Tag Archives: Reed Garrett

NPB Wrap 6-13-21

Interleague Day 18: CL on brink of success

The regularly scheduled interleague games ended on Sunday, with the leagues splitting the six games, leaving the Central League with a 42-40 lead with 11 ties, while trailing in runs 461-431. There are three games remaining, all in Hiroshima, so this could go either way, although the PL will most likely lead in runs for the 15th time in 16 seasons.

On the final day — not counting the three make-ups — the Hanshin Tigers completed a three-game sweep of the Rakuten Eagles, while the Yakult Swallows, long the CL’s doormats, finished a three-game sweep of the four-time defending Japan Series champion SoftBank Hawks IN Fukuoka. Surprise, surprise, surprise.

Tigers 6, Eagles 5

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Hanshin’s Joe Gunkel returned to the mound for the first time in over a month and was lights out. He retired nine straight with ease, gave up two infield singles and a double in the fourth, and then retired nine straight for two runs over six innings.

The Tigers battled against Rakuten rookie lefty Takahisa Hayakawa, who, like his teammates couldn’t buy an easy third out. Takumu Nakano opened the scoring in the third. He singled with two outs, stole his CL-best 13th base, and scored on a Jefry Marte single. Ryutaro Umeno then triggered three run-scoring innings with two-out walks. Trailing 2-1 in the fifth, Koji Chikamoto hit his fifth homer to plate Umeno and put Hanshin in front.

Umeno walked and Chikamoto singled in the seventh and scored on a Nakano single.

The Eagles came behind on two runs against Kosuke Baba in the seventh, and Daichi Suzuki led off the eighth with his fourth homer against Shintaro Fujinami (3-1), who earned the win after Chikamoto tripled home Umeno off Yuki Matsui (0-2) in the ninth. Robert Suarez notched his Japan-best 21st save.

Swallows 6, Hawks 4

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, as one of the announcers said, “There are times when Tsuyoshi Wada (4-4) has it and times when he doesn’t.” This was one of those latter times. Tetsuto Yamada singled in a run in the first for Yakult, singled and scored on Munetaka Murakami’s Japan-best 20th home run in the third and hit his 17th home run, with a man on, in the fifth to chase Wada.

Yakult lefty Keiji Takahashi (1-0), who has gone from a windup worthy of the ministry of silly walks, to something approaching non-descript, gave up two runs in 6-1/3 innings. The Hawks’ first hit came on Wladimir Balentien’s 1,000th career hit and 300th home run against his former teammate. Balentien homered off new pitcher Taichi Ishiyama in the seventh to make it a 6-3 game.

And since it was officially “former Swallows hitting home runs off Yakult Day” in Fukuoka, Keizo Kawashima went deep for the second time this season in the eighth. Yuki Yanagita came up with a man on and one out in the eighth with a chance to tie it up, but hit into a double play.

Scott McGough worked the ninth for his 11th save.

Buffaloes 9, Carp 8

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Takahiro Okada singled in the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Orix blew a late four-run lead. With the game tied 8-8 after Kaito Kozono singled in his third run of the game in the ninth, Hiroshima rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi (0-1) walked the bases loaded before giving up Okada’s two-out single, allowing his first run in his 23rd career game.

Marines 5, Giants 4

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte’s Brandon Laird went 2-for-2 with two sac flies and a solo homer, his 15th, while Leonys Martin bunted against the shift for a base hit, walked twice, scored twice and made an excellent catch on a sinking line drive in the ninth to secure the win and closer Naoya Masuda’s 17th save.

Katsuya Kakunaka doubled in the first of four runs against Yomiuri Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano (2-4), who was yanked after 2-2/3 innings. The Giants scored four runs in the seventh, all charged to Kazuya Ojima (3-2). After allowing two hits and three walks through six scoreless innings, the lefty allowed two no-out singles, and with two outs, walked a batter, hit a batter to put the Giants on the board. Reliever Fumiya Ono allowed two of the three on base to score.

BayStars 4, Fighters 1

At Sapporo Dome, DeNA ace Shota Imanaga (1-1) earned his first win since having his left shoulder cleaned out last season, allowing a run on minor league home run leader Chusei Mannami’s first career homer at the top level.

Manami’s homer tied it 1-1 in the second, but RBI singles in the top of the third by Hikaru Ito and Neftali Soto put the visitors up for good against Drew VerHagen (1-5) who gave up four runs, three earned, in five innings.

Imanga allowed four hits, a walk and hit a batter while striking out six. Leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara singled and scored three times. Edwin Escobar worked the eighth, setting a speed record for a lefty in Japan with a 163 kph fastball against his old team, while Kazuki Mishima saved his 11th game.

Lions 4, Dragons 3

At MetLife Dome, Seibu rookie Junichiro Kishi hit a first-inning home run and singled and scored a tie-breaking run in the eighth on a Wu Nien-ting single after the Chunichi Dragons overcame a three-run deficit to tie it in the seventh on Naomichi Donoue’s two-run double.

Zach Neal allowed a run over six innings for Seibu, while Chunichi’s Koji Fukutani (3-6) allowed three through seven but went out for the eighth and took the loss, allowing four runs over 7-2/3 innings, leaving two on for lefty Hiroto Fuku to face Wu.

Reed Garrett (1-2) worked the eighth to get the win, and Kaima Taira earned his sixth save, while setting a record by opening a season with 32 straight scoreless pitching appearances.

Starting pitchers

Interleague

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

Kazuki Yabuta (-) vs Kaito Yoza (0-1, 4.26)

Active roster moves 6/13/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/23

Central League

Activated

TigersP49Joe Gunkel
SwallowsP47Keiji Takahashi

Dectivated

TigersOF97Dan Onodera
DragonsP70Ren Kondo

Pacific League

Activated

LionsP54Zach Neal
FightersP36Drew VerHagen

Dectivated

MarinesP15Manabu Mima
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda
BuffaloesP29Daiki Tajima

NPB wrap 5-16-21

Let there be Roki, and Leonys Martin, too

People came to see Roki Sasaki, OK, and Takaki Ishibashi (Taka Tanaka of the “Major League” movie franchise) throw the ceremonial first pitch, but mostly Sasaki, who a third of the way through his second pro season, made his first-team debut at the Lotte Marines’ home ground.

But if those two were the star attractions, Leonys Martin was the star, and would have been a hero (on the postgame hero interview podium if his ninth-inning drive had gone over the fence instead of being caught for an out on the warning track. As it was, Sasaki showed off a good fastball (topping out at 96 mph) and splitter, and Martin hit two homers, drove in three runs, doubled and was hit by a pitch and leads both leagues with 12 home runs.

Marines 6, Lions 6

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Sasaki allowed four runs, two earned, over five innings. He gave up six hits and two walks, while striking out five. He missed some pitches that were hit, but you have to give credit to the Lions hitters for adjusting and hitting some tough pitches as well.

Seibu starter Katsunori Hirai gave up a first-inning leadoff homer on his second pitch of the game to Takashi Ogino, and another on his third pitch to Martin, and allowed four runs in four innings. Ogino singled in a run in Lotte’s two-run second and singled ahead of Martin’s fifth-inning home run.

Frank Herrmann, Lotte’s third pitcher, recorded his 100th hold in Japan, but Yuki Karakawa issued two one-out walks in the eighth and a two-out two-run single to Cory Spangenberg.

Reed Garrett returned to his ninth-inning role by surviving Martin’s drive to the wall to nail down the 6-6 tie when pinch-runner Koshiro Wada was thrown out to end the game trying to steal second. The Lions stole five bases.

Fighters 2, Hawks 2

At Sapporo Dome, SoftBank’s Kenji Akashi singled in two seventh-inning runs off Nippon Ham starter Naoyuki Uwasawa, and both closers, Toshihiro Sugiura for the Fighters and Livan Moinelo for the Hawks, stranded three runners in a scoreless ninth.

Eagles 1, Buffaloes 0

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Rakuten’s top draft pick last autumn, lefty Takahisa Hayakawa (5-2) threw his first shutout and first Maddux, with Hiroaki Shimauchi ruining the win-loss record of Orix’s Sachiya Yamasaki (1-4) with a second-inning solo home run, his fifth of the year. Hayakawa allowed three hits and two walks while striking out eight.

Yamasaki walked one, hit one and gave up five hits in his 6-2/3-inning effort.

Tigers 6, Giants 5

At Tokyo Dome, Hanshin’s Raul Alcantara (1-0), who went 20-2 last year for KBO’s Doosan Bears, nearly let this victory in his Japan debut slip away in a three-run sixth after four straight singles to start the inning, but retired the last three batters he faced and three relievers shut the door to hold off Yomiuri.

Tigers leadoff hitter Koji Chikamoto doubled and singled twice, scored twice and drove in two runs, while Naomasa Yokawa hit a two-run homer for the visitors, while Robert Suarez recorded his Japan-best 12 saves. Kazuma Okamoto hit his ninth home run for the Giants, and Zelous Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 21 games.

Giants-Tigers highlights

Dragons 2, Swallows 2

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Yakult’s Munetaka Murakami hit his Central League-leading 11th home run, a two-run shot in the first inning but that was all the offense the visitors’ could muster against Yuya Yanagi, who pitched yet another marvelous game, allowing four hits and walking two over seven innings while his nine strikeouts raised his Japan-best total to 67.

Swallows rookie Yasunobu Okugawa also pitched well. The other big pitcher out of high school in 2019 along with Roki Sasaki, Okugawa allowed a run on seven hits over six innings while striking out seven and walking none. Dragons leadoff man Yohei Oshima had two hits and a sac fly, while, Yota Kyoda singled in the game-tying run in the ninth after Kosuke Fukudome opened the inning with a pinch-hit single off Yakult closer Taichi Ishiyama.

The game, which could also be confused by a defensive highlight reel, saw two big plays from the Swallows outfield . Rookie reserve Hidetaka Namiki prevented a loss by robbing Dragons catcher Takuya Kinoshita of an RBI eighth-inning double. In the ninth, center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi prevented the game-winning run from scoring with a game-ending throw to the plate.

Carp 3, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, it was perhaps a good thing this game could only go nine innings, otherwise who knows how many base runners the DeNA BayStars would have squandered. As it was they entered the seventh trailing Hiroshima 2-0 having put 14 on through six innings, largely thanks to four double plays. But that changed in the seventh, when Neftali Soto homered after singles by Tyler Austin and Keita Sano.

Michael Peoples allowed two runs over five innings for the BayStars. Ryuma Nishikawa twice singled in runs for the Carp, including one in the eighth off former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki to tie it. Both closers, rookie Ryoji Kuribayashi of the Carp and Kazuki Mishima of the BayStars, stranded two runners in the ninth to end this game in a tie.

Active roster moves 5/16/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/26

Central League

Activated

TigersP44Raul Alcantara
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Dectivated

None

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP13Akira Niho
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
FightersC10Yushi Shimizu
FightersC68Ryo Ishikawa
BuffaloesP11Sachiya Yamasaki
BuffaloesIF53Sho Gibo

Dectivated

FightersC30Shingo Usami
FightersOF66Chusei Mannami