Tag Archives: Leonys Martin

NPB wrap 9-22-21

The Yakult Swallows ground their way to a toe-hold on the top of the Central League standings on Wednesday, while the Lotte Marines saw their Pacific League lead trimmed to 2-1/2 games after they failed to beat Kodai Senga for a second straight week and Orix came from behind.

That was the less bad of this week’s bad news for the Marines, whose top home run hitter Leonys Martin, is likely out for the season after fouling a pitch off his right foot and suffering a fracture. Martin, who leads the PL in outfield assists helped make the Marines’ outfield defense easily the best in either league, although shifting 2019 Golden Glove center fielder Takashi Ogino to left to make room for Kyota Fujiwara in center is another reason.

The Swallows will be without pitcher Rick van den Hurk, whom they put on waivers Wednesday after he went 0-1 with a 15.43 ERA in two games this season. He will now be eligible to get his release or sign with any club that claims him.

In meaningless free agent news

Masahiro Tanaka achieved the service time necessary to file for domestic free agency after the Japan Series ends. Tanaka is currently on a two-year deal with the Eagles that ostensibly will allow him to opt-out after this season should he want to return to the majors.

“I’m prepared to talk with the team after the season,” Tanaka told a press conference because no player in Japan is permitted to acquire free agency filing rights without being asked to comment on his future.

Wednesday’s games

Swallows 2, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Yuhei Nakamura, getting a day off from his job as starting catcher, came off the bench in the ninth with a two-out RBI tie-breaking single off Yasuaki Yamasaki before Scott McGough locked it down in the ninth with his 22nd save.

Yakult came from behind in the fourth against Shinichi Onuki on a two-out Naomichi Nishiura single and a Domingo Santana double. Munetaka Murakami singled to lead off the ninth against the BayStars’ third pitcher, Edwin Escobar (3-4). With one out, Nishiura bunted for a base hit. Yamasaki was brought in to face right-handed slugger Tetsuto Yamada, who also got much of the day off, and retired him before Nakamura did the damage.

Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa allowed one run despite issuing six walks. Hikaru Ito doubled in DeNA’s run in the second, the second of two hits the right-hander allowed. Setup man Noboru Shimizu (3-5) worked the eighth to earn the win.

Dragons 2, Tigers 1

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Dayan Viciedo equaled Chunichi’s record for hits by an import, matching batting coach Alonzo Powell’s 756 with a first-inning RBI double off Koyo Aoyagi (10-4, 2.57), who allowed two runs over six innings. Sixth-inning doubles by Shuhei Takahashi and Takuya Kinoshita made it 2-0.

Takahiro Matsuba (5-3, 2.88), who allowed six hits and a walk over six scoreless innings by retiring Jefry Marte twice to end innings with runners in scoring position. Daisuke Sobue worked the seventh, while Katsuki Matayoshi allowed a run in the eighth on a Marte RBI single before Raidel Martinez bounced back from allowing a run on seven-days rest on Tuesday to earn his 19th save.

Giants 13, Carp 0

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Carp right-hander Allen Kuri (9-7, 4.27) gave up seven runs, five earned, on 18 hits and four walks over 2-2/3 innings, while the Giants did the rest of the damage in a six-run sixth, with all those runs being charged to Kyle Bird.

Yomiuri’s Shosei Togo (9-6, 3.81) worked seven scoreless innings to pick up the win.

Eagles 4, Lions 2

At MetLife Dome, Rakuten captain and former Lion Hideto Asamura brought the Eagles back from a run down with a two-run third-inning home run, his 14th, off Shota Hamaya (1-4, 6.33). The Eagles made it 3-1 when Luis Okoye walked in the sixth and scored on a Tsuyoshi Yamasaki single.

Takahisa Hayakawa (9-5, 3.61) gave up two runs over 5-2/3 innings. Takeya Nakamura led off the second with his 13th homer, and rookie Junichiro Kishi’s eighth made it 3-2 in the bottom of the sixth. Sung Chia-hao nailed down his third save.

Hawks 4, Marines 1

At Zozo Marine Stadium, SoftBank’s Kodai Senga (6-2, 2.82) struck out nine, allowed three hits and two walks over 7-2/3 innings to earn the win. The Hawks took a second-inning lead off Manabu Mima (5-5, 5.42) when Yuki Yanagita doubled, went to third when right fielder Koki Yamaguchi fumbled the ball, and scored on Taisei Makihara’s sacrifice fly.

Kenta Imamiya singled and Ryoya Kurihara doubled to open the Hawks’ fourth with one run scoring on a groundout and another on an Alfredo Despaigne single. Richard Sunagawa made it 4-0 in the seventh with a long home run, his fourth, into a stiff wind.

Lotte’s run came on a leadoff triple and a groundout in the eighth, although the triple was a sinking liner to shallow center that kicked off Taisei Makihara’s glove and rolled into right field.

Livan Moinelo got the final out in the eighth and Yuito Mori stranded a runner in the ninth to get his 10th save.

Buffaloes 5, Fighters 3

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Orix rookie Kotaro Kurebayashi’s three-run triple capped a five-run seventh inning. Takahiro Okada, Steven Moya and Ryoichi Adachi singled to open the inning. Torai Fushimi singled in one run and another scored on a groundout. Yuma Mune walked and Kurebayashi did the rest.

Four of the runs were charged to Fighters rookie Hiromi Ito (9-6, 2.76) as the Orix outburst took rookie right-hander Soichiro Yamazaki off the hook after he allowed two runs in five-plus innings. He left with one on and no outs in the sixth, and the Fighters loaded the bases on two hits against Tomoyuki Kaida before a sac fly and a squeeze made it 3-0.

Nobuyoshi Yamada (1-0), Orix’s fourth pitcher, worked the seventh to earn the win, while Tyler Higgins pitched the eighth and Yoshihisa Hirano earned his 20th save in the ninth.

Thursday’s starting pitchers

Rookie rocket Roki Sasaki is back for the first time since his epic duel with Masahiro Tanaka on Sept. 10, this time he draws another tough customer, SoftBank and Team USA star Nick Martinez.

Lions vs Eagles: MetLife Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Wataru Matsumoto (7-8, 3.77) vs Ryota Takinaka (7-4, 4.05)

Marines vs Hawks: Zozo Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Roki Sasaki (2-2, 3.05) vs Nick Martinez (7-3, 1.87)

Buffaloes vs Fighters: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Daiki Tajima (6-7, 3.69) vs Kazuaki Tateno (2-1, 3.12)

BayStars vs Swallows: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kenta Ishida (1-1, 5.61) vs Cy Sneed (3-2, 4.34)

Dragons vs Tigers: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shotaro Kasahara (0-0, 1.80) vs Masashi Ito (7-7, 2.90)

Carp vs Giants: Mazda Stadium 1:30 pm, 0:30 am EDT

Shogo Tamamura (2-6, 4.04) vs Yuki Takahashi (10-5, 3.13)

Active roster moves 9/22/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/2

Central League


TigersP44Raul Alcantara
BayStarsP45Michael Peoples
BayStarsIF60Naoto Chino
CarpOF59Minoru Omori


TigersOF24Mel Rojas Jr.
BayStarsP20Yuya Sakamoto
BayStarsIF5Toshihiko Kuramoto
CarpOF37Takayoshi Noma

Pacific League


MarinesC32Toshiya Sato
LionsP20Shota Hamaya
LionsIF4Kakeru Yamanobe
BuffaloesOF8Shunta Goto


BuffaloesIF0Shoki Katsumata

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NPB wrap 9-11-21

Saturday saw no lead changes in Japan, although the Pacific League’s last-place Nippon Ham Fighters did lay an epic beating on the SoftBank Hawks, leading the manager of the run-starved Fighters to say, “If we score runs like that, we absolutely have to win.”

We had a couple of complete-game wins in the PL, with Seibu’s Tatsuya Imai throwing 142 pitches to get out of a ninth-inning bases-loaded jam to secure his second career shutout, while Lotte lefty Kazuya Ojima needed just 109 pitches to finish his first complete-game win.

Tigers 4, Carp 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hanshin’s Takumi Akiyama (10-5, 2.81) made the most of his 85 mph fastball to retire 19 of the first 20 batters he faced, Jerry Sands reached base three times, Jefry Marte hit a three-run home run, his 17th, Mel Rojas Jr. had a pinch-hit RBI single and Robert Suarez saved his CL-leading 31st game.

Akiyama struck out three and hit a batter while allowing one hit, Ryoma Nishikawa’s 10th home run, over seven innings. Hiroshima starter Koya Takahashi (3-5, 5.26) allowed three runs in five-plus innings seven hits and two walks.

Dragons 5, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, leadoff man Yota Kyoda primed Chunichi’s pump, again. A day after homering twice, he reached base three times and scored on Nobumasa Fukuda’s first-inning RBI double and minor league reserve Masaru Watanabe’s three-run second-inning homer off C.C. Mercedes (7-2, 3.02), who lasted three innings. 

Yuya Yanagi (9-5, 2.12) worked 5-1/3 innings. He left one batter after Seiya Matsubara’s two-run homer, his ninth. The Giants got two runners on with no outs in the seventh, on a single and Hayato Sakamoto walk on a 3-2 pitch in the zone. With two outs, Hiroyuki Nakajima and Matsubara singled.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Raidel Martinez worked around Hayato Sakamoto’s leadoff double and a two-out hit batsman (Nakajima) in the ninth to earn his 17th save. Nakajima appeared to want a word with Martinez after getting hit, but when the pitcher approached the baseline and the ump got between them, they bumped fists and went their separate ways.

Swallows 9, BayStars 2

At Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Domingo Santana and Jose Osuna each homered and drove in three runs, while Cy Sneed (3-2, 4.34) allowed two runs on five hits and no walks over 5-2/3 innings to collect the win. 

DeNA’s Masaya Kyoyama (2-5, 5.08) surrendered four runs in the first. With two on and one out, Munetaka Murakami and Osuna each singled in a run, and Santana capped the rally with a two-run double. Santana made it 5-0 in the third with his 11th homer. With Yakult leading 7-2 in the eighth, Osuna polished off the BayStars with a two-run homer, his 10th.

Fighters 17, Hawks 5

At Sapporo Dome, Nippon Ham left a mark on SoftBank’s Shuta Ishikawa (5-9, 3.36), who threw 54 pitches but didn’t make it out of an 11-run first inning, allowing 10 runs, three earned. One of the two errors was pretty harsh, when a tougher-than-routine catch was dropped to put the leadoff man on. Ishikawa, however, should have gotten out of the inning trailing 4-0 but a double play ball was dropped, and the scoring continued until Wang Po-Jung’s second two-run double.

The Fighters batted around again in a five-run second, causing Fighters manager Hideki Kuriyama to say, “With this many runs, it was a game we absolutely had to win.”

Fighters starter Takayuki Kato (4-6, 4.04) allowed five runs over seven innings to earn the win. The Hawks had two solo home runs. Wang and Haruki Nishikawa, who had a three-run first-inning triple, each drove in five runs for the Fighters.

Richard Sunagawa, who made the error that really blew up the first inning, hit his third, and Nobuhiro Matsuda his 12th.

Lions 7, Buffaloes 0

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Tatsuya Imai (7-5, 3.44) struck out 13 in a 142-pitch three-hit shutout in which he walked four.

Orix’s Cesar Vargas (1-0, 11.00), making his first start, surrendered six runs in 4-1/3 innings. The Mexico international worked out of a first-inning bases-loaded jam and didn’t allow a run until Shuta Tonosaki singled with one out in the fourth and scored on Hotaka Yamakawa’s two-out double. Cory Spangenberg made it 3-0 against his former Padres teammate with his sixth home run.

Vargas left with an injury in the fifth after Takeya Nakamura singled in Sosuke Genda with one out. Kohei “K” Suzuki took over and surrendered back-to-back doubles to Tonosaki and Takumi Kuriyama.

Marines 4, Eagles 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte’s Kazuya Ojima (7-3, 4.57) allowed a run on four hits over the distance while striking out eight in his first career complete game as Lotte moved a full game ahead of second-place Lotte.

Rakuten veteran Takayuki Kishi (7-8, 3.62) surrendered a first-inning run on Takashi Ogino’s leadoff triple and a sacrifice fly. Kishi retired 10 straight before Shogo Nakamura and Leonys Martin doubled with one out in the fourth to make it 2-0. After eight straight outs, Kishi surrendered no-out seventh-inning doubles to Martin and Brandon Laird with Lotte’s fourth run scoring on a sacrifice fly.

Hiroaki Shimauchi’s 17th home run accounted for Rakuten’s eighth-inning run.

Sunday’s starting pitchers

Fighters vs Hawks: Sapporo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kazuaki Tateno (1-1, 4.12) vs Tsuyoshi Wada (5-5, 4.32)

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Yutaro Watanabe (2-3, 4.44) vs Sachiya Yamasaki (5-8, 3.83)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 4 pm, 3 am EDT

Tokito Kawamura (1-0, 4.95) vs Ryota Ishibashi (0-0, 1.80)

BayStars vs Tigers: Yokohama Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Shota Imanaga (3-4, 3.16) vs Joe Gunkel (7-1, 2.52)

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

Yariel Rodriguez (0-2, 3.90) vs Juri Hara (1-1, 1.98)

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

Hiroki Tokoda (3-2, 3.19) vs Tomoyuki Sugano (3-6, 3.97)

Active roster moves 9/11/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/21

Central League


GiantsOF28Scott Heineman
BayStarsP53Sota Ikeya


GiantsIF10Sho Nakata

Pacific League




HawksP16Nao Higashihama
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki