Tag Archives: Masato Morishita

NPB wrap 8-17-21

More issues for Fighters

The Nippon Ham Fighters, who last week suspended cleanup hitter Sho Nakata indefinitely after he assaulted a teammate prior to an exhibition during the Olympic break, are facing fresh scrutiny after someone dug up a PR video shared by the team in which a teammate hurls a racist insult at outfielder Chusei Mannami, whose father is from the Congo.

“Dude you’ve spent too much time at the tanning salon,” a teammate is heard saying in Japanese on a tweet originally sent in April.


Swallows muscling up

Although the Yakult Swallows became solid contenders for a playoff spot early in the summer, they simultaneously looked a lock for a two-and-out first stage exit, having started the season 0-7 against the Hanshin Tigers and finished June 3-8-1 against the Yomiuri Giants.

Since May 5, Yakult is 3-4-2 against Hanshin and has scored 10-plus runs in their last three games against the Giants. I don’t know what this indicates, but it does suggest I was premature in saying the Swallows seemed overawed by this season’s two CL heavyweights.

Starting tomorrow

Wednesday will see Zach Neal start for the Lions, while Glenn Sparkman makes his Japan debut for the Orix Buffaloes. There will also be a matchup between rookie Rakuten lefty Takahisa Hayakawa and Hawks ace Kodai Senga, whose only strong effort this year was two innings in relief during the Olympics. So stay tuned.

Swallows 13, Giants 3

At Matsuyama Botchan Stadium, Yakult reliever Ryuta Konno (4-0) pitched out of a tough spot with the game tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, helped when center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi threw Zelous Wheeler out at the plate for the final out.

Tetsuto Yamada broke the tie with his 26th home run in the bottom of the sixth as the Swallows then exploited Giants’ mistakes and ran through four relievers in a 13-batter nine-run inning.

Munetaka Murakami made it a 2-0 game in the fourth with his 27th home run for the Swallows, only for the Giants to tie it in the sixth when Yoshihiro Maru hit a two-run shot of lefty Keiji Takahashi. It was Maru’s 13th homer and his third in three games. Giants cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto retained a two-home run lead over Murakami with his 29th in the eighth.

Jose Osuna went 4-for-5 with a double, reached on an error, scored a run and drove in three.

Tigers 6, BayStars 2

At Tokyo Dome, Teruaki Sato singled in the game’s first run, made it 2-0 with his 21st home run in the third, and broke a 2-2 tie with his 22nd home run, a sixth-inning solo shot. Koyo Aoyagi (9-2, 1.87) allowed just two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out seven over six innings. In the eighth, Ryutaro Umeno RBI single and two-run Koji Chikamoto double put the game away with all three runs being charged to Yasuaki Yamasaki.

DeNA lefty Haruhito Hamaguchi (5-6, 3.28) walked six as he gave up three runs over 5-2/3 innings.

Dragons 3, Carp 0

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Koji Fukutani (5-9, 4.43) allowed four hits and hit a batter while striking out five over seven innings. Rookie Masaru Watanabe started in left and singled in a run in the third and hit his maiden first-team home run in the eighth. Raidel Martinez earned his 10th save as the Dragons won for the first time after the Olympic break.

Masato Morishita (6-5, 2.31) who won two games pitching for Japan in the Olympics including the gold medal game, allowed two runs over seven innings. He surrendered a two-out walk to Yota Kyoda, who stole second and scored on Watanabe’s single. Ariel Martinez made it 2-0 with a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh.

Lions 8, Marines 2

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Kona Takahashi (9-4, 3.14) scattered nine hits and a walk to allow two runs over seven innings. Tomoya Mori went 5-for-5 with a double and two runs, two other Lions had RBI doubles, and Shuta Tonosaki hit his fifth home run, a two-run shot in Seibu’s five-run fifth.

Daiki Iwashita (8-5, 3.98) also allowed nine hits. He walked two as he surrendered seven runs over four-plus innings.

Eagles vs Hawks

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, rained out.

Buffaloes vs Fighters

At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, rained out.

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Starting pitchers

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

Takahisa Hayakawa (7-3, 3.39) vs Kodai Senga (1-1, 10.80)

Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kazuya Ojima (5-3, 4.69) vs Zach Neal (1-3, 4.10)

Buffaloes vs Fighters: Hotto Motto Field 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Glenn Sparkman (-) vs Ryusei Kawano (2-1, 1.38)

Swallows vs Giants: Botchan Stadium 6:30 pm, 5:30 am EDT

Masanori Ishikawa (3-2, 2.84) vs Daisuke Naoe (0-1, 1.59)

BayStars vs Tigers: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Shinichi Onuki (3-5, 5.74) vs Masashi Ito (5-5, 2.70)

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

Takahiro Matsuba (1-2, 4.91) vs Shogo Tamamura (2-3, 3.26)

Active roster moves 8/17/2021

Central League


GiantsP47Yuki Takahashi
TigersP75Robert Suarez
DragonsP24Koji Fukutani
BayStarsP26Haruhiro Hamaguchi
BayStarsP41Shuto Sakurai
CarpP18Masato Morishita
SwallowsP47Keiji Takahashi



Pacific League


MarinesP46Daiki Iwashita
LionsP13Kona Takahashi



NPB wrap 6-12-21

Interleague Day 17: Cutting it close

With nine games remaining in 2021 interleague play, the Orix Buffaloes clinched their second interleague title and their first since 2010. The leagues split Saturday’s games, leaving the CL leading 42-40 with 11 ties, and the PL still leading in runs scored 433-404.

I incorrectly said the CL had never led interleague in runs scored. That was incorrect. The CL led in 2006, although they lost more than they won that year.

The CL-leading Hanshin Tigers continued to look untouchable, smashing the Eagles bullpen in a six-run ninth after rookie Masashi Ito outpitched Masahiro Tanaka through seven innings.

Tigers 9, Eagles 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten’s Masahiro Tanaka (2-4) was tooling along in high gear retiring the first 11 batters with little trouble until drama struck in a good plate appearance by Jefry Marte, a bad call by umpire Hidetomo Ashihara, and an ugly fastball to Yusuke Oyama, who made it 2-0 Hanshin.

Oyama’s home run was his eighth, and rookie Tigers lefty Masashi Ito (4-3) allowed a run on four hits and a walk to make that lead stand up. Rookie Teruaki Sato hit his 16th homer in the seventh off Tanaka, while Seiya Kinami hit his first, a two-run shot in a six-run Tigers ninth.

Tanaka worked seven innings. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five. Eagles cleanup hitter Hiroaki Shimauchi hit his 10th homer in the bottom of the fifth. Ito pitched out of a two-on, two-out jam in the inning but retired the last 10 batters he faced.

Buffaloes 3, Carp 2

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix clinched the interleague championship as Shuhei Fukuda’s second-inning bases-loaded triple provided all the Buffaloes offense against Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita (3-4), Daiki Tajima (3-4) threw five scoreless innings and four relievers protected a one-run lead after the Carp twice on three walks and a single in the sixth.

Tyler Higgins worked a 1-2-3 eighth for Orix, while Yoshihisa Hirano, who recorded 32 holds the last year the Buffaloes won the interleague title, saved his fifth game.

Fighters 4, BayStars 3

At Sapporo Dome, Nippon Ham’s March acquisition Takahide Ikeda (3-6) allowed a run over 5-2/3 innings. Wang Po-jung had the first of three one-out fourth-inning singles off Masaya Kyoyama (0-3) and scored on a wild pitch, and Ryo Ishikawa’s two-out single made it 2-0.

Haruki Nishikawa walked and scored on Yuto Takahama’s fifth-inning double, and singled in Ishikawa in the sixth. Bryan Rodriguez got five outs to get the Fighters to closer Toshihiro Sugiura, who recorded his 12th save.

Giants 11, Marines 4

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Yomiuri hit a hat-trick of three-run homers, with Kazuma Okamoto hitting two, his 18th and 19th, and Hiroyuki Nakajima hitting his fourth, all off Lotte starter Manabu Mima (3-4), who gave up 10 runs in two-plus innings. Giants starter Shosei Togo (6-3) cruised through seven after allowing two runs in the first.

Lions 7, Dragons 3

At MetLife Dome, Cory Spangenberg’s three-run triple highlighted Seibu’s six-run first-inning against Chunichi’s Yuichiro Okano (0-1), while Lions starter Tatsuya Imai (4-2) allowed two runs over seven innings despite walking five and allowing seven hits. He gave up two runs in the second, but got out of a one-out bases-loaded pickle with a double play but had little trouble after that.

Swallows 4, Hawks 2

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Tetsuto Yamada went 4-or-4, hit his 15th and 16th home runs of the season and drove in three to power the Yakult Swallows to a come-from-behind victory after starter Yasuhiro Ogawa (6-1) allowed two runs over seven innings.

Yuki Yanagita’s 14th homer, leading off the Hawks’ fourth, made it 2-0 SoftBank. Nick Martinez, who got out of two-out jams in the first and third, surrendered a Yamada solo shot in the sixth and a run in the seventh after a Domingo Santana leadoff double and a Yuhei Nakamura single. Martinez was pulled after 113 pitches to give the Pro Yakyu News crowd something to complain about and Yamada hit a two-run homer in the eighth off Yugo Bando (0-1).

Right-hander Yugo Umeno faced one batter in the eighth, retiring the dangerous Akira Nakamura with two out and two on, and Scott McGough worked a 1-2-3 ninth to earn his 10th save.

Starting pitchers


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

Drew VerHagen (1-4, 6.30) vs Shota Imanaga (0-1, 4.41)

Eagles vs Tigers: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Takahisa Hayakawa (7-2, 3.15) vs Joe Gunkel (5-0, 2.35)

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

Zach Neal (1-1, 3.75) vs Koji Fukutani (3-5, 3.90)

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

Kazuya Ojima (2-2, 4.41) vs Tomoyuki Sugano (2-3, 2.11)

Buffaloes vs Carp: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Hirotoshi Masui (2-4, 4.07) vs Koya Takahashi (2-2, 2.73)

Hawks vs Swallows: PayPay Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3, 4.06) vs Keiji Takahashi (-)

Active roster moves 6/12/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/22

Central League


DragonsP36Yuichiro Okano


DragonsP22Yudai Ono

Pacific League


BuffaloesOF69Stefen Romero


MarinesP49Fumiya Motomae
FightersP19Chihiro Kaneko