Tag Archives: Tadahito Iguchi

NPB wrap 11-7-21

Sunday was Game 2 day in Japan with the Lotte Marines and Yomiuri Giants each taking a 1-0 lead into their games, meaning Lotte could advance to the Pacific League Climax Series’ final stage with a tie, while the Giants would need a win or ties on Sunday and Monday to advance to the Central League’s final stage.

The weird best-of-seven final stages start on Wednesday at Jingu Stadium in Tokyo and Kyocera Dome Osaka. They are weird because, like the first stage, they are played entirely at the home park of the league champs, who begin with a one-game advantage, meaning the best-of-seven series can’t go to seven games.

It took me 14 years, but I’ve finally come up with a better name for Japan’s postseason pre-Japan Series playoffs, but I’m only going to share that with the newsletter readers for new. If you want to sign up for the jballallen.com newsletter, sign up at the end of this post and I’ll hook you up every Monday.

Sunday’s games

Marines 4, Eagles 4

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Yuki Kuniyoshi made amends for blowing up Game 1, by preventing this one from blowing up in the seventh inning with two on and one out after Rakuten scored its fourth run off Marines starter Kazuya Ojima to take a 4-3 lead.

Marines manager Tadahito Iguchi said Kuniyoshi was supposed to start the seventh, but he hesitated, and said he had to answer for that after the game. Instead Kuniyoshi got two quick outs, Leonys Martin tied it with a seventh-inning homer and Chihaya Sasaki and closer Naoya Masuda each worked a scoreless inning to send the Marines into the final stage.

The Eagles, needing two wins to advance after a sayonara loss in Game 1, gave starter Takayuki Kishi a 2-0 second-inning lead on a one-out double by former Marines captain Daichi Suzuki, and RBI singles by veteran catcher Ginjiro Sumitani and surprising leadoff man Tsuyoshi Yamasaki.

The Marines came back in the second for one run on singles by Adeiny Hechavarria, rookie Koki Yamaguchi and Yudai Fujioka. Hechavarria walked in the fourth and tied it on a Yamaguchi double. Yamaguchi homered off Tomohiro Anraku in the sixth, before Ojima blew his 3-2 lead in the seventh.

Sumitani hit a leadoff homer, Yamasaki hit his second double and scored on a single by Hiroaki Shimauchi as the PL RBI leader drove in his fourth run of the series. With one out in the eighth, Martin homered off another former Marine, Tomohito Sakai to tie it and the Marines held on for the tie, which ended the season for Masahiro Tanaka and the Eagles.

Lotte advances as the higher seed by clinching a tie in the best-of-three series with a 1-0-1 record

Giants 4, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, Hanshin banged out 11 hits and drew five walks, but only managed two score twice, while the team that allowed a Japan-worst 67 unearned runs in the regular season, allowed four more in their season finale.

Ryutaro Umeno and Teruaki Sato doubled off Giants starter Yuki Takahashi to make it 1-0 in the second, and singles by Koji Chikamoto—that chased Takahashi–and Takumu Nakano, off reliever Kyosuke Takagi, made it 2-0.

Koyo Aoyagi faced the minimum through two but a Nakano error at short allowed the Giants a leadoff run in the third. Singles by Takumi Oshiro and pinch-hitter Takumaru Yaoita loaded the bases. Leadoff man Seiya Matsubara’s second single made it 2-1, and Yoshihiro Maru smashed a two-out two-run single to put Yomiuri in front for good.

Yomiuri got another leadoff man on via an error, in the eighth, charged to third baseman Yusuke Oyama, and that run scored after Maru bunted for a hit, a sacrifice, and a sac fly by Zelous Wheeler.

Closer Thyago Vieira, the Giants’ eighth pitcher, gave up a two-out infield single to Jefry Marte and walked Oyama but struck out Mel Rojas Jr in an entertaining at-bat to end it with the right-hander erupting in his habitual celebration.

Yomiuri wins the best-of-three series 2-0.

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NPB 2020 Sept. 27

Other news

Togo impresses over 7

Yomiuri Giants rookie Shosei Togo (8-4) shut down the Chunichi Dragons for seven innings in a 5-1 win at Tokyo Dome on Sunday.

The 20-year-old right-hander, the Giants’ sixth pick in the 2018 draft, located his 150-kph (93.2 MPH) fastball that set the table for a nasty splitter and a good slider. He allowed four hits and a walk while striking out four.

Why call Togo “the Admiral?” Sunday’s members notes

The Dragons threatened in the first when Yohei Oshima rolled a tough pitch through the infield and Yota Kyoda smashed a high straight fastball for a single, but Togo bore down and took out the heart of the Chunichi order, Zolio Almonte, Dayan Viciedo and Shuhei Takahashi.

Seiya Matsubara tripled twice and scored three runs for the Giants, who peppered lefty Takahiro Matsuba (3-5). Matsubara opened the scoring in the first with an RBI triple off the top of the wall, and scored on a Hayato Sakamoto ground out.

With a runner on first and two outs in the fifth, the Dragons opted to walk Sakamoto intentionally rather than letting him hack at a 3-0 pitch from the lefty. Moving the runner to second proved costly, when cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto put a picture-perfect swing on a pitch away and drove it to right to make it 3-0.

Almonte and Viciedo combined to produce a run off Rubby De La Rosa in the ninth. Sakamoto doubled in the third, his 1,964th career hit.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Onuki wins 7th

Shinichi Onuki (7-4) allowed a run on three hits and a walk over 6-2/3 innings as the DeNA BayStars beat the Hiroshima Carp 3-1 at Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium.

Takayuki Kajitani got the BayStars on the board in the first, leading off against Yuta Nakamura (0-2) with his 15th home run. Neftali Soto then doubled and scored on a ground out.

In the second, Kajitani saved a run with a diving catch in the gap, causing manager Alex Ramirez to say the play brought back memories — of center fielders diving to grab balls because he had no range in left field.

Onuki left after allowing Ryuhei Matsuyama’s two-out home run in the seventh, but the DeNA bullpen then set down the last seven hitters. Spencer Patton dispatched the bottom of the order 1-2-3 in the eighth, and Kazuki Mishima fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth against the top of the order to record his 11th save.

Haraguchi, Sands bury Swallows

Fumihito Haraguchi homered, singled, walked, scored two runs and drove in three, while Jerry Sands had three hits and made a run-saving catch in the outfield as the Hanshin Tigers beat the Yakults Swallows 9-3 at Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium.

Sands singled in the game’s opening run off rookie Daiki Yoshida (1-5) after Koji Chikamoto opened the game with a single and stole second.

Haraguchi homered to open the second to tie it, and the Tigers took the lead in the third. The Swallows hit Tigers starter Takumi Aoyama (6-2) in the fourth, but failed to tie it thanks to two defensive gems.

Munetaka Murakami led off with a drive to the wall in center that Chikamoto somehow caught for the first out. Tomotaka Sakaguchi followed with a double and was poised to score on a sinking liner to left, but Sands was able to make a diving catch and hold onto the ball for the third out.

Chikamoto had four hits for the Tigers and drove in three.

No coaching in the press box–Sunday’s members notes

Shadow ball

Normal programming was restored at Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, where the SoftBank Hawks’ normal program is the “Twilight Zone,” in particular, the episode “Shadow Play.

On Sunday the three-time defending Japan Series champs lost 8-4 to the Lotte Marines, who now lead their season series 10-4-1. Last year, the Marines went 16-8-1 against manager Tadahito Iguchi’s old team.

Leonys Martin became the sixth player in Pacific League history to walk five times in a game. The Japan record is held by Hall of Famer Hiromitsu Ochiai. He scored twice. Seiya Inoue’s two RBI doubles drove in four of the Marines’ first seven runs, all charged to Hawks starter Akira Niho (4-5) who didn’t finish the second inning.

Former Hawk Shuhei Fukuda had four hits and drove in three runs for the hosts, while another free agent acquisition, pitcher Manabu Mima (8-2) won despite allowing four runs over five innings.

Lions sweep Eagles

Wataru Matsumoto (4-3) scattered four walks and four hits to allow two runs over seven innings, and Ernesto Mejia doubled twice and drove in two runs for the Seibu Lions in a 6-2 win over the Rakuten Eagles to complete a three-game sweep at MetLife Dome.

Mejia, who was hit by a pitch in the first, doubled in both runs in the Lions’ two-run second. He doubled again in the seventh to set up an insurance run.

Both Eagles runs came on solo homers, Stefen Romero’s 20th — his 89th in four Japan season — and the first of rookie Hiroto Kobukata’s career.

Fighters pay Buffaloes’ roaming charges

Teams virtually always take batting practice before the game, but the Orix Buffaloes kept going after home plate umpire Yuta Sudo shouted “play ball.,” in a 20-hit 12-8 win over the Nippon Ham Fighters at Osaka’s Kyocera Dome.

Four different Buffaloes hitters recorded a “modasho,” and Steven Moya continued to hit balls over the wall with his fourth homer in five games, a two-run shot that broke a 4-4 third-inning tie.

Adam Jones, who had been deactivated due to a stiff lower back, returned to the Orix lineup for the first time since Sept. 15. He went 1-for-4 with a first-inning sacrifice fly.

Kotaro Kiyomiya, whose three-run pinch-hit double tied Saturday’s game in the ninth, allowing Nippon Ham to win in extra innings, came off the bench in the ninth and hit a two-run pinch-hit home run.

Fighters rookie Kosei Yoshida, the epic hero of 2018’s national high school championship, started and allowed four runs in 1-1/3 innings.

Active roster moves 9/27/2020

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 10/7

Central League


CarpC27Tsubasa Aizawa


GiantsP17Kan Otake
CarpOF49Yuya Shozui

Pacific League


HawksP13Akira Niho
EaglesC65Kengo Horiuchi
MarinesC22Tatsuhiro Tamura
FightersP18Kosei Yoshida
BuffaloesOF10Adam Jones


LionsP49Sean Nolin
HawksP14Ren Kajiya
EaglesC2Hikaru Ota
MarinesC39Yuta Yoshida
FightersP40Suguru Fukuda
BuffaloesP27Andrew Albers

Starting pitchers for Sept. 28, 2020

Central League

Carp vs BayStars: Mazda Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Allen Kuri (4-5, 4.46) vs Masaya Kyoyama (1-0, 6.55)