Sunday saw the second big-name veteran pitcher go off the rails in two days, while the Hanshin Tigers and Yomiuri Giants did their best to tell the world that the Central League pennant race is not as over as it looked a month ago. Hanshin in particular had the kind of contributions from its imports that it projected at the start of the season.
Swallows slugger Munetaka Murakami, who was deactivated on Saturday when it was feared he might have COVID, returned to duty Sunday after testing negative.
Eagles 7, Hawks 2: At Fukuoka Dome, it was Tsuyoshi Wada’s day to fall apart. A day after Masahiro Tanaka took the loss in an otherwise good start, the broadcast crew was talking about how they’d like to see the 41-year Wada go the distance after throwing 66 pitchers through five innings when he began missing and the Eagles began connecting.
Haruki Nishikawa doubled on a flat 3-2 low-and-away off the fence in right for a double, Wada misplayed his hand on the ensuing sacrifice, allowing the batter to reach, and walked Hideto Asamura. Hiroaki Shimauchi put a good swing on a belt-high fastball away and drove off the top of the little wall in front of the home run terrace for a two-run double.
That was it for Wada, and Takero Okajima followed by singling in the first of the five runs he would plate for the Eagles, whose comeback was predicated on a fourth-inning magic act from rookie Masaru Fujii. A single, an error and back-to-back walks made it 1-0 Hawks with no outs, but he allowed no more runs. That was it for him, and he got no decision, but was instrumental in the victory.Continue reading NPB news: Aug. 7, 2022