Tag Archives: Wang Po-jung

NPB wrap 6-6-21

Interleague Day 12

A little less than two-thirds left in the 16th season of interleague play and the CL has a chance to win the most games for the second time. After Sunday’s games, the Central League leads 32-30-7 while trailing in runs scored 324-291.

It won’t be easy, considering the remaining games, except for a few makeups, will be played in PL parks. But as the announcer during Friday’s Dragons-Buffaloes game, “Hey, the CL is strong this year.”

Sunday marked Tomoyuki Sugano’s return after a month absence, and though he didn’t win, it was a good outing, while 40-year-old Tsuyoshi Wada turned back the clock in a dominant start and the PL’s Wu-Wang clan delivered more pop hits.

Fighters 4, Giants 2

At Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri ace Tomoyuki Sugano (2-3) returned from a month on the sidelines after suffering from right shoulder discomfort and had trouble putting hitters away, but he’s Sugano, so his troubles are not like other pitchers. The Fighters scraped two runs against him on three hits and no walks over five innings.

Speedy leadoff man Ryota Isobata manufactured one run and helped create another for the Fighters, when Haruki Nishikawa scored from second on his eighth-inning sacrifice. An error on the play set up Isobata to score the Fighters’ fourth run.  The only reason Isobata was credited with an RBI on the play because the official scorer was jealous about Saturday’s bunt assault in Hiroshima.

For the second straight day, there seemed to be a psychic Taiwan tie-up as Wang Po-jung homered a few minutes after Seibu’s Wu Nien-ting homered down the road at Jingu Stadium against the Swallows.

Fighters rookie Hiromi Ito (3-4) worked around four walks to allow just one run on two hits over seven innings. The run came on a third-inning Seiya Matsubara double and a Zelous Wheeler single. Matsubara and Wheeler walked in the eighth and Matsubara came home on a Naoki Yoshikawa single.

Matsubara, who hit one of two ninth-inning homers off closer Toshihiro Sugiura on Saturday, lined out to end the game with the tying runs on base as Sugiura recorded his 11th save.

Giants-Fighters highlights

Swallows 9, Lions 6

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Norichika Aoki second RBI double in a four-run eighth inning helped clinch a wild one. Wu’s sixth home run, a two-run third-inning blast, gave Seibu a 3-2 lead, that quickly evaporated. After homers by Aito Takeda and rookie Shinichiro Kishi, the Lions led 6-5 in the sixth.

Scott McGough, who blew a one-run save opportunity and took the loss on Saturday when he surrendered three home runs, retired the heart of the Lions order on Sunday to notch his seventh save.

BayStars 4, Marines 3

At Yokohama Stadium, DeNA squeeked out a win when Lotte left fielder Katsuya Kakunaka got turned around at the wall and failed to make a tough catch that would have ended the game in a 3-3 tie and instead became a two-out walk-off RBI double for Yamato Maeda.

The Marines rallied to tie it in the eighth on three two-out doubles by Shogo Nakamura, Leonys Martin and Kakunaka off Yasuaki Yamasaki, costing ace Shota Imanaga the win after he’d held Lotte to a run over six innings.

The BayStars took a 2-0  lead on homers by Tyler Austin, his 11th, and rookie Shugo Maki, his 10th, off Kazuya Ojima. With the game tied 3-3 and first base open, the BayStars walked Brandon Laird intentionally to face Yudai Fujioka, who’d doubled in Kakunaka in the fourth. But a day after the intentional walk blew up their game, this one paid off. Kazuki Mishima (1-3) worked the ninth, and the BayStars won it against Marines closer Naoya Masuda (0-4).

Buffaloes 4, Dragons 0

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, Orix’s Hirotoshi Masui (2-4) allowed a walk and a hit over six innings, while his teammates had the kind of three-run inning that makes Japanese analysts and announcers hyper ventilate with excitement, three RBI singles and a sacrifice bunt by the pitcher.

Koji Fukutani (3-5), Chunichi’s Opening Day starter, struck out seven while walking one over six innings, but gave up four runs on six hits.

Hawks 8, Tigers 3

At Koshien Stadium, 40-year-old SoftBank southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada (4-3) had his best start of the season, striking out eight, while hitting a batter and giving up four singles over seven innings. Takuya Kai drove in three runs for the second straight day, singling in two in a three-run first, and another in the eighth. Minor league infielder Masaki Mimori batted leadoff, reached base four times, scored three runs and tripled in another.

Rookie Junya Nishi (1-1) made an emergency start for Hanshin after Joe Gunkel was scratched with a sore throat but tested negative for the coronavirus. Nishi allowed three runs in three innings. Jefry Marte hit his 10th home run for the Tigers and rookie Teruaki Sato his 15th after the game was already out of hand.

Eagles 6, Carp 4

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, Rakuten’s Eigoro Mogi broke a scoreless tie with a fourth-inning RBI double off Koya Takahashi (2-2), and added a two-run home run, his ninth of the season.

Rookie lefty Takahisa Hayakawa (7-2) worked 5-2/3 innings. He left with two and both scored against Tomohiro Anraku on singles by rookie Kota Hayashi and Kevin Cron, who went 3-for-4 with a double.

Yuki Matsui worked the ninth to tie Hanshin’s Robert Suarez for the Japan saves lead with 17.

Active roster moves 6/6/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/16

Central League


GiantsP18Tomoyuki Sugano
TigersP15Junya Nishi
TigersP49Joe Gunkel
DragonsIF48Hayato Mizowaki
CarpP34Koya Takahashi
CarpOF1Seiya Suzuki
SwallowsP14Hirotoshi Takanashi


TigersP56Keisuke Kobayashi
TigersP65Atsuki Yuasa
DragonsP18Kodai Umetsu

Pacific League


LionsP64Towa Uema
FightersC60Takuya Kori
BuffaloesP49Keisuke Sawada


FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno
BuffaloesP35Motoki Higa

NPB wrap 6-5-21

Interleague Day 12 — long and short

It was come-from-behind victory day for the PL with all five of the PL wins coming that way, with two contrasting knockout-blow four-run innings.

The Seibu Lions launched three home runs in the ninth inning to knock off the Yakult Swallows, while the Rakuten Eagles started big but ended small, a tie-breaking solo homer followed by two singles, and three-straight sacrifice bunts including a bases-loaded suicide squeeze and a safety squeeze, that with the help of a throwing error, produced three more runs.

The five PL wins left the CL leading the interleague standings 30-26-7 after 63 games, with the PL outscoring the CL 293-263. The interleague leader heading into the final week or so of games is the Chunichi Dragons, who have definitely come a long way in that respect since the club treated interleague so dismissively in 2005.

Fighters 6, Giants 4

At Tokyo Dome, Wang Po-Jung brought Nippon Ham from a run down with a two-run, seventh-inning home run, his fourth, and Yuto Takahama capped the rally with a grand slam off Giants starter Shosei Togo (5-3). Wang’s home run snapped a 29-inning scoreless skid for the Fighters.

It also gave him a chance to do the hero interview, in which he thanked Japan for donating 1.24 million doses of vaccines to his homeland, Taiwan.

Fighters starter Kazuaki Tateno, their second draft pick from 2019, allowed just a run over five innings in his first-team debut. Ryusei Kawano (1-1), their first-round singing in 2019, earned the win for the first of three scoreless innings of relief from the Fighters’ bullpen, before closer Toshihiro Sugiura made it uncomfortably close in the ninth, surrendering pinch-hit solo home runs to Yoshiyuki Kamei and Seiya Matsubara.

Kamei’s home run was the 100th of his career, and they didn’t all come as a pinch-hitter although it kind of feels that way.

Giants-Fighters highlights

Lions 6, Swallows 3

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Seibu treated Yakult to the kind of power display the Lions used to win back-to-back pennants in 2018 and 2019, Hotaka Yamakawa homered twice, his seventh cutting the Swallows’ lead to 3-2 in the seventh inning, and his eighth, a two-run shot that gave the Lions the lead against Scott McGough.

Takeya Nakamura opened the Lions’ ninth with his fifth, Takumi Kuiryama singled, and then Yamakawa and Wu Nien-ting, who hit his fifth, completed the four-run feast.

The Lions scored in the first off  Yasuhiro Ogawa (5-1, 3.52) on two singles and a Kuriyama sac fly, but Munetaka Murakami singled in two runs with no outs and the bases loaded off Tatsuya Imai, and tacked on a run by tying Leonys Martin for the Japan lead with his 17th home run to open the sixth.

BayStars 11, Marines 9

At Yokohama Stadium, Marines right-hander Manabu Mima (3-3) provided the candle power on a cloudy day when the DeNA BayStars lit him up for 11 runs over five innings.

Neftali Soto’s 10th homer gave the BayStars a 2-1 lead in the second. Katsuya Kakunaka tied it with an RBI single in the third off Haruhiro Hamaguchi (3-4), who allowed two over five innings.

The BayStars’ Masayuki Kuwahara, doubled and scored in the first, and doubled and scored the go-ahead run in the third. With the game in danger of getting away in the fourth, Lotte walked Kuwahara with two outs and first base open, which lit the fuse on a five-run bomb of an inning. Hikaru Ito doubled in two, Keita Sano, who doubled in a run in the first, singled in another. Tyler Austin then capped the rally with a two-run homer, his 10th of the season.

Dragons 6, Buffaloes 3

At Nagoya’ Vantelin Dome, Dayan Viciedo homered twice, capping a three-run first with his eighth home run, a two-run shot off Daiki Tajima (2-4), and driving in an insurance run in the eighth by leading off the eighth with his second. Shuhei Takahashi followed with his second homer as Chunichi went deep three times for the second game in the series. The Dragons used eight pitchers after Kodai Umetsu was pulled in the third. Things nearly went south in the top of the eighth, when the first two batters singled off lefty Hiroto Fuku and one scored to make it a 4-3 game.

Hawks 10, Tigers 2

At Koshien Stadium, SoftBank’s Nick Martinez (5-1) allowed two runs, on Jefry Marte’s 10th home run in the third as he scattered nine hits and a walk over six innings. The Hawks came from behind on three sixth-inning hits against Hanshin rookie Masashi Ito (3-3). Yuki Yanagita singled and scored on a Yusuke Masago double before Takuya Kai belted his sixth home run. Kai added a solo homer in the ninth.

Eagles 7, Carp 3

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, the Eagles broke the game open in a four-run eighth, starting with Hiroaki Shimauchi’s eighth home run, against lefty Atsuya Horie. After two singles, bunting madness took over. Rakuten loaded the bases on a sacrifice bunt and an error. Catcher Hikaru Ota’s suicide squeeze made it 5-3. Itsuki Murabayashi’s safety squeeze made it 6-3, with a second run scoring on a throwing error on the play.

Hiroshima’s Masato Morishita, the CL’s 2020 rookie of the year, battled to a six-inning stalemate with Rakuten’s Masahiro Tanaka, both pitchers allowing three runs. Morishita took a 3-1 lead into the seventh, when he issued back-to-back walks to runners who would eventually score.

Two of the runs scored off Tanaka came off high straight fastballs against Carp rookies 20-year-old Kota Hayashi and 24-year-old Koki Ugusa.

Starting pitchers

Sunday gives us a couple of fun matchups, Giants ace Tomoyuki Sugano against impressive Fighters rookie southpaw Hiromi Ito. At Koshien Stadium, Joe Gunkel returns to the mound for the first time since he went three innings against DeNA on May 9. He’ll face southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada, who has been struggling.


Giants vs Fighters: Tokyo Dome 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Tomoyuki Sugano (2-2, 1.93) vs Hiromi Ito (2-4, 3.33)

Swallows vs Lions: Jingu Stadium 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Hirotoshi Takanashi (2-1, 3.12) vs Towa Uema (1-1, 5.40)

BayStars vs Marines: Yokohama Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Shota Imanaga (0-1, 6.10) vs Kazuya Ojima (2-2, 4.37)

Dragons vs Buffaloes: Vantelin Dome (Nagoya) 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Koji Fukutani (3-4, 3.66) vs Hirotoshi Masui (1-4, 4.75)

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

Joe Gunkel (5-0, 2.35) vs Tsuyoshi Wada (3-3, 4.62)

Carp vs Eagles: Mazda Stadium 1:30 pm, 0:30 am EDT

Koya Takahashi (2-1, 2.01) vs Takahisa Hayakawa (6-2, 3.14)

Active roster moves 6/5/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/15

Central League


GiantsOF39Soichiro Tateoka
CarpP18Masato Morishita
CarpP43Sotaro Shimauchi


GiantsOF8Yoshihiro Maru
CarpP21Shota Nakazaki
CarpP67Yuta Nakamura

Pacific League


MarinesP41Kakeru Narita
FightersP33Kazuaki Tateno
BuffaloesC33Masato Matsui


MarinesP35Shota Suzuki
FightersC22Shinya Tsuruoka
BuffaloesC44Yuma Tongu