Tag Archives: Takahiro Norimoto

NPB wrap 6-25-21

Weekend of fun

With the second- and third-place teams playing each other in each league this weekend, things could get interesting. Both league leaders lost on Friday, even with Yoshinobu Yamamoto pitching for the Pacific League-leading Buffaloes and Yuki Nishi going for the Central League-leading Tigers.

BayStars 3, Tigers vs 0

At Koshien Stadium, Tyler Austin hit his 16th home run after DeNA leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara reached on a first-inning error. Austin singled in Kuwahara in the sixth to complete the scoring off Yuki Nishi (4-4), who went eight innings. Haruhiro Hamaguchi (5-5) worked five solid innings, and the Tigers couldn’t cash in their runners against Edwin Escobar in the seventh or Yasuaki Yamasaki in the eighth. Kazuki Mishima worked the ninth for his 12th save.

Giants 7, Swallows 1

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, C.C. Mercedes (3-1) kept Yakult’s hitters from barreling the ball, while Takumi Oshiro hit a two-run homer, his seventh, and Kazuma Okamoto, a three-run homer, his 20th, off Masanori Ishikawa (3-2). The lefty’s string of three walk-less starts came to an end in the third when he walked two in front of Okamoto.

Mercedes struck out six without a walk while allowing six singles, four in the seventh inning as the Giants moved a half-game ahead of the Swallows, 4-1/2 games back of the Tigers.

Dragons 6, Carp 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Chunichi’s Yuya Yanagi (6-3) allowed three runs, two earned, over seven innings, and Dayan Viciedo broke a 3-3 tie with his 10th home run, a three-run shot in the eighth. Shogo Sakakura scored twice and hit his second home run in the Carp’s sixth-run inning.

Dragons reliever Katsuki Matayoshi allowed three hits in the ninth but hung on for his eighth save.

Eagles 5, Hawks 1

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Takahiro Norimoto (6-3) struck out 10 in a five-hit complete game, while Hideto Asamura hit a two-run homer, just his fifth of the season, off Shuta Ishikawa (3-7), who allowed four runs in five innings. The win moved Rakuten to within a half-game of the PL-leading Buffaloes.

Yuya Hasegawa accounted for the Hawks’ run with his third home run.

Lions 3, Buffaloes 1

At Osaka‘s Kyocera Dome, Yoshinobu Yamamoto outpitched Kona Takahashi (6-3) for seven innings, but Seibu’s hitters did a good job running Yamamoto’s pitch count up and the Lions tied it 1-1 against Buffaloes reliever Tyler Higgins in the eighth.

Higgins issued a pair of two-out walks before Takumi Kuriyama tied it with his second hit of the game. Wu Nien-ting drew a leadoff walk in the ninth off Yoshihisa Hirano (0-2), who then surrendered a Hotaka Yamakawa RBI double and a Cory Spangenberg triple. Kaima Taira ended the game by striking out Steven Moya to record his ninth save.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Fighters vs Marines: Kusanagi Stadium 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-2, 2.78) vs Daiki Iwashita (5-4, 3.36)

Eagles vs Hawks: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Koichi Takada (-) vs Nick Martinez (5-1, 1.94)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Sachiya Yamasaki (3-5, 3.61) vs Tatsuya Imai (5-2, 2.54)

Central League

Swallows vs Giants: Jingu Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Yasuhiro Ogawa (6-2, 3.64) vs Shosei Togo (7-3, 4.06)

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

Masashi Ito (4-4, 2.67) vs Kosuke Sakaguchi (1-1, 4.29)

Carp vs Dragons: Mazda Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Haruki Omichi (2-1, 4.76) vs Shinnosuke Ogasawara (5-2, 2.44)

Active roster moves 6/25/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/5

Central League


GiantsIF37Akihiro Wakabayashi


DragonsP36Yuichiro Okano

Pacific League


HawksP25Seigi Tanaka
HawksOF30Naoki Sato
LionsIF49Brandon Taiga Tysinger
LionsOF73Wataru Takagi
BuffaloesP47Tomoyuki Kaida


HawksP53Keisuke Izumi
HawksOF4Wladimir Balentien
MarinesP17Roki Sasaki
EaglesP21Takahisa Hayakawa
FightersIF2Kenshi Sugiya
FightersOF5Taishi Ota
BuffaloesP17Hirotoshi Masui

NPB wrap 4-14-21

Old dog teaches pup new tricks

Hawks 4, Buffaloes 1

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, 40-year-old SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada (1-1) pitched really well for the first time this season, missing bats and striking out five while allowing a walk and four hits over 6-2/3 innings. Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (2-2) came could only muster his “C” game, allowing three runs on eight hits and three walks over 5-1/3 innings.

Alfredo Despaigne singled and scored the opening run in the second on a Nobuhiro Matsuda broken-bat single. Yamamoto appeared to be back in control after stranding two runners in the third, but some good hitting by Yurisbel Gracial opened the sixth. Despaigne walked with one out and three straight singles chased Yamamoto.

Wada left one on in the seventh. Gracial made a good catch in left for the second out, and Wada was gone after suffering a cramp. Sho Iwasaki allowed Orix’s only run in the eighth, and Yuito Mori earned his fourth save with a perfect ninth against the heart of the Buffaloes’ order.

Lions 2, Fighters 1

At MetLife Dome, Seibu Lions right-hander Tatsuya Imai (1-2) survived his customary lack of command to hold the Nippon Ham Fighters to an unearned run over six innings. He walked four and hit one, but allowed only three singles while striking out seven to outpitch rookie Hiromi Ito (0-2). Imai has been mediocre this year except in his two starts against Nippon Ham.

Ito continued to be a strikeout machine. He fanned nine over six innings, to raise his season total to 28 strikeouts in 19 innings. He surrendered the lead in the first inning after surrendering a leadoff double to Lions rookie Gakuto Wakabayashi, his former high school teammate.

Wakabayashi scored on a Tomoya Mori flare single after the Lions wasted Sosuke Genda’s turn at bat by having him bunt the runner to third. Mori singled and scored a third-inning insurance run on a Wu Nien-ting RBI single.

After Matsumoto left, the Lions’ bullpen turned on the heat. Reed Garrett struck out the bottom of the Fighters’ order in the seventh. Kaima Taira struck out two of the four batters he faced in the eighth, and Tatsushi Masuda worked around a leadoff walk with three straight strikeouts to notch his fifth save.

Marines 2, Eagles 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, Rakuten right-hander Takahiro Norimoto finally began striking out batters, whiffing nine over six innings after recording just seven over his first 13-1/3. He gave up one run on six hits and a walk, while Lotte lefty Kazuya Ojima bounced back from getting hammered by the Eagles on March 30 to hold them to an unearned run over six innings.

The Marines took the lead in the seventh on a Shogo Nakamura RBI single off Sung Chih-hao, but the Eagles relievers retired the last seven batters they faced. The Marines got perfect innings from Frank Herrmann and Yuki Karakawa before Naoya Masuda blew a chance to record his third save, allowing a run on a Hideto Asamura double, a single and a Daichi Suzuki sac fly.

Tigers 6, Carp 0

At Koshien Stadium, Tigers rookie Teruaki Sato homered, scored two and drove in three runs as the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers took a stick to Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita (1-2), hammering the CL’s 2020 rookie of the year for five runs, four earned, on two walks and five hits over five innings, while Yuki Nishi (2-1) struck out seven over eight scoreless innings.

Tigers rookie Takumu Nakano, Hanshin’s sixth pick last autumn, drove in the first run of the season after Sato walked with two outs and an error, when shortstop Kosuke Tanaka fumbled a grounder.

Jerry Sands drew a leadoff walk in the third and Sato put a perfect swing on a curve that came in waist high. In the fifth, it was Jefry Marte, who put a ferocious swing on a high pitch with a bat flip matching his tremendous blast.

Marte drew the first of two one-out walks in the seventh, with Sato singling in a run to close the scoring.

Giants 5, Dragons 1

At Tokyo Dome, Seishu Hatake (1-1) turned in the Yomiuri Giants’ third straight stellar starting pitching performance, following Nobutaka Imamura’s complete game shutout on Sunday and Angel Sanchez’s 7-1/3-inning effort on Tuesday.

Hatake allowed a run on seven hits while striking out nine, walking one and hitting one over 8-1/3 innings. Ariel Martinez opened the ninth with his first homer of the season for the Dragons, Rubby De La Rosa took over with two on in the ninth and recorded his fifth save.

Dragons right-hander Akiyoshi Katsuno (1-1), who dodged bullets for five scoreless innings a week ago, only faced one tough inning, but it was a doozy. Takayuki Kajitani capped a five-run inning with his second homer as a Giant.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Kosuke Fukudome may be 43 with an arm that no longer inspires awe, but he’s a gamer. With one out and one on in the fifth inning of a 5-0 Japanese pro baseball’s elder statesman laid it out to rob Kazuma Okamoto of a flare single.

Swallows 7, BayStars 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Rookie right-hander Yuto Kanakubo (1-0) surrendered rookie Shugo Maki’s two-run, two-out double that opened the score in the first before Yakult jumped on rookie right-hander Taisei Irie (0-3) for five runs, chasing him with one out in the fifth.

With one out and two on in the bottom of the third, Munetaka Murakami halved the visitors’ lead with a sac fly and Yasutaka Shiomi belted his second homer, a two-run shot for a 3-2 lead.  The Swallows made it 6-2 in the fifth.

Kotaro Yamasaki led off with a single, and No. 2 hitter Yudai Koga, bunted him over after singling in his first two at-bats. Tetsuto Yamada hit his third homer of the season. Murakami chased Irie with a double and scored when Shiomi tripled off reliever Kenta Ishida.

Maki belted his fifth home run to lead off the sixth against Kanakubo, who turned pro after being taken in the fifth round of the 2017 draft. Maki’s 17 RBIs lead the CL with Murakami one back. With a 6-3 lead, Scott McGough worked a perfect seventh, and Yamada homered to open the bottom of the inning. With the tying run on deck in the ninth, closer Taichi Ishiyama got an easy two-out save.

Irie, who allowed five runs in 4-1/3 innings, has faced the Swallows twice this season and allowed 10 runs in 9-1/3.

Tanaka to start Saturday

Masahiro Tanaka will make his season debut on Saturday when he starts against the Nippon Ham Fighters at Tokyo Dome, Kyodo News (Japanese) reported. Tanaka returned this season to the Pacific League’s Rakuten Eagles after going 24-0 in 2013 and pitching them to their first pennant and Japan Series title.

“He’s coming along with no issues, and if he continues on that path in the time being, he’ll pitch on the 17th,” manager Kazuhisa Ishii told reporters about the right-hander who damaged the calf muscle in his right calf.

Last Saturday, Tanaka threw 97 pitches in the bullpen.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Ryota Takinaka (1-1, 10.38) vs Daiki Iwashita (1-1, 3.00)

Hawks vs Buffaloes: PayPay Dome 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Shota Takeda (0-1, 2.31) vs Hirotoshi Masui (1-1, 1.80)

Central League

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

Yuki Takahashi (2-0, 0.00) vs Koji Fukutani (0-0, 3.60)

Swallows vs BayStars: Jingu Stadium 5:30 pm, 4:30 am EDT

Hirotoshi Takanashi (1-0, 4.22) vs Haruhiro Hamaguchi (0-2, 6.43)

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

Takumi Akiyama (1-1, 2.77) vs Hiroki Tokoda (1-0, 3.09)