Gary Garland / the japanese insider
August 1, 2002
Note to Readers
Sorry I haven't published anything the last several days. I had a pain in the butt computer problem that is now resolved. What I'm going to do is that since I'm so far behind is that I will write up what happened today and then, when I have time, I'll do the articles for what happened during the time I was offline. Those will be in the past articles section. Sorry for the sudden disappearance. It appears that I'm back just in time, though, since....
Kawakami Throws No Hitter Against Giants
For the first time
in more than two years, somebody has twirled a no hitter in Japanese pro
ball, as Chunichi Dragons righthander Kenshin Kawakami, a former 1997 number
one draft choice and 1998 Rookie of the Year, needed only an economical 102
pitches to send the Yomiuri Giants away without anything falling safely in
a 6-0 victory by the Nagoya
at Tokyo Dome Thursday. The Meiji University grad was backed by homers from rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome and second baseman Masahiro Araki as well as a wall rattling catch by centerfielder Koichi Sekikawa to become the 70th hurler in Japanese history to toss at least one no no (there have been 81 such games in pro yakyu annals) during their career and the ninth from the Dragons staff.
Yusaku Iriki started for Yomiuri and was battered for six runs, all earned, on six hits in six innings while striking out three and walking two and hitting a man.
While Kawakami was feeking the lefthanders in the Giants lineup a steady diet of cut fastballs, a pitch he added to his arsenal this spring, Fukudome fired the first big offensive salvo of the night when he jacked an Iriki offering over the leftfield fence for his first homer since June 20th, when he went deep against Yakult, and it was 1-0 Dragons.
The big blow of the contest came in the fifth, when Sekikawa doubled off the centerfield wall and, two outs later, shortstop Hirokazu Ibata walked. Araki, a punch hitter with speed, then stepped up and got all of a hanging changeup and propelled it over the leftfield foul pole to make it 4-0 Dragons. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara came out to argue the call, but it stuck and the home nine were down by a granny.
Hara left Iriki in and he was spanked again in the sixth. With one out, Iriki nailed third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami. One out later, Sekikawa torched another shot off the centerfield fence and Tatsunami motored in with his team's fifth run. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige, in his 1500th lifetime game, then singled to center and Sekikawa hustled in to put his side in control at 6-0.
In the eighth and with two gone, Giants second baseman Daisuke Motoki belted a high drive to rightcenter. Sekikawa got on his horse and made a leaping catch as he collided with the fence, knocking the wind out of him. More importantly, however, he held on to the ball and the inning was in the books.
Kawakami, who had been joking with Ibata since the fourth about throwing a no hitter, induced a groundout to short for the first out of the ninth. He stated after the game that it then hit him that he might actually pull it off and he was literally shaking and he was afflicted with cotton mouth. Pinch hitter Koji Goto grounded out to first for the second out. Now leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, who has been competing for the batting title most of the year, was up. Kawakami wound and threw a forkball that Shimizu, who was in an 0-18 slump, slapped up toward the middle of the diamond. The quickfooted Ibata cut it off near the bag and threw a strike to first baseman Hiroyuki Watanabe and Kawakami was mobbed by his teammates. To go along with the rare feat, the triumph ended a team record tying nine straight losses to the Tokyo contingent.
Kawakami's former coach at Meiji, Takehiko Beppu, 76, was watching via television and he celebrated privately there. Kawakami's parents, Koichi and Akemi, and his older sister, saw it on the tube from their home. "We'll have to buy presents for the fielders behind him," Akemi offered to reporters. She also hopes that he'll get married soon and present her with a grandchild.
Ironically, it was
Shimizu, who made the final out, who cost Kawakami a perfect game, when he
walked to start the
Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui was jammed to beat the band by Kawakami and whiffed all three times he came up.
The 27 year old Kawakami had never woven a no hitter at any level, not at Tokushima Commercial High School, not in college, not at anytime. The last time anyone had rung one up was by Narciso Elvira of the Kintetsu Buffaloes on June 20, 2000 against the Seibu Lions. In the Central League, the most recent zero in the hits column was when the Dragons Melvin Bunch victimized the Yokohama Bay Stars on April 7, 2000. Interestingly, Tanishige was a member of the Stars at that time. This was the first no hitter he's ever caught.
But no hitters don't
have a history of derailing a Giants season, if a series of stats run by
Sankei Sports (who also provided many of the other stats I cite here) are
any indication. The last time they were no hit was in 1986 by another Dragon,
Shigeki Noguchi, and they went on a six game winning spree beginning the
following day. They are 6-1 in games right after a no hitter and five of
those seven previous occasions came in years in which they won the pennant.
They were no hit for the initial time
team history in 1940 by Hachiro Miwa of the Hanshin Tigers, then promptly ripped off 12 straight victories. So those of us who are fans of other teams have no reason to expect a collapse.
For Yomiuri, first baseman Omar Linares was 0-4 with two strikeouts .167.
Kawakami (W, 6-3) IP 9.0 PC 102 H 0 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.52
Y. Iriki (L, 4-2) IP 6.0
PC 27 H 6 HR 2 K 7 BB 3 R 6 ER 6 ERA
Takeda IP 3.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.10
2B: Sekikawa 2, Ibata
HR: Fukudome (12), Araki (1)
RBI: Araki 3, Fukudome, Sekikawa, Tanishige
HBP: Tatsunami (Y. Iriki)
Season Series: Chunichi 7, Yomiuri 13
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Suginaga (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Kawajiri Shuts Out Yokohama on Six Hits 4-0
Hanshin Tigers sidearmer Tetsuro Kawajiri had his best outing of the year, going eight shutout innings and limiting the Yokohama Bay Stars to six hits and striking out seven while walking just one to keep his team within semi-respectable range of the frontrunning Yomiuri Giants. Rightfielder Osamu Hamanaka homered twice for the first time in his career and drove in a personal single game best of four runs to supply all the offense that the Osaka bunch would require to take it 4-0 at Koshien before one of the smallest crowds of the season (28,000). This was also the fourth shutout a Hanshin moundsman has fashioned against Yokohama.
Masao Morinaka started for Yokohama and wasn't horrible, but he wasn't that great and absorbed his fourth loss against a single shiroboshi after 5.2 innings of three run, six hit ball.
With the game scoreless, Hamanaka walked up with one down in the bottom of the second and drilled a 3-0 86mph fastball into the leftfield stands to get the Tigers out to a 1-0 lead. That was his 15th consecutive solo homer. Somebody introduce this guy to Rafael Palmeiro.
The Stars tried to knot it in the sixth, but were frustrated. Shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff with a double down the leftfield line. Second baseman Seiichi Uchikawa singled to center. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi grabbed the ball and whipped it on the fly to catcher Akihiro Yano, who applied the tag and Hanshin's advantage remained intact.
In the bottom of the inning, second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to center and was sacrificed to second. One out later, First baseman Katsumi Hirosawa singled to right. Hamanaka was next. He had put up a lowly .211 average with runners in scoring position to that point. Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori went to the pen for Masahide Yone. Yone ran a slider up there and Hamanaka deposited it in the leftcenterfield seats and it was 4-0 Tigers. The solo dinger streak was thus terminated.
In the eighth, Hanshin's defense snuffed out another incipient rally. Pinch hitter Kazunori Tanaka walked and went to second on a groundout. Ishii singled to right and defensive replacement Fumikazu Takanami gloved it and made a strong throw to Yano to shoot down Tanaka. That was the final time any Yokohama player reached base.
For Hanshin, leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .232.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-4 and is at .281. Third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-3 and is at .227.
Morinaka (L, 1-4) IP 5.2 PC 83 H 6
HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Yone IP 1.1 PC 25 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 8.10
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.58
Kawajiri (W, 1-2) IP 8.0 PC 106 H 6
HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.23
E: Ogawa, Hirosawa,
2B: Rodrigues, Hamanaka, T. Ishii
HR: Hamanaka 2 (0
RBI: Hamanaka 4
GIDP: White, Gulan
Season Series: Yokohama 6, Hanshin 14 1 Tie
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Arisumi (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Yakult Comes from Five Back to Tie Hiroshima 6-6
With their recent fortunes sinking like the proverbial stone and behind 5-0 in the sixth during a driving rain, things didn't seem very ideal for the Yakult Swallows to prevail in this one. And they didn't. But then again, neither did the Hiroshima Carp, as the birds staged a tremendous comeback to knot it at 6-6 before it was called upon the conclusion of the 12th inning.
Yasushi Tsuruta started for Hiroshima and was cruising along before Carp boss Koji Yamamoto made an ill advised pitching change in the sixth that ignited the Yakult rally that ultimately evened it. His line score was 5.1 innings pitched, one earned run on four hits and walking one while striking out two.
Masanori Ishikawa started for Yakult and he was lit up in the third to begin
his downfall. With one down, Hiroshima centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled
to center. Takuya Kimura legged out a tapper toward third. Second baseman
Eddie Diaz singled to left to usher in Ogata. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto
then crushed one and left it in the
deposit, no return section in rightcenter and it was 4-0 Carp.
In the sixth, Ishikawa saw one of his deliveries piledriven into the leftfield bleachers by third baseman Takahiro Arai and it was 5-0 Hiroshima. That ended a 19 game homer drought by Arai.
Yakult took their turn and shortstop Shinya Miyamoto leadoff with a single to left. After rightfielder Atsunori Inaba flew out to center, Yamamoto pulled Tsuruta in favor of Kanei Kobayashi. First baseman Roberto Petagine singled to right. Catcher Atsuya Furuta then put good wood on one and hurtled it into the leftfield stands, reducing the deficit to 5-3.
An inning later, Yakult leveled it when second baseman Chihiro Hamana doubled off the rightfield fence. One out later, centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka singled to center to drive in Hamana and went to second on the throw home. Miyamoto moved Manaka over with a sac bunt. Inaba legged out a bouncer toward third and that made it 5-5.
Alan Newman came on for the eighth and walked the first man he faced, Kanemoto. Newman then threw wildly to first and Kanemoto went to second and was subsequently moved over to third on a sac bunt. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to center and Hiroshima was ahead once more at 6-5.
Yakult third baseman Akinori Iwamura countered with a single to right to commence the bottom half. He somehow managed to get to third (the game log doesn't say how). Leftfielder Alex Ramirez struckout. Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu then called for the squeeze and backup second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi did the job to convert Iwamura to make it 6-6.
Neither team did anything else offensively afterward and it concluded in a 6-6 tie.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 2-6 with an RBI and is at .297. First baseman Luis Lopez was 0-3 and is at .240.
For Yakult, Petagine was 3-4 with two walks and is at .328. Ramirez was 0-5 with three strikeouts and is at .300.
IP 5.1 PC 74 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
K. Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 22 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.58
Tamaki IP 2.0 PC 32 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.95
Schullstrom IP 2.0 PC 34 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Hiroike IP 1.0 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Masanori Ishikawa IP 6.0
PC 99 H 8 HR 2 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Newman IP 0.1 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.17
R. Igarashi IP 0.2 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.77
H. Ishii IP 3.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.03
Takatsu IP 1.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.21
HR: Kanemoto (17), Arai (16), Furuta (4)
RBI: Diaz, Kanemoto 3, T. Maeda, Arai, Manaka, Inaba, Furuta 3,Shiroishi
Season Series: Hiroshima 9, Yakult 7 2 Ties
Umpires: Shikida (HP), Kittaka (1B), Tani (2B), Manabe (2B)
Yoshihiro Itoh, Kazuhiro Sasaki's College Baseball Coach, Dies
Yoshihiro Itoh, who coached both Mariners closer Kazuhiro Sasaki and Boston Red Sox prospect Ryo Kumagai as well as nearly 30 other eventual pro players at Tohoku Fukushi University, died just after midnight August 1st of respiratory arrest at a Miyagi Prefecture hospital. He was 56.
An Osaka native, Itoh matriculated at Shibaura Industrial College before returning to his high school alma mater, Sakuramiya High School, to run the baseball team there in 1973. Eleven years later, he moved to Tohoku Fukushi University in Sendai and built a dynasty, winning 34 of 35 possible league titles in 17 years plus (there are two seasons in Japanese university ball), winning an All Japan Collegiate Baseball Tournament title in 1991, the school's first. At one point, his teams racked up 118 straight league game victories. For the totality of his career at Tohoku, Itoh went 349-12-3. He also worked as an official of the Japanese olympic baseball squad that played at the Atlanta Olympic Games.
Itoh beat liver cancer after being diagnosed with it in October, 2000, but since last fall was in and out of the hospital and sat out this year's All Japan University Baseball Tournament, where Tohoku slotted into the final four.
Since his institution
wasn't one of the glamor schools such as the ones in the Tokyo Big Six University
League, he developed an eye for raw talent that no other higher prestige
schools were interested in. Among those who played under Itoh was Sasaki,
who commented, "when I was at unversity, I caused him nothing but grief,"
said the Daimajin, who experienced back troubles during his freshman year
at Tohoku. Itoh was noted for allowing his injured players to fully heal
back in uniform, a contrast to the more anxious style of other Japanese univiersity coaches. "If it wasn't for coach Itoh, I wouldn't be where I am today."
Submariner Ryo Kumagai, who was signed by the Boston Red Sox and is in A ball for them now, was a recent grad, as was Yuji Yoshimi of the Yokohama Bay Stars, another hurler, who has a shot at winning the Rookie of the Year.
Long after they left the college ranks behind, his ex-players still would call Itoh to ask for advice on matters both baseball and personal.
Itoh is survived by his wife and three sons. The youngest, Takashi, is a tv personality. There is talk among various professional Tohoku alumni of putting together a charity even in the late coach's name.
Today in Japanese Baseball
This report is for August 1st and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1977, in the wake of the Noriyoshi Sano incident where an outfielder ran into an outfield wall and was knocked out cold with a skull fracture, the umpires were given the ability to call time when a player's well being was threatened.
Also on that date in 1951, 39 year old Shochiku Robins outfielder Yoshiyuki Iwamoto became the first player ever to homer four times in a game. He had a double to accompany the longball, and the 18 total bases was also a new record. That season, he slammed 31 homers and batted .351. He was a .275 career hitter in ten seasons with 123 lifetime bombs. Interestingly, he didn't play between 1943-1948 after spending three years with Nankai. .
Also on that date
in 1955, the Tombo Unions (later merged with another team) committed 10 errors,
a record. The team's pitchers were tattooed for 20 hits and ended up losing
July 23, 2002
Kuwata's Seven Shutout Innings Give Giants 4-2 Win Over Hanshin
Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka homered again and Masumi Kuwata went seven stellar shutout innings on six hits while striking out seven and walking one, as the Yomiuri Giants put the Hanshin Tigers 9.5 games away in the Central League pennant race Tuesday with a 4-2 victory before a 51,000 strong house at Koshien Stadium. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu also went deep to hang Tigers starter Kei Igawa with his fifth loss. Kuwata is not 3-0 in 2002 at the Osaka club's homeground.
The battle began ominously for Igawa in the first, when a miscue by shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto allowed the Giants to score the first run. With one out, Igawa walked Nioka .Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi doubled off the leftfield fence. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui whiffed. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara rolled an easy grounder to Sekimoto, who kicked it and Nioka trotted in with the unearned tally to make it 1-0 Yomiuri.
In the third, Takahashi leadoff with a single to center and went to second one out later when Igawa plunked Kiyohara in the right knee. The big slugger eventually was replaced before the start of the fifth as a precautionary measure. After third baseman Akira Etoh grounded to first, second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to left to convert Takahashi to make it 2-0 Giants.
Shimizu checked in with one out in the fifth and selected one from column A and fed it to the folks in the rightfield seats and the Tokyo side was up by three at 3-0.
The Giants then made some major noise in the fifth, though they were ultimately foiled. Matsui commenced it with a walk. Kiyohara and Etoh both singled to center to load the bases. Nishi was next and he spanked the first offering he saw from Igawa hard back up the middle. Igawa, though, was able to glove it and went to home and then catcher Akihiro Yano winged it on to first for the 1-2-3 double play. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe was intentionally walked to get to Kuwata, who bounced to third for the final out of the frame.
From the fourth inning until finishing in the seventh, Kuwata didn't allow Hanshin anything. Nioka also lent him a bigger advantage when he went yard to left in the ninth, his 13th dinger of the year, and it was 4-0 Giants.
In the bottom of the ninth, reliever Jeon Min-tae walked Hanshin leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka. Sekimoto, a former minor league batting champ, then tore into a Jeon pitch and wailed it over the leftfield wall to halve the deficit to 4-2. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara summoned closer Junichi Kawahara, who retired three of the next four men to save it for Yomiuri.
Kuwata is 3-0 with an 0.86 ERA at Koshien in 2002 while Igawa has suffered all three of his defeats at the hands of Yomiuri at home. He is 3-3 against the kyojin this season and hasn't won at Koshien since April 26th.
Nioka's longball was his fifth in five games. If he can stay healthy, he may have his best campaign ever.
Speedster Norihiro Akahoshi was welcomed back for the first time since breaking his tibia on a ball he fouled off his leg earlier in the year and he went 1-4.
Yomiuri infielder Daisuke Motoki reached a milestone Tuesday, appearing in
his 1000th game.
The Giants have now reached 50 wins in 80 games, the fastest to that many triumphs for any new Giants manager in the club's history. The team has done that 12 times in the past, 11 of them resulting in pennants. The last time they accomplished that feat was in 1989.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-3 with two strikeouts and a walk and is at .255.
5-6) IP 7.0 PC 106 H 6 HR
0 K 7 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.03
Jeon IP 1.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.11
J. Kawahara (S, 18) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
IP 7.0 PC 140 H 9 HR 1 K 7 BB 3 R 3 ER 2 ERA 1.75
Toyama IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.59
Hesaka IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.93
Yuminaga IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
SB: Akahoshi, Kataoka
2B: Y. Takahashi, Kataoka
HR: T. Shimizu (9), Nioka (13), Sekimoto (4)
RBI: Sekimoto 2, T. Shimizu, Nioka, Nishi
IBB: S. Abe
HBP: Kiyohara (Igawa)
Season Series: Yomiuri 10, Hanshin 6
Game Time: 3:42
Umpires: Tani (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Hodges Gets 12th Victory for Yakult
After not doing so hot his last time out, Yakult Swallows righthander Kevin Hodges was back on the beam Tuesday at Yokohama Stadium against the Yokohama Bay Stars, tossing seven fine innings of two run ball on three hits to pick up his 12th victory of the season, which leads all of Japanese baseball, in a 7-3 Yakult win. Shane Bowers absorbed the loss for the Stars, his second, in the wake of being touched for ten hits and six runs (five earned) in six innings, most of which was due to a big mental mistake he made in the sixth.
Yakult pulled in front in the second when third baseman Akinori Iwamura, who is absolutely on fire right now, torched a delivery from Bowers beyond the leftfield fence to make it 1-0 Swallows. In his last four games, Iwamura has gone 11-15, a better than .700 clip. This was also his second homer in as many matches.
In the third, Swallows shortstop Shinya Miyamoto cracked a two out single to left and stole second. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba then singled to left and Miyamoto crossed to open a 2-0 lead.
While Hodges was doing a good job of moving the ball around and jamming the Stars hitters, Bowers was doing pretty nicely himself in the main until a bonehead move in the sixth cost him big. Miyamoto kicked it off by beating out a roller toward third. One out later, first baseman Roberto Petagine singled to right. Catcher Atsuya Furuta hit a comebacker to Bowers, who should have pivoted and started a 1-6-3 inning ending double play. Instead, he went to third to get Miyamoto and got only one out to keep the inning alive. Bowers then threw over to first to hold Furuta (?) and threw it away, and both runners moved up. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to center and Petagine and Furuta wheeled (or since both have bad knees, maybe hobbled is a better word) around to double the Swallows lead to 4-0. Iwamura walked. Second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi singled to right to plate Ramirez and send Iwamura to third. Hodges dribbled one near short and beat it out while Iwamura scored and it was 6-0 Yakult.
Yakult then beat up on reliever Fukumori for another score in the seventh. Inaba drilled a one out double into the rightfield corner. Petagine grounded to second, but Hitoshi Taneda threw it away and Inaba motored in and Yakult was in the driver's seat at 7-0.
Yokohama stirred in the bottom half to post their initial tallies for the night. With one gone, leftfielder Takanori Suzuki singled to center and centerfielder Ernie Young walked. First baseman Takahiro Saeki doubled down the rightfield line to send Suzuki in and third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa grounded to short to cash in Young and it was 7-2 Swallows.
Ryu Kawabata ascended the hill in the eighth for Yakult and Yokohama obtained their final run. With one away, pinch hitter Hitoshi Tamura walked and went to second on a groundout. Backup second baseman Seiichi Uchikawa singled to center and that is how it ended up, 7-3 Yakult.
The Stars look poised to get a couple of very promising college players in the November draft. Kazuhito Tadano, a quality righthander out of Rikkyo University, and Shuichi Murata, a compaktly built third baseman with some sock out of Nihon University, have indicated that they are very favorably disposed toward signing with Yokohama. Of course, this club has more holes than that, but that is one heck of a a fine start.
For Yokohama, Young was 0-2 with a walk and is at .185. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-3 and is at .266.
Petagine was 1-4 with a walk and is at .310. Ramirez was 1-5 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .316. Hodges was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .163.
Hodges (W, 12-3)
IP 7.0 PC 98 H 3 HR 0 K 8 HR 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.77
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.66
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.11
1-2) IP 6.0 PC 105 H 10 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 6 ER 5 ERA 3.98
Fukumori IP 2.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.89
R. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.09
E: Taneda, Bowers
SB: S. Miyamoto
2B: Ogawa, Inaba, Saeki
HR: Iwamura (12)
RBI: Inaba, Ramirez 2, Iwamura, Dobashi, Hodges, Uchikawa, Saeki, Ogawa
GIDP: S. Sato
Season Series: Yakult 9, Yokohama 5
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Ino (HP), Hamano (1B), Kasahara (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Five Seibu Homers Down Nippon Ham 8-2; Oshima to Get the Boot
Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui beat the Giants Godzilla Matsui to 20 this season Tuesday, when he put his team up 1-0 with a mammoth 440 foot bazooka blast on a 3-1 count to straightaway centerfield at Tokyo Dome. The Lions then got four other roundtrippers, including a pair from leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada, to back a superior performance from starter Koji Mitsui to body slam the Nippon Ham Fighters 8-2. Mitsui improved to 5-1 after weaving 6.2 innings of two hit shutout ball.
Southpaw Akio Shimizu made his first start of the season for the Fighters and was taken deep twice in his four inning stint to account for all three runs he was charged with.
After Matsui put the Lions ahead, first baseman Alex Cabrera then opened the third by legging out a bleeder toward third. Wada then creamed a Shimizu offering and it was 3-0 Seibu.
Mitsui had a no hitter going until the seventh, when first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara, batting .356 but 0-10 thus far against Mitsui on the season, lashed his obligatory hit to left to inaugurate the seventh.
In the eighth, DH Taisei Takagi, finally back from an injury he suffered in spring training, walked to open the inning and was pinch run for by Hiroyuki Shibata. One out later, Wada creamed and pureed one into the rightcenterfield bleachers. Pinch hitter Kazuhiko Miyaji doubled to rightcenter. One out later, catcher Tsutomu Itoh and second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi produced back to back jacks and it was 8-0 Lions. Takagi's homer was his first since June of 1999 and only the fourth of his career.
Hayato Aoki came on for the Lions in the ninth and Ogasawara put a whipping on one of his pitches for a double into the rightcenter alley. Leftfielder Sherman Obando doubled down the leftfield line to push Ogasawara home and went to third on a ground out. Yukio Tanaka flied out to center and Obando tagged and scored to make it 8-2 Seibu.
Matsui now has three consecutive seasons of 20 homers. The last switch hitter to do that was Yoshihiko Takahashi of the Hiroshima Carp, also a shortstop, who did it in four successive seasons between 1983-1986. The most homers for a Japanese switch hitter in a season was 26, which was by the great Hankyu third baseman Hiromi Matsunaga in 1985. Matsui should shatter that by the end of August, as he is on pace for 36. You can see a pic of the swing that Matsui put on the ball at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020724-1.jpg
Mets scout Isao Ojimi was at the game, which displays that MLB club's continuing interest in the PL Gakuen graduate.
On the Nippon Ham front, they aren't going to extend the contract of manager Yasunori Oshima, which ends this year, so they will be in the hunt for anew field boss and say that they are considering both domestic and foreign candidate. Could that mean Bobby Valentine is back on his way to Japan? If the Mets can him when this season is done, as is pretty likely, the Fighters could hire him to bring some marketing pizzazz in preparation for the 2004 move to Sapporo.
The Japanese name being mentioned the most in the press is former Yokohama Bay Stars boss Akihiko Ohya, though Ohya himself says that he doesn't know anything about it. He was 127-138 with the Stars.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with a walk and three strikeouts and is at .277. Third baseman Tom Evans was 2-3 with a walk and is at .274.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .260. DH D.T. Cromer was 0-2 with two strikeouts and is at .272.
Mitsui (W, 5-1)
IP 6.2 PC 99 H 2 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.58
Mori IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.83
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.48
A. Shimizu (L, 0-1)
IP 4.0 PC 72 H 6 HR 2 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 10.38
Muto IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.28
Sasaki IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.46
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 30 H 4 HR 3 K 2 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.86
Sakurai IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Ozeki, Evans, Miyaji, M. Ogasawara, Obando
HR: K. Matsui (20), Wada 2 (13), T. Itoh (7), H. Takagi (1)
RBI: K. Matsui, Wada 4, T. Itoh 2, H. Takagi, Obando, Y. Tanaka
SF: Y. Tanaka
HBP: Evans (Muto)
GIDP: T. Itoh
Season Series: Seibu 12, Nippon Ham 6
Game Time: 3:09
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Furukubo Two Run Single the Margin of Victory for Kintetsu
The Kintetsu Buffaloes got five decent innings out of Hisashi Iwakuma to start the game and then four perfect frames from four relievers while catcher Kenji Furukubo, playing in his first game since June 28th, singled to right in the sixth with the bases loaded and two outs for the game winner in a 4-2 victory over the Daiei Hawks Tuesday at Fukuoka Dome. Iwakuma permitted two runs on five hits for his fifth shiroboshi.
The Hawks drew first blood in the second, as third baseman Hiroki Kokubo doubled to rightcenter and first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka homered to right to make it 2-0 Daiei.
Kintetsu evened it in the fourth, when shortstop Masahiro Abe singled to left leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes singled to right and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura walked to juice the bags. Rightfielder Koichi Isobe singled to center and both Abe and Rhodes scampered home to level it at 2-2.
The Hawks blew a prime scoring chance in the fifth, as shortstop Yusuke Torigoe doubled off the centerfield fence and went to third on a sacrifice bunt. However, rightfielder Arihito Muramatsu fanned, as did second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and that was that.
In the sixth, Kintetsu stampeded for a pair to get ahead and stay there. With one out, Isobe singled to right and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka doubled down the leftfield line. Pinch hitter Kenshi Kawaguchi was intentionally walked to set up a force at every base. Pinch hitter Akihito Igarashi struckout, but then Furukubo, who may retire after the season is over to become a coach with the team, rolled one just by Iguchi through the right side to recall both Isobe and Yoshioka and it was 4-2 Buffs.
The relief corps then slammed the door the rest of the way and it was soon over.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez, who has been moved down in the order, was 0-3 with a walk and is at .292.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .255.
5-4) IP 5.0 PC 81 H 5 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.23
S. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Misawa IP 1.1 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.03
A. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.70
A.N. Otsuka (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
IP 3.1 PC 65 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.98
J. Hoshino (L, 4-5) IP 2.0 PC 27 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.30
S. Yoshida IP 1.2 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.21
H.K. Watanabe IP 2.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.26
E: T.T. Maeda
SB: Isobe, Kokubo
2B: Kokubo, N. Omura, Yoshioka
HR: Matsunaka (14)
RBI: Isobe 2, Furukubo 2, Matsunaka 2
Season Series: Kintetsu 7, Daiei 8
Game Time: 3:34
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kodera (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Two Run Fukuura Double Gives Lotte 5-2 Triumph
After winning the Pacific League batting championship last season, Chiba Lotte Marines first baseman Kazuya Fukuura has been having a disappointing 2002 until about the last week, when he has really steeped up his run production to help Lotte to four consecutive victories. And they extended that to five Tuesday, as he seared a delivery that was up in the strike zone from Orix Blue Wave reliever Masanobu Okubo into the leftfield corner to plate a couple of vital insurance runs to help Lotte take it 5-2.
Naoyuki Shimizu started for Lotte and went eight superb innings of two run ball on six hits and striking out seven to earn his eighth win. He was clocked at a high of 94mph.
Lotte got an extra base hits and a couple of well placed outs to seize a second inning lead. Centerfielder Saburo Omura leadoff with a double off the rightfield wall and went to third on a sac bunt. Catcher Takumi Shigi grounded to second and it was 1-0 Lotte.
Orix got that back, however, in the top of the third when catcher Takeshi Hidaka throttled one into the rightfield seats to make it 1-1.
Lotte had the bases loaded and one out in the fifth, but rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa fouled out to first and DH Derrick May flied out to center to snuff the threat.
In the top of the seventh, Orix third baseman Scott Sheldon singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Tatsuya Shindo was plunked by Shimizu. Hidaka grounded to second and Sheldon moved over to third as the out was made at first. Rightfielder Ryutaro Tsuji singled to center and it was 2-1 Orix.
Orix starter Hisashi Ogura kept pace with Shimizu and left after the sixth in favor of Okubo, who promptly surrendered the lead in the home half. With two gone, shortstop Makoto Kosaka singled to center and Fukuura walked. Tachikawa singled to left and Kosaka toed the dish to knot it at two each.
Lotte then staged the winning rally in the eighth. Second baseman Koichi Hori leadoff with a triple off the centerfield wall and scored when Shindo threw wildly on the relay to make it 3-2 Lotte. Two outs later, leftfielder Kenji Morozumi singled to left and Kosaka singled to right. They then worked the double steal successfully. Fukuura lined a shot into the leftfield corner to make it 5-2 Lotte.
Masahide Kobayashi then extended his saves streak by inducing a game ending 4-6-3 double play in the ninth.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .268. Fernando Seguignol struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .203.
For Lotte, May was 0-3 with a walk and is at .238.
IP 6.0 PC 99 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.82
Okubo (L, 1-5) IP 1.2 PC 55 H 5 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.95
J. Hagiwara IP 0.1 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.51
N. Shimizu (W,
8-5) IP 8.0 PC 106 H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 2 R 2 ER
2 ERA 3.46
M. Kobayashi (S, 19) IP 1.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
SB: Morozumi, Kosaka, S. Omura
2B: S. Omura, Kosaka, Fukuura
HR: Hidaka (6)
RBI: Hidaka, R. Tsuji, Fukuura 2, Tachikawa, T. Sakai
HBP: Shindo (N. Shimizu)
Season Series: Orix 8, Lotte 8
Game Time: 3:24
Umpires: Yamaguchi (HP), Akimura (1B), Yanigida (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Four Run Eighth by Dragons Sinks Hiroshima 5-1
In his first game at the top club level since coming over from Cuba, Omar Linares was credited with the game winning hit Tuesday at Nagoya Dome, as he bounced a two run single over the head of Hiroshima Carp third baseman Takahiro Arai and a drawn in infield in a four run eighth inning, as to back a nice 7.1 inning by Melvin Bunch and a strong relief stint from Iwase in a 5-1 Dragons victory.
Hiroki Kuroda started for Hiroshima and was cruising along until the eighth, when he and two relievers were hit around to engender the defeat.
Hiroshima had a temporary lead in the third, when centerfielder Koichi Ogata clobbered a Bunch offering into the leftcenterfield seats and it was 1-0 Carp.
Chunichi catcher Motonobu Tanishige deadlocked it when he went yard center backscreen stylee in the fifth and it was 1-1.
In the critical eighth, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to right to ignite the scoring splurge. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled down the rightfield line. Kuroda had whiffed Linares twice and got him to groundout in his three previous at bats. Kuroda threw him a 1-0 90mph fastball on the inner half of the plate and bounced it on the artificial turf over Tatsunami's head and both Tatsunami and Fukudome were back in the dugout with a 3-1 lead. Linares was sacrificed to second. Second baseman Masahiro Araki doubled down the rightfield line for an RBI, as did Tanishige and there was 5-1 gap between the Dragons and Carp.
Linares is staying in $140 a night hotel room in Nagoya and talks nightly with countrymen Orestes Kindelan and Antonio Pacheco, who are with Shidax in the industrial league. Pacheco was quoted as saying that he understands that Linares is at about 70% physically, inferring that it may be a bit before he really hits his stride in Japan. The three outs Linares racked up were all on forkballs.
For Hiroshima, second baseman Eddie Diaz was 0-2 with two walks and is at .308. First baseman Luis Lopez was 0-4 and is at .244.
Linares finished 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .250.
5-5) IP 7.0 PC 105 H 10 HR 1 K 10 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.94
Hiroike IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.04
Tamaki IP 0.0 PC 10 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.09
Schullstrom IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 7.1 PC 108 H 7 HR 1 K 6 HR 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.03
Iwase (W, 2-2) IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
2B: Fukudome, Tatsunami, Araki, Tanishige
HR: Ogata (13), Tanishige (14)
RBI: Ogata, Linares 2, Araki, Tanishige 2
Season Series: Hiroshima 9, Chunichi 7
Game Time: 3:09
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), ? (1B), Kamimoto (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Orix to Offer Schramek Nine Year Deal
Contrary to an earlier Sports Nippon report that indicated that Orix wasn't going to sign Cincinnati Reds number one draft choice Mike Schramek, a third baseman, team president Okazoe is saying that indeed, they will make him an offer. "We see a lot of underlying potential and we're impressed by his willingness to do this," Okazoe averred to Nikkan Sports. The paper says that the Reds have a $300,000 offer on the table for Schramek (rather low for a first rounder) and that Orix intends to surpass it.
HOWEVER, there is a big contingency in the Orix offer: they want him to sign a nine year deal so that he doesn't go to MLB in the early going ala Alfonso Soriano. This could prove to be a huge stumbling block since, typically, salaries in Japan are lower than they are in MLB and thus, unless there is a big signing bonus, I don't see how this is attractive for his agent in particular and for Schramek in general. Ultimately, I suspect that this is little more than an attempt to goad the Reds into offering Schramek more money and I think Orix in realizing this is going to put a poison pill in there to see just how sincere the Texas native is.
What Are the Lotte Giants Thinking?
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002072317145247110.htm
Seung-yeop Lee Slams 250th Career Homer to Help Beat Hyundai
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002072417091247110.htm
Lee Joins Select Company After Touchstone Blast
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002072417110947110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 23rd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1977, the Japanese pro leagues cut an agreement with the industrial leagues that stipulated that high schoolers who went to the industrial leagues aren't eligible for the draft for the pro draft for three years. Moreover, one pro team can draft only one pitcher from a given industrial league team.
Also on that date in 1957, Takao Kajimoto of the Hankyu Braves struckout
nine Nankai Hawks hitters in a row at Nishinomiya Stadium to set a record.
The same ballpark was the site of that all star game where Yutaka Enatsu
whiffed nine PL batters in an all star game as well. Kajimoto went 24-16
with a career low 1.92 ERA that season. He was 254-255 with a 2.98 ERA for
his career for some pretty dire ballclubs.
Daiei Picks Up a Game on Seibu by Beating Kintetsu 8-5
The Daiei Hawks really put it to Sean Bergman Monday at Fukuoka Dome, drilling the former major leaguer for seven runs, three earned, on nine hits in 3.2 innings, as the Daiei Hawks put a rare dent into the Seibu Lions daunting lead in the Pacific League pennant race. Tomohiro Nagai finally picked up his first win of the year after going 7.1 innings and limiting the Buffs to three runs on six hits.
It was 0-0 until the fourth, when the Hawks first rocked Bergman. Shortstop Mitsuru Honma leadoff with a walk and was walked to second. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to left. Rightfielder Arihito Muramatsu flew out to center to recall Honma. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi pancaked one off the leftfield wall for two bases. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo grounded to his opposite number, Norihiro Nakamura, who booted it to allow Shibahara to waltz in. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to right to plate Iguchi. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez walked to load the bases. DH Kenji Johjima, in his first game back after rehabbing a broken collar bone, singled to center and both Kokubo and Matsunaka were delivered and it was 5-0 Hawks.
Daiei then disposed of Bergman in the fourth. Catcher Masanori Taguchi leadoff with a single to center. After going to second on a one out groundout, Iguchi singled to left to drive Taguchi in. Kokubo then whizzed a shot down the leftfield line and the fleetfooted Iguchi sprinted all the way around and it was 7-0 Daiei.
It remained that way until the seventh, when Kokubo singled to left and was catapulted in on a double to leftcenter by Valdez to make it 8-0.
Kintetsu then got off the shnide in the eighth, when rightfielder Koichi Koichi Isobe doubled to leftcenter and shortstop Masahiro Abe split the outfielders in the same part of the field for an RBI triple. One out later, Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to right and Nagai was history, Hirokazu Watanabe relieving him. Pinch hitter Fumitoshi Takano walked. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes then got out an old Petula Clark record and went downtown on another reliever, Kazuhiko Iijima, for a three run homer and it was 8-5 Hawks.
Rodney Pedraza surfaced in the ninth as he usually does and as he also usually does, he retired the side for the save, his 14th.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .295.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with a walk and three RBIs and is at .255.
4-4) IP 3.2 PC 74 H 9 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 7 ER 3 ERA 4.16
Koike IP 1.1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.70
Y. Takagi IP 2.2 PC 36 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.35
Misawa IP 0.1 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.23
1-2) IP 7.1 PC 101 H 6 HR
0 K 6 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.68
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.63
Iijima IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.62
Pedraza (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.57
E: N. Nakamura, A. Fujii
2B: Muramatsu, Iguchi, Kokubo, P. Valdez, Isobe
3B: M. Abe
HR: Rhodes (29)
RBI: N. Omura, Rhodes 3, M. Abe, Muramatsu, Iguchi, Kokubo, Matsunaka, P. Valdez, Johjima 2
GIDP: Johjima, Kawaguchi, Muramatsu
Season Series: Kintetsu 6, Daiei 8
Game Time: 3:21
Umpires: Sato (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Maeda (3B)
Tanaka, Kaneko Lead Nippon Ham Past Seibu 5-2
Nippon Ham rightfielder Yukio Tanaka and shortstop Makoto Kaneko drove in two runs apiece and starter Satoru Kanemura went eight excellent innings of two run ball on six hits to enable the Fighters to win for just the sixth time in 17 tries against the Seibu Lions Monday at Tokyo Dome. Fumiya Nishiguchi started for the Lions and was tattooed for five runs, four earned, on six hits in five innings for his fifth loss of the year.
Sherman Obando got Nippon Ham the first lead of the game, when he homered to left to leadoff the second and it was 1-0 Fighters.
They then put up a four spot in the fourth, when leftfielder D.T. Cromer walked, Obando singled to left and Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera kicked a sac bunt by third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto to load the bases. Rightfielder Yukio Tanaka laced a double down the leftfield line and it was 3-0 Nippon Ham. One out later,. catcher Toshihiro Noguchi was intentionally walked to set up a double play possiblity. Shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to center and Tanaka and Kimoto chugged in to make it 5-0 Fighters.
The Lions got their only runs in the eighth when Cabrera walked with two outs and DH Kazuhiro Wada homered to left to shrink the deficit to 5-2. But Tomokazu Iba put the Lions away in order in the ninth to put it in the books.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .274. Obando was 2-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .260.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-3 with a walk and is at .277. Third baseman Tom Evans was 0-2 with two walks and is at .262.
9-5) IP 5.0 PC 91 H 6 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.46
J. Hoshino IP 2.0 PC 32 H 0 HR 0 K 3 HR 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 HR 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.49
5-2) IP 8.0 PC 119 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 5 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Iba (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.24
2B: Y. Tanaka 2
HR: Obando (19), Wada (11)
RBI: Wada, Kaneko 2, Obando, Y. Taneko 2
Season Series: Seibu 11, Nippon 6
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Minchey Superb in 7-2 Lotte Victory Over Orix
Orix Blue Wave starter Koo Dae-sung saw his ERA go over 2.00 for the first time this season, as he was pummeled for five runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings by the Chiba Lotte Marines Monday at Chiba Marine Stadium. Nathan Minchey twirled seven excellent innings of one run ball on five hits for his sixth victory of 2002.
Orix third baseman Scott Sheldon continues to swing a hot bat, uleashing his eighth homer in nine games, a drive to left, to make it 1-0 Blue Wave.
Lotte had men on second and third with one away in the second, but Koo induced a strikeout and a groundout to snuff that threat.
Lotte swung for three in the third, when leftfielder Koichi Hori walked and went to second on a sacrifice. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura walked. Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa singled to left and Hori made it in to deadlock it at 1-1. DH Derrick May doubled down the leftfield line and it was 3-1 Lotte.
Koo wouldn't make it out of the fifth. Fukuura leadoff with a single to right and May worked a one out walk. One out later, centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to right to plate Fukuura and catcher Takumi Shigi doubled into the rightfield corner and it was 5-1 Lotte and Koo was taking a shower.
In the sixth, Hori beat out a tapper toward second. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka bounced into a force play. Fukuura walked. Tachikawa grounded to Keiichi Hirano at second, who threw it away attempting to create a double play to make it 6-1 Lotte.
Lotte got on the board again in the eight when they combined a leadoff double from Kenji Morozumi and a one out single to right by Fukuura to widen their advantage to 7-1.
Orix was able to turn an error by third baseman Masato Watanabe and a double to left by Tatsuya Shindo into a run, but the revolt stopped pretty much at that point and it ended as a 7-2 win for Lotte.
For Lotte, May was 2-4 with a walk, two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .241.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .268. Pinch hitter Fernando Seguignol struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .204.
IP 4.2 PC 110 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 5 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.03
Hiroshi Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Iwashita IP 0.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 8.22
Motoyanagi IP 2.1 PC 37 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Minchey (W, 6-11)
IP 7.0 PC 111 H 5 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.62
K. Yamasaki IP 2.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.69
E: Hirano, M. Watanabe
SB: Kosaka, Fukuura, Tachikawa
2B: Tani, May, Shigi, Morozumi, Shindo
HR: Sheldon (16)
RBI: Sheldon, Shindo, Fukuura, Tachikawa 2, May 2, S. Omura, Shigi
Season Series: Orix 8, Lotte 7
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Yanagida (1B), Tachibana (2B), Nakamura (3B)
The Death of Japanese Baseball Has Been Greatly Exaggerated
According to the Jiji News Service, both the Pacific and Central Leagues have experienced a rise in attendance, even the Ichiro-less Orix Blue Wave, who are battling the Chiba Lotte Marines for last place. The Hanshin Tigers had the biggest fan surge at 36%, followed by the Hiroshima Catp at 11.5%, the Yakult Swallows with 8%, and the Yomiuri Giants with 0.1%.
Among Pacific League outfits, Orix was up 12.8%, Nippon Ham 5%, Daiei 0.2%. No figures were given for Seibu or Yokohama, but the Chiba Lotte Marines were down 16.5%.
As a whole, the Central League was up 5.6% while the Pacific League was up 1.8%.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 22nd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1964, the rules committee of the Japanese leagues announced a ban on colored bats. That ban was rescinded this season.
Also on this date in 1962, Hanshin Tigers great Masaaki Koyama threw his
fifth consecutive shutout. He spun 13 shutouts for the campaign, going 27-11
with a 1.66 ERA in 352.2 innings. He had just 59 walks (about 1.6 BB/9).
July 21, 2002
Saeki Error, Sekimoto Homer Bring Hanshin Back to Tie 3-3
An error by Yokohama Bay Stars first baseman Takahiro Saeki in the eighth that lead to two unearned runs set the stage for some heroics in the ninth by Hanshin Tigers rookie Kentaro Sekimoto, as down to his last strike in a pinch hit appearance, he hammered a slider on the outer half of the plate into the leftfield seats at Yokohama Stadium to tie it up at 3-3. And he nearly won the game in the 12th, when he pounded a shot off the top of the leftcenterfield wall that went for a double. However, the Tigers couldn't convert and it finished as a 3-3 tie. Even if they didn't lose, Hanshin lost another half game to the Giants as their pennant hopes continue to fade into the sunset.
Chris Holt started for Yokohama and he should have posted a shiroboshi in this one, as he went 7.1 solid innings and surrendered no earned runs on seven hits, leaving with the score at 3-2.
Fourth year hurler Fujikawa made his first pro start for Hanshin and did a decent job, keeping the Stars scoreless for three innings until being touched for a pair of tallies in the fourth. Yokohama second baseman Hitoshi Taneda began the rally with a walk. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki singled to right. One out later, Saeki grounded to second, which enabled both runners to advance. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa singled to center to cash them in to make it 2-0 Stars.
Shinji Taninaka came out for the fifth and Stars rightfielder Boi Rodrigues smacked a single to center. He somehow managed to get into scoring position (wild pitch?) and then went homeward on a single to left by catcher Takeshi Nakamura and it was 3-0 Yokohama.
Hanshin, though, ran into some luck in the eighth. With one out, shortstop Shuta Tanaka singled to center and stole second. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka then spanked one to Saeki, who misplayed it and the speedy Tanaka blazed all the way around for the first Tigers run. First baseman George Arias then singled to center to deliver Kataoka and it was now 3-2 Stars.
Yokohama closer Takashi Saito entered in the ninth to try to secure the win. He got two quick outs before Sekimoto, who was told prior to the at bat by hitting coach Koichi Tabuchi "go up there and hit a homer." worked the count full and then went deep to even it at 3-3.
Neither team went anywhere until the 12th, when Sekimoto nearly ended it with a one out deep drive to center that kicked off the upper part of the fence. Takanami went in to pinch run for Sekimoto. For whatever reason, Takanami got it into his head to try for third. The veteran Nakamura gunned him down and that was effectively the end of the ballgame, since Yokohama did absolutely nada against Mark Valdez in the home half.
For Hanshin, Arias was 3-5 with an RBI and is at .258.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .189. Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .279.
IP 4.0 PC 66 H 3 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Taninaka IP 2.0 PC 45 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.01
Hesaka IP 1.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toyama IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 8.38
Kanazawa IP 3.0 PC 56 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.51
M. Valdez IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.57
IP 7.1 PC 118 H 7 HR 0 K 8 BB 0 R 2 ER 0 ERA 2.39
Fukumori IP 0.0 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.68
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Azuma IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.03
T. Saito IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.41
Takeshita IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.82
E: Saeki, T. Suzuki
2B: Kataoka, Arias, Sekimoto
HR: Sekimoto (3)
SB: Hamanaka, Hirashita, S. Tanaka, Saeki, Rodrigues
RBI: Arias, Sekimoto, Ogawa, T. Nakamura
Season Series: Hanshin 12, Yokohama 5, 1 Tie
Game Time: 4:16
Umpires: Mori (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Shikida (2B), Tani (3B)
Solid Sanada Gets First Pro Victory in 6-3 Giants Win
This time last year, righthander Hiroki Sanada was pitching for Himeji Industrial High School. This year, he picked up his first win as a pro, surviving a couple of shaky innings in the Yomiuri Giants 6-3 victory over the Chunichi Dragons Sunday at Nagoya Dome. He is the first rookie out of high school to win a game for Yomiuri since Masumi Kuwata did it in 1986.
Kenta Asakura started for the Dragons and was shelled for five earned runs on eight hits in seven innings, saying after the game that he threw too many fastballs in situations where the hitters would be looking for that pitch to fall to 6-7 despite a 2.91 ERA.
The Giants took a near immediate 1-0 lead in the first, when leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu scorched a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to left to plate Shimizu. They then loaded the bases on a couple of walks, but a double play ball off the bat of third baseman Akira Etoh staved off any further possibilities.
The Dragons, however, overcame that in theit at bats in the inning. With one down, Takayuki Onishi legged out a tapper toward second. After moving up on a groundout, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled down the rightfield line to push Nishi in. Hiroyuki Watanabe singled to center and Tatsunami reported with the go ahead run and it was 2-1 Chunichi.
In the third, Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leadoff with a single to center and went to second on a sac bunt. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to right and Ibata chugged in to make it 3-1 Chunichi.
An inning later, the Dragons threatened again. Kazuki Inoue began the frame with a walk. Masahiro Araki singled to right. Giants first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, paid Sanada, who had been what he termed "too careful" to that point, a visit on the mound after he got behind 3-1 to catcher Motonobu Tanishige and told the youngster to show some guts out there. Inspired by that, Sanada threw strike two. Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada flashed the hit and run sign to Tanishige. Inoue took off for third. Sanada went to the plate and it was called strike three on an 87mph fastball and then catcher Shinnosuke Ane threw to third to nail Inoue for a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play. Asakura struckout to spell the last of this uprising. Sanada then fashioned two perfect innings to round out his night.
Asakura had been keeping the Yomiuri lineup down, but then got into hot water in the seventh. With one down, Etoh beat out a bleeder. Nishi used his wheels to outrun another tapper. Abe singled to left to load the bases. Koji Goto did the same to plate Etoh and Nishi and knot it at 3-3. Shimizu grounded to first to move Abe and Goto up. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka singled to left and it was 5-3 Giants.
Hitoki Iwase was dispatched to the mound in the eighth and with two outs, Tatsunami geeked a grounder from Etoh. Nishi singled to left. Abe walked to pack the sacks. Daisuke Motoki singled to right and it was 6-3 Yomiuri.
The Dragons didn't muster much and Junichi Kawahara wove a 1-2-3 ninth to turn out the lights and extend the Chunichi losing skein against the Giants to seven.
No foreign players got into this game.
1-1) IP 6.0 PC 93 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA
Jeon IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.36
Okajima IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.75
J. Kawahara (S, 17) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
6-7) IP 7.0 PC 98 H 8 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.91
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 27 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.65
T. Ogasawara IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
E: Nishi, Tatsunami
2B: T. Shimizu, Tatsunami,
RBI: Nioka 2, Y. Takahashi, K. Goto 2, Motoki, Fukudome, H.Y. Watanabe, Tatsunami
HBP: H. Matsui (T. Ogasawara)
Season Series: Yomiuri 11, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kittaka (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Ramirez, Iwamura Gang Up on Hiroshima 6-1
Yakult Swallows number one starter Shugo Fujii has had a few rough outings recently, but Sunday at Sapporo Dome, he looked more like the ace he's supposed to be, as he held the Hiroshima Carp lineup to four hits and no runs over seven innings to seize his sixth win of the season in a 6-1 Swallows win. Fujii is now 2-0-1 in Hokkaido's capital. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez and third baseman Akinori Iwamura each finishd with two RBIs to lend support to Fujii's effort.
Yakult was able to dent Carp starter Masayuki Hasegawa, who has been a pretty tough customer thus far, for a run in the second to get in front on a leadoff double to rightcenter from first baseman Roberto Petagine, a single by catcher Atsuya Furuta and a groundout from Ramirez to make it 1-0 Swallows.
When their next turn at bat came, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto cracked a one out single to center, and rightfielder Atsunori Inaba followed suit, Miyamoto digging for third. Petagine flew out to center and Miyamoto tagged up and hustled in. Furuta walked. Ramirez singled to center to drive in Inaba and Iwamura singled to center to provide cover for Furuta hitting home and it was 4-0 Yakult.
In the fifth, Inaba catalyzed it with a single to center and Petagine singled to right. One out later Ramirez laced an RBI single to right and the birds were looking down at Hiroshima 5-0.
Iwamura went yard to halfway up the rightfield stands in the eighth for a 6-0 advantage.
Hiroshima finally broke through in the bottom of the ninth, as second baseman Eddie Diaz doubled off the leftfield wall and went to third on a passed ball. One out later, first baseman Luis Lopez grounded to short and Diaz crossed to make it 6-1. Tomonori Maeda then flew out to end the game. Nevertheless, that broke a 27 inning scoreless streak by the fish.
7-4) IP 4.0 PC 76 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.13
Hiroike IP 3.0 PC 53 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.09
Kawano IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 16.20
S. Fujii (W,
6-4) IP 7.0 PC 116 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER
0 ERA 2.69
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.35
E: S. Miyamoto
2B: Petagine, K. Kimura, Diaz
HR: Iwamura (11)
RBI: Lopez, Ramirez 2, Iwamura 2, Petagine, Furuta
HBP: S. Miyamoto (Kawano)
Season Series: Hiroshima 8, Yakult 6 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:03
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kasahara (1B), Arisumi (2B), Ino (3B)
One Step Forward, One Step Backward, as Seibu Beats Kintetsu 3-2
Seibu Lions starter Chang Chih-chia had another dominant outing, scattering four hits and fanning 13 over seven innings while shortstop Kazuo Matsui creamed a first pitch 90mph fastball to start the game for his 100th career homer as the Tokorozawa outfit fended off the Kintetsu Buffaloes 3-2 Sunday at Osaka Dome. Hiroshi Takamura had a decent outing for Kintetsu, going seven innings and being charged with three runs on six hits, but it wasn't up to the task of competing with Chang. In all, 16 Kintetsu hitters came up empty, one short of a team record for a single game set in 1994 against Orix.
After Matsui cannonaded that cruise missile of a homer, the ball exiting on a low line like a nine iron, Takamura struckout the side. Chang then did somethinmg similar, striking out the first man he faced in the second before rightfielder Koichi Isobe doubled off the centerfield wall. Shortstop Masahiro Abe struckout and then catcher Tetsuya Matoyama walked. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura whiffed to terminate the inning.
In the third, Chang was bullied for a double to leftcenter from second baseman
Eiji Mizuguchi and then Chang struckout the following trio of batters. He
had it working so good, that leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes just shook his head
when asked about the Taiwanese import by reporters and third baseman Norihiro
Nakamura, who was rung up thrice like Rhodes, remarked at how Chang expertly
mixed up his pitches. Chang himself commented that Buffs hitters were going
after pitches out of the strike zone.
Matsui then used his speed to register the second Lions tally. With two outs, he beat out a little groundball. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki rifled a shot into the leftfield corner and Matsui, who goes 90 feet in 3.5 seconds, put it in fourth and scored without a play and it was 2-0 Seibu.
They then received some timely hitting for what would prove to be a vital
third run off of Motoyuki Akahori, the former closer (139 lifetime saves)
who is just back from a long spell among the ranks of the injured (since
June of last season). With one out, DH Kazuhiro Wada singled to right and
went to second when third baseman Tom Evans walked with one away.
Catcher Tsutomu Itoh singled to right to send in Wada for a 3-0 lead.
Shinji Mori was commanded by Lions manager Haruki Ihara to pitch the eighth and experienced the highs and lows of baseball within that one three out period. After striking out both Rhodes and Nakamura, DH Kenshi Kawaguchi beat out an infield hit. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka slammed a shot into the leftcenterfield seats to shrink the Lions lead to 3-2. Isobe went down on strikes to pull the curtain down on the inning.
Kiyoshi Toyoda needed a mere seven pitches to put it in the win column for Seibu in the ninth to earn his 17th save.
The leadoff dinger by Matsui was his second first pitch jack starting a game this season. Moreover, by hitting the 100 roundtrips mark as a switch hitter, he became just the fifth "switch batter" to surpass the century mark in Japanese history (that seems hard to believe). The others are former Daiei third baseman Hiromi Matsunaga, ex-Giants centerfielder Isao Shibata, ex-Hiroshima Carp shortstop Yoshihiko Takahashi and ex-Lions DH Orestes Destrade. It's weird to think that Matsui was a pitcher and number eight hitter at PL Gakuen High School. where he weighed 165 pounds. He has since beefed up to 180 and is obviously now one of the biggest offensive weapons in pro ball.
Chang revealed that he wants to outdo Taigen Kaku, another Taiwan native that carved out quite a career for himself in Japan with Seibu. Chang has four wins to date, Kaku (real name Tai-yuan Kuo) had nine his rookie year.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with three strikeouts and is at .254.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera was 0-2 with three walks (two of them intentional) and two steals and is at .276.Evans was 0-2 with a walk and is at .267.
4-1) IP 7.0 PC 131 H 4 HR 0 K 13 BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Mori IP 1.0 PC 24 H 2 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.84
Toyoda (S, 17) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.15
Takamura (L, 5-4)
IP 7.0 PC 109 H 6 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.97
Akahori IP 0.2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 13.50
Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.16
A. Okamoto IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.75
E: Mizuguchi, Kitagawa
SB: Cabrera, Shibata
2B: Isobe, Mizuguchi, Ozeki
HR: K. Matsui (19), Yoshioka (13)
RBI: Yoshioka 2, K. Matsui, Ozeki, T. Itoh
IBB: Cabrera 2, Kaizuka
GIDP: H. Takagi
Season Series: Seibu 7, Kintetsu 8
Game Time: 2:38
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Higashi (1B0, Sugimoto (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Sheldon Homer Throws Hawks Down for the Count
This game is a bit of an interesting story: beginning the contest on the hill for Orix was righthander Takashi Aiki, making his first start as well is his pro debut. Then coming in during the fifth, you had Jun Hagiwara, an infielder who was converted to a pitcher who was clocked at 92mph in this one and notched his first ever victory from the mound. Then they brought in Kazuo Yamaguchi, throwing 96mph bullets to finishi off a 3-2 triumph for the Kobe folks over the Daiei Hawks.
Aiki, who admitted to being so nervious the first couple of innings that he was literally shaking, locked up in a scoreless duel with Brady Raggio until the fourth, when the Blue Wave produced their initial two runs. DH Yuji Goshima leadoff with a double to rightcenter and, one out later, third baseman Scott Sheldon singled to left to chase him in. leftfielder Kota Soejima walked. After shortstop Tatsuya Shindo flew out to right, catcher Takeshi Hidaka grounded to Tadahito Iguchi, who misplayed it and Sheldon busted for home to make it 2-0.
Aiki had been going along pretty smoothly, but broke down in the fifth. With one away, first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka was cleared for takeoff and landed one in the centerfield seats. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez walked. DH Koji Akiyama singled to left. Shortstop Mitsuru Honma walked to load the bases. Orix manager Hiromichi Ishige went to the pen and selected Hagiwara, who did his job, pinch hitter Bonishi to ground the ball, but it was a bleeder and he beat it out as Valdez crossed to knot it at 2-2. Hagiwara, though, got the next two men and the inning concluded 2-2.
In the eighth, Sheldon went midieval on a pitch by Daiei reliever Shuji Yoshida and hacked it into the seats in straightaway center to give Orix a 3-2 lead.
Yamaguchi came on for the ninth and made things tense before turning out the lights. Iguchi leadoff with a single to right. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to left and the winning run was on. Matsunaka flied out to left. Valdez was intentionally walked. Akiyama struckout for the second out. Honma, though, grounded to second and it was "game setto."
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .269.
For Daiei, Valdez was 0-2 with two walks and is at .291.
IP 4.2 PC 70 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.86
J. Hagiwara (W, 1-0) IP 3.1 PC 44 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
K. Yamaguchi (S, 2) IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
IP 6.1 PC 83 H 5 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 1 ERA 4.58
S. Yoshida (L, 5-2) IP 1.2 PC 32 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.35
J. Hoshino IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.18
E: Iguchi, Bonishi
2B: Goshima 2, Tani
HR: Matsunaka (13), Sheldon (15)
RBI: Sheldon 2, Matsunaka, Bonishi
IBB: P. Valdez
Season Series: Orix 8, Daiei 6
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Yoshikawa (1B), Maeda (2B), Sato (3B)
Fukuura, May's Two RBIs Apiece Overcome Cromer Three Run Homer in 4-3 Lotte Victory
Aside from being taken deep for a three run homer by Nippon Ham Fighters leftfielder D.T. Cromer, Chiba Lotte Marines starter Yasuhiko Yabuta had a real strong outing Sunday at Tokyo Dome, going seven innings and allowing just the three runs on six hits while striking out seven and walking one for his first victory of the year. He was backed by a pair of RBIs from both first baseman Kazuya Fukuura and DH Derrick May so that his team would prevail 4-3.
Hayato Nakamura was in trouble often in the early going, but Lotte let him off the hook. In the second, May leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. Koichi Hori walked. Catcher Takumi Shigi singled to center to pack the sacks. But then Tadaharu Sakai grounded into a third to home force play and Kenji Morozumi flew out to left to blow the opportunity.
Then in the third, shortstop Makoto Kosaka doubled to leftcenter. One out later, Takashi Tachikawa walked. However, May grounded into a 4-6-3 twin killing and that was all she wrote for that chance.
In the fourth, Cromer put the Fighters in front. Yutaka Nakamura leadoff with a single to center and first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to right. One out later, Yabuta hung a forkball and Cromer murdered it, booming it deep into the rightfield bleachers to make it 3-0 Nippon Ham.
Lotte finally coalesced in the fifth and made it a one run game. Sakai started it with single to center. Morozumi outran a bleeder. Kosaka moved the runners up with a groundout to the right side. Fukuura singled to center and it was 3-2 Fighters.
In the seventh, Lotte surged ahead when Morozumi wacked a one out single to left and stole second. One out later, Fukuura was intentionally walked. Tachikawa worked a freebie to jam the basepaths. May singled to right and Morozumi and Fukuura galloped to the plate and it was 4-3 Lotte.
Nippon Ham couldn't convert on a mild eighth inning opportunity, so on to
the ninth and in comes Lotte closer Masahide Kobayashi seeking to set a new
Pacific League record with his 13th consecutive save. Eight pitches later,
batta bing, batta boom, done. Kobayashi, who has 18 saves on the season,
is nine behind Kazuhiro Sasaki's Japan record of 22, who also had
a streak of 16. Hiroshima's Yutaka Ono had a 14 consecutive game skein and then you get to Kobayashi.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 2-4 with three RBIs and a steal and is at .277. DH Sherman Obando was 1-4 and is at .257.
For Lotte, May was 2-5 with two RBIs and is at .237.
IP 7.0 PC 105 H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.56
Sikorsky IP 0.1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.28
S. Fujita IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.65
H. Kobayashi IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.92
M. Kobayashi (S, 18) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
H. Nakamura (L,
5-4) IP 7.0 PC 114 H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.10
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.80
T. Kato IP 0.2 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
Iba IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.43
SB: Morozumi, Cromer
2B: Kosaka, Kaneko
HR: Cromer (14)
RBI: Cromer 3, May 2, Fukuura 2
HBP: Fukuura (H. Nakamura), Tachikawa (Iba)
GIDP: May, T. Sakai, Fukuura
Season Series: Lotte 10, Nippon Ham 4
Game Time: 3:16
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Takai Uses Arm and Bat to Advance in Prefectural Tournament
Southpaw high schooler Yuhei Takai, who is likely to be chosen as one of the top high school picks in this November's draft, helped Tohoku High School to the final of the Miyagi Prefecture Tournament that determines who will represent that state in the Koshien Summer High School Baseball Tournament, as he wacked a second inning 425 foot grand slam to rightcenter off of a 2-0 high fastball and drove in a total of six runs to down the baseball power Sendai Ikuei High School. He also had a first inning two run double off the leftcenterfield wall while throwing six innings and striking out nine and scattering five hits. The game was called after six with Tohoku up 10-0.
Ikuei High had stood between Tohoku High and Koshien the last two years. In fact, last year, Takai went all the way in a 1-0 11 inning loss to their crosstown rivals. Takai was throwing 92mph from the outset and stepped it up to a high of 94mph in the sixth.
Some pro scouts like Takai so much as a hitter that they believe he could hit in the pros as a position player. For his career at Tohoku, the Kawasaki native is 104-257, a .405 clip,. with 37 homers and 93 RBIs.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 21st and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1968, during a game between the Tokyo Orions and the Kintetsu Buffaloes at Tokyo Stadium, Kintetsu infielder Toshinori Yasui laid down a bunt and lit out for first. As he went by the bag, he brushed Orions all star first baseman Kihachi Enomoto and the two ended up getting into a verbal confrontation that eventually morphed into a punch up. Both benches emptied and they had a donnybrook on their hands. Shunzo Arakawa, a 20 year old second year reserve infielder out of Hyogo High School, came out with a bat in his hands and clobbered Enomoto over the head, knocking him cold and necessitating that he be sent to the hospital.
On August 9th, police referred the case to the Tokyo District Prosecutor's office. While that agency was going through its investigative process, Kintetsu and the Orions reached some kind of agreement and asked to have the case dropped, which it was. Arakawa played one more year, appearing in 26 games, but that was his last season in pro ball and at 21 he was finished.
His lifetime numbers: three seasons, G 51 AB 5 H 0 SB 1 AVG .000 E 1.
Hanshin Season is Over in Farcical 9-6 Loss to Yokohama
Dearly beloved, I have not come today to bury the Hanshin Tigers; the rest of the Central League is about to do that for me. If you want to mark down the day the Tigers dream of resurrecting itself from four years of last place misery finally ended, you can just get out the Snap-On Tools calendar and the big red marker and circle July 20, 2002. Yes folks, the Hanshin Tigers, pro yakyu's microwaveable baseball team, who finish in four months what takes most clubs five to six, are done. The only question that remains is what side do you insert the fork? Oh, and how big are the personnel changes going to be this offseason when manager Senichi Hoshino begins unloading deadweight? I think you'll see him reaching for the chainsaw rather than the pruning shears---unless he commits a homicide in the wake of this fiasco. He's already started abusing the media, throwing a cup of water at a press photographer in the tunnel leading to the locker room.
In any event, the Tigers blew a four run lead to the lowly Yokohama Bay Stars Saturday at Yokohama Stadium, as the Stars rallied for six runs in the sixth and then tacked on one more in the eighth to carry the day, 9-6. Buddy Carlyle started for Hanshin and had a bad outing, permitting four runs, all earned, on eight hits, before the bullpen came in and committed arson to fumble away what should have been a victory by the Osaka nine.
Carlyle got behind early, as Yokohama leftfielder Takanori Suzuki ripped a two out first inning double to leftcenter, centerfielder Ernie Young walked and first baseman Takahiro Saeki cashed Suzuki in with a single to center to make it 1-0. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa walked to fill the bases, but rightfielder Boi Rodrigues grounded out to limit the damage.
Yokohama catcher Takeshi Nakamura then kicked off the second with a screamer down the leftfield line for a double and was sacrificed to third by starter Yu Sugimoto. One out later, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda walked and Suzuki singled to center to plate Nakamura to make it 2-0 Stars.
Hanshin surmounted that lead, however, in the top of the third, when catcher Akihiro Yano legged out a roller toward second and Carlyle sacrificed him along. second baseman Makoto Imaoka banged a single to left to recall Yano and shortstop Shuta Tanaka singled to center. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka got an 88mph fastball from Sugimoto and shot it toward the line in right for a single and Imaoka checked in as Tanaka sped to third. First baseman George Arias flew out to center and Tanaka tagged and scored to put the Tigers ahead 3-2.
In the fourth, the Tigers went after Sugimoto once more, as centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka blazed a shot down the leftfield line for two bases Koji Hirashita singled to right. Yano bounced into a 6-4-3 double play while Hamanaka crossed to make it 4-2 Hanshin.
Yukiya Yokoyama came on in relief in the fifth and after working a perfect inning, was back out for the sixth and sustained some damage. Arias walked to lead it off and, one out later, Yokoyama nailed Hamanaka with a pitch. Following another out, Yano whizzed one down the rightfield line to chase in both Arias and Hamanaka and it was 6-2 Hanshin.
That lead would soon go down in flames in the home half. With one down, Carlyle hit Nakamura in the back. Kazunori Tanaka singled and Hoshino yanked Carlyle in favor of Tatsuhiro Yuminaga, who walked shortstop Takuro Ishii to load the bases. Hoshino then summoned Takehito Kanazawa and all hell broke loose. Taneda spanked a shot down into the rightcenter alley and everyone came around to score and it was now a one run ballgame at 6-5. One out later, Young walked. Both men advanced on a wild pitch. Saeki poked a slider down the rightfield line and now Yokohama were looking downward on Hanshiin 7-6. Ogawa walked. Rodrigues lasered one off the centerfield wall to convert Saeki as he cruised into second and it was 8-6 Stars.
In the eighth, Yokohama put together a pair of walks off of Toshiyuki Hesaka and an Arias error to score their ninth run and that is how it ended, as Hanshin went zero for the last three innings to go quietly away.
Yokoyama, who had shoulder surgery last October, was credited with the win despite being hit up a bit, his first in two years.
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-2 with an RBI, a walk and an error and is at .252.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .269. Young was 1-2 with three walks and is at .195.
IP 5.1 PC 102 H 8 HR 0 K 2 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 7.71
Yuminaga IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
Kanazawa (L, 4-1) IP 1.2 PC 30 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.79
Hesaka IP 1.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 3.0 PC 44 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.14
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.82
Yokoyama (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.00
Morinaka IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.93
T. Saito (S, 14) IP 2.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.27
SB: Yano, Kinjo
2B: T. Suzuki, T. Nakamura, Hamanaka, Yano, Taneda, Saeki, Rodrigues
RBI: Imaoka, Kataoka, Arias, Yano 2, Taneda 3, T. Suzuki, Saeki 2, Rodrigues
HBP: T. Nakamura (Carlyle)
GIDP: Arias, Yano, Saeki
Season Series: Hanshin 12, Yokohama 5
Game Time: 3:26
Umpires: Sasaki (HP), Shikida (1B), Tani (2B), Mori (3B)
Yakult, Hiroshima, a Couple of Zeroes
The Yakult Swallows had 11 baserunners through seven and couldn't send any of them home while the Hiroshima Carp extended their scoreless string to 19 innings Saturday at Sapporo Dome in what ended up as a scoreless 12 inning tie. Righthander Yuya Kamada, making his first start of the season, went six innings of three hit ball for Yakult while Yasushi Tsuruta pitched out of two early big jams for Hiroshima.
In the eighth inning and Alan Newman on the mound for Yakult, centerfielder Koichi Ogata bunted his way on to begin the inning and then went to third when Newman's pickoff thrown sailed past first baseman Roberto Petagine. Newman, however, kept the next three hitters on the infield and Ogata died there.
Yakult had a mild scoring chance in the 11th, when they had two on and two out, but centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka grounded out to end the inning.
The worst part of this, though, was that Yakult lost a half game to the Giants, who won tonight and are now seven games up in the standings.
For Hiroshima, second baseman Eddie Diaz was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .306. First baseman Luis Lopez was 1-4 and is at .249.
For Yakult, Petagine was 0-4 with two walks and two strikeouts and is at .306. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 with a walk and is at .316.
IP 6.0 PC 105 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.54
Hiroike IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.10
Tamaki IP 2.1 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
K. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.01
IP 6.0 PC 91 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Newman IP 2.0 PC 27 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
R. Igarashi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.16
Takatsu IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
Season Series: Hiroshima 8, Yakult 5 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:59
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Arisumi (1B), Ino (2B), Watada (3B)
Giants Keep on Truckin' with 4-2 Win
Yomiuri Giants starter Koji Uehara posted his 50th career win Saturday at Nagoya Dome, keeping the Chunichi Dragons to two runs, one earned, on six hits and striking out six to also tie Yakult's Kevin Hodges for the Central League lead in that category this season. Moreover, by racking up 50 shiroboshi in 85 games, Uehara breaks Hideo Nomo's record for the fastest to 50 in Japanese history. The former Kintetsu Buffalo did it in 86 contests. Too, he became the first Yomiuri hurler to earn his 50th in four years since Sugur Egawa did it in the 70's and he is the fifth Giants moundsman to pull that off all time.
Daisuke Yamai started for the Dragons and shut the Giants out for four innings before being unable to obtain the third out in the fifth and surrendered two runs before Takashi Ogasawara was called in to bail him out. His side was able to tie it, so he got a no decision.
Chunichi went out in front in the fourth, as centerfielder Takayuki Onishi leadoff with a single and, one out later, galloped around on a triple to rightcenter from third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami to make it 1-0.
The Giants were able to see that one and raise them one in the fifth, when catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled with one out and was sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu walked. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka singled to right to push Abe in with the leveler. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi then gave Yomiuri the lead with a single to left that converted Shimizu and it was 2-1 Giants.
The Dragons reacted by restoring equalibrium in their half, as second baseman Masahiro Araki singled to left and catcher Motonobu Tanishige did, too. One out later, shortstop Hirokazu Ibata rolled one to Daisuke Motoki at third, who kicked it to load the bases. Onishi grounded out to second and Araki hit the dish to make it 2-2.
Dragons reliever Shinichiro Koyama, though, helped the opposition to the game winning run in the sixth. With one down, Motoki walked. Koyama then plunked second baseman Toshihisa Nishi. Abe walked to juice the bags. Uehara took a real ugly swing at a slider down and away, but he still elevated it and hit it far enough to allow Motoki to tag and score for a 3-2 Giants advantage.
In the seventh, Nioka fricaseed a slider from Endo to homer for the fourth time in three games and for the third game in a row, depositing it in the leftcenterfield bleachers, and it was 4-2 Giants.
Nine of the last ten Dragons batters were kept away from the basepaths by Uehara and three relievers to put it to bed.
No foreigners played in thhis game.
11-3) IP 7.0 PC 112 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 2 ER
1 ERA 2.66
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.39
Okajima IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.82
J. Kawahara (S, 16) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
IP 4.2 PC 89 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.79
T. Ogasawara IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.36
Koyama (L, 1-3) IP 1.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.45
Endo IP 2.0 PC 33 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.10
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.08
2B: Tatsunami, Nishi, T. Shimizu
HR: Nioka (12)
RBI: Nioka 2, Y. Takahashi, Uehara, Onishi, Tatsunami
HBP: Nishi (Koyama)
Season Series: Yomiuri 10, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:33
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Kittaka (1B), Suginaga (2B), Manabe (3B)
Kintetsu Actually Gains a Game on Seibu with 5-3 Victory
Well, it's been a while, but the Kintetsu Buffaloes actually gained a full game on the front running Seibu Lions Saturday, as Katsuhiko Maekawa, who has made his career basically out of beating the Tokorozawa nine, went seven solid innings of three run ball on seven hits in a 5-3 Buffs victory. Maekawa got lucky, though, as Seibu third baseman Tom Evans pounded a drive to deep right off of Akira Okamoto in the eighth with two men on that went over the fence foul by barely two feet.
Kintetsu jumped on Lions starter Takashi Ishii from the outset, as second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi smacked a one out single to left and the slumping Tuffy Rhodes scorched a double to rightcenter, the first of his three hits in this one. One out later, DH Kenshi Kawaguchi singled to center to send in both men and open a 2-0 Buffs lead.
Evans was able to rectify that, however. Leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Evans then massacred one and buried it in the leftfield seats to make it 2-2.
In the second, Buffs catcher Tetsuya Matoyama singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Mizuguchi walked. Rhodes singled to center and Matoyama chugged in to go ahead 3-2. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to center and Mizuguchi reported to make it 4-2.
Seibu halved the deficit, though, in the third when Maekawa hit rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki and wild pitched him to second. DH Toshiaki Inubushi singled to right and redeemed Ozeki and it was 4-3.
The Lions had a chance to catch up in the seventh, but Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura kept that from happening. Seibu catcher Tsutomu Itoh leadoff with a single to left and advanced on a groundout. With two now out, Ozeki singled to center and Omura got off a strong, accurate throw to Matoyama at the plate, who applied the tag for the third out.
An error by Evans in the eighth enabled the Buffs to buy some insurance, as he geeked a ground ball from Koichi Isobe. One out later, Matoyama singled to right. After Omura struckout, Mizuguchi singled to right and Isobe crossed to make it 5-3.
Akinori Otsuka went to the center of the diamond and was done in 11 pitches to finish the Lions off.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 3-3 with an RBI and is at .254.
For Seibu, Evans was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .273. First baseman Alex Cabrera was 0-4 and is at .279.
Takashi Ishii (L, 4-2)
IP 7.0 PC 124 H 9 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.88
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.03
Maekawa (W, 4-6)
IP 7.0 PC 108 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.33
A. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.77
A.N. Otsuka (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
2B: Ozeki, Rhodes 2
HR: Evans (7)
RBI: Evans 2, Mizuguchi, Rhodes, N. Nakamura, Kawaguchi 2
HBP: Isobe (Takashi Ishii), Ozeki (Maekawa)
Season Series: Seibu 6, Kintetsu 8
Game Time: 3:13
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Tamba (1B), Yamamura (2B), Azuma (3B)
Lotte Wins Track Meet with Nippon Ham 11-8
34 hits were generated between the Chiba Lotte Marines and the Nippon Ham Fighters Saturday at Tokyo Dome, 17 by each team, in an 11-8 track meet. Lotte starter Takashi Tanaka gave up a leadoff jack to left by Fighters shortstop Makoto Kaneko and it was a downhill slide from there, as he lasted only six hitters, recording two outs, before manager Koji Yamamoto whipped out the hook and went to the pen.
Chris Seelbach started for Nippon Ham and while he went five innings, he was tattooed for four earned runs on ten hits and walked two before manager Yasunori Oshima had enough of that and resorted to reinforcements.
Lotte leftfielder Kenji Morozumi leadoff the game with a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third. first baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to right and it was 1-0.
After Kaneko unloaded his rocket for Nippon Ham, first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara doubled to leftcenter. One out later, Following a groundout, rightfielder Yukio Tanaka walked. DH D.T. Cromer singled to center to get Ogasawara in, the runners advancing on the throw home. Takaya Hayashi singled to center, too, and Tanaka and Cromer wheeled on in to make it 4-1 Nippon Ham.
In the third, Lotte shortstop Makoto Kosaka singled to center and Fukuura singled to right, Kosaka motoring to third. Tachikawa grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and it was 4-2 Fighters.
Nippon Ham went back on the offensive in the fourth, when second baseman Hiroshi Narahara singled to left, as did Kaneko. Both were sacrificed up 90 feet. Ogasawara singled to left and the two speedsters made it in and it was 6-2, Ogasawara, a great baserunner, going to second on the play at the plate. Leftfielder Sherman Obando singled to center for the seventh Fighters run. Tanaka struckout, but reliever Takagi hit Cromer with a delivery. Hayashi singled to right and Obando was in and the Fighters were in control at 8-2.
Seelbach came back out for the sixth and was shaken down for singles by centerfielder Saburo Omura and second baseman Koichi Hori and that's when Oshima went to the pen for Yoshinori Tateyama. Pinch hitter Kiyoshi Hatsushiba walked to load the bases. Third baseman Tadaharu Sakai then did some janitorial work on the basepaths, sweeping them clean with a double to leftcenter. He went to third on a one out ground ball and jogged in on a single by Fukuura to reduce the deficit to 8-6.
Hori came up again in the seventh with one out and cleaned and jerked one beyond the rightcenterfield wall and it was a one run ballgame 8-7. Oshima had to have smoke coming out of his ears by now. And who could blame him?
Lotte reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi loaded the bases with two outs on two walks and a double, but Tanaka fanned to kill the opportunity for Nippon Ham.
In the top of the eighth, Fukuura walked with two out, rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa singled to right and DH Derrick May homered to right for the gyakuten three run and it was 10-8 Lotte. Yep, Nippon Ham had blown a six run lead. Omura then connected and hurtled one out to left to make it 11-8 Lotte.
Incredibly, as much offense as there was in this game, Nippon Ham's hitters capped it off by striking out consecutively for each of the final six outs. What a wacky night.
For Lotte, May was 2-5 with three RBIs and is at .233.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-3 with two walks and an RBI and is at .257. Cromer was 2-4 with a walk, an RBI, and two strikeouts and is at .274.
IP 0.2 PC 27 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 5.29
A. Yoshida IP 2.2 PC 56 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.10
K. Takagi IP 1.2 PC 50 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.73
H. Kobayashi (W, 6-3) IP 2.0 PC 40 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.94
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.75
Sikorsky IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
M. Kobayashi (S, 17) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
IP 5.0 PC 97 H 10 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.13
Tateyama IP 0.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.25
T. Kato IP 0.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.43
Shibakusa (L, 2-2) IP 2.1 PC 45 H 5 HR 3 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.97
Sasaki IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
2B: Morozumi, M. Ogasawara,
T. Sakai, Cromer, Y. Nakamura
HR: Kaneko (4), Hori (10), May (9), S. Omura (3)
RBI: Fukuura 2, May 3, S. Omura, Hori, T. Sakai 3, Kaneko, M. Ogasawara 2, Obando, Cromer, Hayashi 3
IBB: M. Ogasawara
HBP: Cromer (Takagi)
Season Series: Lotte 9, Nippon Ham 4
Game Time: 4:11
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Sheldon Comes Back to Earth and So Does Orix in Defeat by Daiei
Daiei Hawks rightfielder Arihito Muramatsu went 4-5 and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo and centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara to back one of starter Keisaburo Tanoue's best outings of the season in a 6-1 victory over the Orix Blue Wave Saturday at Fukuoka Dome. Blue Wave third baseman Scott Sheldon, who was bidding to tie a Pacific League record with homers in six consectuve games went 0-4 with three strikeouts to stop that longball streak at five.
Daiei went ahead to stay in the third, when Shibahara blasted a pitch from Orix starter Hidetaka Kawagoe into the rightfield seats to make it 1-0 Hawks.
The birds of prey then used a two out triple to right from Muramatsu, a walk to second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and a single to left by Kokubo to double that advantage to 2-0 in the fifth.
An inning later, they pulled away with another pair of runs. With two down, catcher Masanori Taguchi singled to right and he was driven in on a triple off the leftfield wall by Shibahara. Muramatsu singled to center and it was 4-0 Hawks. Iguchi walked. Kokubo singled to right and it was now 5-0 home team.
Orix broke up the shutout in the seventh when leftfielder Kota Soejima leadoff with a single to center and pinch hitter Ryutaro Tsuji singled to right. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka singled to right to load the bases. Tanoue was sent to the showers by Daiei manager Sadaharu Oh and Shuji Yoshida inserted in his stead. Pinch hitter Fernando Seguignol racked up another strikeout, but centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled to right and it was 5-1 Hawks. Yoshida precented any further problems by fanning second baseman Koichi Oshima and Katsunori Okamoto then came in and he struckout pinch hitter Tatsuya Shindo for the third out.
Daiei leftfielder Pedro Valdez concluded the scoring with a belt into the rightfield bleachers to make it 6-1.
Orix was hitless over the final two innings and the Hawks sent the fans away happy with a 6-1 victory.
The four hit effort by Muramatsu was the first time in six years he has done that.
Rookie Hayato Terahara was shelled for eight runs, four earned, on ten hits in five innings of a minor league start, so his callup will be delayed as he rehabs a hammy pull.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .293.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-1 and is at .205. Sheldon was 0-4 and is at .265.
3-8) IP 5.2 PC 100 H 10 HR 1 K
2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.61
Iwashita IP 0.0 PC 5 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 8.59
J. Hagiwara IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.09
Hiroshi Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 37 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
2-6) IP 6.0 PC 110 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 1 ER
1 ERA 3.92
S. Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.26
K. Okamoto IP 1.1 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.95
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
J. Hoshino IP 0.2 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.23
SB: Tani, K. Oshima, Muramatsu,
3B: Muramatsu, Shibahara
HR: Shibahara (3), P. Valdez (15)
RBI: Tani, Shibahara 2, Muramatsu, Kokubo 2, P. Valdez
HBP: Matsunaka (Kawagoe) Tani (J. Hoshino)
Season Series: Orix 7, Daiei 6
Game Time: 3:58
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Maeda (1B), Sato (2B), Kodera (3B)
Irabu's Season Likely Over from Blood Clots
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020722a2.htm
Cromartie: Steroids "Ruin the Integrity of the Game"
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sp20020721rs.htm
Linares Collects First Hit in Japanese Minors
Former Cuban national team member Omar Linares, 34, started at first and batted fifth Saturday for the Chunichi Dragons minor league team and went 1-3, a single to center off of a slider from Hanshin farmhand Masashi Date. He is now 1-6 in two games since coming to Japan. He is expected to join the big club on the 23rd.
Brito Homers Get Samsung Within 1.5 Games of Top Spot in KBO Action
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002072117365647110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 20th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1968, Socialist Party member Shigeyoshi Matsumae raises the question of whether the baseball draft is tantamount to the buying and selling of people.
Also on that date in 1976, a delegation headed up by former Mainichi Orions great Kaoru Betto goes to China as part of a baseball friendship mission between the two countries.
July 19, 2002
Daiei Demolished by Orix 17-0
Orix Blue Wave third baseman Scott Sheldon homered for the fifth game in a row Friday at Fukuoka Dome and drove in four runs to lead a massive 19 hit offensive barrage that buired the Daiei Hawks 17-0. This was the home team's worst working over since the Chiba Lotte Marines waxed them by a 22-2 margin in 1999. More importantly, they lost another one half game in the standings and their chances of catching the frontrunning Seibu Lions are becoming increasingly remote.
The 19 hits Orix amassed tied a Pacific League high this season and this was starter Masahiko Kaneda's first complete game shutout since April of last season.
Kenichi Wakatabe, who, frankly, has looked like a different pitcher in 2002 than the ball of mediocrity he has been previously, really got his clock cleaned, giving up seven runs, four earned, in 2.1 innings to take his first loss.
The fun began for the Kobe contingent in the first, as second baseman Koichi Oshima banged a one out single to right, DH Yuji Goshima did so as well, first baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani whizzed a shot down the leftfield line for a double that plated Oshima and Sheldon, whose dad Richard is in Japan right now, mashed a cut fastball from Wakatabe over the rightcenterfield wall to make it 4-0. The ex-Ranger now has seven homers in his last seven games.
Wakatabe walked the first two men that came up in the second, but wriggled out of the jam with a double play ball. He wouldn't finish the third, however. With one down, Sheldon reached base for the 11th consecutive time, matching Ichiro's Japan best, with a single to center. Leftfielder Kota Soejima singled to right. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki grounded to Hiroki Kokubo at third, who booted it to load the bases. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka singled to right to usher in Sheldon. Akichika Yamada replaced Wakatabe and two more runs scored before he retired centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani to end the inning with the scoreboard showing 7-0 Orix.
In the fourth, Orix produced five more tallies. Oshima leadoff with a walk. Goshima doubled to rightcenter. One out later, Sheldon fouled out to break his on base streak. Soejima looped a double to left to recall both Goshima and Oshima and Hidaka showed how you turn baseballs into souvenirs, leaving the yard to right and it was 12-0 Blue Wave. Rightfielder Koji Takamizawa tripled, but Orix displayed some mercy for Daiei and stranded him when Tani flew out.
Orix then used some more extra base power in the fifth. Oshima leadoff with an infield single. Goshima doubled off the centerfield wall and Oshima sprinted in. One out later, Sheldon torched one into the leftcenter alley for two bases and another RBI and it was 14-0.
In the seventh, Goshima drew a one out walk and after another out, Hirokazu Watanabe plunked Sheldon. Fernando Seguignol, who has been a black hole in the lineup lately, put his two cents in by jerking a shot into the centerfield bleachers in the seventh as a pinch hitter to widen it to 17-0.
Kaneda was so on that he was never threatened and basically sleepwalked his way through the Hawks lineup until it was over.
Sheldon, of his longball output, remarked after the game, "I'm surprised myself. There's something definitely going on." The Indiana native, in his last seven contests, is 17-29 (.586) with 18 RBIs. When him and Seguignol were benched by manager Hiromichi Ishige for three games in late June, Sheldon was afraid he was going to be released. A devout Christian who doesn't drink, Sheldon reportedly comforted himself before bed during that time by eating cookies before going to bed.
The last time an Orix player homered in five straight was in 1989, when ex-Twin Greg "Boomer" Wells did it. The Pacific League record is six, which is held by six different players. The Japanese record is seven, by Sadaharu Oh.
Kaneda (W, 4-6) IP 9.0 PC 121 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
Wakatabe (L, 6-1)
IP 2.1 PC 55 H 8 HR 1 K 0 BB 2 R 7 ER 4 ERA 2.44
A. Yamada IP 1.2 PC 47 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.34
Matsu IP 2.0 PC 38 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.11
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.18
J. Hoshino IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.27
E: Kokubo, Akiyama
2B: Shiotani, Goshima 2, Soejima, Shiozaki, Sheldon
HR: Sheldon (14), Hidaka (5), Seguignol (18)
RBI: Shiotani, Sheldon 4, Soejima 2, Seguignol 3, Shiozaki, Hidaka 3
HBP: Sheldon (H.K. Watanabe)
GIDP: Goshima, Okoshi, Tani, Nonogaki
Season Series: Orix 7, Daiei 5
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Sato (1B), Kodera (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Kataoka's Three RBIs Spurs 9-1 Rout of Yokohama
Hanshin Tigers starter Trey Moore got his club back into third place Friday with an excellent one run effort in six innings for his first win in a month and a half in a game marked by two close plays at the plate that drew vehement protests from Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino as well as third baseman Atsushi Kataoka's first RBIs in 12 games, as the Osaka favorite sons went on to prevail 9-1 over the Yokohama Bay Stars at Yokohama Stadium.
Yuji Yoshimi started for the Stars and was awful, getting hammered for seven runs, all earned, on 11 hits in four innings. This guy is up and down so much you almost need to take dramamine to watch him.
Anyway, Hanshin got all the runs it would require in the second, when Yoshimi nailed rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama with a pitch, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to left, catcher Akihiro Yano doubled to left to plate Hiyama. Moore singled to right to bring in Hamanaka, but Yano was called out in a bang bang play at home that saw Hoshino bound out of the dugout from the second the umpire began to raise his righthand. This would be a night, in fact, for which the league's umpires would come in for a fair amount of stick. Shortstop Yoshinori Okihara singled to right, Moore going to third. Okihara stole second. Kataoka laced a fastball on the outer half of the plate back up the middle to deliver both Moore and Okihara and it was 4-0 Hanshin.
Hiyama tripled with one out in the third and Hamanaka grounded to shortstop Takuro Ishii, who went quickly to home in another bang bang play and Hiyama was called out. Hoshino went absolutely ballistic, charging out to home plate and getting in the umpire's face. Hitting instructor Koichi Tabuchi restrained Hoshino before the situation could escalate any further.
Though they weren't able to convert there, the Tigers did add some insurance in the fourth. Yano commenced it with a single to left. Moore bounced into a force play. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka beat out a tapper. Okihara singled to left to pack the sacks. Kataoka worked a walk to force in Yano. One out later, Hiyama spanked a shot off the glove of second baseman Hitoshi Taneda and Moore and Imaoka both hustled in for a 7-0 Tigers advantage.
Yokohama finally made a dent in Moore in the sixth, when Ishii singled to center, Taneda singled to right to move Ishii to third, and centerfielder Ernie Young lifted a sac fly to right to make it 7-1 Tigers.
Hanshin replied immediately in the top of the seventh. Hamanaka leadoff with a double to leftcenter and Taichiro Kamisaka lashed one down the rightfield line for an RBI double. Yano walked to fill the bags. Koji Hirashita, pinch hitting for Moore, grounded into a force at home. Imaoka flew out to center and Kamisaka tagged and loped in and it was 9-1 Tigers.
Yokohama managed just two hits the last three innings and Toyama closed it out in the ninth.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-4 with an HBP and is at .253. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 and is at .235. When is Hoshino going to get smart and send him down so he can get his stroke back? Moore was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .263. Here is a pic of him during his hero interview after the game: http://www.sponichi.com/base/200207/20/images/base02.jpg
For Yokohama, Young was 2-3 with an RBI and is at .188. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-4 and is at .265.
Moore (W, 7-6)
IP 6.0 PC 90 H 6 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.92
Taninaka IP 2.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.99
Toyama IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
Yoshimi (L, 5-4) IP 4.0
PC 99 H 11 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 7 ER 7 ERA 3.91
Fukumori IP 2.0 PC 29 H 0 HR 0 K 3 HR 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.68
Azuma IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.12
Takeshita IP 2.0 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.08
2B: Yano, Hamanaka, Kamisaka, Young
RBI: Kataoka 3, Hiyama 2, Imaoka, Kamisaka, Yano, Moore, Young
SF: Young, Imaoka
HBP: Hiyama (Yoshimi), Arias (Fukumori)
Season Series: Hanshin 12, Yokohama 4
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Tani (1B), Mori (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Petagine Three Run Homer Beats Hiroshima 4-1
When you're not going so good, which has been the case with Yakult lately, you want a good stiff belt to lift your mood on occasion. Well, Roberto Petagine had just what the doctor ordered Friday at Meiji Jingu Stadium, though it wasn't 80 proof, but it did go 425 feet and was good for three runs, as the Swallows then held on to best the Hiroshima Carp 4-1. Rookie Masanori Ishikawa, who had only mediocre stuff this time out, managed to pitch out of a couple of big jams to grab his first shiroboshi since June 20th.
Yakult seized an early edge in the first when centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba walked. Petagine was next and he did the long distance runaround to dead center to make it 3-0 Swallows.
Hiroshima riposted in the second by having second baseman Eddie Diaz rip a leadoff single to center, first baseman Luis Lopez doubling down the leftfield line and third baseman Takahiro Arai flying out deep enough to score Diaz. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to center. But Ishikawa then lured Carp starter Ken Takahashi into a 4-6-3 double play to snuff the uprising and it was 3-1 Swallows.
Ishikawa, who has now alloed just one run in 15.1 innings against Hiroshima, got through the sixth and turned the ball over to lefty Hirotoshi Ishii, who twirled two perfect innings. The Swallows offense then gave their moundsmen a bit more room to operate in the bottom of the eighth. With one out and Rob Stanifer on the hill for the Carp, catcher Atsuya Furuta and leftfielder Alex Ramirez each singled to center. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura then poleaxed one down the rightfield line to enable Furuta to cross and make it 4-1 Yakult.
Closer Shingo Takatsu mosied on in and put the Red Hell down in order for his 21st save.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-4 and is at .312. Lopez was 1-4 and is at .249.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with three RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .312. Ramirez was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .320.
K. Takahashi (L, 7-7)
IP 6.0 PC 90 H 8 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.80
Hiroike IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
Stanifer IP 0.2 PC 12 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.74
Masanori Ishikawa (W, 6-5)IP
6.0 PC 95 H 8 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.56
H. Ishii IP 2.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.21
Takatsu (S, 21) IP 1.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.88
2B: Ogata, Lopez, Higashide, Iwamura
HR: Petagine (23)
RBI: Arai, Petagine 3, Iwamura
IBB: K. Kimura
GIDP: K. Takahashi
Season Series: Hiroshima 8, Yakult 5
Game Time: 2:41
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Ino (1B), Watada (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Kudoh Gets Run Support in One Lump Sum 12-1
I don't have the actual stats in front of me, but I wouldn't doubt that Yomiuri Giants southpaw Kimiyasu Kudoh has the poorest run support in all of Japanese baseball this season. At one point, his offense was generating oonly 1.5 runs a game during his losses. This time, he got enough offense that he could probably have picked up three more victories with if it was spread out over some of his previous outings, as the Yomiuri attack, spearheaded by a pari of bombs from shortstop Tomohiro Nioka, pummled Chunichi Dragons starter Kenshin Kawakami and two relievers for 12 runs on 18 hits in a 12-1 laugher at Nagoya Dome.
Kudoh racked up the 180th victory of his illustrious 21 year career and he says he wants to keep going until he's 45. One thing he doesn't want to keep going, however, is his futility at the plate, as he also set a new Central League record by failing to get a hit in this three plate appearances and is now zero for his last 82, breaking the previous mark of 79, which was owned by former Hanshin Tigers southpaw Takashi Inomata. The last time Kudoh had a knock was April of 2000. He missed almost all of last season with a shoulder problem. The Japanese record is 90, by righthanded pitcher Kenshiro Saga of the Toei Flyers, who was hitless during a period from 1964-1965.
The Giants threw up a run in the first as it's drawn on the board, when leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff the game with a single to left, was sacrificed to second, and then romped home on a single to left from centerfielder Godzilla Matsui to make it 1-0.
The Dragons came back to tie in the second, as first baseman Takeshi Yamasaki singled to center and was forced at second on a grounder to short from centerfielder Hidenori Kuramoto. One out later, Masahiro Araki tripled into the rightfield corner and it was 1-1.
The Giants played some more little ball in the fourth to go up by two. Kawakami nailed first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara and was forced at second on a groundball to short by third baseman Akira Etoh. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi beat out a dribbler. Kudoh grounded to first and both runners advanced. Shimizu singled to left and Etoh and Nishi came around for a 3-1 Yomiuri lead.
In the sixth, Yomiuri started to pull away. Etoh leadoff with a single to right. Nishi singled to center to get Etoh to third. Nishi stole second. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to right for two RBIs and it was 5-1 Giants.
An inning down the line, Daisuke Motoki, now at third with Etoh moving over to first, singled to center with one out. Etoh legged out a ball toward short. One out later, Abe doubled to leftcenter to widen the disparity with the Dragons to 7-1.
Three more Giants crossed in the eighth when Takayuki Saito singled to center, Nioka rocketed a two run homer with one out, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to right, Matsui walked, and Motoki singled to left and Yomiuri was ahead 10-1.
Saito doubled to begin the ninth and Nioka transgressed the centerfield wall to conclude the night's scoring at 12-1.
Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada slammed the umpiring in the CL, basically accusing them of making decisions that favor the Giants at the expense of other ballclubs and saying that the other managers are fed up with it. The umpiring in Japan has always pretty much stunk, though with the putrid state of that art in MLB these days it's hard to say it's any better than that in Japan now.
No foreign players got into the game. John Wasdin, though, is out of commission in the minors with an inflamed elbow.
5-6) IP 7.0 PC 124 H 7 HR 0 K 8 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
Kawamoto IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.42
5-2) IP 5.0 PC 95 H 8 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER
5 ERA 2.84
Yamakita IP 2.0 PC 29 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.23
Kito IP 2.0 PC 60 H 7 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.89
2B: S. Abe, Takayuki Saito
HR: Nioka 2 (11)
RBI: T. Shimizu 2, Nioka 4, H. Matsui, Motoki, S. Abe 4, Araki
HBP: Kiyohara (Kawakami), S. Abe (Kawakami)
Season Series: Yomiuri 9, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:49
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Suginaga (1B), Manabe (2B), Watamari (3B)
Kato Just Good Enough to Win 7-3
Kosuke Kato didn't throw anything resembling a great game Friday at Tokyo Dome, being hit up for three earned runs on seven hits, including two homers, in just shy of six innings by the Nippon Ham Fighters. But Hiroyuki Sekine, his opposite number, was was even worse and thus the struggling Kato was able to claim his fourth victory in a 7-3 Lotte triumph. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka had his first four hit game since October of 1999 to lead the way for the Lotte offense.
Lotte struck first in the third, when Kosaka blazed a two out double to leftcenter and first baseman Kazuya Fukuura redeemed him with a single to left to make it 1-0 Lotte.
In the fourth, DH Derrick May homered to right and it was 2-0 Lotte.
Nippon Ham, though, caught and passed Lotte in the home half. Shortstop Makoto Kaneko kicked it off with a single to left and after Sekine fanned the next two men, rightfielder Yukio Tanaka helped a pitch reach escape velocity to leftcenter to knot it at 2-2. Third baseman Takaya Hayashi then went yard to left and the Fighters were in front 3-2.
Kosaka ignited another rally for Lotte when he walked with one down and rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa dialed Ibaraki 6-5000, the call answered by a fan in the centerfield seats who got a free baseball for doing so, and it was 4-3 Lotte.
Lotte then scratched out another tally in the seventh, as Kosaka legged out a roller to third and stole second. One out later, Tachikawa beat one out and Kaneko misfired on the throw so that the runners could advance. May was then intentionally walked to load the bases. Centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to left to drive in the runners to make it 6-3 Lotte. They then tacked on another one in the eighth on an RBI double by Kosaka for the final of 7-3.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .256. Leftfielder D.H. Cromer was 2-4 and is at .270.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with a walk and an RBI and is at .229.
K. Kato (W, 4-9) IP
5.2 PC 76 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.24
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 30 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.06
K. Yamasaki IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.94
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Sikorsky IP 1.1 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.34
3-4) IP 4.2 PC 107 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Tateyama IP 1.1 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
T. Kato IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.54
Muto IP 1.0 PC 23 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.62
N.Takahashi IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Sakurai IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Kosaka 2
HR: May (8), Y. Tanaka (9), Hayashi (1), Tachikawa (4)
RBI: Kosaka, Fukuura, Tachikawa 2, May, S. Omura 2, Y. Tanaka 2, Hayashi
Season Series: Lotte 8, Nippon Ham 4
Game Time: 3:58
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Ichiro Tries on Some Cowboy Boots
See Seattle Times story at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134496186_mnotes19.html
Linares Goes 0-3 in Japan Debut
Cuban slugger Omar Linares started at third and batted fifth for the Chunichi Dragons farm team in a game against the Hanshin Tigers affiliate and grounded out to third three times, one of which was turned for a double play, against second year man Taiyo Fujita, the Tigers 2000 number one draft choice. Linares, who hasn't seen live action since June 17th in his home country, looked rustier than the Dragons management thought he might be at first, so his debut at the big club level will probably be put off until a series with the Hiroshima Carp on the 23rd.
Tsuyoshi Shinjo's SF Giants merchandise is among the most popular items that
the team sells. Still, they were hoping for a bit more than what's come in
thus far. See Asahi Shimbun story in english at:
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 19th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1960, in a game between the Daimai Orions and the Toei Flyers (later Nippon Ham) at Komazawa Stadium, Daimai leftfielder Kazuhiro Yamauchi swung and missed at strike three with the bases loaded and two outs. The ball got past catcher Junzo Ando, though nobody seemed to notice except the Daimai players, who all circled the bases for four runs on the whiff. What a spectacular bit of stupidity by Toei.
Also on that date in 1957, in a game at Osaka Stadium between the Hankyu
Braves and the Nankai Hawks, Braves rightfielder Kiyoshi Watanabe slugged
the ten thousandth homer in Japanese pro baseball history while in the midst
of hitting for the cycle. That was one of just 19 jacks that Watanabe
hit out in his seven year career, in which he batted .248 with a .660 OPS.
He did rack up 142 steals, though.
Giants Poised for Breakaway with 8-5 Victory Over Yokohama
The Yomiuri Giants are just about ready to, for all practical purposes, lock up the Central League title. One more nice little winning streak when the Swallows get bogged down as they have been since the all star break ended and it's all over but the shouting, as they rallied for three runs in the sixth and three more in the seventh Thursday to put the Yokohama Bay Stars away 8-5 at Tokyo Dome Yusaku Iriki is starting to flash more of his 2001 form and picked up his fourth victory with six innings of three run ball.
Daisuke Miura, who is now being watched by the San Diego Padres, started for Yokohama was doing okay for the first five innings, having given up two runs on six hits to that point. However, in the sixth, he began experiencing elbow discomfort, which caused him to lose some zip on the ball and was taken out with the score tied 3-3 and two men on. Later, in the name of prudence, he was taken off the active roster to rest the ailing limb.
Iriki was victimized by a double down the rightfield line from Stars shortstop Takuro Ishii, whom he then stranded by striking out the side for three of his ten whiffs on the night. Giants shortstop Tomohiro Nioka then responded with a drive into the leftfield bleachers for a 1-0 Yomiuri lead.
Yokohama leapfrogged over that, though, in the second, when rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to right and one out later first baseman Takahiro Saeki creamed one over the rightfield wall for a "gyakuten two run" and it was 2-1 Stars.
They added to that in the third, as Ishii leadoff with his second double and went to third on a sac bunt. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki lifted a fly ball to right and Ishii tagged and scored to make it 3-1 Stars.
The Giants took that one back in their half, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu commencing it with a single to right and speeding home on a double into the rightfield corner by centerfielder Godzilla Matsui to shrink the gap to 3-2.
In the sixth, Giants first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara mashed a slider from Miura to the opposite field and put it well into the seats in right to knot it at three all. Third baseman Akira Etoh singled to left. One out later, Miura walked catcher Shinnosuke Abe.Then on his fourth pitch to Koji Goto, Miura signalled to the dugout that something was wrong and he was replaced by Masao Morinaka, who gave up a hit on an infield bleeder to Goto to load the bases. One out later, Nioka singled to left to chase in two runs and it was 5-3 Yomiuri.
Matsui came up to start the Giants half of the seventh and hit a high drive off of an 87mph fastball from Morinaka. The ball went through a crack between some panels in the roof and into the attic of the dome, the umpires calling it a ground rule double. This is the first time something like that has ever happened in Japanese baseball history. Matsui then went to third on a fly to deep right and came in on a sac fly from Daisuke Motoki. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to center and catcher Shinnosuke Abe dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 to right and it was 8-3 Yomiuri.
Yokohama's Seiichi Uchikawa retorted with a pinch hit shot into the leftfield seats off of Hideki Okajima to kick off the eighth and third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa went yard to the same part of the park in the top of the ninth off of Yukinaga Maeda to make it respectable, but that was all the Stars mustered and it ended 8-5 Giants.
The three two baggers in a single game was a second time occurence for Godzilla lifetime.
Kiyohara has now attained double figures in homers for 17 straight seasons right from the start of his career, making him the third player to do that, the others being Shigeo Nagashima and former Lotte Orions third baseman Michiyo Arito. Arito and Nagashima were two of the best all around players of their time while Kiyohara is not, but that is pretty distinguished company.
The Giants have officially thrown in the towel in attempting to aquire Waseda University lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, who is apparently headed to Fukuoka, so now they are taking long looks at Asia University's Hiroshi Hisanuki and Tokai University's Yuya Kubo.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young went up three times and whiffed three times and is at .171. Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .265.
Miura (L, 4-10) IP 5.1 PC
109 H 8 HR 2 K 5 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.22
Morinaka IP 1.2 PC 34 H 5 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.14
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.64
Y. Iriki (W, 4-1) IP 6.0 PC 91 H 4 HR 1 K
10 K 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.06
Okajima IP 2.0 PC 27 H 2 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.89
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.13
SB: Nioka, Kawanaka
2B: T. Ishii 2 H,. Matsui 3,
HR: Nioka (9), Saeki (2), Kiyohara (10), S. Abe (9), Uchikawa (2), Ogawa (6)
RBI: T. Suzuki, Ogawa, Saeki 2, Uchikawa, Nioka 3, H. Matsui, Kiyohara, Motoki, S. Abe 2
SF: Motoki, T. Suzuki
HBP: Y. Takahashi (Miura)
GIDP: Y. Iriki
Season Series: Yokohama 3, Yomiuri 12
Game Time: 3:25
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Mori (1B), ? (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Yakult Surrenders Second Place in 6-5 Loss to Dragons
The Yakult Swallows had won each of the last 12 times that Kevin Hodges had been out on the hill for them this season, but all good things come to an end and the former Mariner righty wasn't exactly knocked all over the lot, but the Chunichi Dragons produced the right kind of hits at the most propitious times and managed to squeak out a 6-5 triumph over Yakult Thursday at Meiji Jingu Stadium. He is now 11-3.
Takashi Ogasawara started for the Nagoya boys and didn't have much, being abused for two runs on four hits in two innings before manager Hisashi Yamada decided to send him off in favor of Shinichiro Koyama, who struckout four in three perfect innings to earn credit for his initial win of 2002.
Yakult took an early lead in the first, when centerfielder Tetsuya Iida leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. One out later, first baseman Roberto Petagine, who was pretty much the be all and end all in the game for the Swallows, got good wood on an Ogasawara offering and deposited it in the centerfield seats to make it 2-0 Yakult.
Yakult then wasted a prime chance in the third, when third baseman Akinori Iwamura tripled to the wall in center, but stayed there as second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi grounded to third, Hodges hit a comebacker to Ogasawara and Iida grounded to second. This failure ended up being the ballgame for the Swallows.
The Dragons rushed in during the bottom of the frame to even it. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige catalyzed it with a single to right. Second baseman Masahiro Araki walked. Both men moved up on a ground ball to short. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata legged out a roller toward third as Tanishige hustled home. Leftfielder Takayuki Onishi singled to center to usher in Araki and it was 2-2.
In the fifth, Araki singled and then somehow got to third, though the game info doesn't say how. Centerfielder Koichi Sekikawa flew out to center and the Dragons had a 3-2 lead.
Chunichi used everything they were given in the seventh to help win the game, as Araki beat out a dribbler and stole second. Sekikawa singled to right. One out later, Hodges plunked Onishi to juice the bags. Swallows manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu waved in reliever Tatsuki Yamamoto, and rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome flied out to center to bring in Araki. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to left and Sekikawa crossed to make it 5-2 Dragons.
In the eighth, Tanishige did his Elvis imitation, leaving the building to rightcenter off of Tomokazu Teramura and the Dragons were separated from Yakult by a grand slam at 6-2.
Yakult tightened it up in the home portion, however, when Mitsuru Manaka leadoff with a pinch hit single to right and, one out later, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto did the same thing. Atsunori Inaba stepped in to pinch hit for Shinichi Sato and he advanced the runners with a groundout to second. Now with first base open, Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada opted to have Hitoki Iwase pitch to Petagine, who flayed one of his deliveries over the rightcenterfield fence to make it 6-5.
The Swallows order couldn't do anything in the ninth, though, and Chunichi went back to the hotel with the W in pocket.
The Dragons number one starter, Shigeki Noguchi, made a rehab appearance Thursday in the minors, being touched for two hits and being clocked at 85mph.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-4 with five RBIs and is at .313. This was his fourth multi-homer game of the season. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .321.
Ogasawara IP 2.0 PC 40 H 4 HR 1
K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
Koyama (W, 1-2) IP 3.0 PC 29 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
Endo IP 2.1 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.08
Iwase IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.71
Ochiai IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Gaillard (S, 19) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.67
Hodges (L, 11-3) IP 6.1
PC 99 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.79
T. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
Teramura IP 1.0 PC 29 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.15
Newman IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.04
R. Igarashi IP 0.1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.03
HR: Petagine 2 (22), Tanishige (13)
RBI: Ibata, Onishi, Fukudome, Tatsunami, Tanishige, Sekikawa, Petagine 5
SF: Sekimoto, Fukudome
HBP: Jinno (Hodges), Inaba (Endo), Onishi (Hodges)
Season Series: Chunichi 7, Yakult 9
Game Time: 3:19
Umpires: Kiuchi (HP), Watada (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Hanshin Skid Continues in Defeat by Hiroshima 6-1
The Hanshin Tigers just can't get in gear and they are paying for it with a fourth place showing these days, as the Hiroshima Carp called up 20 year old third year southpaw Takaya Kawauchi, who dazzled the Osaka bunch on three hits and a run in 6.1 innings before retiring for the night to earn his fourth lifetime victory and his first in this campaign. Tetsuro Kawajiri have up a lot of hits, nine, in 5.2 innings, and was charged with three earned runs for his second consecutive loss. Tigers short man (in more ways than one; the ex-Lion is 5'6") Takehiro Hashimoto, 37, reeked again performance wise and he may want to start looking at rocking chairs, since his days as a hurler could be numbered.
After getting two hits in both the first and second only to see the runners left on the basepaths, Hiroshima finally put something on the big board in the third when leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto got out an old Krokus record and treated Kawajiri to a rendition of "Long Stick Goes Boom" in the rightfield seats for a 1-0 Carp lead.
The contest moved on rather quietly from then on until the sixth, when the Carp schooled Kawajiri. With one out, third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to center. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to left. Kawauchi advanced them with a sac bunt. Shinji Taninaka was brought in by Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to center and Arai and Kimura wheeled homeward to make it 3-0 Hiroshima.
Next time up, Hiroshima snagged a deuce. With one away, Kanemoto tripled to rightcenter. First baseman Luis Lopez was struck by a Taninaka pitch. Takuya Kimura pinch ran. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda tapped one toward first, but first baseman George Arias and Taninaka couldn't get together on it and it was ruled a gift hit and Kanemoto sat back down in the dugout. Hirose came in to pinch run for Maeda. The runners took off and Hanshin catcher Akihiro Yano threw it down the leftfield line in endeavoring to nail Kimura to make it 5-0 Carp.
In the bottom of the inning, Arias smoked one into the leftcenterfield seats for his first longball in 22 games covering 92 at bats, his 19th of the year and it was 5-1 Carp.
Hiroshima were bestowed another gift by the generous Tigers defense in the ninth, as Kanemoto legged out a bouncer toward short. Takuya Kimura grounded to third baseman Atsushi Kataoka, who booted it. Toshiyuki Hesaka came in to face rightfielder Jun Hirose, who laid down a sac bunt. Hesaka then balked with Arai at the dish and Kanemoto jogged in to push it to 6-1. I wonder how many lockers or trash receptacles met an untimely demise at the hands and feet of the mercurial Hoshino when this one was over. This was uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugly!
Carp reliever Kanei Kobayashi then sent Hanshin off quietly in the last of the ninth and it was over.
As if the Tigers needed bad news in the wake of a game such as this, backup outfielder Tomochika Tsuboi is likely done for the season after what they thought was a severe ankle sprain a couple of months ago turned out to be a hairline fracture. Man, who are they taking these players to?
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .257. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-1 with a walk and is at .239.
For Hiroshima, second baseman Eddie Diaz was 1-4 and is at .313. Lopez was 1-3 with a walk and is at .249.
Kawauchi (W, 1-0) IP 6.1 PC 82
H 3 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.42
Tamaki IP 1.2 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.03
K. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.20
0-2) IP 5.2 PC 75 H 9 HR 1 K 3
BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.40
Taninaka IP 1.1 PC 35 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 4.12
Yuminaga IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T.H. Hashimoto IP 0.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 27.00
Hesaka IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Lopez, Kataoka 2, Yano
SB: T. Kimura, Hirose
HR: Kanemoto (14), Arias (19)
RBI: Ogata 2, Kanemoto, T. Maeda, Arias
HBP: Lopez (Taninaka)
GIDP: Kawauchi, Yano
Season Series: Hiroshima 7, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 3:18
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Manabe (1B), Shimada (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Two RBI Days from Abe, Takano Beats One by Orix' Sheldon 4-2
Keeping his slow curve ball down and then burning the hitters on high heat, Jeremy Powell picked up his tenth victory Thursday at Osaka Dome for the Kintetsu Buffaloes thanks to two RBI nights from shortstop Masahiro Abe and rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano that trumped the pair that a red hot Scott Sheldon, who just missed the cycle in this one, knocked in to take it 4-2.
Ed Yarnell started for Orix and he had an okay performance, giving up three runs on six hits in six innings to get stuck with his ninth loss.
Orix went out to a temporary lead in the second, when Sheldon went bomb's away to left to make it 1-0 Blue Wave.
Kintetsu loaded the bases in the third on an infield single and two walks with two outs, but first baseman Yuji Yoshioka popped out to stem the threat.
Sheldon doubled in the fourth with one out and Powell plunked Makoto Shiozaki. However, Powell sucked it up and fanned the next two men to elude any damage.
In the bottom of the same frame, Abe locked it up at 1-1 when he performed a longball serenade to left and it was 1-1.
Then in the sixth, Yoshioka clocked a one out single to center and DH Hirotoshi Kitagawa singled to right. Presumably there was a wild pitch or a passed ball in this sequence to move the runners to second and third and Takano, making his first start in ten days, raked a fastball to right for a single and a 3-1 Kintetsu advantage.
Kintetsu completed their scoring in the eighth, when Kitagawa doubled into the leftfield corner and went to third on a sac bunt and Abe doubled to leftcenter to cash in Kitagawa to make it 4-1.
Sheldon, who had singled in the sixth, came up in the ninth needing a triple for the cycle and instead created some major elevation to the lefthand side off of Akinori Otsuka to bring his side within 4-2 as the ball disappeared into the second deck. But the following three men couldn't get the ball out of the infield and Orix was back in last place.
Reds number one draft Mike Schramek had a light workout for Orix, the youngster saying that he was at about 80% due to jet lag. He told the press that scouts have compared him to the Atlanta Braves Chipper Jones. Uh huh.
Kintetsu sent Mike Johnson down to the minors to have him make some starts with an eye to perhaps giving him a rotation shot. He hasn't done well in middle relief, as his six appearances have netted a 9.00 ERA.
For Orix, Sheldon was 4-4 with two RBIs and is at .261. He is 7-11 since the break. DH Fernando Seguignol was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .203.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-2 with two walks and is at .246.
Yarnell (L, 4-9) IP 6.0 PC 117 H 6 HR
1 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.69
Kobayashi IP 1.1 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
Iwashita IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.14
J. Hagiwara IP 0.1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Powell (W, 10-5) IP 8.0 PC 119 H 5 HR 1 K
10 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.18
Otsuka (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
2B: Sheldon, Kitagawa, M. Abe
HR: Sheldon 2 (13), M. Abe (4)
RBI: Sheldon 2, M. Abe 2, Takano 2
HBP: Shiozaki (Powell), Matoyama (Kobayashi)
GIDP: Tani, M. Abe
Season Series: Orix 3, Kintetsu 11
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Yamamura (1B), Nagami (2B), Iizuka (3B)
Pair of Valdez Two Run Blasts Topples Lotte 5-3
Two homers by Daiei Hawks leftfielder Pedro Valdez, each with a man on, provided enough offense for the bird of prey to down the Chiba Lotte Marines Thursday at Chiba Marine Stadium 5-3. Rookie Toshiya Sugiuchi started for Daiei and was shaken down for three runs in five innings to get a no decision, which instead went to reliever Katsunori Okamoto. Shingo Ono's tough season continues, as he was drilled for three runs in 5.1 innings, though he didn't figure in the decision, either. Brian Sikorsky was on the mound when Valdez connected for his second homer, so he took his sixth loss.
Daiei got on top in the first, as centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. One out later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to left and Shibahara crossed to make it 1-0.
Lotte returned the favor in the bottom half, when centerfielder Saburo Omura legged out an infield roller, was sacrificed to second and came all the way around on a double to center from first baseman Kazuya Fukuura to knot it at 1-1.
In the fourth, Lotte DH Koichi Hori delighted the home folks with a drive into the leftfield seats, his tenth of the year and it was 2-1 Lotte.
Daiei, though, surmounted that occurrence in the fifth. With one gone, Kokubo walked and, following another out, Valdez clouted a big fly to rightcenter to put the Hawks up 3-2.
Lotte wasn't discouraged. In their ups in the same stanza, Saburo Omura slapped a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Fukuura singled to center and Omura scored uncontested to even it at 3-3.
Sikorsky came on in the seventh and put the first two batters away, but first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to right and Valdez lost one over the leftfield wall and it was 5-3 Hawks.
Lotte got a single to leadoff the ninth from second baseman Tadaharu Sakai, but Daiei closer Rodney Pedraza induced a flyout from pinch hitter Derrick May and leftfielder Kenji Morozumi grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to put it in the refrigerator for the Hawks.
Daiei catcher Kenji Johjima, who is out after breaking a collarbone earlier in the season, has started working out again and will be back with the team soon for the stretch drive.
For Lotte, May was 0-1 and is at .229.
For Lotte, Valdez was 2-4 with a walk and four RBIs and is at .295.
IP 5.0 PC 113 H 5 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.02
K. Okamoto (W, 2-1) IP 1.2 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.02
S. Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
Pedraza (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
IP 5.1 PC 99 H 5 HR 1 K 6 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.50
Fujita IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.97
Sikorsky (L, 2-6) IP 1.2 PC 38 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.43
T. Tanaka IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.31
K. Yamasaki IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.03
E: Matsunaka, Fukuura
2B: Fukuura, Taguchi, Shibahara
HR: P. Valdez 2 (14), Hori (9)
RBI: P. Valdez 4, Kokubo, Hori, Fukuura 2
HBP: Iguchi (S. Ono)
Season Series: Daiei 12, Lotte 4
Game Time: 4:03
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Tsugawa (3B)
MLB Labor Dispute May Mean No NPB-MLB All Star Series
According to Sports Nippon, acrimonious and unsettled labor negotiations between players and management in MLB may preclude the scheduled all star series between the best of Japan's and MLB's stars this coming November. Geez, how many times do you get to shoot yourself in the foot before an amputation becomes necessary?
This year's series was going to be especially salutary since it would give U.S. baseball fans a chance to see Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui and Kintetsu Buffaloes slugging third baseman Norihiro Nakamura before the bidding for their services on both sides of the Pacific will begin in earnest. Each man is a free agent.
Padres Taking a Look at Yokohama's Miura
The San Diego Padres
will send a scout as well as a special assistant to their GM to Japan on
August third to look at Yokohama Bay Stars ace Daisuke Miura, according to
Sankei Sports. They will reportedly be in country for three weeks to watch
him. Miura, 28, is eligible for free
agency, though he hasn't indicated if he intends to stay or go. He is righthanded and throws a high 80's fastball along with a slider, a forkball
and a curve ball with excellent command. San Diego was sent a glowing report on Miura, who is known by the nickname "bancho," which is an
affectionate term for team leader, by their Japan scout, Yoshiyuki Sano, who really likes Miura's cutter.
Biographical info: born on Christman day in 1973 in Nara Prefecture. Went to Takada Commercial High School before being drafted on the sixth round by Yokohama in 1991. He has won ten games or more four of the last five years. This year, he has pitched in tough luck for a hopeless last place Bay Stars offense and was 4-9 with a 2.96 ERA before the game earlier today. Overall, he was 75-64 with a 3.60 ERA. This season, he is making just short of $1 million at the current exchange rate.
The Hanshin Tigers
have also indicated that they will make a concerted effort to sign Miura.
However, in Thursday's start, he left after complaining of discomfort in
his throwing arm in the sixth, so we'll see what happens with that. He hasn't
had it examined yet. He was hammered
for five earned runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings for his tenth loss and it raised his ERA to 3.22 and his record to 4-10. You can see a pic of him
Fighters, Diamondbacks Sign Working Agreement
See Yomiuri Shimbun story in english at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020719wo53.htm
Park Jae-hong MVP of KBO All Star Game
See Korea Times story
in english at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071818433647110.htm
July 17, 2002
Matsui Powers Decisive Eight Run Rally to Beat Yokohama 10-5
Trailing 4-1 when he leadoff the bottom of the sixth inning Wednesday at Tokyo Dome, Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui initiated an eight run rally with a single to right off of Ryuichi Kawahara and then capped it off with a two run homer off of Shintaro Takeshita when he came up again in the same frame in a 10-5 Giants victory over the Yokohama Bay Stars. Reliever Daisuke Kawamoto was credited with the win while Takeshita accepted responsibility for the defeat.
Shane Bowers started for the Stars and while he experienced some wildness
with four walks, he held the Giants order to one hit and an unearned run
in five innings to get a disappointing no decision. You can see a pic of
him from this contest at:
Hisanori Takahashi was on the hill for Yomiuri and had a weak outing, going 5.1 innings and being lit up for four earned runs on six hits while free passing four and striking out three.
It was deadlocked at zero until the fifth, when an error by Yokohama first baseman Takahiro Saeki on a groundball from Giants second baseman Toshihisa Nishi gave them an opening. Nishi then swiped second and galloped around on a single to center from catcher Shinnosuke Abe to make it 1-0 Yomiuri.
Yokohama countered by knocking Takahashi out of the game in the top of the sixth. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki catalyzed it with a single to center. Centerfielder Ernie Young walked. One out later, third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa lined a screamer down the rightfield line that plated Suzuki. Rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura was intentionally walked to set up a force at every base. Pinch hitter Seiichi Uchikawa singled to left to drive in Young. After another out, shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to left to add another pair and it was 4-1 Stars.
However, that lead was soon to be erased. Matsui spanked an 86mph fastball for a single between first and second and into rightfield. Kawahara was replaced by Kazumasa Azuma. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara singled to center. Both men moved up on a ground ball to short by third baseman Akira Etoh. Nishi then singled to center to usher in Matsui. Exit Azuma and enter Takeshita. Nishi stole second. One out later, pinch hitter Daisuke Motoki hit one toward the rightcenter gap. Tamura cut it off and fired a throw right on the money to Ishii at second, who thought they had Motoki dead to rights. However, the umpire called him safe, which brought Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori out of the dugout and he engaged in a heated and reportedly profane exchange with the arbiter before stomping off. Amazingly, Mori didn't get tossed. In any event, it was now tied 4-4. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, who just became a first time dad with the birth of their daughter this past week, singled to left to cash in Motoki. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka torched a Takeshita delivery off the centerfield fence for a double and Shimizu sprinted in to make it 6-4 Yomiuri. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to left to convert Nioka. Matsui's turn came once more and he jackhamered a slider 420 feet away into the leftcenterfield seats and it was 9-4 Giants.
They then tacked on another one in the seventh, when Abe and Motoki both singled to center with two outs and Abe was dispatched plateward on a double to rightcenter from Shimizu to widen the Yomiuri advantage to 10-4. You can see a pic of Godzilla's swing at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200207/image/071801matuiNK216717_b.jpg
Suzuki homered to right off of Hector Almonte to leadoff the ninth for Yokohama, but that was their last gasp and it ended 10-5 Giants.
Mori revealed after the game that the way that second base umpire Kamimoto was talking to him it was like he was trying to make fools out of the players. Fortunately for him, you don't get fined in the Japanese leagues for talking smack about the officiating as you do in MLB.
Arizona Diamondbacks Pacific Rim scouting coordinaltor Jim Marshall, who played in Japan himself at one time, was in the stands, paying what was termed a "courtesy visit" since the snakes just signed a new working agreement with Nippon Ham. In truth, he was there to see Matsui. Don't know how Arizona is going to afford him, though.
For Yokohama, Young was 0-2 with two walks and an HBP and is at .177. Boi Rodriges was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .264.
IP 5.0 PC 106 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.54
R. Kawahara IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.48
Azuma IP 0.1 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.42
Takeshita (L, 2-2) IP 0.1 PC 21 H 5 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.39
Fukumori IP 1.1 PC 23 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
Morinaka IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.53
IP 5.1 PC 113 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.18
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.52
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.85
Kawamoto (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.00
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
SB: Etoh, Nishi 2
2B: Ogawa, Motoki, Nioka, T. Shimizu
HR: H. Matsui (19), T. Suzuki (5)
RBI: T. Ishii 2, T. Suzuki, Ogawa, Uchikawa, T. Shimizu 2, Nioka, Y. Takahashi, H. Matsui 2, Nishi, S. Abe, Motoki 2
IBB: S. Abe, Tamura
HBP: Young (Almonte)
Season Series: Yokohama 3, Yomiuri 11
Game Time: 4:02
Umpires: Ino (HP), ? (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Arisumi (3B)
No Run Support Again---Sakamoto Loses 1-0 to Dragons
Yataro Sakamoto is barely old enough to drink (the legal age there is 20), but apparently not old enough to get his second pro win, since Yakult failed to muster any offense for him again Wednesday and he was hung with his sixth kuroboshi after seven innings of one run ball on eight hits while striking out seven and walking none because Chunichi Dragons starter Melvin Bunch didn't permit and Yakult Swallows runners to cross home plate on the seven singles he was touched for in seven innings and that is how it ended up, a 1-0 loss for the birds at Meiji Jingu Stadium.
The Dragons struck for their lone tally in the second, when third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami leadoff with a single to center, first baseman Takeshi Yamasaki doubled to leftcenter and Hidenori Kuramoto hit a fly ball double to right to push Tatsunami in. Yamasaki, though, only got as far as third waiting for it to drop in and thus it was 1-0 visitors.
In the seventh, Dragons leftfielder Takayuki Onishi saved the day for his side with an electric catch. The inning began with Bunch plunking third baseman Akinori Iwamura, who was sacrificed to second. Pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama walked. Both men advanced aon a groundout to first. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto wacked a liner that looked headed for the warning track and two RBIs when Onishi, running with his back to the plate, made a lunging dive and snagged the extra base bid for the third out. You can see a pic of Onishi in mid-dive at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200207/image/071806ohnisiNK238717_b.jpg
Yakult made one last ditch effort to even it in the ninth against Dragons closer Eddie Gaillard. Iwamura leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. Pinch hitter Hirobumi Watarai grounded to short for the second out. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka then popped out to the catcher and it was "game setto."
For Chunichi, Bunch was 1-3 and is at .286.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 2-3 with a walk and is at .309. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 and is at .326.
7-6) IP 7.0 PC 118 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.16
Iwase IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.44
Ochiai IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.13
Gaillard (S, 18) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.73
Sakamoto (L, 1-6)
IP 7.0 PC 98 H 8 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.75
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 22 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.33
R. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.04
2B: T. Yamasaki, Kuramoto,
Onishi 2, Tatsunami
HBP: Iwamura (Bunch)
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Yakult 9
Game Time: 3:24
Umpires: Tani (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Kasahara (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Matsui Still Hurting, But Fighters Feel the Pain 3-0
Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui maybe ought to get hit in the thigh more often. Wednesday, he homered, doubled and scored two runs behind starter Hsu Ming-cheh, who had a no hitter for 6.2 innings, and three relievers, who combined to shutout the Nippon Ham Fighters 3-0. Matsui is now batting .326 with 28 doubles, 18 homers and 18 steals with an OPS of .991 while committing a mere four errors in another Gold Glove quality season and grounding into one double play total. Do I smell best nine for the switch hitting PL Gakuen grad?
Itsuki Shoda continues to sparkle for the Fighters with an otherwise credible seven inning, three run effort, but he's another guy whose been suffering from mediocre run support and so is now 2-5 with a 2.99 ERA.
Matsui leadoff the bottom of the first inning and mashed a Shoda delivery off the leftfield wall for a two bagger and was sacrificed to third. Leftfielder Tetsuya Kakiuchi singled to center to make it 1-0 Lions. First baseman Alex Cabrera singled to right. DH Kazuhiro Wada grounded into a 6-4 force. Centerfielder Hiroyuki Shibata singled to right to plate Kakiuchi and Seibu was up by a pair at 2-0.
Shoda then pretty much cut the Lions order off until the seventh, when he threw a knee high slider over the heart of the plate to Matsui and he put a terrifying swing on it, launching it 455 feet into the second deck in straigthtaway centerfield to make it 3-0 Seibu. That is under "monku nashi" in your handheld electronic dictionary, or "no doubt about it." He needs one more to make it 100 lifetime.
Kiyoshi Toyoda strode in from the bullpen in the ninth and while being shaken down for the obligatory basehit by PL batting leader Michihiro Ogasawara, kept everyone else on the infield for his 16th save. Thanks to the fine pitching display, this one was over in exactly two hours and 30 minutes.
For Nippon Ham, leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .267. DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 and is at .256.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 and is at .286. Third baseman Tom Evans was 0-2 with a walk and is at .274.
2-5) IP 7.0 PC 107 H 8 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.99
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.45
3-5) IP 5.2 PC 76 H 1 HR
0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.06
Mitsui IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
Mori IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.47
Toyoda (S, 16) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.19
SB: M. Ogasawara, Hirao,
2B: K. Matsui
HR: K. Matsui (18)
RBI: K. Matsui, Kakiuchi, H. Shibata
Season Series: Nippon Ham 5, Seibu 11
Game Time: 2:30
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Nakamura (1B), Akimura (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Valdez Blows it for Hanshin 3-2
Hanshin Tigers starter Kei Igawa, who will probably receive an MVP if his squad can right themselves and outlast the Giants and Swallows in the Central League pennant race, was brilliant Wednesday at Koshien Stadium before what had to be the Osaka outfit's smallest turnout of the year, 28,000, only to see closer Mark Valdez blow up like Rosie O'Donnell at a buffet table, and he didn't get the victory he so richly deserved in the Tigers 3-2 loss to the Hiroshima Carp.
Hiroki Kuroda started for the Red Hell and he certainly wasn't bad, being charged with two eighth inning runs on six hits, but he left behind 2-1 before Valdez frittered it away.The shiroboshi ultimately went to Shigeo Tamaki, who is now 3-1.
Hiroshima broke through first in the fourth, when shortstop Akihiro Higashide leadoff with a single to center and second baseman Eddie Diaz walked. One out later, first baseman Luis Lopez took a fastball for a ride aboard the rightfield line for a double that chased in Higashide and it was 1-0 Carp.
The stellar pitching display carried on until the eighth, when Hanshin climbed on top. Pinch hitter Koji Hirashita commenced things with a walk and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Shuta Tanaka zapped a double down the leftfield line and Hirashita chugged in to level it at 1-1. One out later, first baseman George Arias flamed one down the rightfield line to exploit Tanaka and it was 2-1 Tigers.
The top of the ninth must have seemed as if went on forever for the Hanshin faithful. Valdez made 28 pitches in that one disastrous stanza and so no wonder it appeared to last an eternity. Diaz welcomed Valdez with a single to left. Kazuki Fukuchi stepped in to run for him. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto walked. Both men were sacrificed along. Wisely, Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino ordered that the dangerous rightfielder, Tomonori Maeda, be given a freebie to first base. He was pinch run for by Kazunori Okagami. Third baseman Takahiro Arai swung and missed for strike three and two were now out. Itsuki Asai was asked to pinch hit by Carp boss Koji Yamamoto. Asai, who has been a valuable bench player this season, responded with a two RBI single to left on a 1-1 fastball and it was 3-2 Hiroshima.
Hanshin got two men on in the bottom of the ninth with one out on an infield hit and a walk, but second baseman Makoto Imaoka grounded to Takuya Kimura at second, that being 4-6-3 if you're scoring at home and Hanshin was done.
For Hiroshima, Lopez, who is finally beginning to stir offensively after a long sleep, was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .247. Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and is at .314.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .257. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-2 and is at .240. Obviously, CL hurlers have figured White out and are dining on him. A trip to the minors to workout his problems might be in order here. Hanshin needs some kind of spark for a stagnant offense.
IP 7.2 PC 112 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.82
Tamaki (W, 3-1) IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.21
Oyamada (S, 20) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.05
IP 8.0 PC 105 H 4 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.70
M. Valdez (L, 1-2) IP 1.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.63
2B: Lopez, Hiyama, S. Tanaka, Arias
RBI: Lopez, I. Asai 2, S. Tanaka, Arias
IBB: Yano, T. Maeda
GIDP: Arias, Imaoka
Season Series: Hiroshima 6, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Shimada (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Daiei Sinks Further Back in 5-3 Defeat to Lotte
The Daiei Hawks go some great news Wednesday when it was revealed that Waseda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada, who would most likely have been the top one or two picks in this year's draft, has apparently chosen to sign with the Fukuoka nine. Unfortunately, that doesn't do them much good now at a time when Hawks starters can't seem to make it through the fifth, as starter Tomohiro Nagai was well short of standard in taking a 5-3 defeat at the hands of the Chiba Lotte Marines.
Despite downing the birds of prey, Lotte management was informed that number one starter Tomohiro Kuroki, who absolutely owned an MLB all star team in 2000, will likely be shutdown for the season with shoulder and arm pain. Most likely, he needs surgery, but so far there has been no talk of that, a really stupid move on Lotte's part. They are messing with one of Japan's top moundsmen and a guy who is ready to pitch in the major leagues right now if it weren't for this injury. Somebody in the front office in Chiba needs a clue package.
Amyway, whilst awaiting Kuroki's return, Naoyuki Shimizu held the fort just fine Wednesday at Chiba Marine Stadium, going 8.2 innings of three run ball on seven hits to snatch his seventh win and administering a very costly loss to a foundering Hawks franchise since the Lions won another one.
Lotte shortstop Makoto Kosaka (incidentally, ever notice how many infielders are named Makoto?) tripled with one out in the first, but the wan Lotte bats left him there.
In the fifth, though, Nagai's control went south and Lotte established a firm beach head. Catcher Takumi Shigi kicked it off with a double to leftcenter and was sacrificed to third. Leftfielder Kenji Morozumi extended his hitting streak to 24 games with an infield single. One out later, first baseman Kazuya Fukuura was intentionally walked to pack the sacks. Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa walked to force in a run. Sayonara Nagai, konbanwa Nobuyasu Matsu, who walked DH Derrick May for Lotte's second score. Junji Hoshino was commanded to the center of the diamond and third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba made everything nice and tidy by doubling to leftcenter for three quick RBIs and a 5-0 Lotte advantage.
Daiei broke up the shutout in the seventh, when third baseman Hiroki Kokubo went yard to left and it was 5-1 Lotte.
Shimizu endeavored to finish it off in the ninth, but just couldn't quite reach the end. With two gone, Kokubo rained number 21 of the year into the centerfield seats. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka doubled down the leftfield line. Pinch hitter Motoi Okoshi singled to center to drive in Matsunaka. Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto had to resort to closer Masahide Kobayashi, who stopped the madness with a strikeout on four pitches of rightfielder Arihito Muramatsu and it was 5-3 final in Lotte's favor.
Morozumi's knock skein is now second all time for the Lotte ballclub, the longest being 26, set by ex-Yankee, Art Lopez in 1968, when they were the Tokyo Orions, according to Sports Nippon.
For Lotte, May was 0-1 with three walks and an RBI and is at .230.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 and is at .292.
0-2) IP 4.2 PC 87 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA 5.09
Matsu IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.35
J. Hoshino IP 2.1 PC 31 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.38
Tanoue IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.09
N. Shimizu (W,
7-5) IP 8.2 PC 125 H 7 HR 2 K 6 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.56
M. Kobayashi (s, 16) IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
2B: Matsunaka 2, Shigi, Hatsushiba,
HR: Kokubo 2 (21)
RBI: Kokubo 2, Okoshi, Tachikawa, May, Hatsushiba 3
Season Series: Daiei 11, Lotte 4
Game Time: 3:06
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Yamazaki (1B), Tachibana (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Kintetsu Walks Back to Win 8-7
In the wake of a nice surge in June, the Kintetsu Buffaloes are having trouble denting that Seibu Lions lead in July and almost dropped another one before overcoming a 5-0 deficit to ultimately take it 8-7. Akira Okamoto improved his record to 4-0 while Orix closer Masanobu Okubo saw his record go to 1-4.
Orix appeared that they were going to pummel their Kansai rivals when in the first, centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani leadoff the game with a double off the centerfield fence and advanced on an infield hit by second baseman Koichi Oshima. Kintetsu starter Hideo Koike threw a wild pitch while in the course of walking leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani and Tani hustled in to make it 1-0. First baseman Scott Sheldon then homered to rightcenter and it was 4-0 for the Kobe contingent.
In the third, Oshima belted his first roundtripper of the 2002 campaign and it was 5-0 Orix.
Kintetsu got it together in the fourth, when centerfielder Naoyuki Omura leadoff with a single to right and second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi torched one into the leftcenter alley and all the way to the wall for a standup double and an RBI. One out later, third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, who had been told by his wife Hiroko that she thought he had been overswinging lately, went up to the plate just looking to hit something hard and boy, did he, as he put a whipping on a shuuto from Hisashi Ogura and blazed it into the leftfield seats to get his side within 5-3. That was his first homer in six games.
Kintetsu reliever Daisuke Miyamoto had some command problems in the fifth, though, as third baseman Tatsuya Shindo doubled to leftcenter, Shiotani beat out a bunt and both Sheldon and shortstop Makoto Shiozaki walked to force in a run for a 6-3 advantage.Miyamoto prevented any more scoring by inducing an inning ending double play.
The Buffs then went back on the chain gang in the fifth to make it a whole new ballgame. With one out, pinch hitter Hirotoshi Kitagwa doubled off the leftfield wall. Omura walked. Mizuguchi singled to left and Kitagwa reported. One out later, Nakamura flambed a double down the leftfield line to chase in both Mizuguchi and Omura with the tying runs and it was 6-6. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi singled Nakamura in and now the Buffs were in the catbird seat at 7-6.
Pinch hitter Koji Takamizawa, however, evened it back up in the eighth when he homered to right and it was 7-7.
The big bopping Buffs then played a little small ball in the eighth when they got walks to Nakamura and Kawaguchi, a sac bunt, an intentional walk to rightfielder Koichi Isobe and a single to center from pinch hitter Daisuke Masuda to take an 8-7 lead.
Orix put a man on second with one out in the ninth, but Akinori Otsuka struck the next man out and lured pinch hitter Takeshi Hidaka into grounding out and this see saw affair was int he books.
Former Buffaloes slugger Ralph Bryant was visiting his old club with ex-Hankyu slugger Boomer Wells in tow, Wells recommending that Nakamura sign with Atlanta. Nakamura reportedly didn't take too kindly to the suggestion, according to press reports, for whatever reason. I think he's afraid of who he will sign with next season will become a distraction for his team.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-2 with three walks and three RBIs and is at .248. DH Fernando Seguignol was was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .207.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-4 and is at .248.
IP 4.1 PC 80 H 7 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 5.73
Iwashita IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.43
J. Hagiwara IP 2.1 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.22
Okubo (L, 1-4) IP 1.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.16
IP 2.1 PC 58 H 5 HR 2 K 3 BB 2 R 5 ER 4 ERA 5.88
D. Miyamoto IP 2.0 PC 46 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.28
Y. Takagi IP 1.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.13
A. Okamoto (W, 4-0) IP 2.1 PC 29 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.82
A.N. Otsuka (S, 2) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
2B: Tani, Shiotani, Mizuguchi,
Kawaguchi, Shindo, Kitagawa, N. Nakamura
HR: Sheldon (11), k. Oshima (1), N. Nakamura (25), Takamizawa (4)
RBI: K. Oshima, Sheldon 3, Shiozaki, Takamizawa, Mizuguchi 2, N. Nakamura 4, Kawaguchi
GIDP: Yoshioka, Miwa, Shiotani
Season Series: Orix 3, Kintetsu 10 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:39
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kodera (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 17th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1960, Crowm Prince Akihito (who is now Japan's Emperor) and his wife, Michiko, attended their first baseball game at Korakuen Stadium, a battle between the Hankyu Braves and the Daimai Orions.
Also on that date in 1971, in an all star game at Nishinomiya Stadium, Hanshin Tigers hurler Yutaka Enatsu fanned a record nine in a row in what ended up as a combined no hitter against the Pacific League forces.
July 16, 2002
First just a quick comment: If you had the numbers 3 and 0 in your office's Central League betting pool, you hit the jackpot Tuesday, as all three tilts in the circuit were decided by 3-0 scores. Now on to the action....
Hanshin Off to Good Second Half Start with Shutout of Hiroshima
Hanshin Tigers righthander Keiichi Yabu limited the Hiroshima Carp to five hits and then two relievers followed that up with perfect one inning stints, as the Osaka favorite sons kicked off the second half of the seaosn with a 3-0 victory Tuesday at Koshien Stadium. This was the seventh shutout suffered by Hiroshima to date. Moreover, this is Yabu's third triumph against the fish in 2002 and his 23rd lifetime among 68 total career wins. Clearly, Yabu owns these guys. You can see a pic of his delivery at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/07/17/20020717004747.jpg
Masayuki Hasegawa started for Hiroshima and did a nice job, giving up two runs in six innings on six hits, but ended up with his third loss against seven wins.
Hanshin blew a big scoring opportunity in the second, when rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama, who had been zero for his last five games, singled to center and went to third on a double down the leftfield line by centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka. However, Hasegawa induced a shallow flyout and fanned the two batters after that to snuff the threat.
In the third, though, Hanshin got all the runs it would need. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka ripped a double to leftcenter to open the inning and was sacrificed to third. One out later, first baseman George Arias got an 89mph fastball on the outer half of the plate and tattooed it into the rightcenter alley to plate Imaoka while he cruised into second standing up. Hiyama singled to center to convert Arias and it was 2-0 Tigers.
Hiroshima attempted to mount a comeback in the fourth, as they used two walks and a single to load the bases with one out, but catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura grounded a 3-2 fastball to Atsushi Kataoka at third, who turned it into a twin killing to keep the score at 2-0.
Neither side did much of anything until the seventh, when Hanshin pinch hitter Katsumi Hirosawa walked to begin the frame and was pinch run for by Fumikazu Takanami, who stole second. One out later, Pinch hitter Koji Hirashita singled to center and Hirosawa scampered in and it was 3-0 Tigers.
Hanshin's regular centerfielder, Norihiro Akahoshi, made a minor league rehab start earlier today in the minors since breaking his tibia when he fouled a pitch off of it three months ago. He went 0-4, which is almost to be expected considering he hasn't seen game action in so long.
For Hiroshima, First baseman Luis Lopez was 1-4 and is at .246. Second baseman Eddie Diaz was 1-4 and is at .314.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .257. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 and is at .242.
Hasegawa (L, 7-3) IP 6.0
PC 89 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.91
K. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.27
8-4) IP 7.0 PC 103 H 5 HR 0 K 4
BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.56
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.22
M.Valdez (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.01
SB: S. Tanaka, Takanami
2B: Hamanaka, Imaoka,
RBI: Hirashita, Arias, Hiyama
HBP: Ogata (Yabu)
GIDP: K. Kimura 2, Arias
Season Series: Hiroshima 5, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kittaka (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Holt Three Hits Yomiuri
Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe made his first appearance since going on the shelf with a leg injury suffered in a hellacious collision just a little over three weeks ago at the plate, but neither he nor his teammates could make any hay off of Yokohama Bay Stars starter Chris Holt, who mowed them down on three hits while striking out five and walking two (he also plunked a batter) to post his first complete game shutout in Japan 3-0. The former third round draft choice of the Houston Astros is now 4-3.
Masumi Kuwata continues to be one of the pitching stories of the year for Yomiuri, as he went seven sparkling innings of five hit, one run ball to lower his ERA to 2.19. Unfortunately, he also suffered his sixth defeat against four wins.
The match was scoreless until the fourth, when Yokohama leftfielder Takanori Suzuki scorched a one out double down the rightfield line and then came around on a curve ball spanked safely to left by centerfielder Ernie Young to make it 1-0 Stars.
Nobody made anymore headway until the top of the ninth, when Yokohama rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura cracked a two out single to left and third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa then rocketed an offering from Giants reliever Jeon Min-tae into the rightfield seats and it was 3-0. Holt retired three of the four men he saw in the home portion and it was "game setto."
Yomiuri shortstop Tomohiroi Nioka was hit in the lefthand by Holt in the first and was removed from the game. X rays showed only a bruise, so he is day to day.
For Yokohama, Young was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .182. Starting rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-3 with two strikeouts and is at .265.
Holt (W, 4-3) IP 9.0 PC 123 H 3 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.78
4-6) IP 7.0 PC 89 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.19
Jeon IP 2.0 PC 25 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
E: T. Ishii
2B: T. Suzuki
HR: Ogawa (5)
RBI: Young, Ogawa 2
HBP: Nioka (Holt)
Season Series: Yokohama 3, Yomiuri 10
Game Time: 2:36
Umpires: Mori (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Arisumi (2B), Ino (3B)
Yakult Stifled by Asakura on Three Hits
A two run homer by Chunichi Dragons first baseman Takeshi Yamasaki backed a phenomenal outing by starter Kenta Asakura Tuesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium, as the Nagoya crew beat their Tokyo counterparts 3-0. Shugo Fujii was hung with the loss, his fourth.
Fujii walked his only man during his five innings in the fourth and it came back to haunt him, as Yamasaki powdered a fastball over the leftfield wall to give the Dragons a 2-0 edge.
An inning later, Masahiro Araki leadoff for Chunichi with a single to center and went to second on a sac bunt. After a groundout, Takayuki Onishi beat out a roller toward first. Araki made the turn and sped for home and Swallows first baseman Roberto Petagine threw it away for an error to make it 3-0 Dragons.
Asakura no hit Yakult over the final three innings to lock it up easily.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with the miscue and is at .305. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was was 1-3 and is at .331.
Asakura (W, 6-6) IP 9.0 PC 109 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.68
S. Fujii (L,
5-4) IP 5.0 PC 80 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER
2 ERA 2.88
Newman IP 2.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.08
Kawabata IP 0.1 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.57
T. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Kamada IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Tatsunami, T. Yamasaki,
HR: T. Yamasaki (2)
RBI: T. Yamasaki 2
Season Series: Chunichi 5, Yakult 9
Game Time: 2:34
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kasahara (1B), Kasahara (2B), Tani (3B)
Matsui Three Run Homer Powers Seibu Over Nippon Ham 6-1
A shot into the rightfield seats with two men aboard by still sore Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui sealed the fate of the Nippon Ham Fighters Tuesday at Seibu Dome, as Fumiya Nishiguchi went six innings of one run ball on four hits for his ninth victory of the year, 6-1. Matsui was still experiencing some pain in the wake of being struck on the thigh by Kevin Hodges in the second game of the all star series Saturday, but it didn't affect his stroke, as he had a double to accompany the bomb in four at bats to raise his average to .323.
Satoru Kanemura started for the Fighters and, well, he sucked, being flogged for five earned runs on four hits in two innings for his second kuroboshi.
Nishiguchi got into a predicament in the first, as centerfielder Tatsuya Ide doubled into the leftcenter gap to commence the game and one out later first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara walked, as did DH Sherman Obando with two gone. But Yukio Tanaka grounded out and Nishiguchi, with the exception of surrendering Obando's 18th roundtripper to left in the fourth, was golden from there on in.
Seibu's own Tatsuya, last name Ozeki, then went yard off of Kanemura to push the Lions out in front 1-0 in the bottom of the first.
In the second, Lions DH Kazuhiro Wada leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a groundout. One out later, catcher Tsutomu Itoh walked. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi spanked a single to center to recall Wada and Matsui went gorilla on a slider on the inner half of the plate and at the knees and unleashed a bozooka shell that landed 425 feet later in the second deck to make it 5-0 Seibu.
They capped off their offensive production in the seventh, when, now leading 5-1, Matsui creamed one off the centerfield wall for a double and was bunted to third. Leftfielder Hiroyuki Shibata singled to center and that is how it ended, Seibu 6, Nippon Ham 1.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .284. Third baseman Tom Evans was 0-2 with two walks and is at .280.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .259. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .271.
4-2) IP 2.0 PC 44 H 4 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.16
Muto IP 3.0 PC 44 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.07
Tateyama IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.53
Sakurai IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Nishiguchi (W, 9-4)
IP 6.0 PC 85 H 4 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.28
T. Shiozaki IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.44
Mori IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
T. Hoshino IP 0.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toyoda (S, 15) IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
SB: Shibata 2
2B: Ide, Wada, K. Matsui
HR: Ozeki (1), K. Matsui (17), Obando (18)
RBI: Obando, K. Matsui 3, Ozeki, Shibata, H. Takagi
Season Series: Nippon Ham 5, Seibu 10
Game Time: 2:56
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Akimura (1B), Yanagida (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Minchey Takes 11th Loss in 4-3 Lotte Defeat to Daiei
An RBI single to left from Daiei Hawks rightfielder Koji Akiyama in the seventh inning Tuesday was the big hit in the birds of prey's 4-3 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium. Brady Raggio, though he ultimately received a no decision, went five solid innings of two run ball on two hits in his second strong outing in a row. Intead, reliever Shuji Yoshida despite being taken downtown by Lotte first baseman Kazuya Fukuura for a three run homer that put the home folks ahead for a while, vultured the win, his fifth while Rodney Pedraza closed it out for his 12th save.
Nathan Minchey is having a tough year and this mediocre performance just did not get the job done, as he threw seven innings of four run ball on seven hits while walking four and fanning an equal number for his 11th defeat, which leads all of Japanese baseball.
The Hawks jumped in front in the first when Minchey, who said that he was having problems with command of his cutter, hit second baseman Tadahito Iguchi in the knee with two away, and walked third baseman Hiroki Kokubo. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka then wacked a shot off of the glove of Fukuura and Iguchi sped all the way around and spent the rest of the game in the clubhouse icing the knee, Mitsuru Honma taking his place as the Hawks had a 1-0 lead.
The Hawks then couldn't covert a prime scoring chance in the third. With one down, leftfielder Pedro Valdez walked. Honma grounded into a force, but Kokubo doubled down the leftfield line and Matsunaka walked to load the bases. Akiyama whiffed on a Minchey delivery and that was that.
However, the Hawks did manage to scratch a run out in the fourth with some
small ball. Arihito Muramatsu leadoff with a single to center and stole second.
He was sacrificed to third. With shortstop Yusuke Torigoe at the plate, manager
Sadaharu Oh called for the squeeze and Torigoe laid down a beauty, Minchey
throwing it away long after Muramatsu had touched home
and it was 2-0.
Raggio seemed to have things well in hand until the sixth, when Oh may have pushed the panic button a bit. Kenji Morozumi legged out a bleeder and stole second. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka walked. Oh went to the pen for the all star Yoshida and Fukuura welcomed him by piledriving one into the rightfield seats to make it 3-2 Lotte. Fukuura said he knew it was gone upon contact.
When Daiei came up in the top of the seventh, centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara grounded out, but Valdez almost left the building when he pancaked one off the centerfield wall. Honma played copycat and it was knotted at 3-3. Kokubo grounded out to move Honma to third and Matsunaka was intentionally walked to set up a double play and get to the aging veteran Akiyama. But he still has a few more knocks in him and he produced one here and it was 4-3 Hawks.
Yoshida struckout the side in the bottom of the seventh and then got through the seventh even though Valdez geeked a routine fly ball and handed it off to Pedraza for the ninth, who kept the Lotte lineup on the infield to turn out the lights.
With his infield single. Morozumi extended his hitting streak to 23, the longest by a Lotte player since they were the Daimai Orions in 1962 and first baseman Kihachi Enomoto, a two time batting champ and a real character, set the club record.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with a walk and is at .292.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-3 with a walk and is at .231.
IP 5.0 PC 90 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.01
S. Yoshida (W, 5-1) IP 2.1 PC 33 H 2 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.44
Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Pedraza (S, 12 ) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.84
Minchey (L, 5-11)
IP 7.0 PC 127 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.75
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
Fujita IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.22
K. Yamasaki IP 0.1 PC 1 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.13
E: P. Valdez, Minchey
SB: Muramatsu, Morozumi, Kosaka, S. Omura
2B: Kokubo, P. Valdez, Honma
HR: Fukuura (4)
RBI: Honma, Matsunaka, Akiyama, Torigoe, Fukuura 3
IBB: Matsunaka, May
HBP: Iguchi (Minchey), S. Omura (Raggio)
Season Series: Daiei 11, Lotte 3
Game Time: 3:17
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Tachibana (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Koo Terrific Again as Kintetsu Loses More Ground to Lions 2-2
Orix Blue Wave starter Koo Dae-sung, in his first outing since being snubbed by Pacific League all star manager Masataka Nashida despite having the best ERA in all of Japanese baseball, was dominant against Nashida's club, the Kintetsu Buffaloes, Tuesday, weaving seven shutout innings on four hits and striking out seven while walking three. However, Kazuo Yamaguchi couldn't make a 2-0 advantage stand in the bottom of the ninth and it went twelve innings, where it finished knotted at 2-2. With the Seibu win, the Buffaloes have lost another half game on the frontrunning Lions and now trail by 6.5.
Sean Bergman started for Kintetsu and was solid, going 7.1 innings of two runs ball on six hits, two of those solo homers, to keep it close until his side was able to catch Lotte in the ninth.
Koo had his only jam in the third, when second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes slapped two out singles to right and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura walked to crowd the sacks. But first baseman Yuji Yoshioka popped out to short to short circuit the threat.
Orix then swooped in for both of its runs in the fourth, as new addition Kota Soejima cleaned and jerked one over the rightfield fence to lead it off and one out later third baseman Scott Sheldon played keepaway with the horsehide to leftcenter for his tenth homer of the year and it was 2-0 Orix.
From the fourth on, Koo permitted just one more hit before being justifiably pulled by manager Hiromichi Ishige after 131 pitches. Jun Hagiwara tossed a perfect inning of two strikeout ball and then Yamaguchi was called in and he nearly let things get out of hand.
Yoshioka walked to ignite the rally and DH Hirotoshi Kitagawa singled to left. Rightfielder Koichi Isobe clobbered a fastball down the rightfield line to plate Yoshioka and shortstop Masahiro Abe walked to load the bases. Pinch hitter Kenshi Kawaguchi got under a fastball and lofted it deep enough to left to score Kitagawa uncontested with the tying run. Yamaguchi avoided losing it when he induced a pop up from centerfielder Naoyuki Omura and a flyout to left by pinch hitter Igarashi to send it into bonus time.
Yamaguchi struckout the side in the tenth and Orix put a man on second with two out in the last two innings, but they couldn't get the clutch hit and that was the ballgame.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is at .252.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-5 with an RBI and is at .241. DH Fernando Seguignol was 1-3 with two walks and two strikeouts and is at .211.
IP 7.0 PC 131 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
J. Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
K. Yamaguchi IP 2.0 PC 44 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.84
Okubo IP 2.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.92
IP 7.1 PC 101 H 6 HR 2 K 5 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.99
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.30
A. Okamoto IP 0.1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.67
Misawa IP 2.2 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.28
A.N. Otsuka IP 1.1 PC 27 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
HR: Soejima (1), Sheldon (10)
RBI: Soejima, Sheldon, Isobe, Kawaguchi
Season Series: Orix 3, Kintetsu 9 1 Tie
Game Time: 4:13
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Iizuka (1B), Hayashi (2B), Yamamura (3B)
High Schooler Takai's 94mph Fastball Drawing Pro Interest
Tohoku High School senior lefthander Yuhei Takai is drawing a fair amount of interest from pro scouts, as he has been clocked as high as 94mph and he is a fine athlete who some like even better as a hitter than a hurler. Tuesday, he was the winner in a rain shortened seven inning 8-0 one hitter, striking out ten against Tohoku Gakui High School. Both institutions are in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture.
Takai is only 5'8" and 170 pounds, but the Kawasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture native and graduate of Arima Junior High School, has slugged 36 homers and being able to run 50 meters in 5.8 seconds, scouts think he would have a future as an outfielder or a middle infielder if pitching doesn't workout. His defensive instincts are reportedly outstanding, though Takai himself says he wants to be the next Kazuhisa Ishii. His favorite subject subject in school is math, but he might want to brush up on english, which he has some trouble with, if he wants to follow the ex-Yakult southpaw to MLB one day.
One thing some scouts have noticed about Takai is that he tends to let mistakes
made behind him bother him and he is going to have to change that if he wishes
to succeed at the pro level. Aside from the heat that has made him the fastetst
high schooler clocked this year ans that he'll often sink, he also throws
two types of hard sliders and a big slow curve ball like you
know who. He has a nice, smooth delivery and some think he may be of use to a pro club pretty quickly. However, due to his temperment, he may be more suited to a relief role perhaps, though some put him in a class with Hayato Terahara and Daisuke Matsuzaka stuffwise.
Again, while the November draft is going to be dominated by college pitching, Takai, who is from a family of four (father Akira, mother Masae, brother Daisuke), will be aname to watch come the second week of August and beyond if his school, whose baseball program is into its 98th year, makes it into the Koshien tournament for the first time in nine years. You can see an mpg file of him at: http://www.byakuya-shobo.co.jp/kozo/movie/moviefile/takaiyuuhei.mov
Warren Cromartie: No Godzilla for MLB
It's in the second half of this story at the following link: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020717wg.htm
Dragons Giving Up on Wada, Focusing on Asia University Righthander
With him indicating that the Daiei Hawks are his team of choice, the Chunichi Dragons are giving up on signing Waseda University southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada and are now eyeing Asia University righthander Katsuhiro Nakagawa, who has been clocked as high as 93mph. Standing at 6'2" and 170 pounds, he is rumored to hope that the Hiroshima Carp will pick him up.
He has a little bit of deception in that he turns his back to the hitter (see accompanying photo) and you don't see the ball until he's in the final stages of his delivery: http://www2c.biglobe.ne.jp/~momojiro/sedai26.jpg
Hailing from Hiroshima, Nagakawa has been playing ball since third grade and was part of a team that went to a nationwide tournament as a sixth grader. He concentrated on basketball in junior high before going back to baseball at Shinjo High School, where he was anointed the team's ace as a junior. However, when he moved on to Asia University, he didn't get into a game until his third year. He throws a forkball that's more of an off speed pitch than an out pitch to go along with a curve ball. One thing that's been remarked on by those who have seen him is that he still looks a little green out there on the mound and may need some seasoning before he will be ready to contribute at the big club level. He also still has some command issues to work out, though he can throw his forkball for strikes consistently. It seems that he's been able to get by in college on sheer stuff mostly, so one can perhaps expect some growing pains from him. None of the research I've done indicates that the curve ball is any kind of factor, so he absolutely has to find a viable third pitch since neither his forkball or fastball are devastating enough by themselves to get him by. It's possible he could add a little more velocity as he fills out.
One thing that could really hurt Nagakawa before he is really ready is that should he sign with Hiroshima, with the exception of Hiroyuki Oyamada and perhaps Kanei Kobayashi, the bullpen is a big joke. Thus, he may be force fed and how he deals with adversity at that level while he develops can make or break his career.
You can see an mpg file of him at: http://www.byakuya-shobo.co.jp/kozo/movie/moviefile/nagakawakatsuhiro.mov
Homer Race Enlivens KBO
See Korea Times story in english at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071617095747110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 16th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1960, Sadaharu Oh laid down a squeeze bunt to get a run in during a game between the Taiyo Whales and the Yomiuri Giants at Kawasaki Stadium.
On the same day as the above at Koshien Stadium, a bunch of fisherman protested that the lighting of the ballpark was making it hard to catch iwashi, a type of sardine. Consequently, the angle of the lighting was changed.
Also on that date in 1970, Lotte Orions ace Masaaki Koyama appealed to the
commissioner to be let out of participating in the all star series, but his
request was denied.
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