Tag Archives: Ryusei Kawano

Spring Wrap 3-16-21

Tigers’ Sato goes off for 5th time

Teruaki Sato hit his fifth home run of the spring for the Hanshin Tigers in their 9-6 win at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium over the Yakult Swallows on Tuesday.

Twenty-year-old Swallows outfielder Taiki Hamada hit his fourth. Hamada, a fourth pick in 2018, has hit 19 homers in 609 minor league plate appearances, but little else from his stat profile would suggest he’s actually a prospect, but one never knows.

While players habitually who crush minor league pitching in a large sample size virtually never fail at the top level given enough chances, a number of stars have had great careers after really poor minor league performances. Unless they’ve failed miserably in over 1,000 minor league at-bats, I wouldn’t be too quick too judge.

One of Hamaya’s weaknesses so far has been strikeouts, and he has no whiffed just once in 29 spring plate appearances.

Neftali Soto, the article pointed out, led the preseason with six home runs in 2018, then led the CL in his first season with 41, but he’s the only in the past nine seasons.

Jon Edwards and Robert Suarez each worked an inning of relief for the Tigers, with Edwards allowing a run on two hits and a walk. Robert’s older brother Albert gave up six innings in his three-inning start for the Swallows. He surrendered Jefry Marte’s fourth home run of the spring.

What do preseason homers mean?

Not much, former Lotte Marines catcher Tomoya Satozaki said in a Nikkan Sports story published Tuesday morning about young Mr. Sato’s home run hoopla.

“How many preseason home run champs have gone on to win the home run title? How about batting champs?” Satozaki asked. “It’s different if you’re an established player with a track record, but for a rookie or a new import, those spring numbers don’t tell you much.”

At MetLife Dome, Wataru Matsumoto struck out five and walked two over 6-2/3 innings as the Seibu Lions beat the Hiroshima Carp 1-0. Reed Garrett worked a scoreless ninth for the Lions.

Masato Morishita, the CL’s 2020 rookie of the year, allowed an unearned run over 4-2/3 innings.

In Shizuoka, Steven Moya doubled and singled, and Adam Jones doubled in three trips to the plate for the Orix Buffaloes in their 5-3 win over the Rakuten Eagles. Alan Busenitz worked a scoreless inning of relief for Rakuten.

At Vantelin (Nagoya) Dome, Sawamura Award winner Yudai Ono allowed a run over five innings in a 6-1 win over the Yomiuri Giants. The lefty struck out four, walked one and allowed four hits.

Angel Sanchez started for the Giants. He struck out three, walked two, hit one as he allowed three runs on four hits over 5-1/3 innings. Flame-throwing Brazilian Thyago Vieira struck out two and walked one in the eighth, when Chunichi failed to put the ball in play.

At Sapporo Dome, second-year lefty Ryusei Kawano allowed a run over six innings while striking out four, walking two and hitting a batter and allowing two hits for the Nippon Ham Fighters in their 3-2 win.

At PayPay Dome, a party of five SoftBank Hawks pitchers combined to strike out 12 in a 1-0 win over the DeNA BayStars. The one pitcher we’d have expected to strike out a batter for the Hawks, closer Yuito Mori, didn’t.

Sasaki to start

The Marines announced Tuesday that Roki Sasaki would start Lotte’s final preseason game on Sunday at home against the DeNA BayStars, Sponichi Annex reported.

The 19-year-old Sasaki, who did not pitch at all in a game last year after he turned pro, faced three batters in his first game with the Marines and struck out one batter, while touching 95 mph.

“Next time will be on Sunday and he’ll go two innings,” manager Tadahito Iguchi said. “Going forward, we hope to stretch him out to three innings.”

The news came the same day the team began selling shirts and towels commemorating Sasaki’s debut, with his image and the words “The beginning.”

“I think it would be great if I’m allowed to try out different things,” said Sasaki, who added that the promotion was a surprise.

“I’m really happy to be imagine fans holding up those towels.”

Giants to test fans

As a kid, my favorite ballpark promotion, or at least the one we got taken to every year at Candlestick was Bat Day. Thinking back on those days, it’s hard to imagine having much enthusiasm for the Yomiuri Giants’ new promotion, “Coronavirus Test Day.”

OK, it’s not called that, but according to Sankei Sports, the team announced it will provide testing for the coronavirus to fans attending their April 25 home game at Tokyo Dome against the Hiroshima Carp.

If attendance is limited to 5,000 fans, the tests will be supplied to season ticket holders eligible for admission. If more fans are admitted, some fans using other tickets will be eligible to receive a free antibody test kit in the mail, or if a PCR test is desired, a voucher for a free test.

NPB 2020 Oct. 31

Saturday’s games

Other news

Futaki, Marines get over hump

Kota Futaki (8-3) had one hiccup in his seven-inning stint, Stefen Romero’s ice-breaking three-run fourth-inning home run, but allowed nothing else as the Lotte Marines snapped a four-game losing streak to beat the Rakuten Eagles 6-3 at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium on Saturday.

The win gave the second-place Marines a two-game lead in the fight for the Pacific League’s final playoff spot over the Seibu Lions, who were busted up 11-2 by the SoftBank Hawks. The Eagles, in fourth, are another half-game further back.

Futaki allowed only one base runner before the fourth and retired the last 10 batters he faced after hanging a 2-2 pitch that Romero blasted into the left-field stands for his 24th home run.

Eagles starter Ryota Ishibashi (1-6) allowed four runs over 5-1/3 innings. D.J. Johnson got Rakuten out of the five run inning, retiring all five batters he faced, while J.T. Chargois also stamped his initials on the proceedings in a scoreless ninth.

HIrokazu Sawamura, the loser on Friday, worked a scoreless eighth for the Marines, while Naoya Masuda recorded 30 saves for the first time in seven years.

Hawks tattoo Lions

Shuta Ishikawa (10-3) allowed a run over six innings, and Kenji Akashi doubled twice, tripled, singled scored three runs and drove in four in the SoftBank Hawks’ 11-2 win over the Seibu Lions at MetLife Dome.

Seibu’s Ernesto Mejia enlivened the game in the seventh inning by scoring after hitting his first triple in six years.

Kawano ends win drought

Nippon Ham Fighters rookie Ryosei Kawano (3-4) allowed a run over six innings in a 6-1 win over the Orix Buffaloes and southpaw Andrew Albers (4-8) at Sapporo Dome. Kawano, who hadn’t won since August, gave up three singles. The lefty struck out three without issuing a walk.

Okamoto powers Sugano to victory

Kazuma Okamoto hit his Central League-leading 29th home run, a three-run shot that bumped his league-best RBI total to 89 as ace Tomoyuki Sugano (14-2) allowed a run over five innings despite giving up five hits, walking two and hitting two in the 6-4 win at Tokyo Dome.

Rubby De La Rosa worked the ninth for his 17th save.

Giants-Swallows highlights

Yokawa bombs Yokohama

Naomasa Yokawa gave the Hanshin Tigers the early lead with a first-inning grand slam and added a solo shot in a 13-5 win over the DeNA BayStars at Yokohama Stadium, although his home runs might not have been as memorable as two of the three hit by the BayStars.

Jose Lopez’s fourth-inning solo shot off Takumi Akiyama (10-3) was his 11th of the season and was his 1,000th hit in Japan. He is the 14th imported player to reach the milestone and only the third player to reach that figure in both NPB and MLB. The other two are Ichiro Suzuki and Hideki Matsui.

Lopez is the 14th import to reach 1,000 hits in Japan and the fourth Venezuelan after Alex Ramirez, Bobby Marcano and Alex Cabrera.

Tyler Austin reached 20 homers in the 61st game of his debut season, while Yamato Maeda took former teammate, retiring Tigers reliever Kyuji Fujikawa out in the ninth for two runs.

Jefry Marte and Jerry Sands also helped power the Hanshin onslaught. Marte went 2-for-2 with two runs and three walks, while Sands went 3-for-5 with two doubles, two runs and two RBIs.

NameGHlast year
Alex Ramirez1,7442,0172013
Tuffy Rhodes1,6741,7922009
LeRon Lee1,3151,5791987
Leon Lee1,2561,4361987
Bobby Marcano2,5991,4181985
Boomer Wells1,1481,4131992
Alex Cabrera1,2391,3682012
Wally Yonamine1,2191,3371962
Jose Fernandez1,2531,2862013
Robert Rose2,0371,2752000
John Sipin1,8891,1241980
Chico Barbon2,5981,1231965
Matt Murton8321,0202015
Jose Lopez9891,0002020*
Wladimir Balentien1,0819912020*
Japan’s 1,000-hit foreign imports through Oct. 31, 2020 and the next guy

Note: This table has been updated. It originally omitted Wally Yonamine, Chico Barbon and Matt Murton.

Aizawa, Carp get ‘lucky’

Tsubasa Aizawa’s three-run eighth-inning double brought the Hiroshima Carp from behind against a lefty whose last name means luck in Japanese, Hiroto Fuku (5-5) in a 9-3 win over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome.

Active roster moves 10/31/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 11/10

Central League


DragonsP59Takumi Yamamoto


BayStarsP48Masaya Kyoyama
DragonsP25Yu Sato
DragonsIF55Nobumasa Fukuda
SwallowsP91Hiroaki Saiuchi

Pacific League


LionsIF0Daichi Mizuguchi
FightersP17Hiroshi Urano
FightersP31Toru Murata
FightersP63Ryuji Kitaura


LionsIF3Hotaka Yamakawa
FightersP25Naoki Miyanishi
FightersP27Nick Martinez
BuffaloesP19Taisuke Yamaoka

Starting pitchers for Nov. 1, 2020

Pacific League

Fighters vs Buffaloes: Sapporo Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Kohei Arihara (7-9, 3.52) vs Hitomi Honda (-)

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

Wataru Matsumoto (5-6, 4.58) vs Shunsuke Kasaya (4-3, 2.60)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Daiki Iwashita (6-7, 4.20) vs Ryota Takinaka (2-1, 2.97)

Central League

Giants vs Swallows: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Seishu Hatake (3-4, 3.52) vs Albert Suarez (4-3, 2.62)

BayStars vs Tigers: Yokohama Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Kosuke Sakaguchi (0-2, 11.57) vs Haruto Takahashi (5-4, 2.28)

Dragons vs Carp: Nagoya Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Yuya Yanagi (5-6, 3.88) vs Masato Morishita (9-3, 2.04)