Tag Archives: sacrifice bunts

Nishimura’s last sacrifice

Orix Buffaloes manager Norifumi Nishimura announced after Thursday’s 6-4 loss to the Seibu Lions that he is stepping down.

The loss left the Buffaloes 12 games out of first place in this year’s 120 game season with a 16-33-4 record.

I haven’t seen a transcript of his resignation announcement yet but it might have gone something like this:

“If only I had ordered more sacrifices, perhaps we wouldn’t be in this predicament. We did our best last year, but leading the league with 101 sacrifice bunts was not enough to escape finishing last,” Nishimura said.

“We tried to redouble our efforts this year. We even bunted as often as we could while trailing in the late innings on the road, but the wins still didn’t come.”

“We lead both leagues now with 47 and that’s quite an achievement for a team in a DH league with no interleague games this year, but for this team to win a championship, I think we need to find a way to bunt in every conceivable situation. That we failed to do this is my responsibility.”

“To win in Japan, you need to pressure your opponent with sacrifice hits. But somehow there are just never enough outs for us in a game to sacrifice as much as we should.”

NPB games, news of Aug. 17, 2019

Pacific League

Buffaloes 6, Marines 0

At Kyocera Dome, Stefen Romero continued to rake, hitting a pair of RBI doubles in support of 24-year-old rookie Daichi Takeyasu (3-1) as last-place Orix beat Lotte.

Romero’s three-hit game gives him an 11-game hit streak. His hero interview with Takeyasu is HERE.

Takeyasu, the third pick of the Hanshin Tigers in NPB’s 2015 draft, has been a finesse pitcher in his three previous minor league seasons, striking out about six batters per nine innings. On Saturday, he struck out five, walked four and surrendered two hits.

He has pitched well each time he’s faced a team for the first time. After interleague, the Hawks and Lions saw him for the second time and he allowed 11 runs in five innings. Against opponents facing him the first time, he’s 3-0 having allowed nine runs in 40 innings.

“You can’t win with two hits,” Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi told reporters afterward. “He was precise with his location and got us to hit his pitches.”

Ikuhiro Kiyota, batting cleanup for the Lotte for the first time this season, said, “His pitches looked hittable, but we were hitting bad pitches. His locations were good and his fastball had a good feel to it.”

Game highlights are HERE.

Fighters 6, Eagles 1

At Sapporo Dome, Kohei Arihara (12-6) struck out six, while allowing one run over seven innings, and Nippon Ham scored four runs off Shu Sughara (1-3) over 2-2/3 innings to snap a nine-game losing streak at the expense of Rakuten.

Mizuki Hori, the Fighters’ regular opener, worked the eighth, and closer Ryo Akiyoshi the ninth to complete the two-hitter.

Game highlights are HERE.

Lions 13, Hawks 8

At Yafuoku Dome, Seibu gave SoftBank’s Kodai Senga (11-5) the worst hiding of his career, scoring nine runs in three innings, with Takumi Kuriyama highlighting a nine-run second inning with a three-run home run.

The Lions’ Kona Takahashi (9-5) held the Hawks scoreless through seven innings before surrendering six runs in the eighth.

Game highlights are HERE.

Central League

Giants 4, Tigers 2

At Tokyo Dome, Hayato Sakamoto hit his 32nd home run in the first inning, and Yomiuri padded its lead with three runs off Hanshin’s bullpen after Yuki Nishi (5-8) finished his solid six-inning outing.

For the second-straight day, the Tigers loaded the bases in the top of the first, but this time didn’t even score a run, and didn’t have another good scoring chance again.

With a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning, the first two Giants batters reached, manager Tatsunori Hara had Alex Guerrero, with 65 homers in 280 career NPB games, sacrificing. Here’s how that played out on the Dazn broadcast:

Announcer: “That sacrifice by Guerrero raised the volume at Tokyo Dome.”

Murata: “If Guerrero was in poor form, that might have been expected. But he’s hitting well right now. So I think that is just an outstanding move by the manager…”

and wait for it…

Murata: “…That tells you the manager’s intent is to absolutely win. He’s setting the tone (of an in-your-face challenging atmosphere).”

Announcer: “Manager Hara has pushed the Giants one step closer to victory, and the infield is all the way in now.”

Game highlights are HERE.

Swallows 6, Dragons 5

At Jingu Stadium, Munetaka Murakami broke a 4-4 tie with his 27th home run and added a second solo shot as Yakult outlasted Chunichi.

Murakami now has the third-highest single-season home run total for a player under 20 behind Kazuhiro Kiyohara’s first two seasons (31 as an 18-year-old rookie and 29 the next year).

BayStars 8, Carp 3

At Yokohama Stadium, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo hit two home runs and now has 201 for his career, while lefty Kenta Ishida (3-0) threw six scoreless innings to earn the victory as DeNA snapped a five-game losing streak with a win over Hiroshima.


Carp’s Batista fails doping test

The Hiroshima Carp deactivated first baseman Xavier Batista on Saturday, the day after they learned from NPB that he had tested positive for a banned substance. Batista’s 26 home runs leads the team.

The 27-year-old, who signed a six-year contract extension in 2017, becomes the sixth player to fail a doping test in Japan since NPB adopted testing protocols in 2007.