Tag Archives: Reed Garrett

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


TigersP44Raul Alcantara
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa



Pacific League


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


FightersC30Shingo Usami
FightersOF66Chusei Mannami

NPB Wrap 5-14-21

Classic spewage

The Hanshin Tigers have been promoting their games against the Yomiuri Giants this season as “The classic” (“dentetsu no issen” — 伝統の一戦).The Giants broadcast crew jumped on that, repeating the phrase numerous times in each inning. The game was the 1,999th between the historic rivals who were Japan’s dominant pre-war teams, so I get it. But enough is enough.

When rookie Teruaki Sato batted, the announcer said, “He has no home runs yet against the Giants. Against the other four CL teams but not the Giants, not in “the classic.” And it just never stopped. Everything was, “Here’s this big game, the 1,999th Classic.”

If it weren’t for the pandemic keeping Japan’s hospitals from admitting people with just nausea, I suspect there might have been a surge in emergency room visits.

Tigers 2, Giants 1

At Tokyo Dome, the Hanshin Tigers won 2-1 for the second straight night behind right-handed side-armer Koyo Aoyagi (3-2), who faced only one jam in his seven innings. Jefry Marte tied it with his eighth home run, a fourth-inning “Tokyo Dome Special”* off Seishu Hatake (2-2). Teruaki Sato doubled – “In the 1,999th Classic no less!” – and scored after singles by Jerry Sands and Ryutaro Umeno.

Aoyagi followed by retiring 12 of the last 13 batters. Suguru Iwazaki and Robert Suarez each threw a scoreless inning, with Suarez saving his 11th game. Justin Smoak singled twice for the Giants, while Marte doubled with one out in the eighth for the Tigers. He has homered four times in four games at Tokyo Dome this season.

*- “Tokyo Dome Special” – a high fly to the opposite field, typically hit off a high straight fastball, with a mortar-round trajectory that takes advantage of the Dome’s short distances to left and center to land in the first few rows of the outfield seats.

Giants-Tigers highlights

Swallows 4, Dragons 1

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, new Yakult import Jose Osuna doubled in the second and fourth and scored each time on singles by Domingo Santana. The Swallows lost rookie starter Yuto Kanakubo with one out in the second, when a line drive left a mark on his left pectoral muscle, but six relievers combined to allow one run while stranding 11 Chunichi runners in addition to the two Kanakubo left on.  

The 13 runners left on tied the Dragons high for the season, and that was despite having reserve Swallows catcher Yudai Koga erase two runners on the bases. Mike Gerber went 1-for-5 but scored Chunichi’s only run on a seventh-inning Shuhei Takahashi single.

Dragons starter Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-3) allowed two runs on five hits over four innings, although both of Osuna’s doubles would have been caught by left fielder more experienced than young Akira Neo, who is new to the outfield, and Santana’s second RBI was a jam shot. Stuff happens.

Carp 9, BayStars 2

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Fernando Romero‘s second start was torpedoed by a pair of poor second-inning throws that put runners on second and third with no outs. A ground single brought home one run with another out at the plate. A walk and another grounder past first drove in two more. Romero stayed in the game and singled to lead off DeNA’s two-run third, but didn’t make it out of the fourth inning when he allowed two more runs and fell to 0-2.

Hiroshima starter Koya Takahashi (2-1) was nearly perfect, however, from the fourth to the sixth, retiring 12 of the last 13 batters he faced, while the Carp tacked on three more runs against the BayStars bullpen.

The worst thing about this game for the BayStars was not the loss itself, but the fact that Japanese baseball media math forced every news outlet in the country to write about how lousy this team is because it lost its “jiriki-V” mojo.

Japan’s jiriki-V: When Numbers Get Serious

Hawks 5, Fighters 2

At Sapporo Dome, Shuta Ishikawa (2-2) allowed two runs over 6-2/3 innings, three relievers retired the final seven batters, striking out four of them and Seiji Uebayashi homered, singled twice and drove in two runs for the SoftBank Hawks. Ishikawa struck out six, but walked two and hit two in winning for the first time since Opening Day. Livan Moinelo worked the ninth for his fourth save.

Nippon Ham rookie Hiromi Ito (1-3) allowed four runs in 5-1/3 innings on six hits and a walk while striking out six.

Marines 4, Lions 4

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Brandon Laird tied the game with a two-run ninth-inning home run off Seibu’s Reed Garrett, his seventh of the season and his fourth in three games. The Marines loaded the bases with two outs, but Ryosuke Moriwaki retired Leonys Martin to prevent the hosts from coming behind and winning it.

The late meltdown wasted a good juggling act from starter Kona Takahashi, who scattered seven hits, two walks and a hit batsman but allowed just two runs over seven innings. Both runs he gave up came on Hisanori Yasuda’s sixth home run, a two-run shot that gave him a PL-best 32 RBIs for the season. Lotte starter Ayumu Ishikawa had a similar kind of game, but surrendered Takeya Nakamura’s two-run two-out bases-loaded single in the fifth that broke the 2-2 tie.

Garrett opened the Marines ninth by becoming the first Lions pitcher to retire Yasuda all night, striking him out, before Katsuya Kakunaka’s sharp grounder struck the first-base bag for a fluke double. There was nothing fluky about Laird’s homer, however. The sushi man drove a knuckle-curve well back into the left-field stands.

Buffaloes 9, Eagles 4

At Kobe’s Hotto Motto Field, the Orix Buffaloes had a lot of good swings against Rakuten’s Hideaki Wakui (4-2), who gave up five runs, four earned, over three innings in his shortest start since the Eagles purchased him from Lotte after the 2019 season.

Taisuke Yamaoka (2-3) allowed three runs over eight innings. He gave up five hits and a walk while striking out five. Yuma Mune doubled in Orix’s first run, tripled in another in the second and scored twice.

Starting pitchers

Saturday has some interesting pitching matchups other than the weekly appearance from Masahiro Tanaka, starting with the Fighters-Hawks game where Drew VerHagen will go for Nippon Ham against his 2020 teammate, Nick Martinez, who moved to SoftBank over the winter.

In the Central League, Hanshin Tigers rookie Masashi Ito will go against the Giants’ Angel Sanchez in their top-of-the-table clash at Tokyo Dome, while Michael Peoples will make his third start for the DeNA BayStars at Hiroshima against the Carp’s Allen Kuri.

Pacific League

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

Drew VerHagen (1-2, 3.24) vs Nick Martinez (1-1, 1.38)

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

Manabu Mima (2-1, 3.93) vs Wataru Matsumoto (2-3, 3.34)

Buffaloes vs Eagles: Hotto Motto Field 3:30 pm, 2:30 am EDT

Daiki Tajima (2-1, 2.72) vs Masahiro Tanaka (2-2, 3.00)

Central League

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

Angel Sanchez (2-2, 4.26) vs Masashi Ito (3-0, 1.55)

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

Koji Fukutani (1-3, 4.46) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (2-1, 5.46)

Carp vs BayStars: Mazda Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Allen Kuri (4-3, 3.20) vs Michael Peoples (1-1, 2.70)

Active roster moves 5/14/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/24

Central League


GiantsP45Seishu Hatake
TigersIF38Ryuhei Obata


TigersIF0Seiya Kinami
CarpP65Shogo Tamamura

Pacific League


HawksP50Yugo Bando
FightersP25Naoki Miyanishi
FightersOF26Daiki Asama
BuffaloesOF8Shunta Goto


FightersIF70Junnosuke Imai
FightersOF4Yuya Taniguchi