Glenn Davies / Japanese Insider
Japanese Baseball: Pacific League Updates: August, 2015 / July, 2015 / June, 2015 / May, 2015 / April, 2015
Baseball: Central League Updates: August,
2015 / April,
CENTRAL LEAGUE UPDATE
The Tigers (61-56-1) hold first place in the Central league (CL) by 1 game over the Yakult Swallows (61-58-1) after a fairly unconvincing August that saw them go 13-12 and get swept by the third placed Yomiuri Giants where they were outscored 22-5 in a three game set. The main cause for the decline has been the state of Tigers starting pitching, with below-par starts from usually reliable Randy Messenger (1-4 in August) and Atsushi Nohmi (2-2 in August) mixed in with a shaky bullpen that struggled to hold leads. Yakult have passed the Giants and taken a one game lead to hold second place. The Swallows took 4 of 6 from the Giants and went 3-3 with the Tigers in August to push themselves up the standings. The return of Lastings Milledge from injury this past week will be something that can only help the team to push on for the last month of the season. The Yomiuri Giants (62-59-1) continue to be inconsistent at the plate, with a team batting average of .241, good enough for worst in Japan. The Hiroshima Carp(55-59-1)showed signs of life in fourth and are now only 4.5 behind the Giants for the third and final playoff spot. Yokohama DeNA Baystars (54-66-1) remained in fifth place with a record of 10 -16 in August including a 6 game losing streak. The Baystars have quickly fallen into stride with the last placed Dragons (53-65-2 and 8.5 games back from 1st), and already appear cut adrift from the top four and playoff contention.
· Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada (YAK) continues to lead the CL in HRs with 33. Teammate Hatakeyama sits in second with 22 HRs, while Jose Lopez (YOK) sits in third with 21.
· Junko Kawabata (YAK) leads the CL in batting average, hitting .339-7-49 in 489 at bats. HR leader Tetsuto Yamada (YAK) sits in second, hitting .328-33-85 in 473ABs. Yamada is also tied for 1st in the RBI race and has a good shot at the Triple Crown.
· Yudai Ohno (CHU) sits atop the league leaders in wins with 11 so far in 2015. Ohno is 11-7 with and ERA of 2.49 in 23starts this season.
· Myles Mikolas (YOM) of the Yomiuri Giants continues to impress in his first season in Japan with his eighth straight win, and 10th win of the season, to take his record to (10-3, 1.83 ERA ). Not known as a strike out pitcher during his time in the majors, he appears to have expanded his repertoire with 93 strikeouts in 118.3 innings pitched to date.
· Yakult Swallows ace pitcher Hirofumi Yamanaka (6-0, 2.18 ERA in 7 starts this season) went on the disabled list this month with a muscle strain. He is expected to be out for a few weeks – weeks that could be vital with the Swallows trying to hold on to third place, and a place in the playoffs , from the fourth placed Carp (3 games back).
· 23 year old Yasuaki Yamazaki (YOK) of the Yokohama DeNA Baystars became the first rookie pitcher in 25 years to notch 32 saves in a season (32 as of August 21st) in Japan. Yamazaki is 2-2, with an ERA of 1.57 with the 32 saves in 48 appearances this season.