Gary Garland / the japanese insider
April 30, 2002
Yabu Gets First Shutout in Two Years
Hanshin Tigers hurler Keiichi Yabu moved up to second in the Central League in ERA Tuesday with his first shutout since 2000 and his only such effort against the Chunichi Dragons as the Hanshin Tigers racked up a 4-0 victory at Koshien Stadium.
Takashi Ogasawara started for the Dragons and really didn't do that badly, but Hanshin was able to get some timely hits to generate just enough offense to win. In fact, a couple of walks in the first cost Ogasawara. With two outs, both third baseman Atsushi Kataoka and first baseman George Arias were recipients of Ogasawara's wildness and then rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama cracked a single to center for a 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the fourth, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka murdered a 3-0 85mph fastball and some lucky fan halfway up the leftfield bleachers had something to take homer with him and Hanshin was in the driver's seat at 2-0.
Two innings further down the road, Arias singled to center and Hiyama took a slider on the inner half of the plate and splattered it among the faithful in the rightfield seats for a 4-0 advantage. Yabu kept his pitches down and was able to spot his fastball consistently to keep the Dragons from getting anything going. He also benefited from a couple of highlight plays by shortstop Shuta Tanaka in the fourth when rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome rapped a ball off of Yabu's glove and Tanaka charged, gloved it, spun and made a jumping throw to nip Fukudome by a hair at first. He also made a diving catch of a line drive basehit bid in the fifth.
Chunichi has now dropped their last five in a row while Hanshin just set a club record with 15 wins in April. In addition, Hanshin hasn't won 15 in a month since July, 1994. The Tigers are also leading the CL in homers with 34 after slugging only 90 in 2001. The Dragons haven't gotten a hit with a man in scoring position in five games.
Hanshin starting centerfielder Norihiro Aakahoshi had his cast removed and may be back with the club in three weeks.
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 0-4 and is at .234. He is in the middle of a 17 game homerless drought.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-3 with a walk and is at .207. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 and is at .256.
Ogasawara (L, 3-1) IP 7.0 PC 120 H 5
HR 2 K 5 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.15
Hisamoto IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yabu (W, 4-0) IP 9.0 PC 120 H 4 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.56
E: S. Tanaka
HR: Hamanaka (3), Hiyama (6)
RBI: Hamanaka, Hiyama 3
LOB: Chunichi 4, Hanshin 3
Game Time: 2:31
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Shimada (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Crespo Homers Twice as Giants Romp Over Carp 11-4
Felipe Crespo launched his first pair of homers in Japan Tuesday to enable the Yomiuri Giants to pull away from the Hiroshima Carp at Tokyo Dome 11-4.
The game was marked by a first inning ejection of Giants hurler Taka Miura, who beaned Carp centerfielder Koichi Ogata with two out after being taken to the downs by second baseman Eddie Diaz to left that just managed to stay fair according to the umpiring crew, though fans in the stands contended that it had hooked foul. Hiroshima leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto then singled to right to bring up Ogata. There is a rule in Japanese baseball that if a pitcher hits a batter in the noggin that moundsman gets tossed. So in his first ever pro start, Miura didn't even see out the inital stanza. No word on if that is a record.
Anyway, Junya Sakai came on to spell Miura and he did an okay job, being touched for two runs, one earned, in 3.1 innings. One of those runs was due to his being taken deep by third baseman Takahiro Arai to leadoff the second to make it 2-0 Hiroshima.
In the top of the fourth and one away, third baseman Koji Goto booted a groundball from catcher Shuji Nishiyama, who was then moved along on a sac bunt from Carp starter Tetsuto Tomabechi and scored on a double to the leftfield fence from rightfielder Takuya Kimura for a 3-0 lead.
Diaz begins the fifth by scalding a two bagger down the rightfield line and Kanemoto spanked a copy cat version for a 4-0 Hiroshima advantage. But Tomabechi wasn't able to hold it.
The succeeding half inning, second baseman Daisuke Motoki leadoff with a single to center. One out later, he got to leisurely tour the bases in front of a bit of hammertime played by backup first baseman Takayuki Saito into the rightfield bleachers to halve the deficit to 4-2. One out later, shortstop Tomohiro Nioka beat out a grounder toward short and he was redeemed when rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi lined a double up the leftcenter alley for an RBI and now it was a one run ballgame at 4-3. Hiroshima manager Koji Yamamoto ordered Godzilla Matsui walked, but then Tomabechi exacerbated things by walking first baseman Akira Etoh, now defending third base, unintentionally to lead the bases. Crespo checked in to pinch hit against reliever Shigeo Tamaki and he walked to force in a run to tie it at 4-4. Motoki singled to right for two more and catcher Shinnosuke Abe was plunked to juice the bags again. Fortunately for Tamaki, he was then able to induce a groundoout from Saito to end the Yomiuri revolt, though the home team was now up 6-4.
In the seventh, Crespo had his next AB and throttled a Daisuke Sakai pitch into the rightfield seats and it was now 7-4 Giants.
Then in the eighth, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu kicked it off with a single to right. One out later, Takahashi singled to center and Matsui walked to pack the sacks. Etoh flied out to plate Shimizu and Crespo turned another Sakai offering into a souvenir and it was 11-4 Giants. Tsuyoshi Jobe closed it out in order and the elite businessman that populate the stands at Giants games went home happy and, probably, drunk.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 2-2 with five RBIs and a walk and is at .200. By the way, this is the first time a Giants player has entered the game in mid-stream and homered twice since July 4, 1990.
Tomabechi (L, 0-2) IP 4.2 PC 80
H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 9.31
Tamaki IP .1 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.46
Beltran IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Sakai IP 2.0 PC 46 H 5 HR 2 K 0 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.02
IP .1 PC 18 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
J. Sakai IP 3.1 PC 50 H 4 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 1.59
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Okajima (W, 2-0) IP 2.0 PC 33 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.82
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.57
SB: S. Nishiyama, S. Abe
2B: Diaz, T. Kimura, Kanemoto, T. Shimizu, Y. Takahashi
HR: Diaz (7), Arai (7), Crespo 2 (2), Takayuki Saito (1)
RBI: Arai, T. Kimura, Kanemoto, Diaz, Crespo 5, Takayuki Saito 2, Y. Takahashi, Etoh, Motoki 2
IBB: H. Matsui
HBP: Ogata (T. Miura), Asai (Y. Maeda), H. Matsui (Tomabechi), S. Abe (Tamaki)
PB: S. Abe
LOB: Hiroshima 12, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 3:52
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Rhodes Ejected, So Nakamura Takes Revenge
Seibu Lions starter Hsu Ming-chieh had problems staying away from the extra base hit in the middle innings and so he lost out to a competent and little more outing from his opposite number on the Kintetsu Buffaloes. Katsuhiko Maekawa, in a 4-3 Kintetsu triumph at Seibu Dome Tuesday.
Hsu struckout the side in the third and was pitching ahead 1-0 from the fourth, when Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui doubled to the centerfield fence despite a bad thumb and went to third on a sac bunt by centerfielder Tatsuya Ozeki. DH Toshiaki Inubushi singled to right and Matsui trotted in with the first run off the game.
In the fifth, Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes had a two strike count and then took a high fastball, thinking it was up. But plate umpire Yamamoto knew the english worked Rhodes used and he was kicked out of the game, his fifth ejection in seven years, tops among active players.
In the sixth, though, Kintetsu Koichi Isobe and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka both doubled down the leftfield line to knot it up at one apiece.
Matsui started things roiling again in the home portion when he laced his second double of the contest. Ozeki sacrificed him to third and hs came in on a single to left from Inubushi. Hey, haven't we heard this somewhere before? 2-1 Seibu after six.
In the seventh, Buffaloes catcher Tetsuya Matoyama singled to lead it off and second baseman Akihito Igarashi singled to center one out later. Leftfielder Kenshi Kawaguchi singled to right and Matoyama was thrown out at the plate. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, livid that Rhodes had been sent to the showers, got an 87mph fastball up and out over the plate from Hsu and he lambasted it to the opposite field for a three run homer and suddenly it was 4-2 Kintetsu.
In the bottom of the seventh, Maekawa hit Lions
catcher Tsutomu Itoh to begin the inning and was sacrificed along by second
baseman Hiro Takagi. Matsui then peeled off double number three and RBI number
one to tense it up at 4-3 and
knock Maekawa out of the game. Akira Okamoto replaced him and after giving up an infield hit, ended the predicament by inducing an infield pop and a fly ball to center.
Okamoto then put the screws on the Lions offense the rest of the way to save it.
Seibu, which paid a $1 million signing bonus to get Chang Chieh-chiah to sign on the dotted line and then will fork out a yearly salary of $150,000, is expecting him to be in the rotation the last couple of days of the month. Chang is a quality arm and if this race is close, could be the chip that makes things fall Seibu's way this season.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-3 and is at .253. DH Nigel Wilson donned the golden sombrero (four at bats, four whiffs) and is at .225.
For Seibu, Alex Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and is at .244.
Maekawa (W, 1-2) IP
6.1 PC 110 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.91
Okamoto (S, 3) IP 2.2 PC 34 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
IP 6.2 PC 138 H 11 HR 1 K 10 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.33
Tsuchigoe IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Aoki IP .1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mizuo IP .1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Mori IP .2 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.19
2B: M. Abe, Isobe 2, Yoshioka, K. Matsui 3
HR: N. Nakamura (6)
RBI: N. Nakamura 3, Yoshioka, K. Matsui, Inubushi 2
HBP: T. Itoh (Maekawa)
LOB: Kintetsu 11, Seibu 7
Game Time: 3:30
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Akimura (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Daiei Alters Lineup and Batters Ono 11-6
The Chiba Lotte Marines instigated a four run eighth inning after being behind 6-2, but that was only after the Daiei Hawks had put up a three spot in the top of the same frame and then they added two more to walk away with an 11-6 triumph at Chiba Marine Stadium Tuesday. Hawks starter Toshiya Sugiuchi is now 2-1 in the aftermath of throwing 5.2 innings of six hit, two run ball in bad weather conditions while Lotte starter Shingo Ono is still seeking his first victory after dropping his second decision.
Daiei got off on the good foot in the first, as second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled to right, went to second on a bad pick off throw and moved to third on a single to left from leftfielder Pedro Valdez. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo rolled out to second and it was 1-0 Hawks.
In the third, the Daiei bats clubbed Ono. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara walked to lead it off. Iguchi grounded to Lotte shortstop Toshiaki Imae, who booted it. Valdez went back up the middle for an RBI and One out later DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to make it 3-0. With two now out, first baseman Morgan Burkhart singled to center for the fourth run and to finish off Ono, who left in departed in favor of Takashi Kawai. Rightfielder Arihito Muramatsu pinged a shot into the leftcenter gap to make it 6-0 Hawks.
Lotte ruined any ideas of a shotout in the fourth when Kenji Yoshitsuru unloaded a double down the rightfield line and scored on a single to left from third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba.
Lotte picked up another tally in the fifth with a leadoff single to left from Masaumi Shimizu, a one out single to left from Sabura Omura and a two out knock from first baseman Kazuya Fukuura and it was 6-2 visitors.
In the top of the eighth, both Muramatsu and shortstop Yusuke Torigoe singled to center. Shibahara singled to left for an RBI and Iguchi singled to center for two more and it was 9-2 Daiei.
Lotte then went on their biggest scoring binge
of the night. Yoshitsuru commenced it with a single to right and Hatsushiba
ripped a double into rightcenter to make it 9-3. Daiei reliever Shuji Yoshida
threw a wild pitch to get Hatsushiba to third. one out later, he came in
on a groundout to third. Kita walked. Omura singled to left. Iyoda then doubled
up the ally in leftcenter
and it was 9-6.
In the ninth, though, Matsunaka singled to center and went to third when reliever Atsushi Yoshida made a bad throw to first in trying to hold Matsunaka on (as if someone with his bad wheels is going to run anyway). He then came in when catcher Kenji Johjima lofted a sac fly to right. Burkhart checked in and went midieval on a Yoshida pitch, the ball bounding around in the rightcenterfield seats and it was 11-6.
Kazuhiko Iijima came in for the ninth and dispensed with the Lotte lineup to write "finis" on this one.
Sugiuchi is the first Hawks rookie ever to win two games in April. Due to the winds and thew wet ball from the rain, he had a difficult time getting a handle on his breaking pitches, so he went to a lot of fastballs and cut fastballs as he got further into the game. He actually has a higher strikeout rate than Daisuke Matsuzaka right now, 11.4 K/9 against 11.2 K/9.
For Daiei, Valdez was 3-5 with two RBIs and is now at .330. He leads the Pacific League in RBIs with 29. Burkhart was 2-4 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .241. He says he is becoming more used to how he is being pitched to, though he admits that he still has a lot of work to do.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .186.
Sugiuchi (W, 2-1) IP
5.2 PC 111 H 6 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.33
Wakatabe IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 34 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 4 ER 2 ERA 5.40
Iijima IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
S. Ono (L,
2.2 PC 69 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 6 ER 1 ERA 3.24
Kawai IP 4.0 PC 71 H 1 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
K. Yamasaki IP .1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Takagi IP 1.0 PC 27 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA 5.19
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
E: S. Ono, Yoshida, Iguchi, Imae
SB: S. Omura
2B: Muramatsu, Johjima, Kokubo, Yoshitsuru, Iyoda, Hatsushiba, Shibahara, Iguchi 2, P. Valdez 2, Matsunaka, Johjima,
HR: Burkhart (8)
RBI: Burkhart 2, Iyoda 2, Fukuura, Hatsushiba, M. Shimizu,
HBP: Fukuura (Sugiuchi)
LOB: Daiei 7, Lotte 10
Game Time: 3:45
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Nakamura Sharp Again to Edge Orix 2-1
Nippon Ham's Hayato Nakamura was brilliant in this faceoff gainst the Orix Blue Wave, twirling nine innings of one run, six hit ball to get the win when his teammates in the batting order played some very fundamentally sound ball in the top of the tenth for the game winning run.
Orix starter Masahiko Kaneda perhaps should have emerged on top since he permitted half the hits Nakamura did, but a critical misplay Orix centerfielder Ryota Aikawa effectively put the kabosh on his chance to to do that in the sixth.
Orix bunched some hits together in the third to get a lead. With one gone, catcher Takashi Miwa doubled to leftcenter. Makoto Shiozaki singled to right and Miwa stopped at third. Shortstop Mitsutaka Goto followed suit for the RBI and it was 1-0 Blue Wave.
Unfortunately, Aikawa dropped Makoto Kaneko's leadoff fly ball to get all the way around to third. Kaneda pitched around first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and ultimately walked him. One out later, rightfielder Seigo Fujishima flied out to center to plate Kaneko with the tying run.
Both starters went nine and now let's go to the top of the tenth. Nippon Ham centerfielder Tatsuya Ide lead it off with a double to rightcenter off of Kazuo Yamaguchi and went to third on a sacrifice by Kaneko. Ogasawara flied to left and Ide sped in to make it 2-1. Yutaka Nakamura doubled down the rightfield line and Fujishima legged out a roller toward short. But any further scoring was averted when leftfielder D.T. Cromer flied out to center.
Tomokazu Iba then walked in from the bullpen and two strikeouts and a grounder later had his fifth save of the season and Nippon Ham's third win in a row.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 1-3 with two strikeouts and a walk and is at .282. First baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-3 and is at .237.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-2 with a walk and is at .247. Cromer was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is at .266.
H. Nakamura (W, 2-0) IP 9.0 PC 132 H
6 HR 0 K 8 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.56
Iba (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
IP 9.0 PC 124 H 3 HR 0 K 6 BB 5 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.73
Yamaguchi (L, 1-2) IP .2 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.05
Kase IP .1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
E: Katsuragi, Aikawa
2B: Y. Tanaka, Ide, Nakamura, Miwa, Shindo
RBI: M. Ogasawara, Fujishima, Goto
SF: Fujishima, Ogasawara
IBB: Fujishima, Seguignol
HBP: Ide (Kaneda)
GIDP: Kimoto, Goto
LOB: Nippon Ham 10, Orix 7
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Sato (HP), Yamamura (1B), Higashi (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Doi Throws Third Complete Game in Four Days
I don't know if this guy is trying to kill his arm,
especially since he had surgery last year to remove floating cartiliage in
his elbow, but Hosei University hurler Ryutaro Doi (note: in a previous article,
I had written his last name as "Tsuchii," which was obviously incorrect)
tossed his third complete game Tuesday in four days, striking out ten and
walking none in a 4-1 victory
over Tsuyoshi Wada and Waseda University. Wada whiffed seven to raise his career strikeout total to 349.
Doi, who is drawing a lot of interest from the Chiba
Lotte Marimes, is now 3-1 against Wada in their head to head confrontations.
He has thrown 435 pitches between the three games. Note that using him in
this game wasn't the original
intention of Hosei manager Yamanaka, who was a fine pitcher in his own right, but Doi reportedly asked him to let him start in this one and he did so successfully. For his career, Doi, 6' and 170, is 18-6 with a 1.39 ERA in 30 games.
More Bad Ideas on Speeding Up the Game
See Yomiuri Shimbun article at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020502wo53.htm
Hall of Famer Nomura's Wife Sentenced to Two Years in Jail for Tax Evasion
The wife of Japanese baseball hall of famer Katsuya
Nomura was sentenced to two years in jail on tax evasion charges.However,
if she keeps her nose clean for four years and pays the stipulated fines,
she won't have to serve the time:
LG Twins Edge SK Wyverns in KBO Play
April 29, 2002
Yokohama Nearly Blows 9-2 Lead, But Hangs on for Win Over Yakult 10-8
The Yokohama Bay Stars, offensively challenged for the most part early in the season, finally broke loose with some significant run production, only to then almost blow it in a wild 10-8 victory against the Yakult Swallows at Yokohama Stadium Monday. Yokohama starter Masao Morinaka picked up his first win in that role with seven solid innings of three run ball on seven hits by effectively utilizing his slider and getting good movement on his fastball.
Rookie Masanori Ishikawa admitted that he let an error by first baseman Roberto Petagine in the bottom of the first bother him and he was charged with eight runs, four earned to lose it.
Yakult had staked its number one draft choice to a 2-0 lead when centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff with a single to right and went to second on a sacrifice. Morinaka then walked both Petagine and catcher Atsuya Furuta to load the bases and third baseman Akinori Iwamura scalded a double down the rightfield line for two RBIs.
In the home portion, though, shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff with a single to center. One out later, leftfielder Takanori Suzuki walked and Ishikawa nailed first baseman Hiroo Ishii on the thigh to pack the sacks. Hirofumi Ogawa struckout, but then second baseman Hitoshi Taneda hit a ball that squirted through Petagine and two runners came around to even it. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to center for an RBI and catcher Takeshi Nakamura bashed a shot off the leftfield wall for a double and it was 4-2 Stars after one. If Petagine catches that ball, the inning would have been over and Yakult would have been in the driver's seat, but now Yokohama had the upper hand.
In the fifth, the Stars staged a two out rally that knocked Ishikawa out of the game. Ogawa singled to right and Taneda singled to left. Rodrigues singled to left to pick up Ogawa and Nakamura went way downtown to left for a three run homer and to expand their advantage to 8-2.
Masato Hanada went to the center of the diamond for Yakult in the sixth and centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo spanked one back up the middle to get on. Suzuki sprayed the ball to right to move Kinjo to third. Takashi Manei tapped one toward the mound and Kinjo hustled home while Hanada got the out at first to make it 9-2.
Down by seven, even if they ultimately lost, at least the Swallows didn't quit. In the top of the seventh and with two down, backup catcher Kosei Ono singled to right, as did Manaka to allow Ono to go to third. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto then hit a dribbler that he was safe on while Ono crossed the plate to shrink the disparity to 9-3.
In the eighth, Petagine leadoff with his ninth homer, which landed in the centerfield seats. Furuta kissed one down the leftfield line for a double. One out later, leftfielder Alex Ramirez got real gone to leftcenter and now it was close at 9-6.
In the bottom half and with Ryu Kawabata on the mound, Takuro Ishii singled with one out and Kinjo moved him along with a sacrifice. Kawabata intentionally walked Suzuki. Manei singled to left and Ishii came in to give Yokohama its first double digit scoring binge of 2002.
Yakult had one last gasp left and it made things a bit too interesting for fans of the Stars against closer Takashi Saito. Manaka leadoff with a single to center. One out later, rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to right. Petagine flied out, but while Saito was pitching to Furuta, Nakamura commited a passed ball and both runners moved up. Furuta singled to center for one run and Iwamura went to left for another, but Saito then whiffed Ramirez and Yokohama had a 10-8 victory. This was also the first time all season that the Stars had scored in double figures.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 3-4 with three RBIs and is now at .227.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with a walk and an RBI and is at .309. Ramirez was 2-5 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .371.
Ishikawa (L, 1-2) IP 5.0 PC 97
H 9 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 8 ER 4 ERA 3.64
Hanada IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.43
Sakamoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Morinaka (W, 1-0) IP 7.0 PC 116
H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.65
Takeshita IP .1 PC 13 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.75
Kizuka IP .2 PC 7 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.42
T. Saito IP 1.0 PC 34 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.08
E: Petagine, Iwamura
2B: Iwamura, Furuta
HR: Petagine (9), Ramirez (3), Nakamura (1)
RBI: S. Miyamoto, Furuta, Petagiune, Iwamura 3, Ramirez 2, Rodrigues 3, Nakamura 3, Manei 2
IBB: T. Suzuki
HBP: H. Ishii (Ishikawa)
WP: Morinaka, Ishikawa
LOB: Yakult 8, Yokohama 7
Game Time: 3:26
Umpires: Honada (HP), Fukatani (1B), Suginaga (2B), Ino (3B)
Kudoh Shuts Out Carp 5-0
Saying that this was the most mechanically sound he has been this season, Yomiuri Giants southpaw Kimiyasu Kudoh shutout the Hiroshima Carp on six hits Monday at Tokyo Dome to put his club four games above .500 for the first time this year with a 5-0 victory.
Most importantly, it appears that the ex-Daiei Hawk Kudoh is over the shoulder and leg ailments that dogged him last season and, if that is truly the case, will give the Giants ballclub a lift in terms of both morale and in stabilizing a rotation that is still a little unsettled.
It looked as if Hiroshima would get to Kudoh in the first, but a bonehead baserunning error kept that from happening. Second baseman Eddie Diaz drilled a two out double to rightcenter. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto then hit a little groundball to second. Diaz, thinking that Kanemoto was going to be out, started a slow jog to the plate. Giants second baseman Daisuke Motoki, realizing that he wasn't going to get Kanemoto, who runs well, picked up the ball and gunned it to the plate, where catcher Shinnosuke Abe waited to tag Diaz out.
The game remained at 0-0 until the bottom of the third, when Motoki drew a leadoff walk and went to second on a single to center from Abe. Kudoh moved both men 90 feet with a sacrifice. One out later, shortstop Tomohiro Nioka ricocheted a ball off the foot of Carp starter Masayuki Hasegawa and into centerfield for a two run single and it was 2-0 Yomiru after three complete.
In the sixth, Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi leadoff with a free pass and centerfielder Hideki Matsui singled to center. First baseman Akira Etoh then attempted to sacrificed the runners along, but Hiroshima third baseman Takahiro Arai was out of position and Etoh had a rare bunt hit to load the bases. Goto grounded into a seldom seen 3-2-3 double play, but Motoki singled to center to plate Matsui and Etoh and it was 4-0 home team.
Then in the seventh, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu homered to right to widen the gap with Hiroshima to 5-0. Kudoh then put the Carp away with little fuss from there on in and sent their fans away happy.
Injured first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara and wounded second baseman Toshihisa Nishi are now starting to hit off a batting tee while rehabbing oblique muscle strains and should be at full strength by the middle of May.
Hasegawa (L, 1-1) IP 6.0 PC 93 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 4
R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.94
Satake IP 1.0 PC 20 H 3 HR 3 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Stanifer IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Kudoh (W, 2-2) IP 9.0 PC 108 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
HR: T. Shimizu (3)
RBI: T. Shimizu, Nioka 2, Motoki 2
GIDP: Lopez, Goto, Motoki
LOB: Hiroshima 7, Yomiuri 7
Game Time: 2:32
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Two Kataoka Homers, Ando Lead Hanshin Past Dragons 5-3
Chunichi Dragons starter Melvin Bunch was picked apart for four homers, all solo shots, and Hanshin starter Yuya Ando threw seven just good enough innings in a 5-3 Tigers victory at Koshien Stadium Monday. Two of the real gone bombs were by third baseman Atsushi Kataoka, who had been slumping to this point, and he raised his average to .237.
The Dragons were able to grab a temporary lead in the first, with shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leading off by banging a single to center and moving over to third when Ando walked both rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome and first baseman Leo Gomez to load the bases. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami flied out to right to push in Ibata for the 1-0 edge.
Hanshin cleared that hurdle, though, when Kataoka lifted a 2-0 fastball up and over the outer half of the plate into the first few rows of the leftfield bleachers for the tie and then first baseman George Arias provided the go ahead run when he got all of a similar pitch and left it rattling around in the leftfield stands, too, 2-1 Tigers after one complete. You can view a pic of one of Kataoka's blasts at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/04/30/20020430005254.jpg
In the visitor's half of the fourth, however, catcher Motonobu Tanishige brutalized a fastball on the inner half of the plate with Tantsunami on after being hit with a pitch and abandoned the carcass in the leftfield seats to put the Dragons in front 3-2.
In the sixth, Bunch hung a slider to Kataoka and he hurtled it into the rightfield seats to deadlock it at 3-3. One out later, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama pulled a David Copperfield with another Bunch delivery and made the ball reappear among the folks behind the leftfield fence to make it 4-3 Hanshin.
After a 1-2-3 seventh, Ando gave way to Shinobu Fukuhara, who tossed a scoreless eighth. Hanshin then tacked on an insurance run with singles form Kataoka, Arias and Hiyama and celebrated the triumph when closr Mark Valdez harvested a couple of grounders and a whiff to end it.
Hanshin is now 8-0 when Arias has homered. On the other hand, since it's seven game winning skein to open the season, the Tigers have done little more than play .500 ball.
The Dragons aren't doing much when runners have moved into scoring position the last few games, the club's hitters zero for the last 33 innings in that regard.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .202. Leftfielder Derrick White was 1-3 and is at .267.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 1-3 with a walk and is at .244.
3-2) IP 6.0 PC
105 H 6 HR 4 K 6 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.55
Yamai IP 2.0 PC 32 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
7.0 PC 111 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.63
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
M. Valdez (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
HR: Tanishige (7), Kataoka (3), Arias (10), Hiyama (5)
RBI: Tanishige 2, Tatsunami, Arias, Kataoka 2, Hiyama 2
HBP: Tatsunami (Hasegawa)
LOB: Chunichi 5, Hanshin 4
Game Time: 2:56
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Shimada (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Matsuzaka Brilliant, Cabrera Unleashes Another Mammoth Blast to Power Seibu Over Kintetsu
Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka's nickname is "the monster" and if you were a Kintetsu Buffaloes batter he was indeed terrifying, as he went seven strong innings for his fifth victory against zero defeats in a 4-1 Seibu win. That was also the 50th of his three years plus pro career.
Perhaps more monstrous, though, was what Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera did to an offering from Kintetsu reliever Koichi Misawa in the seventh, as he unleashed an artillery shot 520 feet to leftcenter for his eighth homer of the season and his third in the last five games.
Kintetsu leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was the sole offensive highlight for the Buffaloes, as he exterminated a 92mph fastball from Matsuzaka to right in the sixth for his 12th homer already. He is on a pace to hit 70.
Seibu wrought most of its depredations on the Buffs in the fifth. Already up 1-0 on a triple down the leftfield line from centerfielder Susumu Otomo and a double to rightcenter on a fastball by catcher Tsutomu Itoh in the fourth, DH Toshiaki Inubushi found a triple in the rightcenter gap and, following walks to Cabrera and ;leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada to pack the sacks, hustled home on an infield safety by third baseman Hiroaki Ueda. A walk to pinch hitter Hisashi Takayama forced in another runner and it was 3-0 Lions.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .260. DH Nigel Wilson fanned in all three of his at bats and is at .235.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .253. Scott McClain is back in the U.S. having his injury treated. No time table has been announced for his return.
Koike (L, 3-1) IP 4.2 PC
87 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.71
Aikyo IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Sekiguchi IP 1.1 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.59
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.84
Kadokura IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Matsuzaka (W, 5-0) IP 7.0 PC 102 H 5 HR 1 K 8 BB
0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.20
Mori IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
Toyoda (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.90
2B: Isobe, Takasu, Cabrera, T. Itoh
3B: Inubushi, Otomo
HR: Cabrera (8), Rhodes (12)
RBI: Rhodes, Cabrera, Ueda, Takayama, T. Itoh
LOB: Kintetsu 5, Seibu 8
Game Time: 2:52
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Akimura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Fifth Inning Valdez Homer the Margin of Victory Against Lotte
At the time he didn't know it, but when Daiei Hawks leftfielder Pedro Valdez yanked a Nathan Minchey offering into the rightfield seats at Chiba Marine Stadium in the fifth inning Monday to give his team a 5-3 lead, he was actually securing the win since Chiba Lotte Marines DH Frank Bolick went yard off of Shuji Yoshida in the eighth to make it 5-4, which would have tied the game if not for Valdez' heroics. It also enabled Daiei closer Rodney Pedraza to reach the century mark in lifetime saves.
The Hawks failed to convert an opportunity in the first, as centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff with a double into the leftcenter alley and went to third on a sac bunt. But then second baseman Tadahito Iguchi struckout and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo flied out to right to fritter it away.
Lotte then turned around and hurt Daiei starter Junji Hoshino with an infield hit from shortstop Masato Watanabe and a righteous shot off a hanging breaking ball by first baseman Kazuya Fukuura, his first of the year, for a 2-0 Marines lead.
The next half inning, first baseman Morgan Burkhart shaved a run off the disparity when he put a nice swing on a Minchey pitch and toasted it into the leftfield seats to make it 2-1 Lotte. One out later, Shibahara singled to right and scampered home on a booming double down the rightfield line from Iguchi to knot it at two apiece. Kokubo then tried to exit to the opposite field, but had to settle for a wall banging double and an RBI. DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka cracked a single to right and now the Hawks were ahead 4-2.
Lotte responded with a single to center by Fukuura, a knock to right by Bolick and a two out RBI double by third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba to draw within 4-3.
After the Valdes shot, Lotte never got a head of steam at all, the Bolick dinger being their only form of resistance. Pedraza had a 1-2-3 ninth and the Hawks pocketed the win and went back to the hotel. The save was the 100th of Pedraza's Japanese career.
While Lotte was one of the weaker nines in the PL in 2001, Chiba Marine Stadium was a house of horrors for the Hawks, who went 3-10 in the windy environs.
For Lotte, Bolick was 2-4 with an RBI and is now at .233. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-4 and is at .198.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .318. Burkhart was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .228.
J. Hoshino (W, 3-0) IP 6.1 PC 83 H 7
HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.55
Yoshida IP 1.2 PC 28 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.35
Pedraza (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.87
Minchey (L, 1-4) IP 9.0 PC 124 H 10 H 2 K 2 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.61
2B: Johjima, Kokubo, Iguchi, Shibahara, Hatsushiba
HR: Burkhart (7), P. Valdez (9), Fukuura (1), Bolick (2)
RBI: Burkhart, P. Valdez, Fukuura 2, Bolick, Iguchi, Kokubo, Matsunaka, Hatsushiba
LOB: Daiei 4 , Lotte 4
Game Time: 2:33
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Tachibana (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Tamba (3B)
Cromer Sacrifice Fly Game Winner for Nippon Ham Against Orix 5-3
A flyout to center by Nippon Ham leftfielder D.T. Cromer with second baseman Makoto Kaneko on third base in the seventh inning produced what would prove to be the winning run in a 5-3 Fighters victory over the Orix Blue Wave at Kobe Green Stadium Monday.
Hiroyuki Sekine started for Nippon Ham and went
7.1 solid innings, allowing just four hits and walking one while striking
out ten to earn the victory. He had permitted just a fifth inning solo homer
from Fernando Seguignol until he tired in the seventh and Orix exploited
that fatigue to make it a closer ballgame. See pic of Sekine at:
Nobuyuki Ebisu made his first start of the season and he had a reasonable outing, going six innings, but he was hurt by two longballs and ended up surrendering three earned runs on seven hits and ultimately was saddled with the kuroboshi.
Nippon Ham broke a scoreless match in the top of the fifth, as first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara blasted an Ebisu pitch into the rightfield seats.
Seguignol, though, compensated for the mistake Ebisu ran up to the plate with a cannon shot into the rightcenterfield seats to even it at 1-1. Sekine collected himself in the aftermath of the roundtripper and struckout the side to end the inning.
In the sixth, though, Fighters rightfielder Seigo Fujishima took a shorter route and exited through the leftfield stands to make it 2-1 Fighters. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide singled and stole second and then galloped around when shortstop Ken Tanaka singled to left to expand his club's lead to 3-1.
Nippon Ham added to that in the seventh, as Kaneko leadoff with a single to left and went to third on Ogasawara's knock to right. One out later, Cromer lifted the scoring fly ball to center and it was 4-1 Fighters.
The visitors put up another in the eighth when third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto leadoff with a single to center and advanced on Toshihiro Noguchi's infield hit. Both men moved up on a groundout to first. One out later, Kaneko walked to load the bases. Ogasawara then tapped a ball toward short and beat it out to send in Kimoto, 5-1 Fighters after seven and a half.
Orix made a comback run in the bottom of the inning, one Sekine would not finish. With one out, leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani doubled to the leftfield wall. First baseman Scott Sheldon singled to left to usher in Shiotani and pinch hitter Yasuo Fujii walked. Nippon Ham manager Yasunori Oshima pulled Sekine in favor of Kiyoshi Sasaki and One out later, pinch hitter Tatsuya Shindo singled to right to plate Sheldon and it was 5-3. Sasaki then induced a ground ball from second baseman Koichi Oshima to stanch the bleeding. Tomokazu Iba then came on to save it.
Fighters starting shortstop Hiroshi Narahara hurt his heel and sat out this game.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-2 with two walks and an RBI and is at .270. DH Sherman Obando was 0-5 with four strikeouts and is at .253.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .280. Sheldon was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .244.
Sekine (W, 1-2) IP 7.1 PC
113 H 4 HR 1 K 10 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.43
Sasaki IP .2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.77
Iba (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.56
Ebisu (L, 0-1) IP 6.0
PC 104 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.70
Imamura IP .1 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.35
Iwashita IP .2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.00
Tokumoto IP .2 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.35
Kase IP 1.1 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
SB: Kaneko, M. Ogasawara, Ide
2B: Kaneko, Shiotani
HR: M. Ogasawara (9) Fujishima (4), Seguignol (9)
RBI: Shindo, Seguignol, Sheldon, K. Tanaka, M. Ogasawara 2, Cromer, Fujishima
LOB: Nippon Ham 11, Orix 4
Game Time: 3:29
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Nagami (1B), Maeda (2B), Iizuka (3B)
Who's Hot and Who's Not in Korean Pro Baseball
Spiteless in Seattle
An aquaintance in the Seattle sports media wrote
me, saying that he thinks "the Mariners blew it big time on this one"
regarding Safeco Field management not allowing fans to wear t-shirts with the words "Yankees Suck!" on them. Jim Caple
over at ESPN also took the Mariners to the woodshed over this in a scathing bit of satire:
Personally, I don't know who the idiot is in the Mariners front office who decided to restrict patrons of the ballpark from enjoying the same privileges that fans in the 29 other stadiums across the MLB landscape do, but he is paying for it now by making a laughingstock of what is otherwise one of the classiest organizations in all of baseball. Certainly, to your humble amateur scribe, this affair smacks of the nonsensical Canadian speech codes. Being so close to the border with our northern neighbors, maybe this bit of craziness was an infection that spread to Washington. Whatever the case may be, just let me say that Safeco bluenoses suck! Oh well, I guess I'll never be allowed into the stadium now. Not like I can afford it anyway.
Incidentally, for those of you who speak Japanese, syndicated talk show host Tom Leykis, who has the number one drive time talk program in Seattle and L.A., is offering $500 to any fan who can get a sign in Safeco Field that says, "Mariners suck!" on it in Japanese. Send the picture to email@example.com if you manage to do this. Leykis is also soliciting attorneys to sue the team for violating fans' First Amendment rights since it is a publically financed stadium.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 29th, so on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1970, the owner of the Nishtetsu Lions was quizzed by the Tokyo Special Prosecutor's Office as to whether one of the team's pitchers, Masayuki Nagai, had taken money to throw baseball games as part of what came to be known as, "the black mist incident." For his part, Nagai wouldn't talk.
And on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1976, Nippon Ham rookie Hisataka Yukizawa slugged a grand slam homer as his first pro hit. However, the runner at first just kind of stood there watching the ball go out and was passed up by Yukizawa, who lit out thinking it was going to merely be an extra base hit. Consequently, he was out. Yukizawa went on to play for Seibu as well, hitting .230 lifetime mainly as a bench player.
Also on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1953, Hanshin outfielder Fumio Fujimura hit a grand slam in his second consecutive game.
April 28, 2002
Takatsu Earns 200th Save in Yakult Win Over Hanshin
Hanshin Tigers lefthander Trey Moore limited the Yakult Swallows to only six hits, but they organized them in the right spots to back the startlingly good work of Hirotsugu Maeda for a 3-1 victory Sunday at Koshien Stadium. Maeda was pummeled with gusto during spring training and yet, after having just been promoted back up to the big club, went 6.1 innings and gave up a run on four hits, walking one and striking out four for his first win of the season.
Yakult got out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the second, as first baseman Roberto Petagine leadoff with a single to right and two outs later went to third on a double to center from leftfielder Alex Ramirez. Second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi then drilled a Moore pitch into the leftcenter alley for another two bagger and to push Petagine and Ramirez in. Unfortunately, Shiroishi injured himself and is going to be out for a while.
Hanshin then scored a run in the fourth by combining a leadoff single to center from second baseman Makoto Imaoka, a sac bunt from shortstop Yoshinori Okihara, a single to left from third baseman Atsushi Kataoka and a sac fly by leftfielder Derrick White to make it 2-1.
In the fifth, Shiroishi's replacement, Hajime Miki, singled to start the inning and stole second. He then came around on a couple of groundballs to get the Swallows back up by two at 3-1.
Ryota Igarashi and Hirotoshi Ishii kept Hanshin quiet until the ninth, when closer Shingo Takatsu walked in and scooped up his 200th save, 29 away from Kazuhiro Sasaki's all time record.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .311. Ramirez was 1-3 and is at .370.
For Hanshin, White was 0-2 with an RBI and is at .264. First baseman George Arias was 1-2 with a walk and is at .188.
H. Maeda (W, 1-0) IP 6.1 PC 82 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER
1 ERA 1.42
Ryo. Igrashi IP .2 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Takatsu (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.16
Moore (L, 3-1) IP 8.0 PC 115 H 6 HR 0
K 5 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.75
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
2B: Ramirez, Shiroishi
RBI: Manaka, Shiroishi 2, White
WP: Maeda, Ryo. Igarashi
LOB: Yakult 3, Hanshin 5
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Kittaka (2B), Nemoto (3B)
Pedraza Claims Foreign Record in Saving it for Terahara
Daiei Hawks 18 year old rookie righthander Hayato
Terahara got a win under his belt and closer Rodney Pedraza saved it to become
the all time Japanese leader in that department among foreigners Sunday at
Fukuoka Dome in a 3-1 Hawks
triumph. Terahara went six shutout innings on three hits and whiffed seven while walking one. Pedraza's save was his 99th, breaking former Chunichi Dragons Fireman of the Year Son Dong-yeol's foreign record of 98. You can see a pic of the youngster at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0429terahara_OS032428_b.jpg
Orix starter Hidetaka Kawagoe wasn't bad, but he just couldn't match Terahara's standard and took the loss, his third, against two wins.
Daiei pulled in front in the third, when leftfielder Pedro Valdez took Kawagoe over the rightfield wall to make it 1-0.
Terahara had his first jam in the fifth, when Orix leftfielder Ryota Aikawa doubled to rightcenter with one away. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi singled to center and Aikawa went to third. But first baseman Scott Sheldon flied out to foul territory just behind first base and catcher Takashi Miwa grounded out to terminate the threat.
In the seventh, first baseman Morgan Burkhart singled to right and was sacrificed along to second. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara legged out a roller to short. Valdez then hammered a fastball to right for his league leading 26th RBI and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi got down a squeeze bunt and it was 3-1 home team.
In the top of the eighth and two out, second baseman Orix second baseman Koichi Oshima singled to center off of Kazuhiko Iijima and stole second. From there, he came home on a double to rightcenter from centerfielder Koji Takamizawa. Iijima was then removed and replaced by Shuji Yoshida, who got the final out to limit the damage.
Pedraza got three ground balls in the ninth and that was it.
Terahara's parents watched the game at their home in Miyazaki, Miyazaki Prefecture. Their son is apparently a big fan of a dish called chicken namban, and so at the Fukuoka Dome they sell a bento box containing it and a bakery shop in a hotel adjacent to the stadium sells a "Terahara sandwich" which is basically a chicken namban surrounded by bread.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .282. Sheldon was 1-4 and is at .244.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .317. Burkhart was 1-2 with a walk and is at .227.
Kawagoe (L, 2-3) IP 6.1 PC 103
H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.06
Yamaguchi IP 1.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
Terahara (W, 1-1) IP 6.0 PC 89 H 3 HR
0 K 7 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.27
Iijima IP 1.2 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.96
Yoshida IP .1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Pedraza (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
SB: Muramatsu, Oshima
2B: Aikawa, Takamizawa, Tani
HR: P. Valdez (8)
RBI: P. Valdez 2, Takamizawa, Iguchi
HBP: Satake (Iijima)
LOB: Orix 8, Daiei 6
Game Time: 2:48
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Higashi (1B), Hayashi (2B), Sato (3B)
Takahashi Throws a Surprising Shutout Against Yokohama
Hisanori Takahashi sucked during spring training and hasn't pitched that well once the bell rang, either, so I'm sure his club, the Yomiuri Giants, was hoping that he wouldn't get lit up too badly in this start. Well, miracles happen and Takahashi threw eight phenomenal innings of shutout ball, striking out 11 and walking two to beat the Yokohama Bay Stars 1-0 Sunday at Tokyo Dome.
Yokohama had two shots to score off of Takahashi, the first of those in the initial inning of the ballgame. With one out, centerfielder Tsuyoshi Kinjo singled to right. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki then blazed a Takahashi offering up the leftcenter gap, but Kinjo was thrown out at the plate and first baseman Hiroo Ishii struckout to quell the uprising.
Then in the third with two away, Kinjo singled to left. Suzuki doubled down the rightfield line and Hiroo Ishii walked to load the bases. But third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa struckout to stop the rally in its tracks.
Yokohama starter Daisuke Miura was spinning a beauty himself and didn't allow the Giants much of a sniff of home until the seventh. With two out, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled and stole second. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka then banged a single to right to plate Shimizu to make it 1-0.
Junichi Kawahara came on in the ninth for Yomiuri to go for his sixth save. Hiroo Ishii smacked a leadoff double to right to get Kawahara in hot water. Takashi Manei came out to pinch run. However, Ogawa groundout to third to keep Manei at second, pinch hitter Boi Rodrigues struckout and second baseman Hitoshi Taneda flied out and with that Yokohama was dust, a 1-0 loser.
One has to wonder what Miura is thinking right now. He has a 2.74 ERA and is 2-4. If this continues, he may choose, as his ex-batterymate Motonobu Tanishige did, to take the free gaent route out of town.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .077.
For Yokohama, Boi Rodrigues went down to .194 with his whiff.
Miura (L, 2-4) IP 7.0
PC 127 H 6 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.74
Inamine IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
Kizuka IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
H. Takahashi (W, 1-0) IP 8.0 PC 136 H
5 HR 0 K 11 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.57
Kawahara (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: Nioka, T. Shimizu, Goto
2B: T. Suzuki 2, H. Ishii
LOB: Yokohama 7, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 3:27
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Arisumi (1B) ? (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Rhodes, Wilson Homers Undermine Marines
A solo homer from Tuffy Rhodes in the first and a two run clout from DH Nigel Wilson in the seventh powered the Kintetsu Buffaloes to a 5-1 win over the Chiba Lotte Marines Sunday at Osaka Dome. Hisashi Iwakuma allowed just one unearned run in seven innings to outpitch Lotte starter Brian Sikorsky and get his first victory of the season.
Sikorsky threw a fine ballgame, as he went seven innings and gave up five hits, but two of those knocks really hurt him, the Rhodes longball to right in the bottom of the first and the two out Wilson roundtripper to rightcenter in the aftermath of an infield single by first baseman Yuji Yoshioka.
The lone Lotte run came in the sixth, when first baseman Kazuya Fukuura leadoff with a double to leftcenter, leftfielder Derrick May legged out a roller to third and third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to right for the RBI.
In the eighth with the Buffs up 3-1 and a man out, centerfielder Naoyuki Omura beat out a a slow ground ball toward third. Rhodes then looped a double near the leftfield line and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura picked up both runners with a missile to the centerfield wall for a two RBI double off of Yoshida and a 5-1 advantage.
Eight Akira Okamoto pitches into the ninth and the Buffaloes went away winners.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick struckout three times in four chances and is at .217. May was 2-4 and is at .208.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 3-4 with an RBI and is at .261. Wilson was 1-3 with two RBIs and is at .244.
Sikorsky (L, 1-3) IP 7.0
PC 115 H 5 HR 2 K 11 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.94
K. Yamasaki IP .2 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.57
Takagi IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.35
Yoshida IP .1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Iwakuma (W, 1-1) IP 7.0 PC 108
H 6 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.48
Yamamoto IP .2 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Miyamoto IP .1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.38
Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
2B: Fukuura, Omura, Rhodes, N. Nakamura
HR: Rhodes (11), Wilson (6)
RBI: Rhodes, Wilson 2, Hatsushiba, N. Nakamura 2
HBP: Hatsushiba (Iwakuma), Fukuura (Yamamoto)
LOB: Lotte 8, Kintetsu 3
Game Time: 3:01
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Iizuka (1B), Nagami (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Mirabel Picks Up Third Win Against Seibu
See Asahi Shibun story at:
Mirabel (W, 3-0) IP 7.0 PC 129
H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.38
Sasaki (S, 1) IP 2.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.95
Nishiguchi (L, 2-3) IP 7.0 PC 113 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB
4 R 5 ER 4 ERA 4.36
Tsuchigoe IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toriyabe IP 0.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: K. Tanaka 2, Cabrera, Wada, T. Itoh
SB: Kaneko, Noguchi
2B: K. Tanaka, Kimoto, Ozeki
HR: M. Ogasawara (8), K. Matsui (4)
RBI: M. Ogasawara, Obando, Cromer, Morimoto, Kimoto 2, K. Matsui, K. Suzuki, Wada, Takayama
GIDP: K. Suzuki 2, Wada
LOB: Nippon Ham 8, Seibu 9
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Yanagita (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Tsuruta Bests Asakura on Arai Homer
A homer to leftcenter in the top of the fifth at
Nagoya Dome by Takahiro Arai was the decisive blow Sunday in a 2-1 Carp victory
against the Chunichi Dragons. Hiroshima starter Yasushi Tsuruta went 5.1
innings and managed to limit the Dragons to only a run despite walking five
and then four relievers permitted just two hits the rest of the way to maintain
the 2-1 lead.
Kenta Asakura started for Chunichi and lasted a mere two hitters and had to leave the game. Hiroshima leadoff man Takuya Kimura whacked a pitch off of Asakura's knee for a hit. Asakura threw another pitch and Kimura tried to go on him, but catcher Motonobu Tanishige nailed him at second. Asakura was obviously hurting, though, and Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada wasn't about to take any more chances, so he got on the horn to Shigetoshi Yamakita, who strode in and promptly walked shortstop Akihiro Higashide. Second baseman Eddie Diaz then tattooed a shot off the leftfield wall to send Higashide to third and leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto lofted a sac fly to left and the visitors were up 1-0.
In the second, Carp second baseman Luis Lopez leadoff with a drive down the leftfield line, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a triple (note: that's a guess on my part, since Lopez was out somehow before the next at bat concluded, but the log doesn't say how exactly). That mistake would be costly, since Arai crushed an offering from Yamakita off the rightfield fence for two bases. He was then stranded when catcher Shuji Nishiyama flied out.
In the bottom of the third, Tanishige got all of a slider down and on the outer half of the plate from Tsuruta and deposited it into the leftcenterfield bleachers to tie the game at 1-1. Chunichi then proceded to juice the bags with two outs on a single by shortstop Hirokazu Ibata and walks to Masahiro Araki and Leo Gomez, but Kazuyoshi Tatsunami flew out to squander the opportunity.
In the fifth, Arai leadoff by jerking a Yamakita 0-2 slider into the leftcenterfield stands for the 2-1 Hiroshima lead.
The Dragons tried to even it in the ninth off of Carp closer Yasuhiro Oyamada. With one down, leftfielder Jun Inoue carromed a pitch off the leftfield wall for a double. The next two hitters grounded to short, though, and it was over.
X-rays taken at a hospital after the game showed just a bruise and Asakura should be 100% in a few days.
Tsuruta (W, 2-0) IP 5.1 PC
97 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 5 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.28
Beltran IP .2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.19
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
Oyamada (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.79
IP 0.1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.40
Yamakita (L, 0-1) IP 4.2 PC 59 H 6 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.68
Endo IP 2.0 PC 31 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Hisamoto IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Diaz, Lopez, Arai, Inoue
HR: Arai (6), Tanishige (6)
RBI: Arai, Tanishige, Kanemoto
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Chunichi 7
Game Time: 2:48
Umpires: Ino (HP), Suginaga (1B), Mori (2B), K. Kobayashi (3B)
Who was the last non-Japanese who was born in Japan and went on to play in MLB?
Good News and Bad News for Pro Yakyu
While overall attendance is up in the Central League this season, it is indeed driven by the revival of the fortunes of the Hanshin Tigers, who may break their 1992 attendance record of 2,853,000 if they can maintain their current pace. However, there are some troubling signs, some of it having to do with the ailing Japanese economy, according to the Asahi Shimbun.
Over at the Nagyoa Dome, for example, a 10 meters by seven meters sign behind the leftfield bleachers is going unused because the team can't find an advertiser to take it, the first time since the stadium opened in 1997 that has occurred.
The same is true over at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo, the Yakult Swallows homeground, where Yakult has put up advertising for its parent company to fill in otherwise blank sign space.
And as companies trim their entertainment budgets, the season ticket sales of ballclubs are being hurt in the proces. For example, the Asahi Shinmbun tells of one unnamed team in the Tokyo area that has seen its season ticket sales decline from a high of 13,000 seats at its peak to 5,000 in 2002. Moreover, those season seat figures went down more than 1,000 just over the past year.
For the less popular Pacific League, things are even harder. The Asahi Shimbun describes how team ticket offices that used to sell in blocks of 100 to corporate and school organizations now are doing so in fours and fives. Clearly, one thing that could drive a revival of pro yakyuu fortunes would be a more robust economy, but that doesn't appear to be on the horizon, economists say.
Hanshin Tigers Resurgence a Boon for Charity
Lopez, Maeda Talk Out Differences
That story and other tidbits from Wayne Graczyk
at the Japan Times:
Sports Magazine Field in Japan Gets More Crowded
For those who love pro yakyu as I do, reading the venerable Shuukan Baseball, subscribing to the webzine Baseball Monthly and having an occasional looks at Sports Number Graphic, Japan's version of Sports Illustrated, are pretty much mandatory. But that is a competetive field, as this article demonstrates: http://www.asahi.com/english/national/K2002042900146.html
Sunday KBO Action
Taiwanese Pro Baseball Makes Internet Debut
Taiwanese pro league games will now be broadcaston
the Internet thanks to Chungwa Telecom. This follows on the massive success
of Internet broadcasts of Baseball World Cup games earlier this year on the
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 28th, so on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1963, Daily Sports coined the phrase "ON Cannon" to describe the power in the middle of the Yomiuri Giants. The "O" was Sadaharu Oh, and the "N" was third baseman Shigeo Nagashima.
And on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1969, advertisements were put on the fences at Meiji Jingu Stadium for the first time for Swallows games. At the time, for amateur games (such as college games, for example), the signs were taken down, but that restriction was later lifted.
The last MLB player who was was born in Japan but was not a Japanese citizen was Craig House, who spent 16 games with the Colorado Rockies in 2000 (1-1 7.24 ERA). He was a product of Okinawa.
According to Baseball Reference, there have been three MLB "senshu (players)" who first saw the light of day in the Land of the Rising Sun and were not Japanese citizens. In addition to House, there was Steve Chitren (Tokyo), who spent two seasons (1990-1991) with Oakland (2-4 3.58 ERA in 64 games) and Jeff McCurry (Tokyo), who was with four MLB clubs between 1995-1999 (3-12 5.89 ERA in 111 games). Unlike in the U.S, you do not receive automatic citizenship just because you were born there unless you are of Japanese parentage.
Orix Tears Up Daiei 10-0
Ed Yarnell threw a complete game shutout Saturday for Orix while his teammates shook Daiei starter Brady Raggio down for three runs in the first seven innings and then teed off on two relievers in what became a 10-0 wipeout at Fukuoka Dome. Yarnell scattered seven hits and didn't walk anyone while striking out five for his third victory of 2002.
It was a scoreless due until the fifth, when Orix first baseman Scott Sheldon doubled down the leftfield line to lead it off and went to third on a sacrifice. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki then flew out to right to bring in Sheldon for a 1-0 lead.
In the sixth, second baseman Koichi Oshima doubled to rightcenter and came home on a single to left by centerfielder Koji Takamizawa to double the advantage 2-0.
Then with one out in the eighth, Orix shortstop Mitsutaka Goto singled to right and Daiei manager Sadaharu Oh took the ball from Raggio and went to the bullpen for Hirokazu Watanabe. Oshima sacrificed Goto along and pinch hitter Yoshitomo Tani doubled over the head of Hawks centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara to drive in Goto, 3-0 Orix after eight complete.
In the ninth, Orix went to town on Taira Suzuki and Shinji Kurano. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi walked to start the inning. Sheldon singled to center. Catcher Takashi Miwa then got what was supposed to be a sac bunt down, but Suzuki went to third to try to force Katsuragi and the throw was wild, so Sheldon scored to make it 4-0. One out later and now with Kurano pitching for Daiei, third baseman Tatsuya Shindo singled to center for an RBI as did Oshima. Centerfielder Manabu Satake tripled into the leftfield corner and now Orix was ahead by eight. DH Fernando Seguignol homered to right to put it into double digits at 10-0 and Yarnell then turned out the lights for his initial shutout in Japan and to bring his team to .500 for the first time this season in the wake of an 0-6 start.
Tani didn't start due to a slight hamstring pull, but obviously it hasn't affected a guy who was a doubles machine in 2001.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 and is at .310. First baseman Morgan Burkhart was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .219.
For Orix, Seguignol was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .294. Sheldon was 3-4 with a stolen base and is at .244.
Yarnell (W, 3-2) IP 9.0 PC 105 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.34
2-2) IP 7.1 PC 100
H 8 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.91
H.K. Watanabe IP .1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Suzuki IP .2 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 1 ERA 5.79
Kurano IP .2 PC 23 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 8.10
2B: Aikawa, Sheldon, Oshima, Tani, P. Valdez, Omichi
HR: Seguignol (8)
RBI: Seguignol 2, Shindo, Oshima, Takamizawa, Tani, Satake 2, Shiozaki
HBP: Takamizawa (Raggio)
GIDP: Kokubo, Akiyama
LOB: Orix 5, Daiei 4
Game Time: 2:33
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Hayashi (1B), Sato (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Hoshino Implodes in 9-1 Hanshin Defeat
What can you say about this game other than it was just a classic story of a control pitcher leaving pitches up and not having the necessary command of the strike zone to have a viable outing, so Hanshin starter Nobuyuki Hoshino got cuffed around for five runs on 11 hits in five innings of work to get the loss in a 9-1 Yakult victory Saturday at Koshien Stadium.
Satoshi Iriki started for Yakult and was the opposite of Hoshino, permitting six hits and a run on an economical 74 pitches to pick up his first victory of the young season.
Hanshin got itself a brief lead in the first, as second baseman Makoto Imaoka kicked it off by ramming a first pitch fastball down the rightfield line for a double, went to third on a sac bunt and came home on a sacrifice fly to right by third baseman Atsushi Kataoka. That was the last time Hanshin was able to exploit its opportunities and when Yakult got it going in the third, the Osaka squad couldn't respond.
In that inning, rightfielder Atsunori Inaba raked a double off the rightfield fence with two gone. First baseman Roberto Petagine creamed a Hoshino pitch into the leftcenter alley to tie it up. Catcher Atsuya Furuta walked. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura lined a shot up the leftcenter gap to bring in Petagine. Hoshino threw leftfielder Alex Ramirez a fastball up in the strike zone and Ramirez whistled it back up the middle of the diamond to get both Furuta and Iwamura were in the dugout with a 4-1 lead.
Ramirez then started a rally in the sixth when he legged out a dribbler to third. Second baseman Chihiro Hamana sacrificed him to second. Iriki singled to right. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka singled to center and it was 5-1 Swallows and they bid adieu to Hoshino, in favor of Shinichi Nishikawa, who got out of the inning, but had troubles of his own in the seventh.
Petagine leadoff with a single to right. One out later, Iwamura walked. Ramirez grounde to short, but then Takahiro Ikeyama walked to load the bases. Second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi singled to right and Petagine came home for the sixth Yakult tally.
In the eighth and with Masashi, "hit me" Date on the hill now, Manaka cracked a leadoff double down into the leftfield corner for a double and was sacrificed to third. Date then plunked Inaba. Petagine singled to center for an RBI and Furuta lashed a double to rightcenter and two more scored for a 9-1 Yakult advantage and that's how it ended.
For Hanshin, leftfielder Derrick White was 1-4 and is at .271. First baseman George Arias was 0-4 and is at .181.
For Yakult, Petagine was 3-5 with two RBIs and is at .314. Ramirez was 4-5 with two RBIs and is at .371.
S. Iriki (W,
1-1) IP 6.0 PC 74 H 6 HR
0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Ryo. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Newman IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
0-1) IP 5.1 PC 80 H
11 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.44
Nishikawa IP 1.2 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Date IP 2.0 PC 33 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.39
2B: Iwamura 2, Petagine, Inaba, Furuta, Manaka, Imaoka, Hamanaka,
RBI: Manaka, Petagine 2, Furuta 2, Iwamura, Ramirez 1, Shiroishi, Kataoka
WP: Ryo. Igarashi 2
HBP: Inaba (Date), Imaoka (Ryo, Igarashi)
LOB: Yakult 11, Hanshin 9
Game Time: 3:03
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Kittaka (1B), Nemoto (2B), Tani (3B)
Yamamoto Demoted to Minors After 14-0 Debacle Against Hiroshima
Hiroshima Carp starter Ken Takahashi twirled a four hit shutout while runs just seemed to cascade from the team's batting order Saturday at Nagoya Dome, as the Chunichi Dragons were massacred 14-0 in front of a nice crowd of 36,500. The fans also aren't going to see starter Masahiro Yamamoto for a while, since he was sent down after the game for the first time in his career for bad performance.
Second baseman Eddie Diaz went 4-4 and drove in three runs while his mate across the diamond, first baseman Luis Lopez, was 2-4 with a three run homer and sent in a total of four runners on the night.
The Carp scored early and scored often, as in the first, Takuya Kimura leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. Diaz clobbered one down the leftfield line for an RBI and came home on leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto's two bagger to right.
In the third, Kimura went to the centerfield wall for a leadoff double and went to third on a sacrifice. Diaz tattooed a single to left to usher in Kimura. Kimura went ot second on a groundout and galloped around on a single from Ogata. Lopez then played a little hammertime into the leftcenter alley for a double to make it 5-0 Hiroshima.
Shigeotshi Yamakita took the mound in the fifth for Chunichi and hit the first batter he faced, shortstop Akihiro Higashide. Diaz singled to left and both men went another 90 feet on a groundball to first. One out later, Lopez then left the yard to help the Carp enjoy an 8-0 gap between them and the home team.
The Carp added four more in the seventh on a hit batsman, a walk, two doubles and a single and then Diaz and Itsuki Asai each homered with nobody on for the last volleys in this bombardment later on.
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 0-4 and is at .250.
K. Takahashi (W, 2-2) IP 9.0 PC 135 H 4 HR 0 K 6 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.25
M. Yamamoto (L, 0-4) IP 3.0 PC
56 H 7 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 6.03
Yamai IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.60
Okamoto IP 2.0 PC 40 H 4 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.87
Endo IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.15
2B: Diaz, Kanemoto, T. Kimura, Lopez, Ogata, Arai, Haru,
HR: Lopez (1), Diaz (6), Asai (1)
RBI: Diaz 3, Kanemoto, Ogata 3, Lopez 4, Asai, Arai, Nishiyama
HBP: Higashide (Yamakita), Diaz (Okamoto)
LOB: Hiroshima 3, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 2:44
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Mori (1B), Ino (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Pair of Two Run Innings Nets Lions a Win Against Nippon Ham
A brace of two run innings by the Seibu Lions put them up 4-1 and they cruised to a 4-2 victory behind five innings of four hit, one run ball by Shiozaki in his first start in two years at Seibu Dome Saturday. With his wife and kids in attendance at the game, Tetsuya Shiozaki obviously hadn't been extended in some time and consequently Seibu manager Ihara kept his pitch count to 83 before pulling him with one out and nobody on in the sixth.
Shiozaki was locked up in a scoreless game with Nippon Ham starter Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi until the fourth, when the Fighters got out in front 1-0 on back to back doubles from shortstop Hiroshi Narahara and first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara.
Seibu returned things to equilibrium with a leadoff walk to Kazuhiro Wada and a run scoring single from catcher Tsutomu Itoh.
In the fifth, Fighters second baseman Yukio Tanaka opened the door for the Lions by throwing away a grounder from Masaji Shimizu. One out later, first baseman Alex Cabrera belted a drive up the leftcenter alley to plate Shimizu. Wada then seared one down the leftfield line for an RBI double and it was 4-1 Seibu and Shimoyanagi was out of the ballgame.
Seigo Fujishima, Nippon Ham's rightfielder, topped off the day's offensive activity with a shot into the centerfield seats and nobody even reached base on either side from there on in to bring the 4-2 Seibu triumph to a close.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 1-4 and is at .267. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-4 and is at .274.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .234.
Shimoyanagi (L, 1-4) IP 4.1 PC 97 H 8 HR
0 K 4 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA 7.71
Muto IP 3.0 PC 38 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.96
Kato IP .2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
Shiozaki (W, 1-0) IP 5.2
PC 83 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
Mizuo IP .2 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
Tomori IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Mori IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.53
Toyoda (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
E: Fujishima, Y. Tanaka
2B: Narahara, M. Ogasawara, Cabrera, Wada
HR: Fujishima (3)
RBI: Fujishima, Ogasawara, K. Matsui, Cabrera, Wada, T. Itoh
IBB: K. Suzuki
LOB: Nippon Ham 4, Seibu 7
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Nakamura (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Godzilla Roars Twice and Yokohama Falls 6-1
Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui homered in the third and agaijn ijn the fifth to provide all the offensive support starter Koji Uehara and reliever Hector Almonte would require in a 6-1 Giants win at Tokyo Dome Saturday against the Yokohama Bay Stars. The victory was Uehara's third of the season.
In the first inning, Giants leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to right. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka then laid down what was intended to be a sacrifice bunt, but Yokohama starter Hiroshi Yamada was slow getting off the mound and Nioka beat the throw to first. That set the stage for the lefthanded hitting Matsui, who got an 88mph heater away from Yamada and roped it just by the leftfield foul pole for a three run homer and it was 3-0 Giants after one. See pic at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0428matsuiNK189427_b.jpg
In the fourth, first baseman Akira Etoh singled to center to lead it off and went to second when Goto was plunked by a pitch. One out later, catcher Shinnosuke Abe was intentionally walked to get to Uehara, who grounded back to the mound for the force. Yamada walked Shimizu, though and it was 4-0. Nioka singled to right and the inning ended with the Giants sitting pretty at 5-0.
Matsui then lined one that carried into the seats in left again an inning later for a 6-0 cushion. The Stars put one on the board in the sixth thanks to an error by third baseman Felipe Crespo and a couple of singles, but then it was nada form there on in and Almonte threw 95mph bullets in the ninth to send Yokohama back to the hotel with the taste of defeat.
Matsui told reporters that he doesn't ever remember hitting two balls out to left in the same game ever. The shot in the first inning ended a five game homerless drought for Godzilla and was his first longball at home this year. Ex-Giants manager Shigeo Nagashima thought that Matsui was kind of dragging his bat through the strike zone, which explains why he has been racking up hits to left but nothing over the fence. So he did some work in the cage trying to keep his weight back and was able to get a little more zip on his bat and thus more carry to the opposite field.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .197.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 0-1 and is at .083.
H. Yamada (L, 2-1) IP 3.2
PC 69 H 8 HR 1 K 1 BB 3 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.10
Takeshita IP 1.1 PC 19 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.00
Turman IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.79
Inamine IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
Sugimoto IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
3-2) IP 8.0 PC 130
H 4 HR 0 K 8 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.16
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: H. Yamada, Sugimoto, Crespo
SB: Etoh, S. Abe
HR: H. Matsui 2 (6)
RBI: T. Shimizu, Nioka, Matsui 4, Kinjo
IBB: S. Abe
HBP: Goto (H. Yamada), Kawai (Sugimoto)
GIDP: Rodrigues, Ogawa, Motoki, H. Matsui
LOB: Yokohama 2, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 2:46
Umpires: Watada (HP), ? (1B), Kasahara (2B), T. Kobayashi
Strong Outing by Shimizu Goes Unrewarded in Lotte Loss
Chiba Lotte Marines starter Naoyuki Shimizu had a right nice outing Saturday at Osaka Dome against the Kintetsu Buffaloes, going 6.1 innings and allowing two runs on six hits. However, Jeremy Powell had one of his best performances of what has been so far a bad season for him, as he too went six and was charged with just one run in a 3-1 Kintetsu triumph, though he wasn't around when the go ahead tallies were registered.
After Lotte wasn't able to cash in a bases loaded, two out situation in the first, the Buffaloes pulled ahead in the second with a one out double from first baseman Yuji Yoshioka and a single to right from DH Nigel Wilson for a 1-0 lead.
Lotte evened it in the fifth when centerfielder Koichi Hori leadoff the inning with single to center and was sacrificed it to second. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura walked. DH Frank Bolick singled to left and it was 1-1. Leftfielder Derrick May came up and clocked a hot shot headed into right when Yoshioka dove and snagged it for an out, a "fine play" in Japanese parlance.
With Fujita now pitching for Orix in the seventh, shortstop Masahiro Abe singled to right and was sacrificed to second. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura just missed hitting a fastball out to right, Abe striding around the bases while Omura checked into second. Pinch hitter Yosuke Takasu ripped another heater down the rightfield line to make it 3-1.
Lotte had one hit in the last three innings, so Kintetsu had an easy time of it in the late innings finishing off the game.
For Lotte, Bolick was 2-4 with an RBI and is now at .231. May was 103 and is at .192.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes
was 0-4 and is at .239. Wilson was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and
N. Shimizu (L, 2-1) IP
6.1 PC 98 H 6 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.61
Fujita IP .1 PC 8 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Yoshida IP .1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.48
Takagi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
IP 6.0 PC 111 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 5 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
Okamoto (W, 2-0) IP 2.0 PC 34 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
2B: Yoshioka, A. Igarashi, Omura, Takasu
RBI: Bolick Wilson, Omura, Takasu
HBP: N. Nakamura (N. Shimizu), Fukuura (Powell)
LOB: Lotte 11, Kintetsu 8
Game Time: 3:00
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Tamba (2B), Kodera (3B)
Shinjo-Mania Wearing Thin in San Francisco
Wada Strikes Out 17 Against Hosei University
Waseda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada continues to give Japanese and MLB scouts more reasons to seek his signature on the dotted line, as he went all the way in a 12 inning scoreless match with Hosei University, striking out 17 in the course of delivering 165 times to the plate. This was the first tie between the two schools since 1981.
Wada actually seemed to get stronger, as he whiffed six in a row between one out in the tenth to one out in the 12th. He now has 339 whiffs for his college career, moving past the great Taiyo Whales submariner Noboru Akiyama to fourth on the all time Tokyo Big Six University League strikeout list.
One thing that makes someone such as Wada a big favorite is that he has excellent comand of all his pitches, which includes a 90mph fastball, a curve, two different sliders and a very good changeup. In this one, he kept the ball away early in the count and then bored in under the hitters' hands with his slider.
Wada has nine more starts left before graduation to surpass Suguru Egawa's league record of 443. Right now, he is averaging 11.6 K/9 and should break the record if he stays healthy. He also has a 23.2 scoreless innings streak going.
The starter fot Hosei, Ryutaro Tsuchii, is also highly regared by Japanese pros and should go within the first two rounds of the November draft. For now, though, Wada appears to be the apple of at least seven Japanese teams' eyes.
Walk Off Homer by Seung-yeop Lee Beats Kia in KBO Action
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 27th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1975, and boy, what a barnburner I have for you here. Joe Lutz, who was coaching the Hiroshima Carp, had this feeling that umpires were always making decisions that would benefit the Yomiuri Giants, especially the way that balls and strikes were being called on Mr. Giants, Shigeo Nagashima. He even kept notes on it.
Anyway, Lutz was appointed manager of the Carp before the 1975 season and from the start was getting into it with the umpires. This exploded in a incident on April 11th, where, in a game against the Chunichi Dragons, with the bases loaded, nobody out and the Dragons leading 2-0, Hiroshima Yukinobu Miyamoto threw a 2-2 pitch down and in to the hitter that was called a ball by an umpire named Harada. This enraged Miyamoto, who charged Harada and hit him with a flying kick (btw, that not only got Miyamoto ejected, but later a 50,000 yen fine, no small amount back in those days). One of the outfield umpires then got into it with outfielder Tsuyoshi Oshita. Lutz went out to intervene and he was given the gate by the umpires, setting off a mini-riot where fans invaded the field. The head umpire rescinded Lutz' ejection to try to ease hurt feelings of the fans.
Now on this date, April 27th, in a game against Hanshin at Koshien Stadium, in the first game of a doubleheader with the score 0-0 in the eighth and two out and men on first and third, Carp pitcher Saeki threw a full count curve on the outside corner to Tigers third baseman Masayuki Kakefu and home plate umpire Matsushita called it a ball. Lutz went nuclear, charging the ump and using his stomach to bump him all the way up against the screen behind the plate. Of course, Lutz was ejected, but he refused to go and kept on venting his venom on the umpires. He wouldn't even budge when the umpires told him that if he didn't get lost they would forfeit the game to Hanshin. Someone was brought in from Hiroshima's front office to persuade Lutz to leave, which he did. But he also said that he had had it, that Hiroshima was going to have to get itself another manager.
Despite all the sturm und drang, the Carp front office told Lutz that they wanted him to stay as manager, but deciding that "it would be better if I wasn't here," Lutz went back to the states after just 15 games at the helm of the Carp (record: 6-8-1), who would go on that year to win their first Central League title in their quarter century long history. It should be noted that many pro yakyu critics credit Lutz with introducing training methods that helped the Carp go from a perennial doormat to "the Red Hell."
Also on that day in Japanese baseball in 1971, the fog got so bad at Osaka Stadium during a game between the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Nankai Hawks that an extra umpire was stationed out near the centerfield fence.
The only other Japanese hurler to
homer three times in a game was also a Yomiuri Giant, Tsuneo Horiuchi, who
did it in consecutive at bats on October 10, 1967 against the Hiroshima Carp
while throwing an 11-0 no hitter. He went 4-4 that day. That's a Frank Merriwell
April 26, 2002
Arias Slams Swallows into Submission
A second inning grand slam to centerfield by Hanshin Tigers first baseman George Arias capped off a nine run second inning that enabled the Osaka favorite sons to walk all over the Yakult Swallows at Koshien Stadium 11-6 Friday. This was also only the second time in the last 12 years that Hanshin had scored in double figures in back to back games, according to Sports Nippon.
Kei Igawa started for Hanshin and earned his fourth win of the year against one loss despite giving up a season worst four runs in seven innings of work. But Yakult starter Futoshi Yamabe was much worse and one can foresee him losing his spot in the rotation after another less than inspring performance.
Hanshin had a golden opportunity to get on the board first in the inital frame of the contest, as Second baseman Makoto Imaoka leadoff with a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third. However, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka bounced out to Yamabe and, after leftfielder Derrick White walked, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama grounded to short to end the threat.
Yakult third baseman Akinori Iwamura then leadoff the second by taking Igawa to the biggest part of the yard for a solo homer and a 1-0 Swallows lead.
Yamabe, though, wouldn't see out the
second. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka hit a little looper that shortstop Shinya
Miyamoto couldn't hold on to and he reached safely. Miyamoto was charged
with an error. Arias walked. Catcher Katsuhiko Yamada singled to right to
load the bases and Igawa singled to left to plate Hamanaka and knot the score
at 1-1. Imaoka then ripped a single to left and both Arias and Yamada came
in to make it 3-1. Shortstop Yoshinori Okihara struckout, but then Kataoka
singled to right for an RBI. White struckout for the second out. Hiyama then
sizzled a Yamabe offering down the rightfield line for his team's fifth run,
knocking Yamabe out of the game in favor of Masato Hanada. Hamanaka walked
to pack the sacks. That soon changed with Arias' longball and it was 9-1
Hanshin. Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino said after the game that he had never
seen a nine run inning in his 12 years at the helm of both the Chunichi Dragons
and his new club, but it was actually the second time Hoshino had witnessed
that kind of scoring binge. You can see a pics of Arias' granny at:
Yakult would keep chipping away, though and in the top of the third, they added a tally on a two out single to center from rightfielder Atsunori Inaba and a double off the leftfield wall from first baseman Roberto Petagine to make it 9-2.
Hanshin replied with a "center backscreen" shot by Imaoka for a 10-2 Tigers advantage.
In the fourth, though, Okihara would drop a little fly ball from Iwamura. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez spanked a single to center and then Iwamura came across on a double by second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi down the leftfield line to close within 10-3. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka rolled out to second and Ramirez jogged in and now it was 10-4 home team.
Masashi Date has not been effective at all for Hanshin most of the season and it's a wonder he hasn't been demoted yet. In the eighth, after Shoji Toyama allowed a single to center from Iwamura and was promptly replaced by Date, Ramirez singled to left. Okihara booted a ground ball off the bat of Shiroishi to juice the bags. Pinch hitter Kota Soejima grounded to short for an RBI and Manaka flied to left for another and now it was 10-6 Hanshin.
In the bottom of the same stanza, Hanshin got a more important than it should have been insurance run when pinch hitter Tomochika Tsuboi leadoff with an infield hit and two outs later Kataoka doubled to rightcenter to send Tsuboi in and that was the final margin of victory for Hanshin, 11-6.
Shinobu Fukuhara made his 2002 debut and rather typical of him, while hitting 93-94 on the radar gun, allowed the first two men he facted to reach on singles, the struckout the following pair of batters before pinch hitter Takenori Daita grounded out to third to conclude it.
Before the game, Hanshin batting coach Koichi Tabuchi gave the slumping Kataoka a picture of Ichiro he cut out of a newspaper to remind the ex-Nippon Ham infielder to keep his front shoulder closed, and it apparently did some good in this one.
If there was a highlight for Yakult in this game it was the four scoreless innings of two hit ball fashioned by rookie Yataro Sakamoto, who was able to consistently keep the ball in on the hands of Hanshin's batting order.
Yamabe had kind of a disconcerting thing happen while throwing in the bullpen, as he hit a sparrow with a pitch and killed it. Him and his teammates buried the fallen bird and said a little prayer for it.
This is the fastest to 15 wins for Hanshin since 1958.
For Yakult, Petagine went 1-2 with two walks and an RBI and is at .296. Ramirez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .345.
For Hanshin, White whiffed three times in four hitless at bats and walked and is at .273. Arias was 2-3 with four RBIs and is now leading the Central League in homers with nine and RBIs with 22 while elevating his average to .190. His wife and kids were at the game, and a pic of that is at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0427familyOS186426_b.jpg
Yamabe (L, 1-2) IP 1.2 PC 48
H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 7 ER 3 ERA 8.22
Hanada IP 1.1 PC 24 H 2 HR 2 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.00
Sakamoto IP 4.0 PC 63 H 2 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.32
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Igawa (W, 4-1) IP
7.0 PC 121 H 8 HR 1 K 8 BB 2 R 4 ER 2 ERA 0.84
Toyama IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 21.60
Date IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 5.06
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: S. Miyamoto, Okihara 2
2B: Petagine, Shiroishi, Imaoka, Hiyama, Okihara, Kataoka
HR: Iwamura (2), Arias (9), Imaoka (5)
RBI: Iwamura, Arias 4, Imaoka 3, Kataoka 2, Hiyama, Igawa, Petagine, Manaka 2, Iwamura, Ramirez, Soejima
WP: Igawa, Date
LOB: Yakult 10, Hanshin 5
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Nemoto (1B), Tani (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Yoshimi Outstanding for Yokohama Against Giants
Second year lefthander Yuji Yoshimi shut the Yomiuri Giants out for eight innings but couldn't finish the game when he was pulled after giving up a two out ninth inning two run jack to shortstop Tomohiro Nioka, so closer Takashi Saito got the final out to save it in a 4-2 Yokohama Bay Star victory at Tokyo Dome Friday.
Yoshimi limited the Yomiuri lineup
to six hits and the two runs in 8.2 innings mixing in changeups and sinkers
with his fastball to keep the opposition guessing. He said that he focused
on catcher Takeshi Nakamura's mit and just aired it out. He also wears number
22, the same one worn by former Stars closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, who is now
with the Seattle Mariners. "Don't stain that number," the superstitious Sasaki
urged Yoshimi. Furthermore, he is a graduate of Tohoku Fukushi University,
Sasaki's alma mater (it also produced sidearmer Ryo Kumagai, who is now in
the Red Sox organization). So even if Fushimi
starts, the shadow of the Daimajin is going to follow him wherever he goes.
Just to shorten the time is takes
me to write this article, here is the Yomiuri Shimbun's Jim Allen's account
of the game:
The only things I would add to it was that Fushimi had shoulder pain in the first half of last season and didn't tell anybody about it, which angered his coaches. And Kinjo's two run single was on a changeup that backed up over the heart of the plate. Yoshimi pic at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0427yosimi_NK231426_b.jpg
Yoshimi (W, 1-0)
IP 8.2 PC 131 H 6 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.08
T. Saito (S, 4) IP .1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
1-2) IP 6.2 PC 104 H 8 HR
2 K 8 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.08
Okajima IP .1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Miura IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
2B: Nioka, Kawai
HR: Ogawa (1), T. Suzuki (2), Nioka (3)
RBI: Ogawa, T. Suzuki, Nioka 2, Kinjo 2,
HBP: S. Abe (Yoshimi)
PB: S. Abe
LOB: Yokohama 7, Yomiuri 5
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Kasahara (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Watada (3B)
520 Foot Cabrera Blast Highlights Extra Inning Seibu Victory
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera got a slider down in the strike zone from Nippon Ham reliever Shimizu and actually mortared it out of the Seibu Dome, the ball flying above a third flight of stairs and sailing out through a 35 foot gap between the wall of the original ballpark and the retrofitted dome, a shot estimated at more than 520 feet, for two runs to put his team ahead 7-5 temporarily before the Fighters rallied to tie. Seibu prevailed, though, as second baseman Hiro Takagi to a 3-1 fastball away and cracked it to left with Tetsuya Kakiuchi aboard at second for the sayonara knock in the bottom of the ninth.
Chris Seelbach started for Nippon Ham and suffered from horrendous control, walking six and hitting a batter to lead to Seibu scoring five runs, four earned, in his 4.2 innings of work.
Seibu starter Koji Mitsui was just leaving too many hittable pitches for Nippon Ham batters to dine on and he didn't even make it out of the fourth, so closer Toyoda was able to vulture a victory after surrendering the tying run in the top of the ninth.
Seibu shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff the bottom of the first with a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third. Third baseman Ken Suzuki and Cabrera both walked to load the bases. Leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada singled to left and the home team was up 2-0.
Seibu tacked another one on in the third, as rightfieolder Tatsuya Ozeki beat out a roller toward short and stole second, Nippon Ham catcher Kazunari Sanematsu's throw ending up in centerfield, enabling Ozeki to reach third. Suzuki flied to right and it was 3-0 Lions.
In the top of the fourth, Nippon Ham centerfielder Tatsuya Ide homered to center to make it 3-1. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer carromed a shot off the leftfield wall. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka walked. Seigo Fujishima singled to center to plate Cromer. One out later, second baseman Makoto Kaneko singled to left to bring in Tanaka and Fujishima made a beeline for third. Exit Mitsui and enter reliever Hayato Aoki.With shortstop Hiroshi Narahara up at the dish, Fujishima timed Aoki and stole home on him to give the visitors a 4-3 edge.
Seelbach couldn't hold it and the Lions evened it in the next half inning. Takagi singled to right and Matsui beat out a tapper toward second. Ozeki walked to load the bases. Suzuki grounded to second and Takagi ran in and it was 4-4.
Nippon Ham went to work on Lions reliever Yoshitaka Mizuo, though. With two down, Cromer singled to right and stole second. Tanaka singed a pitch into the rightcenter alley and Cromer sprinted all the way home for a 5-4 Fighters lead.
Seibu came back to level it again and see Seelbach off to the locker room in the bottom of the fifth. First, Seelbach nailed DH Takayama with a pitch. Otomo grounded to third and Tanaka's only play was to first for the out. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh walked. Takagi singled to left to pack the sacks. Matsui flied deep enough to left to drive in Takayama and it was 5-5 and Seelbach was history.
In the bottom of the sixth, Suzuki leadoff with a single to right and Cabrera unloaded his titanic blast for a 7-5 Seibu advantage.
Shinji Mori came on in the eighth for Seibu and Cromer greeted him by careening one of his deliveries down the rightfield line for a double. One out later, Fujishima laced a liner up the leftcenter alley and Cromer scored easily to shrink his club's deficit to 7-6.
Seibu manager Ihara called on closer Kiyoshi Toyoda to secure the victory and he failed. Pinch hitter Yutaka Nakamura hammered a Toyoda pitch off of the centerfield wall for two bases to start it. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to center for the tie and DH Sherman Obando singled to put the winning run on second. Toyoda fanned the next two hitters and induced a groundout from Tanaka to keep it gridlocked at 7-7.
Kiyoshi Sasaki walked in from the bullpen for the Fighters and struckout Takayama, but then walked pinch hitter Kakiuchi, who was subsequently sacrificed to second. Takagi came up and with the count on his favor sat on a heater and wacked it into left and that was the ballgame, an 8-7 final for Seibu.
On his steal of home, Fujishima enthused to reporters, "that was good baserunning, don't you think? Like a ninja! But I really wanted to win the game."
For Nippon Ham, D.T. Cromer was 4-5 and stole a base to raise his average to .288. Obando was 1-5 and is at .268.
For Nippon ham, Cabrera was 1-3 with two RBIs and two walks and is now at .230. Before the game, Cabrera, who has been letting the new higher strike zone get to him psychologically, resulting in him running up 13 empties in his last 19 at bats, pulled umpire Tachibana aside and asked him just where the zone was supposed to begin and end. He then laid off the high pitches and earned the walks and made the pitchers come down to him to work the homer. Last April, the ex-Diamondback went yard 15 times in April, so Pacific League pitchers have succeeded in better than halving his homer production in 2002.
IP 4.2 PC 103 H 8 HR 0 K 1 BB 6 R 5 ER 4 ERA 4.30
Shimizu IP .1 PC 8 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 54.00
Kanemura IP 1.2 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.57
Kato IP .1 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.79
Sasaki (L, 1-1) IP 1.2 PC 31 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
IP 3.2 PC 87 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.76
Aoki IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mizuo IP 2.2 PC 46 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
Mori IP 1.2 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.79
Toyoda (W, 1-0) IP 1.0 PC 24 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.13
SB: Kaneko, Cromer, Fujishima, K. Matsui, Ozeki
2B: Cromer 2, Y. Tanaka, Fujishima, Nakamura, K. Matsui 2
HR: Ide (5), Cabrera (6)
RBI: Ide, Cabrera 2, Kaneko, M. Ogasawara, Y. Tanaka, Fujishima 2, K. Matsui, K. Suzuki 2, Wada 2, H. Takagi
SF: K. Suzuki, K. Matsui
HBP: Takayama (Seelbach)
LOB: Nippon 9, Seibu 11
Game Time: 3:51
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Tachibana (2B), Akimura (3B)
Hiroshima Comes Out on Top in Extra Inning Pitching Duel
Hiroshima Carp starter Shinji Sasaoka and Chunichi Dragons hurler Kawakami literally locked up in a dandy, as the Carp ace went nine innings on 159 pitches and allowed just two runs, both earned but wasn't around by the time his side ultimately got around to taking the decision in 11 innings Friday at Nagoya Dome.
Similar to Sasaoka, Kenshin Kawakami only allowed two runs in his 6.1 inning stint. He wasn't as sharp as Sasaoka was, but he nevertheless gave his team a chance to win the ballgame.
The Dragons one upped the Carp in the first, as third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami cashed in rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome, who had doubled off the leftfield fence, with a two bagger into the rightfield corner and it was 1-0 Chunichi.
Carp third baseman Takahiro Arai tied it, however, when he lead off the third with a drive into the leftfield bleachers.
Kawakami, who homered in a game against the Hanshin Tigers earlier in the season, continues to hit and he ignited things with a two out single to center when Chunichi scored its second run in the fifth. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to center, as did second baseman Masahiro Araki and the home team was ahead 2-1.
Kawakami was taken to the centerfield fence for a one double in the seventh by Hiroshima centerfielder Koichi Ogata, though, and first baseman Luis Lopez brought him in with a basehit to right.
That's the way it remained until the 11th, when Chunichi reliever Eiji Shotsu misplayed a little groundball from second baseman Eddie Diaz into an error. Diaz advanced on a groundout to first and after seeing Lopez intentionally walked to get to him, Arai clocked a shot to right to usher Diaz in for a 3-2 Carp lead. Hiroshima closer Yasuhiro Oyamada then got the side out in order in the home portion for his leagueleading seventh save and it was "game setto."
This was Lopez' first game back since being perhaps unfairly suspended for his altercation with Tomonori Maeda and the apology he offered to the team has reportedly been met with a mixed reception. There are some members of the Carp who don't particularly like Maeda and they are saiid to be the ones most receptive to Lopez' overture. Lopez finished the night 2-4 with an RBI and is at .429.
Hiroshima got some bad news, however. Infielder Shinjiro Nomura is going to be on the shelf for a couple of weeks with a bad hamstring.
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 1-4 with a walk and is at .263.
IP 9.0 PC 159 H 9 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.95
Hiroike IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tamaki (W, 2-1) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Oyamada (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.87
IP 6.1 PC 95 H 8 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.33
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Endo IP 1.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Shotsu (L, 0-1) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamakita IP .1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Okamoto IP .2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Araki, Shotsu
2B: Fukudome, Tatsunami, Diaz, Ogata
HR: Arai (5)
RBI: Arai 2, Lopez, Araki, Tatsunami
GIDP: Diaz, Lopez, Kawakami, Gomez
LOB: Hiroshima 8, Chunichi 11
Game Time: 4:01
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Ino (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Hori Homer and Bolick Infield Hit Enough for Lotte to Beat Kintetsu 3-1
A homer to left in the third by Koichi Hori and a three single rally in the eighth along with some fine pitching from starter Kosuke Kato was enough for the Chiba Lotte Marines to topple the Kintetsu Buffaloes 2-1 Friday at Osaka Dome. Moreover, the triumph halted a 13 game losing streak for Lotte against the 2001 PL champs. However, the Buffs have now lost their last five in a row.
Kato threw a lot of pitches, 101, in his 5.2 innings on the hill, but most importantly, he kept the Buffs off the scoreboard on three hits, though he walked three and hit a batter while fanning six.
Hiroshi Takamura started for Kintetsu and pitched well enough to win, surrendering two runs, one earned, in 7.2 innings on six hits and three walks while striking out two.
Both pitchers contained the other's offense so well that neither really was all that much danger until Lotte had its mini-rally in the eighth and Kintetsu got to Lotte closer Masahide Kobayashi in the ninth, though he finally shut the door.
In the third, Hori drilled a Takamura pitch into the leftfield bleachers for a 1-0 lead.
Then in the eighth, Lotte second baseman Tadaharu Sakai singled to center with two out. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to right. DH Frank Bolick then hit a roller toward second that he legged out, but Kintetsu second baseman Yosuke Takasu, in attempting to get Bolick, threw it away and Sakai scored to make it 2-0.
Kobayashi then tried to secure the win in the bottom of the ninth and almost let things get out of hand. With one out, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes burned a double down the leftfield line. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura then singled Rhodes in to make it 2-1. Isobe grounded into a force, and DH Nigel Wilson was intentionally walked. Shortstop Masahiro Abe then grounded out on a 90mph fastball from Kobayashi and that was the game. Man, Kobayashi likes giving Lotte fans heart attacks, doesn't he?
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-3 with a walk and is at .213. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-4 and is at .186.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .250. Wilson 0-3 with a walk and is at .240.
K. Kato (W,
2-3) IP 5.2 PC 101
H 3 HR 0 K 6 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.89
H. Kobayashi IP .2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
Fujita IP 1.2 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
M. Kobayashi (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
2-2) IP 7.2 PC
120 H 6 HR 1 K 2 BB 3 R 2 ER 1 ERA 1.65
Yamamoto IP .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Aikyo IP .1 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Miyamoto IP .1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
2B: Rhodes, Kawaguchi
HR: Hori (2)
RBI: Hori, N. Nakamura
WP: K. Kato, M. Kobayashi
HBP: M. Abe (K. Kato)
GIDP: Wilson, Fujii, Isobe
LOB: Lotte 9, Kintetsu 7
Game Time: 3:30
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Kodera (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Maeda (3B)
Orix Uses Pedraza for Batting Practice in Late Inning 5-2 Win
Daiei Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh can't have any complaints with the job his starter, Keisaburo Tanoue, did against the Orix Blue Wave, getting his team through eight innings Friday with a 2-1 lead before turning it over to closer Rodney Pedraza. Unfortunately for Tanoue, though, he didn't get bupkis for all his work, as Pedraza went up like a California brush fire in the ninth to lose it 5-2 at tiny Kita-Kyushu Stadium in Kita-Kyushu, Fukuoka Prefecture.
Koo Dae-sung started for Orix and battled very creditably, but when he departed in the middle of the seventh, he was down 2-0. If Orix actually had an offense, Koo might win more this season since he has been a pretty tough customer so far to the tune of a 1.87 ERA after this one was in the books.
The heart of the Daiei order came up in the bottom of the second and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo leadoff with a double to straightaway center. One out later, Catcher Kenji Johjima singled off the short leftfield wall and Kokubo was in to make it 1-0 Hawks.
Daiei then hit some balls real hard off of Koo in the fifth, but had zero to show for it. With one out, shortstop Yusuke Torigoe singled to center. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to left. One out later, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi walked to load the bases. Kokubo then drilled a Koo pitch, but right at Orix shortstop Mitsutaka Goto, and that killed off the scoring chance.
In the bottom of the seventh, Daiei rightfielder Koji Akiyama doubled down the leftfield line. One out later, Shibahara singled to center and it was 2-0 Hawks and Koo was removed from the game.
Orix begain to stir in the eighth when pinch hitter Yasuo Fujii homered over the rightfield wall to cut the difference with Daiei in half to 2-1.
An inning later, centerfielder Koji Takamizawa singled to center to begin the assault on Pedraza. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi sacrificed him to second. first baseman Scott Sheldon then singled up the middle on a fastball on the outer half of the plate for the equalizer. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka went downtown on the righthand side for the lead, and leftfielder Ryota Aikawa doubled up on that with a roundtripper to left and now it was 5-2 Orix.
Masanobu Okubo then put down three of the four men he faced in the bottom of the ninth and Orix had a come from behind victory.
For Daiei, Pedro Valdez struckout all three times he was up and is at .313. Morgan Burkhart walked in a pinch hitting appearance and is still at .229.
IP 6.1 PC 131 H 9 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 2 ER 1 ERA 1.87
Yamaguchi (W, 1-1) IP 1.2 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.09
Okubo (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.84
IP 7.2 PC 114 H 5 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.37
Yoshida IP .1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.32
Pedraza (L, 0-1) IP .1 PC 17 H 4 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 7.94
H.K. Watanabe IP .2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
E: Koo, M. Goto, Sheldon, Shibahara
2B: Kokubo, Akiyama, M. Goto
HR: Fujii (1), Hidaka (2), Aikawa (2)
RBI: Fujii, Hidaka 2, Aikawa, Sheldon, Shibahara, Johjima
LOB: Orix 6, Daiei 9
Game Time: 3:06
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Sato (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Trey Moore Analyzes His Japan Experience So Far
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020427a2.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 26th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1977, Keishi Suzuki, recently inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, won his 200th lifetime game. He was the first pitcher since the draft was established to attain that mark.
Also on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1949, Yomiuri Giants hurler Tokuji Kawasaki was victimized for eight homers and 13 runs at Kanazawa Kenrokuen Stadium in a game against Daiei (not the same company that owns the Daiei Hawks, though, this was a movie company) but due to his own three homers, including a grand slam, for a total of nine RBIs, Kawasaki was able to go all the way in a complete game victory. As Mel Allen use to say, how about that! And what makes that doubly ironic is that Kawasaki then lead the Pacific League in ERA in 1953 with a 1.98 mark while going 24-15 in 294.1 innings and, when he was with the Giants, he had 12 shutouts (won 27 games) in 1948 and 10 in 1947. So this guy was no batting practice pitcher. Which leads us to the following puzzler:
Besides Kawasaki, there has been just one other pitcher in Japanese baseball annals who has gone deep three times in a single game. Who was it? Answer at the bottom of the article.
Arias Levels Hiroshima
Hanshin Tigers first baseman George Arias was a one man destrcution derby Thursday at Muskat Stadium in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture, as he homered three times and drove in eight runs to almost singlehandedly defeat the Hiroshima Carp 10-5.
The Tigers had taken an early 1-0 lead in the top of the second when Derrick White took one way out yonder on a line into the leftfield bleachers off of Hiroshima starter Yokoyama.
Hanshin starter Shinji Taninaka wasn't exactly firing on all six out there, though, as he couldn't get anyone out in the third and got the hook from manager Senichi Hoshino after seeing three Carp runners come around to score. In that inning, second baseman Takuya Kimura doubled to rightcenter to lead it off and was sacrificed to third. Third baseman Eddie Diaz walked. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto singled to right for the tying run. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata walked to load the bases. Itsuki Asai singled to right to plate Diaz and first baseman Takahiro Arai singled to bring in Kanemoto. Hoshino then waved in reliever Takehito Kanazawa, who induced a pop out to second and struckout Yokoyama to quell the disturbance.
In the top of the fourth, Hanshin came on with a vengeance, as Yokohama nailed rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama with a pitch with one down. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka beat out a roller to third. Arias, who has been hitting .050 with runners in scoring position, was next and he lowered the boom on a Yokoyama slider and nearly hit it completely out of the ballpark for a three run "gyakuten arch" (come from behind homer) to make it 4-3 Hanshin.
In the sixth, Arias played a prominent role again in getting another run, as he followed a leadoff double to the wall by Hiyama with a one out two bagger to the same part of the yard and it was 5-3 Tigers.
Hiroshima got that run back in the bottom of the inning on a one out single to center by catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura, a ground ball to first that moved Kimura along, and a double to rightcenter from Akihiro Higashide to make it 5-4 Hanshin.
In the eighth, Hiroshima reliever Daisuke Sakai tried to sneak a 90mph fastball by Arias and the ex-Padre snuck it over the leftfield fence to make it 6-4.
But in the bottom of that inning, Hiroshima got back to within one when Hamanaka dropped a fly ball off the bat of Arai, who was cashed in on a pinch hit groundout from Shinjiro Nomura and it was 6-5 Hanshin.
Then in the ninth, Hanshin put away any pretensions of keeping this a close ballgame with a four run rally. With one down, backup third baseman Shuta Tanaka singled to right off of Rigo Beltran. White walked. Hiyama singled to center to load the bases and to knock Beltran out of the contest. Hamanaka lifted a sacrifice fly to center and then Arias connected to leftcenter for a three run jack off of Tamaki and it was now 10-5.
Mark Valdez then tempted the Hiroshima batters into a couple of groundouts and an infield popout and that was it for a 10-5 Tigers victory.
One of the Japanese sports dailies has come up with some interesting stats on Arias. One is that eigtht of his 13 hits are homers and his RBI spree in this one gave him 18 and he is now tied for second in RBIs in the CL. Arias changed his stance from a more open orientation to where he is now square with the pitcher and that has seemed to help. You can see a pic of one of George's homers at: http://www.sponichi.com/base/200204/26/images/base01.JPG
The place where the game took place, Kurashiki, is Hoshino's hometown and Hanshin fans were out in force. However, Hoshino found the fans tendency to celebrate a Hanshin score by throwing paper cups and such on the field to be distasteful and said that if those fans didn't straighten up their act that Hanshin would never play again in that town. Now there's something you would never hear in MLB.
Hanshin batting coach Tom O'Malley had to go back to the states for a few days to await the renewal of his visa, but Arias and White have no problems communicating with the club's other batting instructor, Koichi Tabuchi. Tabuchi has been trying to get Arias to relax, saying that he was strangling the bat up at the plate, making it tough to get any batspeed going. Now that Arias is seeing some success, he may do that and start producing as he did at Orix.
For Hanshin, White was 1-4 with an RBI and a walk and is now at .290. Arias, with his 4-5 night, raised his average to .171.
IP 3.1 PC 60 H 6 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.00
Kanazawa (W, 2-0) IP 2.2 PC 32 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.57
Itoh IP 2.0 PC 38 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Nishikawa IP .1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 13.50
Valdez IP 1.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yokoyama (L, 1-3) IP 5.2 PC 97 H 8 HR 2 K 7 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Hiroike IP .1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sakai IP 2.0 PC 38 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.38
Beltran IP .1 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.23
Tamaki IP .2 PC 11 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.22
2B: Hamanaka, Hiyama, Arias, T. Kimura, Higashide
HR: White (5), Arias 3 (8)
RBI: Arias 8, White, Hamanaka, Higashide, Kanemoto, Asai, Arai, Nomura
HBP: Hiyama (Yokoyama)
LOB: Hanshin 7, Hiroshima 8
Game Time: 4:00
Umpires: Mori (HP), Honda (1B), Sasaki (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Hodges Homers and Pitches Yakult to Victory
Being in the farm system of an American League team for most of his career, Kevin Hodges didn't get too many opportunities to bat as a pro, but this season he has done a pretty fair Mike Hampton imitation, as he went yard in the spring and now, for the second time since the regular season began, put a sweet swing on another one and rode it out to tie the game, as his Yakult Swallows went on and spanked the Yomiuri Giants 8-1 at Meiji Jingu Stadium Thursday.
Hodges had some big control problems in the first,
but managed to minimize the damage he incurred. Yomiuri leftfielder Takayuki
Shimizu leadoff with a double down the rightfield line. One out later, the
ex-Mariner walked both rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi and centerfielder
Hideki Matsui to load the bases. Following a shallow flyout to right by first
baseman Akira Etoh, third baseman Felipe Crespo walked to force in a run.
Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka grounded out to third, though, for the third out
and Hodges was behind only 1-0. That's all the Giants would get since thereafter
Hodges inudced a lot of early
in the count outs.
In the bottom of the third, Hodges came up looking for a slider from Giants starter John Wasdin and he got it, driving it into the leftcenterfield seats to deadlock it at 1-1.
Yakult then had a nice scoring opportunity in the next frame and couldn't exploit it. With one down, third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to center. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez cannonaded a double off the base of the leftfield wall. Second baseman Chihiro Hamana was walked to set up a force at every base and to get to Hodges, who grounded out to third, Crespo going home for the force. Iwamura low bridged Giants catcher to successfully break up the home to first double play, but Giants manager Tatsunori Hara ran out of the dugout mad as a hornet protesting that Iwamura obstructed Abe. Umpire Atsushi Kittaka ruled, though, that there was no interference and Hodges was safe. It was much ado about nothing, anyway, as centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka then rolled over and grounded out to second to keep the score even.
In the fifth, though, the Swallows offensive engine finally kicked over. With one away, rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to left. First baseman Roberto Petagine waited out a walk. Catcher Atsuya Furuta, gimpy knee and all, laid down a perfect bunt to load the bases when he saw Crespo playing deep. That's Furuta for you, always thinking. Iwamura singled to center to plate Inaba and Ramirez grounded out to short to usher in Peta-chan. Hamana went through the rightside of the diamond for an RBI to make it 4-1 home team.
In the eighth and with Kazutaka Nishiyama now on the mound, Ramirez beat out a bleeder toward second. Hamana singled to left. One out later, Manaka found a hole on the left side and Ramirez sprinted in to widen it to 5-1 Yakult. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto then tripled to rightcenter to score both Hamana and Manaka and came home himself on a subsequent groundout to second from Inaba, the inning ending with Yakult now up 8-1.
The Giants went down in order in the ninth and the Swallows had what has recently been a rare victory over their crosstown rivals.
After the end of the game, Nishiyama was told he was being demoted to the farm and Hector Almonte, who had a stellar spring, was being called back up after rehabbing an injury.
Yomiuri number one draft choice Hiroki Sanada, after getting hammered in his last start in the minors, put things right with a 6.1 inning, one run performance on six hits Thursday to get back on the beam. If he keeps that up you will see him back up with Yomiuri before the season is over for sure. He was clocked at 90mph.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with an RBI and and a walk and is at .291. Ramirez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .338.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 0-3 with an RBI and is at .111.
Wasdin (L, 0-2) IP 5.0 PC 109 H
9 HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.21
Y. Maeda IP 2.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Nishiyama IP 1.0 PC 31 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 9.82
Hodges (W, 3-1) IP 6.0 PC 93 H 2 HR 0
K 2 BB 5 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.07
H. Ishii IP 2.0 PC 30 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.26
Hanada IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
SB: S. Miyamoto
2B: Iwamura, Ramirez
3B: S. Miyamoto
HR: Hodges (2)
RBI: Crespo, Manaka, Miyamoto 2, Petagine, Iwamura, Ramirez, Hamana, Hodges
HBP: S. Abe (Hodges)
LOB: Yomiuri 7, Yakult 9
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
New Strike Zone Causing Problems
The Yomiuri Shimbun's Jim Allen shows that umpires are having a hard time being consistent since the introduction of the high strike and it's confusing hitters: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020425wo51.htm
Terahara to Stars Against Orix
Daiei rookie phenom Hayato Terahara will make his second pro start against the Orix Blue Wave at home on April 28th. He will be looking to compensate for his last start, when he tired in the sixth and got lit up some.
Hiroki Nomura to Have Surgery
As if Yokohama doesn't have enough problems, one of its starters, Hiroki Nomura, has some loose cartilage in his left elbow and will require arthroscopic surgery to remove it. Moreover, another Bay Stars hurler, Shane Bowers, hurt his heel and will be on the shelf, as will outfielder Hitoshi Nakane, who has an oblique muscle strain.
A Lot of Fun Surrounding Hanshin's Success
The article is a couple of weeks old, but the end
of it is the kicker:
Even Americans Getting Hanshin Fever
This is a great Tigers site from an American fan
of the team:
If You Want to Buy Japanese Team Jerseys and Caps
Let me know if these guys are good or bad. Use at
your own risk.
NHK to Air Yomiuri Games
Samson Lee Signs Richest Korean Contract
Former Chunichi Dragons and Boston Red Sox hurler
Samson Lee has re-entered the KBO for the LG Twins, signing the richest one
year deal in KBO history, $350,000, about $25,000 more than Jong-beom Lee
of the Kia Tigers. See story at:
Geronimo Berroa Released by Lotte Giants; Other Foreigners on the Bubble in KBO
Thursday's KBO Exploits
Taiwanese in Japanese Pro Baseball
See Taipei Times article at:
More on the Chunichi Dragons November Trip to Cuba
What Was it Like to Follow Ichiro Around All Last Year
For those who haven't seen it, ESPN did an
article on a Japanese reporter who did just that.
Motoki Homer Gives Giants Another Victory Over Yakult
It was the seventh inning of a 1-1 game with two gone and Yomiuri Giants second baseman Daisuke Motoki at the plate. Yakult Swallows starter Shugo Fujii got behind 3-0 and tried to throw an 87mph fastball on the outside corner. However, it swept over the middle of the plate and Motoki swatted it over the leftfield fence at Meiji Jingu Stadium to effectively give the Giants the ballgame, as Yakult's offense was stifled the rest of the way by Yomiuri starter Yasaku Iriki and closer Junichi Kawahara for the victory, the final score being 4-1.
Yakult had a good scoring opportunity in the bottom of the first, as centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff with a single to left. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto bunted Manaka over. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to right. First baseman Roberto Petagine then ripped the cover off the ball, but right at first baseman Akira Etoh, who beat Inaba back to the bag for the double play.
Things remained deadlocked at zero until the top of the fourth, when Godzilla Matsui leadoff with a shot up the leftcenter alley. Two outs later, Felipe Crespo got his first Japanese hit, a broken bat double that snaked by Petagine and down the leftfield line for a 1-0 lead.
Yakult evened it in the sixth, as Miyamoto singled to left and two outs later sped home on a double to leftcenter by catcher Atsuya Furuta. A half inning down the road, though, Motoki's homer put the Giants back up 2-1.
In the top of the ninth and two out, Giants pinch hitter Takayuki Saito tripled to rightcenter off of Swallows reliever Teramura. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu also singed a three bagger up the same alley and came home on a wild pitch and that's how it ended, 4-1 Yomiuri.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 and is now at .293. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is now at .329.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .167. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi was 2-4 to rise to .390 and has hit in 17 of 19 games.
8.0 PC 104 H 6 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.76
Kawahara (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Fujii (L, 2-1) IP 7.0
PC 124 H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.48
Teramaura IP 2.0 PC 37 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
SB: S. Miyamoto
2B: H. Matsui, Crespo, Furuta
3B: Takayuki Saito, T. Shimizu
HR: Motoki (1)
RBI: T. Shimizu. Motoki, Crespo, Furuta
IBB: S. Abe
PB: S. Abe
LOB: Yomiuri 7, Yakult 6
Game Time: 3:07
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Arias Clout Big Blow in Hanshin Victory Over Hiroshima
Hanshin Tigers first baseman George Arias took a second pitch 88mph fastball in the fourth from Hiroshima starter Tetsuto Tomabechi and howitzered it way up into the leftfield bleachers with a man on to tie the game in a 6-3 Hanshin triumph at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. Keiichi Yabu started and allowed three runs on eight hits over 7.1 innings to grab his third win without a loss this season and his 22nd lifetime successful outcome against Hiroshima.
For Tomabechi, this was his first start in almost two years and it just didn't work out for him, as he was shaken down for four earned runs in five innings.
Hiroshima took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the second when rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to right with one out and trotted home when Yabu attempted to jam Koichi Ogata with a fastball and the veteran centerfielder got enough wood on it to put it in the first row of the leftfield seats.
After the Arias shot knotted it at 2-2 in the fourth, the rest of the Tigers offense put it in gear and took over the game in the fifth. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka leadoff the inning with a single to center. One out later, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka doubled into the rightfield corner. One out later, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama legged out a tapper toward second to drive in Imaoka. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to left and it was 4-2 Tigers.
Hiroshima did its final scoring of the night in the home portion, as Ogata leadoff with a double down the leftfield line. One out later pinch hitter Itsuki Asai singled to left. Second baseman Takuya Kimura singled to right to make it 4-3 Hanshin.
Rob Stanifer was on the hill for Hiroshima for the seventh and the Tigers hit him up for a couple of runs. With one out, leftfielder Derrick White singled to left. Hiyama doubled down the leftfield line and White hotfooted it all the way around for Hanshin's fifth run. Hiyama then went to third on a groundout. Arias hit a groundball to Carp third baseman Eddie Diaz, who clanked it, and Hiyama toed the dish for a 6-2 lead.
In the eighth and one out, Yabu gave up a double to shortstop Akihiro Higashide. He then walked Diaz and Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino went to Mark Valdez. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto hit a comebacker to Valdez and the ex-Atlanta Brave geeked it to load the bases. But he then got Maeda to ground to Kataoka, who turned the double play to escape the jam.
Valdez then got the side out in order for his fifth save.
There was an incident in the top of the ninth that almost lead to a brawl, but came to nothing in the end. Hiroshima reliever Koji Hiroike hit Hiyama in the back with one gone and Hiyama tunrd to face Hiroike as if to charge the mound. But it came to little more than a staring contest as the benches cleared and the umpires intervened. Hiroike insists that he tipped his cap after he plunked Hiyama, but Hiyama said he didn't like Hiroike's attitude and that's what caused the controversy.
Kataoka has dropped 11 pounds since the season began. Maybe he's not eating well due to his anemic bat (.216).
The last time Hanshin had 13 wins in its first 20 games was in 1976, when it was 14-3-1. The all time best start for them was 18-2 in the fall of 1937 (when the season was split into three parts). In 1985, when Hanshin took its first and only Japan Series, they were 11-8-1 out of the gate and in third place. All stats from Sankei Sports.
One thing that makes one question whether Hanshin can sustain its status at the top of the Central League is what it is hitting at home and on the road. In away games, they are hitting a pretty healthy .275, but at home just .217. In 2001, they were 20 points better at the homeground than in someone else's house. Some food for thought as the season wears on.
For Hanshin, White was 1-5 with two strikeouts and
is at .293. Arias was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .127. Hanshin has won every
game in which he has homered.
Yabu (W, 3-0) IP 7.1 PC 121
H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.01
Valdez (S, 5) IP 1.2 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tobechi (L, 0-1) IP 5.0 PC 99 H 8 HR 1 K 4
BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 7.20
Stanifer IP 2.0 PC 44 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 4.70
Hiroike IP 2.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Valdez, Higashide, Diaz
2B: Yabu, Hiyama, Kataoka, Ogata, Higashide
HR: Ogata (5), Arias (5)
RBI: Ogata 2, Arias 2, Hiyama 2, Hamanaka, T. Kimura
HBP: Hiyama (Hiroike)
GIDP: Hamanaka, Arai, T. Maeda
LOB: Hanshin 9, Hiroshima 5
Game Time: 3:01
Umpires: Ino (HP), Sasaki (1B), Suginaga (2B), Mori (3B)
Hsu Hammered by Daiei
Seibu starter Hsu Ming-chieh was hammered for seven runs on seven hits, including a two run homer by first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka in 3.1 innings, as the Daiei Hawks went on to clean Seibu's clock Wednesday 11-3 at Fukuoka Dome. Akichika Yamada went all the way for Daiei and is now 3-0.
Daiei centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to center in the bottom of the first to immediately put Hsu on his heels. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez sacrificed him to second. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled to center and the Hawks were up 1-0. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to center to plate Iguchi. Matsunaka then went over the rightfield wall and before Hsu could finish the inning it was 4-0.
Daiei took a couple of innings to reload and went back for more in the fourth. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe singled to center to lead it off and was sacrificed to second. DH Morgan Burkhart walked. Honma singled to center and Torigoe came across while Hsu was getting the hook in favor of Hisaki Tomioka. Shibahara walked. Valdez the brought the lot home with a triple to rightcenter. He then ran in himself when Tomioka threw a pitch that catcher Tsutomu Itoh couldn't knock down and it was 9-0.
In the fifth, Seibu put a couple on the board. Hiroyuki Oshima walked. Susumu Otomo doubled down the rightfield line. Kosuke Noda singled to center for an RBI. Second baseman Hiro Takagi rolled into a double play and Otomo scored and it was 9-2 Hawks.
That was the score until the bottom of the eighth and Shibahara singled to center to lead it off. Valdez homered to right to make it 11-2.
In the top of the ninth, Seibu first baseman Alex Cabrera homered for the first time in 21 at bats and then Yamada put the Lions to bed for the 11-3 victory.
The Lions lost Otomo in the second inning when he hurt his wrist. No cause of the injury has been given.
This was the first time in his career Yamada has whiffed ten batters in a single game. He was clokced at 91mph.
Cabrera, who has struckout 13 times in his last five games, was 1-3 with three strikeouts and is at .225.
For Daiei, Valdez was 3-4 with five RBIs and is at .323. He now leads the Pacific League in RBI with 24. And no, he didn't gripe when manager Sadaharu Oh asked him to sacrifice in the first. Burkhart was 0-2 with two walks and is at .229.
Hsu (L, 1-2) IP 3.1
PC 79 H 7 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 7 ER 7 ERA 6.64
Tomioka IP 2.2 PC 40 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.75
Toriyabe IP 2.0 PC 50 H 5 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.60
A. Yamada (W, 3-0) IP 9.0 PC 136 H 6 HR 1 K 10 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.56
2B: Otomo, K. Matsui, P. Valdez, Honma
3B: P. Valdez
HR: Matsunaka (4), P. Valdez (7), Cabrera (6)
RBI: P. Valdez 5, Iguchi, Kokubo, Matsunaka 2, Honma, Cabrera, Noda
HBP: Muramatsu (Tomioka)
GIDP: H. Takagi, Kokubo
LOB: Seibu 4, Daiei 7
Tanishige Continues to Haunt Former Team
Motonobu Tanishige stuck it to the Yokohama Bay Stars yet again, as he busted a two run homer and drove in a total of three runs in the Chunichi Dragons 9-2 win Wednesday at Sapporo Dome. Takashi Ogasawara went six innings of two run ball (one earned) on four hits to earn the shiroboshi, making him 3-0.
Yokohama had an ephemeral lead in the first, when centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo walked, went to second on a groundout and scored on a single to right from first baseman Hiroo Ishii and it was 1-0 Stars after one.
In the third, there was something you don't see everyday, two sac bunts in a single frame. And even more amazingly, they weren't ordered by control freak par excellence and Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori, but by Dragons boss Hisashi Yamada. Ogasawara singled to lead the inning off. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata and Masahiro Araki both sacrificed. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome then banged a single to left and the match was tied at 1-1, though not for long.
With two out in the fourth, leftfielder Jun Inoue
legged out an infield tapper. Tanishige then got jammed and hit a little
humpback liner in front of Suzuki, who let the ball snake by him for what
was scored generously as a double and Inoue was in with a 2-1 edge.
The Stars endeavored to get something going in the bottom of the inning, as leftfielder Takanori Suzuki and Hiroo Ishii both singled to left. They were sacrificed up 90 feet piece, but second baseman Hitoshin Taneda hit a groundball to third and Ogawa flied out to center to kill the rally.
So in the fifth, Ibata walked to lead it off for the Dragons. Two outs later, Leo Gomez walked. Tatsunami doubled to right to bring in both runners and it was 4-1 Chunichi. Centerfielder Toshio Haru singled to center for another tally and Inoue scorched one down the rightfield line for a sixth run. Mori then commanded that Tanishige be intentionally walked before Ogasawara struckout to put an end to the Dragons burst.
Jason Turman ambled in from the bullpen in the sixth for Yokohama and Ibata opened the inning with a single to right. Araki sacrificed Ibata to second. One out later, Gomez singled to center and Ibata wheeled in and it was 7-1.
An inning later, Inoue singled to right with one down and Tanishige jacked a Turman offering out to left and it was 9-1 Dragons.
The Stars scored one more run for the final 9-2 margin.
Ogasawara, while only permitting a run when he was at the center of the diamond, wasn't too impressed, asserting that he was leaving too many fastballs up, so as the game wore on he went more and more to his breaking pitches and that enabled him to have a positive outing. Ogasawara, with a 1.21 ERA, is now third in the CL.
For Yokohama, Boi Rodrigues struckout in a pinch hit appearance.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-4 with an RBI and a walk and is at .263.
Ogasawara (W, 3-0) IP 6.0 PC 106 H 4 HR 0 K
5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.21
Kito IP 2.0 PC 30 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.31
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Taniguchi (L, 0-3) IP 5.0 PC 91 H 8 HR 0 K
4 BB 4 R 6 ER 6 ERA 5.23
Turman IP 2.0 PC 35 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.23
Morinaka IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
2B: Tanishige, Tatsunami, Inoue
HR: Tanishige (5)
RBI: Fukudome, Tanishige 3, Gomez, Tatsunami 2, Haru, Inoue, T. Suzuki, Hiroo Ishii
HBP: Taneda (Gaillard)
LOB: Chunichi 7, Yokohama 8
Game Time: 3:07
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Watada (2B), Watamari (3B)
Kobayashi Vultures a Win for Lotte After Blowing Save
The Chiba Lotte Marines' Nathan Minchey was working on a one hitter through eight innings Wednesday night at Chiba Marine Stadium on just 93 pitches when his manager, Koji Yamamoto, inexplicably didn't let him come out for the ninth, instead sending out his closer, Masahide Kobayashi. So what happened? Kobayashi got the first two batters and then got taken over the rightfield wall by Orix Blue Wave pinch hitter Fernando Seguignol to tie the game and send it to extra innings, where Kobayashi got the win when catcher Masaumi Shimizu doubled to leftcenter and scored on a two out bazooka job off a 1-2 forkball from Masanobu Okubo to the leftfield fence by first baseman Kazuya Fukuura for a 2-1 final.
Lotte got it's inital tally in the bottom of the seventh off of Orix starter Masahiko Kaneda thanks to a leadoff double to rightcenter from third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba, a sac bunt from Shimizu and a single to right by pinch hitter Yoshitsuru.
Minchey did a good job keeping the ball down to both get lots of groundballs as well as make sure that if a hitter tried to elevate on the ball he wasn't going to make enough contact to drive it through the wind blowing in from the ocean. So pity that Minchey didn't get the shiroboshi.
For his part, Kobayashi said after the game that his giving up that home run made a lot of trouble for everybody and that he didn't like winning that way even if it was his first victory in two years.
After Tuesday night's game, Yamamoto had personally met with Fukuura to discuss his hitting form, so that little lecture paid a dividend even if the wrongheaded pitching change did not. Ironically, though, before his last at bat, Fukuura had whiffed three of the previous four times up.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-1 with an RBI and is at .295. First baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-4 and is at .216.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick was 2-3 with a walk and is at .207. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-3 and is at .197.
IP 6.1 PC 126 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.96
Imamura (L, 0-1) IP 2.2 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Kase IP .2 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
Okubo IP .1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
IP 8.0 PC 93 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
M. Kobayashi (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 31 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.29
E: M. Watanabe
2B: Goto, Bolick, T. Sakai, Hatsushiba, M. Shimizu
HR: Seguignol (7)
RBI: Seguignol, Fukuura, Yoshitsuru
IBB: Bolick, Heiuchi
LOB: Orix 3, Lotte 8
Ishii Six Run Extravaganza Not the First Time
Kazuhisa Ishii's nightmare second inning this week against the Pittsburgh Pirates where he gave up six runs and threw 50+ pitches is not the first time he's experienced that. On two other occasions he has allowed a personal worst six runs in a single frame, according to Nikkan Sports.
Ishii himself said that he wasn't concerned about it since the balls that got through in that inning weren't hit hard (well, one was, but the others were seeing eye groundballs and loopers). But then again, he did walk three, so he at least to rectify his command issue.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 24th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1956, the Chunichi Dragons racked up their 26th straight win against the Taiyo Whales (now the Yokohama Bay Stars), their last 19 against the Yokohama team in 1955 and their first seven of 1956. Talk about having a team's number!
And on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1970, a main player in a conspiracy to fix baseball games and auto races, the so-called "black mist incident," Yoshitake Fujinawa, confessed the scheme to police. By the way, Tsutomu Tanaka also played a role in luring players into the affair. For those of you who can read Japanese, there is a real interesting piece about the scandal at: http://www.geocities.co.jp/Athlete/7545/newpage17.htm
Giants Light Up Takatsu, Newman to Beat Yakult
Yakult Swallows closer Shingo Takatsu came in for the ninth in a faceoff with the Yomiuri Giants Tuesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium ahead 5-4 hoping to rack up his 200th lifetime save. Instead, he blew another save when Yomiuri catcher Shinnosuke Abe homered to right with one away to tie it and then Swallows reliever Alan Newman was torched for four basehits in the tenth and the rookie Yataro Sakamoto was taken over the leftfield wall with two men aboard by shortstop Tomohiro Nioka in a five run breakout by Yomiuri as the Giants triumphed over their crosstown rivals 10-5.
The Yomiuri victory was made at least partially possible by rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi in the ninth. Swallows rightfielder Atsunori Inaba leadoff with a single to right and then was sacrificed along to second. Giants reliever Junya Sakai then intentionally walked catcher Atsuya Furuta. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura whiffed, but then leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to right and Takahashi charged the ball and threw a strike to Abe and Inaba was meat. If that run had scored, the inning would have been prolonged and Yakult would probably have prevailed.
Yakult got on the board first in the bottom of the inital stanza, as centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka legged out a bleeder to second. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto sacrificed him along and one out later, first baseman Roberto Petagine, who would not finish the game, singled to left to plate Manaka and it was 1-0 Swallows.
The Giants struck back in the second, with new addition Felipe Crespo walking to lead it off against Yakult starter Masanori Ishikawa. Nioka then singled to right and Crespo steamed into third. Abe lifted a fly ball to Inaba and Crespo crossed to level it at 1-1.
Yakult countered with a leadoff double into the rightcenter alley by Ramirez and a shot down the leftfield line from second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi to go back to the front of the line at 2-1.
In the very next inning, Inaba cracked a one out single to right and Petagine then went yard for the 30th time against the Giants in his Japanese career to expand his team's advantage to 4-1.
In the fifth, Petagine poked a liner into the rightcenter gap for a double, but on the way to third on a subsequent groundball off the bat of Furuta, he hurt his right knee and was ultimately taken out in the seventh as a precautionary measure.
The Giants got one back in the sixth thanks to a longball to right by Takahashi to reduce their deficit to 4-2.
Yakult answered with a leadoff single to center by Ramirez, a sacrifice from Shiroishi, and a pinch hit knock from Takahiro Ikeyama that ushered in Ramirez to go back up by three at 5-2.
Nioka came up in the seventh, though, and showed a pitch from Swallows reliever Ryota Igarashi to a seat among the umbrella oendan in right to shrink the gap to 5-3.
The Giants then drew even closer in the eighth by having Takahashi beat out a roller to second with one out and then he moved on to third on a single to right by centerfielder Godzilla Matsui. First baseman Akira Etoh grounded to short and Takahashi hit the dish to make it a one run ballgame, 5-4 Yakult.
In the aftermath of Abe's gyakuten solo jack, the Giants were back up in the top of the tenth and on the hill for the Swallows was Newman. Second baseman Daisuke Motoki leadoff with a single to center. Takahashi singled to left. Matsui singled to right to load the bases. Etoh grounded into a force at the plate, but 20th year veteran Masahiro Kawai, sitting on a cut fastball, got one and spanked it to left for two RBIs. Nioka then checked in and effectively turned out the lights with his shot off of Sakamoto. Giants closer Junichi Kawahara then struckout the side in the bottom portion to lower the curtain for real. Sakai was credited with the win, his first as a pro.
Kawai thought that manager Tatsunori Hara was going to have him squeeze, since the veteran infielder is just 19 short of the late Philadelphia A's second baseman Eddie Collins' world record for sac bunts. But Hara told him to go up there hacking and he did to the Swallows' chagrin.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .000.
For Yakult, Petagine was 3-3 with three RBIs and is now at .296. His knee complaint was apparently minor enough to insist that he won't be missing any games because of it. By the way, Chunichi Dragons infielder Leo Gomez owns the record for most homers llifetime by a foreign player off the Yomiuri arms with 39. Bobby Rose, the former Angels and Yokohama Bay Stars second baseman, was second with 32.
Ramirez was 4-5 to boost his average to .342.
IP 6.0 PC 93 H 11 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.58
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Jobe IP .1 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Okajima IP .2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 6.0 PC 105 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.92
Ryo. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.38
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.46
Takatsu IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.45
Newman IP .1 PC 13 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.95
Sakamoto IP .2 PC 12 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.86
2B: H.Matsui, Ramirez 2, Petagine, Furuta
HR: Y. Takahashi (3), Nioka 2 (2), S. Abe (1), Petagine (8)
RBI: Y. Takahashi, Etoh, Kawai 2, Nioka 4, S. Abe 2, Petagine 3, Shiroishi, Ikeyama
SF: S. Abe
LOB: Yomiuri (5), Yakult (11)
Game Time: 4:02
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Kittaka (2B), Manabe (3B)
Matsuzaka Wins Confrontation with Old High School Rival
Daiei Hawks rookie hurler Toshiya Sugiuchi, an alumnus of Kagoshima Jitsugyo High School and Seibu Lions number one starter Daisuke Matsuzaka, a product of Yokohama High, were rivals when they faced each other in a Koshien tournament game in 1998, one that Matsuzaka won by both drilling a two run homer in the eighth of what was up to that point a 1-0 ballgame and throwing a shutout. Yokohama High then went on to win it all. Sugiuchi had twirled a no hitter in his team's previous contest and so the hype was heavy for the game that the now Lions righty took.
Now let's fast forward a couple of years to the 2000 Sydney Olympics. The two rivals ended up becoming close friends and when Sugiuchi was drafted this past November by the Daiei Hawks, Matsuzaka gave the rookie advice and encouragement. But leading up to Tuesday's battle, when the pair were scheduled to compete directly again, they needled each other, each saying that his club's offense was going to do the other in. Well, the results are in and, once again, Matsuzaka walked away with a complete game triumph, as the Lions jumped on Hawks rookie reliever Iijima at Fukuoka Dome to win it 4-2.
Daiei actually had the upper hand for a bit, when they got a pop fly double from catcher Kenji Johjima and an RBI laser to the rightfield wall from rightfielder Koji Akiyama to grab a 1-0 leaf in the second.
In the top of the fifth, Seibu knotted it off of Sugiuchi. Tetsuya Kakiuchi doubled off the leftfield fence. One out later, Sugiuchi nailed second baseman Hiro Takagi with a pitch. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to center and Kakiuchi was in with the tying run, 1-1 after five complete.
In the bottom of the sixth, Hawks leftfielder Pedro Valdez exited to center for a "kachikoshi (go ahead)" homer, 2-1 home team after six complete.
Seibu wasn't about to tolerate that and Matsui leadoff the seventh with a single off of Kauhiko Iijima. Tatsuya Ozeki sacrificed him to second. One out later, Iijima intentionally walked first baseman Alex Cabrera. Kazuhiro Wada, though, clobbered a ball off of the 18 foot high centerfield wall for a double to chase in Matsui. Ken Suzuki went back up the middle of the diamond and Wada and Cabrera toed the plate and it was 4-2 Lions.
Daiei wasn't even allowed the merest hint of a threat the rest of the way, Matsuzaka finishing them off by striking out the side in the ninth for his fourth consecutive victory. He was consistenly clocked at 93 mph, even in the last inning.
The win had an air of history to it, as this was Seibu's 3500th since the team came into being under the ownership of Nishitetsu in 1950. Overall, the club is 3500-3101-309. Nishitetsu's first win was a 21-14 affair on March 15th, 1950 against the Hankyu Braves (now the Orix Blue Wave). One of the Japanese dailies is saying that the Lions are the first team to reach 3500 victories since 1950 (clubs who were around when the Japanese league was founded in 1936, such as the Chunichi Dragons, the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers, for example, all have more total wins and the Lions are therefore the sixth team all time to attain that number in its history).
One encouraging sign of Matsuzaka's growth this season is that while his velocity is down form the 95mph he could dispense as a rookie, he has cut his walks more than half from a high of 5.31/9 in 2000 to 2.12 now. That will lower his pitch counts, though he is probably going to lead the Pacific League in homers surrendered again.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .303. DH Morgan Burkhart was 0-3 and is at .235.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .224.
Matsuzaka (W, 4-0) IP 9.0 PC 135 H 5 HR 1 K 11 B 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.38
IP 5.0 PC 115 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.95
Iijima (L, 2-1) IP 1.2 PC 38 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.62
H.K. Watanabe IP .1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Suzuki IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.19
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
E: K. Matsui, Akiyama
2B: Inubushi, Kakiuchi, K. Suzuki, Wada, Johjima, Akiyama
HR: P. Valdez (6)
RBI: P. Valdez, K. Matsui, Wada, K. Suzuki 2, Akiyama
IBB: Wada, Cabrera
HBP: Ozeki (Sugiuchi), Takagi (Sugiuchi), Inubushi (Sugiuchi) Matsunaka (Matsuzaka)
LOB: Seibu 8, Daiei 5
Game Time: 3:25
Umpires: Sato (HP), Yamamura (1B), Higashi (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Hanshin Bombed by Hiroshima
Hanshin rookie Yuya Ando had given up just one run in his first 14 pro innings before Tuesday's start against the Hiroshima Carp, but hurt by some bad defense behind him, particularly a throwing error by shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto, he ended up getting bombed for eight runs in three innings, though just three of those are going to count against his ERA, as the Carp went on to an 11-7 victory at their homeground.
Hiroshima leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto leadoff the pivotal bottom of the second inning with a walk. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to right. First baseman Takahiro Arai then hit a ball to Fujimoto, who made a wild throw, allowing Kanemoto to score. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata bounced into a double play, but then catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura drilled an Ando forkball into the alley in rightcenter for an RBI. Hiroshima starter Masayuki Hasegawa singled singled to center for another run. Second baseman Takuya Kimura then got a hold of slider down in the strikezone and just barely put it over the rightfield fence for a two run homer to makie it 5-0.
An inning later and with two out, Ando walked Maeda and hit Arai. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata then got a 1-1 sinker that was up and he knocked the stuffing out of it, the ball landing well into the leftfield bleachers to improve the Daiei advantage to 8-0.
Hasegawa had been sailing along in real good shape, but began to lose it in the fifth and barely stuck around long enough to get credit for the victory. During that frame, catcher Katsuhiko Yamada walked with one down. One out later, Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to center. Fujimoto partially compensated for his miscue by lacing a double to leftcenter to drive in both Yamada and Imaoka to make it 8-2.
Then in the sixth, leftfielder Derrick White beat out a roller to short. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama launched a shot into the centerfield stands for his 100th lifetime homer and now Hiroshima's lead was reduced to 8-4. Hanshin could have made even more problems for Hasegawa after the Hiyama bomb was followed by a double down the leftfield line from first baseman George Arias and Hiroshima shortstop Akihiro Higashide booted a grounder by centerfielder Osamu Hamanka, but Yamada grounded into a double play as Arias scored and then Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino, for whatever boneheaded reason, allowed reliever Takehito Kanazawa to hit and he struckout, the inning ending 8-5 Carp.
Hiroshima then made Hanshin pay for both the lack of timely hitting and the failure to pinch hit for the pitcher when Maeda leadoff the home portion of the seventh against Tetsuro Kawajiri with a double to rightcenter and came home one out later on a knock from Ogata to center and it was 9-5.
Hanshin tried to fight back anyway and Hamanaka singled to left to kick off the eighth. Pinch hitter Masashi Matsuda then reamed a pitch from Carp reliever Sakai into the gap and Ogata made a diving stop to cut it off so that it didn't become a triple, Matsuda rolling into second with a two bagger and Hamanaka stopping at third. Pinch hitter Tomochika Tsuboi grounded out to second to bring in Hamanaka and Imaoka hit the right kind of out to third so that Matsuda could fly in and now the Tigers were just a bloop and a blast from tying it.
Nishikawa came in to pitch the eighth for Hanshin and coughed up a single to right with one out. He was sacrificed to second, but that was unnecessary, since Masahi Date then took the mound and was greeted by third baseman Eddie Diaz demolishing one of his deliveries to leftcenter to reopen a four run gap between the Carp and the Tigers.
Shinobu Fukuhara is going to be called up pretty soon and Hoshino had better hope that he can be the effective middle reliever he so needs since neither Date nor Kawajiri are getting the job done and the picture painted by the remainder of the bullpen isn't too rosy, either.
For Hanshin, White was 2-5 and is at .302. Arias was 1-5 with an error and is at .119.
Ando (L, 1-1) IP 3.0 PC 70
H 6 HR 2 K 0 BB 3 R 8 ER 3 ERA 2.12
Kanazawa IP 3.0 PC 46 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Kawajiri IP 1.0 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Nishikawa IP .2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 18.00
Date IP .1 PC 9 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.59
Hasegawa (W, 1-0) IP 6.0 PC 105 H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 0
R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.46
Beltran IP .2 PC 21 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Sakai IP 1.1 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.93
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.96
E: Hamanaka, Arias, Fujimoto, Diaz, Arai
2B: Fujimoto, Matsuda, Arias, T. Maeda, Ogata, K. Kimura
HR: Hiyama (4), T. Kimura (1), Ogata (4), Diaz (5)
RBI: T. Kimura, Diaz, Ogata 4, K. Kimura, Hasegawa, Imaoka, Fujimoto 2, Hiyama 2, Tsuboi
IBB: K. Kimura
HBP: Hamanaka (Hasegawa), Arai (Ando)
GIDP: Yamada, Diaz 2, Ogata, Nishiyama
LOB: Hanshin 8, Hiroshima 5
Game Time: 3:18
Umpires: Honda (HP), Suginaga (1B), Mori (2B), Ino (1B)
Aikawa Pinch Hit Three Run Homer Drowns Marines
For all practical purposes, when Orix' Ryota Aikawa whacked a Shingo Ono pitch over the leftcenterfield fence at Chiba Marine Stadium Tuesday in the sixth with Yasuo Fujii and Koji Takamizawa aboard on singles to right, that was pretty much all she wrote for the Chiba Lotte Marines, who couldn't muster anything against Blue Wave starter Hisashi Tokano and relievers Kase, and Nobuyuki Ebisu to go down to a 6-2 defeat.
Lotte had gotten out in front in the first, as rightfielder Kenji Morozumi walked to leadoff and stole second. Two outs later, DH Frank Bolick cracked his first hit of the season with a runner in scoring position, a double to the leftfield fence, and it was 1-0 Lotte.
Ono, just called up, had been doing a nice job dealing with the Orix order, but the Kobe contingent ended the string of goose eggs in the fifth. Third baseman Tatsuya Shindo singled to right leadoff the inning. Catcher Takeshi Miwa did the same. Shortstop Mitsutaka Goto followed suit and Shindo was in with the tying run, 1-1 after five complete.
That three run sixth came and went for Orix and Lotte took their turn in that stanza and converted singles to right from Hori, first baseman Kazuya Fukuura, and Bolick to make it 4-2 visitors.
In the seventh, Orix rang up two more tallies on a walk to second baseman Koichi Oshima, a single to left by pinch hitter Fernando Seguignol and a bloop two run double to center from Takamizawa to inflate their lead to 6-2.
From there, Ebisu blanked Lotte with three perfect innings for his first save in his 12 year career.
For Lotte, Bolick was 2-4 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .182. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-4 and is at .206.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-2 and is now at .283. First baseman Scott Sheldon was 1-4 and is at .229.
Tokano (L, 2-2) IP 5.1 PC 100 H
5 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Kase IP .2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Ebisu (S, 1) IP 3.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
S. Ono (L, 0-1) IP 6.0 PC 99 H
9 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.21
Kawai IP .2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.19
K. Yamazaki IP 2.0 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.42
Takagi IP .1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
SB: Oshima, Morozumi
2B: Takamizawa, Bolick
HR: Aikawa (1)
RBI: Bolick 2, Goto, Satake, Takamizawa 2, Aikawa 3
LOB: Orix 7, Lotte 3
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Yamagida (HP), Yamazaki (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Tanishige Cleans Up for Dragons in Win Over Yokohama
Backed by four RBIs from his batterymate, Motonobu Tanishige, ex-Mariners hurler Melvin Bunch went all the way in a 9-2 Chunichi Dragons victory Tuesday at Sapporo Dome, surrendering two runs, one earned, on seven hits to earn his third "shiroboshi" of the year.
Bunch temporarily got behind in the first inning, as centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo singled to left, went to third on a single to right from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki and came home when first baseman Hiroo Ishii belted a Bunch delivery to the warning track. Ishii thought he had gotten all of a fastball, but apparently not.
In the top of the second, Chunichi first baseman Leo Gomez leadoff with a single and the Dragons rebellion was underway. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami walked. Centerfielder Toshio Haru grounded to second for the force on Tatsunami. Leftfielder Jun Inoue screamed a shot down the rightfield line for a double and as the ball rattled around in the corner both Gomez and Haru scored to make it 2-1 Dragons.
Yokohama starter Daisuke Miura had been fashioning a pretty strong outing for himself, but he lost it completely in the seventh. Gomez leadoff with a single to center and one out later so did Haru. Inoue singled to right to load the bases. Tanishige, a former Bay Star, then unclogged them with a liner against the centerfield wall and now it 5-1 Chunichi.
Susumu Nakanowatari mosied in from the bullpen for the eighth and got blowed up real good, as John Candy used to say. Second baseman Masahiro Araki ignited the mess by beating out a grounder toward short. Fukudome singled to left and Gomez pushed Araki in with a hit to left. Tatsunami whistled one down the leftfield line for two more and then completed the circuit when Tanishige singled him in, the inning ending with the Nagoya boys up 9-1.
The Stars loaded the bases in the bottom half with one out, but then a pop to second from backup rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura and a grounder to third from third baseman Ogawa terminated that chance.
Bunch needed just one more inning to finish it and in the ninth second baseman Hitoshi Taneda leadoff with a single. Pinch hitter Hitoshi Nakane then hit a ground ball to Araki, who threw the ball to Borneo. But Bunch then induced a comebacker and then allowed a run scoring groundout to short. A fly to center by Kinjo and this one was in the books.
Tanishige has had three bases clearing doubles this season and leads the team with 15 RBIs. In addition, he is hitting .429 against the Stars. Miura has vowed revenge. What form that takes, exactly, we'll have to see.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-2
with a walk and is at .200.
Bunch (W, 3-1) IP 9.0 PC 143 H 7 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 2 ER 1 ERA 3.00
IP 7.0 PC 107 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.03
Nakanowatari IP 2.0 PC 51 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 11.81
E: Araki, Fukudome
2B: Tanishige, Tatsunami, Inoue, Kinjo
RBI: Gomez, Tatsunami 2, Inoue 2, Tanishige 4, H. Ishii, T. Ishii
LOB: Chunichi 4, Yokohama 9
Game Time: 2:57
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Watada (1B), Watamari (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Nippon Ham Edges Out Kintetsu 3-2
Hayato Nakamura, recently called up to spell the ineffective Iwamoto, managed to keep the Buffaloes offense under wraps for 8.1 innings, allowing them two runs on six hits at Tokyo Dome Tuesday for his first win ever indoors as Nippon Ham beat Kintetsu 3-2.
The Fighters offense gave Nakamura a thin cushion to work with in the first, as shortstop Hiroshi Narahara singled with one away and went to second on a groundball to first. DH Sherman Obando singled to center and it was 1-0 Nippon Ham.
In the fourth, Obando leaoff with a walk. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide singled to right. One out later, Yukio Tanaka singled to left for the RBI, the speedy Ide flying around to third. Seigo Fujishima flew out to right for a sac fly and Ide sprinted in to make it 3-0 Fighters.
Nakamura got 12 of the next 13 hitters and then went into the ninth. The shutout ended when Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura homered to right. Nakamura struckout Akihito Igarashi, but then he hung a forkball and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes rilfed a bullet into the centerfield seats. Pic of the finish on that swing is at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0424rozuNK216423_b.jpg
Nippon Ham manager Yasunori Oshima, seeing the writing on the wall, waved in his closer, Tomokazu Iba, who got a fly to center and a groundball to first to end it.
Sean Bergman is having a tough time with his injury and so Kintetsu may go to the Dodgers and ask them if they have anyone who may be usable.
For Kintetsu, DH Nigel Wilson was 0-3 and is at .250. Rhodes was went 1-4 with an RBI and is at .250.
For Nippon Ham, leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-4 and is at .253. Obando was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .273.
Maekawa (L, 0-2) IP
7.0 PC 100 H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.06
Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
H. Nakamura (W, 1-0) IP 8.1 PC 104 H 6 HR 2 K 6 BB
0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.16
Iba (S, 3) IP .2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 8.59
SB: M. Ogasawara
HR: Omura (4), Rhodes (10)
RBI: Obando, Y. Tanaka, Fujishima, Omura, Rhodes
GIDP: Yoshioka, Y. Tanaka
LOB: Kintetsu 3, Nippon Ham 6
Game Time: 2:28
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Akimura (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Higher Strike Zone Shortens Games by Seven Minutes
According to a study done by NPB, the new higher strike zone has resulted in a seven minute decline in the time it takes for a Central League game thus far. When you take extra inning games out of the equation, you pick up a full 12 minutes.
The speediest contests are, the study says, played by the Yakult Swallows and Hanshin Tigers, who each come in at 2:59. The slowest are the Yomiuri Giants at 3:11 and the Chunichi Dragons at 3:30. The Tigers could be number one if their middle relief didn't suck so much.
Rhodes Focusing on Batting Average
Marty Kuenhert Answers Some Reader Mail About Ichiro
Ex-Angel Fernandez Slugs Walk Off Homer in Sunday's KBO Action
Song-jin Woo Sets New Victories Record Tuesday in KBO Action
Kia Tigers Continue to Impress
Central League Experiencing Overal Rise in Attendance
Driven mainly by the attendance surge arising out of the winning ways of the Hanshin Tigers, the Central League's total fan turnout is up 6.6% over 2001. Here is how it breaks down by team:
Yakult: Averaging 22, 636, -14.7%
Yomiuri: Averaging 55,000 +0%
Yokohama: Averaging 24,875 +27.6%
Hiroshima: Averaging 13,200 +3.1%
Chunichi: Aceraging 34,500 -9.6%
Hanshin: 42,857 +85.2%
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 23rd and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1965, the ownership of the Kokutetsu Swallows was transfered over to the Sankei Group, which also has Fuji Televisions and Sankei Sports among its properties, and the name of the club thus was changed to the Sankei Swallows. A change in ownership in the midst of a season is apparently rare, the source of this tidbit insists.
Also on that day in 1970, Tsutomu Tanaka, who had retired the previous year after a pretty decent nine season career as a righthanded pitcher for the Nishitetsu Lions and Chunichi Dragons, was arrested for participating in the fixing of an auto race. Tanaka won 23 games in 1966 with a 2.34 ERA, one of those victories a perfect game on May 12. Overall, he was 103-89 with a 2.81 ERA and 23 shutouts.
No Offense = Another Hanshin Defeat
Taking the job of managing the expansion New York Mets in 1962 and suffering through incredibly inept team play that culminated in the losingest season of any MLB outfit this century, Casey Stengel was once quoted as asking in exasperation, "can't anybody here play this game?" A different, but yet related thought may be crossing the minds of the Hanshin Tigers starting staff: "can't anybody score?" Certainly, the 50,000 enthusiastic Tigers faithful that were on hand at Koshien Stadium had to be thinking that.
Kei Igawa, whose ERA you currently need an electron microscope to see, pitched a masterpiece of a game Friday against Masumi Kuwata and the Yomiuri Giants, spinning nine shutout innings of four hit ball. Unfortunately, Kuwata allowed the Tigers offense the same, no runs on four hits.
So perhaps as a
sign of the lack of confidence that he has in his middle relief staff, Tigers
manager Senichi Hoshino sent Igawa out for the tenth and Giants backup third
baseman Kenji Fukui got a 1-1 hanging changeup and went deep for a one out
homer to leftcenter to win it for Yomiuri 1-0 and produce Hanshin's third
loss in four games. See homer pic
What makes this win even more interesting, though, is that Kuwata hasn't beaten Hanshin since September 20, 1998 when the Tigers were really weak. Now that they have had some success, the Giants righthander beat them. Kuwata, though, had great control, possibly the best he's had in some time, moving the ball up and down and in and out to keep the hitters off balance.
And for even more fun, that was only Fukui's third homer in his eight years as a pro player.
However, there was some bad news for Yomiuri coming out of this game, too: starting second baseman Toshihisa Nishi has a sore oblique muscle and may be taken off the roster. He is one of the worst slumps of his career anyway, so Felipe Crespo is going to be promoted quicker than anticipated due to Nishi's injury.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-3 with a walk and is at .103. Derrick White was zip for his one pinch hit attempt and is at .273.
1-1) IP 9.0 PC 115 H 4 HR 0 K 8
BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Kawahara (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Igawa (L, 3-1) IP 10.0 PC 143 H 6 HR 1 K 8 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.50
HBP: Y. Takahashi (Igawa)
GIDP: Motoki, Yamada
LOB: Yomiuri 5, Hanshin 5
Umpires: Mori (HP), Honda (1B), Sasaki (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Hiroshima Can Only Tie Behind Stellar Sasaoka Outing
Shinji Sasaoka has been outstanding thus far this season and Friday he was marvelous again, going seven innings of one run baseball on eight hits (six of those were distributed between two innings, though) against the Yokohama Bay Stars, but the Carp lineup couldn't do more with the Yokohama pitching relay (nobody went more than three innings) than score an unearned run over 12 innings and it finished in a 1-1 deadlock.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fourth, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues hammered a double up the .leftcenter ally with one gone. Hirofumi Ogawa singled to center and Rodrigues sprinted home for a 1-0 Stars lead.
Hiroshima evened it in the top of the eighth. With two outs, pinch hitter Itsuki Asai doubled down the rightfield line off of Atsushi Kizuka. Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii then threw away a groundball off the bat of rightfielder Tomonori Maeda and Asai ran in and that was it for the day's scoring.
For Yokohama, Boi Rodrigues was 1-3 and is now at .220. Pitcher Shane Bowers was 1-1 and is at .333.
IP 7.0 PC 92 H 8 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Tamaki IP 2.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kobayashi IP .1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Oyamada IP 1.2 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
IP 3.0 PC 48 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Turman IP 3.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
Kizuka IP 2.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T. Saito IP 2.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Nakanowatari IP .1 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 8.10
Inamine IP 1.2 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 8.44
E: H. Ishii,
SB: T. Ishii, Fukuchi
2B: Asai, Diaz, Rodrigues, Kinjo, T. Ishii
GIDP: Higashide, T. Kimura, T. Suzuki, Kizuka
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Yokohama 11
May Three Run Homer Gets Lotte Third Win in a Row
A three run bomb
to rightcenter in the top of the third from leftfielder Derrick May was enough
for Chiba Lotte Marines starter Nathan Minchey, who, with his wife and kids
looking on from the bleachers, scattered four hits over eight shutout innings
to get the 3-0 victory Over Nippon Ham Friday at Tokyo Dome. Here is how
Minchey looked if you were a Fighters
http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/04/20/20020420010149.jpg At one point, he put down 14 straight hitters and was never in real major trouble.
Masahide Kobayashi then entered from the pen to cadge the save.
Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara had two hits and a walk in four plate appearances to raise his average to .413.
For Lotte, Frank Bolick was 0-1 with three walks and is at .119. May was 2-4 with three RBIs and is now at .229.
For Nippon Ham,.D.T.
Cromer was 0-4 and is at .271. DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 and was hit by a
pitch and is at
1-3) IP 8.0 PC 107
H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
M. Kobayashi (S, 2) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shimoyanagi (L, 1-3)
IP 4.2 PC 82 H 3 HR 1 K 5 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Muto IP 2.1 PC 27 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kato IP 0.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.93
Shibakusa IP 2.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.63
HR: May (3)
RBI: May 3
HBP: Obando (Minchey)
GIDP: Kimoto, Obando
LOB: Lotte 5, Nippon Ham 5
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Nakamura (1B), Akimura (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Rhodes, Nakamura Clouts Edge Out Hawks 4-2
A two run roundtripper from leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and a solo jack from third baseman Norihiro Nakamura enabled the Kintetsu Buffaloes to trip up the Daiei Hawks Friday at Osaka Dome 4-2. Hawks rightfielder Koji Akiyama also contributed to his own club's demise by letting a basehit from rightfielder Koichi Isobe bounce over his head on the artificial turf to become a triple. Isobe then scored on a passed ball by catcher Kenji Johjima.
Daiei third baseman Hiroki Kokubo made a baserunning error in the second, when he tried to score from third on a groundball to Kintetsu starter Hiroshi Takamura and was tagged out on the throw home. In all, if you were a Daiei fan, a pretty forgettable night.
The Buffaloes got out in front first in the bottom of the third, as centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled, was sacrificed to second and then jogged in to await the arrival of Rhodes, who had just walloped a pitch from Hawks starter Keisaburo Tanoue into the rightfield bleachers for a 2-0 lead. One out later, Akiyama made his mistake, as did Johjima and it was 3-0 Kintetsu.
In the fifth, Nakamura came up and hit a towering foul pop into the superstructure of the roof that just went for a peculiar strike. He then massacred the next pitch into the leftfield stands and it was 4-0 Buffs.
Daiei finally got something going in the seventh, as Akiyama singled to right with one away. DH Morgan Burkhart walked. One out later, centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara doubled to rightcenter and it was 4-1.
Kintetsu loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the inning, but those men were stranded when Isobe popped to second and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka flew out to left.
In the ninth, Burkhart leadoff with his fifth homer of the year off of Miyamoto, who then went on to record the next three outs and earn his first pro save.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is now at .270. DH Nigel Wilson was 1-4 and is at ..276.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-5 and is at .289. Burkhart was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .228.
Tanoue (L, 1-2 ) IP 6.0 PC 88
H 10 HR 2 K 3 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA
H.K. Watanabe IP .2 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
Kurano IP 1.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Takamura (W, 2-1) IP 6.2 PC 101 H 7 HR 0
K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Yamamoto IP .1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Aikyo IP .1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takagi IP .1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Okamoto IP .1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Miyamoto (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.23
2B: Shibahara 2, M.
HR: Burkhart (5), Rhodes (8), N. Nakamura (5)
RBI: Burkhart, Shibahara, N. Nakamura, Rhodes 2,
GIDP: Kokubo, Rhodes
LOB: Daiei 9, Kintetsu 8
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Nagami (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Mitsui Strong in Victory Over Orix 4-2
Koji Mitsui gave up a solo home run to Orix DH Fernando Seguignol and that was all in the Seibu Lions 4-2 triumph over the Blue Wave at Kagoshima Friday. Mistui allowed just two hits in his 6.2 inning stint, striking out four and walking none.
Daisuke Matsuzaka then mosied in for the Lions and got two of the three men he faced on strikeouts. But between the whiffs, pinch hitter Koji Takamizawa cracked his first pro homer, also a solo rendering, before Matsuzaka was removed and replaced by Shinji Mori. This was Matsuzaka's first relief appearances since one he made against Lotte since June 26th of last year.
Koo dae-sung was on the mound for Orix and he got behind early on. Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui put a charge into a Koo offering, mortaring it off the leftfield fence for a leadoff double. He was sacrificed to third and scored on a sac fly from DH Toshiaki Inubushi.
In the third, Matsui went to left for a one out single, was sacrificed along to second and hurried home on a single to center from Inubushi to make it 2-0 Lions.
In the sixth, Seguignol leadoff with a rocket into the leftfield stands to halve the Lions lead to 2-1.
Seibu second baseman Hiro Takagi began the seventh with a single to right and was sacrificed along. Rightfielder Masaji Shimizu then punched a hit to right to plate Takagi. Inubushi then went up the middle and Shimizu crossed to make it 4-1.
For Orix, Seguignol was 3-3 with an RBI and is at .268. First baseman Scott Sheldon struckout three of his four times at the plate and is at .241.
For Seibu, Alex Cabrera sat this one out due to back pain.
2-1) IP 6.2 PC 66 H 2 HR
1 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Matsuzaka IP .2 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.52
Mori IP .2 PC 11 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Toyoda (S, 4 ) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
7.2 PC 122 H 8 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Imamura IP .1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
Ebisu IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: K. Matsui,
HR: Seguignol (6), Takamizawa (1)
RBI: Seguignol, Takamizawa, M. Shimizu, Inubushi 3
LOB: Seibu 4, Orix 2
Yankees, Hawks Looking at 17 Year Old Brazilian
The New York Yankees have reportedly offered 17 year old righthander Anderson Gomez dos Santos $1.5 million to sign with them, but for right now, Santos is working out for the Daiei Hawks, who were pretty impressed with what they saw even if the youngster is still pretty raw.
Santos was clocked in the high 80's during a 30 pitch bullpen session Friday and it is said that he has been able to run it up there as quickly as 95mph. He has had some instuction from a coach for the Cuban national team and so it is perhaps no surprise that his motion resembles that of Orlando "El Duque" Hernandez. He throws a fastball and a changeup. Nothing in the reports about him so far indicate what breaking pitches he may have, if any.
Size-wise, he is 6'1" and 187 pounds and dropped out of high school his first year. He is from a town called Asai, in the state of Perrana (?), approximatley 400 miles from Sao Paolo. Asai is said to have a Japanese community there, so that may be how he was spotted. He has been playing baseball since age seven.
Japanese Olympic Athletes Win Control of Their Images; Will Pro Yakyu be Next?
George Brett Visits Taiwan
This article is more than a month old, but some of you might want to look at it: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/02/28/story/0000125804
The same paper did an earlier article on the state of por sports in Taiwan. You might find the difference between the attitudes of the youth in Taiwan with those of their U.S. counterparts. http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2001/11/23/story/0000112815
Also, what the baseball
World Cup being held there
A little history
of how pro baseball came to be in Taiwan and what happened to
And one more, on
how the organization of events there needs more
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 19th, so on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1952, the great outfielder Hiroshi Oshita was traded from the Tokyu Flyers to the Nishitetsu Lions. Oshita played eight seasons with Nishitetsu, hitting better than .300 in six of those years, taking home some MVP hardware in 1954 after slugging 22 homers and driving in 88 runs while hitting .321. He hit for the cycle the only time in his career that same campaign. You can now find Mr. Oshita's plaque in Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
Source (as always): http://www2.plala.or.jp/ippeifuji/w04.htm
April 18, 2002
Hiroshima Turns Four Giants Errors into Five Runs and a Win
A bad throw by third baseman Daisuke Motoki in the second and three fielding miscues in the third resulted in the Hiroshima Carp scoring five unearned runs off of Yomiuri Giants starter John Wasdin in the Carp's 7-5 victory Thursday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium.
The Giants got out in front in the first inning, with red hot leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu lofting a looper out behind second base that fell in when Carp second baseman Takuya Kimura and shortstop Akihiro Higashide collided to lead it off. Two outs later, centerfielder Godzilla Matsui got a fastball over the outer half of the plate from Hiroshima starter Ryuji Yokoyama and drilled it into the leftcenter gap for a double to bring in Shimizu and it was 1-0 Yomiuri after one complete.
Then in the second, the Giants got a leadoff single to right from Motoki and he went to third on a subsequent knock to right from catcher Shinnosuke Abe. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Motoki scored and it was 2-0 visitors.
In the bottom of the inning, Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto singled to center. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda then hit a little tapper toward third, which Motoki gloved and then threw the ball away to put runners on second and third. It was ruled an infield hit plus an error on Motoki. First baseman Takahiro Arai singled to left to plate Kanemoto and two outs later Maeda galloped around when Yokoyama helped his own cause with a safety to center and the inning concluded with it all tied up at two apiece.
In the third, the Giants did something they haven't done in a decade, make three errors in an inning. With one down, third baseman Eddie Diaz beat out a roller toward short. Kanemoto then grounded a tailor made double play ball to second and Toshihisa Nishi booted it. Maeda hit one towared the mound that Wasdin grabbed, dropped, and as Maeda was crossing the bag, hurled his relay down the rightfield line and both Diaz and Kanemoto motored across the plate to put the home team up 4-2. Wasdin was charged with two errors on that play, one for fumbling the grounder and then for making the bad throw. Arai singled to left and Maeda came across, Hiroshima in the driver's seat 5-2 with three in the books.
The Giants chipped one off that advantage, however, the next half inning. First baseman Akira Etoh singled to center and pinch hitter Koji Goto singled to right. One out later, Nioka singled to center to load the bases. Pinch hitter Kenji Fukui grounded to short and Etoh hit the dish to make it 5-3 Carp.
Starting in the fourth, Giants manager Tatsunori Hara brought in Hisanori Takahashi, normally a starter, and he got through two scoreless innings before being touched for two critical tallies in the sixth. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled and went to second on a groundout to first. Takahashi nailed Diaz with a pitch. Kanemoto struckout, but then Maeda tried to leave the building and carromed it off the centerfield wall to usher in both baserunners and now Hiroshima was up by four at 7-3.
The Giants got one back in the eighth on a leadoff single to right from Etoh. Carp reliever Rigo Beltran, in the course of whiffing the next two hitters, balked Etoh to second. Nioka then allowed Etoh to cross with a shot into the rightcenterfield alley and it was 7-4.
In the ninth and with Yasuhiro Oyamada in to aspiring to save it for Hiroshima, Shimizu hit a groundball to Takuya Kimura, who threw the ball away. One out later, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to center and Shimizu scored to get his club within two and that was as close as it got, since Oyamada then induced a grounder to the mound and a lineout to Diaz to end it.
After the game, Yokoyama dedicated the win to his late brother Kohei, who died on March 1st of bone cancer at the age of 19.
E: Nishi, Motoki, Wasdin 2, Higashide, T.
2B: H. Matsui, T. Maeda
RBI: T. Maeda 2, Arai, T. Kimura, Yokoyama, Y. Takahashi, H. Matsui, Nioka, Fukui
HBP: Kanemoto (H. Takahashi), Diaz (H. Takahashi)
LOB: Giants 9, Hiroshima 10
0-1) IP 2.1 PC 66 H 7 HR
0 K 3 BB 0 R 5 ER 0 ERA
Sakai IP .2 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H. Takahashi IP 3.0 PC 53 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.24
Nishiyama IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
1-2) IP 6.0 PC 110 H 9 HR 0 K 5 BB 1
R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.91
Beltran IP 1.2 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
Sakai IP .1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Oyamada (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Kasahara (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Watada (3B)
Hanshin and Chunichi Fight to a 1-1 Standoff
Nobuyuki Hoshino threw a strong seven innings Thursday in front of a nice crowd of almost 37,000 at Nagoya Dome and should have won this game. However, and this is one reason you gotta love baseball, he walked away with nada when the opposing pitcher, Kenshin Kawakami, homered off of him in the bottom of the fifth off of a forkball. Are you kidding me? A pitcher going yard on a splitter?
Hanshin eventually tied the game in the top of the eighth, but any further damage they could have done was stanched when Chunichi catcher Motonobu Tanishige picked Shuta Tanaka off of second base.
The Dragons had a chance to break this one open in the sixth and didn't get the job done. With one out, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome hit an absolute rope to the rightfield wall for a double. One out later, second baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to left. Hoshino then ptiched around first baseman Takeshi Yamasaki and walked him to load the bases and leftfielder Toshio Haru, a player I like a lot, strode up to the plate. But all he could do was hit a harmless fly ball to right and Hoshino was out of the jam.
In the eighth and the Dragons up 1-0, Kawakami plunked pinch hitter Osamu Hamanaka to start it off. Centerfielder Taichiro Kamisaka sacrificed him to second. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to left to put runners on first and third. He was pinch run for by Tanaka. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka lifted a fly ball deep enough to left to convert Hamanaka and level the score at 1-1.
Hanshin reliever Atsnori Itoh tossed four superlative innings to get the Tigers safely into the top of the 12th, when they had a chance to win it but blew it. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to left off of Dragons closer Eddie Gaillard to get things rolling and was sacrificed to second. Chunichi manager Hisashi Yamada opted to walk pinch hitter George Arias despite the fact that Arias isn't hitting his wife's weight, much less his own. Nevertheless, Yamada was looking to keep the double play in order. Catcher Ryo Yoshimoto singled to left and Hiyama held at third. Given his team's inability to hit with runners in scoring position, Hanshin manager Hoshino could have called for the squeeze to try to force the issue, but instead he allowed pinch hitter Katsuhiko Yamada to swing away and he hit a sharp grounder to Tatsunami, now stationed at third, who threw to the plate for the force and Tanishige then winged it on to first for the inning ending double play.
So it was left to Hanshin closer Mark Valdez to preserve the status quo and he struggled to do it. Masahiro Araki, now at second base, leadoff with a single to right and stole second. Fukudome struckout. Leo Gomez, now playing first, then got his aging legs moving to beat out a roller toward short. Valdez wisely walked the pesky Tatsunami set up a force at every base. Centerfielder Koichi Sekikawa hit a comebacker to Valdez. who flipped to home for the force. Haru grounded to Kataoka and that was the ballgame, a 1-1 tie.
Hoshino had a number of reasons to be angry about this game and he indeed was not a happy camper. Hoshino threw his heart out and Hoshino berated his players for not rewarding the longtime veteran hurler for his effort. He wasn't exactly delighted with Kawakami's homer, but then again, the guy hit a difficult pitch over the fence, so all you can do is put that down to fate. And Yamada was supposed to be looking for something he could elevate or drive, but instead killed a rally with a groundball.
Most upsetting for Hoshino and the Hanshin nine was that they lost their starting centerfielder and 2001 steals champ Norihiro Akahoshi for six weeks when he broke his tibia fouling a pitch off just below his knee. This is a talent thin team and with their starting catcher Akihiro Yano and now Akahoshi being laid up, Hanshin was hurt on both sides of the ball. Furthermore, Shinobu Fukuhara, who Hoshino would like to use in middle relief, is not making the kind of progress down on the farm recovering from a shoulder injury that the team had hoped for. The kind of 93-94mph gas that Fukuhara can bring would make a good contrast to the array of mid to high 80's guys that Hoshino has otherwise.
For Hanshin, White was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is now at .279. Arias just had the one plate appearance and is thus still at .109.
Hoshino IP 7.0 PC 126 H 8 HR 1
K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Itoh IP 4.0 PC 58 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Valdez IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 7.1 PC 115 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.90
Kito IP 2.0 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
SB: Akahoshi, Araki, Fukudome, Onishi
HR: Kawakami (1)
RBI: Kawakami, Kataoka
IBB: Arias, Tatsunami
HBP: Hamanaka (Kawakami)
LOB: Hanshin 8, Chunichi 15
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Arisumi (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Fujii Too Much of a Mountain to Climb for Yokohama
Yakult Swallows southpaw Shugo Fujii threw a complete game 6-0 shutout Thursday against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Meiji Jingu Stadium, allowing just three hits and walking none while striking out seven. At one point, after being touched for a single to left by shortstop Takuro Ishii to leadoff the contest, Fujii worked 6.1 perfect innings thereafter until second baseman Hirofumi Ogawa singled to center with one out in the seventh.
While Fujii was piling up outs, his teammates were getting busy on Stars starter Kuniyuki Taniguchi. With one down in the bottom of the first, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto doubled down the rightfield line and stole third. Taniguchi chose to intentionally walk first baseman Roberto Petagine (in the first?) and catcher Atsuya Furuta dealt with the insult by taking Taniguchi back up the middle for an RBI single to get the Swallows off to a 1-0 lead.
In the second, Yakult preyed on Taniguchi again. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez leadoff with a single to right. Second baseman Chihiro Hamana singled to center and Ramirez went to third. Hamana stole second. With Fujii up, Taniguchi threw a wild pitch. Now according to the game log, two runs scored before Fujii's at bat was completed, so I have to assume that Taniguchi's delivery was so wild that it may have kicked off toward one of the dugouts and both runners managed to score before the ball could be relayed to the plate. Whatever the case, Yakult was up 3-0 after the inning was done.
In the sixth, third baseman Akinori Iwamura and Hamana both walked, sandwiched around a strikeout by Ramirez. Fujii grounded to third to move both runners up, and Manaka singled to right for one run and a throwing error by Masaaki Koike at third plus a wild pitch by Yokohama reliever Kazuo Fukumori accounted for two more runs to make it 6-0.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-3 and is batting .213. Mike Gulan is now back in the states awaiting the birth of the latest addition to his family, which should be any day now.
For Yakult, Roberto Petagine walked all four times, so he stays at .262. Ramirez was 1-3 with a walk and is now at .295.
Taniguchi (L, 0-2) IP 3.0
PC 58 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 4 R 3 ER 2 ERA
Inamine IP 2.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 10.00
Fukumori IP 1.0 PC 31 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Turman IP 1.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Nakanowatari IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HT 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
Fujii (W, 2-0) IP 9.0 PC 107 H 3 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
SB: Miyamoto, Iwamura, Hamana
2B: H. Ishii, Miyamoto
RBI: Manaka, Furuta
WP: Taniguchi, Fukumori
GIDP: Ogawa, Furuta 2
LOB: Yokohama 2, Yakult 10
Umpires: Ino (HP), Sasaki (1B), Suginaga (2B), ? (3B)
All Star Balloting Underway
Fan balloting for the 2002 Sanyo All Star Game begins this Friday with two games on this year's slate. The first will be at Tokyo Dome on July 12th and the second one will beat Bochan Stadium in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku.
Eleven players will be selected by the fans for the Central League squad and since the Pacific League has the DH 12 for that contingent. The managers, Tsutomu Wakamatsu for the CL and Masataka Nishida, will then choose 17 and 16 players respectivewly to fill out the 28 man rosters.
Ballots are available at all Lawson's, Am/Pm, and Circle K stores, along with any shop that is an official carrier of Sanyo products and you can vote via imode cellphones. In addition, Family Mart outlets in Mie, Gifu, Aichi and Shizuoka Prefectures will have ballots, too.
First results of the voting will be announced May 9th, then on May 13th, June 26th and the final results will be given on July 2nd at 2:00 p.m. JST.
Tickets for the Tokyo Dome tilt will go on sale June eighth at 10:00 a.m. at the ballpark and at Ticket Pia counters.
For the Matsuyama game, you have to send in a postcard and recipients will be determined by lottery.
For more information, please visit the official All Star site (which is in Japanese only): http://allstar.sanyo.co.jp/
Hawks, Residents Oppose Off Track Betting Next to Ballpark
An off track betting (OTB) center that was planned for right in front of the Fukuoka Dome will now not be built after vociferous opposition from local residents and the Daiei Hawks. The objections centered on the sleazy nature of gambling.
Negotiations for Taiwanese Pitcher Complete---Will Join Seibu
Chang Tsieh-shiah (if I've transliterated properly), a righthander who shutout the Japanese nine at the recent World Cup in Taiwan, will be a member of the Seibu Lions now that negotiations have finally been completed for his aquisition.
Chang, who was also
on the hit list of the Dodgers and Mariners and is thought to only be one
year away from being major league ready, was 2-1 with a 1.80 ERA for a Taiwanese
pro team before the Lions flashed more than $1 million dollars to obtain
He will begin in the minors so he can get acclimated and then will be promoted into Seibu's starting rotation. Hsu Ming-chieh, another member of the Lions starting staff, is also of Taiwanese birth.
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for April 18th, so on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1963, the Yomiuri Giants recorded their 14 straight game from opening day onward with at least one homer.
Hoshino Sees His New Club Lost to His Old One 7-3
The Hanshin Tigers were flying high and new Tigers boss Senichi Hoshino was looking forward to doing in his old team, the Chunichi Dragons, with whom he didn't always have cordial relations, but it was Hoshino's squad who ended up being vanquished Tuesday 7-3 at Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture before an overflow crowd of 16,000. You can see a pic of the facility at: http://www2s.biglobe.ne.jp/~ranbee/toyoha02.jpg
It had been 47 years
since a regular season game had been played in Toyohashi, but it didn't take
the Dragons long to pull in front. Leading off the bottom of the second inning,
as Takeshi Yamasaki transgressed the very hitter-friendly confines (303 down
the lines, 375 to center) with a jack into the parkland behind the leftfield
fence off of Hanshin starter Keiichi Yabu.
out later, catcher Motonobu Tanishige did the same on a hanging slider and it was 2-0 Dragions.
Melvin Bunch had a good fastball working for him in this one and he shutout the Tigers on four hits over six innings, but in the seventh, Hanshin evened things up. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto singled to center to kick off the inning. Catcher Ryo Yoshimoto singled to right. Tomochika Tsuboi hit a grounball to short and Fujimoto was able to make it to third. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi sent a fly ball to center and Fujimoto tagged and scored to make it 2-1. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to left and Yoshimoto came in with the second run to knot it up.
In the bottom half, though, Chunichi stunned Hanshin and locked up the game off of Masashi Date. Masahiro Araki walked to lead it off. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome then unleashed a bazooka shot at the leftfield wall for a double. One out later, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami walked to load the bases. Yamasaki struckout, but Yoshimoto let a pitch get by him for a passed ball and Araki scored. Date then free passed leftfielder Jun Inoue. Tanishige checked in and rifled a shot off the leftfield wall to clear the bases and break the game open at 6-2.
The Tigers tried to put something together in the top of the eighth against Eiji Shotsu, but its notorious inability to hit with runners in scoring position was evidenced again. First baseman Derrick White leadoff with a single center and rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to right. But then Osamu Hamanaka rolled out to third and Fujimoto flied to shallow center. Yoshimoto singled to right, but White held at third, not wanting to challenge Fukudome four runs down. Pinch hitter George Arias, though, flied out harmlessly to make it all for nought.
Chunichi then put another tally up on the board with a double down the leftfield line by shortstop Ibata, a sac bunt and a single to right by Fukudome and now it was 7-2 Dragons.
Imaoka homered with one out off of Shigetoshi Yamakita in the top of the ninth and that was all for the Tigers attack, as Chunichi walked away with a 7-3 victory.Hanshin had eleven hits, but just the two runs, This tendency is why they will finish no better than third this season.
For Chunichi, third baseman Leo Gomez was 1-4 with a walk and is at .265.
For Hanshin, White was 2-5 and is now at .314. Arias was 0-1 and is at .115. Imaoka was 3-4 and is now at .340.
IP 6.0 PC 89 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Date (L, 0-2) IP 1.0 PC 43 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 3 R 4 ER 3 ERA 4.50
Kanazawa IP .1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 13.50
Yuminaga IP .2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Bunch (W, 2-1) IP 7.0 PC 115
H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Shotsu IP .1 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kito IP .2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.17
2B: Fujimoto, Fukudome, Tanishige, Ibata
HR: Imaoka (4) Yamasaki (1), Tanishige (3)
RBI: Akahoshi, Imaoka, Tsuboi, Fukudome, Yamasaki, Tanishige 4
HBP: Hiyama (Bunch), Ibata (Yabu)
LOB: Hanshin 10, Chunichi 10
Umpires: Arisumi? (HP) Kiuchi (1B), Manabe (2B), Tani (3B)
From Pumping Gas to Pumping a Big Homer: Shiroishi Blast Beats Yokohama
Yakult Swallows second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi dropped out of Aoyama Gakuin in the early 90's and worked at a gas station for a couple of years before deciding to tryout for Nippon Ham, where he passed the audition. Now in his eighth year, he is in a Yakult uniform these days and blasted a big two run homer off of a fastball from Yokohama Bay Stars reliever Kazuyuki Maeda in the fifth inning Tuesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium that enabled the Swallows to go from being behind 5-4 to being up 6-5 as the Tokyo club prevailed 7-5.
Yakult displayed some early firepower in the bottom of the second, as catcher Atusya Furuta singled to center and was then able to jog home comfortably on his bad knee when third baseman Akihiro Iwamura exited the building stage right. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez then went yard off of Yokohama starter Takeo Kawamura to boast a 3-0 lead.
An inning later, the home team built on that advantage. With two down, Furuta singled to left. Iwamura walked. Ramirez singled to right and it was 4-0 Yakult.
the Swallows, their starter, Futoshi Yamabe, was to give it all away. In
the top of the fourth and two away, Yokohama third baseman Mike Gulan homered
to left. Hirofumi Ogawa then slammed a Yamabe pitch against
leftfield fence for a long single. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues then went way downtown to right to get his side with in a run at 4-3.
In the fifth, and again with two outs, centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo singled to left. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki then buried a Yamabe offering in the leftfield bleachers for the "kachikoshi two run" and it was 5-4 Stars.
In the bottom of the same frame, though, Swallows fans, who haven't had a lot to cheer about so far due to the inconsistent play of their team, saw Ramirez single to right. That's when Shiroishi connected and put Yakult in front to stay at 6-5. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka was then plunked by Maeda and shortstop Shinya Miyamoto seared a drive into the leftcenterfield ally to score the fleetfooted Manaka for a much needed insurance run, 7-5 Swallows after five complete.
Alan Newman and Ryota Igarashi kept the Stars at bay for three innings and
then Shingo Takatsu saved his fifth game of the year in the ninth to close
it out. Pic of Takatsu
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 2-4 with two RBIs and is now at .220. Gulan was 2-4 with an RBI and is now at .246.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 1-5 and is now at .241. Ramirez was 3-4 with two RBIs and is at .291.
IP 3.0 PC 57 H 7 HR 2 K 0 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Inamine IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 12.86
K. Maeda (L, 0-2) IP .2 PC 17 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 11.57
Takeshita IP 1.1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.68
Fukumori IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Nakanowatari IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 13.50
Yamabe (W, 1-1) IP 5.0 PC 100 H 7 HR
3 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Newman IP 1.2 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.78
Ryo. Igarashi IP 1.1 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.82
Takatsu (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
2B: Miyamoto, Ogawa
HR: Gulan (2), Rodrigues (5), T. Suzuki (1), Ramirez (2), Iwamura (2), Shiroishi (2)
RBI: T. Suzuki 2, Gulan, Rodrigues 2, Miyamoto, Iwamura 2, Ramirez 2, Shiroishi 2
WP: Ryo. Igarashi
HBP: Manaka (K. Maeda)
LOB: Yokohama 8, Yakult 9
Umpires: Sasaki (HP), ? (1B), Ino (2B), K. Kobayashi (3B)
Johjima Homer, Shibahara Two Run Double in Ninth Overtakes Nippon Ham
In the most anticipated regular season pitching debut since Daiskuke Matsuzaka took the mound for the first time in 1999, Hayato Terahara of the Daiei Hawks made his first pro start and did okay for five innings, clocked at a high of 92mph, before tiring and getting cuffed around in the sixth as Nippon Ham took a 4-2 lead off of him. However, the 18 year old Nichinan Gakuen grad didn't get blamed for the loss because the Hawks came back in the ninth to seize the day.
Jim Allen at the
Yomiuri Shimbun's english language subsidiary did a good article about this,
so you should peruse that
then check back here: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020417wo52.htm
There's little I really need to add to that other than the game was being broadcast nationwide on NHK and that Terahara's parents were at the ballpark taking it in. Terahara's teammates call him "kozo," or "young monk," a nickname that has more to do with the rookie's youth than any ascetic tendencies he may have.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 2-4 with a walk and is now at .288. Leftfielder D,T, Cromer was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .288.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 2-4 with a walk and is at .318. DH Morgan Burkhart was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .235.
IP 5.0 PC 68 H 8 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Suzuki IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.94
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.1 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Kurano (W, 1-0) IP .2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Iijima (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 5.0 PC 68 H 5 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Kanemura IP 3.0 PC 44 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Iba (L, 1-1) IP .1 PC 20 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 9.64
Sasaki IP .2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
SB: Iguchi, Muramatsu, Torigoe,
2B: Ogasawara, Morimoto, Shibahara
HR: Johjima 2 (4), Ide (4)
RBI: Shibahara 2, Johjima 2, Matsunaka, Ide, Cromer 2, Noguchi
HBP: Kimoto (Suzuki)
GIDP: Matsunaka, Kimoto
LOB: Daiei 7, Nippon Ham 9
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Orix Barely Survives Last
Inning Rally by
When Orix Blue Wave catcher Takashi Miwa slugged a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth at Kobe Green Stadium Tuesday, it appeared at the time it was just another "dame oshi" (insurance run), as it put Orix up 6-0. However, lead by
a three run roundtripper from DH Nigel Wilson in the ninth, the Kintetsu Buffaloes almost charged back to tie it or even win it, as they had the bases loaded and one out before Masanobu Okubo struckout third baseman Norihiro Nakamura on a fastball and induced a pop up from catcher Koichi Isobe on a forkball to preserve a 6-5 victory.
Orix first drew blood in the bottom of the second, as first baseman Scott Sheldon was hit with a pitch from Kintetsu starter Katsuhiko Maekawa, was forced at second by leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani, and one out later, Shiotani galloped around on a double to left from DH Fernando Seguignol. Rightfielder Ryota Aikawa singled to left and Seguignol came in to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, Shiotani leadoff with a single and was sacrificed to second by third baseman Tatsuya Shindo. Seguignol was intentionally walked. Aikawa walked to load the bases. Miwa grounded to first for one run and second baseman Koichi Oshima cracked a two run double to the leftfield wall and it was 5-0 home team.
After Miwa's longball
in the fifth, Kintetsu didn't get anything major going until the ninth. Orix
manager Hiromichi Ishige sent out Kazuo Yamaguchi to try to shut the curtain
on Kintetsu. Instead. he had the boom lowered on him. Nakamura began the
mess with a double to rightcenter. Isobe singled to center. First baseman
Yuji Yoshioka singled to center and Nakamura crossed the plate. Wilson then
obliterated a Yamaguchi fastball and deposited it in the mezzanine section
in rightcenter, a gargantuan clout, and now it was 6-4 Orix. Yamaguchi got
pinch hitter Akihito Igarashi to foul out and was then dispatched
the showers by Ishige in favor of Shuichi Iwashita. But Iwashita walked pinch hitter Kenshi Kawaguchi and gave up a knock to left by centerfielder Naoyuki Omura. Goodbye Iwashita and Okubo came in to see if he could terminate the uprising. The first hitter he faced, second baseman Yosuke Takasu, singled to right to load the bases. He then plunked leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes on his right bicep to force in a run. Happily for Ishige's rather thin patience (and it's only threadbare due to the unending mediocrity of his ballclub's performance so far), Okubo choked off the rally and Orix triumphed.
Orix starter Masahiko Kaneda had a good overhand curveball and a sharp slider to help him throw eight shutout innings. He has a 0.83 ERA on the year at this point.
It's a little bit of a mystery Maekawa was permitted to start this game. In 2001, he was 0-3 with a 16.20 ERA against Orix and hasn't been faring well against too many folks this season. Kintetsu have nmow lost three in a row.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is now at .267. Wilson was 2-4 with two strikeouts and three RBIs and is at .278.
For Orix, Sheldon
was 0-3 with two strikeouts and was hit by a pitch and is at .259. Seguignol
was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at
Maekawa (L, 0-1) IP 8.0 PC 132 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 6 R 6 ER 6 ERA 5.49
1-1) IP 8.0 PC
121 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Yamaguchi IP .1 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.82
Iwashita IP 0.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Okubo (S, 4) IP .2 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
SB: Takasu, Isobe,
2B: N. Nakamura, Tani 2, Aikawa, Seguignol, Oshima
HR: Wilson (3), Miwa (1)
RBI: Rhodes, Yoshioka, Wilson 3, Oshima 2, Miwa 2, Seguignol, Aikawa
HBP: Rhodes (Okubo) Sheldon (Maekawa)
LOB: Kintetsu 9, Orix 8
Umpires: Kaneko (HP), Nagami (1B), Kodera (2B), Tamba (3B)
Hsu, Ono Both Brilliant and Neither Gets Rewarded for it in 1-1 Tie
A classic pitcher's battle in this one pitting Hsu Ming-chieh of the Seibu Lions against Shingo Ono of the Chiba Lotte Marines, but a passed ball by catcher Tsutomu Itoh in the eighth cost Hsu a chance at the victory. Pic of Ono at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200204/image/0417ono_NK166416_b.jpg
Neither hurler was in any major trouble until the fourth, when Hsu saw the bases fill up on a one out walk to first baseman Kazuya Fukuura, a single to DH Frank Bolick and another "four ball" to leftfielder Derrick May. However, he then got two groundballs to extinguish the threat.
In the seventh, the first two hitters singled for Lotte, but Hsu buckled down again and struckout two and got the other to ground out to escape the difficulty.
Seibu finally broke through in the eighth, as Susumu Otomo wailed on to the rightfield wall for a leadoff double. Itoh sacrificed him to third and second baseman Hiro Takagi then hit a looper to center that fell in for a fly ball double and Otomo loped in to make it 1-0 Lions.
In the home portion, though, Koichi Hori leadoff with a single to left off of reliever Shinji Mori. In the course of getting the next two outs, Itoh let the ball get through him and Hori went to second. Derrick May singled to center and Hori completed the circuit to gridlock it at one apiece. And neither team was really heard form again offensively and it ended in a 12 inning 1-1 tie.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-5 with three strikeouts and is now at .122. May was 1-3 with am RBI, a walk and was hit by a pitch to improve to .205.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera was 1-5 to drop to .250.
IP 7.0 PC 109 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Mori IP 3.0 PC 56 H 3 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Mizuo IP 0.0 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toyoda IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 8.0 PC 106 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.55
Yoshida IP 2.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
M. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 1 1 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Fukuura, Hashimoto,
2B: H. Takagi, Otomo
RBI: H. Takagi, May
PB: T. Itoh
HBP: May (Mizuo)
GIDP: Morozumi, Sakai
LOB: Seibu 5, Lotte 10
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Yamazaki (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Akimura (3B)
Johjima Three Run Homer Helps Daiei Top Nippon Ham 6-2
The Daiei Hawks pounded Nippon Ham starter Tsutomu Iwamoto right into the minor leagues Wednesday, as catcher Kenji Johima wacked a three run homer into the leftfield bleachers at Tokyo Dome to cap off a four run first inning rally to help the Hawks to an easy 6-2 victory.
The two Nippon Ham runs came on solo jacks from first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and leftfielder D.T. Cromer during what was an otherwise strong four hit outing from Daiei starter Akichika Yamada. Yamada was clocked consistently at 89mph and struckout six and walked one to snatch his second win of the season.
Daiei shortstop Yusuke Torigoe chipped in with a fourth inning solo bomb to left, which was then followed by back to back doubled from Hiroshi Shibahara and leftfielder Pedro Valdez for another tally.
This triumph is also the 800th since the Hawks were bought by the Daiei supermarket chain after decades of being known as the Nankai Hawks.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 1-3 with an RBI and is now at .291. DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 with a walk and is at .274.
For Daiei, DH Morgan Burkhart was 0-3 and is now at .222. Valdez was 1-5 with an RBI and is at .310.
A. Yamada (W, 2-0)
IP 7.0 PC 118 H 4 HR 2 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Suzuki IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
1-2) IP 3.2 PC 95 H 7 HR 2 K 3 BB 1 R
6 ER 6 ERA 6.88
Kato IP .2 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.93
Muto IP 2.2 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Iba IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.94
2B: Akiyama, Shibahara, Matsunaka, P. Valdez
HR: Johjima (5), Torigoe (1), M. Ogasawara (7), Cromer
RBI: P. Valdez, Kokubo, Johjima 3, Torigoe, M. Ogasawara, Cromer
LOB: Daiei 6, Nippon Ham 2
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Yanagita (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Late Hanshin Tally Falls Short Against Dragons
What appears to be a fatal baserunning blunder by Hanshin third baseman Atsushi Kataoka put the brakes to a ninth inning rally Wednesday at Nagoya Dome against the Chunichi Dragons, as the Tigers assured themselves of dropping their first series of the season 5-3.
Shinji Taninaka started for Hanshin and didn't pitch that well, giving up three runs on seven hits in five innings. He was having enough command problems that he ended up delivering to the plate 102 times during that stint.
Takashi Ogasawara did very well indeed for Chunichi, going 5.1 innings and permitting one earned run on five hits, the tally coming on rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama's homer into the centerfield seats. Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada then pulled Ogasawara for some reason in favor of Endo.
The Dragons didn't get to Taninaka until the fifth, when leftfielder Jun Inoue singled to center with one out, catcher Motonobu Tanishge singled to left, shortstop Ibata walked, Masahiro Araki singled to right and rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome ripped a two RBI double down the rightfield line for a 3-0 lead.
In the sixth and with Shinichi Nishikawa on the hill for the Tigers, Kazuyoshi Tatsunami cracked a leadoff single to center. One out later, Sidearmer Tetsuro Kawajiri was summoned and Koichi Sekikawa walked. Tanishige struckout, but Toshio Haru tattooed a liner into the leftcenter alley and both Tatsunami and Sekikawa sprinted home for a 5-1 Dragons advantage.
And that's the way it stayed until Yamada called on Shinya Okamoto to put this baby on ice in the ninth. Osamu Hamanaka leadoff with a walk. So Yamada phoned the pen for Shigetoshi Yamakita and Tomochika Tsuboi singled to center and Hamanaka motored to third. Yamada dialed locally again and Eddie Gaillard ascended the hill. Gaillard got two quick outs, but in the process of pitching to shortstop Yoshinori Okihara, Tanishige let one get through him and Hamanaka scored. Kataoka was next and he clocked one down the leftfield line. Tsuboi scored, but Kataoka was a dead duck at second and that snuffed out Hanshin's chance to overcome the gap between them and the Dragons. Please note that I'm making a supposition here based on the info available to me, so if it ended differently than how I relayed it, let me know.
2-1) IP 5.0 PC 102 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER
3 ERA 2.08
Nishikawa IP .1 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 27.00
Kawajiri IP 1.2 PC 32 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
Itoh IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Ogasawara (W, 2-0) IP 5.1 PC
73 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Endo IP .2 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
Shotsu IP .1 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Okamoto IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamakita IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Gaillard (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
SB: Tatsunami, Tsuboi, Yoshimoto
2B: Akahoshi, Fukudome, Haru
HR: Hiyama (3)
RBI: Hiyama, Kataoka, Araki, Fukudome 2, Haru 2
HBP: White (Ogasawara)
LOB: Hanshin 6, Chunichi 7
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Kiuchi (2B), Manabe (3B)
Rodrigues Grand Slam Downs Swallows 4-0
Yakult rookie Masanori Ishikawa had another strong outing----for five innings, holding the Yokohama Bay Stars scoreless on three hits and a walk. But his sixth inning was a doozy, as he threw a cut fastball up in the strike zone that just kind of tumbled up there with the bases loaded to Stars rightfielder Boi Rodrigues and the former Mexican League homer champ absolutely killed it for a manrui honruida (grand slam homer) to left and that was basically the ballgame right there since Yokohama righthander Daisuke Miura tossed a four hit complete game shutout to win it 4-0.
Miura allowed Yakult just one substantial scoring opportunity, that coming in the bottom of the fourth. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to right to lead it off. First baseman Roberto Petagine singled to left. Both men were moved along by a sac bunt from catcher Atsuya Furuta. However, Leftfielder Alex Ramirez and second baseman Shiroishi then both whiffed and the Yakult offense could have phoned it in from there.
Ishikawa's wildness cost him in the sixth, when he hit Yokohama leftfielder Takanori Suzuki and walked first baseman Hiroo Ishii in the wake of allowing a leadoff single to center from shortstop Takuro Ishii to jam the basepaths. It was then Rodrigues' turn and after being reminded by head coach Kuroe to think about taking the ball the opposite way, batta bing, batta boom. turn out the lights. Rodrigues is now tied for the league lead in homers with six.
If there is one highlight in this game for Yakult, it's that the 19 year old rookie, Sakamoto, continues to give them quality innings, spinning two frames of one hit scoreless ball once Ishikawa was through for the night.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-3 with four RBIs and a walk and two strikeouts and is now at .227. Takhiro Saeki is out with a calf injury and Mike Gulan hurt his heel in the previous game, so he sat this one out.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-3 with a walk and is now at .262. Ramirez was 1-3 with two strikeouts and is at .293.
Miura (W, 2-2) IP 9.0 PC 120 H 4 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.20
Ishikawa (L, 1-1) IP 6.0
PC 97 H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Sakamoto IP 2.0 PC 37 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Hanada IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
2B: T. Ishii
HR: Rodrigues (6)
RBI: Rodrigues 4
HBP: T. Suzuki (Ishikawa)
LOB: Yokohama 6, Yakult 5
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Suginaga (1B), ? (2B), Ino (3B)
Beltran, Tamaki Blow it for Hiroshima in 7-3 Loss to Yomiuri
The Yomiuri Giants were able to surge ahead in what had been a 3-3 tied ballgame with a run in the eighth and three in the ninth, but in the process they lost their slugging first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara for possibly as long as a month with a back muscle sprain.
The Giants went ahead in the first inning, as they got a leadoff single from leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, who then stole second. Two outs later, Hiroshima starter Masayuki Hasegawa sawed centerfielder Hideki Matsui off, but he still managed to squirt the ball through the hole betwen first and second for an RBI and it was 1-0 Yomiuri.
Both Giants starter Yusaku Iriki and Hasegawa kept things that way until the sixth, when Shimizu leadoff by parking a pitch into the rightcenterfield bleachers to widen the Yomiuri advantage to 2-0. One out later, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi went to the opposite field for a homer to left and now the Giants were in front 3-0. Kiyohara came up and grounded out to end the inning, but he popped something in the process and was taken out of the game.
Hiroshima managed to make it much closer, though, in the home half, as shortstop Akihiro Higashide legged out a roller toward second with two gone. Third baseman Eddie Diaz then came up and violated the cozy confines with a blast into the leftfield seats to make it 3-2.
The Carp then played small ball in the following frame to even it. First baseman Takahiro Arai singled to left to start it. Second baseman Takuya Kimura then tried to sacrifice Arai to second and Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe threw to second hoping to get the force, but Arai was safe. One out later, pinch hitter Shinjiro Nomura singled to right and Arai came in to deadlock it at 3-3. Always good to see a great veteran such as Nomura stick it to Yomiuri.
But in the eighth, the Giants got a one out walk to Shimizu off of Rigo Beltran and one out later an RBI double to leftcenter from Takahashi to procure a 4-3 edge.
In the ninth, Giants third baseman Akira Etoh walked with one away. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki singled to right. Abe cannonaded an RBI double to the leftfield wall to plate Etoh and to send Motoki to third. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara then signaled for the squeeze and the handy Kenji Fukui, who replaced Kiyohara at first, obliged by tapping it down the third base line as Motoki made for the dish for Yomiuri's sixth run of the contest. Shimizu then rapped a single to right and that's where it eventually ended, Yomiuri 7, Hiroshima 3.
I have to hand it to the Giants hitters in this one. Shimizu, who is now batting a steaming .446, is hotter than Larry Bowa after a bad call, and Matsui, Abe, and Takahashi are taking the ball to the opposite field, which will open more holes for them.
Arai continues to do a nice job in the absence of Luis Lopez, as he went 2-4 in this one and is now batting .326.
IP 6.1 PC 96 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Y. Maeda IP 0.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Jobe (W, 1-0) IP .2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 6.0 PC 93 H 8 HR 2 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Sakai IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Beltran IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.35
Tamaki IP .1 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.50
Hiroike IP .2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Y. Takahashi, S. Abe, Arai
HR: T. Shimizu (2), Y. Takahashi (2), Diaz (4)
RBI: Diaz 2, S. Nomura, T. Shimizu 2, Y. Takahashi 2, H. Matsui, S. Abe, Fukui
LOB: Yomiuri 4, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:40
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Watada (2B), Watamari (3B)
Ebisu Returning to Orix
The Orix Blue Wave will finally be getting Nobuyuki Ebisu back from the knee injury he suffered in the spring and he will be in the bullpen at first just to get his feet wet and then start against Lotte on the 24th.
Graczyk: Nippon Ham Move a Good Idea
The Japan Times
Wayne Graczyk weighs on on the proposed relocation of the Fighters to Sapporo
Enjoying a Japanese Baseball Broadcast
This time, we take a look at the verbs used by Japanese baseball announcers.
Utta (pronouced "oot-tah"): the ball was
Hanatta (pronounced "hah-naht-tah"): same as above, but usually when the ball has been hit in the outfield.
Totta (pronouced "toe-ttah"): He caught it.
Sagatte, Sagatte (pronounced "sah-gaht-teh): He's going back, back,....
Nageru (pronounced "nah-geh-ru"): To throw. You will hear the past form of it used, too, "nageta."
Hashiru (pronounced "hah-shee-ru"): to run.
End Run: you might think of this as a pro footabl term, but in Japan, it means hit and run.
Next time, lots of miscellaneous terminology.
Tyrone Woods Finally Getting Hot in KBO
Hanshin Battling the Curse of the Colonel
See Japan Today
The Treatment of Young Pitchers in Japan
Daiei Hawks Group Making Money
The so-called "three
piece set" that the Daiei Supermarket Corporation split off from its parent
company, which includes the Daiei Hawks baseball team, the Seahhawk Hotel
and the Fukuoka Dome, has reported a profit for the last quarter, good news
for the financially strapped Daiei Group. Furthermore, it also appears that
a profit is inevitable for the next quarter
In the wake of that
report, though, was another one indicating that the parent company lost more
than 300 billion yen (about $220 million) for the last fiscal year. Yikes!
Here's an article about it in the Japan
China Pro League Season Opens
Makoto Suzuki Makes First Start
Mac Suzuki made his first start of the season for Omaha in the Royals chain against New Orleans, going 4.1 innings and giving up six hits and no runs, as Omaha went on to win 2-0.
Samson Lee Preapres to Re-enter KBO
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April 7 to April 15, 2002
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2002 OPENING DAY SPECIAL ISSUE
2002 SPRING TRAINING