the japanese insider
May 5, 2015
PACIFIC LEAGUE UPDATE, APRIL 2015
Glenn Davies, Tokyo Japan
The end of the first six weeks in the Pacific league (PL) was no less surprising than that of the CL with the highly touted Orix Buffaloes (11-1-22) heading straight into the cellar and staying there, while the Seibu Lions (19-1-11), who could only manage 63 wins and 5th place last season, are currently hitting a PL best .263 and pitching a PL best 2.74. The Nippon Ham Fighters are half a game back in second with a 19-12 record, while last year’s Japan Series champion Softbank Hawks are sitting in third, two games back with a record of 17-13-2. The Chiba Lotte Marines sit in 4th place with a 14-18 record, while the Rakuten Eagles are in 5th at 13-17-2. Orix are 3-7 in their last 10 and do not look like they will hit their way out of it anytime soon with a team average of .241 (second worst in the PL) and a team ERA of 3.48 (worst in the PL).
· Two-way Fighters star Shohei Otani is a perfect 5-0 with a 0.80 ERA in 5 starts so far this season, while hitting .212 with 2HR and 5RBIS in 34 at bats so far. He leads the PL in wins and ERA.
· Sho Nakata of the Fighters leads the HR race with 10 so far in 133 at bats.
· Tomomi Takahashi (SEI) leads the PL in saves with 10 from 13 appearances so far this season.
· Softbank Hawks closer Dennis Sarfate notched his 100th Japanese baseball save this past week. He has a perfect 0.00 ERA in his 16 and 2/3rds innings pitched this season.
· Taiwanese star Daikan Yoh of the Nippon Ham Fighters is expected to miss up to 6 weeks with a broken bone in his hand. Yoh hit .293-25-85 last season with the Fighters, but was a pedestrian .167-1-9 so far this season.