the japanese insider
Japanese Baseball: Pacific League Updates: June, 2015 / May, 2015 / April, 2015
Baseball: Central League Updates: June, 2015
2015 / April,
CENTRAL LEAGUE UPDATE
At the end of June, and the halfway point of the season, the central league could not be any closer. As of June 29th only 3.5 games separate first to fifth place with the Dragons not that much further back at 6 from 1st. Five CL teams are below .500 and the race for the three CL playoff spots is wide open. The Hanshin Tigers (36-33-1) have claimed top spot for now, going 6-1-3 in their last 10, and 14-0-1 in their last 15 at home. The Tigers moved from 4th to 1st in the month on the back of solid starting pitching and an offense, in the form of Gomez, Murton, and Fukudome, that has come to life all of a sudden. The Yomiuri Giants (36-37) fell into second in June and will be happy to say goodbye to inter-league for the season – the Giants were swept by both the Chiba Lotte Marines and The Softbank Hawks in June. Yakult (34-37-1) recovered a little from their May-blues to move into third, while the Yokohama Baystars (34-37-1) managed to lose 12 games in a row during June (a win just 4 of their last 20) to fall to fourth. The Hiroshima Carp (32-36-1)have played better since the return of slugger Brad Eldred, and moved out of last place for the first time this season, while the Chunichi Dragons (32-41-1) have started to separate themselves from the pack, at the wrong end of the table.
· Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (YAK) has taken the HR lead in the CL with 18. He is hitting .282 with 18HRs and 54RBIs (also 1st in the CL). Hatakeyama’s teammate, and 2014 sensation Tetsuto Yamada (YAK) trails him in second with 14HRs, and Jose Lopez (YOK) sits in 3rd with 13.
· Hector Luna (Chunichi) leads the CL in batting average, hitting .339 4 35 in 236Abs so far this year. Luna, in his 3rd year in Japan, hit .317 17 73 in 127 games in 2014, and .350 9 51 in 85 games in 2013.
· Hiroki Kuroda was voted onto the Central League All-Star team though the fans ballot. Kuroda has pitched well this season, after returning from the majors, going 6-2 with an ERA of 2.62.
· Yudai Ohno (CHU) and Kris Johnson (HIR) share the joint lead in wins in the CL with 7 each so far. Johnson is 7-3 eith a 2.23 ERA and has won his last three starts in a row, while Ohno is 7-3 with an ERA of 2.08.
· The Hanshin Tigers signed independent league outfield star Nelson Perez in mid-June to try and bolster the line-up and provide more pop in left. Incumbent left fielder Matt Murton has struggled thus far this season hitting: Perez , who had previously bounced around the Mexican league and minors for a number of teams, was hitting .324 with 7HRs at the Ishikawa Millions Stars.