Hawks manager Hiroshi Fujimoto challenged his ace Kodai Senga to be as good on Sunday as Buffaloes ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto had been against them on Saturday, and a second-straight pitchers’ duel ensued between SoftBank and Orix, whose starter had also been challenged the day before, by Yamamoto.
Atsushi Kittaka, who before Kazuyuki Shirai was the Japanese umpire most famously associated with in-game trouble, got a round of applause at a ballpark where he made one of his most infamous marks, although a rumor of him finally getting hit by a ball thrown by a pitcher were exaggerated.
Kittaka has an impressive resume of issues, but at Koshien on July 31, 1998, Giants pitcher Balvino Galvez took issue with the ump squeezing his strike zone, and when he was being lifted from the game after surrendering a home run, he heaved a ball across the diamond at Kittaka. Galvez missed him but was suspended for the rest of the season.
Sunday’s game was Kittaka’s 3,000th, and he received a warm round of applause from the fans and a bouquet of flowers was handed to him rather than thrown at him.
Let’s get to the games, shall we?
Buffaloes 2, Hawks 0: At Osaka Dome, Hiroya Miyagi (11-7) allowed an infield single, a walk, and a hit batsman, all in the same fourth inning, and left the bases loaded while bowling four perfect frames to earn the win.
Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 18, 2022