Tag Archives: J.B. Wendelken

NPB news: Sept. 26, 2023

Yomiuri’s Iori Yamasaki outpitched Central League wins leader Katsuki Azuma in Tuesday’s most pivotal game, while Hiroki Tokoda had a game Shohei Ohtani would be proud of, and Cody Ponce and Chusei Mannami made things miserable for the ill-fated Marines, who have now deactivated 11 players over the last five days due to COVID.

Elsewhere, Hirokazu Ibata has reportedly received a formal offer to manage Japan’s national team, for November’s Asia Pro Championship and the next Premier 12, in November 2024. It has not been decided whether Ibata will be engaged through the 2026 World Baseball Classic, which is the first sign that his hiring makes any sense.

Tuesday’s games

Deniers 1, Giants 0: At Yokohama Stadium, Azuma (16-2) was the second-best starting pitcher, but won a pitchers’ duel with Yomiuri’s Iori Yamasaki (9-5), and J.B. Wendelken got his first save in Japan as DeNA put the Giants’ playoff hopes on the rocks.

The Giants trail third-place DeNA by four games with four left to play, while DeNA has five. Should Yomiuri finish fourth again this year, it will mark the second time in franchise history that they have finished fourth or worse in consecutive seasons. The last time it happened, Tatsunori Hara finished fourth when he started his second term as Giants skipper in 2006 after Tsuneo Horiuchi was cast out following his fifth-place 2005 campaign.

Yamasaki retired the first six batters he faced and then surrendered a run in the third on Yudai Yamamoto’s seeing-eye grounder and a lucky bounce past third base for a two-out RBI double from former Giant Taisei Ota.

Azuma struck out Yamasaki looking to leave the bases loaded in the second, and stranded two more in the third by retiring NPB home run leader Kazuma Okamoto and power-hitting catcher Takumi Oshiro and 12 of the next 13 after that, surrendering only a leadoff single to Yamasaki in the sixth.

Wendelken came in to face the heart of the Giants lineup in the ninth but issued a four-pitch leadoff walk to Okamoto. Oshiro, whose 16 homers are third on the Giants, sacrificed the pinch-runner to second, only for Wendelken to strike out Yuto Akihiro – pinch-hitting for Lewis Brinson – and Yoshihiro Maru, who had gotten ahead in the count 3-0.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 26, 2023

NPB news: June 25, 2023

DeNA entered Sunday’s game a half-game behind Hanshin, whom they’d beaten 12 straight times at home. SoftBank was also going for a sweep over Orix at home in Fukuoka, and Seibu was doing the same against Rakuten in Sendai.

Sunday’s games

Deniers 5, Tigers 3: At Yokohama Stadium, Hiroto Saiki’s trouble with his command continued, but his pitches in the zone were hittable, and DeNA took advantage of him, scoring four runs off him, the first he’d allowed since giving up a run in 7-2/3 innings against Yomiuri on May 28.

Hanshin threatened a few times, and DeNA was lucky not to blow the lead in the seventh, when a well-struck ball off the bat of Yusuke Oyama off J.B. Wendelken was snagged at short for the second out with two on. Yasuaki Yamasaki earned his 17th save while Saiki’s record fell to 5-4.

DeNA-Tigers highlights
Continue reading NPB news: June 25, 2023