Tag Archives: Kosuke Fukudome

NPB wrap 9-12-21

Another week is a wrap, in which the Pacific League’s Lotte Marines were the clear winners, going 1-1-1 against their closest rival, the Orix Buffaloes and then dealing a body blow to the third-place Rakuten Eagles, while the SoftBank Hawks got beat on in Sapporo.

The Buffaloes pennantless streak is now the longest in NPB, running back to 1996. Although Lotte has won two Japan Series since then, Lotte last finished the regular season in first place in 1974. The Marines’ 2005 PL championship–and the Lions’ in 2004–came after they finished second and beat the regular-season leaders, the Hawks, in the PL playoffs.

The Hanshin Tigers finished Sunday three games ahead of the Swallows and Giants in a week when Seiya Suzuki’s home run streak was the league’s biggest news.

Marines 9, Eagles 2

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Tokito Kawamura (2-0, 4.32) improved to 2-0 as a starter after his second straight five-inning, one-run outing, while Shogo Nakamura homered in the third off Ryota Ishibashi (0-1, 3.46), tying it 1-1 with eighth homer and Brandon Laird followed a Leonys Martin double with a two-run homer, his 23rd and third of the series. The Marines swept the third-place Eagles to move two-games ahead of second-place Orix.

Laird, who reached base four times a day after his 34th birthday, had a two-run single in the fourth. Eagles captain Hideto Asamura hit his 11th homer in the sixth off former teammate Frank Herrmann.

Lions 3, Buffaloes 1

At MetLife Dome, Cory Spangenberg homered for the second straight day, driving in three with his seventh, off Sachiya Yamasaki (5-9, 3.83), and 20-year-old Seibu rookie Yutaro Watanabe (3-3, 4.44) needed 106 pitches to get through five innings, but allowed only two walks and three hits, including Yutaro Sugimoto’s 26th home run. 

Kaima Taira earned his 14th save for the Lions, while deposed closer Tatsushi Masuda retired Takahiro Okada to end the eighth with two on.

Fighters 3, Hawks 0

At Sapporo Dome, right-hander Kazuaki Tateno (2-1, 3.12) allowed three walks and two singles over 6-1/3 innings and fellow Nippon Ham rookie Yuma Imagawa had his first career hit, a one-out, two-run homer off 40-year-old former Cub Tsuyoshi Wada (5-6, 4.38), who worked five and also surrendered Yuto Takahama’s eighth homer in the third.

Toshihiro Sugiura, the Fighters’ fourth pitcher, completed the three-hit shutout as he worked the ninth for his 18th save.

BayStars 8, Tigers 1

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA lefty Shota Imanaga (4-4, 2.96) surrendered a first-inning run but struck out 11 over eight innings without issuing a walk. Koji Chikamoto had three of Hanshin’s six hits, starting with a double to lead off the game. He scored from third after a sacrifice and a Jefry Marte infield single.

The BayStars took the lead off Joe Gunkel (7-2, 2.86) in the home half on a walk and Keita Sano’s 12th home run. Tyler Austin made it 4-1 in the third with his 24th, and stuck a fork in the Tigers with a three-run seventh-inning homer.

Dragons 9, Swallows 5

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome’s two-run home run, his third, tied the game 5-5 in the seventh, and catcher Takuya Kinoshita broke the tie leading off Chunichi’s four-run eighth with his 10th home run.

The Dragons, with the fewest runs this season in NPB, won their third straight game and have now scored 40 runs in six games.

The Swallows took a first-inning lead on Munetaka Murakami’s three-run home run, his 33rd, off Yariel Rodriguez, who allowed four runs, three earned in four-plus innings.

Trailing 4-0 in the third, Dayan Viciedo singled in a run and starting Dragons catcher Ariel Martinez drew a bases-loaded walk. Shuhei Takahashi trimmed Yakult’s lead to a run with a fifth-inning RBI single, but Shingo Kawabata’s two-out pinch-hit RBI single made it 5-3 in the top of the seventh.

Yohei Oshima, who had two hits and scored three runs, singled with one out in the seventh off Kazuto Taguchi, who surrendered Fukudome’s 284th homer in Japan.

Giants 2, Carp 1 

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, the up-and-down season of Yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano (4-6, 3.72) continued as he allowed a run over seven innings in his second straight start on five-days rest.

The Giants scratched out a run on two singles and two groundouts, and Seiya Suzuki, after a two-game home run hiatus, tied it leading off the second with his 28th. Carp starter Hiroki Tokoda (3-3, 3.12) didn’t allow a third hit until Seiji Kobayashi hit his first home run with two outs in the seventh.

He started the season 2-2 after five quality starts, was hurt in his sixth, missed a month, came back but was mediocre to bad in four straight starts. He was dynamite on Sept. 1, then allowed seven runs over 4-1/3 innings.

Seishu Hatake, Yomiuri’s third pitcher, earned his first career save as the Giants stopped their six-game losing streak, and remained third, three back of the Tigers and trailing the Swallows on winning-percentage points.

Monday’s starting pitchers

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

Shinnosuke Ogasawara (6-7, 3.30) vs Masanori Ishikawa (3-2, 2.40)

Active roster moves 9/12/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/22

Central League


GiantsP63Yuri Furukawa
DragonsP25Yu Sato
BayStarsP46Kenjiro Tanaka
SwallowsIF46Kengo Ota


GiantsOF2Yang Dai-kang
DragonsC27Shota Ono
BayStarsP64Ren Kazahari
SwallowsP26Koshiro Sakamoto
SwallowsP54Cy Sneed

Pacific League


HawksP67Shunsuke Kasaya
MarinesP58Tokito Kawamura
FightersOF61Yuma Imagawa
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki
BuffaloesP58Kazuyuki Kaneda
BuffaloesIF31Ryo Ota


FightersOF8Kensuke Kondo
BuffaloesP26Atsushi Nomi
BuffaloesP59Cesar Vargas
BuffaloesIF5Masahiro Nishino

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NPB wrap 9-5-21

SoftBank’s Richard Sunagawa show began in earnest on Sunday, as the 22-year-old Sunagawa, whose full name is Richard Makoto Sunagawa O’Brien, led the Western League in home runs and RBIs last year, and was leading the WL in home runs this year before being called up.

On Sunday, he drove in his first Pacific League run, with a sac fly, compounded that with a grand slam for his first home run, and hit another home run.

Sunagawa, who is the brother Mariners minor league pitcher Joey O’Brien, was cheered on by his father and mother and maternal grandfather at Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome.

When asked if he had a message for them, he said in Japanese, “Yes. Keep coming to games.”

The Buffaloes’ loss dropped them into second place behind the Lotte Marines, and just when it seemed like two Kanto teams would seize league leads from the Kansai teams that opened the day in first, the Giants suffered another late collapse in Hanshin land.

Hawks 12, Buffaloes 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, it was a real battle of the ages. The Hawks started with a battery of 39-year-old Hiroaki Takaya catching 40-year-old lefty Tsuyoshi Wada (5-5, 4.32), which made me wonder whether the Hawks guys engaged in any trash talk with Orix starter, 27-year-old Hirotoshi Masui (3-6, 4.95), and what that might sound like. Would the gentlemanly Wada tell Masui, “Get off my mound you young punk!”?

Masui allowed seven runs over 3-1/3 innings, while Cesar Vargas, Orix’s fifth pitcher, gave up four in the eighth – including Sunagawa’s second homer and another by Taisei Makihara.

The Buffaloes took a 2-0 second-inning lead on an Adam Jones single and a home run, catcher Kenya Wakatsuki’s fourth. Wada left after throwing five innings. In a kind of prototypical Wada outing, he allowed three hits and a walk while striking out five.

He was replaced by 21-year-old Carter Stewart Jr., who dominated through 2-1/3 innings. But after striking out six straight, issued a walk and allowed three straight singles before his three innings were up.

Eagles 8, Lions 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Hiroaki Shimauchi scored twice and drove in two runs from the No. 3 spot in Rakuten’s lineup and Eigoro Mogi, batting cleanup, drove in three runs for the third-place Eagles.

Shimauchi’s two-run third-inning double off Yutaro Watanabe (2-3, 2.74) broke the ice and he scored on a Mogi single. Shimauchi walked and scored in the Eagles’ five-run fourth, when Mogi capped the rally with a two-run double.

Marines 2, Fighters 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, retreads Enny Romero (1-0, 1.56) – formerly of the Dragons — and Yuki Kuniyoshi – formerly of the BayStars, turned over a lead to Japan’s leading closer this year, and Naoya Masuda worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 30th save.

Romero allowed a run on seven hits and a walk while striking out nine over seven innings. Nippon Ham starter Kazuaki Tateno (1-1, 4.12) pitched out of a first-inning bases-loaded jam but his mojo was not there in the second, when the Marines scored twice after the tail end of the order loaded the bases with one out.

Leadoff man Takashi Ogino plated Katsuya Kakunaka with an infield single, and Kyota Fujiwara, a good candidate to be the PL’s batter of the month for July and August, delivered a sacrifice fly.

Carp 6, Swallows 1

At Tokyo Dome, Hiroshima’s Seiya Suzuki hit his third home run of the series and his ninth this season in 17 games at Tokyo Dome, to open the scoring in a two-run second. Ryosuke Kikuchi went 4-for-4, doubling in Shogo Sakakura in the second, and plating him with singles in the fourth and seventh before leading off the eighth with his 13th homer and his fourth at the dome, equaling his total from 46 games at Mazda Stadium.

Hiroki Tokoda (3-2, 3.19) allowed a run on four hits and a hit batsman while striking out seven over seven innings. Yakult lefty Kazuto Taguchi (4-8, 4.11) allowed four runs on five hits over three-plus innings. Juri Hara took over in the fourth with two on and no outs but surrendered back-to-back RBI singles to Kikuchi and Kota Hayashi.

Dragons 2, BayStars 0

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Kosuke Fukudome drove in the winning run for the second time Chunichi’s three-game series with DeNA, which slipped into sixth place behind Hiroshima.

Shota Imanaga shut the Dragons down on three hits and a walk over seven innings, before Fukudome delivered a two-out pinch-hit double off Edwin Escobar (3-3), who surrendered another RBI double to leadoff man Yota Kyoda.

Dragons starter Yariel Rodriguez struck out eight but walked five over five scoreless innings. Katsuki Matayoshi (1-2) survived a two-on, one-out jam in the eighth to earn the win, and Raidel Martinez picked up his 15th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Tigers vs Giants 6

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin came from behind for the third straight game. C.C. Mercedes left with a 6-0 lead after five innings, but that lead and Mercedes’ eighth win of the season evaporated as more Giants bullpen drama unfolded.

Takumu Nakano tripled to open the Tigers’ sixth off Yohei Kagiya. Nakano scored as Jerry Sands reached on error by new shortstop Akihiro Wakabayashi. Jefry Marte walked. New pitcher Ryusei Ohe got one out before walking danger man Yusuke Oyama to load the bases.

Pinch-hitter Fumihito Haraguchi singled in one run, and another scored on a groundout before Mel Rojas Jr. singled off Seishu Hatake to make it a 6-4 game.

A Sands single and an error on Taishi Hirooka, the Giants’ third shortstop of the game set the table for Hanshin to tie it in the seventh. An RBI groundout made it 6-5, before Yoshio Itoi came up with his second big pinch-hit of the series, doubling in the tying run.

A night after Oyama beat him with a two-run home run, Giants closer Thyago Vieira retired one batter before Oyama came to the plate in the ninth. He didn’t homer but he did swat a hanging slider for a double. An infield single put runners on the corners before a two-out walk loaded the bases, but Yoshihiro Maru was able to go back and haul in a line drive off the bat of Koji Chikamoto to end the game.

Hanshin starter Takumi Akiyama gave up three runs in two innings, but got an assist when Hayato Sakamoto ran into an out in the Giants’ three-run first inning, capped by Hiroyuki Nakajima’s two-run home run, his fifth.

Shintaro Fujinami worked three innings of relief and served up Kazuma Okamoto’s Japan-best 35th home run, a three-run shot that appeared to ice the game.

Active roster moves 9/5/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/15

Central League


SwallowsP34Kazuto Taguchi



Pacific League


EaglesP56Sora Suzuki
FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui
BuffaloesOF41Kodai Sano


EaglesP22Kazuhisa Makita
BuffaloesP98Chang Yi
BuffaloesOF34Masataka Yoshida

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