Tag Archives: Hiroya Miyagi

NPB wrap 9-7-21

Japan’s pro baseball week opened with the Pacific League lead changing hands as Orix got a shot in the arm from the irrepressible Seiichiro Oshita, on the roster due to a shot in the arm of Adam Jones.

In the Central League, the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers appeared hungover from their intense series at Koshien, as both got whacked badly, while the Hiroshima Carp proved you can take it with you. After a weekend of hitting homers against the Swallows at Tokyo Dome, they returned to Hiroshima, where Seiya Suzuki and Shogo Sakakura brought their Tokyo Dome home run swings to bear on the Dragons.

Buffaloes 4, Marines 3

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, Seiichiro Oshita, who a year ago as an exuberant minor league call-up became the poster boy for Orix’s enthusiasm under interim skipper Satoshi Nakajima, got the call on Tuesday to replace Adam Jones on the active roster after Jones suffered from vaccine side effects.

Oshita belted an eighth-inning pinch-hit home run to trim Lotte’s lead to 3-2. A Torai Fushimi double, and a bobbled grounder by Adeiny Hechavarria allowed the tying run to score.

Yoshihisa Hirano (1-3) retired the heart of the Marines order 1-2-3 in the ninth, and the Buffaloes scored, not off Japan’s saves leader Naoya Masuda, but journeyman Yasuhiro Tanaka (1-1). Two hits and a walk loaded the bases, and Oshita launched a drive to deep center that would have plated the winning run regardless where the outfield was playing him.

The win restored Orix to the one-game first-place lead they had over Lotte on Saturday before the Marines squeezed past them into first on Sunday.

Lotte leadoff man Takashi Ogino had four hits, three times dropping flies in front of outfielders. It was a night when shallow center became a defensive black hole for the Buffaloes, sucking in fly balls that time and again dropped in front of center fielder Shuhei Fukuda.

The late rally took rookie Hiroya Miyagi off the hook for the loss after he allowed three runs over five innings, two on Leonys Martin’s first-inning double.

The Buffaloes managed one run off two hits and a walk and a wild pitch but might have had another had the umpires done their duty, less because Lotte needed a break to get an out at the plate, but simply because the umps have ceased to call obstruction at home again.

Lions 6, Hawks 5

At MetLife Dome, Seibu provided more fodder for SoftBank’s late-inning bullpen nightmares as Hiroshi Kaino (0-1), who appeared to have the goods to take over the vacant closer’s job, surrendered three runs on four two-out eighth-inning hits.

Rookie Richard Sunagawa continued to be a Hawks hero, trimming SoftBank’s deficit to 3-2 on a two-run fourth-inning single off Kona Takahashi, who surrendered Takuya Kai’s three-run sixth-inning homer, his ninth but went seven innings.

Trailing by two in the eighth, Hotaka Yamakawa and Wu Nien-ting singled off Kaino ahead of a Seiji Kawagoe double, setting up Sosuke Genda’s decisive two-run single.

Ryosuke Moriwaki (3-0) worked the eighth for the win and Kaima Taira earned his 13th save.

On the save front, closer Yuito Mori, who hasn’t pitched since April 29 due to an inflamed non-pitching elbow, was back working out with the Hawks on Tuesday.

Fighters 4, Eagles 2

At Sapporo Dome, Nippon Ham right-hander Hiromi Ito (9-5, 2.54) went seven to win a rookie showdown with Takahisa Hayakawa (7-4, 3.82). Kensuke Kondo doubled in the game’s first run and scored the second in a two-run fourth, before the Eagles re-tied it on a two-out fifth-inning Hiroto Kobukata single.

With two outs in the fifth, Kondo came up with the bases loaded and singled in two. Ito pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh after Kobukata walked to reach for the third time. Fighters lefty Mizuki Hori worked a perfect eighth against the heart of the Eagles order and Bryan Rodriguez locked it down in the ninth for his second save.

BayStars 8, Giants 2

At Yokohama Stadium (finally!), for the first time since June 6, DeNA made mincemeat out of Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano (3-6, 3.97), who allowed seven runs in 4-1/3 innings. Although he got tagged for six of the seven runs scored in the fifth, this game started to get away from Sugano in the second, when his command evaporated.

Normally an artist with his ability to hit the corner or work just off it and use every inch of the zone to his advantage. Sugano couldn’t hit corners, couldn’t get calls when he did and threw straight fastballs and hanging forkballs in the zone that got tattooed.

Swallows 12, Tigers 0

At Koshien Stadium, rookie Yakult right-hander Yasunobu Okugawa (6-3, 3.55) struck out eight over seven innings. He allowed two hits but no walks and didn’t allow a Tigers runner to reach second, while the Swallows scored early and often against Koyo Aoyagi (10-3, 2.51) and three relievers.

Tomotaka Sakaguchi doubled in the first and scored on a Norichika Aoki single, Domingo Santana made it 2-0 in the second, his 10th, and Munetaka Murakami added a three-run shot, his 32nd, in the third.

Carp 8, Dragons 7

At Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima returned home and the Carp treated their home ballpark as if it were Tokyo Dome. Seiya Suzuki homered for the fourth straight game, with his 23rd and 24th, and added an RBI single as the Carp came from a 7-3 ninth-inning deficit in a five-run outburst against Chunichi closer Raidel Martinez (0-2). Shogo Sakakura ended it with his 10th homer, a three-run shot.

The Dragons wasted a three-run six-inning start from Shinnosuke Ogasawara, who singled in the go-ahead run in the visitors’ three-run sixth against Masato Morishita.

Wednesday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Eagles: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Naoyuki Uwasawa (8-5, 3.14) vs Ryota Takinaka (5-4, 4.92)

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

Zach Neal (1-5, 4.71) vs Kodai Senga (4-1, 3.81)

Buffaloes vs Marines: Hotto Motto Field 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Soichiro Yamazaki (0-1, 5.63) vs Kota Futaki (4-5, 4.13)

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

Shinichi Onuki (5-5, 4.70) vs Shun Yamaguchi (2-3, 2.95)

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

Masashi Ito (7-6, 2.85) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (7-3, 4.15)

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

Shogo Tamamura (2-5, 3.90) vs Takahiro Matsuba (2-3, 3.70)

Active roster moves 9/7/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/17

Central League

Activated

BayStarsP65Ryosuke Miyaguni
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Dectivated

None

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP38Yuito Mori
FightersC30Shingo Usami
BuffaloesP26Atsushi Nomi
BuffaloesP30Kohei Suzuki
BuffaloesP47Tomoyuki Kaida
BuffaloesIF40Seiichiro Oshita

Dectivated

BuffaloesOF8Shunta Goto
BuffaloesOF10Adam Jones

NPB wrap 8-21-21

On Saturday’s episode of “Stupid Relief Tricks,” Hall of Fame Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara tried the baseball equivalent of calling a time out to force the opposing American football kicker to ponder a last-minute clutch field goal, or at least that seemed to be why he switched pitchers with an 0-2 count on light-hitting Tatsuhiro Shibata with the game tied 1-1 in the seventh with runners on second and third.

It’s one of those things, where if it works people go, “OK” and suck air through their teeth, and perhaps call Hara a managing genius, again. But I doubt we’ll be seeing any “managing genius” stories tomorrow as Shibata drove in the first of five runs in the inning.

Hara, who occasionally cloaks answers to questions about his tactics in ambiguity as if protecting state secrets, declined to give any explanation for his move.

BayStars 7, Giants 2

At Tokyo Dome, Tatsuhiro Shibata made two big plays at second, robbing the Giants of a third-inning leadoff single, and turning a tricky double play to prevent the go-ahead run in the sixth before shrugging off manager Hara’s head game by driving reliever Ryusei Oe’s fat first pitch for a tie-breaking seventh-inning sacrifice fly. To put an exclamation point on his game, Shibata hit his second homer of the season in the eighth.

The Giants remained 1-1/2 games of the Tigers, but saw their lead over the third-place Swallows trimmed to half a game.

Oe walked rookie reserve catcher Yudai Yamamoto and rookie Shugo Maki pinch-hit, blasting his 13th homer off Yohei Kagiya to make it 5-1, and three more hits made it 6-1 DeNA. After Shibata homered in the top of the eighth, Kazuma Okamoto reached 30 home runs for the fourth straight season in the home half with a solo homer.

DeNA starter Fernando Romero got a second-inning lead on Neftali Soto’s 16th home run, off Shosei Togo (8-5, 3.91). Romero allowed a run over 5-1/3 innings. Veteran left-handed hitter Yasuyuki Kamei chased him in the sixth with his third hit of the game.

Reliever Yoshiki Sunada walked pinch-hitter Sho Nakata, in his first Giants plate appearance, to load the bases, and then failed to glove a shot off the bat of Zelous Wheeler. The ball, however, deflected to Shibata, who stepped on second and fired to first to end the inning and save a run.

Giants-BayStars highlights

Dragons 6, Tigers 2

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, new Hanshin pitcher Akira Niho (1-1, 5.28) allowed three runs on five hits, a walk, a hit batsman and an errant pickoff throw in three innings. It was the kind of game where eight different Dragons players either drove in a run or scored and career minor leaguer Hayato Mizowaki sparked the offense from the No. 8 spot with four hits, two runs and an RBI.

Ariel Martinez started behind the plate with Cuban compatriot Yariel Rodriguez on the mound and singled in a first-inning run.

Rodriguez struck out eight but was pulled for a pinch-hitter Nobumasa Fukuda in the fourth after 93 pitches having allowed two runs over four innings. Fukuda blasted a two-run double that made it 5-2.

Mel Rojas Jr. continued to find his stroke with three hits including two doubles and a run for the Tigers.

Swallows 8, Carp 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Norichika had four hits, including three doubles, scored a run and drove in two, while being thrown out at home twice.

The Swallows scored a first-inning run off Haruki Omichi (4-3, 4.22). Aoki doubled following a leadoff hit batsman, and Tetsuto Yamada singled in a run. Seiya Suzuki, however, threw out Aoki to limit the damage.

Yakult’s Cy Sneed (1-1, 5.09) allowed two runs over five innings, on sac flies in the first, to tie it, and the third, as Suzuki plated Takayoshi Noma to put the Carp in front. The Swallows regained the lead in the fourth on a Yuhei Nakamura double and Domingo Santana’s eighth homer.

The visitors made it 5-2 in the fifth when Aoki doubled, Yamada singled and both scored on a Munetaka Murakami double. Rookie reliever Hiroki Onishi got two outs in the sixth, but a double, an infield single and a wild pitch made it a two-run game.

Aoki reached for the third time in the seventh, but was out at the plate, this time on a good relay after a two-out Jose Osuna double.

The Carp stranded two runners in the bottom of the inning after a rain delay, and Aoki’s third double, the 300th of his Japan career, drove home two in the top of the eighth.

Buffaloes 2, Lions 0

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Hiroya Miyagi (11-1, 2.01), who will reach legal drinking age in Japan, 20, on Wednesday, took over the NPB pitching-wins lead in his final start as a teenager. The lefty, whose poise defies his age, struggled with his command all day but never stopped attacking the strike zone to get ahead in counts, allowing his defense to bail him out of a couple of tough spots as he outdueled Tatsuya Imai (6-4, 2.80).

Imai has some electric stuff, but he goes through phases when you know he can’t throw a strike, and when he gets into one of those spells, it’s like watching an airliner crash in slow motion. With the game scoreless in the third, he appeared headed for disaster with back-to-back two-out walks bringing up all-star slugger Yutaro Sugimoto. Imai snapped out of it, got ahead in the count and caught Sugimoto looking.

The Lions starter was victimized in the sixth, when Sugimoto smashed a 3-2 pitch in the heart of the zone back through the box with two outs. Takahiro Okada then rocketed a high 1-2 fastball off the wall in right. Imai went the distance but surrendered another run in the eighth after two singles and a walk to Sugimoto loaded the bases before he hit Okada.

Seibu loaded the bases against Tyler Higgins with two out in the eighth, but Yoshihisa Hirano worked a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 15th save.

Eagles 8, Fighters 4

At Sapporo Dome, Takayuki Kishi (6-6, 3.14) threw his seventh straight quality start after being extremely inconsistent over the first two months of the season. Kishi struck out nine over six scoreless innings, allowing three hits and no walks. The Eagles’ Daichi Suzuki and Hideto Asamura each scored twice, while Hiroaki Shimauchi and Takero Okajima each drove in two.

After some sterling relief work in the Olympics, Hiromi Ito (7-5, 2.80) returned to his day job, but allowed six runs, five earned, over five innings.

Marines 8, Hawks 6

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, reliever Sho Iwasaki (2-3) allowed Lotte to break up a tie game with three ninth-inning runs for the second straight day. Takashi Ogino singled, and scored after a sacrifice, a ground out and a Brandon Laird infield single. Pinch-runner Koshiro Wada stole second, and Toshiya Sato blasted a two-run home run, his fourth.

Hawks starter Shuta Ishikawa struck out 11 batters for the second straight game, but minutes after four-run sixth made it 5-0, the right-hander retired just one of the four batters he faced in the seventh. Shinya Kayama walked pinch-hitter Katsuya Kakunaka. Hiroshi Kaino got one out before Kyota Fujiwara doubled in two and Shogo Nakamura doubled in two more to tie it.

Alfredo Despaigne made it 1-0 in the second with his first home run since he went deep off Lotte, his former team, in March. But Manabu Mima regained control until the sixth, when three runs scored on a double by Ryoya Kurihara, who scored on an Akira Nakamura single.

Lotte’s Frank Herrmann struck out the side in the seventh, and the Hawks ran themselves out of the eighth against Chihaya Sasaki (6-0).

Pinch-runner Ukyo Shuto stole second but was picked off second when Kurihara couldn’t bunt a pitch that missed well outside. Kurihara then doubled but was out trying to steal third on a play that was ostensibly reviewed, although likely on a monitor that would have been obsolete in 1955.

The Hawks paid for their sins in the ninth. Although they fought back for a run in the home half of the ninth against Yuki Kuniyoshi, the reliever, acquired from DeNA in a June trade, held on for his first save since 2015.

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Starting pitchers

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

Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-5, 3.39) vs Hideaki Wakui (6-7, 5.18)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Sachiya Yamasaki (5-6, 3.45) vs Kaito Yoza (0-1, 4.67)

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

Carter Stewart, Jr. (0-0, 5.23) vs Enny Romero (-)

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

Yuki Takahashi (9-3, 2.62) vs Shota Imanaga (3-3, 3.50)

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

Shinnosuke Ogasawara (6-5, 3.20) vs Takumi Akiyama (8-4, 3.12)

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

Yusuke Nomura (0-4, 6.12) vs Juri Hara (0-1, 4.91)

Active roster moves 8/21/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/31

Central League

Activated

GiantsIF10Sho Nakata
BayStarsP42Fernando Romero

Dectivated

GiantsIF52Takumi Kitamura
TigersP19Shintaro Fujinami
BayStarsP35Tomoya Mikami

Pacific League

Activated

FightersP17Hiromi Itoh

Dectivated

FightersIF23Ryo Watanabe