Tag Archives: Kris Johnson

NPB 2020 8-27 Games and news

Starter Matsui overpowers Marines

Former Rakuten Eagles closer Yuki Matsui earned his first win as a starter in nearly two years on Thursday, going seven innings in a 15-0 win over the Lotte Marines at Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi.

The 1.74-meter lefty’s fastball had too much spin for the Marines to square up. His inability to locate it consistently led to him walking four batters and hitting one, but that hardly mattered as he allowed one single and struck out 11.

The win ended the Eagles’ four-game losing streak, and Matsui was asked about whether that weighed on him.

“To be honest, I had bigger things to think about,” he said.

Matsui last worked out of the rotation as a rookie in 2014, when he went 5-12 in 17 starts. He got two starts at the end of the 2018 season and went 1-1, but went back to the bullpen last season when he led the Pacific League in saves. Both of his last two wins, in September 2018 and September 2014, came against the Marines.

The Eagles stranded two runners in each of the first two innings against right-hander Daiki Iwashita (3-4), but with two out and two on in the third, Stefen Romero hit his 16th home run of the season.

Iwashita allowed seven runs over four innings on 10 hits, four walks and one hit batsman.

Yamakawa lifts Lions over Fighters

Hotaka Yamakawa homered to help the Seibu Lions overcome an early deficit and finished the game with a two-run sayonara single in an 8-7 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters at MetLife Dome outside Tokyo.

Sho Nakata and Taishi Ota hit two-run home runs, Nakata in the first and Ota in the second to put the Fighters up 4-0. Yamakawa homered in the third off rookie Ryusei Kawano, who allowed five runs, three allowed, over 4-1/3 innings.

The Lions took a 6-4 lead into the eighth, but Reed Garrett uncharacteristically blew it, surrendering three runs on three hits, two hits and a hit batsman.

The Fighters brought in middle reliever Mizuki Hori to get out of the eighth by striking out Tomoya Mori. But the lefty gave up an infield single, and after a sacrifice, Sosuke Genda and Takumi Kuriyama walked to load the bases. The Fighters pulled the infield and outfield in tight, and Yamakawa lined a pitch just past left fielder Kenshi Sugiya to win it.

Kasaya gives Hawks 5 in win over Buffs

Shunsuke Hara (2-2) earned his first win as a starter, striking out seven, while allowing one run over five innings in the SoftBank Hawks’ 4-2 win over the Orix Buffaloes.

Catcher Takuya Kai hit a two-run homer, while Seiji Uebayashi hit a sacrifice fly and a solo homer. Hawks closer Yuito Mori surrendered three-straight singles to open the ninth, but got Adam Jones to hit into a double play before ending it and earning his 15th save.

Buffaloes Opening Day starter Taisuke Yamaoka (0-1) returned to duty for the first time in two months following an oblique muscle injury in his second start. On a short pitch count, he allowed three runs in three innings.

Yanagita DH with stiff legs and neck

Hawks superstar Yuki Yanagita failed to get a hit in the three-game series with the Buffaloes, was used as a DH on Thursday due to neck and leg stiffness.

“The move (to DH) was because of what the trainer told me,” manager Kimiyasu Kudo said. “I’m not worried about him not getting a hit. I don’t think it’s related. Sometimes hitters don’t hit.”

Ino doubles BayStars past Carp

Right-hander Shoichi Ino (5-3) allowed two runs over 5-1/3 innings and brought the DeNA BayStars from a run down with a fourth-inning double in a 3-2 win over the Hiroshima Carp at Yokohama Stadium.

Kris Johnson (0-5) lacked his best command and fell behind in counts as he surrendered three runs on six hits, three walks and a hit batsman over six innings.

Carp skipper Shinji Sasaoka said of the lefty who in 2016 won the Eiji Sawamura Award as Japan’s most impressive starting pitcher, “One win and he’ll turn things around.”

Ino left with runners on the corners and one out in the sixth, handing off to Spencer Patton, who worked around a two-out walk to escape the inning with the lead intact, and said afterward he was surprised 155 kph (96.3 mph) during his stint.

Edwin Escobar, Yuki Kuniyoshi and acting closer Kazuki Mishima finished up with three scoreless innings. Mishima earned his eighth save.

Cool customer

What you don’t see in the postgame “hero interview” is that Ino and Patton each received a refrigerator from the interview sponsor, Nojima Electric, which set BayStars Twitter abuzz because Patton missed a chunk of last season when he struck the door on the little refrigerator used for drinks on the BayStars bench and broke a bone in his hand.

Sands blasts Dragons with 2 homers

A day after Justin Bour hit two home runs for the Hanshin Tigers, it was teammate Jerry Sands’ turn as he drove in four runs in a 6-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Koshien Stadium.

Koyo Aoyagi (6-3) allowed two runs over seven innings to earn the win, and Robert Suarez struck out two in a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 10th save for the Tigers. Dayan Viciedo doubled in a run and scored another in the Dragons’ two-run first, only for Aoyagi to face just 18 hitters over his final six innings.

Togo’s Giant juggling act beats Swallows

Rookie Shosei Togo improved to (7-2) with five scoreless innings despite giving up four hits and five walks in the Yomiuri Giants’ 5-2 win over the Yakult Swallows at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

The right-hander was spared a run in the fourth when with two outs and a runner on third, Swallows pitcher Hirotoshi Takanashi hit a bullet to right. Giants right fielder Seiya Matsubara fielded the ball on a hop and fired to first for the 9-3 groundout to right field.

Active roster moves 8/27/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/6

Central League


SwallowsP24Tomoya Hoshi


GiantsP96Nattino Diplan
SwallowsP15Yuma Ohshita

Pacific League


LionsP45Keisuke Honda
EaglesC27Takero Okajima
EaglesOF51Yuya Ogo
FightersP28Ryusei Kawano
BuffaloesP19Taisuke Yamaoka


LionsP11Tatsuya Imai
LionsP30Daiki Enokida
EaglesP13Kohei Morihara
EaglesC65Kengo Horiuchi
EaglesOF46Ko Shimozuru
FightersIF32Ryota Yachi
BuffaloesOF00Hayato Nishiura

Central League


GiantsP96Nattino Diplan
BayStarsOF52Seiya Hosokawa
CarpIF00Kaisei Sone
SwallowsP20Kazuki Kondo


BayStarsIF2Jose Lopez
CarpIF63Ryoma Nishikawa
SwallowsP13Hikaru Nakao

Pacific League


HawksP21Tsuyoshi Wada
HawksOF64Yusuke Masago
EaglesP72Shun Ikeda
BuffaloesOF56Yusuke Matsui


HawksP16Nao Higashihama
HawksOF54Alfredo Despaigne
EaglesP23Hayato Yuge
MarinesP15Manabu Mima
BuffaloesIF42Aderlin Rodriguez

Starting pitchers for Aug. 28, 2020

Pacific League

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

Takahiro Norimoto (4-3, 3.59) vs Zach Neal (2-3, 5.06)

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

Sachiya Yamasaki (2-2, 3.97) vs Ayumu Ishikawa (4-2, 4.18)

Hawks vs Fighters: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shota Takeda (-) vs Chihiro Kaneko (1-1, 5.76)

Central League

Giants vs Dragons: Tokyo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Kazuto Taguchi (2-3, 4.89) vs Takahiro Matsuba (2-3, 2.70)

BayStars vs Swallows: Yokohama Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Michael Peoples (1-1, 5.75) vs Daiki Yoshida (1-3, 6.04)

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

Masato Morishita (5-2, 2.14) vs Yuki Nishi (4-3, 2.30)

NPB 2020 8-20 games and news

Marines traverse 10th-inning mine field to beat Hawks

The Lotte Marines pulled into a tie for the Pacific League lead on Thursday with the SoftBank Hawks, whom they beat 5-4 in 10 innings.

With the game tied 2-2 after nine innings, the Marines walked Yuki Yanagita with one out and a runner on third. As much as I hate intentional walks, facing Yanagita with the go-ahead run on third is not a pleasant thought. It still proved to be a poor decision as the free pass resulted in the Hawks scoring twice on a two-out Ryoya Kurihara single to make it 4-2.

The Marines got the first two runners on in the bottom of the 10th, but Shogo Nakamura had to beat the throw to first to stay out of the triple play. Leonys Martin then tied it with a home run off the wall behind the right-field stands at Zozo Marine Stadium. With two on and two out, Hawks reliever Arata Shiino uncorked a wild 3-2 pitch. Takashi Toritani, the 39-year-old former Hanshin Tigers captain who was signed over the winter after a tryout, took off from second with the pitch and scored to win it.

Shimauchi homer derails Fighters’ victory plans

Hiroaki Shimauchi’s two-out, two-strike, three-run homer off closer Ryo Akiyoshi took Rakuten Eagles starter Yuki Matsui off the hook for a tough loss while depriving Nippon Ham Fighters starter Nick Martinez of his second win as

Martinez threw five scoreless innings at Sapporo Dome, leaving only after a line drive stung his pitching hand as he recorded a tough out to end the fifth inning. Martinez got a lot of weak contac,t although he went through a stretch in the third where the Eagles seemed to be sitting fastball and he obliged them with misses in the heart of the zone.

Matsui, who is transitioning this season from closer to starter, allowed two runs on three hits and two walks over six innings. A leadoff walk and a single off a good pitch put runners on the corners. Matsui missed badly to Sho Nakata, but the Fighters cleanup hitter miss-timed it and hit a tough grounder into the hole, where rookie shortstop Hiroto Kobukata made a good play to record the second out as Haruki Nishikawa scored.

In the fourth inning, Nakata blasted a fastball in the heart of the zone in the well up into the outfield seats for his 19th home run of the season and his fourth in five games. Like Martinez, Matsui got away with some mistakes, but after the first inning, he established a rhythm as he mixed his bread-and-butter slider with well-located fastballs and splitters.

The Fighters scored off reliever J.T. Chargois in the seventh after leadoff hitter Ryo Watanabe put a good swing on a good low fastball to reach on a leadoff single. After pinch-hitter Kenshi Sugiya’s textbook sacrifice, Chargois, who had been unleashing some of the filthiest sliders you’ll see, hung one in the heart of the zone and light-hitting catcher Yushi Shimizu got it through the infield for an RBI single.

A trio of Fighters relievers, lefty Mizuki Hori, right-hander Taisho Tamai and lefty setup man Naoki Miyanishi retired nine straight, while Eagles right-hander Tomohiro Anraku survived loading the bases with two outs to keep it a 3-0 game going into the ninth.

After a one-out walk and a single, Akiyoshi struck out Eagles batting star Hideto Asamura for the second out. Shimauchi hit a foul fly that was nearly caught to run the count to 1-2, when the side-armer hung a fastball up in the zone, and the left-handed-hitting Shimauchi launched if 15 rows back into the distant right-field stands.

Veteran Chihiro Kaneko stranded a runner in scoring position and left the mound pumping his fist after striking out two batters looking at fastballs away to keep the game tied going into the bottom of the 10th.

Eagles right-hander Alan Busenitz, however, matched him in the bottom of the 10th, escaping a two-on, one-out jam against – despite a hanging 3-2 breaking ball to Nakata – to preserve the tie.

Lions send Nishimura out on losing note

What looked like a bullpen day for the Seibu Lions was one fitting their relief warhorse, Katsunori Hirai (5-2), who threw five scoreless innings in his first career start before six teammates finished up a 6-4 win over the Orix Buffaloes at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Buffaloes skipper Norifumi Nishimura announced his resignation after the game and he will be replaced by long time former Nippon Ham Fighters player coach Satoshi Nakajima, who has coached with Orix since last year and is currently their Western League farm manager.

Giants complete shutout sweep of Tigers

Hayato Sakamoto drove in both runs to earn rookie Shosei Togo (6-2) the win in a 2-0 Yomiuri Giants victory over the Hanshin Tigers at Tokyo Dome that completed a three-game shutout sweep.

Togo worked 6-2/3 innings. He gave up three hits and a walk while striking out 11. Rubby De La Rosa worked a scoreless ninth to earn his fifth save.

Koyo Aoyagi (5-3) allowed a run over six innings, with the lone run coming in the sixth off a hustling leadoff triple by Shinnosuke Shigenobu and a high first pitch to Hayato Sakamoto that was tailor made to drive for a long fly to bring in the run.

BayStars hammer Johnson in Peoples’ 1st win

First-year DeNA BayStars import Michael Peoples (1-1) allowed a run over five innings to earn his first win in Japan in a 12-1 blood-letting against the Hiroshima Carp at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium.

Peoples allowed three hits, including Shota Dobayashi’s 10th home run, without issuing a walk. Carp starter Kris Johnson, the 2016 Sawamura Award winner, fell to 0-5 after allowing four runs over 5-1/3 innings. DeNA’s Neftali Soto, the two-time defending Central League home run champ, hit his ninth home run, a three-run shot in the eighth inning.

Swallows’ Takanashi stops Dragons’ streak

Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-2) allowed two runs over six innings for the Yakult Swallows in their 7-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium. The loss snapped Chunichi’s longest win streak of the year at four games.

The game was the first of the season for Swallows catcher Yuhei Nakamura, who during the summer fell victim to the team’s most frequent malady, a lack of upper-body fitness. Nakamura singled, had an RBI double, twice reached on errors and scored twice. Norichika Aoki broke a 2-2 tie, when he led off Yakult’s five-run fifth with his eighth home run.

Lions suspend 2 for covid-19 rule violations

The Seibu Lions have suspended two minor leaguers for violating the team’s protocols to prevent infections from the novel coronavirus, the Daily Sports reported Thursday.

The pair, 23-year-old infielder Ryuse Sato and 26-year-old outfielder Makoto Aiuchi, have been suspended indefinitely after it was learned that the two went to Chiba Prefecture to play golf when they were under orders to refrain from unnecessary activities.

Sato committed a moving violation while driving his car on their outing, ostensibly the reason they were caught out.

BayStars’ Patton has with lower-back sprain

DeNA BayStars reliever Spencer Patton (32) is dealing with a minor lower-back sprain manager Alex Ramirez revealed Thursday according to Sanspo.com.

The right-hander took the mound on Tuesday to start the eighth inning in Hiroshima, but left the game with lower-back stiffness after issuing a seven-pitch walk. According to Ramirez, Patton’s status is day to day.

Active roster moves 8/20/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 8/30

Central League


GiantsOF43Shinnosuke Shigenobu
BayStarsP45Michael Peoples
SwallowsP44Hiroki Onishi
SwallowsC52Yuhei Nakamura


GiantsP42Cristopher Mercedes
GiantsOF94Shuhei Kato
BayStarsP59Kentaro Taira
SwallowsP16Juri Hara
SwallowsP54Masato Nakazawa
SwallowsC57Yudai Koga

Pacific League


HawksP66Yuki Matsumoto
HawksIF36Taisei Makihara
FightersP27Nick Martinez


HawksP10Kotaro Otake
HawksIF6Kenta Imamiya
FightersP35Takahiro Nishimura

Starting pitchers for Aug. 21, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Eagles: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Takayuki Kato (0-1, 3.98) vs Takahiro Norimoto (3-3, 3.95)

Marines vs Hawks: Zozo Marine Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Ayumu Ishikawa (3-2, 4.21) vs Nao Higashihama (2-1, 2.90)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Sachiya Yamasaki (2-2, 4.46) vs Zach Neal (2-2, 5.26)

Central League

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

Daiki Yoshida (1-2, 4.81) vs Shintaro Fujinami (0-4, 4.00)

Dragons vs BayStars: Nagoya Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Takahiro Matsuba (2-3, 3.08) vs Shinichi Onuki (5-2, 1.86)

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

Masato Morishita (4-2, 2.31) vs Kazuto Taguchi (2-2, 4.03)