Tag Archives: Keiji Takahashi

NPB news: April 21, 2023

Roki came, and the Marines conquered, when the three national team pitchers who started combined for 21 scoreless innings. Masahiro Tanaka, who’d said last year he’d be willing to suit up for the national team, started his game like he should have been there but was unable to maintain that in one of the night’s two high-scoring games.

Friday’s games

Marines 3, Hawks 2: At Chiba Marine Stadium, Roki Sasaki (3-0) was not the untouchable strikeout machine of his first two starts this year, but still ran his scoreless innings streak to 20, as he struck out eight over seven innings while allowing a walk and three hits.

Roki Sasaki highlights

Shota Takeda (0-1) kept Lotte from giving Sasaki a lead until a three-run Marines fourth inning. Lotte catcher Toshiya Sato tripled in two with two outs and scored on a Taiga Hirasawa single. The Hawks got on the board in the eighth against Luis Perdomo with Akira Nakamura singling in Shu Masuda.

Continue reading NPB news: April 21, 2023

Scout diary: Feb. 29, 2020 – Notes from the preseason

Saturday began the second weekend of expanded preseason baseball in Japan, allowing some looks at players who’ve been off the radar so far. Here are some assorted notes:

SoftBank Hawks, OF, Naoki Sato

A 21-year-old corporate league outfielder, Sato was the Hawks’ alternate pick after they failed to land high school pitcher Yoshinobu Ishikawa. In his lone at-bat, he put a good swing on a fat pitch down the middle, drove it to right center and cruised in with a triple. As a right-handed-hitting amateur, I timed Sato going home to first in 3.9 seconds. (80 speed).

Israel Mota, OF, Yomiuri Giants

A 24-year-old right-handed hitter, Mota was handed a standard contract this week — he joined Yomiuri on a developmental deal — and added to the 70-man roster. He’s been swinging hard and chasing a lot in camp.

Mota’s swing is compact and he homered when he made contact with a hanging 3-2 slider on a two-strike swing that allowed him to drive it a bit.

Keiji Takahashi, LHP, Yakult Swallows

I forgot how much fun this guy is to watch. With his herky-jerky left-handed version of Ryan Ogawa’s delivery, I half expect him to contract on the mound and transform into a little car or something like in the movies.

Takahashi throws low 3/4. He has an exaggerated violent right leg kick. He lowers the leg most of the way and holds it as he raises his hands over his head until pausing at the apex, then as he lowers his hands, he raises his right leg to meet them and goes into something like a normal delivery. After the gyrations, the move home is a picture of smooth efficiency, particularly with the fastball. His curveball release point looked different, and he didn’t command the pitch well in this game.