Tag Archives: Hotaka Yamakawa

NPB wrap 8-19-21

There were only three games in Japan on Thursday due to a rainout, and only one featuring a clear pennant contender–sorry Lotte fans.

The DeNA BayStars hosted their final game at Tokyo Dome before their return to Yokohama Stadium, which had been the Tokyo Olympics’ main venue, and did well in the get-away-from-home game, thanks to their outfielders making the biggest plays.

Thank god it’s Friday

…when a trio of Olympic medalists will start in the Pacific League, Masahiro Tanaka for the Eagles, Yoshinobu Yamamoto for the Buffaloes, and Nick Martinez for the Hawks. If these guys stay in their Friday slots for a while, there are going to be some seriously fun matchups.

BayStars 5, Tigers 4

At Tokyo Dome, DeNA broke a 2-2 lead when Tigers center fielder Koji Chikamoto failed to catch a shallow sinking liner and it bounced under his glove for a two-run fifth-inning double. BayStars center fielder Masayuki Kuwahara robbed Mel Rojas Jr by making that play for the first out in the seventh, when reliever Edwin Escobar held the Tigers to a run.

Teruaki Sato hit his 23rd home run leading off the ninth against Kazuki Mishima, tying Hanshin’s rookie record, and scored three runs. Mishima then gave up a drive to the right-field wall to Rojas, who was once more victimized, this time by defensive replacement Taishi Kusumoto. Mishima allowed also allowed a single but hung on to record his 17th save.

BayStars starter Yuya Sakamoto (4-2, 4.06) who beat the Tigers in his last start before the break, made it two straight against the league leaders by allowing two runs over six innings. Shintaro Fujinami (3-3, 4.70) allowed four runs over 4-2/3 innings.

Carp 3, Dragons 1

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya Daichi Osera (5-3, 3.21) worked seven scoreless innings to outduel 2021 Sawamura Award winner Yudai Ono (3-8, 3.46), who allowed a run over six. Osera had a hand in both of the Carp’s run-scoring innings.

His two-out fifth-inning single brought up Takayoshi Noma, who singled in the go-ahead run, and Osera’s one-out sacrifice preceded a seventh-inning triple by Noma, who scored on a Hisayoshi Chono single.

Osera got out of his biggest jam by striking out Nobumasa Fukuda to end the sixth after intentionally walking Dayan Viciedo, who singled in Chunichi’s only run in the eighth.

Rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi worked around a leadoff single in the ninth to nail down his 19th save.

Marines 3, Lions 3

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Shota Suzuki had one bad inning, when the Lions got a few good swings on tough pitches before he grooved a fastball with two on to Hotaka Yamakawa, drove it well back into the left-field stands for his 15th home run.

Seibu starter Keisuke Honda, on the other hand, worked five scoreless innings in which he stranded seven base runners. Shogo Nakamura singled in a run against deposed closer Tatsushi Masuda to make it 3-1 in the seventh.

Lions reliever Reed Garrett allowed a one-out scratch single, and issued a two-out walk when he missed twice just inside. He got ahead 0-2 against Toshiya Sato, but a wild pitch put both runners in scoring position. Sato made weak contact on a low 3-2 slider, bouncing it between first and second to tie it with a two-run single.

Lotte’s Naoya Masuda worked a 1-2-3 ninth to prevent a Lions’ win, and Kaima Taira did that to the Marines in the home half.

Buffaloes vs Fighters

At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, rained out.

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Starting pitchers

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

Takayuki Kato (3-6, 3.77) vs Masahiro Tanaka (4-5, 2.86)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (9-5, 1.82) vs Wataru Matsumoto (7-5, 3.48)

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

Nick Martinez (7-2, 2.03) vs Kota Futaki (4-5, 4.39)

Giants vs BayStars: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Shun Yamaguchi (2-1, 2.51) vs Masaya Kyoyama (0-3, 7.71)

Dragons vs Tigers: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Yuya Yanagi (7-5, 2.38) vs Yuki Nishi (4-7, 3.44)

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

Allen Kuri (7-6, 3.70) vs Kazuto Taguchi (4-6, 3.95)

Active roster moves 8/19/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/29

Central League


TigersP19Shintaro Fujinami
DragonsP22Yudai Ono
BayStarsP20Yuya Sakamoto


TigersP42Jon Edwards

Pacific League


MarinesP35Shota Suzuki
LionsP45Keisuke Honda


BuffaloesC44Yuma Tongu

NPB wrap 7-11-21

Leaders stumble again

Both leagues’ races tightened some more on Saturday, as Orix Buffaloes Pacific League lead dropped to two games over the Rakuten Eagles, while the fourth-place SoftBank Hawks, who beat the Buffaloes for the second straight day, pulled to within 3-1/2 games of the lead.

In the Central League, the second-place Yomiuri Giants squeaked past the leading Hanshin Tigers, trimming their lead to 1-1/2 games. The Tigers, who two weeks ago appeared to be running away with the pennant, are now headed toward a prolonged summer break with the pennant race completely up in the air.

Hawks 7, Buffaloes 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Yuki Yanagita hit two homers. His 20th trimmed Orix’s lead to 4-3 in the sixth, and his league-leading 21st, off Tyler Higgins (1-2) broke an eighth-inning tie.

The Hawks caught a break in the third when Buffaloes rookie lefty Hiroya Miyagi (9-1, 1.96) caught Naoki Sato in a rundown with two outs, only for him to run into first baseman Takahiro Okada and be awarded second base on obstruction. Daiju Nomura singled him home to start the scoring in a wild one.

SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada retired 10 of the first 11 batters he faced before issuing two one-out walks in the fourth. Adam Jones and Takahiro Okada singled to make it 2-1 and drive Wada from the game.

Kenta Imamiya doubled home Akira Nakamura to tie it in the home half, but Jones broke that tie with a two-run home run, his second, in the sixth. Imamiya singled and scored in the seventh to tie it on a Masaki Mimori double off Miyagi, who left after seven.

The Buffaloes loaded the bases against Livan Moinelo in the eighth but he retired Jones and Okada to preserve the tie that Yanagita broke in the home half. A squeeze play and a throwing error completed the scoring.

Eagles 9, Lions 3

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten’s Daichi Suzuki broke a 3-3 seventh-inning tie with a three-run home run, his fifth, and new Eagle Ginjiro Sumitani hit another three-run homer in the eighth, his second of the season after the one he hit for the Giants before his trade.

Lions right-hander Zach Neal allowed three runs over six innings but didn’t figure in the decision.

Trailing 1-0 in the third, Hotaka Yamakawa doubled and scored on a sac fly. His two-run fifth-inning home run, his 12th put the Lions up 3-1. In the Eagles’ sixth, Suzuki singled and Hideto Asai, who’d singled in a run in the first, drew his second walk to set up Takero Okajima’s game-tying two-run double.

Brandon Dixon’s eighth-inning leadoff double and a hit batsman set the table for Suzuki’s tie-breaking homer that just barely snuck over at the foul pole.

Marines vs Fighters

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, rained out.

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Giants 1, Tigers 0

At Koshien Stadium, Yomiuri’s Yuki Takahashi (9-3) allowed one single and one walk over seven innings, while Yuki Nishi (4-6) allowed four hits over the distance to suffer a complete-game loss. Yoshiyuki Kamei had two hits, including an eighth-inning leadoff double that set up Takumi Oshiro’s RBI single.

Ryusei Ohe struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth, and Thyago Vieira, who couldn’t find the strike zone with a map when he arrived in Japan last year, has turned into a monster. He struck out two, finishing his ninth save with a swing strike on a 162-kph (100.7-mph) heater and responded by thundering on the mound.

Dragons 5, BayStars 5

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, DeNA overcame a late deficit with three runs off Chunichi middle reliever Hiroto Fuku in the eighth, and another off closer Raidel Martinez in the ninth to tie it.

Rookie Shugo Maki’s two-run homer, his 12th, capped the eighth. Martinez, pitching for the fourth straight day and the fifth time in six days, retired two before allowing a run on two singles and a stolen base.

Chunichi starter Akiyoshi Katsuno pitched out of a no-out sixth-inning bases-loaded jam and the Dragons overturned a 1-0 deficit in the home half with a five-run inning fueled by two walks and an unfortunate throw to start an attempted double play by DeNA first baseman Neftali Soto.

His throw hit the runner, rolled into the outfield, allowed a run to score. and resulted in Soto being charged with an error. A single and a sac fly put the Dragons in front, and Dayan Viciedo blasted a three-run homer, his 14th.

In the ninth, the Dragons loaded the bases with one out against closer Kazuki Mishima, who got a tie-sealing inning-ending double play.

DeNA starter Fernando Romero was charged with four unearned runs over 5-1/3 innings.

Swallows vs Carp

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, rained out.

Monday’s starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Colin Rea (2-1, 2.61) vs Takahiro Norimoto (7-3, 2.94)

Central League

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

Koyo Aoyagi (8-2, 1.83) vs Shinichi Onuki (3-5, 6.40)

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

Daichi Osera (2-3, 3.88) vs Yudai Ono (3-6, 3.34)

Active roster moves 7/11/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/21

Central League


GiantsIF0Daiki Masuda
TigersIF55Naomasa Yokawa
DragonsP25Yu Sato
BayStarsP42Fernando Romero


GiantsP42Cristopher Crisostomo Mercedes
GiantsOF13Takayuki Kajitani
TigersP27Masashi Itoh
DragonsP14Keisuke Tanimoto
DragonsP38Takahiro Matsuba
BayStarsP12Kousuke Sakaguchi
CarpP12Haruki Omichi
SwallowsP16Juri Hara

Pacific League


HawksP21Tsuyoshi Wada
MarinesIF57Ryusei Ogawa
EaglesP53Hosei Takata
EaglesIF5Eigoro Mogi
FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno
BuffaloesP48Koki Saito


HawksP37Nick Martinez
MarinesP49Fumiya Motomae
EaglesP16Hideaki Wakui
EaglesP64Hiroyuki Fukuyama
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki