Tag Archives: Ryan McBroom

NPB news: Sept. 2, 2022

Friday was Roki Day in Chiba and we are celebrating even if Marines fans might not be, while Munetaka Murakami broke out of his two-game homerless slump, making sports editors around Japan salivate at the thought of putting out click bait with the names “Oh, Giants, Matsui” in them.

Buffaloes 1, Marines 0: At Chiba Marine Stadium, with the Buffaloes repeatedly trying to bunt their way on, Roki Sasaki (8-4) retired the first 12 batters—the first three on five pitches–before Orix’s Elmore Leonard (“310 to Yuma”) gang, stole a run in the fourth. Yuma Tongu was hit by a pitch, went to third on a Yuma Mune single and scored on a groundout.

Sasaki had his good—if not his fastest fastball—and went the distance for the first time since his April perfect game against Orix, but five useful innings from lefty Sachiya Yamasaki (5-7), three more from righty Soichiro Yamazaki, and a good ninth with some nasty splitters from rookie Shota Abe was enough.

“Our top two hitters got on base, but the guys after them were not able to get the swings they should have.”

– Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi

Swallows 5, Dragons 0: At Jingu Stadium, Yudai Ono (6-8) missed over the plate with a 2-1 cutter to Murakami with two men on in the third inning, and he blasted into the right-field stands for his 50th home run of the season, which sent Japan’s media into a spasm as the 22-year-old matched Hideki Matsui’s career high.

“He is the best player in Japan by far, and I’m glad he’s on our team so I don’t have to pitch to him.”

–Yakult Swallows pitcher Cy Sneed on Munetaka Murakami

Cy Sneed (8-5) struck out five, walked one and allowed three singles over seven innings to get the win as Yakult pulled seven games clear of the DeNA BayStars.

Murakami is the fourth Japanese hitter to reach 50 behind Matsui (50) with the Giants in 2002, Makoto Kozuru (51), a remarkable power-speed hitter with the 1950 CL champion Shochiku Robins, Katsuya Nomura (52) with the 1963 Nankai Hawks, and Hiromitsu Ochiai with the 1985 Lotte Orions.

There have been 10 seasons with 51-plus homers in Japanese pro baseball, including two each by Sadaharu Oh and Tuffy Rhodes, who each hit 51 and 55.

Oh would be included among a list of Japan-born hitters, but Japan long allowed only fathers to pass on their Japanese citizenship to their children. Oh’s father was Chinese, so his children had no choice but to be Chinese citizens, until their dad switched allegiance to Taiwan out of his frustration with the direction the Communist Party was taking his homeland.

His not being Japanese, however, won’t stop the scavengers who run Japan’s media from calling him the Japanese home run record holder just because it isn’t true.

Hawks 4, Lions 0: At Fukuoka Dome, Kenta Imamiya ended SoftBank’s scoring drought when he broke up a fifth-inning scoreless tie with his fourth home run of the season off Wataru Matsumoto (6-5).

Nao Higashihama (9-6) kept the Lions hitters in check until they loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth on an infield single in which the right-hander appeared to strain a leg muscle. Yuki Matsumoto came in and struck out veteran Takumi Kuriyama and preserve the shutout. Alfredo Despaigne singled in a run in the sixth and SoftBank pulled away with two in the eighth.

The win moved the Hawks to within winning percentage points of first, with Orix a game back in third and Rakuten 2-1/5 further back on the outside looking in.

Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 2, 2022

NPB news: Aug. 23, 2022

Program Notes: News from Tuesday is late as my day job went into extra innings and I needed some time with the trainer afterward.

Tuesday saw more of last week’s drama, so cue the theme from “Rawide,”—rolling, rolling, rolling, and get your big home run bat flips ready for you know who. We also had a game called on account of darkness, while Freddy Galvis did his grand slam thing again.

Continue reading NPB news: Aug. 23, 2022