Tag Archives: Scott McGough

NPB wrap 9-14-21

The Lotte Marines seem to be full of surprises and determined to take control of the Pacific League pennant race this month, and started their week on Tuesday in what looked like a clash between their irresistible force and an immovable object, SoftBank Hawks ace Kodai Senga, wheeled out on five-days rest to see if he could arrest the Marines progress.

The Central League’s week also began with a clash of two contenders as the Hanshin Tigers came to Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium to take on the Swallows in which each of NPB’s two Suarez brothers had a role to play for his team.

Eagles 4, Buffaloes 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Rakuten’s Takahisa Hayakawa (8-5, 3.63) won a matchup between two left-handed rookies who in April appeared ready to set the PL on fire. Hayakawa had one of his best starts of the season, while Orix 20-year-old Hiroya Miyagi (11-2, 2.26) continued his struggles.

Miyagi surrendered a first-inning homer to Hideto Asamura, who hit his 12th. Asamura hit 30 or more in each of the last three seasons but might not reach 19 for the first time since 2015.

When the season started, Miyagi was striking out about one batter per inning and walking about two to three per nine with a WHIP less than one. First, he stopped striking people out as often, and the hit totals began to climb but he continued to attack the zone. But the walks, too, are now on the rise.

The Eagles took a 2-0 lead on three two-out fifth-inning singles, and Miyagi made it 3-0 by issuing back-to-back walks. Yuma Mune, who had three of Orix’s five singles, brought in a run with an infield single in the eighth. And Eigoro Mogi made it 4-1 in the home half with his 13th home run.

The Eagles, who may be without closer Yuki Matsui this year, got a three-run save from Tomohito Sakai, his second.

Marines 3, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, red-hot SoftBank ace Kodai Senga (5-2, 3.12) struck out 14 but lost a pitchers’ duel with former Dragon Enny Romero. Taisei Makihara drilled Romero’s second pitch for a home run, but the lefty escaped a one-out bases-loaded jam to keep it 1-0.

Senga retired 10 straight after a one-out walk in the first before Shogo Nakamura doubled in the fourth and scored a Katsuya Kakunaka single. Lotte’s bullpen did not allow a base runner after Romero’s six impressive innings.

Senga, who had already thrown 103 pitches on five days rest, watched his command evaporate in the Marines’ two-run eighth. Yudai Fujioka led off with the second of his three singles. A sacrifice and four-pitch walk put two on and a Koki Yamaguchi’s single off a bad pitch loaded them.

After going to 3-2 by missing a pair of splitters below his knees, Brandon Laird finally made contact with a low pitch and grounded it into center for a two-run single. Chihaya Sasaki (5-2) pitched the eighth to earn the win, and Naoya Masuda recorded his 32nd save by striking out the side in the ninth.

The Marines deactivated Leonys Martin after he developed a fever, but his PCR test came back negative, so he could be activated for Wednesday’s game.

Lions 3, Fighters 1

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Kona Takahashi (10-5, 3.22) allowed an unearned run on three hits and two walks over six innings while striking out seven. Takumi Kuriyama singled three times and scored the Lions’ first run on a two-run second-inning Junichiro Kishi single.

The Fighters run came in the third on a dropped throw by Takahashi at first and a Haruki Nishikawa double.

Kuriyama singled home Tomoya Mori in the third to make it 3-1 against Fighters starter Takahide Ikeda (3-10, 3.98).

Lions closer Kaima Taira saved his 15th despite allowing two hits in the ninth, although the Fighters lost their leadoff runner when Yuki James Nomura was out trying to take second on a wild throw from Kaima, who fell on his butt to avoid getting hit by the barrel of Nomura’s broken bat.

Swallows 3, Tigers 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Albert Suarez opened the game and his younger brother, Robert – who has 31 saves, finished it with a 1-2-3 ninth to secure the tie after Jefry Marte’s three-run ninth-inning homer, his 18th, tied it off Swallows closer Scott McGough.

Marte also beat the Carp on Saturday when his three-run sixth-inning homer lifted the Tigers to a 4-1 win in Hiroshima.

Swallows cleanup hitter Munetaka Murakami had a hand in Yakult’s first three runs, with leadoff singles in the second and fourth off side-arm righty Koyo Aoyagi. He didn’t score, however, until he led off the sixth with his 34th home run to make it 3-0.

Albert Suarez worked four-plus, receiving an automatic ejection for hitting Takumu Nakano in the head to open the fifth. A single and a Jefry Marte walk loaded the bases with no outs, but Hanshin failed to score. Nakano singled in a run in the seventh off deposed closer Taishi Ishiyama who left with no outs and two on for Ryuta Kono, who popped up Marte before striking out Yusuke Oyama and Yoshio Itoi.

A Norichika Aoki single and a Jose Osuna RBI double gave the Swallows some breathing room in the eighth, but the insurance couldn’t ensure a victory.

McGough walked two to bring Marte to the plate with one out, and the Tigers first baseman put a good swing on a slider that McGough left in the lower half of the zone and drilled it over the wall in left-center.

Giants 3, BayStars 2

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri’s Shun Yamaguchi (2-5, 3.33) fell to 1-3 with a 4.09 ERA against his former team, DeNA, allowing two runs over 7-1/3 innings while striking out seven, walking one, hitting one and allowing three hits, including Masayuki Kuwahara’s 10th homer, tying the game to open the sixth. 

With one out in the seventh, Yamaguchi was gone after hitting Neftali Soto in the head. BayStars rookie Shugo Maki broke the tie by hitting new pitcher Toyoki Tanaka’s first pitch for his 17th home run.

The Giants chased DeNA starter Fernando Romero (2-2, 3.80) with one out in the eighth after a leadoff Takumi Oshiro double and an RBI pinch-hit single by new Giant Scott Heineman.

Venezuelan lefty Edwin Escobar struck out both batters he faced before closer Kazuki Mishima bounced from a three-run disaster five days earlier in his last game, also against Yomiuri, with a 1-2-3 ninth and his 21st save.

Giants-BayStars highlights

Dragons 10, Carp 1

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Chunichi resumed its September run surge after its 1-0 win on Monday. Catcher Takuya Kinoshita doubled in the ice-breaker in the second off Masato Morishita (6-7, 3.12), and an RBI single from 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome made it 2-0 in the third.

Kaito Kaizono doubled to open Hiroshima’s fourth and scored on a single by Carp catcher Tsubasa Aizawa, but Dragons lefty Takahiro Matsuba (4-3, 3.21) allowed just one run on four hits and a walk over six innings. With Chunichi leading 3-1 after Yohei Oshima’s fifth-inning RBI single, Naomichi Donoue entered the game for defense and had a three-run sixth-inning double and a two-run eighth-inning single.

Starting pitchers

Eagles vs Buffaloes: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Ryota Takinaka (6-4, 4.48) vs Soichiro Yamazaki (0-1, 3.86)

Lions vs Fighters: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Keisuke Honda (0-2, 3.57) vs Hiromi Ito (9-5, 2.54)

Hawks vs Marines: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Carter Stewart, Jr. (0-1, 4.95) vs Manabu Mima (5-4, 5.32)

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

Shosei Togo (8-6, 3.96) vs Shinichi Onuki (6-5, 4.46)

Swallows vs Tigers: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Yasuhiro Ogawa (7-4, 4.29) vs Masashi Ito (7-6, 2.98)

Dragons vs Carp: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Shotaro Kasahara (-) vs Shogo Tamamura (2-6, 3.89)

Active roster moves 9/14/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/24

Central League


GiantsIF52Takumi Kitamura
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez


TigersP16Yuki Nishi
SwallowsIF46Kengo Ota

Pacific League


HawksOF60Go Kamamoto
MarinesOF31Tsuyoshi Sugano
EaglesP47Masaru Fujii
FightersP52Takahide Ikeda


MarinesOF79Leonys Martin

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NPB wrap 9-3-21

There were Friday fireworks in Japanese pro baseball.

Olympians Nick Martinez and Yoshinobu Yamamoto tangled for the second time in eight days in a game decided by Adam Jones in the ninth, while the Yomiuri Giants appeared to be sailing smoothly to victory behind a gem from starter Shosei Togo until the sky — or rather the Hanshin Tigers — fell on them at Koshien Stadium.

Buffaloes 2, Hawks 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Orix managed its second ninth-inning comeback in two days. A day after securing a tie with four late runs in Sapporo, the Buffaloes broke a 1-1 tie on Adam Jones’ two-out RBI single, making a winner out of ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (12-5, 1.61), who allowed a run over eight innings in an atypical start that saw him walk four and strikeout five while allowing three hits.

SoftBank’s Nick Martinez allowed a run over seven innings while striking out nine and walking two.

Yamamoto was on course to throw his second straight shutout and third straight complete game victory until the Hawks tagged him for a run to tie it in the eighth. A single, a bunt and an intentional walk to Yuki Yanagita put two on with two outs, and Ryoya Kurihara tied it with a single.

After a 1-2-3 eighth from Hiroshi Kaino, SoftBank’s Yugo Bando allowed one-out singles to Yuma Mune and Masataka Yoshida, who hobbled off for a pinch-runner before Jones lashed a high 0-2 fastball into center to plate the go-ahead run.

Lions 8, Eagles 4

At Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi, Masahiro Tanaka (4-5, 2.73) got some run support for a change, but allowed four runs over eight innings, and Seibu exploited closer Yuki Matsui’s absence, scoring four runs in the ninth to beat Rakuten.

Seibu starter Wataru Matsumoto allowed two runs over six innings and did not figure in the decision after the Eagles rallied to tie it in the eighth against Seibu’s bullpen.

The Lions scored three in the fourth. Sosuke Genda barely got a piece of changeup for a flare single. After a bunt, he scored when Tomoya Mori got the end of his bat on a low fastball and found the gap for a double. Tanaka then left an 0-2 slider over the plate, and Takeya Nakamura served it into the outfield for an RBI single. Takumi Kuriyama, two hits from 2,000 in his career, golfed a low pitch to center for a sacrifice fly.

Takero Okajima doubled in Eigoro Mori in the home half to reduce the arrears. Tanaka followed with three scoreless innings before No. 9 hitter Seiji Kawagoe homered off him to open the eighth.

Okajima tied it in the bottom of the inning, singling in two off Ryosuke Moriwaki after two walks and a sacrifice.

Nakamura singled to open the ninth against Sung Chia-hao (1-3). With two outs, Kuriyama kept the rally alive with a single, Hotaka Yamakawa fell behind 1-2 before walking to load the bases and Wu Nien-ting singled off his countryman to put the Lions ahead.

Marines 7 Fighters 5

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Yudai Fujioka broke an eighth-inning tie, driving in his second run of the game in a three-run inning as Lotte came from behind for the second time to beat Nippon Ham.

Kazuya Ojima (6-3, 4.65) allowed the Fighters to load the bases with one out in the first, and all three runners scored, on singles by Yuto Takahama and Daiki Asama and a groundout.

Leonys Martin (hit by pitch) and Brandon Laird (single) reached to open Lotte’s second and scored on a Hisanori Yasuda double and a Fujioka sac fly. New Fighter Ryusei Sato singled in a run in the fourth, but Martin homered to open the Marines’ home half. His 23rd tied SoftBank’s Yuki Yanagita for the league lead, while Laird singled and scored on a bases-loaded walk from Fighters starter Takahide Ikeda.

Three singles put the Fighters up a run in the fifth, and three relievers held that lead until the eighth. Laird got things started against Kazutomo Iguchi (1-1) with a one-out single, his third. The tying run scored on an error and Yasuda walked before Fujioka singled.

Pinch-hitter Katsuya Kakunaka’s sac fly completed the scoring, and Naoya Masuda worked the ninth to record his Japan-best 29th save.

Tigers 7, Giants 3

At Koshien Stadium, rookie Takumu Nakano’s three-run tie-breaking triple completed a turn-around after Hanshin’s first 15 batters were retired by Yomiuri right-hander Shosei Togo (8-6), who eventually allowed five runs over 6-1/3 innings.

“I wasn’t up there to weakly take a walk,” Nakano said of his swing on a borderline 3-2 pitch that he drove for a triple into the corner.

The Giants broke the scoreless tie in the fifth against Tigers starter Yuki Nishi.

Yasuyuki Kamei had the first of two singles before Seiya Matsubara tripled in two. Kazuma Okamoto doubled with two outs in the sixth and scored on a Kamei triple.

Yusuke Oyama became Hanshin’s first base runner, when he singled to open the sixth, and scored on 40-year-old Yoshio Itoi’s pinch-hit double. Jefry Marte doubled with one out in the Tigers’ seventh, when they loaded the bases on a walk to Mel Rojas Jr. and a single before Oyama doubled to tie it and chase Togo.

Jerry Sands pinch-hit and was walked intentionally after lefty Yuhei Takanashi fell behind 2-0 to load the bases. With two out, Nakano made manager Hara pay for his generosity.

Nishi allowed a run on six hits and a walk over six innings while striking out five. 

Swallows 3, Carp 1

At Tokyo Dome, Albert Suarez (3-3, 4.08) struck out eight while walking two and allowing six hits over 5-1/3 innings.

Yasutaka Shiomi hit the first pitch from Daichi Osera (6-3, 3.09) for his 10th home run, and reached on a one-out infield single to spark a two-run third. Osera loaded the bases on a hit batsman and a walk and Munetaka Murakami doubled.

Suarez left with two on and one out in the sixth, but Koshiro Sakamoto bailed him out. Ryutaro Konno worked a perfect seventh, before setup man Noboru Shimizu surrendered a run in the eighth.

Seiya Suzuki, who’d walked twice and singled, hit his 20th home run to put the Carp on the board in the eighth. It was his seventh over 15 games at Tokyo Dome, matching his total from 42 games at his home park, Mazda Stadium.

Scott McGough pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to record his 19th save.

Dragons 1, BayStars 0

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Chunichi’s lefty ace Yudai Ono (5-8, 3.31) protected a 1-0 first-inning lead by stranding a pair of runners in three different innings as he allowed six hits and a walk over seven scoreless innings while striking out five.

Kosuke Fukudome broke the ice with a two-out, RBI single in the first.

Masaya Kyoyama (2-4, 5.09), who went six innings, allowing an unearned run on four hits, two walks and a hit batsman.

Katsuki Matayoshi struck out two in the eighth and Raidel Martinez did the same in the ninth as two perfect innings closed out the BayStars with Martinez getting his 14th save.

Saturday’s starting pitchers

Eagles vs Lions: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Takayuki Kishi (6-7, 3.43) vs Tatsuya Imai (6-4, 3.25)

Marines vs Fighters: Zozo Marine Stadium 5 pm, 4 am EDT

Shota Suzuki (1-4, 4.04) vs Takayuki Kato (3-6, 3.81)

Hawks vs Buffaloes: PayPay Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shuta Ishikawa (4-8, 3.02) vs Glenn Sparkman (0-0, 4.00)

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

Cy Sneed (2-1, 4.24) vs Koya Takahashi (2-4, 6.00)

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

Yuya Yanagi (8-5, 2.10) vs Fernando Romero (0-2, 4.55)

Tigers vs Giants: Koshien Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Joe Gunkel (7-1, 2.38) vs Yuki Takahashi (10-3, 2.71)

Active roster moves 9/3/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 9/13

Central League


GiantsOF39Soichiro Tateoka
DragonsIF45Ryuku Tsuchida
BayStarsC10Yasutaka Tobashira
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez


GiantsOF43Shinnosuke Shigenobu
DragonsIF48Hayato Mizowaki
BayStarsC36Shuto Takajo
SwallowsP19Masanori Ishikawa
SwallowsP28Daiki Yoshida

Pacific League


MarinesP60Rikuto Yokoyama
FightersP35Takahiro Nishimura
BuffaloesOF1Steven Moya


HawksP57Shinya Kayama
FightersP39Ryo Akiyoshi
BuffaloesP21Daichi Takeyasu

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