Saturday saw a duel between a goldilocks impersonator and a golden oldie in a park where staying on base this weekend has been hazardous. Kazuma Okamoto keeps hitting home runs like a boss, as did Tomoya Mori, while Gosuke Kato had the last word in Hokkaido, and Katsuya Kakunaka’s revival helped snapped Hiroshima’s four-game win streak.
Swallows 2, Lions 0: At Seibu Dome, 43-year-old Masanori Ishikawa (2-3) shared Japan’s record for career interleague wins for less than 24 hours with 42-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada before reclaiming it with his 28th in an efficient 5-2/3 innings against Seibu, whose ace Kona Takahashi (4-4) allowed a run on four walks and five hits over seven innings.
“I did watch his game last night. It was great seeing another pitcher of the same generation perform like that,” Ishikawa said of Wada. “He was throwing some amazing pitches, so the two of us aren’t even comparable. But still, It was motivational.”
“There aren’t many of our generation still playing. Wada’s pitching inspired me.”
A day after three Lions runners were unceremoniously caught off base, portly Seib rookie Kento Watanabe must have been fooled into thinking he was fast after a stand-up double and was out easily trying to steal third, while Swallows catcher Yuhei Nakamura was picked off first.
Nakamura singled in the Swallows’ first run after a pair of fourth-inning walks set the table, and Tetsuto Yamada doubled in another in the ninth as Yakult snapped a three-game losing skid.Continue reading NPB news: June 10, 2023