth to record his league-best 29th save. Yuki Yanagita, who struck out three times against Futaki, completed a nightmare evening by grounding into a double play.

Neal hangs in to earn win

Zach Neal and the Seibu Lions did some expert damage control, keeping the first inning from blowing up on them in a 5-2 win over the Rakuten Eagles at Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

Neal (4-6) allowed two runs over six innings on five hits, two walks and a hit batsman, while Eagles starter Takahiro Shiomi (4-7) gave up three runs in the third, when he allowed three hits and a walk.

The Eagles’ D.J. Johnson struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth, but Lions closer Tatsushi Masuda ended the game with the tying run at the plate to record his 26th save.

Tajima holds off Fighters

Lefty Daiki Tajima (4-4) allowed two runs over six innings as the Orix Buffaloes beat the Nippon Ham Fighters at Sapporo Dome.

Tajima gave up three hits and two walks while striking out two. Kensuke Kondo accounted for both of the hosts’ runs off him with a two-run sixth-inning homer.

Adam Jones drove in two runs for the Buffaloes with a walk and a single, while Takahiro Okada homered and drove in three. Tyler Higgins worked a 1-2-3 eighth before the Fighters scored twice off Brandon Dickson in the ninth.

Swallows outlast Carp

Twenty-year-old rookie Taiki Masuda broke a sixth-inning tie by leading off a six-run sixth with a home run in the the Yakult Swallows’ 12-7 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium.

Each team used seven pitchers in the 4-hour, 16-minute game that saw the teams combine for 31 hits.

Active roster moves 10/9/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/19

Central League


SwallowsC52Yuhei Nakamura


GiantsP41Kota Nakagawa
BayStarsP35Tomoya Mikami

Pacific League


MarinesP65Takuro Furuya
BuffaloesOF6Yuma Mune
BuffaloesOF56Yusuke Matsui



Starting pitchers for Oct. 10, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Buffaloes: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kohei Arihara (5-8, 3.83) vs Taisuke Yamaoka (2-3, 2.51)

Eagles vs Lions: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Ryota Ishibashi (1-4, 5.94) vs Daiki Enokida (0-1, 7.13)

Hawks vs Marines: PayPay Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Nao Higashihama (6-1, 2.66) vs Toshiya Nakamura (2-4, 4.79)

Central League

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

Yariel Rodriguez (2-3, 3.38) vs Seishu Hatake (2-3, 3.79)

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

Joe Gunkel (1-3, 3.62) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (6-5, 4.56)

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

Masato Morishita (7-3, 2.43) vs Albert Suarez (4-1, 2.34)

NPB 2020 Sept. 7

Tigers throw one away

The Yomiuri Giants scored twice on bad throws from Hanshin Tigers center fielder Koji Chikamoto and held on to a 3-2 at Koshien Stadium on Monday.

Cristopher Mercedes (3-4) worked six scoreless innings to earn the win and left with a 3-0 lead after allowing two hits and no walks. He fell afoul of Japan’s three-second balk convention that requires pitchers to pause that long before delivering his pitch or be called for a balk.

The Giants opened in the scoring in the third. Takumi Oshiro saw two-straight high 2-2 fastballs from Haruto Takahashi. He fouled off the first one that had more life on it but lined the second to left for an opposite field single. Takahashi left an 0-1 pitch up to Naoki Yoshikawa and he chopped it past first for a single. A bunt and a walk loaded the bases.

Oshiro tagged up on a fly to shallow center but it was just for show. He returned to third, but turned around and scored when Chikamoto’s throw hit the backstop on the fly.

Oshiro delivered a sacrifice fly to the same spot in shallow left center in the fourth, and Kazuma Okamoto hustled home to score. Chikamoto took no chances with this throw, making it so low that it rolled the last 30 feet to the plate and Okamoto easily outran it.

Okamoto doubled in a run in the fifth, and Takahashi (2-2) left after six having allowed three runs, one earned, on nine hits and three walks.

The Tigers didn’t supply all the weirdness, though. Tigers captain Kento Itohara, starting for the first time since July 22 because of a broken hamate bone, singled to open the Tigers seventh, and scored on Justin Bour’s two-out single off the third Giants pitcher in the inning — and the second one he faced in the at-bat.

With two on and two outs, Kan Otake got ahead of him 1-2. But the right-hander was yanked after his third pitch was hit foul into the upper reaches of Koshien Stadium’s right-field stands. Lefty Ryusei Oe took over with a 2-1 count and gave up an RBI infield single but the Tigers settled for a run.

Itohara homered to lead off the ninth against Rubby De La Rosa, but he held on to earn his ninth save.

Giants dump Sawamura in trade

The Giants made news earlier in the day by announcing they had sent former closer Hirokazu Sawamura to the Lotte Marines for unheralded 24-year-old outfielder Kazuya Katsuki in a deal that looks like nothing more than a salary dump.

The 32-year-old Sawamura was reportedly making 154 million yen this year, roughly $1.4 million. He was the Giants’ closer in 2015 and 2016 after failing to make a huge impact in the starting rotation. Katsuki is a minor leaguer whose only apparent skill is some raw power — he hit 12 Eastern League home runs in 2018. His salary is reported as 6.5 million yen, roughly $60,000 which is just barely above the 4.4 million yen minimum for 70-man roster players.

Katsuki’s physique has drawn comparisons to that of fellow Osaka Toin HS graduate and six-time PL home run king Takeya Nakamura. The Seibu Lions slugger is known as “Okawari-kun,” which means literally the kid who goes back for another helping and is kind of Japan’s version of “Country Breakfast.”

Active roster moves 9/7/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/17

Central League




BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama
BayStarsOF1Masayuki Kuwahara
DragonsP21Toshiya Okada
SwallowsP25Gabriel Ynoa

Pacific League




HawksIF8Kenji Akashi
EaglesP31Yuya Fukui
EaglesIF36Yasuhito Uchida

Starting pitchers for Sept. 4, 2020

Pacific League

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

Wataru Karashima (0-1, 4.73) vs Kodai Senga (5-3, 3.88)

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Kona Takahashi (4-6, 4.92) vs Yoshinobu Yamamoto (4-2, 3.05)

Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yuta Omine (0-1, 12.60) vs Naoyuki Uwasawa (5-2, 2.66)

Central League

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

Yuya Sakamoto (1-0, 0.00) vs Onelki Garcia (2-5, 3.53)

Dragons vs Giants: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yudai Ono (5-3, 2.34) vs Tomoyuki Sugano (9-0, 1.57)

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

Allen Kuri (2-4, 4.76) vs Masanori Ishikawa (0-2, 4.85)