Tag Archives: Kazuma Okamoto

NPB wrap 7-7-21

Eagles offense hiding from Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka produced another solid start in which a couple of mistakes were exacerbated by good swings and bad luck, while his team extended its streak of not scoring while he’s the pitcher of record to 14 innings. He would have suffered his sixth loss had not the Rakuten bats come to life after Tanaka was out of the game, scoring six late runs in a 6-5 win over the Orix Buffaloes.

The win trimmed Orix’s Pacific League lead to 2-1/2 games over the Lotte Marines, with the Eagles percentage points back in third and the Hawks, 4-1 losers to Lotte, another two back in fourth.

In the CL, the Swallows and Tigers played a thriller to even their series at one game apiece, leaving the Giants 1-1/2 back and Yakult two games further back in third.

Eagles 6, Buffaloes 5

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Rakuten’s offense waited until Masahiro Tanaka had left the game to show up, scoring five runs after Daiki Tajima held them scoreless for seven innings. With two outs and one on in the ninth, Yang Chi allowed a run on his second and third singles of the inning before Hiroaki Shimauchi tied it with his 11th home run.

Takero Okajima greeted new pitcher Taisei Urushihara with a tie-breaking home run, and the Eagles had their second five-run ninth inning in two nights. Yuki Matsui worked the ninth for the Eagles to earn his PL-leading 22nd save. Alan Busenitz (1-0) allowed a run in the eighth but earned the win.

Tanaka allowed three runs in his final inning, the sixth when a couple of good pitches and a couple of mistakes were hit and batted balls found space in the defense. Tanaka struck out six, walked one, and allowed five hits in yet another solid, but unrewarded outing.

Marines 4, Hawks 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Tokito Kawamura (1-0) allowed a run over five innings in his first career start, and Mexico Olympic team member Brandon Laird hit a three-run homer off SoftBank’s Nao Higashihama (2-1), his 18th.

Fighters 2, Lions 1

At Asahikawa Starffin Stadium, Nippon Ham used six pitchers, with Robbie Erlin working three scoreless innings before Drew VerHagen (2-6) worked another two and allowed Seibu’s only run, while they each struck out four.

Kona Takahashi (7-4) gave up two runs over seven innings to take the loss.

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Swallows 6, Tigers 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Daiki Watanabe, a career minor leaguer and reserve outfielder, doubled in the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning and scored an insurance run on a Tetsuto Yamada sacrifice fly. Yamada had given the Swallows a three-run first-inning lead with his 23rd home run, off new Tiger Akira Niho. The right-hander allowed four runs over five innings.

Hanshin’s Jerry Sands drove in two first-inning runs with his 15th home run, off Hirotoshi Takanashi, and saved two runs with a diving sixth-inning catch after the Tigers tied it 4-4 in the fourth on rookie Teruaki Sato’s two-run homer, his 20th.

Scott McGough entered in the ninth to shut it down, but gave up a booming pinch-hit single to Fumihito Haraguchi. On a single to right pinch-runner Takahiro Kumagai challenged Watanabe’s arm but was gunned down on a sweet throw just in time for third baseman Munetaka Murakami to lay on the tag.

McGough allowed two hits and a walk but no runs to earn his 16th save.

Giants 3, Dragons 1

At Tokyo Dome, Shun Yamaguchi (2-1) allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings, and Kazuma Okamoto and Yoshihiro Maru homered for Yomiuri, Okamoto, his Japan-leading 25th, and Maru, his 10th. Japan’s oldest player, 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, opened the scoring in the second with his first home run for Chunichi since 2007.

Thyago Vieira worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Carp 3, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Keita Sano’s eighth homer and Neftali Soto’s 14th, a two-run shot off Allen Kuri made it 3-0 in the fourth. Shota Imanaga allowed two runs over six-plus innings, Seiya Suzuki’s 13th homer trimming DeNA’s lead to 3-2 in the seventh. Edwin Escobar got out of the seventh, but Yasuaki Yamasaki blew the lead in the eighth, the tying run scoring on a Ryosuke Kikuchi single.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Soichiro Yamazaki (0-0, 0.00) vs Takayuki Kishi (3-6, 3.89)

Central League

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

Daisuke Naoe (0-0, 0.00) vs Yuya Yanagi (6-4, 2.72)

Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Albert Suarez (2-3, 4.91) vs Joe Gunkel (6-0, 2.01)

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

Koya Takahashi (2-4, 5.92) vs Taiga Kamichatani (0-3, 10.69)

Active roster moves 7/7/2021

Central League

Activated

TigersP34Akira Niho

Dectivated

None

Pacific League

Activated

MarinesP58Tokito Kawamura

Dectivated

None

NPB Wrap 5-26-21

Interleague Day 2

Let the good times roll CL

…and the Central League advocates are pretty happy with the results so far, after going 3-2 on Opening night and 4-1 on Wednesday, the CL guys are enjoying the best early results.

The CL has now improved its record in interleague to 973-1,101. Baby steps.

Tigers 3, Marines 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin right-hander Takumi Akiyama (4-2) brought his “A” game against the Marines, attacking the strike zone with precision off-speed munitions, while sniping away with his fastball as he allowed a run over eight innings, and nothing but a flair single over the first seven.

A night after the Tigers lost thanks to a wild throw by the pitcher in the first and a three-run outburst against setup man Suguru Iwazaki, Akiyama said he wanted to prevent that and did, by giving the bullpen a rest until Robert Suarez came in and allowed an unearned run on two singles and an error in the ninth before getting his 14th save.

Ryuhei Obata walked, singled and scored twice, Koji Chikamoto doubled, drove in one run and scored one, and rookie Takumi Nakano drove in two with a sac fly and a double off Lotte’s Daiki Iwashita (4-3).

Giants 5, Eagles 2

At Tokyo Dome, Rakuten’s Takahiro Norimoto (4-2) appeared in complete control until the fourth inning having struck out six of the first 10 batters. With one out and one on in the fourth, Kazuma Okamoto tied for the CL lead in home runs with his 13th to put Yomiuri up 2-0. Akihiro Wakabayashi hit a two-run shot, his second, and Takumi Oshiro added his fifth.

All three Giants home runs in the inning came off the first pitch. Asked if this was the result of the pre-inning pep-talk huddle “enjin,” Giants manager Tatsunori Hara laughed, according to Daily Sports, “If that happened every time we huddled up, we’d do it before every inning.”

I haven’t been to one of Hara’s postgame pressers in years, but that made me feel nostalgic for the level of stupidity that sometimes appears.

Yuki Takahashi (6-1) took over the CL lead in wins after allowing two runs, one earned, over 7-1/3 innings. The Eagles loaded the bases with one outs in the eighth, but lefty Yuhei Takanashi retired two batters on three pitches, and Rubby De La Rosa worked the ninth for his sixth save.

Giants-Eagles highlights

Swallows 4, Fighters 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada hit a three-run first-inning home run, while Jose Osuna and Domingo Santana each doubled to account for the Swallows’ other score off Takayuki Kato (3-2), who singled and scored a run, but allowed four runs.

Kazuto Taguchi (2-3) allowed two runs over five innings to earn his first win at Jingu as a Swallow. Taichi Ishiyama, who had been closing, came in for the second straight day in the eighth, and Scott McGough worked the ninth for his third save.

Ronny Rodriguez hit his first home run in Japan for the Fighters, and his 20th between MLB and NPB. Sharing the spotlight was another former Brewer, Norichika Aoki, who had his 2,500th hit between MLB and NPB with 163 of them going for four.

Buffaloes 14, BayStars 5

At Yokohama Stadium, Orix’s 19-year-old left-handed rookie Hiroya Miyagi (5-0) struck out seven over six innings while allowing three runs in the blowout. Takahiro Okada went 5-for-5 with a homer, three runs and three RBIs as the Buffaloes chased DeNA starter Shinichi Onuki (1-5) in the second inning.

Five Buffaloes runs scored on catchable balls that could have ended innings: a bases-loaded three-run error on a fly to shallow center that was dropped by starting center fielder Masayuki Kuwahara in the second and a two-run triple on a ball at the wall that came out of the glove of Kuwahara’s replacement, Kazuki Kamizato.

Tyler Austin accounted for two of DeNA’s runs with his seventh home run.

Dragons 4, Hawks 3

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, the Chunichi Dragons overcame a late game-tying two-run homer from Yuki Yanagita, his 10th, on Toshiki Abe’s third, in the bottom of the eighth off SoftBank reliever Keisuke Izumi (1-1). The Hawks are currently without closer Yuito Mori, non-pitching elbow discomfort, and setup man Livan Moinelo, national team duty.

Dragons lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings and twice got out of tough spots by ending innings against Yanagita. Abe’s fifth-inning RBI single tied it against Nao Higashihama, who was making his season debut. Yohei Oshima tripled to open the Dragons’ sixth and scored on Dayan Viciedo’s two-out single. Takuya Kinoshita singled with the bases loaded to make it 3-1.

The Dragons, who are also without their Cuban closer, Raidel Martinez, turned to Katsuki Matayoshi for three straight outs in the ninth for his second save.

Starting pitchers

Interleague

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

Kai Yokogawa (-) vs Ryota Takinaka (2-2, 5.18)

Swallows vs Fighters: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Yasunobu Okugawa (1-1, 5.00) vs Takahide Ikeda (2-4, 3.05)

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

Fernando Romero (0-2, 5.25) vs Yang Chi (-)

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

Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-3, 3.68) vs Shunsuke Kasaya (1-2, 5.10)

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

Raul Alcantara (1-0, 7.50) vs Roki Sasaki (0-0, 3.60)

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

Hiroki Tokoda (1-2, 3.35) vs Zach Neal (1-1, 3.75)

Active roster moves 5/26/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/5

Central League

Activated

TigersIF0Seiya Kinami

Dectivated

TigersIF00Yasuhiro Yamamoto

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP16Nao Higashihama
EaglesC44Yuichi Adachi

Dectivated

EaglesP11Takayuki Kishi