With all the regular season games complete, more players who were hoping to be back with their teams next year have been informed that those teams have different plans.
On Tuesday, amurai Japan manager Hideki Kuriyama announced his squad for four November games that will help him prepare for March’s World Baseball Classic, with the big news out of that being how a lot of top players were not on the list, and I don’t just mean the MLB guys who are not eligible until March.
We also had news about Tatsunori Hara’s desire to manage the Yomiuri Giants next season despite the team’s failings, and some thoughts on a possible replacement for Tadahito Iguchi with the Lotte Marines.
Meanwhile the SoftBank Hawks have named their starting pitcher for the first stage of the Pacific League’s Preclimax series against the Seibu Lions starting Saturday.
Continue reading NPB news: Oct. 5, 2022
On a Central League Wednesday, with five teams battling for post-season positions, we had only one big showdown game, between Hiroshima and Hanshin, who started the day one back of the third-place Yomiuri Giants, whose manager Tatsunori Hara went all old school on us. In Nagoya, Munetaka Murakami had a difference of opinion about the strike zone with infamous umpire Kazuyuki Shirai.
Giants 2, BayStars 1: At Yokohama Stadium, Hara pulled out all the stops, and by that I mean he waved his sacrifice bunt wand.
Hara had slugging catcher Takumi Oshiro bunt two runners into scoring position in the fifth from where the go-ahead run could score on a groundout. Cleanup hitter Sho Nakata, who singled in the game’s first run, was asked to lay one down in the sixth with two on and no out. He got the job done, the next batter walked to load the bases.
Wednesday’s trio of Pro Yakyu News analysts, Hiroki Nomura, Tsutomu Iwamoto and Kenji Tomashino were doing their job to hold up the righteousness of the sacrifice bunt.
“Having Nakata bunt electrified the Giants bench. It’s special,” Tomashino said, to which Nomura and Iwamoto heartily agreed.
Including the subsequent walk, the Giants responded to being electrified by going into offensive shock making outs in 11 of their final 12 plate appearances.
Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 21, 2022