Tag Archives: Yuki Matsui

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 5-23-21

Saturday’s news

Kiyota dishonorably discharged

The Pacific League’s Lotte Marines announced Sunday that they have voided the contract of outfielder Ikuhiro Kiyota, Nikkan Sports reported. The married outfielder was reinstated on May 1 from an indefinite suspension after a weekly magazine outed him for breaking coronavirus protocols while dining out with another woman in Sapporo last year immediately before the team suffered a coronavirus outbreak.

On Friday, however, another report emerged, alleging further infidelities and that proved to be the last straw for the club.

“We made up our minds and have notified the player,” said the team’s director of communications, Noriaki Kajiwara. “We apologize to our supporters for the betrayal.”

Kuri next Carp player to test positive

The Hiroshima Carp, whose Central League games have been postponed since Friday following a slew of infections within the first team, added pitcher Allen Kuri to the infected list.

Buffaloes warn players over female hotel visitors

The Pacific League’s Orix Buffaloes issued “strict warnings” to three players on Sunday, for inviting women to their hotel rooms in violation of coronavirus protocols while the team was in Tokyo on May 10 to play the Nippon Ham Fighters, Nikkan Sports reported.

The players who were outfielders Yutaro Sugimoto and Yuya Oda, and infielder Koji Oshiro. Sugimoto started Sunday’s games against the Hawks, while the other two, both reserves, started on the bench.

Hawks 7, Buffaloes 2

At Fukoka’s PayPay Dome, former Cub Tsuyoshi Wada (3-2) bounced back from three lousy starts to allow a run in 6-1/3 innings, while SoftBank built a 3-0 lead over four innings against Sachiya Yamasaki (1-5).

The Hawks’ Taisei Makihara reached base three times, scored the opening run in the first on a Yuya Yangita single and doubled in two runs in the four-run seventh before scoring again. Yuma Mune had two of Orix’s five hits, with a pair of doubles. He led off the seventh and scored on a Steven Moya sacrifice fly after Wada left the mound.

Fighters 10, Lions 3

At MetLife Dome, Nippon Ham’s Robbie Erlin (1-0) cut his ERA in half from 7.20 to 3.60 with five scoreless innings to earn his first win in Japan after the Fighters capitalized on both their scoring chances against Katsunori Hirai (3-2) who cruised through four of his first five innings, surrendering three runs in the third and two more in the sixth.

Erlin walked one, struck out six and surrendered five singles, while Haruki Nishikawa did most of the damage with a two-run third-inning double and a two-run eighth-inning single.

Eagles 6, Marines 5

At Chiba’s Zozo Marine Stadium, Rakuten broke the game open in a five-run sixth, with two runs scoring on an Eigoro Mogi double and three more on Brandon Dixon’s second homer. Rookie lefty Takahisa Hayakawa (6-2) allowed five runs over 6-2/3 innings to take the Japan lead in wins.

Leonys Martin tied the game 1-1 in the third with an RBI single, and hit his Japan-best 14th homer, a monstrous two-run shot in the seventh. Tomohhiro Anraku, Sung Chia-hao and Yuki Matsui finished up with Matsui earning his 13th save.

Marines starter Kazuya Ojima (1-2) allowed five runs in 5-1/3 innings to take the loss.

Swallows 10, BayStars 5

At Tokyo’s Jingu Stadium, Yakult’s Albert Suarez (2-2) allowed two runs, one earned, in six innings, while the Swallows gave DeNA ace Shota Imanaga (0-1) a trial by fire in his return from surgery last autumn to clean out his left shoulder. The southpaw surrendered six runs over 4-2/3 innings.

New import Jose Osuma homered, doubled, singled and scored three runs, while Yuhei “Get that good-hitting catcher out of the No. 2 spot” Nakamura tied it 1-1 in the Swallows’ three-run first with an RBI double.

Domingo Santa capped the rally with an RBI double and drew a pair of walks, while Munetaka Murakama hit his Central League-leading 13th home run for the Swallows.

Tyler Austin singled, walked twice and scored a run for the last-place BayStars.

Dragons 4, Giants 1

At Nagoya’s Vantelin Dome, Chunichi’s Opening Day starter Koji Fukutani (2-4) held Yomiuri to a run over six innings while striking out eight and singling in a run. Dayan Viciedo homered, singled, doubled and drove in two runs for the Dragons, who hung three runs on Giants lefty Nobutaka Imamura (2-2) in one-plus innings in what became a bullpen game for the visitors.

Raidel Martinez pitched the ninth for Chunichi to record his 13th save.

Active roster moves 5/23/2021

Deactivated players can be re-activated from 6/2

Central League


DragonsP59Takumi Yamamoto
SwallowsP43Albert Suarez


TigersOF63Yutaro Itayama
DragonsP67Yariel Rodriguez
CarpP18Masato Morishita
CarpP34Koya Takahashi

Pacific League


HawksP21Tsuyoshi Wada
MarinesP43Kazuya Ojima
BuffaloesOF69Stefen Romero