Tag Archives: Yoshihisa Hirano

NPB wrap 7-2-21

Buffaloes’ lead grows, Tigers’ shrinks

The Pacific League-leading Orix Buffaloes moved two games clear of the Rakuten Eagles on Friday, while the Central League-leading Hanshin Tigers who were at one point looking to end the pennant race by August, saw their lead shrink to 1-1/2 games.

The power of youth

As a result of Friday’s games, the Yomiuri Giants’ Yuki Takahashi and Shosei Togo lead the CL with eight wins each, while Orix’s Yoshinobu Yamamoto and Hiroya Miyagi lead the PL with eight each. At 24-years-old, Takahashi is the old man of that group. Yamamoto is 22, Togo 21 and Miyagi 19.

Yamamoto fell to second in the PL ERA rankings after allowing two runs over seven innings, his ERA jumping to 1.94, behind his rookie teammate’s 1.93.

There was also a trade

The Tigers and SoftBank Hawks swapped reasonably useful players on Friday, which is not an insult, but a surprise, since most trades, other than a few when players demand to leave, rarely involve anyone of obvious value.

Buffaloes 5, Lions 3

At MetLife Dome, Orix ace Yoshinobu Yamamoto (7-5, 1.90) allowed two runs over seven innings, while Seibu starter Takeru Sasaki (0-0, 5.87) faced one batter, ejected automatically after hitting leadoff batter Shuhei Fukuda in the head with his third pitch.

His replacement, rookie Yutaro Watanabe, got a double play but walked Masataka Yoshida and surrendered Yutaro Sugimoto’s 18th home run. Sugimoto drove in four runs, and had three hits for the Buffaloes, while Yuma Mune reached base three times and scored twice.

Sugimoto’s homer tied him for the PL lead with SoftBank’s Yuki Yangita and Lotte’s Leonys Martin.

Tyler Higgins worked a scoreless eighth for the Pacific League leaders. Closer Yoshihisa Hirano closed it out, after surrendering Brandon Taiga Tysinger’s second homer, for his 10th save as the Buffaloes moved two games clear of the second-place Rakuten Eagles.

Marines vs Eagles

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, rained out.

Swallows 9, Dragons 3

At Nagoya‘s Vantelin Dome, the top two spots in Yakult’s order, Yasutaka Shiomi and Norichika Aoki combined for three doubles, two singles, a walk, five runs and four RBIs.  Jose Osuna chipped in three singles and Domingo Santana singled and doubled as the Swallows bashed Yuya Yanagi (6-4) for five runs over four innings.

Dayan Viciedo hit his 12th home run for the Dragons, who scored three runs off Keiji Takahashi in 3-2/3 innings but couldn’t make a dent against the Yakult bullpen.

The Swallows moved to within 2-1/2 games of the idle second-place Giants, and four games of the Central League-leading Tigers.

Carp 7, Tigers 1

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, if you missed Seiya Suzuki’s second inning, you missed this whole game.

Suzuki recorded two of the three outs in the top of the inning. He then opened the scoring in the home half with his 12th homer, a leadoff shot off Hanshin’s Yuki Nishi (4-5), capped the scoring in the rally with a three-run bases-loaded double, and ended the inning by being thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple

Rookie Carp lefty Shogo Tamamura (2-3) allowed a run over seven innings to earn the win.

BayStars vs Giants

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, rained out.

Subscribe to jballallen.com weekly newsletter

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Fighters vs Hawks: Okinawa Cellular Field 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-3, 2.90) vs Nick Martinez (5-2, 2.21)

Lions vs Buffaloes: MetLife Dome 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Tatsuya Imai (5-2, 2.45) vs Sachiya Yamasaki (3-5, 3.75)

Marines vs Eagles: Zozo Marine Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Fumiya Motomae (1-1, 5.40) vs Hideaki Wakui (6-5, 4.31)

Central League

BayStars vs Giants: Jingu Stadium 5:45 pm, 4:45 am EDT

Kousuke Sakaguchi (2-1, 3.67) vs C.C. Mercedes (3-1, 3.32)

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

Shinnosuke Ogasawara (5-3, 2.92) vs Yasuhiro Ogawa (6-3, 4.26)

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

Haruki Omichi (3-1, 5.29) vs Masashi Ito (4-4, 2.47)

Active roster moves 7/2/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/12

Central League


TigersIF00Yasuhiro Yamamoto
TigersOF24Mel Rojas Jr.
DragonsP97Raidel Martinez
CarpP29Makoto Kemna
CarpOF59Minoru Ohmori
SwallowsC32Naoki Matsumoto


GiantsP18Tomoyuki Sugano
TigersP44Raul Alcantara
TigersIF0Seiya Kinami
CarpP36Atsuya Horie
CarpOF38Koki Ugusa
SwallowsP11Yasunobu Okugawa
SwallowsC2Yuhei Nakamura

Pacific League





NPB wrap 6-26-21

Races tighten in both leagues

This weekend presented a chance for the league leaders to make up some ground against their closest pursuers, but it hasn’t worked out that way.

The Hanshin Tigers lost for the second straight day to the DeNA BayStars on Saturday, while the Yomiuri Giants have won two straight to replace the Yakult Swallows in second place and are now 3-1/2 games back.

After a loss and a tie, the Orix Buffaloes find themselves in a flat-footed tie with the Rakuten Eagles for the Pacific League lead with 35-29-9 records. The SoftBank Hawks, who’ve dropped two straight to the Eagles, are two back in third place.

Eagles 3, Hawks 2

At Sendai’s Rakuten Seimei Park, SoftBank got two rookie Rakuten pitchers for the price of one. Koichi Takada, the Eagles’ second pick last autumn, made his pro debut but hit a batter in the head with two outs, triggering a “kikenkyu” – dangerous ball — automatic ejection. Less heralded rookie Naoto Nishiguchi (1-0), the Eagles’ 10th pick in 2016, stepped into the breach, stranded two runners, and allowed one run over 4-1/3 innings to earn his first pro win.

Hawks starter Nick Martinez (5-2) allowed a leadoff single, issued a one-out walk, and hit a batter with two outs to load the bases for Eigoro Mogi who cleared the bases with a triple.

Martinez escaped serious trouble in the third by starting this nifty double play, and got an assist from Hiroaki Shimauchi, who was thrown out by a mile at the plate to end the inning.

The visitors scored in the first after a Takada issued a one-out walk and allowed a Yuki Yangita single that Shimauchi fumbled in left field. Nishiguchi retired the first seven batters he faced, including a third inning in which he struck out the side, finishing with Yanagita. Ryoya Kurihara led off the fourth with his ninth home run, but the Hawks had no answer for the Eagles bullpen. Yuki Matsui finished up with his 20th save.

Buffaloes 3, Lions 3

At Osaka‘s Kyocera Dome, Kaima Taira was charged with no runs for a 36th straight game to seal the tie after his second walk put two on with one out in the ninth. Yoshihisa Hirano gave Orix a chance to walk off with a 1-2-3 top of the ninth.

Takahiro Okada’s second RBI single tied the game in the Buffaloes’ two-run seventh after Lions starter Tatsuya Imai allowed a run over six innings. The Lions took a 2-1 lead in the third on a two-run homer by rookie Sena Tsuge, who got the start with No. 1 catcher Tomoya Mori out hurt and his backup, Masatoshi Okada, getting dinged on Friday.

Marines 3, Fighters 1

At Shizuoka’s Kusanagi Stadium, Daiki Iwashita (6-4) pitched out of a second-inning jam to hold Nippon Ham to a run over six innings, and Lotte came back against

Naoyuki Uwasawa (6-3), tying it when Brandon Laird doubled home Shogo Nakamura. Laird was gunned down trying to score the go-ahead run on a great throw from rookie Fighters center fielder Chusei Mannami.

Katsuya Kakunaka singled in the go-ahead run in the fifth, and a Nakamura sac fly made it 3-1. Three relievers, Frank Herrmann, Chihaya Sasaki and Naoya Masuda finished up for the Marines. Masuda recorded his 18th save.

Giants 10, Swallows 3 

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, the Yomiuri Giants have sped through and over the Yakult Swallows for the second straight day. A day after a big two-run homer, Takumi Oshiro doubled in two runs to tie it 2-2 in the second against Yasuhiro Ogawa (6-3), who allowed six runs over 2-1/3 innings. Hayato Sakamoto broke the tie with a third-inning RBI single, and Takumi Kitamura capped the inning with a three-run homer, his second.

Shosei Togo (8-3) allowed three runs, two earned, over 6-2/3 innings.

BayStars 3, Tigers 1

At Koshien Stadium, DeNA rookie Kosuke Sakaguchi (2-1) allowed a run over six innings, and leadoff man Masayuki Kuwahara brought the BayStars from behind with his sixth homer, a two-run shot in the seventh off reliever Masayuki Oyokawa (1-1). Edwin Escobar, Yasuaki Yamasaki and Kazuki Mishima each worked a scoreless inning to seal the visitors’ second straight win at Koshien. Mishima’s save was his 13th.

Tigers starter Masashi Ito left after five-plus scoreless innings.

Carp 11, Dragons 5

At Hiroshima’s Mazda Stadium, the Carp went to town against Chunichi lefty Shinnosuke Ogasawara (5-3), tagging him for six runs, five earned, over four innings, while right-hander Haruki Omichi (3-1) held the Dragons to a run through four innings before allowing four in the fifth.

Teams at home that have trouble scoring as the Carp have, often take batting practice after games. On Saturday, the Dragons bullpen alleviated that necessity by throwing batting practice over the final five innings.

Starting pitchers

Pacific League

Fighters vs Marines: Kusanagi Stadium 2 pm, 1 am EDT

Takayuki Kato (3-4, 3.34) vs Kazuya Ojima (3-2, 4.38)

Eagles vs Hawks: Rakuten Seimei Park Miyagi 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Ryota Takinaka (5-3, 4.15) vs Tsuyoshi Wada (4-4, 4.41)

Buffaloes vs Lions: Kyocera Dome (Osaka) 1 pm, 12 midnight EDT

Hiroya Miyagi (7-1, 2.06) vs Zach Neal (1-1, 3.04)

Central League

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

Albert Suarez (2-2, 4.70) vs Yuki Takahashi (7-2, 2.62)

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

Takumi Akiyama (6-3, 2.87) vs Shinichi Onuki (1-5, 7.40)

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

Masato Morishita (4-4, 2.50) vs Akiyoshi Katsuno (3-5, 3.79)

Active roster moves 6/26/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 7/6

Central League


BayStarsP12Kosuke Sakaguchi


BayStarsP26Haruhiro Hamaguchi

Pacific League


EaglesP29Koichi Takada
FightersIF9Takuya Nakashima
FightersIF53Ronny Rodriguez