Gary Garland / the japanese insider
April 15, 2002
If Chicks Love the Longball, Nippon Ham-Daiei was Ladies Night
For those who love power displays, nirvana would have been Tokyo Dome Monday, as the Daiei Hawks and Nippon Ham Fighters combined nine homers in Daiei's 12-9 victory. Both starting pitchers, Junji Hoshino for Daiei and Hiroyuki Sekine for Nippon, left the game early as the longballs flew every which way.
A relatively peaceful first inning went by without anyone scoring, but in the second, Hawks third baseman Hiroki Kokubo fired the opening salvo by creaming a Sekine offering into the leftfield seats for a 1-0 Daiei lead.
In the bottom of the third, though, Nippon Ham pulled even thanks to a leadoff single from catcher Kazunari Sanematsu, a two out single to right from first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and an RBI knock to left from DH Sherman Obando.
In the fourth, though, the Hawks venerable 40 year old rightfielder Koji Akiyama, now in his 22nd season, dealt Sekine a crippling blow. With one gone, Sekine nailed second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. Iguchi then stole second. One out later, first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka spanked a single to left and Iguchi sped in with the second Daiei tally. Catcher Kenji Johjima walked. Akiyama then checked in and cranked a "shuuto" (tailing fastball) to left and in the blink of an eye Daiei was four up at 5-1. See pic at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0416akiyama_NK184415_b.jpg
An inning later, Daiei threw another one up on the board with a double to leftcenter from centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara and a single to left from leftfielder Pedro Valdez to make it 6-1.
Hoshino, though, wouldn't be able to defend a big lead. In the bottom of the fifth and one away, Fighters centerfielder Tatsuya Ide walked. Makoto Kaneko carromed a shot off the rightfield wall. Ogasawara flew out to center to bring in Ide. Obando then slammed a two run homer to left and leftfielder D.T. Cromer piggybacked on that with a roundtripper to call his own and now what had been a big Hawks lead was down to a run at 6-5. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka then hit a grounder to Kokubo, who threw it away, which got Hoshino a trip to the showers in favor of Iijima. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto singled to right to put the tying run on scoring position, but Ueda grounded a sinker to second and that was it for the Fighters revolt.
So in the next half
inning, Daiei brought out a six pack. With two out, Hiroshi Shibakusa hung
one to DH Morgan Burkhart and he howitzered it into the rightcenterfield
bleachers. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe singled to left. Shibahara singled to
center and it was adios to Shibakusa and konnichiwa to Kiyoshi Sasaki.
Valdez singled to right to plate Torigoe and then Iguchi smashed a three
run homer to make it 11-5 Hawks. Kokubo then compensated for his miscue by
clubbing a hanging forkball way back in the leftfield seats to make it 12-5.
He is now tied with Tuffy Rhodes for the PL lead in that department with
He likes hitting in Tokyo Dome, having gone yard there nine times last season.
Nippon Ham tried to marshall its forces for a comeback starting in the seventh, but fell short at the end of the day. Obando leadoff with a single to center off of Shuji Yoshida. Cromer then dialed long distance to rightcenter to reduce the disparity with Daiei to 12-7.
In the eighth, Toshihiro
Noguchi unleashed a rocket to the leftfield wall for a double and went to
third on a wild pitch from Daiei reliever Taira Suzuki. Ide lifted a deep
fly ball to left and Noguchi came in. One out later, Ogasawara cleaned and
jerked a Suzuki delivery into the leftfield stands to reduce its deficit
to 12-9. But they passed the ninth without furthering
objection to being behind and Daiei was back in the clubhouse with the W.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 4-5 with three RBIs and is now at .273. Cromer was 2-5 with three RBIs and is at .292.
For Daiei, Valdez
was 2-5 with two RBIs and is now at .306. Burkhart was 1-5 with an RBI and
is at .255. Rodney Pedraza got the save and is now tied with Korean great
Sun Dong-yol for career saves by a foreigner with 98. He needs
more to be the 11th player all time in Japan to reach the century mark in saves.
Pedraza took a line drive off his shoulder from Tanaka to leadoff the ninth, but won't finished inning and isn't expected to miss any playing time.
Hoshino IP 4.2 PC 67
H 10 HR 2 K 0 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Iijima (W, 2-0) IP 1.1 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.14
Suzuki IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.64
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.80
Sekine (L, 0-1) IP 4.0 PC 56
H 3 HR 2 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Kato IP 1.0 PC 18 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.00
Shibakusa IP .2 PC 15 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.50
Sasaki IP 0.0 PC 6 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Tateyama IP 3.1 PC 46 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.35
2B: Shibahara, Kaneko, Ide, Noguchi
HR: Kokubu 2 (7), Akiyama (1), Burkhart (4), Iguchi (4), Obando (6), Cromer 2 (4), M. Ogasawara (6)
RBI: Kokubo 2, Akiyama 3, Burkhart, Iguchi 3, Valdez 2, Matsunaka, Ide, M. Ogasawara 2, Cromer 3, Obando 3
HBP: Iguchi (Sekine), Johjima (Tateyama)
GIDP: Akiyama, Nakamura 2
LOB: Daiei 5, Nippon Ham 8
Umpires: Yanagita (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Fujimoto (3b)
Orix Skunks Kintetsu 11-0
Kintetsu Buffaloes starter Jeremy Powell was bombed bigtime Monday, getting done up for eight earned runs in four innings plus on nine hits and five walks as his team was trampled by the Orix Blue Wave 11-0 at Kobe Green Stadium before a small crowd of 7,000.
The game was scoreless until Orix got rolling for a couple of runs in the fourth on a one out single by Scott Sheldon, a walk to DH Takeshi Hidaka, a bleeder to short that rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi legged out to load the bases, Powell hitting first baseman Fernando Seguignol to force in a run and an infield hit to leftfielder Ryota Aikawa to make it 2-0. Catcher Takashi Miwa then rolled into a double play to stave off any further pain for Kintetsu.
In the fifth, Orix had one of its biggest offensive splurges of the young season. The rookie shortstop Mitsutaka Goto leadoff with his first career homer to right and second baseman Koichi Oshima beat out a ground ball. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled to right and Sheldon walked to pack the sacks. Hidaka then burned a two RBI double down the leftfield line and Katsuragi singled to right to usher in Sheldon. Seguignol walked and the bases were juiced again. Kintetsu manager Masataka Nishida signaled in Koichi Misawa and he struckout Aikawa, but then Miwa sent a fly ball to center to score Hidaka. Goto then collected his second RBI of the inning with a single to left and it was now 8-0.
No rest for the wicked and the shots the Blue Wave were indeed that, as in the sixth Sheldon doubled to left. Hidaka walked. One out later, Seguignol bopped a two run double to the rightfield wall and now the home team had a ten run lead.
Seguignol then put an exclamation mark on this rare breakout by Orix with an artillery shot to leftcenter off of Takagi's heater and that was your ballgame, 11-0 Orix.
Hisashi Tokano, who had not been pitching well until this start, got his first win in a starting role since 1999.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-4 and is at .286. DH Nigel Wilson struckout three times in three chances and is now at .260.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-3 with two walks and is at .275. Seguignol was 2-3 with four RBIs and was hit by a pitch and is at .220.
Powell (L, 0-2) IP 4.0
PC 92 H 9 HR 1 K 2 BB 4 R 8 ER 8 ERA
Misawa IP 2.0 PC 48 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 12.71
Takagi IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Tokano (W, 1-2) IP 7.0
PC 96 H 3 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Kase IP 2.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
SB: Tani, Oshima 2
2B: N. Nakamura, Omura, Hidaka, Sheldon, Seguignol,Tani
HR: Goto (1), Seguignol (5)
RBI: Goto 2, Hidaka 2, Katsuragi, Seguignol 4, Aikawa, Miwa
HBP: Seguignol (Powell)
LOB: Kintetsu 4, Orix 9
Umpires: Sato (HP), Maeda (1B), Kaneko (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Pent Up Frustration? Lotte Drubs Lions 13-5
Up until they finally won their first match of the season, the Chiba Lotte Marines had to be one frustrated, angry bunch and it was perhaps just a matter of time before someone would pay. Monday, Lotte selected a victim and it was the Seibu Lions, who took a 13-5 drubbing.
Brian Sikorsky started for Lotte and had a strong outing, going six innings and allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits while striking out nine and walking none. Sikorsky now has a 2.30 ERA on the season and was clocked at 89mph.
The same can't be said of Takashi Ishii, who ended up leaving the game when he hurt a flexor muscle in his right leg and was taken off the roster after it was over, but not before he gave up six earned runs in three innings on eight hits.
It was Seibu who popped up on top first, as Sikorsky delivered a breaking ball in leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada's wheelhouse and he deposited it in the no deposit no return section in left for a 1-0 Lions lead.
Lotte quickly mounted a counteroffensve, though, in the home half, as Ishii walked DH Frank Bolick, gave up a single to right to Derrick May and saw both men moved up on a sac bunt. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba then beat out a dribbler toward third and Bolick scored to tie it up at one all. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu smacked a single to left to plate May and one out later rightfielder Kenji Morozumi poleaxed one into the rightcenterfield seats and it was 5-1 Lotte. Centerfielder Koichi Hori singled to right and stole second and then went to third on an Ishii wild pitch. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura hit a roller toward second and beat it out for another run and it was 6-1 after two.
Seibu got a run in the fifth thanks to an error by Lotte second baseman Tadaharu Sakai and a single from catcher Tsutomu Itoh to close the gap to within four at 6-2.
Again, however, Lotte got that back and then some. Bolick clocked a one out single to left. May singled to right. Sakai then atoned for his error by bashing one to the rightfield wall to bring in both runners, 8-2 Lotte after five.
Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to center to begin the Seibu sixth and stole second. Two outs later, DH Ken Suzuki singled to get the fleetfooted Matsui around and make it 8-3.
So you know the routine. Lotte came back and put another whipping on Lions pitching. Morozumi nearly took Takehiro Hashimoto out of the yard and cruised into second with a two bagger. Hori sacrificed him to third, but Hashimoto, instead of trying to get the easy out at first attempted to nail Morozumi at third unsuccessfully. One out later, Bolick cashed Morozumi in with a sac fly. The ex-Phillie May waited in the batters box and got something so nice he made Hashimoto pay the price, a two run dinger and now it was 11-3. Sakai singled to right and Hatsushiba homered and the inning concluded with Lotte coasting 13-3.
Seibu got two two eighth inning runs and that was all, the final result 13-5 Lotte.
For Lotte, Bolick was 2-2 with a walk and an RBI and is now at .111. May was 3-3 with two RBIs and nis now at .195.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera took home the golden sombrero (four strikeouts in four at bats) and is now at .255.
T. Ishii (L, 2-1) IP 3.0
PC 63 H 8 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA
Toriyabe IP 2.0 PC 43 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.25
Hashimoto IP 1.0 PC 28 H 5 HR 2 K 1 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 15.00
Aoki IP 2.0 PC 42 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sikorski (W, 1-1) IP 6.0 PC 105
H 4 HR 1 K 9 BB 0 R 3 ER 2 ERA
H. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 35 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.20
Kawai IP 1.0 PC 22 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
SB: K. Matsui, Hori
2B: Sakai, Morozumi, Fukuura, Oshima
HR: Wada (5), Morozumi (1), May (2), Hatsushiba (2)
RBI: Morozumi 3, Fukuura, Bolick, May 2, Sakai, Hatsushiba 3, Shimizu, Oshima, K. Suzuki, Wada, T. Itoh
WP: H. Kobayashi, T. Ishii, Toriyabe
LOB: Seibu 5, Lotte 9
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Nakamura (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Since we just talked about Akiyama, who, at 40, is the oldest currently active player in Japan, who is the oldest batter to ever leave the yard in a regular season game in Japanese history?
Little League Violence
Geez, c'm folks, it's supposed to be fun! What is up with these idiots?
By the Way, for Those Wondering....
If you saw the Dodgers-Padres game last week on ESPN, the bit where they showed Dodgers pitching coach Jim Colborn taking to Hideo Nomo, they were talking about Nomo knowing the signs for throwing over to hold the runners. Incidentally, I've never heard the Japanese say "splitter," though it is certainly possible that the announcers in Japan may be saying it now, but the print journalists almost always use "fohku" (forkball).
Kawasaki Rehab Start Delayed
Chunichi Dragons righthander Kenjiro Kawasaki is making progress now toward perhaps actually being on the mound at Nagoya Dome sometime this season, but he suffered a setback over the weekend. He threw 60 pitches in batting practice, but ended up suffering a foot strain, cancelling a rehab start he was supposed to undertake in the minors the following week. No word on when the former Swallows number two starter will be ready for that start on the farm.
Hot Hanshin Start Paying Off at the Register
See article at:
Ichiro the Ultimate Comapny Employee?
A survey as to who corporate workers would like to pattern themselves after:
Maeda the Bad Guy in Confrontation with Lopez?
Some interesting thoughts on the matter from the Asahi Shimbun's english edition:
New Rookie Living up to Hype in KBO
The english language Korea Times has a piece on a promising youngster in that country's pro league:
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
The above report was for April 15th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1963, Nobuaki The Emperor" Nidegawa, retired as the head Pacific League umpires. He was known by a famous phrase he uttered, "I am the rule book," engendered by an argument he had over a safe call at second base during a Daimai Orions (now the Chiba Lotte Marines) game at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo July 19th 1959 with Osamu Mihara, then the manager of the Nishitetsu (now Seibu) Lions. Mihara claimed that when the runner arrived the same time as the ball he was out, but Nidegawa said no, the runner is safe in that instance. Nidegawa didn't have a copy of the rule book on hand to show Mihara that the original call was correct, thus Nidegawa's assertion that he was the final rules arbiter.
The record for oldest
player to homer in a Japanese game Yoshiyuki Iwamoto of the Toei Flyers (now
Nippon Ham) was 45 years and five months, on August 18, 1957 at Komazawa
April 14, 2002
Lotte Avoids Infamy with First Win of Season
On the verge of historic infamy after being defeated in their first eleven games out of the gate, the Chiba Lotte Marines finally pocketed a victory with about 300 of their fans in the leftfield stands at Green Stadium in Kobe celebrating as if Lotte had just won a Japan Series, as they beat the Orix Blue Wave 4-1 Sunday.
Naoyuki Shimizu, who had attended the funeral of his grandmother, Kiyo on the seventh, was on the hill for the Marines, his first start since last September, and he made it a good one, going 6.1 innings and allowing just one run on eight hits while striking out seven and walking none to get credit for the win.
Lotte got off on a good note when they took a first inning lead. With two outs, Orix starter Hidetaka Kawagoe plunked first baseman Kazuya Fukuura with a pitch. DH Frank Bolick then walked. Leftfielder Derrick May singled to center and Fukuura galloped home. Second baseman Tadaharu Sakai singled to left and that brought in Bolick and it was 2-0 Lotte after a half inning.
The rookie Mitsutaka Goto made his first ever start in a pro game for Orix at shortstop and the jitters were obvious. He got on thanks to a miscue by Lotte third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba. The third base coach then flashed the hit and run sign and Goto missed it, so when second baseman Koichi Oshima rolled a ball to second, it was turned into a twin killing.
In the third, Goto tripled to the leftfield wall with one down, but then failed to come home on a high chopper to Kawagoe and the inning ended with him being stranded.
In the fourth, Sakai ripped a one out double to left. Hatsushiba then came up and hit one high, he hit it far, it was gone (if I can take a page out of the book of the San Francisco Giants announcer) and Lotte was up 4-0.
Orix made some noise in the fifth, but this would prove to be the only time it would do so. With a one away, catcher Takashi Miwa singled to right, as did Goto. One out later, centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani cracked the second of his three hits and Miwa hit the dish to cut his team's disadvantage to 4-1. Masahide Kobayashi came on in the ninth and with the help of a double play ball earned his initial save of 2002.
According to one of the Japanese sports dailies, Lotte fan Ichiro Hirose and his family had folded a thousand paper cranes and dropped them off at the team's dormitory in hope that they would bring the squad some luck.
For May, who was with Lotte when it lost 18 consecutive games to set a new Japanese pro record, this had to be a big relief, since he wouldn't be associated with an iniquitous double now, being on team with the most games in a row to begin a season plus being with the all time record holder for a string of defeats.
For Lotte, Bolick was 0-3 with a walk and is at .059. May was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .139.
For Orix, Scott Sheldon was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .250. First baseman Fernando Seguignol was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .191.
N. Shimizu (W, 1-0) IP
6.1 PC 102 H 8 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Fujita IP .2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
M. Kobayashi (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-2) IP 7.0 PC 114 H 5 HR 1 K 8 BB 1
R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.32
Iwashita IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Tokumoto IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.20
2B: Seguignol, Sakai
HR: Hatsushiba (1)
RBI: May, Sakai, Hatsushiba 2, Tani
WP: N. Shimizu
HBP: Fukuura (Kawagoe)
GIDP: Oshima, Shiozaki
LOB: Lotte 4, Orix 9
Umpires: Kakigizono? (HP), Yamamura (1B), Tamba (2B), Higashi (3B)
Hanshin Takes ANOTHER 1-0 Game
Man, what have they
put into rookie Yuya Ando's Wheaties? He was sharp again in combining with
Mark Valdez for a 1-0 shutout of the Yokohama Bay Stars Sunday at Koshien
in front of another huge and partying crowd. It also marked the first time
Hanshin has won its first five series since 1950. Ando was clocked as high
as 90mph. Pic of his throwing form
Hiroshi Yamada started for Yokohama and was outstanding, going seven innings and permitting a lone single while striking out seven and walking four only to get a no decision.
Kazuyuki Maeda entered
from the bullpen to pitch the eighth for the Stars and him and two other
relievers botched the job. With one out, Maeda walked the next two hitters.
Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori waved in Shintaro Takeshita and he handed out
a freebie to third baseman Atsushi Kataoka. Atsushi Kizuka was then brought
in and he whiffed first baseman George Arias, but rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama
laced an 85mph fastball between first and second for the ballgame's only
tally. Valdez then induced two little groundballs and a strikeout in the
ninth to save it. A pic of Hiyama's hit
The starters for each club were so good that they allowed their opponents just a couple of rather minor scoring opportunities, though Hanshin's failure to get a big hit in either instance reflects the fact that they haven't conquered their inability to hit with runners in scoring position until Hiyama's knock.
Ryo Yoshimoto started at catcher for the injured Akihiro Yano and went 0-3. Ando wrote Yano's number on the inside of his cap for good luck before he ascended the mound.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .226. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-3 and is now at .189.
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is now at .118.
IP 7.0 PC 104 H 1 HR 0 K 7 BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA
K. Maeda (L, 0-1) IP .1 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Takeshita IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Kizuka IP .2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-0) IP 8.0 PC 124 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 4
R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.64
Valdez (S, ) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
WP: H. Yamada
LOB: Yokohama 6, Hanshin 8
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Tomoyori? (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Dragons Beat Giants for 4000th Victory in Team History
Kenta Asakura, 20, wrote his name in the Chunichi Dragons long history book Sunday, as he shutout the Yomiuri Giants on six hits, all singles, over eight innings before closer Eddie Gaillard finally ended it in the ninth after shortstop Hirokazu Ibata made a spectacular diving stop of a shot off the bat of Giants shortstop Daisuke Motoki for the 2-0 Dragons victory, the 4000th in the club's 60+ year existence.
Asakura had changed his delivery before the season started by using a slide step rather than a leg kick and it improved his control, as shown by the fact that he has walked only six hitters in 20.1 innings thus far.
Kimiyasu Kudoh started for Yomiuri and was superb himself, allowing two earned runs on six hits and walking two while striking out seven.
In the top of the second, the Dragons put across the only run they would need. With one out, Jiro Fujitate drilled a Kudoh offering against the rightfield wall. Toshio Haru flew out to right and Fujitate tagged up and dashed into third. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige then flew out to right as well and Fujitate scored to make it 1-0 Dragons.
An inning later, Kudoh hung a breaking ball to rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome and he pounded it deep into the rightfield bleachers to expand his club's lead to 2-0.
In the ninth, Chunichi boss Hisashi Yamada summoned Gaillard and he almost blew it. With one out, centerfielder Hideki Matsui singled to center. After striking out first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, third baseman Akira Etoh singled to center and Matsui was able to get to third, Suzuki pinch ran for Etoh and stole second. Motoki then spanked a shot that looked like it was headed into centerfield to tie the game, but Ibata dove to his left and snagged it and then scrambled to his feet and gunned it to first for the last out of the game. Motoki thought he had a sure knock and was slow getting out of the box, which aided Ibata in ending the contest.
This was the 5'8" Asakura's second pro win, having gone 0-6 total in previous campaigns. He was clocked at 89mph.
Sunday was also Kiyohara's wife Aki's 33rd birthday, but unlike last year, when he slugged a three run homer on that date, this time around he was 0-4 with a strikeout.
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez struckout three times in four at bats and is now at .267.
Asakura (W, 2-1)
IP 8.0 PC 94 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Gaillard (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-2) IP 8.0 PC 113 H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 2
R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.49
Nishiyama IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
HR: Fukudome (3)
RBI: Fukudome, Tanishige
LOB: Chunichi 6, Yomiuri 7
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Ino (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Seelbach Now 3-0 After Fighters Win to Rise to Second in PL
With the exception of a rocky fourth, Nippon Ham Starter Chris Seelbach had a very solid six inning outing Sunday and was credited with a victory as a result, as his team went on to beat the Kintetsu Buffaloes 7-3 at Osaka Dome.
The Fighters lineup waylaid Kintetsu starter Ken Kadokura right away, as, in the top of the first, they got one out singles to center from Hiroshi Narahara and first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and then DH Sherman Obando killed a Kadokura offering to leftcenter for a 3-0 Fighters lead.
In the fourth, though, Seelbach almost wasted that lead when his control headed went to a concession stand for a beer. Kintetsu third baseman Norihiro Nakamura leadoff with a screamer up the rightcenter ally for a double. Seelbach then walked DH Nigel Wilson and plunked first baseman Yuji Yoshioka to pack the sacks. Two shallow flyouts later, Seelbach walked catcher Akihito Fujii to force in a run and then nailed centerfielder Omura with a delivery to allow another Buffs run. Takasu then flew out to right to end the inning.
Seelbach was touched for doubles in each of the following pair of innings, but then retired the succeeding batters each time and so he left the contest with a one run lead.
Nippon Ham got some breathing room in the top of the seventh, with Yoshinori Ueda reaching on an error by Nakamura, then was sacrificed along and heading home on a ringing double down the leftfield line by centerfielder Tatsuya Ide. One out later, first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to right and it was 5-2 Fighters.
In the bottom of the inning, Kintetsu leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was the recipient of a hanging slider from reliever Kiyoshi Sasaki and being the generous soul he is, passed it along to the folks in the rightfield bleachers to reduce the gap with the Fighters to 7-3.
number, D.T. Cromer, wasn't going to stand for that and drilled a leadoff
homer to right off of Shogo Yamamoto to get back up by three at 6-3. Fighters
third baseman Yukio Tanaka was next and he singled to left and was sacrificed
to second. Hichori Morimoto then unloaded a two bagger to the centerfield
wall and Tanaka hurried in for a 7-3 lead and to conclude
Ide now has a 12 game hitting streak.
Kadokura was demoted to the minors after this game.
With 5700 little leaguers in attendance from Shikoku and the Kansai region, Rhodes said that he wanted to do something for the future pro players and was thus glad to have gone deep in this one. He is nine games ahead of his 2001 record tying homer pace and if he can maintain this clip, he will bop 75 out of the park over a full season. He needs two more for 200 lifetime dingers in Japan.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes
was 2-5 with an RBI and is now at .308. Wilson was 1-2 with a walk and got
hit by a pitch and is
now at .277.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-5 with three RBIs and is .220. Cromer was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .279.
Seelbach (W, 3-0) IP 6.0 PC 89 H 6
HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Sasaki IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.50
Kanemura IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Iba IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Kadokura (L, 0-1) IP 5.0 PC 79 H 5
HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Sekiguchi IP .2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
Aikyo IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamamoto IP .1 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.82
Takagi IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: N. Nakamura, Rhodes, Isobe, Wilson, Sanematsu, Ide, Morimoto
HR: Obando (5), Cromer (2), Rhodes (7)
RBI: Ide, M. Ogasawara, Obando 3, Cromer, Morimoto, Omura, Rhodes, Fujii
HBP: Wilson (Seelbach), Yoshioka (Seelbach), Omura (Seelbach)
GIDP: Kimoto, Yoshioka, Kawaguchi
LOB: Nippon Ham 6, Kintetsu 9
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Hayashi (1B), Maeda (2B), Sato (3B)
Seibu Wipes Out Hawks 17-7
The Daiei Hawks got three quick runs in the top of the first inning Sunday at Seibu Dome against the Lions and actually had a 4-1 lead for a while, but then Seibu conterattacked with five in the fourth and seven in the fifth to bury the home team 17-7.
started for Seibu and he got hammered early. Daiei centerfielder Hiroshi
Shibahara leadoff the game with a single to center and stole second. Leftfielder
Pedro Valdez zinged a pitch up the rightcenter ally and Shibahara coasted
in with a 1-0 lead. One out later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to
left. One out later, rightfielder Koji Akiyama then
a two run double to rightcenter and it was 3-0 Hawks after a half inning.
Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui stepped in to begin the Lions half of the stanza and he walloped an offering from Daiei rookie Toshiya Sugiuchi into the rightcenterfield stands and it was 3-1 visitors.
Daiei got that back in the second with two outs, when Shibahara singled to left and Valdez pumped a double to rightcenter to allow Shibahara to sprint home, Daiei in front 4-2 after one and a half.
In the bottom of the third, though, the Lions crept closer. Second baseman Hiro Takagi worked a leadoff walk, but was then forced out at second. Two outs later, DH Toshiaki Inubushi seared a double down the rightfield line for an RBI and first baseman Alex Cabrera singled to left to usher in Inubushi and it was 4-3 Daiei.
It mush have been "your hit parade" night in Tokorozawa, because that's what the Lions proceeded to do in the bottom of the fourth. With one down, rightfielder Kakiuchi singled to center, as did catcher Tsutomu Itoh. Hiro Takagi then wacked a single to right for the tie and Matsui did so for a 5-4 lead and to send Takagi to third. Matsui stole second. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ozeki singled to right and that meant two more for Seibu, and he went to second on the relay home to boot, as they were now in front 7-4. One out later, Cabrera singled to left for another run and it was 8-4 when the smoke cleared.
Then, in the fifth,
the roof fell in on Daiei. Seibu third baseman Tsuyoshi Furuya walked off
of Shintaro Yoshitake to kick off the inning. One out later, Yoshitake hit
Itoh. Takagi singled to right for an RBI and an error by Hawks first baseman
Nobuhiko Matsunaka let Matsui get to first and load the bases. Ozeki flied
to center to plate Itoh and Inubushi singled to center for
eleventh Lions run. Cabrera walked and scored on a bullet to the centerfield wall that went for a triple to clear the bases by leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada and then came home on a single by Furuya and it was 15-4 Seibu.
Daiei put up single runs in the sixth and seventh, but those were neutralized when pinch hitter Hiroyuki Oshima singled to leadoff the bottom of the eighth and then Cabrera got a hanging changeup from Shinji Kurano and hit a nine iron 520 feet away over the leftfield bleachers and on to a utility pathway used by Stadium employees, a mammoth shot, to make it 17-6. See pic of Cabrera's homer at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0415kabu_MT073414_b.jpg
Daiei scored on a couple of singles and a groundout and that was their last stand, 17-7.
Sugiuchi, who was having a pretty nice season up until now, was leaving everything up and got pounded. Daiei manager Sadaharu Oh said he thought that his rookie was nervous and that's why he was elevating in the strike zone and had trouble spotting his fastball.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 3-4 with four RBIs and a walk, his first runs driven in since four games ago. He is now batting .275. The one time he didn't get a knock, he popped out to the pitcher on a ball that bounced in the dirt.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 with two RBIs and a walk and is now at .298. DH Morgan Burkhart was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is now at .262.
Sugiuchi (L, 1-1)
IP 3.1 PC 77 H 8 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 7 ER 7 ERA
H.K. Watanabe IP .1 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Yoshitake IP 2.1 PC 81 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 3 R 7 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Kurano IP 2.0 PC 35 H 3 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Nishiguchi (W, 2-1) IP 5.2 PC
100 H 9 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Shiozaki IP 1.1 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Toriyabe IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: Shibahara, K. Matsui 2
2B: Valdez 2, Akiyama, Shibahara, Matsunaka, Kokubo, Inubushi
HR: K. Matsui (2), Cabrera (5)
RBI: Shibahara, Valdez 2, Matsunaka, Akiyama 2, Burkhart, K. Matsui 2, Inubushi 2, H. Takagi 2, Ozeki 3, Wada 3,
Cabrera 4, Furuya
HBP: T. Itoh (Yoshitake), Muramatsu (Nishiguchi)
LOB: Daiei 7, Seibu 7
Game Time: 3:26
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Akimura (1B), Yanigita (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Yakult Blows Everything it Has in the Fourth and Loses 5-4
The Yakult Swallows amassed three homers and four runs in the top of the fourth off of Hiroshima Carp starter Yasushi Tsuruta and little else, so they lost the game 5-4 Sunday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium.
Satoshi Iriki started for Yakult and was mugged for a triple to right in the second by Carp rightfielder Tomonori Maeda (how's that possible? I thought he didn't want to really cut loose on those bad Achilles tendons) and a single to center from first baseman Takahiro Arai to put Hiroshima up 1-0.
Then in that fourth inning, rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to center and first baseman Roberto Petagine lost a Tsuruta fastball to centerfield and it was suddenly 2-1 Swallows. Two outs later, leftfielder Alex Ramirez and second baseman Chihiro Hamana slugged back to back jacks and it was 4-1 Yakult.
Hiroshima answered by converting a walk to Arai, a single to center from second baseman Takuya Kimura, a hit by pitch to catcher Kazu Kimura and a wild pitch by Iriki to make it 4-2 Yakult.
In the bottom of the fifth, Hiroshima generated some fireworks of their own and basically won the game. Shortstop Akihiro Higashide beat out a roller to second to leadoff the inning. Third baseman Eddie Diaz then lofted a fly ball over the leftfield wall and it was deadlocked at 4-4. Two outs later, Arai went long to left, too and it was 5-4 Carp. Yakult couldn't do much afterward and that's how it ended, Oyamada claiming the save.
Interesting story about the winning pitcher of this game. Koji Hiroike was working at the counter for All Nippon Airways at Haneda Airport three years ago after graduating from Rikkyo University. But he still had the bug to play pro ball and tried out for Hiroshima and then went to the club's academy in the Dominican Republic at his own expense. The Carp drafted him in the eighth round in 1998 at the age of 25.
Btw, he met his wife, Yasuko, when she was working across the way at the counter for ANA rival Japan Airlines.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-3 with a walk and two RBIs and is now at .245. Ramirez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .255.
S. Iriki (L, 0-1) IP 5.0 PC 84
H 7 HR 2 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA
H. Ishii IP 2.1 PC 33 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Ryo. Igarashi IP .2 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.93
IP 4.0 PC 63 H 5 HR 3 K 5 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Hiroike (W, 1-0) IP 1.2 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kobayashi IP .1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tamaki IP 1.1 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Beltran IP .2 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
Oyamada (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
SB: Higashide, T.
3B: T. Maeda
HR: Petagine (6), Ramirez (1), Hamana (1), Diaz (3), Arai (3)
RBI: Petagine 2, Ramirez, Hamana, Diaz 2, Arai 2,
WP: S. Iriki
HBP: K. Kimura (S. Iriki)
LOB: Yakult 4, Hiroshima 6
Yankess Move Full Throttle to Aquire Godzilla Matsui
According to Tokyo Chunichi Sports, the New York Yankees are watching Hideki Matsui's every move. The paper quotes Yankees owner Steinbrenner as telling his front office people, "get me the next great Japanese player." Consequently, a team of Yankees scouts will be in Japan when Hanshin and the Yomiuri Giants meet this coming weekend at Koshien Stadium in Osaka. Moreover, they have been tracking Matsui's games via satellite television, the it says.
This is also having ramifications in the Japanese media, as the Yankees broadcasting arm has started negotiating with an arm of Yomiuri, NTV, for rights to broadcast Yomiuri games in New York. Part of the straegy is reportedly to sell Yankees fans on Matsui's aquisition by broadcasting Yomiuri games. They plan to start Yomuiri Giants telecasts in New York as soon as May with english voice overs.
The report claims that "the Yankees want Matsui so bad they can taste it (nodo kara te ga deru hodo hoshii)" and have already begun preparing a preliminary contract offer. And obviously, they want to market Matsui to the east coast asian communities.
But I think something else may be at play here: I think that the Yankees would be willing to broadcast Giants games as a way to mollify the very MLB-unfriendly Giants owner Tsuneo Watanabe by expanding the Giants presence in a new market. Plus, of course, the Yomiuri conglomerate will be paid for this, so this has the flavor of a payoff for broadcasts that will, at least initially, draw a very small audience. There may also be a deal where Yomiuri would get a cut of Matsui-related goods that the Yankees sell, though the latter is only speculation on my part. The idea here, I believe, is that if Yomiuri is getting some kind of benefit Matsui might feel better about both leaving and out of a sense of obligation (called "on" in Japanese) would sign with NY because his Japanese club would benefit.
Keio University Hurler Strikes Out 21
Keio University righthander Shuichiro Osada, after getting the first man he faced in the game, then fanned the next nine men in a row on the way to striking out 21 for the game, coming within one of challenging Hall of Fame inductee Noboru Akiyama's Tokyo Big Six University League record of 22 in 1954. Akiyama did that in a contest with Tokyo University while a part of Meiji University's nine.
This also marked the first time in 32 years that someone had made nine consecutive batters come up empty since Katsutoshi Taiki of Waseda University, who now works in Yakult's front office, managed a similar feat.
was clocked at 88mph and he has two different sliders, a changeup and a curve
to accompany his fastball. He is now 10-8 for his college career. He is said
to be able to crank it up to as much as 91mph when he needs to. A scout for
the Seibu Lions likes Osada's potential and thought that in this particular
game he showed pro-level stuff. You can see a pic
him at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/04/15/20020415005148.jpg
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
The above report is for April 14th. On that day in 1966, 18 year old Tsuneo Horiuchi made his debut on the mound for the Yomiuri Giants and not only won that game, but the next 12 in a row. For that season, he went 16-2 with a 1.39 ERA. He was an easy pick for Rookie of the Year and won the ERA title that season.
He won 20 games once, going 26-9 with a 2.91 ERA in 1972, striking out 203 in 312 innings and took home an MVP and a Sawamura Award, which was his second (he also won one in 1966).
For his 18 season career, Horiuchi was 203-139 with a 3.27 ERA and threw a no hitter on October 10, 1967.
April 13, 2002
Matsui Plays Double or Nothing in Giants Triumph Over Dragons 3-2
Hideki Matsui had struckout his first three times up against Chunichi Dragons starter Masahiro Yamamoto, and didn't get a good swing on a fastball down and a way from reliever Hitoki Iwase, but he nevertheless made enough contact to send it into leftcenter for a double that drove in the winning run as the Yomiuri Giants topped the Dragons at Tokyo Dome Saturday 3-2.
Yamamoto got knocked around his first two outings and had plenty of baserunners on in this contest, but only two of them crossed the plate as the Giants never amassed enough hits in any one inning to break it open. In the bottom of the second, first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara legged out a little tapper near third and went to third on a double down the leftfield line by third baseman Akira Etoh and scored on a sac fly to center by shortstop Daisuke Motoki to make it 1-0 Giants.
Two innings later, Kiyohara ripped a leadoff single into center. Etoh went to the opposite field for a knock and Kiyohara managed to rumble over to third. Motoki again lofted a sac fly and the Giants were a pair up.
Chunichi counterattacked in the sixth and leveled things. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige beat out a groundball toward short. One out later, shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leaned on a hanging forkball from Giants starter Koji Uehara and bounced it off the centerfield fence to plate Tanishige. One out later, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome cracked a shot up the middle and the speedy Ibata came around and it was 2-2.
Makoto Kito had replaced Yamamoto in the sixth and he came back out for the
seventh and retired the leadoff man, Takayuki Shimizu, but then second baseman
Toshihisa Nishi singled to left. Kito then hit rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi
on the right hand. That set the stage for Matsui's heroics and Yomiuri's
eventual victory. Here is a pic of the hit:
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 0-3 with two strikeouts and a walk and is now at .293.
Yamamoto IP 5.0 PC 90 H 8 HR 0
K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.96
Kito (L, 0-1) IP 1.1 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Iwase IP .2 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2-1) IP 8.0 PC 126 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.24
Kawahara (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: T. Shimizum Tanishige
2B: H. Matsui, Y. Takahashi, Ibata, Etoh
RBI: Ibata, Fukudome, Motoki 2, H. Matsui
SF: Motoki 2
HBP: Y. Takahashi (Iwase)
LOB: Chunichi 3, Yomiuri 12
Game Time: 3:24
Umpires: Mori (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Sasaki (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Questionable Pinch Hitting Decision May Have Cost Hanshin Game Against Yokohama
Hanshin Tigers lefthander Trey Moore was throwing another dandy Saturday, allowing just one run on five hits over six innings against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Koshien Stadium. However, in the bottom of the sixth, with two out and the bases loaded and wanting a little more breathing room on the scoreboard than the 2-1 advantage his club already held, Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino sent up Derrick White to pinch hit for Moore. White grounded out to end the inning, but it wasn't this pinch hitting decision that was so disagreeable.
Rather, it was one Hoshino didn't make that may have resulted in defeat. In place of Moore, Hoshino brought in Itoh for the top of the seventh, who promptly gave up a walk and an infield hit and then was replaced by Tatsuhiro Yuminaga.. The first batter Yuminaga faced, Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii, then spanked one of his offerings down the rightfield line to tie the game at 2-2.
Yuminaga finished off the seventh and Masashi Date got through the eighth okay, but then Date's spot came up in the bottom of the inning with two on and two out. However, instead of sending someone up to hit for Date, Hoshino decided to let Date bat, and three strikes later, the inning was over. The reasoning behind this was that Hoshino wanted to save his bench if it went to extra innings, but that is hardly a satisfying answer and seems rather passive given the ex-Chunichi boss' style.
So what happens? In the top of the ninth, Date hit Stars rightfielder Boi
Rodrigues to open the frame. He was forced by Ryoji Aikawa, but then pinch
hitter Hiroo Ishii smacked a single to right, allowing Aikawa, who has pretty
decent wheels for a catcher, to turn and burn for third. Takuro Ishii then
lifted a fly ball to Shinjiro Hiyama in right, who made a strong, accurate
throw. Aikawa lowered his shoulder and collided with Hanshin backstop Akihiro Yano as the ball arrived and he managed to score before Hiyama could apply the tag and it was 3-2 visitors. Unfortunately, Yano also had to be taken out of the game with what turned out to be a dislocated shoulder and he will miss the next 2-3 weeks while he rehabs it.
Yokohama closer Takashi Saito then got three of the next four men he faced in the home half of the inning and that was the ballgame. So when you combine a bad managerial decision, a defeat, and losing your starting catcher, this was a day to forget in Osaka to be sure.
Maybe this just wasn't to be Hanshin's day in any case. In the sixth, with Moore still on the mound, Takuro Ishii leadoff with a bunt single and was sacrificed to second by centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki grounded out to third to keep Ishii from getting there. Moore then sawed off third baseman Mike Gulan, but as the bat shattered, the ball found a hole between first and second and Ishii motored around to score with his squad's first tally of the day,
Hanshin got both of their scores in the bottom of the second off of Stars starter Shane Bowers, with Hiyama legging out a bunt, moving up on a single to left from leftfielder Tomochika Tsuboi and scoring on a single to center by Yano while Tsuboi chugged into third. Hoshino then called for the squeeze and shortstop Shuta Tanaka laid down a beauty to make it 2-0 Tigers, a lead that they would then lose.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 1-4 with an RBI and is now at .240. Rodrigues was 0-1 with a walk and is now at .206.
For Hanshin, White was 0-1 and is at .300. First baseman George Arias was 1-5 and is now at .128.
IP 6.0 PC 114 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
Takeshita IP 1.1 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Kizuka (W, 1-0) IP .2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Saito (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
IP 6.0 PC 81 H 5 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.29
Itoh IP .1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Yuminaga IP .2 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Date (L, 0-1) IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.29
2B: T. Ishii, Kinjo
RBI: Gulan, T. Ishii 2, Yano, S. Tanaka
SF: T. Ishii
HBP: Rodrigues (Date) Hiyama (Takeshita)
LOB: Yokohama 8, Hanshin 11
Game Time: 3:32
Umpires: Watada (HP), Tomoyori? (1B), Kasahara (2B) Suginaga (3B)
Four Hiroshima Homers Kill Swallows 8-2
Carp catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura picked a good time to launch his first career
dinger, as he stood in against Yakult's Kevin Hodges with two men on in what
was a scoreless battle in the second and got all of a Hodges fastball and
cranked it over the centerfield fence for a three run homer to put his side
in front to stay 3-0. One out later, centerfielder Koichi Ogata turned another
Hodges pitch into a souvenir for the folks in the rightcenterfield bleachers,
the first of his two longballs on the day, in what became an 8-2 cakewalk
for the boys from Hiroshima. Takahiro Arai added a solo shot later in the
fifth to cap off the
home team's scoring. A pic of Kimura's homer is at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0414kimuraOS022413_b.jpg
and a snap of one of Ogata's is at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/images/photos2002/sb20020414a1a.jpg
Yakult got its two runs on a leadoff roundtripper to center in the top of the eighth by first baseman Roberto Petagine and a pinch hit RBI single by Hirobumi Watarai to bring in third baseman Akinori Iwamura, who had doubled to right earlier in the inning. That was about all they were able to do against Carp starter Ken Takahashi, who was touched for a total of four hits in eight innings while striking out seven and walking none.
This may have been Hodges' worst ever performance since he came to Japan, as he was bombarded for seven runs on ten hits, three of them homers, in 3.1 innings and saw his ERA balloon to 4.96 after boasting an ERA of just under 1.40 in the wake of two excellent appearances to open the regular season.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .220. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .234. The Swallows have dropped their last three series in a row.
1-1) IP 3.1 PC 62 H 10 HR 3 K 2 BB 0 R 7 ER
7 ERA 4.96
Hanada IP 1.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Sakamoto IP 2.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Teramura IP 1.0 PC 27 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
1-1) IP 8.0 PC 100 H 4 HR 1 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.05
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Iwamura, Kanemoto
HR: Ogata 2 (3), K. Kimura (1), Arai (2), Petagine (5)
RBI: Ogata 3, K. Kimura 3, Arai 2, Petagine, Watarai
GIDP: Inaba, T. Kimura
LOB: Yakult 3, Hiroshima 4
Game Time: 2:18
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Koo Extends Marines Misery in Combining with Imamura for a 4-0 Shutout
Koo Dae-sung of the Orix Blue Wave extended his scoreless streak to 14.1 innings despite getting himself into a few jams, saying that even if you throw the ball down mainstreet that Chiba Lotte Marines batters aren't going to hurt you they are going that badly. Lotte left ten men on during the game, as Orix went on to a 4-0 victory at Kobe Green Stadium Saturday.
Koo walked the bases loaded in the top of the first in the course of getting two outs, but he then induced a fly ball to right to end the threat. Then he wriggled out of a men on second and third with two gone pinch in the second thanks to rightfielder Saburo Omura fouling out to the catcher.
Lotte starter Kosuke Kato was perfect for those initial two innings, but then bent a little in the third. With one out, third baseman Tatsuya Shindo singled to center. Catcher Takashi Miwa singled to right and Shindo made a beeline for third. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki flied to right and Shindo tagged up and crossed the plate and it was 1-0 Orix after three complete.
Lotte loaded the bases again in the fourth on a couple of singles and a walk with two outs, but Omura flied out to right to kill that uprising, too.
In the bottom of that inning, first baseman Scott Sheldon doubled to center to lead it off. One out later, rightfielder Ryota Aikawa singled to right. After DH Fernando Seguignol hit a looper that was flagged down easily by shortstop Masa Watanabe, Shindo hit a bazooka shot to the centerfield wall and both Sheldon and Aikawa scored. Miwa singled to left and Shindo touched home and it was 4-0 Blue Wave.
Lotte was never heard from again, though, as Koo settled down to suffocate its offense, as did his successor, Fumiaki Imamura, and it was over pretty quickly, the game coming in at just a hair under two and a half hours.
The Marines have now lost their first 11 in a row and are one more defeat away from infamy. This is a club that already holds the record for most consecutive winless games with 18, which was accomplished, if you can call it that, a couple of years ago. Now to add most consecutive season opening beatings would be even more humiliating.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-4 and is now at .267. Seguignol was 0-4 and is at .186.
K. Kato (L,
0-3) IP 4.0 PC 60 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
H. Kobayashi IP 3.0 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Kawai IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
2-0) IP 6.0 PC 113 H 5 HR
0 K 3 BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.92
Imamura (S, ) IP 3.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
2B: Sheldon, Shindo, Aikawa,
RBI: Shiozaki, Shindo 2, Miwa
LOB: Lotte 10, Orix 6
Game Time: 2:27
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Higashi (1B), Yamamura (2B), Kakigizono? (3B)
Kintetsu Slices and Dices Nippon Ham 12-3
The Kintetsu Buffaloes got three two run homers as they flogged the Nippon Ham Fighters Saturday 12-3 Saturday at Osaka Dome. For the first time this season, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes, third baseman Norihiro Nakamura and DH Nigel Wilson went yard in the same game, something we should start seeing more of as the year wears on.
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi began the contest on the hill for Nippon Ham and, as he has all spring, has helped fatten up his opponents' batting averages. In the bottom of the second, Kintetsu first baseman Yuji Yoshioka laced a double down the leftfield line. Rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano did likewise to the righthand side and it was 1-0 Buffs. Wilson singled to left and shortstop Masahiro Abe flied out to right for the team's second run.
In the third, Rhodes singled to center with two out and jogged home when Shimoyanagi threw an 82mph fastball and Nakamura atomized it, leaving the shards up in the third deck in left 400 feet away to make it 4-0.
Next time up, the Buffs knocked Shimoyanagi out of the game thanks to Nigel
Wilson jumping all over a fat heater and losing it where the big boys hit
them, center backscreen, 6-0 Kintetsu. Yoshinori Tateyama was handed the
ball and Abe
reached on an error by Fighters third baseman Yukio Tanaka. Catcher Akihito Fujii singled and it was goodbye Tateyama, hello Kazuya Shibata. Two outs later, Shibata plunked Rhodes to load the bases. Nakamura worked a walk and Abe trotted
in, 7-0 Kintetsu.
Nippon Ham broke through with a tally in the fifth, as Yutaka Nakamura singled with one out. Another out later,centerfielder Tatsuya Ide doubled up the rightcenterfield alley and it was 7-1.
So in the bottom of that frame, the Buffaloes went on a stampede. Takano
singled to center and Wilson beat out an infield roller. One out later, Fujii
doubled into rightcenter to push Takano in. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura
struckout, but then second baseman Yosuke Takasu tripled to right to get
Wilson and Fujii in for a 10-1 advantage. Rhodes then got a slider away and
rammed it into the seats in rightcenter and it was 12-1. Pic of the homer
Nippon Ham put up a run in the sixth and then Toshihiro Noguchi homered to center in the seventh to conclude the day's scoring at 12-3.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-4 with two RBIs and an HBP and is now at .298. Wilson was 3-4 with two RBIs and is at .267. Eiji Mizuguchi started at second, but in the course of the game pulled an oblique muscle and will be out a month.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-4 and is at .222. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-2 with a walk and is at .256.
1-2) IP 3.0 PC 58 H 7 HR 2 K 1 BB 0 R 6 ER 6 ERA
Tateyama IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shibata IP 2.0 PC 42 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 16.88
Kato IP 2.2 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iba IP .1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
3-0) IP 6.2 PC
103 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.50
Sekiguchi IP 1.1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Takagi IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Y. Tanaka
2B: Takasu, Yoshioka 2, Fujii, Ide
HR: Noguchi (1), N. Nakamura (4), Wilson (2), Rhodes (6)
RBI: Ide, Kaneko, Noguchi, Takasu 2, Rhodes 2, N. Nakamura 3, Takano, Wilson 2, Abe, Fujii
SF: M. Abe
HBP: Rhodes (Shibata)
LOB: Nippon Ham 6, Kintetsu 6
Game Time: 3:07
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Sato (1B), Fujimoto (2B), Iizuka (3B)
Daiei Blows Lead, buy Wins it in 11 Innings on Misplayed Bunt
Daiei Hawks closer Rodney Pedraza came on in the ninth Saturday at Seibu
Dome with a man on and nobody out to try to hold a 3-1 lead, but the first
hitter he faced, leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada, unloaded a two run homer to
rightcenter to tie the game. In the top of the 11th, though, Lions closer
Shinji Mori enabled Daiei to emerge victorious when he threw away a bunt
baseman Takeshi Nonogaki that allowed Hawks outfielder Motoi Okoshi to come all the way around with the winning run. Mori then surrendered a single to left by catcher Kenji Johima that provided Daiei with a big insurance tally in what became a 5-3 Daiei triumph.
Koji Mitsui started for Seibu and Braddy Raggio did the same for Daiei and both threw a good ballgame, but it was Mitsui who cracked first, as he was taken on an involuntary tour of the rightfield seats by second baseman Tadahito Iguchi to make it 1-0 visitors.
It stayed that way until the fifth when third baseman Tsuyoshi Furuya, sitting in for the injures Scott McClain, leadoff the stanza with a shot into the rightfield stands to knot it at one apiece.
Raggio was gone after finishing the seventh, but Mitsui stayed in and got hurt in the eighth. With one out, DH Noriyoshi Omichi scalded a Mitsui pitch into the rightfield corner for a double. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama punched a single to left and was then pinch run for by Nonogaki. Pinch hitter Morgan Burkhart then slapped a single to right to usher in Omichi and centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara flied out to right to plate Nonogaki and open a 3-1 advantage for the Hawks.
Pedraza couldn't maintain it, though and so let's move on to the top of the eleventh. Backup rightfielder Okoshi started it by singling to right. One out later, Kokubo walked. Nonogaki then pushed a bunt between the mound and second base that was gloved by Mori, who hurriedly threw to first and instead hurled it down the rightfield line and Okoshi scored to make it 4-3 Hawks. Johjima singled to left for the fifth Daiei run and that's how it ended, as Yoshida tossed a perfect bottom portion to conclude it.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera went 2-5 and is now at .234.
For Daiei, Burkhart was 1-1 with an RBI and is now at .263. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 and is now at .283.
IP 7.0 PC 88 H 8 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.76
Iijima IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Suzuki IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.36
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 10 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
Yoshida (w, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
IP 7.1 PC 103 H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.01
Hashimoto IP .1 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shiozaki IP .1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Toriyabe IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mori (L, 0-1) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA 4.15
HR: Iguchi (3), Furuya (1), Wada (4)
RBI: Shibahara, Iguchi, Johjima, Muramatsu, Burkhart, Wada 2, Furuya
LOB: Daiei 5, Seibu 7
Game Time: 3:23
NPB Leaders and Stats
Twice in Japanese baseball history has a team collected five knocks in a single inning without scoring. How did it happen?
Ishii Opens Website
Dodgers lefthander Kazuhisa Ishii opened his own website recently, which is at: http://www.kazuhisa-ishii.net After the last time Ishii started, he called ex-Yakult teammate Shingo Takatsu on the phone. "As long as he keeps his focus, they won't hit him," the great closer asserted. He will be pitching for the first time in Coors field this week, so we will see how focused he is in a big yard that plays like a bandbox. But then again, Ishii is used to toiling in a small ballpark, so here's to hoping he gets the same results he did at Meiji Jingu Stadium.
Possible 2002 Number One Draft Choice Wada Strikes Out 11 Against Rikkyo University
Waseda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada was the object of fascination Saturday by scouts from at least four Japanese pro teams and observers from the Mets and Mariners, as he threw a 1-0 four hit shutout against Rikkyo University, striking out eleven.
Wada's festival of goose eggs was the first time that a shutout had been pulled off in a Waseda season opener since Koichi Misawa, now with Orix, did it in 1996. Those who have read this part of Baseball Guru saw an earlier piece I did on him, but for the newbies, Wada, 5'10" 165 pounds, was born in Aichi Prefecture and went to Hamada High School in Shimane Prefecture. Since moving on to Waseda, he has accumulated 316 strikeouts, one of the top career marks ever in Tokyo Big Six University League history. His overall numbers to date: G 39 W 19 L 10 IP 249.1 K 316 ERA 1.66
In this one, he was clocked at 88mph and had precise command of his entire repetoire, a fastball, slider, change, and curve, frustrating the opposition by keeping the ball away consistently. He is expected to go in the first round and could be a top five selection. Here is a picture of him: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020414-6.jpg
Derrick May: A
Korean Pro Baseball
Female Outfielder for Kyushu Industrial University
There have been a few female pitchers over the years in Japanese college play, but now Kyushu Industrial University, which plays in the Fukuoka Six University League, has added Mayumi Tsukiashi to its roster, a distaff outfielder. Tsukiashi had been a student manager for the squad, but got the bug to actually want to play for the team and head baseball coach Shinya Shinozaki gave his approval. She got into a recent game against Kyushu Community College in a pinch hitting role and struckout in a 14-0 loss.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 13. On that date in Japanese baseball history, nothing significant happened. However, in 1965 on this date, the first game ever in the Astrodome was played. It was the world's first domed sports stadium.
As was stated above, twice in Japanese pro baseball history has a single team rapped out five hits in a single inning and not had anything to show for it on the scoreboard. Here is the play by play:
The Eagles on October 27, 1937 against the Nagoya Club (a pre-cursor to the Chunichi Dragons):
Tsuji leads off and clocks a single to right, but attempts to stretch it
into a double and is dead meat at second.
Awahara (I might not have that name transliterated correctly) legs out a ground ball.
Teramoto drops one in near the thirdbase line.
Nakane singled to center and Awahara is nailed at the plate.
Bucky Harris (real name: Harrison MacGaillard; not the same Bucky Harris who played with the Washington Senators) singled to left and Teramoto is out at home.
The Hanshin Tigers August 14 1963 against the Kintetsu Buffaloes:
Bourbon singled to right
and is subsequently out attempting to steal.
Okajima singled to center. Toguchi singled to left and Okajima is out trying to take third. Nakata singled. Hayase singled to center and Toguchi is gunned down at the plate.
Igawa Throws Another Shutout 1-0
Hanshin lefthander Kei Igawa extended his scoreless innings streak to 22 Friday by pitching a 1-0 shutout against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Koshien Stadium before an enthusiastic 30,000 strong crowd. The victory also marks the first time in 26 years that Hanshin attained ten wins before any other ballclub in a season.
Igawa was clocked at 89mph even in the late innings and limited the Stars to six hits while striking out nine and walking one on 110 pitches.
Kuniyuki Taniguchi started for Yokohama and he handcuffed the Hanshin lineup by allowing just five hits, but he made a mistake to first baseman George Arias in the bottom of the second, hanging a 1-2 forkball, and Arias clobbered it into the centerfield seats for the lone run of the contest.
Yokohama had two mild chances to get to Igawa, once in the top of the second when he was mugged for a two bagger to the leftfield wall by second baseman Hitoshi Taneda with one down, but Igawa then whiffed both catcher Takeshi Nakamura and Taniguchi to extricate himself from the frame.
Then in the sixth, Yokohama leftfielder Takanori Suzuki hammered a double up the leftcenter gap, but becamce little more than a glorified bystander thanks to Igawa inducing a grounder to first by third baseman Mike Gulan and a harmless fly to right by rightfielder Hitoshi Nakane.
Hanshin wasted a golden opportunity to blow the game open in the bottom of the sixth when they received two walks to open the inning and then saw rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama get nailed with a Taniguchi offering. However, Arias and catcher Akihiro Yano then fanned and shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto bounced to Taniguchi and that was that.
There were a couple of cases, though, where there was some concern for Igawa's physical health. In the third, Suzuki whacked a ball off of Igawa's leg and it went for a hit, but fortunately there was no injury and Igawa was able to continue. Then a comebacker hit by first baseman Ogawa in the ninth tipped off of Igawa's thumb on his glove hand and he sustained a bruise. He did manage to recover the ball and throw Igawa out in a 1-2-3 final stanza.
In assessing Igawa's performance after the contest, Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino joked, "he pitched as if he enjoys these 1-0 games."
For Yokohama, Gulan was 0-3 with a walk and is at .239.
For Hanshin, leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is now at .310 Arias was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .119. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi had two hits in four trips with a steal and is at .333.
Taniguchi (L, 0-1)
IP 5.1 PC 97 H 5 HR 1 K 8 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.84
Kizuka IP 1.2 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Saito IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.80
Igawa (W, 3-0) IP 9.0 PC 110 H 6 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.35
SB: T. Suzuki, Akahoshi
2B: T. Suzuki, Taneda, Imaoka
HR: Arias (3)
HBP: Hiyama (Taniguchi)
LOB: Yokohama 7, Hanshin 7
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Kasahara (1B), Suginaga (2B), Watada (3B)
Two Seibu Homers Beat Daiei's One in 2-1 Game
Warning up in the bullpen before the start of the game, Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka didn't think he had a thing that day, but whatever he had was good enough to hold the fine Daiei Hawks batting order to four hits and a run over eight innings, that coming on a homer to Hawks backstop Kenji Johjima off of a hanging slider, and was backed by two longballs by Seibu's veteran catcer Tsutomu Itoh and rightfielder Kazuhiro Wada to gut out a 2-1 victory at Seibu Dome Friday. In addition, he struckout nine, walked one and hit a batter.
Matsuzaka only had one inning where he had anything that could be typed a jam, when he was taken into leftcenter by Johjima for a leadoff double in the seventh. However, rightfielder Koji Akiyama tried to bunt Johjima over to third and sent it right back at Matsuzaka, who winged the ball over to third in time for the "touch out" on the sliding Johjima.
Seibu got on the big board first when Itoh checked in and blasted a pitch from Daiei starter Keisaburo Tanoue, who otherwise threw a fine ballgame, into the seats in left to make it 1-0.
Then in the home half of the sixth, Wada didn't miss a running fastball that was up and drifting back over the outer half of the plate and rifled it into the leftfield bleachers for what proved to be the game winner.
Matsuzaka owned Daiei last season, winning five games against the Fukuoka outfit, and he is off to a good start against them this season.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-3 with three strikeouts and a walk and is at .286. DH Morgam Burkhart was 0-3 and is now at .243.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .214. Scott McClain is out with a minor injury.
Tanoue (L, 1-1) IP 8.0 PC 106 H 5 HR 2 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.22
IP 8.0 PC 120 H 6 HR 1 K 9 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.22
Toyoda (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: K. Suzuki, K. Matsui, Johjima
HR: Johjima (2), Itoh (3), Wada (3)
RBI: Johjima, Itoh, Wada
HBP: Kokubo (Matsuzaka), Ozeki (Tanoue)
LOB: Daiei 5, Seibu 6
Game Time: 2:39
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Nakamura (1B), Tachibana (2B), Akimura (3B)
Newman Loses Contol in Loss to Hiroshima
Alan Newman and the Yakult Swallows had one of those games where nothing went right. The former Indians southpaw walked eight, threw a wild pitch and balked during four innings of work that saw him give up six runs (four earned) to get the blame for the 7-5 loss at the hands of the Hiroshima Carp Friday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium.
Newman's wildness was immediatley displayed in the first inning, as Carp centerfielder Koichi Ogata worked a leadoff walk. Shortstop Akihiro Higashide grounded out to his opposite number to force Ogata at second. Second baseman Eddie Diaz then received a free pass, too. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto grounded to short, but then rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to left and Higashide scored to make it 1-0 home team.
In the bottom of the second, Newman retired the first two hitters, but Ogata singled to left. Newman balked to send Ogata to second. Higashide singled to left to plate Ogata. Diaz was next and he crushed a Newman delivery over the leftfield fence for a two run homer and now it was 4-0 Carp.
In the third, Newman walked three, but that was sandwiched around a double play and he managed to escpae suffering any damage.
In the fourth, though, Yakult leftfielder Alex Ramirez made a key error that ultimately cost the Swallows the game. Ogata walked to open the inning. He was sacrificed to second by Higashide. One out later, Diaz walked. Maeda then lifted a routine fly to left and Ramirez dropped it, which allowed both Ogata and Diaz to gallop all the way around to make it 6-0 Hiroshima.
In the top of the fifth, Yakult initiated a comeback. With one out, catcher
Kosei Ono homered to left. One out later, centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka doubled
into the leftcenter alley. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to left to drive
in Manaka. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba doubled down the leftfield line. First
baseman Roberto Petagine then took Carp starter Shinji Sasaoka over the
rightfield fence and now it was 6-5 Hiroshima. Petagine homer pic at:
In the bottom of the seventh, Maeda went yard to left for a big insurance run. Yakult had runners on second base three times after their big rally and couldn't get the big hit and the Carp went home with a 7-5 triumph.
For Yakult, Ramirez went 1-4 with two strikeouts and is now at .256. It was feast or famine for Petagine, who struckout in his other three at bats before and after the homer and is now at .213.
1-2) IP 4.0 PC 105 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 8 R 6 ER 4 ERA 4.20
Hanada IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Teramura IP 2.0 PC 34 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Sakamoto IP 2.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Sasaoka (W, 2-0)
IP 5.0 PC 82 H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.14
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Beltran IP 1.0 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
Oyamada (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
E: Ramirez, Petagine
2B: Manaka 2, Ono, Inaba,
HR: Petagine (4), Diaz (2), Maeda (2), Ono (1)
RBI: Petagine 3, Diaz 2, Higashide, Maeda 2, Ono, Miyamoto
LOB: Yakult 6, Hiroshima 8
Game Time: 2:55
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Three Nippon Ham Homers Topple Buffaloes 6-2
The Nippon Ham Fighters got solo dingers from DH Sherman Obando and centerfielder Tatsuya Ide to accompany an eighth inning two run roundtripper from Makoto Kaneko Friday to top the Kintetsu Buffaloes 6-2 at Osaka Dome. Kintetsu also didn't help its cause when it left 12 baserunners on in this one.
Nippon Ham took a first inning lead when, with one out, Hiroshi Narahara singled and stole second and was brought in on a single from Obando to make it 1-0.
Then in the third, Narahara singled to center, but was erased trying to steal. One out later, Obando rocketed a delivery from Buffs starter Hiroshi Takamura into the centerfield bleachers and it was 2-0 visitors after three.
Kintetsu finally put a run across in the fifth when Akihito Fujii mortared a leadoff triple to the centerfield wall and came in on a sacrifice fly from centerfielder Naoyuki Omura. One out later, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes doubled to leftcenter. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura was intentionally walked. Koichi Isobe walked to load the bases. But first baseman Yuji Yoshioka popped out to first to kill the rally and it remained 2-1 Fighters.
In the top of the sevent and one man down, Ide drilled a Takamura pitch into the leftfield seats and it was 3-1 Nippon Ham.
An inning later, Nippon Ham got doubles to leftcenter from Obando and leftfielder D.T. Cromer and Kaneko's longball to make it 6-1. Kintetsu got an RBI double by Hoshino in the bottom of the inning, but that was all they could manage and the Fighters took it 6-2.
One thing that perhaps typifies the run scoring problems Kintetsu is having is Koichi Isobe's slump. Last season, he hit a scintillating .417 with runners in scoring position. This season, he is only hitting at a .121 pace overall thus far.
Nippon Ham lost its starting catcher, Kazunari Sanematsu, for a few days when he sprained his ankle stumbling over first base after grounding out in the seventh.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with a walk and is now at .279. DH Nigel Wilson was 0-2 with two walks and is at .220.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .270. Obando
was 3-4 with two RBIs and a walk
and is at .244.
1-1) IP 5.0 PC 115 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.73
Kanemura IP 2.2 PC 44 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Sasaki IP 1.1 PC 29 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-1) IP 7.0 PC 117 H 8 HR 2 K 7 BB 3
R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.96
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 20 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 14.73
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
2B: Rhodes, Hoshino, Kimoto, M. Ogasawara, Obando, Cromer
3B: Noguchi, Fujii
HR: Obando (4), Ide (3), Kaneko (1)
RBI: Ide, Obando 2, Cromer, Kaneko 2, Omura, Hoshino
IBB: N. Nakamura
GIDP: Y. Tanaka
LOB: Nippon Ham 7, Kintetsu 12
Game Time: 3:48
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Iizuka (1B), Sato (2B), Kodera (3B)
Lotte Drops Another One 4-1
When you're going bad, as the Chiba Lotte Marines are, if you are getting baserunners on at all, you tend to leave them. That is exactly what they did, as Lotte stranded 12 in another loss, this one to the Orix Blue Wave at Kobe Green Stadium Friday 4-2.
Lotte put two runners or more on in six of the nine innings, but either hit into a double play to shortcircuit rallies or didn't get the big hit necessary to score them. The Orix defense even helped them out with two errors and they still couldn't make much happen.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fourth, when Orix combined a walk to first baseman Scott Sheldon to commence the home half, a single to left by leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani and singled to right from rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi and DH Fernando Seguignol plus a sac fly off the bat of Tatsuya Shindo to make it 2-0 Blue Wave.
In the bottom of the sixth, Seguignol homered to right for a 3-0 Orix advantage. Two outs later, second baseman Koichi Oshima beat out a grounder to short. Lotte starter Nathan Minchey tried to pick Oshima off and threw it down the rightfield line and Oshima flew around the bases to make it 4-0.
Lotte got its sole tally in the eighth when leftfielder Sato singled to right to lead it off, went to second on an error by Orix shortstop Mitsutaka Goto, and scored on a single to right by Kenji Morozumi. But the Marines lineup then went quietly in the ninth to rack up another defeat.
For Orix, Sheldon was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .244. Seguignol was 2-3 with an RBI and was hit by a pitch and is now at .205.
For Lotte, leftfielder Derrick May was 1-4 with a walk and is at .125. DH Frank Bolick was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .065.
0-3) IP 6.0 PC 119 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 4 ER
3 ERA 6.23
K. Yamazaki IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takagi IP .1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Yoshida IP .2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.14
1-2) IP 7.0 PC 130 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 0 ER
0 ERA 5.74
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Okubo (S, ) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
E: Minchey, Shindo, Goto
2B: Hatsushiba, May
HR: Seguignol (4)
RBI: Seguignol, Morozumi, Katsuragi, Shindo
HBP: Fukuura (Yarnell), Seguignol (Minchey), Shiotani (Minchey)
GIDP: Hatsushiba, Bolick, Katsuragi
LOB: Lotte 12, Orix 8
Game Time: 2:54
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Kakigizono? (1B), Higashi (2B), Nagami (3B)
Since I just wrote about Nippon Ham above, I'll pose this question: What historic feat did Fighters Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide pull off last year?
Terahara to Start April 16th Against Nippon Ham
18 year old rookie righthander Hayato Terahara will make his first regular
season pro start Tuesday against Nippon Ham at Tokyo Dome. Daiei manager
Sadaharu Oh, according to the Jiji News Service, is playing down expectations
for this season's most hearlded rookie, saying that this one start doesn't
mean everything and that Terahara's baseball career is just beginning.
Agents Vie to Represent Matsui
The battle to become Hideki Matsui's negotiator is starting to get underway, as Sankei Sports interviewed a U.S. agent named Greenberg, who represents the Mariners Freddie Garcia and Edgardo Alfonso, among others, about what he and other agents think about the 2001 batting champ and 2001 Central League and Japan Series MVP.
"There isn't an agent in the U.S. who doesn't know about Matsui," Greenberg
allowed. "When he decides to come here, he will make at least $5 million
the first year easy. He's a power hitter, so he will be more marketable than
Ichiro." Furthermore, he thinks that a lot of teams that have MVP-caliber
players on them like Piazza or Jeter are going to want him even if they
have to pay big bucks.
Also on the free agent list this winter are Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura, and Miura's teammate, Yokohama leftfielder Takanori Suzuki, who would make a great number two hitter for any MLB club, having already won two batting titles and a handful of Glod Gloves. Both Nakamura and Miura have indicated that they would like to remain in Japan.
Hiroshima Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto will also be available, but he is in his mid-30's and has benefited from playing in a small park, so I doubt that there will by much MLB interest.
Yankees scout John Cox and Phillies scout Doug Takarazawa, as well as Diamondbacks scout Jim Marshall, who once played in Japan, will be in Japan in May.The Mariners and Red Sox are also said to have scheduled Matsui-viewing trips, but no schedule has been given for them.
There was an article about Matsui in the Japan Times, which you can view at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sb20020329b3.htm
Johjima to the Majors?
I would like to thank Baseball Guru reader Jeff Sedik for passing along the following article to me by Wayne Graczyk of the Japan Times, who has done another typically outstanding article, this one on Daiei Hawks catcher Kenji Johjima, who is saying he wants to test himself in MLB. Please set your browser to: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sb20020329b5.htm
Japanese Baseball in San Francisco
Rod Nelson, a member of the J-Ball list on Yahoo Groups, turned me on to
the following article about Japanese baseball in San Francisco done by the
San Francisco Chronicle's John Shea. You can find it at:
Fresh All Star Game Set
Japan's equivalent of the U.S. minor league futures all star game, the Fresh All Star Game, is set for July 11 at Nagano Olympic Stadium, Nagano, Nagano Prefecture, according to the Mainichi Shimbun. Former Hanshin outfielder Akinobu Okada will manage the Eastern League squad while Haruhiko Suzuki will do the same for the Western League nine. Each team will have 20 players on it.
New Foreign Players in Taiwan League
The english language Taipei Times recently did an article on new foreign
players coming to the Taiwan league, so for that
go to: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/04/13/story/0000131719
Enjoying a Japanese Baseball Broadcast
The theme in today's installment is Japanese terminology for the different types of hits and pitches.
Anda (prounced "ahn-dah"):
Naiya Anda (pronounced "nye-ya-ma-eh"): Infield hit.
Niruida (pronounced "nee-roo-ee-dah"): a double. Also often called a "tsu-beesu" (pronounced "tsu-bayss")
Sanruida (pronounced "sawn-roo-ee-dah"): a triple.
Honruida (pronounced "hohn-roo-ee-dah): a homer. Also, often called a "homu-ran."
Raito-mae (pronounced like "righto-ma-eh"): basehit to right.
senta-mae (pronounced "sentah-ma-eh"): basehit to center.
senta backscreen (pronounced "senta-baku-skreen"): any home run to center. They will also just say "backscreen"
Refuto-mae (pronounced "reh-fu-toh-ma-eh"): basehit to left.
Haitta! (pronounced "high-tah"): It's gone!
Gisei Furai (pronounced using the "gee" as in "McGhee," it's "gee-say-fu-rye"): sacrifice fly.
Gida "pronounced "gee-dah"): a sac bunt.
Streto (pronounced "streh-to"):
Kaabu (pronounced "kah-bu") Curve.
Fohku (pronounced "fo-ku"): Forkball
Henkakyuu (pronounced "hen-kah-cue"): breaking ball.
Suraida (pronounced "su-rye-dah"): Slider
Hikume (pronounced "hee-ku-meh): A pitch that is down.
Takame (pronounced "tah-kah-meh): A pitch that is up.
In koosu (pronounced "een-koh-su," "in course") a pitch heading for the inside corner.
Out koosu (pronounced "out-koh-su, like "out course"): a pitch headed for the outside corner.
Screw: a screwball.
Shuuto (pronounced "shoo-toh"): a running fastball or a changeup that is turned over so that it has a little bit of a screwball
Amai booru (pronounced "ah-my-boh-ru): a fat pitch; when you attach the name of breaking pitch to it, a hanger.
Four ball: a walk.
Dead booru (pronounced "dedo-boh-ru"): a pitch that hits a batter. Also, "shikyuu" (pronounced "shee-kyu").
Kikenkyuu (pronounced "kee-ken-kyu"). A brushback pitch, a pitch that almost hits a batter.
Next time: Japanese baseball verbs.
He is the only player to lead off a game with a first pitch homer to win
a 1-0 shutout. Last May 1st at Osaka Dome, Ide went yard in the top of the
first and that was the only score of the game, the first time ever in Japanese
pro ball that happened.
Takatsu Blows Second Game in a Week for Yakult
If Yakult is going to have a shot of repeating as Japan champions, they have to get consistently good performances from their great closer, Shingo Takatasu. Unfortunately, in a position to maintain a tie at Tokyo Dome Thursday in a game against the Yomiuri Giants, the sinkerballing righty had his control abandon him and then saw Roberto Petagine mishandle a funky little infield jam shot off the bat of Akira Etoh with the bases juiced for a "sayonara timely error" in the birds 5-4 defeat.
The starters in the this one were Yakult's number one guy Shugo Fujii and Yomiuri's third year lefty Hisanori Takahashi and neither was particularly good, both being shaken down for four earned runs to set up the bonus time situation.
The Swallows were in the driver's seat for a bit due to a first inning leadoff single to right from centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka and a one out drive out to leftcenter from rightfielder Atsunori Inaba for a 2-0 lead.
The Giants halved that when leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, who is hotter than July right now, cracked a two bagger to rightcenter to kick off his team's half of the first. Two outs later, centerfielder Godzilla Matsui walked. Kazuhiro Kiyohara singled to left to convert Shimizu and the inning ended with a 2-1 Ykult advantage.
In the bottom of the third and with two down, Fujii couldn't get the third out until it was deadlocked. Matsui singled to right. Kiyohara singled to center. Etoh then rammed a double into the rightcenter gap to easily plate Godzilla with the tying run. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki flied out, though, to staunch any further damage.
An inning later, Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe leadoff with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Shimizu singled to left and Abe came on around for a 3-2 Giants lead.
The Giants then pushed another run home in the fifth. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to right to begin the inning. Matsui singled to left. Kiyohara walked to load the bases. Motoki grounded to short and Takahashi scored to make it 4-2 home team.
Yakult got that one back a half inning later. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto went to right for a leadoff single. Inaba beat out a ball near the mound. Petagine grounded to first to move Miyamoto to third and then Miyamoto came home on a grounder to second by Furuta and it was 4-3 after six.
In the seventh and with one down, second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi cleaned and jerked a Takahashi offering into the rightcenterfield seats to knot it at 4-4.
Yakult could have won this game if it had converted an opportunity in the top of the ninth. With one away, leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to left off of Nishiyama. Ramirez was pinch run for by Takenori Daita, who stole second. Shiroishi then singled to left and Daita held at third. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara then brought in Hideki Okajima from the bullpen and he promptly nailed pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama with a pitch to pack the sacks. But with the infield up, Manaka hit a hard grounder to Kiyohara, who got the force at the plate. Miyamaoto then grounded to second and the Swallows righthander Ryota Igarashi did away with the Yomiuri lineup in order in the bottom of the inning and now it was in extra time.
Neither club really mustered anything resembling a scoring opportunity until Takatsu was waved in to preserve the "hikiwake" (tie) in the bottom of the 12th. Pinch hitter Koji Goto walked to lead it off. He was pinch run for by Takahiro Suzuki. Takatsu then hit Takahashi. Matsui grounded to second for the force on Takahashi, but manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu chose to intentionally walk Kiyohara to set up a force at every base and avoid dealing with a guy who has been an RBI machine the first two weeks of the season. Takatsu then got a heater in on Etoh's hands and he hit a little fly ball that Roberto Petagine tried to field on a hop and it scooted under his glove and Suzuki strolled in with the winning run and a 5-4 Yomiuri victory.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-5 with a walk and is now at .209. Ramirez was 1-4 and is now at .256.
With his 2-5 night, Matsui is now at .409.
IP 6.0 PC 102 H 10 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA
H. Ishii IP 2.0 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Ryo. Igarashi IP 2.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Teramaura IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takatsu (L, 0-1) IP .1 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.69
IP 8.0 PC 124 H 7 HR 2 K 7 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Y. Maeda IP .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Nishiyama IP 0.0 PC 6 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Okajima IP 1.2 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Kawahara (W, 1-0) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Shimizu, Etoh
HR: Inaba (1), Shiroishi (1)
RBI: Inaba 2, Shiroishi, Furuta, Shimizu, Etoh, Motoki
WP: S. Fujii, Okajima
HBP: Ikeyama (Okajima), Y. Takahashi 2 (S. Fujii & Takatsu)
LOB: Yakult 9, Yomiuri 12
Umpire: Tomoyori? (HP), Suginaga (1B), Watada (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Dragons Get Revenge on Miura 9-2
Daisuke Miura has
traditionally owned the Chunichi Dragons, winning five games against them
last season. So Yokohama boss Masaaki Mori had to be confident that his
righthander would put another W in the bag against the offensively challenged
Nagoya outfit. As Maxwell Smart would say, "missed it by THAT much," as Miura
had his clocked cleaned for four runs on nine hits in four innings, Chunichi
hitters waited Miura out for 91 pitches during that stint. Miura only walked
one, but maybe the Dragons have watched the Mariners and A's, two clubs that
take a lot of pitches, and are changing their approach since
helped them amass 16 hits and nine runs by game's end.
Chunchi shortstop Hirokazu Ibata walked to lead off the bottom half of the first. Second baseman Masahiro Araki sacrificed him to second. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome bounced to second to move Ibata to third. First baseman Leo Gomez hammered a Miura pitch down the leftfield line to plate Ibata with a 1-0 lead. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami then whacked one up the leftcenter alley and Gomez wheeled around and back into the dugout and it was 2-0 Dragons after one.
The Dragons sweated Miura for another tally in the second, getting singles from leftfielder Jun Inoue and catcher Motonobu Tanishige and a screamer down the rightfield line for a double to drive in Inoue, but Tanishige was thrown out at the plate, so the inning conculed with a 3-0 Chunichi advantage.
In the top of the third, Yokohama was finally heard from, as catcher Ryoji Aikawa hit a one out single to left. Miura sacrificed Aikawa to second. Shortstop Takuro Ishii then crushed a delivery from Dragons starter Kenshin Kawakami and lost it in the rightfield bleachers to make it 3-2.
The Dragons put together another little uprising in the fourth against Miuria, Tanishige nearly leaving with one out to right, having to be content with a standup double. Kawakami singled to center for his first RBI of the season and it was 4-2 home folks.
Kazuyuki Maeda came out to pitch the fifth for Yokohama and the Dragons beat him up a little bit. Gomez started it with a walk and he came home on Tatsunami's homer to right, 6-2 Chunichi after five complete.
In the eighth, the Dragons broke it open with back to back jacks from Tanishige and and infielder Hiroyuki Watanabe, the first two hitters of the inning, and that was Watanabe's first circuit clout in a couple of years. Ibata then outran a groundball for a hit. Araki singled to left to move Ibata to third. Fukudome flied to left for the ninth run. Dragons closer Shinya Okamoto then put down three of the four men he faced and the Dragons went back to the clubhouse 1-2 victors.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is now at .256. Boi Rodrigues struckout in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .212.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 1-3 with a walk and is now at .316.
Miura (L, 1-2) IP
4.0 PC 91 H 9 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
K. Maeda IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.91
Takeshita IP 2.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.70
Nakanowatari IP 1.0 PC 29 H 4 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 27.00
Kawakami (W, 1-0)
IP 7.0 PC 111 H 5 HR 1 K 10 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
S. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Tatsunami 2, Gomez, Ibata, Tanishige,
HR: T. Ishii (1), Tanishige (2), Tatsunami (2), Watanabe (1)
RBI: Ishii 2, Tanishige, Tatsunami 3, Watanabe, Ibata, Gomez, Kawakami
LOB: Yokohama 5, Chunichi 8
What is the Japanese record for consecutive hits in a game? Answer at the bottom of the article.
Enjoying a Japanese Baseball
Broadcast: A Primer
Today mark's the
start of a new feature in this area, as I will attempt to teach you Japanese
baseball vocabulary so that
can learn to enjoy tv or radio broadcasts. So since this is the first installment, we'll start with the basics:
Senshu (player): When you hear this word,
you will usually hear someone's name before it. For example,
Toshu (pitcher): Same as above. So you will hear "Ishii-toshu," "Nomo-toshu," "Miura-toshu," etc.
Ichirui (First base): Self-explantory, as are all the below. Pronouced "eechi roo-ee."
Nirui (second base): Pronounced "Nee-roo-ee."
Sanrui (third base): Pronounced "sawn-roo-ee"
Honrui (home): Pronounced "Hohn-roo-ee"
Dasha (hitter): Pronounced "dah-shaw."
Daseki (at bat): Pronounced "dah-seh-kee"
Safe: You know the meaning of this one, but Japanese pronounce it "say-fu."
Out: Will be prounced "ow-toh"
Next time: Know
your hits and
Terahara Not Pleased with Outing
Daiei Hawks rookie Hayato Terahara started in a game this week for the Daiei's minor league affiliate against an industrial league nine and allowed just one hit over five innings, but he wasn't happy with his velocity, which topped out at 91mph. He is still being considered for a start against Nippon Ham next week.
Song Jin-woo Ties KBO Career Wins Record
Song Jin-woo Ties KBO Career Wins Record
Taguchi Has Sayonara Single
St. Louis Cardinals farmhand So Taguchi racked up his second game winning hit of the season already for the Memphis Chicks, as he singled in a run in the bottom of the ninth of a contest against Sacramento to win it 2-1. Tagcuhi started in centerfield and finished 1-4.
Nippon Ham Looking for Players from Hokkaido
As part of its pending move to Sapporo, the Nippon Ham Fighters have been scouting a high school baseball tournament in Hokkaido in hope that it can find a usable local player there that they can market. So far, no word on any prospects they are taken with.
Felipe Crespo Arrives in Japan
Utility man Felipe Crespo arrived in Japan earlier today to report to his new club, the Yomiuri Giants, and had a press conference. He will reportedly make about $750,000, including his signing bonus, this season in a one year deal. See pic of Felipe in his new Giants uniform at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0412kurespo_NK109411_b.jpg
Crespo, when asked to assess himself, says that he has some pop from the righthand side and when hitting lefthanded can hit for average. "I don't intend to come here just to warm the bench," Crespo asserted. He apparently did some reading up on Japan before going there and picked ex-Cubs and Yomiuri outfielder Henry Cotto's brains about playing there. "I've heard that [Hideki] Matsui is a great player," Crespo averred.
Sanada Gets Plowed on the Farm
Giants number one
draft choice Hiroki Sanada had a tough time out Thursday in an Eastern League
start, when he was touched for five earned runs on eight hits, two of those
homers, and had the loss hung on him. It's actually probably about time,
since the youngster has barely put a foot wrong since being drafted last
November. In his last start, he allowed only one hit in seven
Terahara in Underage Drinking Incident
This is perhaps one thing that demonstrates the difference between the Japanese baseball culture and that of MLB. According to FRIDAY, the weekly Japanese gossip mag that was responsible for breaking the story of an affair Ichiro had last season with a 21 year old San Francisco bar hostess, apparently got wind of Daiei Hawks rookie Hayato Terahara, 18, going out to a strip club with two of his older teammates and drinking "mizuwari (whiskey and water)."
The legal drinking age in Japan is 20 (that is also the age at which Japanese become adults under Japanese law), so this incident has proven to bemildly embarrassing for the Hawks management and a reporesentative from the team apologized to representatives of the other Japanese pro teams over it for something that probably wouldn't even get into print in the U.S.
Last season, Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka, then 21, was arrested for driving with a suspended license and was actually disciplined by his ballclub for it.
Daiei's coaching staff is still mulling over starting Terahara against Nippon Ham next week and this incident appears to not be governing how they approach that decision.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 11th. On that day in Japanese baseball history in 1959, started at first base in his rookie debut hitting in the seven hole on opening day at the Yomiuri Giants homeground, Korakuen Stadium. However, the great Kokutetsu Swallows future Hall of Fame hurler Masaichi Kaneda struck Oh out twice and walked him that day. That was also the first day that Coca Cola was ever sold at that ballpark.
The most consecutive hits by a player in a game was seven, by Tokyu Flyers outfielder Hiroshi Oshita on November 19th, 1949 against the Taiyo Whales. He went on to slug 38 homers and drive in 102 while batting .305 in 130 games that season
He batted .303 lifetime
with 201 homers. Both the homer and RBI totals were career highs. He was
a three time batting crown winner and earned an MVP in 1954 for the Nishitetsu
Lions, the same season he hit for the
April 10, 2002
Hanshin Wins on Imaoka Sayonara Clout 1-0
Shinji Taninaka of the Hanshin Tigers and Masayuki Hasegawa both threw blinders at the opposition Wednesday, each allowing no runs and giving the opposition only the merest hint of a scoring opportunity.
For the Carp, that golden chance came in the top of the eighth, when first baseman Takahiro Arai and Itsuki Asai both singled to start the inning. But Taninaka then shut the door by getting two groundouts and after hitting centerfielder Koichi Ogata to load the bases, induced a pop fly from shortstop Akihiro Higashide, who tattooed Taninaka to the tune of a .400 average last season and that was it for Hiroshima's offense. Taninaka made the visitors pound the ball into the infield all night.
Hanshin's best shot at putting something on the big board was in the sixth, when second baseman Makoto Imaoka doubled down the leftfield line with two down and centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi aboard after being plunked by Hasegawa. However, Hasegawa fooled third baseman Atsushi Kataoka into rolling to first to terminate the threat. Hasegawa displayed why he is something of a nemisis for Hanshin, as he won five games against the Tigers in 2001 and had what should otherwise been a victorious effort on this occasion.
But Hasegawa was involved in a scoreless battle here and Carp manager Koji Yamamoto opted to pinch hit for him during that eighth inning and that move is what cost Hiroshima the ballgame. With one gone in the ninth and reliever Shigeo Tamaki on the mound, Imaoka got a 2-2 hanging slider and didn't miss it, hammering it into the leftfield bleachers to the delight of a delirious crowd for the sayonara homer. Incredibly, the triumph marks the first time Hanshin has been eight games over .500 since October of 1992. Are you kidding me?
Furthermore, it is the first time the team has won nine of its first ten since 1956. Is this starting to smell like the season the Mariners had last year?
This was the first sayonara homer in a scoreless game for Hanshin since August 30th, 1973, when a no hitter by the great Yutaka Enatsu was backed by a last ditch homer by a teammate. The walk off dinger was the second of Imaoka's career, the first time in a game against Yakult the night before the Hall of Fame Tigers hurler Minoru Murayama died. There is a pic of Imaoka's longball at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0411imaokaOS212410_b.jpg
Akahoshi, who was celebrating his 26th birthday, made a superior defensive play in the fifth. Asai hit a blooper to shallow center and Akahoshi sped in and dove headlong to snare the ball before it hit the grass, probably the toughest kind of catch any outfielder has to make. Making diving catches laterally is much easier since you can kind of circle around the ball, but much more can go wrong when you have to make a dive in front of you, from separating your shoulder to the ball bouncing over you and going for a triple or worse.
For Hanshin, leftfielder Derrick White was 1-3 and is at .346. First baseman George Arias was 0-3 and is at .103.
IP 7.0 PC 94 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Tamaki (L, 1-1) IP 1.1 PC 34 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.69
Hanshin (W, 2-0) IP 9.0 PC 115 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
HR: Imaoka (3)
HBP: Diaz (Taninaka), Ogata (Taninaka), Akahoshi (Hasegawa)
GIDP: T. Maeda, White, Arias
LOB: Hiroshima 5, Hanshin 3
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Kittaka (1B), Manabe (2B), Tani (3B)
Mirabel Flirts with Perfection in Finest Pitching Performance of Season
Carlos Mirabel of
the Nippon Ham Fighters had one of those games you dream about as a little
leaguer. Through eight innings against the Chiba Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine
Stadium Wednesday, nobody had reached base on him and he
delivered to the plate an amazingly low 69 times. So here we go to the ninth and Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto (again, not related to the Hiroshima skipper) sent up Kenji Yoshitsuru to pinch hit for Hisao Heiuchi. Yoshitsuru swings at the first pitch, a curve ball, and bangs it just to the right of a diving Hiroshi Narahara at short and into leftcenterfield for a clean single and Mirabel's quest to become the first foreign pitcher in the 67 year history of Japanese baseball to twirl a perfecto was over. Mirabel was consistently clocked at 93mph with his fastball.
Now sometimes when a hurler flirts with history and doesn't pull it off, he will get knocked around a little bit until he recovers his psychological footing. Not in this case, as Mirabel cooly disposed of the next three batters on 10 pitches for an astounding 1 hit victory on 80 pitches. Words just fail one in a game such as this.
Brain Sikorsky started for Lotte and turned in a very admirable outing, going six innings in his first start of the year after being in the bullpen and allowing six hits, one a homer to right by Fighters leftfielder D.T. Cromer, his initial official roundtripper of 2002, and two earned runs while fanning seven and walking two.
Sikorsky had given up a run in the first on a leadoff single to right by centerfielder Tatsuya Ide, a sacrifice and a single to left by Narahara for the only run Mirabel, whose daughter turned two that day, would need. The Fighters tacked on one apiece in the eight and ninth off of two Lotte relievers for the final margin of victory, 4-0.
This is the second time that Lotte has been one hit this season. As a team, they are hitting a pathetic .155.
For Nippon Ham, D.T. Cromer was 2-4 with an RBI and is now at .279. DH Sherman Obando was 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts and is now at .189.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick was 0-3 and is not at .077. Rightfielder Derrick May was 0-3 and is at .107.
Mirabel (W, 1-0) IP 9.0 PC 80 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Sikorsky (L, 0-1) IP 6.0 PC 101
H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA
K. Yamazaki IP .2 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kawai IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.68
Tak. Tanaka IP 1.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.18
3B: Y. Tanaka
HR: Cromer (1)
RBI: Ogasawara, Kaneko, Cromer, Morimoto
HBP: Morimoto (Tak. Tanaka)
LOB: Nippon Ham 11, Lotte 1
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Yanagita (2B), Tsugawa (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Pinch Hit Three Run Homer by Ikeyama Ends Yakult's Losing Streak Against Giants at Seven
John Wasdin got lit up like a Christmas tree in the spring, but his first two starts of the regular schedule have been excellent. Indeed, spinning seven solid innings Wednesday and leaving the game with no Swallows runs on the board at Tokyo Dome while ahead 2-0, it appeared that the Swallows losing streak against their crosstown rivals dating back to last year would now reach eight.
Yomiuri relief staff, which performed very strongly in the pre-season, is
displaying its old erratic character and it cost the Giants bigtime in this
one, as Yakult shortstop Shinya Miyamoto took Yukinaga Maeda over the leftfield
wall with a man on to tie it and then Tsuyoshi Jobe surrendered a three run
blast to pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama on a
forkball for the victory in the top of the ninth.
The Giants got in front in the bottom of the first. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to center to lead it off. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to left. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi hit a comebacker to Swallows starter Masanori Ishikawa, who threw to third for the force. Centerfielder Godzilla Matsui then played jai lai with an Ishikawa pitch off of the leftfield wall to plate Nishi to make it 1-0 home team. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara then topped a ball toward short and legged it out to enable Takahashi to cross and the inning ended 2-0 Giants.
Let's fast forward to the top of the eighth and Maeda taking the mound in place of Wasdin. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff with a single to center. Miyamoto then came up and went yard to left for the "gyakuten (come from behind)" two run jack and the frame concluded with a 2-2 deadlock.
In the ninth, Maeda
came out again and third baseman Akinori Iwamura creamed one of his deliveries
and just missed hitting it out of the yard to left, settling for a double.
Giants manager Tatsunori Hara wisely waved in Jobe and he gave up a single
to left to leftfielder Alex Ramirez. Jobe struckout second baseman Chihiro
Hamana, but then his forkball didn't do what it
supposed to and Ikeyama, who has nigh on two decades of experience disposing of inferior pitches, mortared it over the fence and that lead to Shingo Takatsu's 198th career save and the win for Yakult.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-4 and is now at .211. Ramirez was 104 and is now at .257/
IP 6.0 PC 90 H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Ryo. Igarashi (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Takatsu (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
IP 7.0 PC 97 H 5 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Y. Maeda (L, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 30 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 0 ERA 5.79
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 16 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
2B: Iwamura, Miyamoto, Nishi, H. Matsui
HR: Miyamoto (1), Ikeyama (1)
RBI: Miyamoto 2, Ikeyama 3, Kiyohara, Matsui
Catcher's Interference: S. Abe
LOB: Yakult 7, Yomiuri 7
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Watada (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Orix Loses to a Boy Named Hsu 2-0
The way the Orix Blue Wave lineup is hitting, it should bill itself as Yoshitomo Tani and the seven dwarves, since that is what they are putting on the field every night. Centerfielder Tani went 0-4 Wednesday at Seibu Dome, so as you can imagine for a club with a cumulative batting average of .212, they were lucky to get any offense at all. At least they didn't get no hit by a guy who gave up eight runs in three innings in his last start in Ming-chieh Hsu. They were shutout by him, though, on two safeties 2-0 for seven innings before Seibu's relief corps finished the job in a real snoozer of a faceoff that saw the victorious Lions amass just four hits themselves off of Blue Wave starter Masahiko Kaneda, who, despite two excellent outings that have seen him limit the opposition to two earned runs (that's a 1.32 ERA) in a hair less than 14 innings, is 0-1 on the year.
Kaneda, who was getting excellent movement on his breaking pitches, had some control problems in the fourth and that is what cost him the match. With two out, leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada singled to center. Third baseman Scott McClain walked. Rightfielder Tetsuya Kakiuchi singled to left to bring in Wada with a 1-0 lead. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Tsuyoshi Furuya singled to left and McClain jogged in and that was basically all she wrote.
For Seibu, Alex Cabrera went 0-4 and is now at .231. McClain was 1-2 with two walks and is now at .286. Hsu left after the seventh only because a blister burst on his pitching hand.
For Orix, first baseman Fernando Seguignol struckout all three of his at bats and is now at .167. Seguignol has now whiffed in 10 of his last 11 at bats. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 1-3 and is now at .263.
0-1) IP 7.0 PC 109 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 4
R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.32
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
1-1) IP 7.0 PC 100 H 2 HR 0 K 8
BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Mori IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toyoda (S, 2) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: Wada, Oshima
RBIs: Kakiuchi, Furuya
LOB: Orix 1, Seibu 7
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Matsunaka Says Sayonara with 11th Inning Blast
The Kintetsu Buffaloes
got off to a 3-1 lead, but a ninth inning comeback on RBI doubles from third
baseman Hiroki Kokubo and catcher Kenji Johjima tied it and set the stage
for the bottom of the eleventh, when first baseman
Matsunaka lead it off by throttling the eighth pitch he saw, a 3-2 hanging changeup from Koichi Misawa, for a game winning solo homer in the Daiei Hawks 4-3 triumph at Fukuoka Dome Wednesday.
The Pacific League's answer to Rick (S)Helling, Katsuhiko Maekawa, started for Kintetsu and threw rather well in this one, consistently hitting 90mph on the gun and limiting the mighty Hawks order to a run on four hits in 7.1 innings. He left ahead only to see the Buffaloes relievers blow it and ultimately lose it.
started for Daiei and just endured for almost ten innings, giving up three
runs, only one earned, on seven hits to give Sadaharu Oh's bullpen that has
already had to be out there for two previous extra inning games a bit of
a break. Too bad that second baseman Tadahito Iguchi helped prolong a first
inning and cost Yamada a run. Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura leadoff
the game by rifling a shot to the rightfield wall to the rightfield wall
for a double. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi went to the rightside to move
Omura to third. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes walked. Iguchi then tried to field
ball from third baseman Norihiro Nakamura and turn the double play, but booted it and Omura scored to make it 1-0 Buffaloes.
Daiei answered that in the bottom of the same stanza with a leadoff double down the leftfield line by centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara. Leftfielder Pedro Valdes grounded to second and Shibahara progressed to third. Iguchi then flied out to right and Shibahara tagged up and crossed the plate to knot it at 1-1.
In the top of the fourth, Nakamura was nailed with a Yamada offering to begin the inning. He then went to second on a passed ball by Johjima as catcher Koichi Isobe was in the process of striking out. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka then showed Yamada what was in the rightfield corner for an RBI double. One out later, shortstop Masahiro Abe clocked one into the rightcenter alley and when the smoke cleared it was 3-1 Kintetsu.
In the nottom of the eighth, Maekawa was pulled in favor of Daisuke Miyamoto after being done up for singles to center by Johjima and rightfielder Noriyuki Omichi and inducing a foul out by DH Morgan Burkhart.
out of that jam, but created a mess of trouble in the ninth. With one out,
Iguchi walked. Kokubo blistered a double down the leftfield line and the
speedy Iguchi galloped all the way in. Matsunaka grounded to first to get
Kokubo over to third. Johjima then jackhammered one into the rightcenterfield
gap and Kokubo trotted in with the tying run. Backup rightfielder Arihito
Muramatsu singled and now the winning run was standing just 90 feet away
from home. Miyamoto then intentionally walked Burkhart to load the bases.
But pinch hitter Takashi Uchinokura struckout to send it to extra
and two innings later Matsunaka unloaded to end it.
Rookie reliever Kazuhiko Iijima got his first pro win.
For Daiei, Burkhart was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .265. Valdez was 1-5 and is now at .304.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-3 with two walks and is at .282. DH Nigel Wilson was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .231.
IP 7.1 PC 111 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Miyamoto IP 1.1 PC 46 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.32
Yamamoto IP .2 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Misawa (L, 0-1) IP .2 PC 15 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 10.13
IP 9.2 PC 133 H 7 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 3 ER 1 ERA
Iijima (W, 1-0) IP 1.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Yoshioka, Omura, M. Abe, Shibahara, Kokubo, Valdez, Johjima
HR: Matsunaka (3)
RBI: Yoshioka, M. Abe, Iguchi, Kokubo, Johjima, Matsunaka
HBP: N. Nakamura (Yamada), Iguchi (Maekawa)
GIDP: Mizuguchi, Valdez
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Daiei 7
Game Time: 4:06
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Nagami (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Fujimoto (3B)
Ogasawara Strikes Out Ten in Win Over Yokohama
The Yokohama Bay Stars continue to have a tough season so far, as Chunichi Dragons Takashi Ogasawara allowed them just a run on six hits in six inniings and were held to an unearned tally the rest of the way in a 4-2 defeat Wednesday at Nagoya Dome.
The Dragons pulled to the head of the line in the bottom of the first inning when second baseman Araki worked a one out walk from Yokohama starter Takeo Kawamura, stole second and scored one out later on a single to center by first baseman Leo Gomez to make it 1-0 Chunichi after one complete.
But Yokohama catcher Ryoji Aikawa homered to leftcenter in the top of the second to tie it at 1-1. That wouldn't last long, though, as in the home half centerfielder Toshio Haru doubled to leftcenter to lead it off, which was followed by a triple into the rightcenter alley by leftfielder Jun Inoue and a two out double to rightcenter by Ogasawara to open a two run Chunichi advantage 3-1 and knock Kawamura out of the game.
Then in the bottom of the fifth, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome walloped a pitch from reliever Fukumori into the rightfield seats and it was now 4-1 Dragons.
Yokohama scored again in the seventh with a leadoff single to center from pinch hitter Masaaki Koike off of Shigetoshi Yamakita, a one out single to right from second baseman Hitoshi Taneda and a single near the line in left by Takanori Suzuki to close within 4-2 and that's where it ended, as Eddie Gaillard strode in for the ninth and put Yokohama away sansha bontai (three up, three down).
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 1-3 with a walk and is now at .282. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is now at .219.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .314.
Kawamura (L, 0-1)
IP 1.1 PC 34 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Maeda IP 1.2 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Fukumori IP 2.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Inamine IP 1.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 15.00
Kizuka IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Guzman IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 8.53
1-0) IP 6.0 PC 106 H 6 HR 1 K 10 BB 2
R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.82
Yamakita IP .1 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Gaillard (S, 3)
2B: Nakane, Haru 2, Ogasawara
HR: Aikawa (1), Fukudome (1)
RBI: Aikawa, Fukudome, T. Suzuki, Gomez, Inoue, Ogasawara
HBP: Gulan (Ogasawara),
LOB: Yokohama 9, Chunichi 6
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Mori (2B), Ino (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 10, so on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1975, former Orioles and Braves infielder Davy Johnson was put on the Yomiuri Giants roster, the first foreigner to ever play for them. He had some big shoes to fill, taking over third base for the recently retired Mr. Giants, Shigeo Nagashima, who retired after the end of the previous season. Unfortunately for Johnson, that year was a disaster, as he hit just .197, though he did hit 13 homers. His following campaign was much better, though.
Also, on that same day, a game between the Lotte Orions and the Kintetsu Buffaloes was cancelled in Sendai due to heavy fog, the first time in history that had occurred in Japanese pro baseball annals.
On that day in 1979, Shigeru Kobayashi, who came over to Hanshin as a result of the wrangling over pitcher Suguru Egawa, pitched against the Yomiuri Giants, his old team and beat them. Kobayashi had eight victories against Yomiuri that season on the way to 22 victories and a Sawamura Award.
April 9, 2002
Yabu Throws Another Complete Game Victory for Hanshin
Well, the Hanshin pitching juggernaut continues and this time they even had their biggest offensive breakout of the season, getting a two run homer from first baseman George Arias and a three run shot from second baseman Makoto Imaoka to back another superb complete game outing from Keiichi Yabu in the Tigers 8-1 kicking of the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium Tuesday.
The one blemish on Yabu's outing was giving up Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto's first homer of the season. Otherwise, he never permitted more than one hit in any inning and walked none, focusing his efforts on pitch location and movement as opposed to the improved velocity he has been displaying this season.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the third when Yabu got things rolling himself with a one out double to the centerfield wall. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi then hit a little ground ball to third baseman, who booted it. Imaoka then strode up and lined a 75mph curve ball from Carp starter Yukiya Yokoyama into the leftfield seats to make it 3-0 Tigers.
In the sixth, Hanshin got busy again, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka lacing a leadoff single to left and leftfielder Derrick White drilling a double into the leftcenterfield gap and Kataoka managed to sprint all the way in to make it 4-0. Two outs later, catcher Akihiro Yano walked. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto then cracked a single to right and White came in and it was 5-0 after six complete.
The following half inning, Kanemoto provided the sole Hiroshima highlight with his inaugural roundtripper to reduce the deficit to 5-1.
In the eighth and with Rob Stanifer on the mound for Hiroshima, White found himself in the way of a Stanifer pitch and he jogged off to first base. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama blazed a shot to the centerfield wall for a double to plate White. Arias then stepped in and guided a Stanifer offering to a seat in the leftfield bleachers and now it was 8-1 Hanshin. Yabu then got Hiroshima out in order in the ninth and that was the ballgame.
Despite the fact
that Hanshin isn't hitting pretty lousy with runners in scoring position,
when you have a team ERA of about 1.25, you don't need a lot of run support.
Nikkan Sports broke down how Hanshin has been competing inning by inning
an illustraion to explain their success:
1-3 Hanshin 15, opponents
4-6 Hanshin 9, opponents 3
7-9 Hanshin 11, opponents 9
So the club has been getting out front early and, other than what happened at Meiji Jingu the other day, have been staying there. By the same token, though, this is a club who has scored just 35 runs in nine games, so if the pitching begins going south, they are sunk.
For Hanshin, White was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .348. Arias was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .111.
Yokoyama (L, 0-2) IP 6.0 PC 91 H 8
HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 5 ER 4 ERA
Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Stanifer IP 1.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.75
Yabu (W, 2-0) IP 9.0 PC 107 H 5 HR 1 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.00
2B: Yabu, White, Hiyama
HR: Kanemoto (1) Imaoka (3), Arias (2)
RBI: Kanemoto, Imaoka 3, White, Hiyama, Arias 2, Fujimoto
HBP: White (Stanifer
LOB: Hiroshima 2, Hanshin 4
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Manabe (1B), Tani (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Giants Roast Swallows 10-2
Lead by a three run homer and a total of six RBIs from first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara and a fine pitching performance from Yusaku Iriki, the Yomiuri Giants beat the Yakult Swallows for the seventh straight time dating back to last season 10-2 in front of a capacity crowd at Tokyo Dome Tuesday.
Futoshi Yamabe started for Yakult and did fine for the first couple of innings, but would not last out the third. The inning began with Yamabe walking his opposite number, and it is always a harbinger of bad things to come when you give a hurler a free pass. Iriki was sacrificed to second by leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi then hit one on the screws down the leftfield line for a double to get Iriki home. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi then went into the rightfield corner with a shot and cruised into second as Nishi crossed the plate to make it 2-0. Yamabe tried to jam the next hitter, Kiyohara, with a fastball, but the burly slugger turned on it and stood there and watched it hoping that it wouldn't hook foul as it disappeared into the second deck. It stayed fair and it was now 5-0. Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu banished Yamabe to the showers and Honma came on to finish the inning.
The Giants eventually burned Tadashi Honma, though, as, in the sixth, Takahashi walked and went to third when Matsui bounced a shot off the centerfield wall for a two bagger. Kiyohara singled up the middle for an RBI and third baseman Akira Etoh walked to load the bases. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki flew out to center for another tally and catcher Shinnosuke Abe racked one up against the leftfield fence for an RBI double and the inning concluded with the ome team up 8-0.
In the bottom of the seventh, Yakult avoided the shutout when they put together an infield hit by the hobbling catcher Atsuya Furuta, a single to right by Akinori Iwamura that sent Furuta to third that also allowed Iwamura to move to second on the throw to third, a sac fly to right by leftfielder Alex Ramirez that moved both men up and a bleeder out in front of the plate that Iwamura somehow mananged to score on and it was 8-2 going into the top of the ninth.
In the Giants half of the ninth, Shimizu ripped a one out single to left. One out later, Takahashi singled to center. Matsui walked to pack the sacks. Kiyohara singld to left and both Shimizu and Takahashi hit the dish for the game's final runs, 10-2 Yomiuri.
Kiyohara's six RBIs gives him 1324, enabling him to surpass former Giants first baseman Tetsuharu Kawakami for 11th on the all time list.
Also, with the offensive binge they've been on the last three games, this marks the first time that the team has accumulated at least nine runs in three consecutive games since 1988.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 103 with an RBI and a walk and is now at .258. First baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .235.
Yamabe (L, 0-1) IP 2.1 PC 49
H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 1 ERA
Honma IP 2.2 PC 50 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 8.31
Sakamoto IP 2.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Shimada IP 1.0 PC 20 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 10.13
Y. Iriki (W, 1-1) IP 8.0 PC 115 H 4
HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
2B: S. Abe, Y. Takahashi, H. Matsui, Nishi
HR: Kiyohara (5)
RBI: Kiyohara 6, Nishi, Y. Takahashi, Motoki, S. Abe, Iwamura, Ramirez
SF: Ramirez, Motoki
HBP: Inaba (Y. Iriki)
GIDP: Furuta, Petagine, Motoki
LOB: Yakult 6, Yomiuri 8
Ishii Shuts Out Orix 6-0
Both barrels of Seibu's so-called "twin bazooka," first baseman Alex Cabrera and third baseman Scott McClain, fired off Tuesday at Seibu Dome to reward the five hit shutout woven by starter Takashi Ishii over seven innings as the Lions whitewashed the Orix Blue Wave 6-0.
Seibu jumped off to an early advantage in the first. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to center and stole second. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki moved him over to third with a sacrifice. DH Ken Suzuki tripled into the leftfield corner and that was followed by Cabrera battling Orix starter Hisashi Tokano for eight pitches before he got a big 3-2 slow curve and obliterated it halfway up the leftfield bleachers to make it 3-0 Lions. That was Cabrera's first homer in 25 at bats.
Tokano steadied himself after that and did pretty respectably until the fifth, when he left something out over the plate in catcher Tsutomu Itoh's wheelhouse and Itoh launched it into the leftfield stands to open a 4-0 gap between his club and Orix.
Yamazaki climbed the hill the sixth and McClain took him over the leftfield wall for his team's fifth run. Centerfielder Sususmu Otomo singled and went to third on Itoh's knock, Otomo scoring on a ground ball to short and it was 6-0.
Orix had its best scoring chance of the night when it got a leadoff double down the leftfield line by centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani and a single to right by Koichi Oshima to set up a men on first and third, nobody out scenario. But Ishii then struckout the side to stymie the rally and the Blue Wave was in ebb tide from there on in.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with two RBIs and is now at .257. McClain was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .273.
For Orix, third baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-2 with a walk and is at .257. First baseman Fernando Seguignol struckout in three of his four hitless at bats and is now at .182. The former Expo has now whiffed seven of his last eight times up.
Tokano (L, 0-2) IP 5.0
PC 86 H 6 HR 2 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Yamazaki IP .1 PC 11 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 54.00
Kase IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Tokumoto IP 1.2 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
T. Ishii (W, 2-0) IP 7.0 PC 109 H 5
HR 0 K 8 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Hashimoto IP .2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mori IP .1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
D. Tomori IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: K. Matsui 2, K.
2B: Satake, Tani, Y. Fujii, Ozeki
3B: K. Suzuki
HR: Cabrera (4), McClain (2), Itoh (2)
RBI: Cabrera 2, McClain, K. Suzuki, T. Itoh, H. Takagi
LOB: Orix 8, Seibu 6
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Daiei Can't Keep Rhodes in the Ballpark and Loses 6-4 in Extra Innings
One would figure that with Kintetsu's crapola pitching staff that the Daiei Hawks would have all kinds of fun regularly teeing off on it, but the fact has been different this season for whatever reason. Maybe it's that the Buffaloes pitching staff psyches itself up for the Hawks, but really, who knows? But the fact is that for six innings, this battle was scoreless.
Tuesday, Kintetsu had battled Daiei to a 2-2 tie going into the top of the ninth when disaster seemed to strike. First, Kintetsu leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes took a heater from Shuji Yoshida and hit a cruise missile into the rightfield stands. Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura stepped up and crushed a 2-2 slider way out to left to give Kintetsu a 4-2 lead.
But the game not
have gone so long had Daiei's defense, most notably first baseman Nobuhiko
Matsunaka, had done what it was supposed to in the seventh. Kintetsu second
baseman Eiji Mizuguchi leadoff with a single to center.
squirted a single to right. Nakamura then hit a line shot right at second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, who, thinking double play, forgot to catch the ball and it ticked off of it and trickled away to allow Mizuguchi to cross with the game's first run. Incredibly, that was called an infield hit. Rhodes then took off for the plate as starter Junji Hoshino was delivering a pitch to Kintetsu
catcher Koichi Isobe, who successfully got the ball down to allow Rhodes to score, but then Matsunaka couldn't figure out what he was supposed to do with the ball and Isobe reached safely, too, that also being called a hit by the official scorer, who needs his head examined. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka then tried to sacrifice and bunted it back too hard toward the mound, where it was picked up Hoshino, who threw to third for the force and then third baseman Hiroki Kokubo made a bad relay to first for an error. Can you say "extra defensive drills before tomorrow's game?"
Matsunaka partially atoned for his miscue in the bottom of the inning, when he drilled a Jeremy Powell offering over the centerfield wall to make it 2-1.
Daiei knotted it an inning later, when centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara beat out a ball near second, was sacrificed to second and scored on a single to left from Iguchi.
In the wake of the Rhodes and Nakamura homers, Daiei came up in the home half of the ninth trying to claw their way back against Okamoto. With one out, catcher Kenji Johjima singled to right. Akira Okamoto nailed DH Morgan Burkhart with a pitch. Arihito Muramatsu then cannonaded an RBI double up the rightcenter gap and Johjima was in with the winning run now at second base. Noriyuki Omichi then hit one to Buffs shortstop Masahiro Abe, who unsuccessfully tried to get Burkhart at the plate and it was tied at 4-4. Okamoto then got the next two men and it went into overtime.
In the top of the tenth, Mizuguchi spanked a one out single to right. Rhodes checked in and got a 2-2 sinker from Suzuki and it was gone as soon as he hit it, a second deck shot 425 feet away to right and Kintetsu had a 6-4 lead. Okamoto then retired three of the four hitters he faced in the bottom of the frame and he vultured the victory.
For Daiei, Burkhart was 0-3 with the HBP (and he leads all of Japanese baseball with five of those, so he must really hang all over the plate) and is now at .290. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez was was 0-4 and is now at .317.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 3-4 with three RBIs and a walk and is currently at .306. DH Nigel Wilson was 0-3 with a walk and is at .265.
IP 7.2 PC 121 H 8 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Aikyo IP .1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamamoto IP .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Okamoto (W, 1-0) IP 1.2 PC 33 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.15
IP 6.1 PC 88 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 0 ERA
H.K. Watanabe IP .1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iijima IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP .2 PC 25 H 3 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Yoshitake IP .1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Suzuki (L, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.91
SB: Johjima, Honma, Yoshioka
2B: M. Abe, Muramatsu
HR: Rhodes 2 (5), N. Nakamura (3), Matsunaka (2)
RBI: Rhodes 3, N. Nakamura, Isobe, Iguchi, Matsunaka, Muramatsu, Omichi
HBP: Burkhart (Okamoto)
GIDP: Mizuguchi, Burkhart, P. Valdez
LOB: Kintetsu 5, Daiei 8
Game Time: 3:52
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Fujimoto (1B), Nagami (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Bunch Rocked in 7-4 Yokohama Win
Chunichi Dragons starter Melvin Bunch was cuffed around for five earned runs on six hits in three innings, including Mike Gulan's first career homer in Japan, a two run affair to rightcenter, as the Yokohama Bays Stars held on for a 7-4 victory at Nagoya Dome Tuesday.
Yokohama Catcher Takeshi Nakamura slapped a ball toward third that Tatsunami was ready to suck up, but then it kicked off the bag and went by Tatsunami for a double with centerfielder Hitoshi Nakane and Gulan aboard in the top of the second to get his club on the good , and lucky, foot, 2-0.
After Gulan's longball in the top of the third, Stars first baseman Takahiro Saeki ricocheted a Bunch delivery up the leftcenter gap for a double. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues walked. Nakane then singled to center and Saeki hustled in to make it 5-0.
Two innings down the road, Yokohama second baseman Hitoshi Taneda beat out a ball near short. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki ripped a double into the gap in rightcenter to put men on second and third. Gulan then singled back up through the middle and Taneda was home with a 6-0 Stars lead. Saeki then tapped one at Leo Gomez at first, who turned a 3-6-3 double play, but in the meantime Suzuki cruised in with another tally and it was now 7-0 Stars.
The Dragons put their first run on the board in the bottom portion of the inning thanks to a bad play to by Suzuki. With two out, Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige hit a fly ball to left that Suzuki dropped, an unusual occurrence for the multiple Gold Glove winner. Pinch hitter Takeshi Yamasaki than carromed a shot off the leftfield wall for a long single and Tanishige, who was on second, rolled in on to home to make it 7-1. Yamasaki stayed in and played first, with Gomez moving over to third.
That's the way it remained until the Dragons final at bat of the ballgame. With two already out in the inning, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, who started at third but moved to second in the late innings, legged out a bleeder toward short. Pinch hitter Jiro Fujitate walked. Pinch hitter Toshio Haru bunted for a hit to load the bases. Tanishige then brought in the lot with a steaming double into the leftcenter alley to get his side within three at 7-4. However, Yamasaki hit a little looper that Tatsunami called for and snagged for the game's final out and the 7-4 Yokohama victory.
One thing that was interesting about this game is that Hiroshi Yamada, who was once with the Dragons but came over to Yokohama in the Haru trade last season, started this game. Yamada was cut loose because the Dragons management thought that he would never conquer his wildness problems, but he did in this one. If the press reports are correct, the Dragons players were literally saying to each other, "I can't believe this guy is beating us." This was Yamada's first win in four years and he was clocked at a high of 90mph, doing a fine job of mixing the old number one with hs forkball to keep the opposition off balance.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 3-4 with three RBIs and is now at .278. Rodrigues was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .214.
H. Yamada (W, 1-0)
IP 7.0 PC 95 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA
Kizuka IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takeshita IP .2 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.36
Fukumori IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takashi Saito (S,) IP .1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
1-1) IP 3.0 PC 80 H
6 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Koyama IP 2.0 PC 29 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.75
Endo IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Okamoto IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Sekikawa, Tanishige, Nakamura, Saeki, T. Suzuki
HR: Gulan (1)
RBI: T. Suzuki, Gulan 3, Nakane, Nakamura 2, Tanishige 3, Yamasaki
WP: Bunch, Endo
LOB: Yokohama 4, Chunichi 5
During the period roughly congruent to the Giants winning nine Japan Series championships in a row, 1965-1974, which league dominated the all star game series? Answer at end of article.
Kawasaki Throwing Again
Will the Dragons actually be able to use 2000 free agent aquisition Kenjiro Kawasaki this season? He is reported to be throwing well with little shoulder discomfort and though he says that he is maybe at 70% tops of his best condition, if the Dragons get him back for the second half it could be a big boost for the ballclub. They should also have Shigeki Noguchi back by that time, too, so it will give the Dragons three real solid starters in Noguchi, Melvin Bunch and Kawasaki.
Kawasaki will be making some rehab starts in the minors and club officials are praying that they see some encouraging signs out of them, since the Kawasaki signing has so far proved to be a very expensive mistake.
Two Foreigners Per Team in Korea
The KBO has announced a new rule change this season, as it will now allow just two foreigners per team now instead of the three of the recent years (though even then only two were allowed in any one game). This was no doubt motivated by both economic factors as well as demands by Korean players that the use of foreign players be limited as much as possible.
A Story About Seung-yeop Lee
Korean superstar slugger Seung-yeop Lee has soft spot in his heart for children, as this english language article from the Chosun Ilbo exhibits (note: you will need to paste the URL into your browser window):
Yankees Offered Jong-beom Lee $1.35 Million
According to the Chosun Ilbo, one of Korea's major dailies, the New York Yankees is said to have offered $1.35 million over two years for former Chunichi Dragons and Haitai Tigers infielder Jong-beom Lee. Lee's agent said that as soon as Lee returned to Korea from Japan, the Yankees offered $350,000 for the first year and $1 million for the second year. Lee is Korea's Ichiro and is perhaps even more popular than Seung-yeop Lee (no relation).
Lee began playing again with the Kia Tigers (who were his old club when they were owned by Haitai) in the second half of last season and despite the nearly four year absence while he was in Japan signed the richest player contract in Korean history, such is his popularity.
More KBO-Related Items
The KBO sent a
delegation to Bud Selig's office last year to complain about the scouting
and signing of Korean amateur players by MLB teams. The delegation asked
that MLB organizations refrain from doing so. That still didn't stop
Philadelphia Phillies from signing Seng-hak Lee for last season, though, for $1.2 million and another $800,000 for Kim Il-yeop, a classmate of Lee's at Dankook University.
The Seattle Mariners were at least contemplating playing an exhibition game in Korea if they were going to open the season in Japan, the Chosun Ilbo reported. The M's have a working agreement with the Hanwha Eagles and were perhaps going to faceoff with them in March of this year before Bud Light put the kabosh on a Japanese opener due to uncertainy (created by him and the other owners). Thus, this also eefectively made a Korea trip impossible, one that would have been good advertising for MLB in hoth Japan and Korea.
The exhibition game in Korea was actually suggested by Seattle GM Pat Gillick, the Chosun Ilbo revealed, at dinner with Hanwha President Mr. Lee Nam-hun and team owner Mr. Hwang Kyung-yeon. The two clubs relationship dates back to 1998 and they have exchanged coaches and trained together at the Mariners spring training site in Peoria, AZ.
The Chosun Ilbo has had some fine articles on the Korean brand of baseball in their english language section, so for those wanting to know how things are going there with respect to baseball, please make sure you check in with them. They also have an extensive archives section if you use their search engine. They are one of Kore'a most esteemed daily newspapers. You can find it at: http://www.chosun.com/g__.html
North Koreans Finding a Taste for America's Pastime
From the Chosun Ilbo, 1-28-2001
Baseball in North Korea is expanding in earnest. The North now has four or more adult baseball teams, and is said to be inaugurating one after another secondary school baseball teams. Prompted by the instruction of National Defense Commission Chairman Kim Jong Il in the summer of 1992, baseball matches regularly take place at the annual Mankyongdae Cup Tournaments in April and the People's Athletic Games in October. The (North) Korea Central Broadcasting Station, in a report covering the North's "Republic's Championships," equivalent to the South's National Athletic Games on October 27 last year, said baseball matches, along with those of basketball, football, marathons, track and field events and boxing, were being held in venues in Pyongyang and several other cities.
North Korea used to have baseball teams prior to the nation's liberation in 1945 from Japanese colonial rule, which were branded as a "sport of American imperialism," and banished. Baseball matches re-emerged in August 1990 when Pyongyang joined the International Baseball Association. Some baseball games were played early in the 1960s by ex-Korean residents in Japan who had been repatriated to the North, however, they also disappeared from sight in the 70's. Since the 1990s the North has introduced baseball from Cuba and elsewhere, and imports baseball goods mainly from China.
The North's interest in baseball is said to have been influenced by the development of the sport in China, and was furthered by Asian countries' prize winning in the Olympics since baseball was adopted as a regular sport from the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. "Baseball is played actively in Pyongyang and other provincial cities," according to a North Korean defector. North Korean baseball players are screened mostly from among former players of other sports like track-and-field events and handball.
Pyongyang opened the Pyongyang Baseball Stadium on April 15, 1992, Kim Il-sung's birthday. Its left and right fences have a length similar to that of the Seoul Chamsil Baseball Stadium, and it's equipped with electric signboards.
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This article is for the games that took place on Tuesday, April 9th. On that day in Japanese baseball history in 1978, Taiyo Whales (now the Yokohama Bay Stars) shortstop Daisuke Yamashita fielded his 228th consecutve chance without an error to set a new record.
Also, on this day
in 1979, the Yomiuri Giants won their 3,000th game since the Japanese pro
league started in July of
The Pacific League all stars absolutely trounced the Central League contingents, clearly taking eight of the ten all star series and winning 20 of 30 games while losing only eight and tying two. Moreover, the PL swept the CL four times. Source: Baseball Monthly.
Seelbach Fights Both Himself and the Elements But Sticks it Out to Win 7-3
In Japan's equivalent of Candlestick Park, Chiba Marine Stadium, Nippon Ham hurler Chris Seelbach fought to get a handle on the movement of his breaking pitches in the windy environs, but bulldogged it during his six inning stint, allowing just two runs on six hits and three walks to become the first foreign pitcher in the team's long history to win his first two Japanese season opening starts as Nippon Ham walked away from the battle with a 7-3 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines Monday.
Submariner Shunsuke Watanabe started in this one for Lotte and got knocked around again, being mugged for four runs, three earned, in 5.1 innings on nine hits, one of those Fighters centerfielder Tatsuya Ide's second homer of the year, a leadoff solo jack, in the third. So when is Lotte headman Koji Yamamoto going to end the Watanabe as a starter experiment? It's time to demote Watanabe to his familiar relief role and perhaps give their number one draft choice, Takashi Tanaka, a shot in a starting role. The Marines have now dropped eight in a row, a team record for consecutive losses from opening day.
Seelbach was taken for a ride up the rightcenterfield gap by Lotte second baseman Tadaharu Sakai for a one out double in the bottom of the initial inning, but then the righthander stranded him by striking out first baseman and 2001 PL batting champ Kazuya Fukuura and inducing former Angel Frank Bolick to ground to first, where it was gobbled up by Gold Glove first sacker Michihiro Ogasawara.
Ide then struck in the third with his dinger and that was followed one out later by an infield hit from Ogasawara, a single to center by Fighters DH Sherman Obando and a single to right from leftfielder D.T. Cromer to load the bases. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka then hammered a Watanabe offering, but it was flagged down on the infield and turned into a double play to keep it at 1-0 Nippon Ham.
Lotte rookie Hisao Heiuchi responded to Ide's blast with one of his own, his exiting stage right and it was knotted at one apiece. Kenji Morozumi singled to right and was sacrificed along by Sakai. Fukuura grounded out to short for the second out. Bolick walked. But leftfielder Derrick May flied out to terminate the threat.
Seelbach walked two in the fifth, but the second free pass was with two outs and he lured May into a grounder to second to wriggle out of this min-jam.
In the top of the sixth, Nippon Ham's offense woke up and began to pull away from their Kanto region neighbors. Obando walked to open things. One out later, Tanaka singled to right. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto doubled into leftcenter and both runners scored to make it 3-1. After a flyout, catcher Kazunari Sanematsu launched a fly ball to left that May just flat out dropped and Kimoto took the time to cross the plate and fashion a 4-1 Fighters advantage.
Lotte retorted with a run in the bottom of the frame, as they combined a leadoff single to right from Kenichiro Hayakawa, an infield hit from Sawai, a sacrifice by catcher Masaumi Shimizu and a grounder to first by Heiuchi to shrink the Fighters advantage to 4-2.
Nippon Ham squandered a golden chance in the top of the seventh to do some more damage. Ogasawara leadoff with a double into the leftfield corner. Obando then beat out a ball toward third. However, the next three hitters whiffed and that neutralized the uprising.
The Fighters went back on the warpath in the eighth and this time came out of it with something to show for it. Backup rightfielder Nakamura drilled a pitch from Atsushi Yoshida to the centerfield wall for two bases. After Sanematsu rolled out to the pitcher to get Nakamura over to third, Ide walked. But during the at bat, Lotte catcher Shimizu tried to pick off Nakamura and threw it away to allow Nakamura to score. One out later, Ogasawara got a hanging slider from Takagi and rammed it through the teeth of the wind in right for a two run homer and now the Fighters were up by five, 7-2.
In the eighth, Lotte scored a run thanks to a miscue by reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa with men on first and second and one out, as he tried to hurry to turn a double play and made a bad throw that resulted in Hori sprinting home with Lotte's final tally of the night.
The game, at nearly four hours, seemed to take forever since Lotte hurlers were having such a tough time that they threw 198 pitches. Certainly, the cool, breezy night air couldn't have helped.
Shimizu started in place of Tomoya Satozaki, who was sent to the minors after Sunday's game due to dissatisfaction with the way he was handling his pitchers. There may be other shakeups in the offing.
The Marines have now been left in the dust in their initial seven games. The last time a team lost seven out of the box was the 1988 Nankai Hawks team.
In 1954 Hiroshima
were defeated in seven straight, the Tombos dropped 12 in 1955, Hankyu lost
10 in 1961, the 1979 Seibu Lions came out on the bad end in 12 consecutive,
and the same season Yakult snatched off 8 losses to commence
regular schedule All finished in the second division.
For Nippon Ham, Obanod was 2-4 with a walk and is now at .212. Cromer was 1-4 and is now at .233.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-3 with two walks and is now at .087. May was 0-3 and was hit by a pitch and is now at .120.
Seelbach (W, 2-0) IP 6.0 PC 94 H 6
HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Kanemura IP .2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Sasaki IP .1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shibakusa IP 2.0 PC 37 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.38
S. Watanabe (L, 0-2) IP 5.1 PC
112 H 9 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Tak. Tanaka I .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
K. Yamazaki IP .1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Fujita IP .1 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 5.40
Takagi IP .1 PC 5 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
Nao. Shimizu IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Shimizu, May, Shibakusa,
2B: Sakai, Kimoto, Ogasawara, Nakamura, Bolick
HR: Ide (2), Heiuchi (1), Ogasawara (5)
RBI: Ogasawara 2, Ide, Heiuchi 2, Kimoto 2,
HBP: May (Seelbach)
LOB: Nippon Ham 9, Lotte 11
Umpires: Yanagita (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Akimura (2B), Iizuka (3B)
Kokubo Slams 200th Career Homer in 4-4 12 Inning Tie with Kintetsu
Daiei Hawks third
baseman Hiroki Kokubo rocketed a seventh inning solo homer, the 200th longball
of his career, to deadlock their faceoff with the Kintetsu Buffaloes Monday
at Fukuoka Dome before a near capacity crowd 4-4, and that's how it ended
after 12 innings to result in a tie. Here is a photo of the homer:
Hiroto Kato went 5.2 solid innings for the Buffaloes, allowing two runs on six hits and walking three while strking out four, only to see reliever Iori Sekiguchi get lit up in the seventh for back to back solo homers from Hawks second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and Kokubo to let it get away.
Toshiya Sugiuchi started for Daiei and had a rough outing, as a two run homer by Buffs second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi was among the six hits he surrendered and he descended the mound with one out in the sixth having been taken for four earned runs total.
The Hawks had an opening in the second and couldn't convert. With one gone, catcher Kenji Johjima seared one up the leftcenter gap for a double. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama then legged out a ball by the mound for an infield hit, Johjima moving to third. But Kato then struckout both first baseman Morgan Burkhart and shortstop Yusuke Torigoe and that was that.
In the top of the third, though, Kintetsu did do something with its opportunity. With one away, shortstop Masahiro Abe doubled down the leftfield line. Kokubo struckout, but Naoyuki Omura singled to left to plate Abe. Mizuguchi came up with the yard implements and disposed of a Sugiuchi offering in the leftfield bleachers for a 3-0 lead after two and a half.
Then in the top of the sixth, Kintetsu leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes doubled to leftcenter to lead the inning off. One out later, catcher Koichi Isobe walked. Yoshioka singled to right to push Rhodes across and it was 4-0 visitors.
In the bottom of that inning, Daiei gave their fans some hope, when Iguchi leadoff with a single to center. Kokubo walked. Johjima then hit a little ground ball toward short that Abe gloved and only had one play on and that was to first, moving both of the runners up a base. One out later, Akiyamaa rapped a single to left and both Iguchi and Kokubo came home to halve the gap with Kintetsu at 4-2.
After the twin jacks by Iguchi and Kokubo, the relief pitching was tremendous and nobody mustered a really serious threat and 12 innings is the mandated limit in Japan, so that's how it finished, 4-4.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is now at .250. DH Nigel Wilson was 0-5 to fall to .290.
For Daiei, Burkhard 0-4 with two strikeouts and is now at .321. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-6 and is at .351.
Kato IP 5.2 PC
112 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Sekiguchi IP 1.1 PC 26 H 3 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.79
Akiyo IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 29 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.57
IP 5.1 PC 112 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA
H.K. Watanabe IP .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Suzuki IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iijima IP 2.0 PC 31 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Johjima, M. Abe, Rhodes, N.
HR: Kokubo (5), Mizuguchi (1) Iguchi (2)
RBI: Omura, Mizuguchi 2, Yoshioka, Iguchi, Kokubo, Akiyama 2
HBP: Burkhart (Kato)
GIDP: M. Abe
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Daiei 7
Umpires: Kakigizono? (HP), Yamamura (1B), Fujimoto (2B), Higashi (3B)
Koo One Hits Seibu in 2-0 Orix Victory
The New York Yankees
took a run at Korean hurler Koo Dae-sung before Orix picked him up and watching
him last season one kind of wondered what they saw in him. Well, this season
so far, he has displayed exactly why he was held in
high esteem and Monday against the Seibu Lions, he pitched the best game of his Japanese career, going 8.1 innings of one hit shutout ball and whiffing ten, including Lions first baseman all three times he came up, to reduce his ERA to an especially low for the Pacific League 1.32.
The only man standing between Koo and a no hitter was rightfielder Masaji Shimizu, who singled to center in the fourth.
Koo's effort got him the victory despite a stellar outing from Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi, who went 8.2 innings and struckout 13, forcing Orix first baseman Fernando Seguignol to wear the golden sombrero (four strikeouts), in fanning the most batters of any pitcher for an individual game so far in 2002 while allowing six hits. Unfortunately, three of those knocks were extra base hits that ended up doing him in when it was all said and done.
In the top of the third with two outs, catcher Takashi Miwa doubled down the leftfield line. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani then scalded a liner that rolled to the leftcenterfield wall for a triple to score Miwa with the only tally Koo would need.
Then in the top
of the ninth, Orix got a leadoff single to center from Tani, who was subsequently
sacrificed to second. One out later, third baseman Scott Sheldon clobbered
a double to the leftfield fence and Tani toured the bases for the insurance
run. Koo then got the first out in the ninth and was pulled by Orix manager
Hiromichi Ishige in favor of Masanobu Okubo, who
shortstop Kazuo Matsui to line to second and Shimizu to ground to short to cap it off.
For Orix, Seguignol struckout all four of his at bats and is now at .207. Sheldon was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is now at .281. Tani was 3-4 and is now at .387.
For Seibu, Alex Cabrera struckout three times in three at bats and is now at .258. Third baseman Scott McClain was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is now at .276.
1-0) IP 8.1 PC 117
H 1 HR 0 K 10 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Okubo (S, 2) IP .2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
Nishiguchi (L, 0-2) IP 8.2 PC 127 H 6 HR
0 K 13 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Mori IP .1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
RBI: Tani, Sheldon
GIDP: Satake, Inubushi
LOB: Orix 2, Seibu 2
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Nakamura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Updated League Leaders and Stats
With all the great hitters the Yomiuri Giants have had, what is the team record for most runs scored in a game? Answer at the end of the article.
Nagashima to be Named Manager of Japanese Olympic Baseball Team
According to the Asahi Shimbun, former Yomiuri Giants manager will helm Japan's olympic baseball team for the 2004 Athens Olympics. Considering how Nagashima handles pitchers, that puts Japan at something of a disadvantage. However, the media will like the outgoing and ebullient "Mr. Giants," so that should get Japanese baseball some added exposure. But come on, Akira Ogi was available, as was Hiroshi Gondoh and a whole host of more qualified managers. This just further proves that in Japan, its a Giants Giants Giants Giants Giants World.
Marty Kuehnert's Take on the Lopez-Maeda Tussle
It appears that
the Japanese press didn't let on exactly what happened and instead had a
knee jerk reaction that Maeda win the right. Well, not quite, as the Japan
Times Marty Kuehnert
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This article is for April 8th. On that day in Japanese baseball history, the first night game ever at Korakuen Stadium was played in 1961 between the Daimai Orions (now the Chiba Lotte Marines) and the Toei Flyers (now Nippon Ham). Then Prime Minister Kishi threw out the first ball.
And on that day
in 1980, a livelier ball that wasn't approved by the league was used in a
game between the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Lotte Orions at Nihon Seimei
Stadium, Kintetsu's then home park. This brought a protest from
manager Yamauchi and fueled the debate over how some ballclubs use livelier balls than others.
And on that day in 1981, PL Gakuen, a high school affiliated with the Soka Gakkai Buddhist sect, won its first Koshien tournament. The school is a veritable baseball factory, having produced both Masumi Kuwata and Kazuhiro Kiyohara, both of the Yomiuri Giants, among many others.
The most runs the
Giants put across in a single game was 25, accomplished in 1955 against Hiroshima
on June 22 at Korauken Stadium in Tokyo, Yomiuri's then homeground. No, that
is not the Japanese record. We'll get to that
April 7, 2002
Giants Stomp Bay Stars 16-2
Lead by five RBIs from catcher Shinnosuke Abe and four more by first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, the Yomiuri Giants decimated the Yokohama Bay Stars 16-5 Sunday at Yokohama Stadium. In fact, they did such a job on Stars starter Hiroki Nomura that Yokohama management demoted him to the minors in the wake of the drubbing Nomura received at the hands of the intimidating Tokyo club's batting order.
Kimiyasu Kudoh started for the Giants and went seven solid innings of two run ball on eight hits, striking out six and walking none to get his first victory in over a year. His arm and shoulder are healthy, as demonstrated by the fact that he was clocked at 89mph.
The Giants scored early and scored often, kicking off their offensive carnival in the top of the first, with leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singling to center to lead it off. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi sacrificed Shimizu to second. Nomura plunked rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi. Centerfielder Godzilla Matsui rolled out to third for the force. Kiyohara then steamed a double up the gap in leftcenter to score Matsui and Takahashi for a 2-0 lead.
But in the bottom of the second, Yokohama evened it. With two gone, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to center. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues came up and mortared a Kudoh offering into the centerfield bleachers to make it 2-2. That was all the Stars would do off of the former Hawks and Lions lefty.
In the top of the third and two down, Nomura free passed Godzilla. The beefy Kiyohara legged out a bleeder toward third. Third baseman Akira Etoh blazed one down into the leftfield corner and Matsui motored around with the lead run, 3-2 Yomiuri. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki was intentionally walked for some reason. This brought up second year catcher Shinnosuke Abe and he cracked a two run single to center and now it was 5-2 visitors.
Kudoh set down the
next six in a row, so it became the fifth and Yomiuri went midieval on Inamine.
Matsui started it with a single to center. Kiyohara got a slider down and
in and he unleashed a missile into the leftfield stands and it was 7-2. Etoh
checked in next and he slugged a bomb to the same part of the yard for an
8-2 Giants advantage. Motoki then ripped a ball down the rightfield line
for a two bagger and Abe singled to center. Kudoh sacrificed Abe to second
with a bunt that was handled by the catcher. Shimizu then lifted a sac fly
and Yokohama was now being embarrassed at 11-2. There are pics of
Kiyohara blast at:
Kudoh also had a perfect fifth and the Giants were up again, this time against former Twin Shane Bowers, recently called up from the minors. Matsui had an infield hit toward second to lead it off. One out later, Bowers walked the pitcher, Kudoh. After another out, Abe singled and Matsui came around to make it 12-2.
In the top of the eighth, Yomiuri got a single to left from Takahashi, a walk to Kiyohara, a single to right by Motoki and a double down the leftfield line from Abe to make it 14-2. That was followed by a double down the rightfield line by Takayuki Saito for the 15th and 16th Giants tallies to cap the day's scoring.
Kudoh leads all active pitchers with 176 lifetime wins.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 1-4 and is now at .219. Rodrigues as 1-3 with two RBIs and is now at .240.
Kudoh (W, 1-0) IP 7.0 PC 109 H 8 HR
1 K 8 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Sato IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Nomura (L, 0-2) IP 3.0 PC 65 H 5 HR 0 K 2
BB 3 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Inamine IP 2.0 PC 49 H 6 HR 3 K 0 BB 0 R 6 ER 6 ERA 18.00
Bowers IP 2.0 PC 38 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Guzman IP 2.0 PC 39 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 10.13
2B: Kiyohara, Etoh, Motoki, S. Abe, Takayuki.
HR: Rodrigues (4), Nishi (1), Kiyohara (4), Etoh (2)
RBI: T. Shimizu, Nishi 2, Kiyohara 4, Etoh, S. Abe 5, T. Takayuki Saito 2
IBB: Motoki (Nomura)
GIDP: Nakamura, Saeki
HBP: Y. Takahashi (Nomura)
LOB: Yomiuri 7, Yokohama 8
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), Honda (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Note: IBB=intentional base on balls.
Ando Impressive in Debut, But Hanshin Streak Ended by Yakult 5-3
Sunday saw the Tigers
get some good news and some bad news. The pleasant surprise is that, all
of a sudden, the Tigers have some pitching depth. Rookie Yuya Ando, a 24
year old draftee out of Toyota Motors of Japan's industrial league, was
indifferent during the spring, but in his first ever regular season pro start,
he went six innings and gave up only a run to a team that lead the Central
League in batting average last season and struckout nine. However, his
compatriots on the relief staff, specifically Takehito Kanazawa and Shoji
Toyama, weren't as solid, as Yakult First baseman Roberto Petagine took a
80's fastball from Toyama and buried it in the leftcenterfield seats with the bases juiced to turn a 2-1 Tigers lead into a 5-2 Yakult win. The Swallows victory halted Hanshin's seven game winning streak.
Kevin Hodges started for the Swallows and was solid as usual, tossing six innings of one run ball on six hits and two walks and a hit batter while striking out eight (which I think may be his Japan high in that department, though I could be wrong), so neither Ando nor Hodges figured in the decision.
Hanshin had an opportunity to score in the top of the second, but the team's lack of timely hitting raised its ugly head again. With two down, first baseman George Arias walked. Catcher Akihiro Yano singled to center. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto then hit a ball near short and beat it out. But the next hitter was Ando and he struckout to end the threat.
The next inning, the Tigers did finally get something for their trouble. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi walked to lead it off. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka sacrificed Akahoshi to second. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka struckout. Hodges then nailed leftfielder Derrick White with a pitch. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama lined a single to left and Akahoshi cadillaced in to make it 1-0. Slumping George Arias then fanned for the final out.
Yakult evened it, though, in their half of the inning. With one down, centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka legged out a grounder to short. One out later, rightfielder Atsunori Inaba drilled an RBI double to the centerfield wall and the speedy Manaka toed the dish to deadlock it at 1-1.
Hanshin blew another scoring chance in the fifth when Hiyama cracked a leadoff single and was sacrificed along, but Kataoka grounded to third and White struckout and that was that.
In the seventh and now with Hirotoshi Ishii on the mound for Yakult, Akahoshi singled to left with one down. Imaoka then hit the top of the centerfield wall with a drive and Akahoshi was a blur as he completed the circuit to put his club in front 2-1. Any further damage was prevented, thankfully, when Ishii induced a couple of swinging empties from Kataoka and White.
The bottom of the
seventh, Yakult disappointed the tens of thousands of Tigers faithful who
took the Shinkansen up to Tokyo from Osaka and parts nearby in hope of seeing
their boys break a club record. Chihiro Hamana leadoff with a scorcher down
the rightfield line off of Kanazawa, who was then promptly removed by Hanshin
manager Senichi Hoshino in favor of Toyama. Kota Soejima got his first hit
of 2002, a single to right. With the infield up, Manaka rolled out to first,
Hamana holding at third. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto grounded to short. Inaba
walked to load the bases. That's when the lefthanded Petagine, now in his
fourth Japanese season, jumped all over Toyama's lukewarm heater for his
first grand slam despite having among the 122 dingers he has amassed to date
and it was 5-2 Swallows. Here are a couple of pics of Petagini's
Ryota Igarashi came in for the Swallows in the eighth and hung a forkball to the first batter he faced, Hiyama, who parked it in to the umbrella oendan in right to make it 5-3. Igarashi got three of the next four hitters to extricate himself and now things would be left to closer Shingo Takatasu, who blew a save in his last appearance.
Takatsu hit the first hitter of the frame, Akahoshi. Imaoka grounded to third and Kataoka struckout. White walked to put the tying run aboard. Hiyama flew to center, however, and Takatsu had his 197th career saveand Yakult had the W.
One of the Japanese sports dailies had an interesting story about Ando today. As a freshman at Hosei University in the Tokyo Big Six University League, he threw a fastball on the outer half of the plate that Yoshinobu Takahashi, now a Yomiuri Giant, hammered for his 23rd homer, then a new league record.
After that, Ando had shoulder problems and quit baseball for a while, but decided to go back to it and made it back on the squad his senior year before graduating and moving on to Toyota. He said that he had mixed feelings about playing pro baseball since Toyota provides a steady paycheck, but at the end of the day he felt that he just had to take a chance and give it a shot.
Of the granny, Petagine, who had a sayonara (walk off) three run homer to win a game against Hanshin last season off of Toyama, said that "I was just trying to hit it hard somewhere. This is one I'll never forget." Petagine has had a terrible series against Hanshin, striking out eight of his 12 at bats before the big jack.
For Hanshin, White, who was batting cleanup for the first time, was 0-3 with two strikeouts, a walk and an HBP and is now at .350. Arias was 0-3 with a walk and is now at .094.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with four RBIs and is now at .258. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 to remain at .250. Hodges was 1-2 and is now at .500.
IP 6.0 PC 106 H 7 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Kanazawa IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.00
Toyama (L, 0-1) IP .2 PC 14 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 27.00
Itoh IP .1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yuminaga IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 6.0 PC 107 H 5 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
H. Ishii (W, 1-0) IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Ryo. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
Takatsu (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
2B: Imaoka, Inaba, Hamana
HR: Hiyama (2), Petagini (3)
RBI: Inaba, Petagine, Imaoka, Hiyama 2
WP: Ryo. Igarashi
HBP: Furuta (Itoh), White (Hodges), Akahoshi (Takatsu)
GIDP: S. Miyamoto
LOB: Hanshin 11, Yakult 7
Umpires: Watada (HP), Tomoyori? (1B), Kasahara (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Orix Finally Wins First Game 5-2
The Daiei Hawks accumulated 12 hits Sunday at Kobe Green Stadium, but most of them came with two already out, which ultimately doomed them to a 5-2 loss to the Orix Blue Wave, the inaugural victory for Orix this season in seven tries. Hidetaka Kawagoe got his first win against one loss despite a baserunner being on in every inning, but the Hawks never got the big hits that would have put Kawagoe away.
Orix, though, did much better, as they jumped on Daiei starter Brady Raggio for five earned runs on seven hits to inflate his ERA to 7.20.
The party from Kobe seized a lead in the bottom of the second, as first baseman Fernando Seguignol slapped a single to center, was sacrificed to second by shortstop Makoto Shiozaki, and sent home ona single from leftfielder Manabu Satake, 1-0 Orix after two complete.
Daiei put someting together in the top of the fourth to pull even, however. DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to center to begin the inning. Catcher Kenji Johjima walked. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama hit a grounder to Orix third baseman Scott Sheldon, who stepped on the bag and threw to first for the double play. First baseman Morgan Burkhart walked. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe singled to center to put Johjima across and tie it at 1-1.
In the bottom of the stanza, though, Sheldon leadoff with a single to center. Seguignol walked. Shiozaki moved both men up with a sac bunt. DH Yasuo Fujii then flied out to rightto drive Sheldon in and the home team was up 2-1.
And inning later, singles from catcher Takashi Miwa, centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani, leftfielder Koichi Oshima, a groundout by rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi and a single from Seguignol enabled Orix to affix a three on the scoreboard to make it 5-1.
Daiei appeared that they might do Orix in during the seventh when they got a leadoff single from centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara and a double up the leftcenterfield gap from leftfielder Pedro Valdez to drive in Shibahara. But a grounder to first from second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, a strikeout from third baseman Hiroki Kokubo and a grounder to short by Matsunaka sabotaged the counterattack and it was 5-2 after five and there it stayed, as Okubo, though a bit rocky, was credited with the save in the ninth.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-4 and is now at .286. Seguignol was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is now at .240.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-5 with an RBI and is now at .387. Burkhart was 1-3 with a walk and is now at .375.
1-1) IP 4.0 PC 74 H 7 HR
0 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kurano IP 1.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iijima IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshitake IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Kawagoe (W, 1-1) IP 6.0 PC 99 H 8 HR
0 K 6 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Kase IP 0.0 PC 3 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 13.50
Yamaguchi IP 2.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Okubo (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 10.80
RBI: Fujii, P. Valdez, Torigoe, Oshima, Kasturagi, Seguignol, Satake
LOB: Daiei 11, Orix 5
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Kodera (1B), Yoshikawa? (2B), Maeda (3B)
Arai Slam in Six Run First Enables Hiroshima to Slide by Chunichi 8-6
The Chunichi Dragons got homers from a couple of players who hadn't gone deep in years in this one, but they still couldn't overcome a first inning grand slam from first baseman Takahiro Arai in a six run Carp first inning and an Eddie Diaz RBI double in the home half of the fourth as Hiroshima held out to down the Chunichi Dragons Sunday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium.
started for the Dragons and lasted just one-third of an inning, and even
that out was a sacrifice fly. Takuya Kimura began things in that bottom of
the first with a ringing double down the leftfield line. Shortstop Akihiro
Higashide singled to center and Diaz singled to left for a quick 1-0 Carp
lead. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto walked to lead the
Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda then flied out to right to bring in Higashide and it was 2-0 home folks. Centerfielderr Koichi Ogata walked to pack the sacks again. Chunichi manager Hisashi Yamada gave Miyakoshi the hook in favor of Masataka
Endo, who threw a 1-2 slider down and in to Arai, who focused on putting a nice, compact stroke on it and it exited the building to the lefthand side for his first career grandslam and a 6-0 advantage before the seats were even warm. Here is a pic of Arai's homer: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/images/photos2002/sb20020408a1a.jpg
Hiroshima starter Yasushi Tsuruta was pretty shaky as well and was lucky he got the victory even with a huge early lead. In the top of the secondand with one down, Dragons leftfielder Jun Inoue homered to left on a fastball. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige singled to center. Junichi Jinno dug in to pinch hit and put one into the first row of the leftfield bleachers for his first longball in two years and in the blink of an eye half of the gap between the Dragons and Carp had vanished.
Shigetoshi Yamakita came on for Chunichi and tossed two perfect innings and he was succeeded by Makoto Kito, who got dented a little bit. With two out, Takuya Kimura singled to right. Higashide singled to left. Diaz then burned a double down the rightfield line and Kimura galloped homeward and it was 7-3 Hiroshima.Kanemoto walked to load the bases, but Kito induced Maeda to flyout to left to prevent any further Carp scoring.
In the top of the fifth, Tsuruta threw a fastball on the inner half of the plate and third baseman Leo Gomez' clouted his fourth homer of the year with Masahiro Araki on second on a double 425 feet into the rightcenter alley and it was 7-5. Tsuruta got out of the inning with no further depredations being wrought on him, but Carp manager Koji Yamamoto made that inning Tsuruta's last.
In the bottom of the sixth, Kito was hurt again, as Higashide leadoff with a single, Diaz singled to right to get his teammate to third and the Higashide was plated on a groundball to second from Kanemoto to make it 8-5.
Rigo Beltran was ushered in the game for the top of the seventh by Yamamoto and with one out, he threw a fat one to Teruyoshi Kuji, who connected for his first dinger in five years to get that run back at 8-6. But Shigeo Tamaki worked a scoreless eighth on one hit and Yasuhiro Oyamada then earned his third save in the ninth.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is now at .333.
Miyakoshi (L, 0-1)
IP .1 PC 22 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Endo IP .2 PC 12 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Yamakita IP 2.0 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kito IP 3.0 PC 65 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.18
Shotsu IP 2.0 PC 34 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tsuruta (W, 1-0)
IP 5.0 PC 74 H 6 HR 3 K 1 BB 3 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Beltran IP 1.2 PC 31 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
Sakai IP .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Oyamada (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
2B: Diaz, Inoue, Araki, T. Kimura, Ogata
HR: Arai (1), Jinno (1), Inoue (1), Kuji (1), Gomez (4)
RBI: Arai 4, Diaz 2, Kuji, Inoue, Gomez 2, Jinno 2, Kanemoto, Maeda
LOB: Chunichi 5, Hiroshima 10
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Ino (1B), Arisumi (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Shimoyanagi Outpitches Mitsui 4-2
Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi hasn't been effective at all either in the spring or in his first start of the regular season, so the Lions had to be looking forward to get a chance to face him, especially with Koji Mitsui on the mound for their side, who wove a one hitter his last time out. up until Sunday. Well, every dog has its day and Sunday was all Shimoyanagi, who went 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on four hits and struckout seven to earn the victory, his first of the year, as the Fighters were able to muster just enough of an attack to top Seibu 4-2.
Mitsui wasn't as good as he was during the one hitter, but he at least put in a failry solid performance, being touched for three runs in six innings on seven hits, one third baseman Yukio Tanaka's initial jack of 2002, in taking the loss.
Fighters centerfielder Tatsuya Ide leadoff the bottom of the first with a single to center. Hiroshi Narahara singled to left and Ide wheeled around to third. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara flew to center to plate Ide and put his nine ahead 1-0.
In the top of the second, Seibu third baseman Scott McClain answered with a homer to right to even it at one apiece.
Nippon Ham went in front again in the bottom of the inning, combining an infield hit by Tanaka, a single to center by Kuniyuki Kimoto, a single to left from catcher Kazunari Sanematsu and a groundout to first from Ide for the club's secon run, 2-1 Fighters after two complete.
In the top of the fourth, though, the Lions deadlocked it again via a longball, that particular one being by Kazuhiro Wada, and it would remain 2-2 until the home portion of the sixth, when Tanaka went the distance with two out and the Fighters never looked back from there, as they added DH Sherman Obando's third deep ball of the season in the eighth for an insurance run to triumph 4-2, Iba registering his second save of the season with a flawless ninth.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 with the RBI and is now at .172. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is now at .231.
For Seibu, McClain was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .308. First baseman Alex Cabrera was 0-2 with two walks and is at .286. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .214.
1-1) IP 6.0 PC 98 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER
3 ERA 1.80
Shiozaki IP 2.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Shimoyanagi (W, 1-1)
IP 6.2 PC 110 H 4 HR 2 K 7 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Sasaki IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shibakusa IP .1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Iba (S, 2) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.00
HR: McClain (1), Wada (2), Y. Tanaka (1), Obando (3)
RBI: Wada, McClain, Ide, Ogasawara, Obando, Y. Tanaka
LOB: Seibu 7, Nippon Ham 4
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Akimura (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Rhodes Two Homers, Five RBIs Spell Defeat for Lotte
leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes crushed a 1-1 hanging slider off of Chiba Lotte
Marines starter Kosuke Kato in the third and deposited it into the furthest
reaches of the rightfield bleachers at Chiba Marine Stadium for two runs
and then torched a Kato fastball in the fourth with two on and bounced it
off a support column in right to collect five RBIs in all as
Buffs strutted off with a 7-3 win Sunday. You can see a photo of one of Rhodes' homers at: http://www.sponichi.com/base/200204/08/images/base07.jpg
The Marines had taken a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the second when Derrick May creamed an offering from Kintetsu starter Takuichi Koike with one on and rammed it into the rightfield seats and then got two more singles, but then Rhodes responded with his two blasts and that was essentially the ballgame aside from the other two runs the Buffaloes generated later.
Lotte is now hitting a woeful .158 as a team and thus it is no wonder why they are still the last winless club of the 2002 schedule. If things don't inmprove radically in the next month, it is not unforseeable that manager Koji Yamamoto may get the boot. At least at two hours and 40 minutes, this contest was mercifully short for the Lotte fans.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes finished 2-4 with the five RBIs and is at .259. DH Nigel Wilson was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .346.
For Lotte, Frank Bolick, was 0-3 with a walk and is at .050. May was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .136.
2-0) IP 7.0 PC 114 H 5 HR 1 K 7
BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Aikyo IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sekiguchi IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70.
K. Kato (L, 0-2) IP 4.0
PC 80 H 9 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 7 ER 7 ERA
Takagi IP 3.0 PC 37 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
Fujita IP .2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Omura 2,
HR: Rhodes 2 (3)
RBI: Rhodes 5, Wilson, May 2, M. Watanabe
WP: K. Kato
LOB: Kintetsu 4, Lotte 3
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Iizuka (1B), Yanagita (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Since I had a question the other day about who was the winningest manager in Japanese history in terms of total regular season wins, let's go a step further in that regard. Who was the manager who guided his club or clubs to the most Japan Series championships?
NPB Finally Updates English Language Yakyuu Stats Site
Nippon Professional Baseball, the organization that runs the Japanese pro leagues, has finally started listing stats on its website. Therefore, from here on in, while I will continue to create box scores, I will no longer update the season totals in the non-pitching box scores. If you readers want those other cumulative stats, please go to: http://www.npb-bis.com/
The reason I'm doing this is that it will save me a lot of time in writing my articles and will make more research time available for other Japanese baseball-related topics. If any of you readers have any statistical questions, send them to me and while I can't guarentee that I will be able to answer them, I'll give it my best shot.
Lee Decides to Play in Korea Again
After seeming to
indicate that he was going to retire altogether, former Red Sox and Chunichi
hurler Sang-hoon" Samson" Lee is now saying that he intends to sign with
a Korean pro club. See Korea Times story
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This article is for Sunday's games, which is April 7th. On that day in Japanese baseball history in 1979, the Yomiuri Giants announced that it had signed former Hosei University pitcher Suguru Egawa after Egawa had refused a year earlier to join the Nishitetsu Lions, who had drafted him out of college. Egawa went to the U.S. and played semi-pro ball for a year before returning to Japan and signing a Giants contract. The Hanshin Tigers then picked Egawa in the draft. Commissoner Kaneko ruled the Giants Egawa contract illegal and the Giants reacted by threatening to withdraw from the league unless Hanshin traded Egawa's rights to them, which was, in fact, done, the Giants sending Shigeru Kobayashi to Hanshin as compensation, setting off a firestorm in the press, which vilified the Giants, and the team's popularity as well as the circulation of the Yomiuri Shimbun dropped. Commissioner Kaneko resigned in disgust over the whole incident as well.
Egawa went on to be a star, winning 137 games while losing 72 with a lifetime ERA of 3.02. Hewon an ERA title in 1981 and lead the CL in wins twice (1980-81), receiving an MVP (1981), in a nine season career that many believe Egawa cut short prematurely.
Kobayashi actually won more games in his career than Egawa, going 139-95 with a lifetime ERA of 3.18 in eleven seasons. He won a Sawamura Award (1977) and then took home another in 1979 after going to Hanshin, so he was no slouch. He went on to win 22, 15, 16, 11, and 13 games for the Osaka nine.
The manager who was most successful in the post season in Japanese baseball history, and I'm sure this was actually a fairly easy question for a lot of you, was Tetsuharu Kawakami, who won 11 Japan Series titles in 14 years with the Yomiuri Giants, including an epic nine in a row from 1965-1973.
is that during that run, they played just three clubs in the Japanese fall
classic, the Nankai Hawks (three times), which boasted Katsuya Nomura as
its catcher, the Hankyu Braves (five times) and the Lotte Orions (once).
No team won more than two games against Kawakami's side in any series, though
there weren't any sweeps
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March 30 to April 6, 2002
2002 OPENING DAY SPECIAL ISSUE
2002 SPRING TRAINING