Tag Archives: Justin Smoak

NPB wrap 5-30-21

Interleague Day 6 – CL hanging in there

After six days of interleague play, the CL maintained its lead on Sunday, splitting the day’s three games to improve to 17-14-3 in the way one would expect the CL to be leading that is by doing better in close games since the CL are now being outscored 157-146.

In 2009, the one year the CL lead the PL in wins, CL clubs went 70-67 while being outscored 613-588. The CL has never scored more runs than the PL. The PL’s current run edge projects a Pythagorean win percentage of .536. The PL’s historic Pyathagorean win percentage prior to this year is .547.

Hawks’ streak goes up in Smoak

Giants 4, Hawks 3

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Kazuma Okamoto stayed tied for the CL home run lead with his 14th, breaking a 2-2 fifth-inning tie and marking the first time in the series the Giants had led after the second inning. Justin Smoak drove in Yomiuri’s other three runs, with a first-inning single and an eighth-inning homer, his sixth.

Tsuyoshi Wada (3-3) allowed runs in the first inning for the first time this season, but he after one good start he was back to struggling again, dangerous when he could locate vulnerable when he couldn’t. Shosei Togo (5-2) pitched out of a couple of jams, retiring Yuya Hasegawa and Wladimir Balentien, with the bases loaded in the fifth to preserve his one-run lead.

Probably the most notable thing about this game was how weak the umpiring was, in particular a strikeout call on a 3-2 pitch to Zelous Wheeler that wasn’t called and a tag out on the runner moving that wasn’t called and took a while to sort out.

Rubby De La Rosa faced one batter in the ninth with the tying and go-ahead runners on base, but struck out Takuya Kai looking to end the game and earn his seventh save.

The Giants’ win against the Hawks was their first since June 22, 2019.

Dragons 4, Fighters 1

At Sapporo Dome, Dayan Viciedo was the big wheel for Chunichi, doubling and scoring the opening run in the second off Nippon Ham’s Robbie Erlin (1-1) and homering, his seventh, in the fourth to make it 2-0. Koji Fukutani (3-4), the Dragon’s Opening Day starter, worked six innings, allowing a run on a walk and five hits while striking out seven.

Eagles 5, BayStars 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten rookie Takahisa Hayakawa and DeNA ace Shota Imanaga locked up in a 1-1 pitchers’ duel in an impressive start for both. Takero Okajima broke the tie in the seventh with a two-run triple, and the Eagles added on two more in the ninth against new import Kevin Shackelford.

Tigers 9, Lions 8

At MetLife Dome, Yoshio Itoi got a start for Hanshin and is if to remind the team that he’s still there, he maintained his record of homering in all his starts. He hit his third, while scoring three and driving in three, and Tigers catcher Ryutaro Umeno homered, his first, drove in three and scored two.

Marines 7, Carp 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, new Hiroshima import Dovydas Neverauskas (0-1) had a rough baptism to Japanese ball, walking five as he allowed three runs over 2-2/3 innings, while lefty Kazuya Ojima (2-2) held the Carp to a run over six innings.

Buffaloes 8, Swallows 7

At Osaka‘s Kyocera Dome, Taichi Ishiyama (0-4), who had been pushed down from closing to setup duties, allowed three runners in the eighth, leaving with two on and a run and handing Masataka Yoshida off to Scott McGough, who surrendered a two-run double to Orix’s pocket battleship, who had three RBIs in the game. Yutaro Sugimoto hit a two-run homer in the first off Yakult’s Albert Suarez, his 12th.

Jose Osuna and Munetaka Murakami each drove in two runs for the Swallows, Murakami with his 14th home run. Hirotoshi Masui turned in a credible start for the Buffaloes, allowing two runs over five innings while striking out six, hitting one and giving up three hits.

Active roster moves 5/30/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/9

Central League


TigersP41Shoki Murakami
CarpP99Dovydas Neverauskas


GiantsP92Shohei Numata
CarpP65Shogo Tamamura

Pacific League


EaglesIF24Fumiya Kurokawa
BuffaloesP16Yoshihisa Hirano
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui


EaglesIF9Brandon Dixon
BuffaloesP58Kazuyuki Kaneda

NPB wrap 5-18-21

New guys

Cy Sneed, who for reason unknown is wearing his first and last name on his Yakult Swallows uniform, was overpowering in his second start while two other new imports, Yakult’s Domingo Santana and Hanshin’s Mel Rojas Jr.,  had impressive games at Koshien. Sneed entered the game having allowed three runs over four innings in his first start, causing an announcer to carelessly utter, “He’s not pitching like a guy with a 6.75 ERA.”

Mel Rojas Jr., KBO’s 2020 MVP, finally got untracked after 21 plate appearances without a hit. He drove a pitch off the outside edge out to center for his first hit and home run in Japan, and you could see the frustration leave his shoulders as he rounded third and raised his arms in wonder about how long this took.

Santana, who has begun having a series of good games, drew a walk and had three doubles.

Swallows 14, Tigers 3 

At Koshien Stadium, Cy Sneed (1-0) whose last name was so short that Yakult perhaps felt  the need to include his first name on his uniform, was more like a bridge of Cys for Hanshin’s hitters until they chased him with one out in the sixth with the Swallows leading 9-2. Sneed located a sizzling fastball with ease mixed it with a sharp slider and it was pretty much game over. With a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, he struck out the heart of the Hanshin order on 10 pitches. He struck out seven, walked one, allowed three runs and five hits.

Yuki Nishi (3-3) on the other hand, was doing just that. After walking 10 batters in his first 46 innings, the right-hander walked five in five. Neither pitcher was helped by an inconsistent strike zone, but when Nishi needed something that wouldn’t be Ball 4, he often couldn’t throw it close enough to get a call.

Santana scored once and drove in five, while Munetaka Murakami hit his Central League-leading 12th home run, walked, singled twice, drove in two runs and scored four.

Giants 7, Carp 2

At Tokyo Dome, Zelous Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a two-run double that brought Yomiuri from behind against a Carp team that swapped out eight players due coronavirus infections. Kazuma Okamoto and Justin Smoak homered back to back in the seventh for the Giants. Okamoto’s was his 10th, Smoak’s his fourth.

Shosei Togo (3-2) allowed two runs over six innings. He struck out six, walked two and allowed four hits to win his first game in a month. Daichi Osera (2-1) came back from a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He allowed three runs over five innings. Thyago Vieira, who was dropped from the closer role a month ago, was activated and created a save situation in the ninth when he loaded the bases with a double and two walks, allowing Chiaki “Door Root” Tone to get his first save in five years.

Tone was called Door Root once on the national team’s English roster page, because NPB is too cheap to pay someone to actually do a real page with names using the roman alphabet and instead used machine transliterations of players names in Chinese characters for those guys who were late additions.

Giants-Carp highlights

Dragons 5, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Chunichi’s Shinnosuke Ogasawara (3-2) threw six scoreless innings, Yota Kyoda had three singles, a sacrifice fly, scored one run and drove in three, while Yohei Oshima reached three times and scored twice for the Dragons.

DeNA starter Shinichi Onuki (1-4) allowed four runs on 10 hits and one walk over 3-2/3 innings.

“(Kyoda) is a good hitter, batting second. What should they do with him?”

–Dave Okubo, on Pro Yakyu News

Eagles 3, Fighters 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten’s Hideto Asamura had three hits, singled in the tying run in the fifth inning, and homered to break the 2-2 tie in the eighth for the Pacific League-leading Eagles against Nippon Ham reliever Bryan Rodriguez (0-1). The Rakuten bullpen allowed one hit over the final three innings in relief of Takayuki Kishi with Sung Chia-hao (1-0) earning the win after striking out the side in the eighth.

Chihiro Kaneko cruised through four innings for the Fighters before leaving with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth. Lefty Ryusei Kawano surrendered an RBI single to Hiroto Kobukata that made it 2-1 Fighters. Taisho Tamai entered to face Asamura and let the tying run score. Asamura’s home run was only his third of the year.

Hawks 8, Lions 2

At MetLife Dome, SoftBank’s Shota Takeda (3-2) threw a five-hitter, walking three while striking out seven with Yuki Yanagita hitting his eighth homer in the first off Seibu’s Matt Dermody (0-1) with a man on. Dermody surrendered four runs over six innings. Wladimir Balentien made his season debut for the Hawks, going 1-for-5 with a two-run single.

Buffaloes 6, Marines 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix’s Steven Moya hit a pair of solo homers, his fifth and sixth, and Takahiro Okada his fourth, a two-run shot in the fourth to help the Buffaloes win a slugfest with Lotte. Adeiny Hechavarria got a start at short for Lotte and broke the ice with a two-run second-inning double off Hiroya Miyagi. The 19-year-old rookie lefty surrendered Leonys Martin’s Japan-best 13th home run in the fifth before making his exit after five.

Moya’s first homer nearly hit the back wall of the dome, while his second of the game, in the sixth off Lotte rookie Shota Suzuki (1-2) broke the tie. Moya also singled to leadoff the eighth to set up an insurance run. Rookie Ryota Muranishi was called on to get the final out and recorded his first career save.

The Marines had a fast runner in scoring position with one out in the eighth, and the Pro Yakyu News guys jumped on pinch-runner Koshiro Wada for messing it up.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Takahiro Norimoto (3-1, 2.89) vs Takayuki Kato (3-0, 2.25)

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

Tatsuya Imai (2-2, 2.39) vs Yuki Matsumoto (1-2, 5.13)

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

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-4, 1.99) vs Daiki Iwashita (3-2, 3.00)

Central League

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

Yuki Takahashi (5-0, 1.89) vs Allen Kuri (4-3, 3.20)

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

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (2-3, 3.60) vs Kodai Umetsu (0-1, 0.00)

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

Junya Nishi (-) vs Kazuto Taguchi (1-2, 3.29)

Active roster moves 5/18/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/28

Central League


GiantsP49Thyago Vieira
GiantsIF00Dai Yuasa
DragonsP70Ren Kondo
BayStarsC29Hikaru Ito
CarpP14Daichi Osera
CarpC22Shosei Nakamura
CarpC32Yuta Shirahama
CarpIF35Takumi Miyoshi
CarpIF44Kota Hayashi
CarpIF61Masaya Yano
CarpIF96Alejandro Mejia
CarpOF37Takayoshi Noma
CarpOF38Koki Ugusa


CarpC40Yoshitaka Isomura
CarpC62Tomoki Ishihara
CarpIF33Ryosuke Kikuchi
CarpIF51Kaito Kozono
CarpOF49Yuya Shozui
CarpOF55Ryuhei Matsuyama
CarpOF59Minoru Omori
CarpOF63Ryoma Nishikawa

Pacific League


HawksOF4Wladimir Balentien
MarinesC45Yuito Munetsugu
MarinesOF10Shohei Katoh
EaglesIF30Toshitake Yokoo


MarinesC99Tomoya Kakinuma