Tag Archives: Teruaki Sato

NPB wrap 8-17-21

More issues for Fighters

The Nippon Ham Fighters, who last week suspended cleanup hitter Sho Nakata indefinitely after he assaulted a teammate prior to an exhibition during the Olympic break, are facing fresh scrutiny after someone dug up a PR video shared by the team in which a teammate hurls a racist insult at outfielder Chusei Mannami, whose father is from the Congo.

“Dude you’ve spent too much time at the tanning salon,” a teammate is heard saying in Japanese on a tweet originally sent in April.


Swallows muscling up

Although the Yakult Swallows became solid contenders for a playoff spot early in the summer, they simultaneously looked a lock for a two-and-out first stage exit, having started the season 0-7 against the Hanshin Tigers and finished June 3-8-1 against the Yomiuri Giants.

Since May 5, Yakult is 3-4-2 against Hanshin and has scored 10-plus runs in their last three games against the Giants. I don’t know what this indicates, but it does suggest I was premature in saying the Swallows seemed overawed by this season’s two CL heavyweights.

Starting tomorrow

Wednesday will see Zach Neal start for the Lions, while Glenn Sparkman makes his Japan debut for the Orix Buffaloes. There will also be a matchup between rookie Rakuten lefty Takahisa Hayakawa and Hawks ace Kodai Senga, whose only strong effort this year was two innings in relief during the Olympics. So stay tuned.

Swallows 13, Giants 3

At Matsuyama Botchan Stadium, Yakult reliever Ryuta Konno (4-0) pitched out of a tough spot with the game tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, helped when center fielder Yasutaka Shiomi threw Zelous Wheeler out at the plate for the final out.

Tetsuto Yamada broke the tie with his 26th home run in the bottom of the sixth as the Swallows then exploited Giants’ mistakes and ran through four relievers in a 13-batter nine-run inning.

Munetaka Murakami made it a 2-0 game in the fourth with his 27th home run for the Swallows, only for the Giants to tie it in the sixth when Yoshihiro Maru hit a two-run shot of lefty Keiji Takahashi. It was Maru’s 13th homer and his third in three games. Giants cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto retained a two-home run lead over Murakami with his 29th in the eighth.

Jose Osuna went 4-for-5 with a double, reached on an error, scored a run and drove in three.

Tigers 6, BayStars 2

At Tokyo Dome, Teruaki Sato singled in the game’s first run, made it 2-0 with his 21st home run in the third, and broke a 2-2 tie with his 22nd home run, a sixth-inning solo shot. Koyo Aoyagi (9-2, 1.87) allowed just two runs on six hits and three walks while striking out seven over six innings. In the eighth, Ryutaro Umeno RBI single and two-run Koji Chikamoto double put the game away with all three runs being charged to Yasuaki Yamasaki.

DeNA lefty Haruhito Hamaguchi (5-6, 3.28) walked six as he gave up three runs over 5-2/3 innings.

Dragons 3, Carp 0

At Vantelin Dome Nagoya, Koji Fukutani (5-9, 4.43) allowed four hits and hit a batter while striking out five over seven innings. Rookie Masaru Watanabe started in left and singled in a run in the third and hit his maiden first-team home run in the eighth. Raidel Martinez earned his 10th save as the Dragons won for the first time after the Olympic break.

Masato Morishita (6-5, 2.31) who won two games pitching for Japan in the Olympics including the gold medal game, allowed two runs over seven innings. He surrendered a two-out walk to Yota Kyoda, who stole second and scored on Watanabe’s single. Ariel Martinez made it 2-0 with a pinch-hit RBI single in the seventh.

Lions 8, Marines 2

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Kona Takahashi (9-4, 3.14) scattered nine hits and a walk to allow two runs over seven innings. Tomoya Mori went 5-for-5 with a double and two runs, two other Lions had RBI doubles, and Shuta Tonosaki hit his fifth home run, a two-run shot in Seibu’s five-run fifth.

Daiki Iwashita (8-5, 3.98) also allowed nine hits. He walked two as he surrendered seven runs over four-plus innings.

Eagles vs Hawks

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, rained out.

Buffaloes vs Fighters

At Hotto Motto Field Kobe, rained out.

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Starting pitchers

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

Takahisa Hayakawa (7-3, 3.39) vs Kodai Senga (1-1, 10.80)

Marines vs Lions: Zozo Marine Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kazuya Ojima (5-3, 4.69) vs Zach Neal (1-3, 4.10)

Buffaloes vs Fighters: Hotto Motto Field 6 pm, 5 am EDT

Glenn Sparkman (-) vs Ryusei Kawano (2-1, 1.38)

Swallows vs Giants: Botchan Stadium 6:30 pm, 5:30 am EDT

Masanori Ishikawa (3-2, 2.84) vs Daisuke Naoe (0-1, 1.59)

BayStars vs Tigers: Tokyo Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Shinichi Onuki (3-5, 5.74) vs Masashi Ito (5-5, 2.70)

Dragons vs Carp: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Takahiro Matsuba (1-2, 4.91) vs Shogo Tamamura (2-3, 3.26)

Active roster moves 8/17/2021

Central League


GiantsP47Yuki Takahashi
TigersP75Robert Suarez
DragonsP24Koji Fukutani
BayStarsP26Haruhiro Hamaguchi
BayStarsP41Shuto Sakurai
CarpP18Masato Morishita
SwallowsP47Keiji Takahashi



Pacific League


MarinesP46Daiki Iwashita
LionsP13Kona Takahashi



NPB wrap 7-27-21

Practice, practice, practice

Tigers 6, marines 4: At Koshien Stadium, the game was like a try-out camp for top draft picks. Lotte’s Roki Sasaki (2019) started for the Marines, and hit 156 kph in his three innings but surrendered a two-run home run to Hanshin’s Teruaki Sato (2020).

Shintaro Fujinami (2012) opened for the Tigers and surrendered a solo homer in the second to Takuya Takahama (Hanshin 2007), and an RBI single to Takashi Toritani (Hanshin 2003).

Sasaki’s stuff was a mixed bag. He threw some good splitters and some good fastballs, but most of the four-seamers were too straight. Fujinami’s big issue was his location. He threw strikes but hung some fat pitches.

In the two other practice games, the SoftBank Hawks beat the DeNA BayStars 4-3, with Richard Sunagawa and new Hawks Masahiro Nakatani and Dariel Alvarez doing the damage, while the Yakult Swallows beat the Orix Buffaloes 5-2.

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In “safe and secure” fantasy land

Tokyo and the neighboring prefectures hosting the “safe and secure” Olympics, experienced a huge surge in coronavirus infections on Tuesday. Tokyo hit a record high of 2,848. Saitama Prefecture, which will host the golf, experienced a record one-day total of 593 confirmed infections.

Chiba Prefecture, host to a number of events, hit a new high of 509 on Monday, while Kanagawa Prefecture, where baseball and football are scheduled, reached 758 new infections, also a new high.

In Olympic softball…

Small-ball Japan defeated the power-oriented U.S. in the Olympic softball final 2-0 in a tremendous defensive game by both teams.

I wonder what the cricket equivalent of small-ball tactics are, because if you give Japanese a bat and a ball, you’re going to see sacrifice bunts and showy but meaningless head-first slides.

Japan opened the first with an infield single (head-first slide). Facing a pitcher who couldn’t throw strikes, Japan sacrificed on a 3-2 pitch with no outs and then ran out of outs.

On Shohei Ohtani

John E. Gibson and I taped a TV program on Tuesday with host Steve Zurcher on the subject of Shohei Ohtani. I really wanted to discuss Steven J. Gould’s discourse on how social Darwinism confuses people and encourages the kind of belief that led people in Japan and the U.S. to believe that Japanese stars couldn’t compete in the majors, but there wasn’t time.