Instead of an April Fool’s story, we have an example of the common Japanese media genre of baseball and celebrity reporting, called “someone got married and here’s what we know about their partner.”
The top news at noon on Thursday was Nippon Ham Fighters infielder Takuya Nakashima’s announcement of his marriage, with Sponichi Annex reporting the news was not an April Fools joke. Sometimes these stories make one wish they were attempts at humor.
The headline reads: “Nippon Ham’s Nakashima’s said ‘It’s not a lie’ in response to his wedding announcement to an ordinary woman from Kyushu being dubbed an April Fool’s joke.”
Try putting that in a newspaper.
The Japanese media will refer to athlete’s spouses by their job description if it is known. When Hideki Matsui got married, his wife was identified as the daughter of a salaried worker from Toyama Prefecture. When the job is unknown, they refer to players’ brides as “ordinary” — in the sense that they are not celebrities.
Nakashima revealed that the pair had been living together for a year, and that his spouse is a cheerful person with an expansive cooking repertoire.
“I’m on the road a lot, and she takes care of our home, including the cooking,” said Nakashima said, who was famously featured in Episode 1,015 of the Fangraphs podcast “Effectively Wild,” which failed to comment on his marital status.
Buffaloes ace Yamamoto gets do-over
At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (1-1) asked for a chance to make up for his poor Opening Day start by going on short rest against the SoftBank Hawks on Thursday and responded with 13 strikeouts in a 2-0 complete-game win.
The right-hander walked one and allowed two singles. After throwing 109 pitches over eight innings, skipper Satoshi Nakajima said he toyed with the idea of pulling his ace but kept him, and Yamamoto answered with a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Buffaloes managed just one run off Shota Takeda (0-1) in 6-1/3 innings, opening the scoring on three straight first-inning singles.
Marines secure win-column beachhead
At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, the Lotte Marines won for the first time this season, blasting the Rakuten Eagles 16-5 behind four useful innings from rookie Fumiya Motomae (1-0) in his pro debut.
Leonys Martin and Brandon Laird each homered off Yuta Takinaka (0-1), who gave up 10 runs in 1-2/3 innings, while Hisanori Yasuda doubled twice and drove in five runs.
The Eagles came in with a highly-touted top five of Hideaki Wakui, Masahiro Tanaka, rookie Takahisa Hayakawa, Takayuki Kishi and Takahiro Norimoto. But a calf injury to Tanaka forced the Eagles to go to a bullpen day on March 27, a 9-4 beating at the hands of the Nippon Ham Fighters.
At Yokohama Stadium, the DeNA BayStars put Yakult Swallows rookie Taichi Yamano on the rack for seven runs over 1-1/3 innings in his pro debut, and got a refreshingly good performance from their former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki, but remained winless after an 11-11, 4-hour, 20-minute tie.
Scott McGough struck out the heart of the BayStars order in the seventh as one of five Swallows relievers to deliver a scoreless inning as the visitors erased a five-run deficit to leave the series with two wins and a tie.
Yamasaki, who lost his closer job last year and spent the spring with the minor league club, got hit hard the night before despite a good fastball, that was even better on Thursday.
At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Yuki Takahashi (1-0) allowed an unearned run on three walks and four hits over seven innings for the Yomiuri Giants in a 3-1 win over the Chunichi Dragons.
Zelous Wheeler continued to produce for the Giants in the No. 2 slot, singling and doubling to open Yomiuri’s three-run sixth with a double off Dragons lefty Takahiro Matsuba (0-1).
Rubby De La Rosa worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn the save in his season debut.
At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hanshin Tigers captain Kento Itohara tripled and scored in the first inning and cracked a three-run home run to power a 6-3 win over the Hiroshima Carp.
Jefry Marte scored Itohara in the first with a sacrifice fly and doubled and scored on a Jerry Sands sac fly in the seventh. Marquee rookie Teruaki Sato followed with a solo homer for the visitors. Tigers starter Takumi Akiyama (1-0) allowed two runs over seven innings.
Hiroshima reliever Robert Corniel struck out two in the ninth in his NPB debut. New Carp Kevin Cron went 1-for-4 with a single.
Fighters vs Marines: Sapporo Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Eagles vs Buffaloes: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Hawks vs Lions: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
BayStars vs Carp: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT
Tigers vs Dragons: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT
Active roster moves 4/1/2021
Deactivated players can be re-activated from 4/11, except for those marked with an asterisk as coronavirus protocol deactivations. These players can be reactivated as soon as they are declared safe to play.
|Swallows||IF||1||Tetsuto Yamada *|
|Swallows||IF||3||Naomichi Nishiura *|