Tag Archives: Scott McGough

NPB wrap 6-5-21

Interleague Day 12 — long and short

It was come-from-behind victory day for the PL with all five of the PL wins coming that way, with two contrasting knockout-blow four-run innings.

The Seibu Lions launched three home runs in the ninth inning to knock off the Yakult Swallows, while the Rakuten Eagles started big but ended small, a tie-breaking solo homer followed by two singles, and three-straight sacrifice bunts including a bases-loaded suicide squeeze and a safety squeeze, that with the help of a throwing error, produced three more runs.

The five PL wins left the CL leading the interleague standings 30-26-7 after 63 games, with the PL outscoring the CL 293-263. The interleague leader heading into the final week or so of games is the Chunichi Dragons, who have definitely come a long way in that respect since the club treated interleague so dismissively in 2005.

Fighters 6, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Wang Po-Jung brought Nippon Ham from a run down with a two-run, seventh-inning home run, his fourth, and Yuto Takahama capped the rally with a grand slam off Giants starter Shosei Togo (5-3). Wang’s home run snapped a 29-inning scoreless skid for the Fighters.

It also gave him a chance to do the hero interview, in which he thanked Japan for donating 1.24 million doses of vaccines to his homeland, Taiwan.

Fighters starter Kazuaki Tateno, their second draft pick from 2019, allowed just a run over five innings in his first-team debut. Ryusei Kawano (1-1), their first-round singing in 2019, earned the win for the first of three scoreless innings of relief from the Fighters’ bullpen, before closer Toshihiro Sugiura made it uncomfortably close in the ninth, surrendering pinch-hit solo home runs to Yoshiyuki Kamei and Seiya Matsubara.

Kamei’s home run was the 100th of his career, and they didn’t all come as a pinch-hitter although it kind of feels that way.

Giants-Fighters highlights

Lions 6, Swallows 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Seibu treated Yakult to the kind of power display the Lions used to win back-to-back pennants in 2018 and 2019, Hotaka Yamakawa homered twice, his seventh cutting the Swallows’ lead to 3-2 in the seventh inning, and his eighth, a two-run shot that gave the Lions the lead against Scott McGough.

Takeya Nakamura opened the Lions’ ninth with his fifth, Takumi Kuiryama singled, and then Yamakawa and Wu Nien-ting, who hit his fifth, completed the four-run feast.

The Lions scored in the first off  Yasuhiro Ogawa (5-1, 3.52) on two singles and a Kuriyama sac fly, but Munetaka Murakami singled in two runs with no outs and the bases loaded off Tatsuya Imai, and tacked on a run by tying Leonys Martin for the Japan lead with his 17th home run to open the sixth.

BayStars 11, Marines 9

At Yokohama Stadium, Marines right-hander Manabu Mima (3-3) provided the candle power on a cloudy day when the DeNA BayStars lit him up for 11 runs over five innings.

Neftali Soto’s 10th homer gave the BayStars a 2-1 lead in the second. Katsuya Kakunaka tied it with an RBI single in the third off Haruhiro Hamaguchi (3-4), who allowed two over five innings.

The BayStars’ Masayuki Kuwahara, doubled and scored in the first, and doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the third. With the game in danger of getting away in the fourth, Lotte walked Kuwahara with two outs and first base open, which lit the fuse on a five-run bomb of an inning. Hikaru Ito doubled in two, Keita Sano, who doubled in a run in the first, singled in another. Tyler Austin then capped the rally with a two-run homer, his 10th of the season.

Dragons 6, Buffaloes 3

At Nagoya’ Vantelin Dome, Dayan Viciedo homered twice, capping a three-run first with his eighth home run, a two-run shot off Daiki Tajima (2-4), and driving in an insurance run in the eighth by leading off the eighth with his second. Shuhei Takahashi followed with his second homer as Chunichi went deep three times for the second game in the series. The Dragons used eight pitchers after Kodai Umetsu was pulled in the third. Things nearly went south in the top of the eighth, when the first two batters singled off lefty Hiroto Fuku and one scored to make it a 4-3 game.

Hawks 10, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, SoftBank’s Nick Martinez (5-1) allowed two runs, on Jefry Marte’s 10th home run in the third as he scattered nine hits and a walk over six innings. The Hawks came from behind on three sixth-inning hits against Hanshin rookie Masashi Ito (3-3). Yuki Yanagita singled and scored on a Yusuke Masago double before Takuya Kai belted his sixth home run. Kai added a solo homer in the ninth.

Eagles 7, Carp 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, the Eagles broke the game open in a four-run eighth, starting with Hiroaki Shimauchi’s eighth home run, against lefty Atsuya Horie. After two singles, bunting madness took over. Rakuten loaded the bases on a sacrifice bunt and an error. Catcher Hikaru Ota’s suicide squeeze made it 5-3. Itsuki Murabayashi’s safety squeeze made it 6-3, with a second run scoring on a throwing error on the play.

Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita, the CL’s 2020 rookie of the year, battled to a six-inning stalemate with Rakuten’s Masahiro Tanaka, both pitchers allowing three runs. Morishita took a 3-1 lead into the seventh, when he issued back-to-back walks to runners who would eventually score.

Two of the runs scored off Tanaka came off high straight fastballs against Carp rookies 20-year-old Kota Hayashi and 24-year-old Koki Ugusa.

Starting pitchers

Sunday gives us a couple of fun matchups, Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano against impressive Fighters rookie southpaw Hiromi Ito. At Koshien Stadium, Joe Gunkel returns to the mound for the first time since he went three innings against DeNA on May 9. He’ll face southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada, who has been struggling.


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

Tomoyuki Sugano (2-2, 1.93) vs Hiromi Ito (2-4, 3.33)

Swallows vs Lions: Jingu Stadium 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-1, 3.12) vs Towa Uema (1-1, 5.40)

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

Shota Imanaga (0-1, 6.10) vs Kazuya Ojima (2-2, 4.37)

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

Koji Fukutani (3-4, 3.66) vs Hirotoshi Masui (1-4, 4.75)

Tigers vs Hawks: Koshien Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Joe Gunkel (5-0, 2.35) vs Tsuyoshi Wada (3-3, 4.62)

Carp vs Eagles: Mazda Stadium 1:30 pm, 0:30 am EDT

Koya Takahashi (2-1, 2.01) vs Takahisa Hayakawa (6-2, 3.14)

Active roster moves 6/5/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/15

Central League


GiantsOF39Soichiro Tateoka
CarpP18Masato Morishita
CarpP43Sotaro Shimauchi


GiantsOF8Yoshihiro Maru
CarpP21Shota Nakazaki
CarpP67Yuta Nakamura

Pacific League


MarinesP41Kakeru Narita
FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno
BuffaloesC33Masato Matsui


MarinesP35Shota Suzuki
FightersC22Shinya Tsuruoka
BuffaloesC44Yuma Tongu

NPB wrap 5-29-21

Interleague Day 5 – Respect for the elderly

Sapporo Dome held a respect for the elderly promotion on Saturday giving up four hits to players 40 and over, and 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, Nippon Professional Basesball’s oldest active player, cashed in with three singles and a double, two RBIs. He left after his eighth-inning leadoff single put the go-ahead runner on ahead of Dayan Viciedo, who broke the tie with an RBI double.

So show Kosuke some respect. He’s earned it.

On Sunday, we’ll get to see if the Yomiuri Giants have any similar promotions planned for when they face 40-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada in Fukuoka. The Giants have now lost 11 straight official games to the Hawks, including all eight from the 2019 and 2020 Japan Series.

The losing streak started with a loss to Wada at Tokyo Dome on June 23, 2019, in the finale of a three-game series in which the Giants won the middle game. Wada started and won Game 4 of the 2019 series and started Game 4 last autumn, but left after allowing a run over two innings in SoftBank’s 4-1 clincher in Fukuoka. He’s 6-3 against them over his career. His last loss to them was on May 28, 2009.

Dragons 7, Fighters 4

At Sapporo Dome, the Fighters came back to tie it 4-4 on a two-out two-run Wang Po-jung pinch double, but Bryan Rodriguez couldn’t hold the line in the eighth, after Fukudome’s leadoff single, he surrendered an RBI double to Dayan Viciedo. Takuya Kinoshita, who put Chunichi ahead 3-2 in the fifth with his sixth home run, was intentionally walked and scored on Daiki Mitsumata’s two-run double.

Drew VerHagen started for Nippon Ham and allowed four runs over six-plus innings on eight hits and a walk while striking out five.

Eagles 1 BayStars 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Masahiro Tanaka was extremely sharp over eight innings, but one of his few mistakes cost him, when he missed down the pipe to Tyler Austin, who teed off on it to blast his eighth home run and give DeNA a 1-0, sixth-inning lead. Tanaka allowed five hits and hit a batter while striking out six. 

Lefty Haruhiro Hamaguchi twice pitched out of tight spots, two on with no outs in the first and a no-out bases-loaded can of worms in the fourth to allow a run over six-plus innings. He left after allowing a leadoff single in the seventh, a runner the bullpen allowed to score.

Eagles closer Yuki Matsui pitched out of a no-out bases-loaded jam in the ninth, while former DeNA closer pitched a scoreless ninth against the bottom of the Eagles order to seal the tie.

Marines 7, Carp 3

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Adeiny Hechavarria went 3-for-5 with a homer and five RBIs, while Lotte leadoff man Takashi Ogino homered, walked twice, doubled and singled as the Marines overran Hiroshima.

Manabu Mima (3-2) allowed two runs over six innings, while Frank Herrmann surrendered another in the seventh, but the last seven Carp hitters bit the dust, while Hechavarria made mincemeat of the visitors’ bullpen.

Swallows 7, Buffaloes 4

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Yakult’s Yasuhiro Ogawa (5-1) allowed three runs over seven innings – on a three-run seventh-inning Steven Moya pinch-hit home run, Jose Osuna doubled, singled, homered and drove in three runs, and Scott McGough struck out the side in the ninth for his fifth save. Domingo Santana also homered and singled for the Swallows.

Hawks 8, Giants 3

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Yuya Hasegawa delivered a rare performance in a rare start for SoftBank. He hit two of the Hawks’ five home runs, one that tied the game 2-2 in the second and a three-run shot that broke the game open and chased Angel Sanchez (4-3) in the fifth inning. Hasegawa also made a terrific catch in left on a foul ball over the railing to end the Giants’ fifth with a man on.

Nick Martinez (4-1) allowed three runs over seven innings, in which he struck out 10 and walked one. He gave up Zelous Wheeler’s seventh home run, a two-run shot in the first, and allowed another run on four straight one-out singles in the sixth.

Yuki Yangita hit his 12th homer to start the Hawks’ second-inning fightback, while catcher Takuya Kai broke the 2-2 tie with a two-run fourth-inning home run, his fifth, and Nobuhiro Matsuda completed the carnage in the sixth with a solo shot that was his sixth of the season.

Lions 1, tigers 0

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Hotaka Yamakawa hit his fifth home run and Tatsuya Imai (3-2) outdueled rookie Masashi Ito (3-2). Imai, whose professional existence has been plagued by walks, struck out six without a walk, while allowing three hits over 5-1/3 innings, when he left the game after a batted ball struck him on the left hand.

Tetsu Miyagawa retired the first three batters he faced before Hanshin loaded the bases in the seventh on a single and two two-out walks. Rookie Teruaki Sato, who blasted three home runs the night before, went down swinging for the second out, and veteran Yoshio Itoi struck out pinch-hitting to end the inning.

A night after Reed Garrett blew a two-run ninth-inning lead, Kaima Taira came into hold the lead in the ninth. After a leadoff walk and a stolen base, Taira struck out Sato and retired Mel Rojas Jr. on a fly out against the foul netting, that Tigers manager Akihiro Yano argued long after the video replay upheld the ruling.

Starting pitchers


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

Robbie Erlin (1-0, 3.60) vs Koji Fukutani (2-4, 3.94)

Eagles vs BayStars: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Takahisa Hayakawa (6-2, 3.28) vs Shota Imanaga (0-1, 12.46)

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

Katsunori Hirai (3-2, 4.37) vs Shoki Murakami (-)

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

Kazuya Ojima (1-2, 4.81) vs Dovydas Neverauskas (-)

Buffaloes vs Swallows: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Hirotoshi Masui (1-4, 4.94) vs Albert Suarez (2-2, 3.89)

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

Tsuyoshi Wada (3-2, 4.53) vs Shosei Togo (4-2, 3.94)

Active roster moves 5/29/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/8

Central League


CarpP65Shogo Tamamura
SwallowsP68Kohei Miyadai


CarpP41Takuya Yasaki
SwallowsP15Rick van den Hurk

Pacific League


LionsP34Yasuo Sano
LionsC37Sena Tsuge
LionsOF53Aito Takeda
LionsOF58Masato Kumashiro
EaglesP53Hosei Takata


LionsC78Masato Saito
LionsIF31Ryusei Sato
LionsOF46Shohei Suzuki
EaglesP64Hiroyuki Fukuyama
BuffaloesP21Daichi Takeyasu