Tag Archives: Steven Moya

NPB wrap 5-18-21

New guys

Cy Sneed, who for reason unknown is wearing his first and last name on his Yakult Swallows uniform, was overpowering in his second start while two other new imports, Yakult’s Domingo Santana and Hanshin’s Mel Rojas Jr.,  had impressive games at Koshien. Sneed entered the game having allowed three runs over four innings in his first start, causing an announcer to carelessly utter, “He’s not pitching like a guy with a 6.75 ERA.”

Mel Rojas Jr., KBO’s 2020 MVP, finally got untracked after 21 plate appearances without a hit. He drove a pitch off the outside edge out to center for his first hit and home run in Japan, and you could see the frustration leave his shoulders as he rounded third and raised his arms in wonder about how long this took.

Santana, who has begun having a series of good games, drew a walk and had three doubles.

Swallows 14, Tigers 3 

At Koshien Stadium, Cy Sneed (1-0) whose last name was so short that Yakult perhaps felt  the need to include his first name on his uniform, was more like a bridge of Cys for Hanshin’s hitters until they chased him with one out in the sixth with the Swallows leading 9-2. Sneed located a sizzling fastball with ease mixed it with a sharp slider and it was pretty much game over. With a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second, he struck out the heart of the Hanshin order on 10 pitches. He struck out seven, walked one, allowed three runs and five hits.

Yuki Nishi (3-3) on the other hand, was doing just that. After walking 10 batters in his first 46 innings, the right-hander walked five in five. Neither pitcher was helped by an inconsistent strike zone, but when Nishi needed something that wouldn’t be Ball 4, he often couldn’t throw it close enough to get a call.

Santana scored once and drove in five, while Munetaka Murakami hit his Central League-leading 12th home run, walked, singled twice, drove in two runs and scored four.

Giants 7, Carp 2

At Tokyo Dome, Zelous Wheeler extended his hitting streak to 22 games with a two-run double that brought Yomiuri from behind against a Carp team that swapped out eight players due coronavirus infections. Kazuma Okamoto and Justin Smoak homered back to back in the seventh for the Giants. Okamoto’s was his 10th, Smoak’s his fourth.

Shosei Togo (3-2) allowed two runs over six innings. He struck out six, walked two and allowed four hits to win his first game in a month. Daichi Osera (2-1) came back from a calf injury that sidelined him for a month. He allowed three runs over five innings. Thyago Vieira, who was dropped from the closer role a month ago, was activated and created a save situation in the ninth when he loaded the bases with a double and two walks, allowing Chiaki “Door Root” Tone to get his first save in five years.

Tone was called Door Root once on the national team’s English roster page, because NPB is too cheap to pay someone to actually do a real page with names using the roman alphabet and instead used machine transliterations of players names in Chinese characters for those guys who were late additions.

Giants-Carp highlights

Dragons 5, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, Chunichi’s Shinnosuke Ogasawara (3-2) threw six scoreless innings, Yota Kyoda had three singles, a sacrifice fly, scored one run and drove in three, while Yohei Oshima reached three times and scored twice for the Dragons.

DeNA starter Shinichi Onuki (1-4) allowed four runs on 10 hits and one walk over 3-2/3 innings.

“(Kyoda) is a good hitter, batting second. What should they do with him?”

–Dave Okubo, on Pro Yakyu News

Eagles 3, Fighters 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten’s Hideto Asamura had three hits, singled in the tying run in the fifth inning, and homered to break the 2-2 tie in the eighth for the Pacific League-leading Eagles against Nippon Ham reliever Bryan Rodriguez (0-1). The Rakuten bullpen allowed one hit over the final three innings in relief of Takayuki Kishi with Sung Chia-hao (1-0) earning the win after striking out the side in the eighth.

Chihiro Kaneko cruised through four innings for the Fighters before leaving with one out and the bases loaded in the fifth. Lefty Ryusei Kawano surrendered an RBI single to Hiroto Kobukata that made it 2-1 Fighters. Taisho Tamai entered to face Asamura and let the tying run score. Asamura’s home run was only his third of the year.

Hawks 8, Lions 2

At MetLife Dome, SoftBank’s Shota Takeda (3-2) threw a five-hitter, walking three while striking out seven with Yuki Yanagita hitting his eighth homer in the first off Seibu’s Matt Dermody (0-1) with a man on. Dermody surrendered four runs over six innings. Wladimir Balentien made his season debut for the Hawks, going 1-for-5 with a two-run single.

Buffaloes 6, Marines 5

At Osaka’s Kyocera Dome, Orix’s Steven Moya hit a pair of solo homers, his fifth and sixth, and Takahiro Okada his fourth, a two-run shot in the fourth to help the Buffaloes win a slugfest with Lotte. Adeiny Hechavarria got a start at short for Lotte and broke the ice with a two-run second-inning double off Hiroya Miyagi. The 19-year-old rookie lefty surrendered Leonys Martin’s Japan-best 13th home run in the fifth before making his exit after five.

Moya’s first homer nearly hit the back wall of the dome, while his second of the game, in the sixth off Lotte rookie Shota Suzuki (1-2) broke the tie. Moya also singled to leadoff the eighth to set up an insurance run. Rookie Ryota Muranishi was called on to get the final out and recorded his first career save.

The Marines had a fast runner in scoring position with one out in the eighth, and the Pro Yakyu News guys jumped on pinch-runner Koshiro Wada for messing it up.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Takahiro Norimoto (3-1, 2.89) vs Takayuki Kato (3-0, 2.25)

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

Tatsuya Imai (2-2, 2.39) vs Yuki Matsumoto (1-2, 5.13)

Buffaloes vs Marines: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-4, 1.99) vs Daiki Iwashita (3-2, 3.00)

Central League

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

Yuki Takahashi (5-0, 1.89) vs Allen Kuri (4-3, 3.20)

BayStars vs Dragons: Yokohama Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Haruhiro Hamaguchi (2-3, 3.60) vs Kodai Umetsu (0-1, 0.00)

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

Junya Nishi (-) vs Kazuto Taguchi (1-2, 3.29)

Active roster moves 5/18/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/28

Central League


GiantsP49Thyago Vieira
GiantsIF00Dai Yuasa
DragonsP70Ren Kondo
BayStarsC29Hikaru Ito
CarpP14Daichi Osera
CarpC22Shosei Nakamura
CarpC32Yuta Shirahama
CarpIF35Takumi Miyoshi
CarpIF44Kota Hayashi
CarpIF61Masaya Yano
CarpIF96Alejandro Mejia
CarpOF37Takayoshi Noma
CarpOF38Koki Ugusa


CarpC40Yoshitaka Isomura
CarpC62Tomoki Ishihara
CarpIF33Ryosuke Kikuchi
CarpIF51Kaito Kozono
CarpOF49Yuya Shozui
CarpOF55Ryuhei Matsuyama
CarpOF59Minoru Omori
CarpOF63Ryoma Nishikawa

Pacific League


HawksOF4Wladimir Balentien
MarinesC45Yuito Munetsugu
MarinesOF10Shohei Katoh
EaglesIF30Toshitake Yokoo


MarinesC99Tomoya Kakinuma

NPB Wrap 5-8-21

Japanese baseball is hard

Masahiro Tanaka will attest to this after he got hit hard on Saturday in his fourth start. All that despite locating most of his pitches pretty well and having good velocity on his fastball and the Nippon Ham Fighters coming off a week in which they were barely able to practice.

Tanaka spills on his 2nd loss

In a country where practice volume is considered the most important factor in success, every failure is often attributed to a lack of practice. The Fighters are now 2-0 since a coronavirus cluster shutdown the club after their game on May 1. But because lack of practice is fatal, their next loss, whenever that comes, will be attributed to their layoff, while every win between now and then will be treated as an anomaly.

Fighters 4, Eagles 1

At Sapporo Dome, Naoyuki Uwasawa (3-2), the Opening Day starter for the last-place Nippon Ham Fighters, beat Tanaka for the second time, holding Pacific League-leading Rakuten to a run over seven innings, while his teammates tagged Masahiro Tanaka (2-2) for five runs over seven.

Tanaka lacked command of his splitter and threw a lot of straight fastballs that the Fighters were able to square up, and after three games of announcers and analysts wondering when we might see the two-seamer he used to throw a lot in the majors, that pitch finally made its debut.

A Kenshi Sugiya single and doubles by Kensuke Kondo and Wang Po-jung made it 2-0 in the first. A Sho Nakata single, a Wang double and a walk set the table for Shingo Usami’s RBI single. After Eigoro Mogi opened the Eagles’ fifth with his sixth homer, Kondo hit his sixth in the home half to complete the scoring. “There was nothing positive to take away from my pitching today but that (going seven innings),” Tanaka said according to Tokyo Sports Web reported.

Buffaloes 5, Marines 2

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Orix’s Daiki Tajima (2-1) allowed two runs, one earned, over six innings, while the Elmore Leonard gang, Yuma Tongu and Yuma Mune, each homered for the Buffaloes. Tongu hit a two-run shot in the second, his fifth, and Mune a solo shot in the sixth for his fourth of the year. Adam Jones also had a pinch-hit RBI single in the ninth, when Steven Moya and Stefen Romero both singled and scored.

Tajima allowed four hits while striking out six without issuing a walk. Marines starter Manabu Mima (2-1) struck out nine but allowed three runs on five hits and a hit batsman over seven innings. Leonys Martin had a hand in both Lotte runs, singling in the first and doubling to help set up the second.

Three weeks shy of his 42nd birthday, Orix’s Atsushi Nomi earned his second save and struck out Brandon Laird to become the 57th pitcher with 1,500 career strikeouts and the oldest in history when he reached the milestone.

Lions 2, Hawks 0

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Seibu’s Reed Garrett walked the bases loaded in the ninth inning before jamming SoftBank star Yuki Yanagita with a 98-mph fastball for the final out.

After scoring nine runs for Nick Martinez (1-1) in his Hawks debut, SoftBank managed just five hits and a walk over six innings against Wataru Matsumoto (3-3). Takumi Kuriyama singled in a first-inning run, and Wu Nien-ting singled with two on and two outs, but Yanagita threw a strike to the plate from right field to end the inning. A Cory Spangenberg walk, a sacrifice and an Aito Takeda double made it 2-0 in the fifth. Martinez last seven innings. He allowed five hits and a walk while striking out four.

SoftBank Hawks outfielder-infielder Yurisbel Gracial left the game with a hand injury that was diagnosed as a broken right ring finger that will likely keep him out of action for a month.

Tigers 4, BayStars 1

At Yokohama Stadium, the Hanshin Tigers gave the DeNA BayStars the rookie treatment as lefty Masashi Ito (3-0) allowed a run over eight innings, while striking out five and Teruaki Sato singled twice and drove in a run each time. Sato was the Tigers’ top pick last autumn and Ito their second, while shortstop Takumu Nakano, Hanshin’s sixth pick, singled and scored a run.

Jerry Sands also singled twice for the visitors, while Robert Suarez earned his eighth save.

First-year import Fernando Romero (0-1), who tested positive for coronavirus when he arrived in Japan, allowed four runs over five innings in his NPB debut.

Tyler Austin singled and doubled for the BayStars, while DeNA rookie Shugo Maki accounted for his team’s run with his seventh home run. Mel Rojas Jr, who led KBO in RBIs in 2020 after Sands led that league in 2019, made his Japan debut, too, going 0-for-4 with two punchouts and gdp.

Carp 4, Dragons 3

And speaking of rookies, at Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome rookie Hiroshima closer Ryoji Kuribayashi earned a five-out save after entering the eighth inning with the bases loaded, getting a double play and then stranding two runners in the ninth for his ninth save.

Carp starter Allen Kuri (4-3) allowed two runs over six innings to earn his first win since April 10, while Chunichi’s Opening Day starter, Koji Fukutani (1-3) gave up four runs over 6-1/3 innings to take the loss. Fukutani did, however, contribute to two Dragons runs with a sacrifice and a game-tying RBI single.

Carp rookie Ryutaro Hatsuki homered and then singled in his team’s second run, while Ryosuke Kikuchi doubled in the tie-breaking run and scored an insurance run in the seventh. 

Starting pitchers

Sunday is going to see a tasty Central League matchup between two pitchers who had mixed results in their 2020 debut seasons but who have started 2021 on the right foot, Hanshin’s Joe Gunkel and DeNA’s Michael Peoples.

In the Pacific League, the Fighters-Eagles game will be a matchup between the phenom and the castoff, as lefty Takahisa Hayakawa, one of the prizes in the 2020 draft, goes against Takahide Ikeda, a former second-round Eagles pick. Ikeda has pitched well for the Fighters since the Eagles dealt him in March for slugging reserve infielder Taketoshi Yoko.

Pacific League

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

Takahide Ikeda (2-3, 3.23) vs Takahisa Hayakawa (3-2, 3.41)

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

Kazuya Ojima (0-1, 4.03) vs Hirotoshi Masui (1-3, 4.28)

Hawks vs Lions: PayPay Dome 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Yuki Matsumoto (1-2, 6.00) vs Katsunori Hirai (3-1, 3.60)

Central League

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

Nobutaka Imamura (2-1, 2.37) vs Cy Sneed (-)

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

Michael Peoples (1-0, 0.00) vs Joe Gunkel (5-0, 2.29)

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

Yuya Yanagi (2-1, 2.08) vs Shogo Tamamura (0-1, 7.20)

Active roster moves 5/8/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 5/18

Central League


TigersOF24Mel Rojas Jr.
BayStarsP42Fernando Romero


TigersP14Chen Wei-Yin
BayStarsP49Kevin Shackelford

Pacific League


HawksOF24Yuya Hasegawa
BuffaloesP29Daiki Tajima


HawksP47Jumpei Takahashi
BuffaloesP45Shota Abe