Glenn Davies / Japanese Insider
Japanese Baseball: Pacific League Updates: July, 2015 / June, 2015 / May, 2015 / April, 2015
Baseball: Central League Updates: July, 2015
2015 / April,
PACIFIC LEAGUE UPDATE
The Softbank Hawks (56-29-3) increased their hold on first in the PL with a monster month, and now sit 6.5 games up on their nearest rivals. They went 12-4 in July (as of 7/30/2015) and are 20-5 over their last 25. The Hawks have only given up 72 runs against (best in NPB) and have scored 122 (3rd best in NPB). The Nippon Ham Fighters (52-38-1) sit in 2nd and swept the Lions in two 3 games sets during July, but then promptly got swept by the Eagles. The Seibu Lions (44-45-5) are in 3rd but under .500 and heading in the wrong direction in the standings. The Lions are 1-9 in their last 10. The Chiba Lotte Marines continue to maintain their stranglehold on 4th place in the PL, a sweep of the Lions in the last week of July helping to make the month appear more successful than it was at 8-9-1. In 5th we have the Rakuten Eagles (39-48-3), 6-13-1 in their last 20 with a PL worst team batting average of .245. Rookie Manager Dave Okubo looking a little lost at the helm as his starters tend to give up 5 runs in the first 3-4 innings for a team that cannot hit its weight. Pre-season PL favorites Orix Buffaloes (38-51-2) remain firmly glued to the PL cellar in 6th and were swept by both the Marines and Hawks in July.
· Takeya Nakamura (SEI) hit 8 HRs in July to take firm control of the PL lead in homeruns with 29 so far this season. Sho Nakata (NH) of the Fighters is in second with 23HRs, and Nobuhiro Matsuda (SOF) of the Hawks sits in third with 22HR.
· Shogo Akiyama (SEI) sits atop the PL in batting average, hitting at a clip of .378. He has been the hardest out to get in Japan over July which included a hitting streak of 31 games (tied for 3rd all-time in Japan). Akiyama also has 8HRs, 30RBIs and 13SBs this season.
· Two-way Fighters star Shohei Otani (NIP) continues to leads the PL in wins with 11 (11-1), and in ERA at 1.79. His batting has not really come around yet (.274 10 31 in 212ABs in 2014). Currently Otani is hitting .183 with 3HRS and 12RBIs in 93ABs.
· Orix starter Bryan Bullington (ORI) went down with a torn right-heel muscle injury in mid-July. He is expected to be out for around a month.
· 39 year old Kazuo Matsui of the Tohoku Rakuten Eagles got his 2,000th hit in Japan this past week. He also had 615 hits in an 8 year career in MLB, spending time with the Mets, Rockies, and Astros.
· The Chiba Lotte Marines ended the month looking for pitching help and signed independent league right-hander Baek Cha Seung (formerly with Orix in 2012, and short stints with MLBs Padres and Mariners)