Tag Archives: Kazuma Okamoto

NPB news: June 3, 2022

It was a wild Friday night in Japanese pro baseball, in which two pitchers drove in the winning runs for their teams, Roki Sasaki looked more comfortable hitting than pitching, there was a huge comeback in which the three home runs hit by one player were nearly secondary.

Let’s get straight to the games, including a list of all the pitchers who have hit interleague home runs.

Friday’s games

Tigers 9, Fighters 7: At Koshien Stadium, Yusuke Oyama hit three home runs for the second time in his career, and became the second CL player with a home run hat-trick in interleague this year after Yakult’s Yasutaka Shiomi did it on May 27 against Rakuten.

Oyama also walked and scored more runs than his three solo homers drove in as Hanshin overturned a six-run deficit.

Continue reading NPB news: June 3, 2022

NPB news: May 25, 2022

Day 2 of interleague saw a 3-3 split with the top three teams in each league winning. The Central League now leads the competition 7-5 although the Pacific League teams outscored them again, -27-21 and now have outscored the CL 48-38.

There was a brief spirited debate about this on Twitter this morning, with my podcast partner coming out on the side that wins matter and runs don’t, which is true since baseball is a game. People play to win, not to be better than their opponent.

If you can win the most games without being better than your opponents, more power to you. But anyone who tells you that the champion is the best team by virtue of winning the most games, is defining quality in extremely narrow terms.

The problem with that is the quality needed to produce more wins is not evident in actual team win totals, which in some respect are analogous to pitching wins.

If you have two starting pitchers on the same team, one who goes 10-12 with a 2.00 ERA and another who went 15-8 with a 4.00 ERA, very few people these days would argue the second pitcher was the more likely to win 10-plus games the following season. Same thing. The guy who pitches the best often doesn’t win nor does the team that plays the best.

Shall we get to the games?

Wednesday’s games

Hawks 8, BayStars 2 : At Yokohama Stadium, the sky fell on BayStars starter Fernando Romero (3-4) in the fifth inning. With the game tied 2-2,  Takuya Kai singled, a one-out error, and a Hikaru Kawase single loaded the bases. Romero hit Yuki Yanagita to break the tie, and Yurisbel Gracial‘s two-run single chased him, but three more runs scored in the inning.

Hawks starter Nao Higashihama was struck by a batted ball near his left ankle, stayed in the game after receiving treatment, but left after allowing a third-inning run, his first in 24 innings.

Continue reading NPB news: May 25, 2022