Tag Archives: Tetsuto Yamada

NPB wrap 7-14-21

Pump the breaks

Japan’s Central and Pacific Leagues finished the pre-Olympic portion of their season on Wednesday, and won’t emerge until after a 30-day hiatus on Aug. 13.

That’s when the Orix Buffaloes will start with a 1-1/2-game cushion over the Rakuten Eagles in pursuit of the franchise’s first pennant since Ichiro Suzuki led the BlueWave to the 1996 Japan Series pennant.

The Eagles ended their pre-Olympic funk with the kind of pitching performances we expected to see in May, back-to-back solid starts from Masahiro Tanaka on Tuesday and Takayuki Kishi on Wednesday. Third place belongs to the Lotte Marines, 2-1/2 back. The Hawks, who had the misfortune of running into Tanaka and Kishi, are another 1-1/2 further back.

The Eagles, with their miss-firing offense, look like the team that doesn’t belong in that group of four, but that’s why they play the games.

The Yakult Swallows were the big gainer this week, proving they could indeed not only beat the Yomiuri Giants but occasionally grind them into mush. This happened while the DeNA BayStars took two out of three from the front-running Tigers. After that it’s all about fourth place.

BayStars 4, Tigers 3

At Koshien Stadium, DeNA ace Shota Imanaga (3-2) allowed a run over seven innings while striking out 10, went 2-for-3. The BayStars took a 2-0 lead against Joe Gunkel (6-1). Three straight no-out singles loaded the bases, but the visitors had to wait for leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara’s two-out two-run single to break the ice.

Koji Chikamoto hit his sixth homer for the Tigers to make it a 2-1 game in the third, before Imanaga drove in the BayStars’ third run in, in the fourth. Toshiro Miyazaki hit his eighth home run for DeNA in the eighth.

Former closer Yasuaki Yamasaki, however, nearly blew the lead. Kento Itohara singled in one run and Jerry Sands drew a bases-loaded walk before Yoshiki Sunada saved the day by striking out Teruaki Sato. Closer Kazuki Mishima ended it in the ninth with his 16th save.

Giants 11, Swallows 7

At Tokyo Dome, Yakult continued to bash Yomiuri a day after hitting seven home runs. Tetsuto Yamada, Jose Osuna and Yuhei Nakamura each reached base five times. Yamada scored four runs, while Osuna homered, scored twice and drove in five runs.

Osuna also took a tumble into the camera pit next to the first-base dugout to catch a foul ball.

Giants starter Shun Yamaguchi and former Giant lefty Kazuto Taguchi each allowed four runs. Giants cleanup hitter Kazuma Okamoto tied the game 4-4 with a two-run homer, his Japan-best 27th.

Albert Suarez, the Swallows’ second pitcher, worked two scoreless innings and earned the win after Osuna singled in the tie-breaking run. Through the first five innings, the game remained close as the Swallows stranded eight runners over the first four innings. Osuna changed that in the sixth, with a three-run homer, his ninth.

Giants-Swallows highlights

Carp 2, Dragons 0

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Hiroshima’s Olympic pitching duo, 2020 rookie of the year Masato¬†Morishita¬†(6-4) and rookie closer Ryoji Kuribayashi, combined for a five-hit shutout to outduel¬†Yuya¬†Yanagi¬†(7-5), who struck out nine over seven innings while allowing one run.

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Fighters 6, Buffaloes 2

At Obihiro Stadium, Nippon Ham’s Yuki Nomura drove in three runs, doubling in Yuto Takahama to open the scoring in the fourth, and bringing the Fighters from a run down in the sixth, when he singled in Takahama and Ryo Watanabe.

Orix starter Daiki Tajima (5-5), had been on a good run, having allowed just one run over his previous five starts. He gave up three runs on three walks and five hits over six innings while striking out seven. Unfortunately, the Buffaloes’ bullpen gave up three runs as soon as he was gone and Nippon Ham’s didn’t.

Takahama and Kensuke Kondo drove the Fighters’ offense reaching base seven times in eight PAs. Starter Takayuki¬†Kato¬†allowed four hits and no walks, but two hits to open the fifth by Adam Jones and Ryoichi Adachi cost him the lead and the win as both came home to score on sac flies.

Lions 8, Marines 3

At MetLife Dome, Seibu’s Kona¬†Takahashi¬†(8-4) allowed three runs, two earned, on four fourth-inning hits, while retiring the side in his other six innings. Takeya Nakamura doubled in a run in the third, before Wu Nien-ting capped that rally with a three-run home run, his seventh off Kazuya¬†Ojima¬†(5-3). Nakamura hit his ninth with a man on in the seventh, and Hotaka Yamakawa also hit a two-run shot, his 13th.¬†

Eagles 4, Hawks 2

At Fukuoka’s PayPay Dome, Rakuten’s Takayuki Kishi (4-6) delivered the kind of performance we’re accustomed to seeing, allowing two runs over six innings on five hits and two walks while striking out seven.

SoftBank starter Nao Higashihama (2-2) gave up a walk and three singles in a three-run first inning, and Hiroaki Shimauchi, whose RBI single broke the ice, hit his 12th home run in the third. Nobuhiro Masuda hit his 10th in the fifth with a man on.

Both bullpens allowed enough base runners to give both managers fits of the sweats until Yuki Matsui closed it out by striking out the side in the ninth to earn his 23rd save.

Active roster moves 7/14/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/24

Central League

Activated

GiantsP45Seishu Hatake
TigersIF0Seiya Kinami

Dectivated

GiantsP15Angel Sanchez
TigersP44Raul Alcantara
BayStarsP20Yuya Sakamoto
CarpP11Allen Kuri
CarpP41Takuya Yasaki
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa

Pacific League

Activated

HawksP20Hiroshi Kaino
HawksP28Rei Takahashi

Dectivated

HawksP25Seigi Tanaka
HawksP29Shuta Ishikawa
HawksP39Shuto Ogata
HawksP42Tomohisa Ozeki

NPB wrap 7-7-21

Eagles offense hiding from Tanaka

Masahiro Tanaka produced another solid start in which a couple of mistakes were exacerbated by good swings and bad luck, while his team extended its streak of not scoring while he’s the pitcher of record to 14 innings. He would have suffered his sixth loss had not the Rakuten bats come to life after Tanaka was out of the game, scoring six late runs in a 6-5 win over the Orix Buffaloes.

The win trimmed Orix’s Pacific League lead to 2-1/2 games over the Lotte Marines, with the Eagles percentage points back in third and the Hawks, 4-1 losers to Lotte, another two back in fourth.

In the CL, the Swallows and Tigers played a thriller to even their series at one game apiece, leaving the Giants 1-1/2 back and Yakult two games further back in third.

Eagles 6, Buffaloes 5

At Kyocera Dome Osaka, Rakuten’s offense waited until Masahiro Tanaka had left the game to show up, scoring five runs after Daiki Tajima held them scoreless for seven innings. With two outs and one on in the ninth, Yang Chi allowed a run on his second and third singles of the inning before Hiroaki Shimauchi tied it with his 11th home run.

Takero Okajima greeted new pitcher Taisei Urushihara with a tie-breaking home run, and the Eagles had their second five-run ninth inning in two nights. Yuki Matsui worked the ninth for the Eagles to earn his PL-leading 22nd save. Alan Busenitz (1-0) allowed a run in the eighth but earned the win.

Tanaka allowed three runs in his final inning, the sixth when a couple of good pitches and a couple of mistakes were hit and batted balls found space in the defense. Tanaka struck out six, walked one, and allowed five hits in yet another solid, but unrewarded outing.

Marines 4, Hawks 1

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Lotte rookie Tokito Kawamura (1-0) allowed a run over five innings in his first career start, and Mexico Olympic team member Brandon Laird hit a three-run homer off SoftBank’s Nao Higashihama (2-1), his 18th.

Fighters 2, Lions 1

At Asahikawa Starffin Stadium, Nippon Ham used six pitchers, with Robbie Erlin working three scoreless innings before Drew VerHagen (2-6) worked another two and allowed Seibu’s only run, while they each struck out four.

Kona Takahashi (7-4) gave up two runs over seven innings to take the loss.

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Swallows 6, Tigers 4

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Daiki Watanabe, a career minor leaguer and reserve outfielder, doubled in the tie-breaking run in the eighth inning and scored an insurance run on a Tetsuto Yamada sacrifice fly. Yamada had given the Swallows a three-run first-inning lead with his 23rd home run, off new Tiger Akira Niho. The right-hander allowed four runs over five innings.

Hanshin’s Jerry Sands drove in two first-inning runs with his 15th home run, off Hirotoshi Takanashi, and saved two runs with a diving sixth-inning catch after the Tigers tied it 4-4 in the fourth on rookie Teruaki Sato’s two-run homer, his 20th.

Scott McGough entered in the ninth to shut it down, but gave up a booming pinch-hit single to Fumihito Haraguchi. On a single to right pinch-runner Takahiro Kumagai challenged Watanabe’s arm but was gunned down on a sweet throw just in time for third baseman Munetaka Murakami to lay on the tag.

McGough allowed two hits and a walk but no runs to earn his 16th save.

Giants 3, Dragons 1

At Tokyo Dome, Shun Yamaguchi (2-1) allowed a run over 6-2/3 innings, and Kazuma Okamoto and Yoshihiro Maru homered for Yomiuri, Okamoto, his Japan-leading 25th, and Maru, his 10th. Japan’s oldest player, 44-year-old Kosuke Fukudome, opened the scoring in the second with his first home run for Chunichi since 2007.

Thyago Vieira worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his eighth save.

Giants-Dragons highlights

Carp 3, BayStars 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Keita Sano’s eighth homer and Neftali Soto’s 14th, a two-run shot off Allen Kuri made it 3-0 in the fourth. Shota Imanaga allowed two runs over six-plus innings, Seiya Suzuki’s 13th homer trimming DeNA’s lead to 3-2 in the seventh. Edwin Escobar got out of the seventh, but Yasuaki Yamasaki blew the lead in the eighth, the tying run scoring on a Ryosuke Kikuchi single.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

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

Soichiro Yamazaki (0-0, 0.00) vs Takayuki Kishi (3-6, 3.89)

Central League

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

Daisuke Naoe (0-0, 0.00) vs Yuya Yanagi (6-4, 2.72)

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

Albert Suarez (2-3, 4.91) vs Joe Gunkel (6-0, 2.01)

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

Koya Takahashi (2-4, 5.92) vs Taiga Kamichatani (0-3, 10.69)

Active roster moves 7/7/2021

Central League

Activated

TigersP34Akira Niho

Dectivated

None

Pacific League

Activated

MarinesP58Tokito Kawamura

Dectivated

None