Gary Garland / the japanese insider
July 15, 2002
No games scheduled.
Reds Number One Draft Choice to Tryout for Orix
According to Sports Nippon, Cincinnati Reds supplemental first round draft choice Mark Schramek will be in Japan Wednesday working out for the Orix Blue Wave. "There are player's such as Ichiro who were brought up in Japan who are now playing ijn the major leagues, so I asked [Orix] if they would try me out." His agent, Bobby Ballard, was apparently able to arrange this since he was an old aquaintance of an Orix official. This is the first time a U.S. number one choice has sought a job in NPB. Moreover, the Texas native will have to go to Japan at his own expense.
An Orix official is quoted as saying that since Schramek was drafted twice by the Reds, he has some ability. He also notes, though, "if we think he has a real future, then we'll think about putting him on the roster." So they aren't exactly jumping all over an opportunity to get this guy just yet. It seems to be more of a "well, this is intriguing, let's see what happens" kind of thing. Nobody affiliated with the Kobe based ballclub has ever seen Schramek play.
The move by Schramek drew some skepticism from Sankei Sports, who ran a headline about this that said, "are you serious?" The deadline for foreign player aquisitions has passed, so if Schramek does indeed sign an Orix contract, he would join them in the spring of 2003.
Could this be the opening shot of a new strategy by players and their agents? That is, instead of going to the independent leagues ala J.D. Drew or the increasingl.y pathetic Matt Harrington either in hope of being selected down the line by another team or wringing more money out of an MLB organization, they will make themselves available to a Japanese club and then hope, that like Rafael Soriano, that with the experience they gain in Japan they can leverage that into a fat MLB contract?
In any event, if he does get a job with Orix, he will be joining an ex-Red, Ed Yarnell, on the staff. You can see a pic of Schramek at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200207/image/071607shumeMS164715.jpg
Bashing Selig Now the National Pastime
I've sung this guy's praises before here, but for those of you who've never read him, Joe Posnanski of thye Kansas City Star is, as one of his fellow sportswriters once put it, "the best sportswriter you've never heard of." This time out, he takes on Bud Selig's, er, relationship with the fans and it ain't pretty: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/columnists/joe_posnanski/3652970.htm
And While We're at It....
Here is a link to Posnanski's piece on the death of Ted Williams. This thing
is written like a symphony:
Ichiro vs. Mike Sweeney
Another fine Posnanski product: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/columnists/joe_posnanski/3577308.htm
Irabu Hospitalized with Blood Clots
See CBS Sportsline story at: http://www.cbs.sportsline.com/u/ce/multi/0,1329,5521447_52,00.html
Giants Outfielder Takahashi's Mercedes Stolen
See Japan Today story at: http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=2&id=222993
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 15th and on that date in Japanese baseball history
in 1971, the first half of the schdule concluded with
Central League attendance down 570,000 and the Pacific League experienced a 300,000 shortfall as compared with 1970, most likely due to the so-called "black mist scandal," which involved attempts to fix baseball games. Several players were banned for life as a result of the scandal.
July 14, 2002
No games scheduled.
Hanshin Reported to Go After Three Big Free Agents
According to Sankei Sports, the Hanshin Tigers may go on a free agent shopping spree this coming winter, the focus being on Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Godzill Matsui, Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura and Yokohama Bay Stars ace Daisuke Miura. Morever, Hanshin owner Shunji Kuman has been said to have given the okay for what will be the biggest cash outlay for players in Japanese history if they can pull off the trifecta.
At current exchange rates, Matsui is already receiving about $5 million a
season while Nakamura turned down a multi-year offer during the offseason
of in excess of $4 million per. Miura will be much cheaper, but will still
command something in the $1-2 million range plus the clubs the Tigers get
these players from will have to be paid 1.5 times whatever Hanshin pays them
as compensation, which means that the total bill just for next season, when
you figure both the payout to the clubs losing those stars as well as their
salaries, could be in the $30 million range, or more than what the Giants
pay for their entire roster this year.
However, if Matsui is sincere about testing the MLB waters, Hanshin will easily be outbid. Their best chance is to land Nakamura, who is an Osaka native, and Miura, though the Stars righthander hasn't indicated either way what his intentions are after he became free agent eligible earlier this season. If they do obtain Nakamura, that leaves another free agent aquisition, the disappointing Atsushi Kataoka, out in limbo. Nakamura and Kataoka are about analogous defensively, but the 5'11" 202 pound Buffs star is a far bigger offensive force. Moreover, while Nakamura will be facing better pitching in the CL, he will also be working in smaller ballparks and the two factors could cancel each other out.
By getting Miura, that would allow Hanshin to move Trey Moore to the bullpen, which would strengthen their weak relief staff immeasureably. Of course, they could also stay with Moore and you would have a starting rotation of Kei Igawa, Miura, Moore, Keiichi Yabu and either Tetsuro Kawajiri or Shinobu Fukuhara, which would be a far more balanced starting staff than what they have now. Something has to be done about that middle relief, though and it isn't going to be bolstered much by putting in disappointing number one draft choice Yuya Ando in it. So it could be that maybe some trades will be worked out, though the Takehiro Hashimoto for Tom Evans deal has so far proven to be a big loser for Hanshin, as the previously dependable Hashimoto has gotten lit up like a Christmas tree and Evans has gone on to a nice season with Seibu.
Ichiro Enjoyed Forced Cross Dressing Experience
See Seattle Times story at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134493275_seam14.html
Linares Makes Splash in Nagoya
See Yomiuri Shimbun article in english at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020716wo52.htm
Shim, Paul, Park Go Back to Back to Back in Hyundai Doubleheader Sweep
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071518100947110.htm
Seung-yeop Lee Ties for Homer Lead in 9-4 Samsung Victory
See Korea tumes story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071417053447110.htm
Brother Elephants Drop Game to Lions 6-3 in Taiwanese Pro Action
See Taipei Times story in english at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/07/15/story/0000148406
How Taiwanese MLB Prospects are Faring at Halfway Point
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/07/15/story/0000148405
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 14th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1972, Hankyu Braves centerfielder Yutaka Fukumoto, who went on to become Japan's all time leading base thief and a Hall of Fame inductee, had his legs insured for 100,000,00 yen.
Also on the same date as the above, Waseda University second baseman Akira Higashikado (and I hope that I have the name correct) was hit in the head by a thrown ball during a game between Japanese and American college all star teams and was rendered unconscious. Sadly, he never regained consciousness before passing away.
Also on that date in 1978, eight of the ten positions in the Pacific League
all star team were voted to Nippon Ham players by fans, no doubt due to an
organized campaign by someone or some entity.
Hodges Pounded for Four Runs in 4-2 Pacific League Victory
Yakult Swallows righthander Kevin Hodges started for the Central League Saturday at Botchan Stadium in Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku, the first all star game ever played on that island, and wasn't up to form, as he was knocked around for four runs in two innings on the hill to be tagged with a 4-2 loss to the Pacific League. Kintetsu Buffaloes catcher Tetsuya Matoyama was named the MVP after going 2-3 with an RBI, the first time a catcher taken the top award in the mid-summer classic since Atsuya Furuta did it for the Central League in 1991.
By having Jeremy Powell start for the PL, this marked the only time in Japanese baseball history that two foreigners have begun a game for each side in all star competition and it was Powell who was awarded the victory with two scoreless innings of work. The pitchers were so on in this one that it only took two hours and 19 minutes to play.
Hodges commenced the contest by nailing shortstop Kazuo Matsui in the left thigh and he hobbled off to first, where he went to second on a wild pitch. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes singled to get Matsui in and Ogasawara sped over to third. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura flew out to plate Ogasawara and it was 2-0 PL.
In the second, PL centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled and shortstop Makoto Kaneko, who replaced Matsui, also cracked a knock. Matoyama, with wife Kazuko and 19 other relatives in the stands, chased Tani in with a single and the speedy Kaneko hotfooted it for third. Tadahito Iguchi grounded out and Kankeo crossed with the fourth run and it was 4-0 Pacific League.
The Central League had a quick burst of a rally in the fourth, as rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome scorched a double and centerfielder Godzilla Matsui mashed a shot through the teeth of the 37mph wind blowing straight in from centerfield and carromed it off the top of the rightfield wall off of an 88mph fastball from Kenichi Wakatabe for an RBI double to make it 4-1.
The CL forces put up their final tally in the bottom of the seventh when first baseman Takahiro Arai got a 92mph fastball from Hayato Nakamura and unloaded a steaming line drive deep to left. Arai thought it was gone as soon as he hit it, so as he started toward first, he raised his arms, but then saw the wind deadening the ball's flight and quickly brought his hands down until it cleared the fence.
Godzilla lost a home run due to the wind again in the late innings, when he rammed a shot off the top of the rightcenterfield fence for his second double. Thus, his five all star series homer streak ended thanks to mother nature.
Koji Uehara had one of the highlights of the day when he struck out the side in the fifth, all on fastballs, and then fanned Hiroki Kokubo, who was, for God only knows what reason, put in the outfield in this one despite the treacherous wind conditions (see linked articles) on a splitter with one down in the sixth for a total of four strikeouts in two perfect innings. The last time Uehara struckout the side in an all star game was in 1999, when he blew down both Kazuo Matsui and Makoto Kosaka and then got taken on a tour of the bleachers by Ichiro Suzuki before striking out the last hitter.
Matoyama, who became a first time father when he welcomed his daughter into the world in January, was the first catcher to be named MVP for the PL since Masataka Nashida, who is now his manager, did it in 1983. Moreover, he is only the second replacement player (he was selected to replace the injured Kenji Johjima) to be bestowed with an MVP. The other one was Roberto Petagine, who did it two years ago.
Godzilla was tardy to pre-game practice when the person who was supposed to drive him to the airport was late and he missed his flight as a result. So when he was up on the podium after being named a superior player, his Giants teammate, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, was shouting, "fine him! Fine him!" behind him as Matsui cracked an embarrassed smile.
Dan Latham also did an excellent write up on the game for the Japan Times, which is at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020714a2.htm
Jim Allen at the Yomaiuri Shimbun also put up a fine piece on the game in english at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020714wo53.htm
Powell (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC
18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Wakatabe IP 2.0 PC 30 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Kaneda IP 2.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H. Nakamura IP 2.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Toyoda (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Hodges (L, 0-1) IP 2.0 PC
35 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 18.00
Kawakami IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Uehara IP 2.0 PC 27 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: H. Matsui 2, Fukudome
HR: Arai (1)
RBI: Arai, H. Matsui, Iguchi, Rhodes, N. Nakamura, Matoyama
SF: N. Nakamura
HBP: H. Matsui (Hodges), T. Shimizu (Powell)
LOB: Pacific League 4, Central League 6
All Star Series: Pacific League 71 Central League 60 7 Ties
Game Time: 2:19
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Watamari (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Powell: Japan a Great Place to Play Ball
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020714a1.htm
Female Manager Makes Koshien Bid
For the first time in the history of the Chiba Prefectural High School Baseball Tournament, a woman is managing one of the teams and her side grabbed an 8-1 victory in their inital contest, which was shortened to seven innings due to rain. Mariko Ohara, 51, the manager of the Tako High School baseball team, once a world class university softball player herself, is hoping to take her charges to the Koshien Summer High School Baseball Tournament.
Tako High took a 1-0 lead with one away in the first and a man on second, as number three hitter and pitcher Koshikawa tripled to center to make it 1-0. Two more then crossed on a single by Onuki on the way to racking up 14 hits and eight runs. Koshikawa went all the way to claim the shiroboshi by limiting the opposition to five hits and a run. "I'm so happy, I can't find words to express it," said Koshikawa, since it's been 11 years between prefectural tournament wins for his school.
Ohara was born in Tochigi city, Tochi Prefecture and started playing softball as a fifth grader at Kokubu Southern Elementary as a pitcher before moving on to Kokubu Junior High and eventually to Utsunomiya Junior College and Nittai University. At Nittai, she was converted to the outfield and was selected as a senior to play centerfield and bat leadoff for a Japanese all star university club that played in an overseas tournament, where the Japanese contingent made it to the semifinals.
She's been teaching
since 1973 and was hired on at Tako High in 1998. She has been the school's
baseball coach since 2000 and says that she thinks of the players on the
team as her own children. And the players say that they think of her as a
second mother. She is married to husband Kazumasa (56) and has two sons,
27 and 23 years old respectively. You can see a pic of her with Onuki at:
Cromartie Back in Japan and Loving It
Former Montreal Expos outfielder Warren Cromartie won a batting title and an MVP while he played with the Yomiuri Giants from 1984 to 1990 and has been doing game commentary on radio and some personal appearances. Saturday, he stopped in at his old stomping grounds in Suidobashi, Tokyo and spent 90 minutes working with Felipe Crespo on his hitting. "It was nice to be instructed by someone who speaks your language," the utility man offered. They went through each phase of Crespo's stroke and Cromartie helped Crespo with what he termed "a minor change" in his swing.
Ichiro First Two Homer Game in MLB
Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki collected his third multi-hit game out of three post all star tries Saturday, as he homered in his first two at bats against the Tanyon Sturtze to put a little more distance between him and Kansas City Royals first baseman Mark Sweeney in the AL batting race. The first dinger came on a high fastball while the second came on one down around the knees for his first career multi-homer game in MLB. Unfortunately, the M's dropped it in extra innings 4-3. You can see a pic of the swing on the first inning jack at: http://www.sanspo.com/sokuho/image/020714KT005714_b.jpg
Banks Trying to Bolster Debt Ridden Parent Company of Daiei Hawks
See Yomiuri Shimbun story in english at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020711wo11.htm
Off Topic Article of the Day
Some female judo artists disqualified---for shaving their eyebrows to thin. Geez, picky picky.... http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=6&id=222839
Linares Arrives in Japan
Cuban baseball star Omar Linares arrived in Japan Saturday after a 20 hour trip from his homeland to Mexico to Narita Airport and then on to Nagoya Airport, where he was greeted by 200 fans and well wishers as well as about 80 media members and a big police presence.
Linares, a mainstay of the Cuban juggernaut that dominated olympic and amateur baseball for the last decade, said in a prthat this is just the first time he will be coming to Japan. Moreover, according to Sports Nippon, a Communist Party newspaper in Cuba has apparently stated that it is likely that Linares will indeed be back in Japan next season, too.
"I don't care where I bat in the order," Linares averred. I want to play as hard as I physically can so that the Dragons win and win a lot." As for when he'll be ready to appear in a Chunichi uniform, where he's already been assigned number 44, he offered, "it's been a long trip, so first, I want to get over the jet lag. I should be back to normal in about four days."
Linares will make some minor league starts and then be called up to the big club on the 23rd, when a series with the Hiroshima Carp begins.He will meet his new teammates at a Nagoya Dome workout Monday.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 13th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1970, Kintetsu Buffaloes rookie pitcher Koji Ota finished first in all star fan balloting, one of the biggest jokes in the annals of the sport there, since he finished 1-4 3.86 on the season and he was 58-85 4.08 for his career.
Ota had pitched for Misawa High School, who got into the Koshien High School Baseball Tournament three seasons running, and in his senior year, went all the way in an 18 inning tie game against Matsuyama Commerical High School in the tournament final, throwing 262 pitches in the process. It was called according to regulations and it was replayed the following day, where Matsuyama Commerical won it 4-2 with Ota back on the mound (ouch!). His persistence impressed baseball fans all over the country as well as pro scouts. He was hoping that he would be picked by Hanshin, but the Kintetsu Buffaloes managed to be high enough to selct him. Ota wasn't all that enthusiastic about the Osaka equivalent of what the Angels are to the Dodgers, but he signed with Kintetsu anyway.
When Ota first started working out with the Buffaloes, he admitted that he was in over his head. He had intended to go to college, but thinking of what a financial burden that would be for his parents, he turned pro. The Buffaloes, rather than send a kid who obviously wasn't ready down to the farm for some seasoning, thought of him mainly as a fan draw and thus he began the season with the top club. He got a win in his first start, a relief appearance against the Lotte Orions where he gave up the tying run at Fujiidera Stadium, but his side got a sayonara two run homer and Ota walked away with a shiroboshi.
His third year in,
upo advice of coaches, he changed his delivery to a three quarter style and
obtained more run on his slider, which helped him progress and he eventually
was slotted into the rotation in 1973, where he was mediocre, as was the
remainer of his stint in the pros. In 1979, he hurt his shoulder and that
all she wrote, as he had three more awful seasons with Kintetsu and then
was traded to the Yomiuri Giants. Minor league tours with both Yomiuri and
Hanshin failed to get him back to the bigtime and he retired after the 1984
season at the age of 32. He now works as a baseball commentator for the Mainichi
media group. You can see a pic of him in an all star game at:
Also on that day
in 1979, due to an expressway tunnel fire, the equipment for the Hankyu Braves
never arrived for a game against Nippon Ham at Korakuen Stadium and it was
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team Record GB
Doosan Bears 44-29-2 3.5
Samsung Lions 42-33-1 6.5
Hyundai Unicorns 34-34-4 11.0
LG Twins 35-36-3 11.5
SK Wyvers 33-37-3 13.0
Hanhwa Eagles 31-39-3 15.0
Lotte Giants 20-53-1 27.5
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .370
Kim Chae-hyun (LG) .342
Kim Dong-joo (LG) .340
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .329
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) .323
Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .318
Lee Jong-beom (Kia) .316
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) .314
Jeon Joon-ho (Hyundai) .306 .
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 28
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 27
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 25
Lee Yeong-wu (Hanhwa) 19
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) 19
Jose Fernandez (SK) 18
Tyrone Woods (Doosan) 17
Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) 15
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 14
Runs Batted In RBIs
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 73
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 70
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 67
Jin Gap-yong (Samsung) 54
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 54
Jose Fernandez (SK) 49
Tyrone Woods (Doosan) 49
Lee Do-hyeong (Hanhwa) 48
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) 46
Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 2.90
Lee Seung-ho (SK) 3.15
Gary Rath (Doosan) 3.31
Victor Cole (Doosan) 3.45
Song Jin-wu (Hanhwa) 10
Mark Kiefer (Kia) 10
Im Chang-yong (Samsung) 9
Victor Cole (Doosan) 8
Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 98
Gary Rath (Doosan) 96
Lee Seung-ho (SK) 93
Kim Soo-kyung (Hyundai) 92
July 12, 2002
Late Homers by Arias, Kataoka Wins it for Central League All Stars
Ex-Angel George Arias
went back to the hotel Friday night with some hardware and some extra cash,
as he rocketed a 482 foot homer to
leftcenter at Tokyo Dome in the seventh inning for the go ahead run in what had been a 1-1 deadlock between a Pacific League all star squad and its Central League counterparts to get the MVP in what became a 4-1 CL triumph. Arias' Hanshin Tigers teammate, Trey Moore, who it was thought might miss playing in this year's series due to a burst blister on his lefthand, was credited with the win, which was a big thrill for him,
as this Japan Times story shows: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020713wo53.htm
The Pacific League took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third, as second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled. Two outs later, shortstop Kazuo Matsui also singled and that brought up first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara, who , with his wife Miyoko in the stands, got an 88mph fastball down and away from CL starter Kei Igawa and laced it for an RBI single, the first time he's plated someone in nine all star appearances.
All star games have been particularly frustrating for the great Nippon Ham hitting leader, as he set a record last season when he struckout five at bats in a row. And in his first time up in this year's classic, he fanned on a slider.
The CL contingent responded in the top of the fourth, when rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi tripled and then centerfielder Hideki Matsui flew out deep enough to allow his Giants teammate to run in with the equalizer at 1-1.
Moore went two scoreless innings while allowing no hits and walking two. He said that he was really pumped for this game and it was hard settling down, but he got through his stint unscathed.
In the top of the
seventh, Arias stepped in against his old Orix pal Kazuo Yamaguchi, who ran
a 94mph heater up to the plate and Arias sent
it into the upper deck for the 2-1 lead. Arias hadn't homered in 81 at bats over his last 19 games for Hanshin before this battle. In workouts leading up to it, he consulted with the other sluggers in both leagues and found that Matsui's was the most effective. Godzilla was asked what he thinks about when he goes up to the plate and the Ishikawa native answered, "keeping my weight back." You can see the swing that counted at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/tigers/tigers0207/image/071301ariasuOS184712_b.jpg
CL boss Tsutomu Wakamatsu then summoned a fireballer of his own, Ryota Igarashi, who struckout the side with a steady diet of 95mph fastballs. The first two men to dig in against the Swallows middle reliever, Kazuo Matsui and Ogasawara, whiffed on three pitches apiece. He had leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes 0-2, but Rhodes timed one and pounded it off the leftfield wall, where it was expertly played by Alex Ramirez to hold the former Cub to a long single. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura's turn came and Igarashi blew him away to complete his assignment.
In the eighth, CL
catcher Motonobu Tanishige doubled with one out off of Daiei Hawks closer
Rodney Pedraza and Kataoka then blasted his first homer ever in all star
action (this is his sixth series) off of an 85mph fastball for two insurance
runs and that's how it ended, as Giants closer
Junichi Kawahara worked a perfect ninth to close out a briskly played game. Kataoka's mom Harumi was watching the game on tv and was reportedly thrilled out of her mind at her son's heroics.
For his tremendous shot, Arias was named MVP and pocketed two million yen (about $17,000). Moore was named a superior player and added one million yen to his bank account (about $8,000). He was like a little kid, the Japan Times says, in this piece: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020713a1.htm
Godzilla just missed hitting the ball out on that sacrifice fly, as it was caught against the centerfield wall. He had homered in his last five all star series, including the last four games in a row. He said that he got it just off the end of the bat.
Pics: Moore, Kataoka
and Arias accept their awards at:
Igawa, who was clocked
at a high of 91mph, delivers to the plate at:
Jim Allen's account of the game: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020713wo52.htm
IP 3.0 PC 40 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Miura IP 2.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Moore (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
R. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
J. Kawahara (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 3.0 PC 37 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
A. Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
S. Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yamaguchi (0-1) IP 0.2 PC 15 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 13.50
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 18.00
Mori IP 1.0 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Ibata, Cabrera, Tanishige, Arias
3B: Y. Takahashi
HR: Arias (1), Kataoka (1)
RBI: Kataoka 2, H. Matsui, Arias
SF: H. Matsui
All Star Series: Central League 60, Pacific League 70, 7 ties
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Maeda (1B), Suginaga (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Corey Paul Slugs Walkoff Homer in KBO Action
See Korea Times story
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for
July 12th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1962, Kokutetsu
Swallows righthander Genichi Murata was working on a perfect game with two
out in the ninth in the second game of a doubleheader against Hanshin. Tigers
rightfielder Kazuyoshi Nishiyama hit a hard ground ball off the end of the
bat on the first pitch he saw. First baseman Yoshinori Hoshiyama got caught
kind of in between and the ball deflected off his mit and over his head.
It was called a hit, engendering moans from the crowd in the stands as a
chance to witness history vanished before their eyes.
July 11, 2002
No games scheduled today.
Overwork Killing Japanese Pitchers
See Yomiuri Shimbun story (in english) at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020711wo54.htm
Ibata Stands Out Among All Stars
See Yomiuri Shimbun story in english at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020712wo53.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report would have been for July 11th and on
that date in Japanese baseball history in 1979, the Japanese diet took up
surrounding the Yomiuri Giants aquisition of pitcher Suguru Egawa, who was originally drafted by the Hanshin Tigers. Commissioner Shimoda, Pacific League chairman Kudoh and Central League chairman Suzuki were in attendance, watching the hot air flow back and forth. Nothing
came of the hearing.
July 10, 2002
Uehara Tosses Three Hitter as Giants Blast Carp 9-2
Yomiuri Giants number one starter Koji Uehara is setting himself up for another run at winning 20 games, as he seized his tenth shiroboshi of 2002 with a 9-2 thrashing of the Hiroshima Carp at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium Wednesday. He was perfect for 5.2 innings until Luis Lopez singled on an 86mph fastball.
If history holds, and as a Swallows fan myself, I hate to say this, Yomiuri is in a good position to win the pennant. They now have a 4.5 game edge over Yakult and on the 24 occasions in which a club has lead by that much or more at the break, only twice has that team not celebrated a league title in October. The exceptions were the 1964 Taiyo Whales and the 1996 Hiroshima Carp. Moreover, the Giants in 20 instances have been ahead by 3.5 games or more at the midway point and have gone to the Japan Series every time. Yikes!
Yomiuri broke out on top to stay in the top of the second off of Carp ace Shinji Sasaoka, as centerfielder Hideki Matsui leadoff with single to right and first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara singled to left. One out later, Toshihisa Nishi singled to center to usher in Matsui. Catcher Yoshinori Murata singled to left to pack the sacks. Uehara grounded to second and Eddie Diaz booted it to score Kiyohara.Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu struckout, but shortstop Tomohiro Nioka singled to left to push in both Nishi and Murata and it was 4-0 Giants.
In the third, Matsui singled to center and Kiyohara legged out a bleeder toward short. They were sacrificed up 90 feet and Nishi flew out to right to recall Matsui to make it 5-0 Giants.
Hiroshima put up their only runs in the seventh, as shortstop Akihiro Higashide singled to center and centerfielder Koichi Ogata forced him at second. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto then got an 84mph cutter that was up and over the heart of the plate and he pounded it into the rightfield seats to make it competitive at 5-2.
The Giants, however, responded in kind in the top of the ninth. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi jerked an offering from Ken Takahashi over the rightfield wall to kick it off. Matsui doubled down the rightfield line. Akira Etoh, who replaced Kiyohara at first in the fifth when the ex-Lions' hammy began to bother him, then ended an 0-18 slide by hammering one into the leftfield stands and the Giants were in the driver's seat at 8-2. Masato Kawano was summoned from the bullpen by Carp manager Koji Yamamoto. Third baseman Daisuke Motoki singled to center. One out later, pinch hitter Felipe Crespo, just back from the minors, singled to right and Motoki motored to third. Pinch hitter Takayuki Saito grounded to Takahashi and Motoki hustled in and it was 9-2 Yomiuri.
Closer Jinichi Kawahara was touched for a hit and a walk, but that was as far as it went and see you later.
There's an interesting piece of news about the Carp: they are apparently going to get a new ballpark, which will be on the site of an old Japan Rail freight yard. It will be accompanied by a shopping and entertainment complex and an American firm, Simon Property Group, is involved along with city planners and club officials. At this point, it appears that it is likely to be an open air ballpark, but a dome stadium (no! no!) isn't out of the question. Everything is reportedly in the talking stages at present, so what form this will ultimately take hasn't been set in concrete (groan) yet.
Getting back to Uehara, though, pitching coach Katori remarked that his charge is more consistent this season in keeping his body closed when he delivers the ball so that his pitches don't drift back over the plate as much.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 0-4 and is at .315. Lopez was 1-1 and is at .246.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 1-1 and is at .122.
Uehara (W, 10-3) IP 8.0 PC 102 H 3 HR 1 K 9 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA
J. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Sasaoka (L, 4-5) IP 3.0 PC 62 H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 5 ER
3 ERA 3.83
Hiroike IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.44
K. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 34 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.12
Tamaki IP 2.0 PC 27 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.25
K. Takahashi IP 0.0 PC 10 H 3 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.75
Kawano IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 18.00
E: Diaz, Higashide
2B: H. Matsui
HR: Y. Takahashi (12), Etoh (9), Kanemoto (13)
RBI: Kanemoto 2, Nioka 2, Y. Takahashi, Etoh 2, Nishi 2, Uehara, Takayuki Saito
GIDP: Y. Takahashi
LOB: Yomiuri 10, Hiroshima 3
Season Series: Yomiuri 9, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:09
Umpires: Ino (HP), Suginaga (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Mori (3B)
Itoh Slam Paces Seibu Over Daiei 7-2
Seibu Lions catcher Tsutomu Itoh will be 40 in about ten days and, in this last game before the all star break, he beat the daylights out of a 2-0 fastball on the inner half of the plate from Daiei Hawks starter Akichika Yamada with the bases loaded in the first inning and hurtled it into the leftfield seats for his seventh career grand slam in a 7-2 victory Wednesday at Fukuoka Dome. Reliever Hayato Aoki was credited with his fourth win while Hawks starter Yamada dropped his sixth.
This game was pretty much over after the first inning, as Seibu initiated a six run fusillade. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui opened the game with a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third. Hiroyuki Shibata tripled into the leftcenter alley to cash in Matsui. First baseman Alex Cabrera fouled out, but then Kazuhiro Wada doubled down the rightfield line to send Shibata across. Yamada walked both Susumu Otomo and third baseman Tom Evans to juice the bags. That brought up Itoh, who ditched Yamada's heater and it was 6-0 Lions.
Daiei leftfielder Pedro Valdez homered to right with one out off of Seibu starter Fumiya Nishiguchi to make it 6-1.
The Hawks scored again in the third when centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to center with two down and Valdez doubled to leftcenter to drive Shibahara in and get within four at 6-2.
In the fifth and with the top of the Hawks order coming up again with one out and a man on, Lions manager Haruki Ihara decided to give Nishiguchi the hook in favor of Yoshihiro Doi for two hitters and then Aoki from there.
In the sixth, Seibu completed the night's offensive output when Matsui singled to right and stole second with two away and Tatusya Ozeki singled to left to drive in Matsui and make it 7-2. Neither side mustered much afterward and it concluded as a 7-2 Lions triumph. The Hawks are now 8.5 games behind Seibu, which is 20 games over .500 at the break for the first time since 1993.
For Daiei, Valdez was 3-4 with two RBIs and is at .293.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with a walk and is at .290. Evans was 0-3 with a walk and is at .286.
Nishiguchi IP 4.1 PC
64 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.39
Doi IP 0.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.66
Aoki (W, 4-1) IP 1.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.13
T. Shiozaki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.51
Mori IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
Toyoda IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.24
A. Yamada (L, 5-6) IP 0.2 PC 37 H 4 HR 1 K
0 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 4.91
Nagai IP 5.1 PC 78 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.15
Sugiuchi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.11
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
SB: K. Matsui
2B: K. Matsui, Wada, Ozeki, Hirao, P. Valdez
HR: T. Itoh (6), P. Valdez (12)
RBI: Ozeki, Shibata, Wada, T. Itoh (4), P. Valdez 2
IBB: Cabrera, K. Matsui
LOB: Seibu 7, Daiei 5
Season Series: Seibu 9, Daiei 6
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: Shirai (HP), Hayashi (1B), Higashi (2B), Nagami (3B)
Powell Loses Second in a Row 2-1
A one out homer to straightaway centerfield in the bottom of the ninth at Tokyo Dome by leftfielder Sherman Obando gave the Nippon Ham Fighters a sweep of the second place Kintetsu Buffaloes 2-1 Wednesday. Reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa was credited with his second win following in the wake of eight strong innings from starter Itsuki Shoda. Buffs starter Jeremy Powell lost his fifth.
Shoda got off on a bad footing when he threw a hanging slider to Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura to begin the game and the all star outfielder bashed it into the rightfield seats for an immediate 1-0 Buffs lead. Shoda walked leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes with one out and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka doubled down the leftfield line, but DH Kenshi Kawaguchi struckout to impede anymore offensive progress by the Osaka contingent. From that point forward, though, Shoda scattered five hits to give his side a chance to prevail.
In the fifth, Powell left a pitch where he shouldn't have and rightfielder Seigo Fujishima guided it out of the field of play to right to even it at 1-1.
In the top of the ninth, a missed sign cost the Buffs the game. Kawaguchi walked and was pinch run for by Tadatoki Maeda. Pinch hitter Daisuke Masuda singled to left. Shortstop Masahiro Abe grounded out to second to move Maeda over to third. With the count 2-2 on catcher Tetsuya Matoyama, Kintetsu manager Masataka Nishida called for the squeeze. Matoyama dutifully laid it down, but Maeda hadn't paid attention to the sign and he stayed put while Matoyama was thrown out at first. Omura grounded out to end the inning.
DH D.T. Cromer commenced the home half by lining one right at Yoshioka. Obando, with his parents and other family members in the stands, got a first pitch fastball and he pummeled it, the ball landing with a thud in the centerfield seats for the 2-1 victory.
Sports Nippon came up with an interesting stat on Obando. As a DH, he is hitting a wan .231. But when he has started in the outfield, he has posted a robust .389 mark.
The Fighters will be without starter Carlos Mirabal for a while, as he sustained a fracture in the middle finger of his pitching hand. Mirabal hurt it about two months ago, but when the pai didn't subside, he finally decided to have it checked and a doctor discovered the break.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-3 with a walk and is at .253.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .271. Obando was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .254.
Powell (L, 9-5) IP 8.1 PC 128 H 7 HR 2 K 9 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.32
IP 8.0 PC 130 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
N. Takahashi IP 0.0 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Shibakusa (W, 2-1) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.71
2B: Yoshioka, M. Abe
HR: N. Omura (10), Fujishima (5), Obando (17)
RBI: N. Omura, Fujishima, Obando
GIDP: N. Nakamura
LOB: Kintetsu 9, Nippon Ham 5
Season Series: Kintetsu 6, Nippon Ham 9
Game Time: 2:52
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Nakamura (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Bases Loaded Sakai Double Gets Lotte Over Orix 5-2
For the first time in ten years, the Orix Blue Wave will be in last place at the all star break, as a bases loaded double in the third by second baseman Tadaharu Sakai provided the margin of victory in a 5-2 win by the Chiba Lotte Marines. Naoyuki Shimizu, back to pitching like he has normally been this season, went six innings of six hit, two run ball to claim his sixth shiroboshi. Masahiko Kaneda lasted less than three innings and was saddled with his sixth loss.
Lotte conducted a two out rally in the second to throw a pair on the board. Centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to center, Sakai singled to left and catcher Toshiya Tsuji singled in Omura while Sakai went into third. Leftfielder Kenji Morozumi beat out a tapper toward first and Sakai chugged in to make it 2-0 Lotte.
In the third, Lotte first baseman Kazuya Fukuura legged out a roller and rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa singled to left. DH Derrick May hit a tailor made double play ball to Makoto Shiozaki at short, who booted it to juice the bags. Two groundouts later, Sakai walked up and laced a shot up the rightcenter alley to alleviate the overcrowding on the basepaths and it was 5-0 Lotte.
In the sixth, Orix nabbed their only tallies of the battle. Leftfielder Kota Soejima walked to lead it off and then third baseman Scott Sheldon jacked one out to center and it was 5-2 Lotte. Orix did nothing the rest of the game and Masahide Kobayashi had a nine pitch ninth to save it, his 15th of the season.
For Lotte, May was 1-3 with a walk and is at .234.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .242. Fernando Seguignol was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .209.
N. Shimizu (W, 6-5) IP 6.0 PC 93 H 6 HR 1 K
2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.61
Sikorsky IP 2.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
M. Kobayashi (S, 15) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.37
Kaneda (W, 3-6) IP 2.2 PC 68 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 5 ER 2
J. Hagiwara IP 2.1 PC 37 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iwashita IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Kawagoe IP 1.0 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.59
Okubo IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
E: Morozumi, K. Oshima
2B: T. Sakai, Shiotani
HR: Sheldon (9)
RBI: Morozumi, T. Tsuji, T. Sakai 3, Sheldon 2
HBP: Fukuura (Kaneda)
GIDP: T. Sakai
LOB: Lotte 8, Orix 7
Season Series: Lotte 6, Orix 8
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Sato (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Maeda (3B)
Tied All Star Games in Japan
Tied All Star Games in Japan
For those interested, they have had tie games in Japanese all star games, the longest being a 21 inning tie game on July 3rd, 1952 in the first game of that year's all star series at Nishinomiya Stadium. Amazingly, it only lasted four hours and 30 minutes before it was called with the final score being 2-2. It was the first ever tie in an all star series in Japan sinced the series began in 1951. Since 1992, All star exhibitions in Japan have been restricted to nine innings only, so there haven't been any such extra inning contests since then.
1965, Heiwadai Stadium 1-1 (game three)
1991, Hiroshima Municipal Stadium 3-3 (game two)
1995, Yokohama Stadium 4-4 (game one)
1998, Chiba Marine Stadium 3-3 (game two)
Yes, MVPs were named in each of those games.
Ichiro Fueling Boom in Japanese Cards, Memorabilia
Samsung Lions Break Losing Streak
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071117151847110.htm
Hiroshima Carp Owner Dies
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020712a2.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 10th and on that date in
Japanese baseball history in 1964, Taiyo Whales outfielder Yukio Osada was
hit in the head
by a beer bottle and went into the stands after the fan that threw it. The umpire immediately ejected him. Osada didn't have much power even if his nickname was "popeye" (5'9" 195), but he did post a career high .297 average that season. His lifetime mark was .266 with an OPS of .721. He did manage homers in five consecutive games in 1968, though, when he slugged 14 homers on the year.
Also on that date in 1978, Clyde Wright of the Yomiuri
Giants got hammered and was sent to an early shower. Then, it says, the ex-Angel
perpetrated some violence on a reporter in the locker room.
Known as "Crazy Wright" in Japan, Clyde played for
the Giants for three seasons from 1976-78, going 22-18 with a 3.97 ERA overall.
once objected so strongly to manager Shigeo Nagashima taking him out of a game, that he took off part of his uniform in front of the dugout before stalking off. Now you have to understand that the intense Wright, who I personally liked when he was an Angel, was playing for one of the worst handlers of pitchers in baseball history. Nevertheless, Wright was mercilessly hammered in the press for daring to argue with "Mr. Giants" Nagashima. You can see a pic of Clyde in a Giants uniform at: http://www.nagoyanet.ne.jp/dra/gaikoku/G-right.jpg
July 9, 2002
Hodges Keeps on Rolling With 11th Win for Yakult
See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020711a2.htm
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 3-3 with a walk and is at .306. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .331. Catcher Atsuya Furuta, who was 3-4 with three RBIs, including a 406 foot homer, celebrated his 37th birthday. Amazing he has gotten this far this season with gimpy knees. Hodges singled and sacrificed in his two plate appearances and is at .158. He left after five due to the 75% humidity and low 80's heat. You can see a pic of Hodges delivery at this game at:http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/07/10/20020710010104.jpg
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-3 with a walk and is at .264.
Hodges (W, 11-2) IP 5.0 PC 90 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 4 R
1 ER 0 ERA 2.54
Newman IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
H. Ishii IP 0.2 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.39
R. Igarashi IP 1.1 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.09
Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Holt (L, 3-3) IP 5.0 PC 70 H 7 HR 1 K
5 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.47
Sugimoto IP 1.2 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
Inamine IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.04
Azuma IP 1.0 PC 12 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.50
Morinaka IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.74
SB: T. Ishii, K. Tanaka 2
2B: Petagine, Furuta, S. Miyamoto, Iwamura
HR: Furuta (3)
RBI: Furuta 3, S. Miyamoto, Dobashi 2,
GIDP: Manaka, Tamura
LOB: Yakult 5, Yokohama 9
Season Series: Yakult 8, Yokohama 5
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Kasahara (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Morino Error, Good Yabu Outing Powers Hanshin Over Dragons
A costly error from Chunichi Dragons second baseman Masahiko Morino and homers from Akihiro Yano and Osamu Hamanaka paved the way for the Hanshin Tigers to ensure that they will hit the all star break with a better than .500 record for the first time in ten seasons, as Osaka's favorite sons scooped up a 5-1 victory at Koshien Stadium on a humid, rainy Tuesday night. Tigers starter Keiichi Yabu won his seventh, the most he's taken in four years and, for the first time in five years, he fanned ten opposition batters.
Hanshin went ahead and never looked back in the second, as rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama walked, went to second on a groundout and crossed on a single to left. Yano then put a charge into a fastball that was down in the zone from Dragons starter Kenshin Kawakami and sent it into the leftcenterfield seats to make it 3-0.
In the top of the fourth, the Dragons loaded the bases on two singles and a walk with two outs, but leftfielder Kazuki Inoue struckout on a forkball to extinguish the threat.
In the home portion, Morino then gave the Tigers a break. With one out, Hirashita doubled down the rightfield line and Yano beat out a tapper. One out later, second baseman Makoto Imaoka grounded to Morino,. who let it get through him and Hirashita wheeled on in to expand the Hanshin advantage to 4-0.
Yabu had his greatest difficulty in the sixth, as shortstop Hirokazu Ibata doubled down the rightfield line. Morino struckout, but rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left and third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami also went safely to the lefthand side to claim the RBI. First baseman Takeshi Yamasaki, who has the sock to tie it up, struckout. Inoue was next and he also came up empty and that was the last time the Dragons were heard from again.
In the eighth, Hamanaka, celebrating his 24th birthday, matched his 2001 total with his 13th homer, a drive that got up in the wind, which blew it toward the rightfield line and it hit the top of the wall next to the foul pole and went over for and that's how it ended, 5-1 Hanshin. He has circuit clouts in five of his last ten games.
Sports Nippon came up with one bit of statistical trivia that demonstrates why Hanshin has had trouble sustaining a consistent offensive production: in the last five games, the trio of third baseman Atsushi Kataoka, first baseman George Arias and rightfielder Hiyama is a combined 6-54, a .111 clip, with no RBIs. In fact, Tigers boss Senichi Hoshino sent up Katsunori Nomura, who arguably has no business being in a pro yakyu uniform, to pinch hit for the disappointing Kataoka. Now THAT is being dissed by your own manager!
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-4 and is at .257.
Kawakami (L, 5-1) IP 6.0 PC 106 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER
2 ERA 2.52
Asakura IP 0.2 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
Iwase IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.43
Kito IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
Yabu (W, 7-4) IP 7.0 PC 11 H 5 HR 0 K 10 BB
3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.75
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.31
M. Valdez IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.05
E: Morino, Tanishige
2B: Ibata, Hirashita, K. Tanaka
HR: Yano (3), Hamanaka (13)
RBI: Tatsunami, Hamanaka, Hirashita, Yano 2,
GIDP: Morino, Imaoka
LOB: Chunichi 5, Hanshin 5
Season Series: Chunichi 7, Hanshin 6
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Manabe (1B), Tomyori (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Ogasawara, Obando Back Fine Nakamura Performance for Fighters
Nippon Ham starter Hayato Nakamura has been mostly outstanding this season and he flashed that ability again Tuesday at Sapporo Dome, throwing eight innings of four hit, one run ball while his teammates in the batting order slapped three Kintetsu Buffaloes hurlers around for seven runs (six earned) on 14 hits in a 7-1 Fighters victory, one that also returned them to .500.
The Fighters blew a bases loaded, one out opportunity in the first against Buffs starter Hiroshi Takamura, but rallied for a run in the third. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide beat out a roller and went to second on a sac bunt. One out later, leftfielder D.T. Cromer torched a low liner that carromed off the centerfield wall for an RBI double and a 1-0 lead.
Kintetsu wasted a man on third, one out situation in the fourth and Nippon Ham took their at bats in that frame and showed the how to produce a run. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka legged out a bouncer toward third and went to second on a groundout. Rightfielder Seigo Fujishima then pulled out his first baseknock with runners in scoring position since May 1st with a single to center and it was 2-0 Fighters.
Again, Kintetsu had a man in scoring position with less than two outs and couldn't get him across in the fifth and once more Nippon Ham put something on the board in their half of that inning, as first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara went midieval on a first pitch forkball on the outer half of the plate and parked it in the leftfield bleachers to go up by three at 3-0.
Nippon Ham continued to chip away at Takamura in the sixth, as Tanaka singled to center and pinch hitter Hiroshi Narahara singled to left and Tanaka made for third. Fujishima grounded to short and went to the plate, but Tanaka slid in safely and it was 4-0 Fighters.
DH Sherman Obando then joined in the fun by destroying a pitch from reliever Shogo Yamamoto and depositing it in the leftfield stands for a 5-0 advantage.
Kintetsu finally put a dent in Nakamura in the eighth, when shortstop Masahiro Abe walked with one out and one out later galloped home on a whizzer into the leftfield corner from centerfielder Naoyuki Omura to draw within 5-1.
Nippon Ham responded, however, in the bottom segment with a leadoff double from Fujishima, a sac bunt, a shot off the centerfield fence from Ide that plated Fujishima, and a single to center from shortstop Makoto Kaneko that redeemed Ide and it was 7-1. Closer Tomokazu Iba then struckout the side in Kintetsu's final ups and it was "game setto."
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-4 and
is at .256. The 2001 home run champ is two for July and hasn't homered
in 42 at bats for an .077 average. Talk about being shutdown!
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 2-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .276. Obando was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .254.
Takamura (L, 5-3) IP 6.0 PC 100 H 9 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.02
S. Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.34
Johnson IP 1.0 PC 22 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.00
H. Nakamura (W, 5-3) IP 8.0 PC 114 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 1 ER 1
Iba IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
E: N. Nakamura
2B: N. Omura 2, Kawaguchi, Cromer, Y. Tanaka, Fujishima, Ide
HR: M. Ogasawara (23), Obando (16)
RBI: M. Ogasawara, Obando, Ide, Kaneko, Cromer, Fujishima 2, N. Omura
GIDP: Kawaguchi, Sanematsu
LOB: Kintetsu 4, Nippon Ham 9
Season Series: Kintetsu 6, Nippon Ham 8
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Yanagida (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Wakatabe Spins Sixth Straight Victory Against Seibu 8-1
Daiei Hawks starter Kenichi Wakatabe has been around for over a decade and right now is throwing the best ball of his career, as he just barely missed his second straight complete game shutout to give manager Sadaharu Oh his 500th victory at the helm of the Fukuoka nine 8-1 Tuesday at Fukuoka Dome over the Seibu Lions. This was Wakatabe's third consecutive complete game triumph. Hsu Ming-chieh started for Seibu and absorbed his fifth loss against two wins after being shaken down for five runs, two earned, on six hits over 5.2 innings.
Wakatabe had men on in every inning, but was bailed out by three double plays and mixed up his fastball, slow curve ball, cutter and forkball to keep the first place Lions from doing any hard damage.
The Hawks snatched a lead in the fourth, as third baseman Hiroki Kokubo doubled down the leftfield line and DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled him in to make it 1-0 Daiei.
In the fifth, Daiei shortstop Yusuke Torigoe leadoff with a single to left and one out later leftfielder Pedro Valdez singled to center. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi grounded into a 6-4 force play. A passed ball by catcher Tsutomu Itoh allowed Iguchi to get to second. Kokubo singled to center and both Torigoe and Iguchi toed the dish and it was 3-0 Hawks.
An error by Hiroyuki Takagi and a bad fielding decision by Hsu in the sixth resulted in two unearned runs for Daiei. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama leadoff with a groundball to Takagi, who booted it. First baseman Honma laid down a sac bunt and Hsu tried to nail him at second, but it was tardy. Catcher Masanori Taguchi grounded into a force at third, but Torigoe then sacrificed the runners over. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to center and for the two RBIs and make it 5-0 Hawks.
Daiei then tacked another three on the board in the ninth, with backup rightfielder Arihito Muramatsu singling to center to initiate the attack. Honma beat out a dribbler and Taguchi singled in Muramatsu. Two strikeouts later, substitute leftfielder Yudai Deguchi zipped one up the rightcenter gap and to the wall for a two run triple and now it was a laugher at 8-0.
Seibu first baseman Alex Cabrera busted one over the leftfield fence to start the bottom of the ninth and to foil the shutout, but then the Lions couldn't even hit the ball out of the infield and it was game over, the final 8-1.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with three strikeouts and is at .286.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 3-4 with an RBI and is at .290. Third baseman Tom Evans was 1-3 with a walk and is at .295. The ex-Rangers is sporting an OBP of right around .400 as he continues to get the job done.
Hsu (L, 2-5) IP 5.2 PC 98 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 2 ERA
Mizuo IP 1.1 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
Uchizono IP 1.0 PC 22 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.00
Wakatabe (W, 6-0) IP 9.0 PC 129 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.94
SB: Shibahara, Kokubo
HR: Cabrera (25)
RBI: Cabrera, Shibahara 2, Deguchi 2, Kokubo 2, Omichi, Taguchi
HBP: Honma (Hsu)
PB: T. Itoh
GIDP: Miyaji, Wada, H. Takagi
LOB: Seibu 6, Daiei 7
Season Series: Seibu 8, Daiei 6
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Higashi (1B), Nagami (2B), Shirai (3B)
Four Carp Homers Cream Kudaoh; Matsui Drills Career 300th
Yomiuri Giants southpaw Kimiyasu Kudoh has pitched all season like the great veteran that he is, even if he wasn't rewarded for it by the kyojin offense. Tuesday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, Kudoh had his worst outing of the season, being victimized by four Hiroshima Carp homers in taking a 7-4 loss. Hiroki Kuroda went all the way for the fish.
Hiroshima took a 1-0 lead in the second, when second baseman Eddie Diaz clocked a Kudoh offering over the centerfield wall.
The Giants overturned that, though, in the fourth, when rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to left, centerfielder Hideki Matsui singled to center and first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara did the long distance runaround to the oppositie field for a three run dinger and a 3-1 Yomiuri advantage.
Kudoh, however, saw that bit of prosperity evaporate in the bottom of the frame when shortstop Akihiro Higashide singled to left, centerfielder Koichi Ogata walked and leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto, whose numbers have improved markedly as of late, massacred a Kudoh delivery and buried it in the rightfield seats to make it 4-3 Carp.
In the sixth, the Carp splurged for three more when Ogata singled to center and Diaz homered to left with one out and the next man up, rightfielder Tomonori Maeda, went yard to right for back to back jacks and a 7-3 edge.
Matsui was the first hitter of the ninth for the Giants and he got an 88mph fastball just below the knees and he sliced it, diced it and cooked it into the rightcenterfield seats, the ball leaving in no time, to slip his club within three at 7-4 and ring up his 300th career longball. Kuroda, though, settled back in and retired three of the next four men to turn out the lights.
In games in which both Matsui and Kiyohara had both homered, Yomiuri was 17-0 dating back to September of 1998. Matsui is the second youngest to 300 at 28 years old and no months while, as Baseball Guru readers already know, Sadaharu Oh was the youngest at 27 years and three months.
Giants third baseman Akira Etoh is in one heck of a slump, most recently going zip for his last 17 at bats after his 0-4 tonight to sink his average to .217.
For Hiroshima, who have now ensured that they will finish the first half of the season above .500 for the first time in five years, Diaz was 4-4 with three RBIs and is at .321.
Kudoh (L, 4-6) IP 5.1 PC 100 H 8 HR 4 K 3 BB 1 R
7 ER 7 ERA 3.01
Jobe IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.55
Kawamoto IP 1.2 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
Almonte IP 0.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Kuroda (W, 5-4) IP 9.0 PC 127 H 9 HR 2 K 9 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.99
HR: Kiyohara (9), Matsui (18), Diaz 2 (16), Kanemoto (12), T. Maeda (9)
RBI: Matsui, Kiyohara 3, Kanemoto 3, Diaz 3, T. Maeda
GIDP: Nioka, K. Kimura
LOB: Yomiuri 4, Hiroshima 3
Season Series: Yomiuri 8, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Mori (2B), Ino (3B)
Samsung Lions Drop Seventh in a Row in KBO Action
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071018033347110.htm
MLB-KBO All Star Series in the Offing?
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200207/t2002071018085247110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 9th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1974, in a game between the Taiyo Whales and the Yomiuri Giants at Kawasaki Stadium, a dispute over a hit by pitch call with Giants shortstop Kazumasa Kono up at the plate resulted in Yomiuri manager Tetsuharu Kawakami getting ejected for the only time in his career after he bumped the umpire with his chest.
July 8, 2002
Cabrera Roundtripper Wins it for Seibu in 11th
Alex Cabrera's roof scraping first ever extra inning homer in Japan was the game winner for the Seibu Lions Monday in an 11 inning 6-4 victory over the Daiei Hawks at Fukuoka Dome. Moreover, the victory also ensured that the Lions would reach the all star break without losing three in a row at some point, the only time in their long history they have accomplished that. Hayato Aoki earned credit for the triumph while Nobuyasu Matsu accepted blame for the defeat.
Hawks DH Noriyoshi Omichi homered to left with one away off of Lions starter Chang Chih-chiah in the second to go in front 1-0, the first of two rockets he collected on the night.
In the top of the fourth, the Lions equalized it, as shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji the singled to center and Matsui crossed to make it 1-1.
Seibu then pulled ahead in the fifth, when leftfielder Susumu Otomo singled to right, stole second, went to third on a single to left by Tom Evans and hustled in on a groundout by catcher Tsutomu Itoh for a 2-1 edge.
The added to that advantage in the sixth, as Matsui singled to right and rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki singled to left. Both were then sacrificed along. One out later, DH Kazuhiro Wada singled to left to recall Ozeki and Matsui and it was 4-1 Lions.
Things changed quickly, however, on another swing from Omichi. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez singled to right and Chang plunked second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. One out later, Omichi dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 on a Chang delivery and the charges were accepted in the leftcenterfield bleachers to knot it at 4-4.
After both sides blew scoring opportunities in the tenth, Cabrera waited on a 3-1 slow curve ball to leadoff the 11th and launched a towering drive that appeared as if it would strike the roof. Matsu didn't think it would make it to the seats, but it nestled in the first row and the Lions now had the upper hand at 5-4. Wada singled to left and was sacrificed to second. Evans walked. One out later, Hiroshi Hirao singled to right to drive in Wada to go up by two at 6-4. Shinji Mori then came on in the home half and struckout three of the four hitters he faced and this long faceoff was over.
The last time in the Pacific League that a club has gone the entire first half without dropping three consecutively was in 1971, when the Lotte Orions did it. It hasn't been done in the Central League since Hiroshima did it in the mid-1980's.
Seibu manager Haruki Ihara announced that ace Daisuke Matsuzaka will not be permitted to throw in the all star game, as Matsuzaka himself had hoped.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with a walk and a steal and is at .286.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with a walk and an RBI and is at .282. He has six homers in six games and Seibu is 18-3 when the ex-Diamondback goes deep. Evans was 1-4 with two strikeouts and a walk and is at .294.
IP 6.0 PC 94 H 5 HR 2 K 8 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.31
T. Shiozaki IP 3.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.59
Doi IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Aoki (W, 3-1) IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.26
Mori (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.58
IP 5.0 PC 71 H 7 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.15
Nagai IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.87
S. Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.41
A. Okamoto IP 2.2 PC 42 H 2 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Matsu (L, 0-1) IP 0.1 PC 9 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.48
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.2 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
SB: Otomo, P. Valdez
HR: Cabrera (24), Omichi 2 (5)
RBI: Omichi 4, Cabrera, Miyaji, Wada 2, T. Itoh, Hirao
IBB: Cabrera, K. Matsui
HBP: Taguchi (Chang), Iguchi (Chang)
LOB: Seibu 8, Daiei 6
Season Series: Seibu 8, Daiei 5
Game Time: 4:42
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Nagami (1B), Shirai (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Cromer, Obando Shell Bergman in 7-3 Fighters Victory
Nippon Ham DH Sherman Obando amassed four RBIs and leftfielder D.T. Cromer plated three while starter Satoru Kanemura tossed his first complete game since April 30, 2000 to nudge the Kintetsu Buffaloes five games off the pace with league leading Seibu in a 7-3 Fighters victory Monday at Tokyo Dome. Sean Bergman got his block knocked off for all seven Nippon Ham tallies in his three inning stint.
The Tokyo squad jumped all over Bergman from the get go, as centerfielder Tetsuya Ide doubled off the rightfield wall to open the bottom of the first and first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara was nailed with a pitch with one out. Cromer lined a triple up the rightcenter gap and all the way to the wall for a 2-0 lead. Obando then grounded to short to drive in Cromer and it was 3-0.
In the third, Buffaloes centerfielder Naoyuki Omura took the long way home via rightfield and it was 3-1 Fighters.
Nippon Ham then crushed Bergman in their half. Shortstop Makoto Kaneko ignited it with a single to center. Ogasawara singled to right. Cromer torched one down the rightfield line to welcome in Kaneko. Obando the folded, spindled and mutilated a Bergman delivery and left the mess in the rightfield stands, too for a three run homer and it was 7-1 Fighters.
Kintetsu got homers to rightcenter and leftcenter respectively from first baseman Yuji Yoshioka in the seventh and ninth, but it was too little too late and Nippon Ham pocketed the W 7-3.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-4 and is at .260.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 2-4 with three RBIs and is at .272. Obando was 2-4 with four RBIs and is at .253. Ogasawara, with his 1-2., walk and HBP showing, is now at .367 and is boasting a bodacious 1.150 OPS.
Bergman (L, 4-3) IP 3.0 PC 60 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 7 ER 7 ERA
D. Miyamoto IP 3.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
Takagi IP 2.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
Kanemura (W, 4-1) IP 9.0 PC 130 H 6 HR 3 K 10 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.67
2B: Kawaguchi, Cromer, Ide, Kaneko
HR: N. Omura (9), Yoshioka 2 (12), Obando (15)
RBI: N. Omura, Yoshioka 2, Cromer 3, Obando 4
HBP: M. Ogasawara 2 (Bergman and Takagi), Kimoto (Bergman)
LOB: Kintetsu 4, Nippon Ham 4
Season Series: Kintetsu 6, Nippon Ham 7
Game Time: 2:45
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Tsugawa (3B)
Four Run Fourth Enough for Orix in 4-1 Victory Over Lotte
A couple of defensive breakdowns in the fourth inning helped the Orix Blue Wave score four runs and that was all that starter Hisashi Ogura needed to best Nathan Minchey and the Chiba Lotte Marines 4-1 Monday at Kobe Green Stadium. By losing, Lotte resumes sole possession of last place in the PL.
Ogura won ten games last season for Orix, but elbow problems sidelined him until recently. He went six innings and allowed six hits and a run while Minchey went eight innings and surrendered four runs, three earned, on ten hits to become the first man this season in either league to ten losses.
Both pitchers seemed to be firmly in control until the fourth. Lotte first baseman Kazuya Fukuura leadoff the top of the inning with a single to right. Takashi Tachikawa singled to left. DH Derrick May singled to right to pack the sacks. Centerfielder Saburo Omura flied out to right to bring in Fukuura with the game's first run and it was 1-0 Lotte.
Orix retaliated in their portion when Kota Soejima beat out a roller toward third and Kazuhiko Shiotani did likewise. Scott Sheldon hit a groundball right at Koichi Hori at second base, a tailor made groundball, and he let it scoot under his glove to convert Soejima. Incredibly, that was called a hit. Fernando Seguignol grounded out to short to cash in Shiotani. Makoto Shiozaki beat out a tapper toward short. One out later, Tachikawa played what was a catchable fly ball off the bat of second baseman Koichi Oshima into a two run double and it was 4-1 Orix.
Each side a couple of minor scoring opportunities but didn't make anything of them and the game drew to a close as a 4-1 Orix victory.
For Lotte, May was 104 and is at .233.
For Orix, Sheldon was 3-4 with an RBI and is at .237. Seguignol was 0-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .210.
Minchey (L, 5-10) IP 8.0 PC 127 H 10 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.67
Ogura (W, 1-1) IP 6.0
PC 82 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.08
Kawagoe IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.66
K. Yamaguchi (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
2B: Fukuura, K. Oshima, Tani, Shiotani
RBI: S. Omura, Sheldon, Seguignol, K. Oshima 2
SF: S. Omura
HBP: Seguignol (Minchey)
LOB: Lotte 6, Orix 7
Season Series: Lotte 5, Orix 8
Game Time: 2:35
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Maeda (1B), Sato (2B), Kodera (3B)
From the "Hey, is it Just Me or...." Department
Having just watched home run derby Monday, don't you all think that Bud Selig is looking more and more like one of the cartoon characters out of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" music video? His manner is also like a combination of Ed Sullivan and Richard Nixon. And when you see him, do you feel as nauseous as I do?
July 7, 2002
Tigers Take a 10-2 Bite Out of Giants
The Hanshin Tigers managed to tread water Sunday, as they briefly halted their sinking fortunes in the Central League pennant race by taking rookie Hiroki Sanada, ironically an Osaka native out of Himeji Industrial High School making his first pro start, for three runs, two earned, on six hits in five innings to hang him with the loss. Sanada is the first high school draftee to start for Yomiuri in his first year since Tsuneo Horiuchi did it in 1966.
Kei Igawa started for Hanshin and dominated, going eight innings of five hit, one run ball, striking out seven and walking one to grab his tenth victory and reduce his ERA to 1.74, which leads all of Japanese baseball. The southpaw had just nine wins last season due to his team's horrendous offense despite an ERA under 3.00.
Hanshin actually blew an easy scoring chance in the first inning, when second baseman Makoto Imaoka seared a shot down the leftfield line for a standup double and then went to third on a sac bunt. But third baseman Atsushi Kataoka grounded out to second and first baseman George Arias struckout and that was that.
Igawa said after the game that, physically, he didn't feel all that great and it showed in the bottom of the same frame, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to right and shortstop Tomohiro Nioka singled to left to send Shimizu to third. But rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi grounded to second, centerfielder Hideki Matsui flew to center and after Igawa plunked first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara to load the bases, Kenji Fukui grounded out to first to left Igawa off the hook.
In the second, leftfielder Koji Hirashita singled to left with two outs and then catcher Akihiro Yano got good wood on a shuuto (a running fastball) on the inner half of the plate and deposited it in the rightcenterfield seats fror a 2-0 Tigers lead.
They then squandered another facile scoring chance in the third, when Imaoka doubled to rightcenter and went to third on a sacrifice. But Kataoka popped out to second and Arias flied to center to keep it at 2-0.
Hanshin were handed a gift run in the fourth, as, with two gone, Sanada nailed Hirashita and walked Yano. Igawa grounded to second and Toshihisa Nishi made a bad throw pas Kiyohara and Hirashita sprinted in to make it 3-0 Tigers.
Hanshin then had men on ifrst and second with one out in each of the fifth and sixth innings, but didn't drive anyone in. Finally, in the seventh, they opened up on three Giants relievers to put it away. With one out, shortstop Shuta Tanaka doubled down the rightfield line. He then lit out for third and Giants catcher Ota's throw sailed into leftfield and it was 4-0 Hanshin. Kataoka walked. Arias doubled into the leftfield corner. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama walked to load the bases. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka walked and Kataoaka and Arias crossed. Pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi singled to left for another and Fumikazu Takanami was dispatched to pinch run for him. Yano lashed a pitch from Hector Almonte off the centerfield wall for a double to convert Hamanaka. One out later, Imaoka singled to left to recal both Yano and Takanami and it was 10-0 Tigers.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Giants obtained their initial run when Nioka homered to left. They then combined singles to center from Mototsugu Kawanaka, Koji Goto and Takayuki Saito off of Mark Valdez and that's how it ended, 10-2 Tigers.
Sanada's parents, Takashi and Mayumi, were in the stands watching their son in action. The 18 year old freshman hurler was 5-2 with a 2.49 ERA in the minors before being called up to make the start. Yomiuri boss Tatsunori Hara was impressed enough with his effort that he will probably be given another start soon. A Hiroshima advance scout remarked that while Sanada, who can run it up there around 91mph, doesn't have a great fastball, he does handle himself well on the mound and says that once he can get better command of his slider then the Giants will really have something.
A Dragons observer concurred, saying that Sanada's shuuto (basically a changeup with some run on it) gets in well to righthanded hitters and that he has the talent to register double figures in wins one day.
Kiyohara liked the tempo that Sanada maintains, saying it is easy to play behind him since he doesn't waste anytime out there. For a teenager, Sanada seems to be rather poised for his age.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-5 with two strikeouts and is at .261.
For another report on this game, go to:
Igawa (W, 10-4) IP 8.0 PC 123 H 5 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
M. Valdez IP 1.0 PC 25 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.09
Sanada (L, 0-1) IP 5.0 PC 88 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.60
Jobe IP 1.1 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.63
Kawamoto IP 0.0 PC 22 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 10.13
Almonte IP 0.2 PC 11 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.84
Y. Maeda IP 2.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.88
E: Nishi, Ota
SB: S. Tanaka
2B: Imaoka 2, S. Tanaka, Arias, Yano
HR: Yano (4), Nioka (8)
RBI: Imaoka 2, Hamanaka 2, Yagi, Yano 3, Nioka, Takayuki Saito
HBP: Hirashita (Sanada), Kiyohara (Igawa), Ota (Igawa)
LOB: Hanshin 7, Yomiuri 9
Season Series: Hanshin 6, Yomiuri 9
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Tani (HP), Watada (1B), Sasaki (2B), Shikida (3B)
Pair of Two Run Carp Homers Sink Sakamoto,
Hopefully, he isn't becoming discouraged by the lack of victories he's had so far this season, but rookie hurler Yataro Sakamoto made two big mistakes Sunday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium and they both left the field of play with a man on for all of the home team's runs in a 4-1 loss. Despite his 1-5 record, though, Sakamoto is sporting an excellent 2.91 ERA and make no mistake about it, he's a good one and he will, barring injury or a loss of confidence, be a mainstay of this Swallows rotation for years to come.
Masayuki Hasegawa started for Hiroshima and was superb, going all the way and permitting eight hits, only one of those past the fifth, while striking out nine and walking none for his team leading seventh victory.
Hiroshima got on the board in the first, when Itsuki Asai cracked a one out single to center and centerfielder Koichi Ogata sailed one well beyond the leftcenterfield fence for his 12th homer and a 2-0 lead.
In the third, Ogata rammed a two out double down the leftfield line and leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto mortared one over the rightfield wall and it was 4-0 Carp.
Yakult appeared that they would do something in the fourth, when rightfielder Atsunori Inaba legged out a tapper and first baseman Roberto Petagine singled to right. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez struckout, but third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to center to deliver Inaba. Hasegawa then battened down the hatches by fanning the next two men and for all practical purposes, they were done, since Hasegawa did a better job of keeping his stuff down in the zone and dominated from that point on.
For Hiroshima, second baseman Eddie Diaz was 0-4 and is at .308. Luis lopez struckout in a pinch hit role and is at .241. With the emergence of Takahiro Arai and his ineffectuality since that tiff with Maeda, the 37 year old Lopez could be a civilian once the schedule concludes.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 and is at .296. Ramirez was was 1-4 and is at .332.
Sakamoto (L, 1-5) IP 4.0 PC 61 H 6 HR
2 K 1 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.91
Masanori Ishikawa IP 2.2 PC 46 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.72
R. Igarashi IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.17
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.43
Hasegawa (W, 7-2) IP 9.0 PC 114 H 8 HR 0 K 9 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.90
E: K. Nomura
2B: Manaka, Ogata
HR: Ogata (12), Kanemoto (11)
RBI: Ogata 2, Kanemoto 2, Iwamura
WP: R. Igarashi
LOB: Yakult 5, Hiroshima 4
Season Series: Yakult 4, Hiroshima 8
Game Time: 2:45
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Mori (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Watamari (3B)
Takashi Ishii Brilliant in 3-1 Lions Victory Over Kintetsu
Seibu Lions starter Takashi Ishii threw seven solid innings Sunday at Sapporo Dome, coughing up one run on six hits to improve to 4-1, and Kazhiro Wada drove in two runs with a homer and a seventh inning single in a 3-1 victory over the Kintetsu Buffaloes in the rubber game of the three game series. Katsuhiko Maekawa, a Seibu nemesis, wasn't bad, but he wasn't all that on and he suffered the defeat, his sixth, after 6.1 innings of three run ball on eight hits. Moreover, the Lions have guarenteed themselves to be in first place through the all star break, the tenth time the club has done that in its long history. They have won the PL crown in eight of those previous nine occasions.
Kintetsu drew first blood in the second, when first baseman Yuji Yoshioka blowed one up real good over the leftfield fence to make it 1-0.
Wada knotted it, however, in the with one out in the fourth, as he got a pitch up in the strike zone and lofted it beyond the leftcenterfield wall and it was 1-1.
Kintetsu had a man on third with one out, but couldn't get him home in the fifth. The Lions then did similarly, loading the bases with one out in the sixth before a lineout and a flyout killed that opening.
In the seventh, though, Seibu did climb on top. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to left and went to second on a sac bunt. Maekawa attempted to jam DH Toshiaki Inubushi, but he left it out over the plate and Inubushi turned and burned on it and cannonaded it fair down the leftfield line to usher in Matsui. Hiroyuki Shibata came in to pinch run for Inubushi. First baseman Alex Cabrera was intentionally walked. Wada singled to right and Shibata chugged in and it was 3-1 Lions.
Seibu closer Kiyoshi Toyoda strode in from the pen for the ninth after giving up a game winning homer to Norihiro Nakamura the night before. So who was the first hitter of the inning? Nakamura, of course. Toyoda worked him to a 1-2 count and then threw him a 90mph fastball that the burly third baseman grounded to short on. Toyoda may have then mentally let down, as the next batter, rightfielder Kenshi Kawaguchi, singled to right and Toyoda hit Yoshioka. Now the tying run was on first. Toyoda, though, induced a popup from DH Hirotoshi Kitagawa and pinch hitter Masuda whiffed on a forkball for the final out as Toyoda pumped his fist in celebration.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-2 with two walks and is at .282. Third baseman Tom Evans was 1-2 with two walks and is at .296.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-4 and is at .264. Rhodes was 1-12 in the series with five strikeouts, saying that he's not tired, he's just in a rut right now.
Maekawa (L, 3-6) IP 6.1 PC 111 H 8 HR 1 K 2 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA
A. Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.74
Takashi Ishii (W, 4-1) IP 7.0 PC 113 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Doi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
Toyoda (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
E: N. Nakamura
2B: Kitagawa, Nakajima, Inubushi
HR: Yoshioka (10), Wada (10)
RBI: Yoshioka, Inubushi, Wada 2
HBP: Yoshioka (Toyoda)
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Seibu 10
Season Series: Kintetsu 7, Seibu 6
Game Time: 3:18
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Tachibana (2B), Akimura (3B)
Raggio Back for Daiei and He Three Hits Lotte 6-1
Brady Raggio picked up his first win since April 20th Sunday at Fukuoka Dome and he overpowered the hapless Chiba Lotte Marines, three hitting them over seven innings to basically cruise his way through the game. He was backed by an epic day from second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, who laced a two run first inning double and then homered in the eighth to spearhead the 6-1 triumph.
Kosuke Kato continues to have a nightmarish season, as he got just one out and was permitted to face only five hitters before manager Koji Yamamoto yanked him in favor of Ken Yamasaki, who proceeded to twirl 4.2 excellent innings. I would guess that if Kato can't get his act together in his next start, he will be on a bus for the minors.
Daiei took Kato down when centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff with a single to center and leftfielder Pedro Valdez singled to left to set the table. Iguchi had the count in his favor, 2-1, and then squared as if to bunt. When Kato delivered the pitch, Iguchi pulled the bat back and spanked it into the leftcenter alley and both Valdez and Shibahara blazed around to make it 2-0 Hawks. One out later, first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to left and that's when Kato was pulled in favor of Yamasaki, who lured the next two men into grounding out and striking out respectively to limit the potential damage.
As Raggio had Lotte killing worms (yes, I know you can't do that in an artificial turf ballpark; it's just an expression, okay?), the Hawks tacked another one on in the fifth. Catcher Masanori Taguchi catalyzed it by taking a pitch in the body and he was sacrificed to second and then went to third on a groundout. Valdez singled to right and it was 3-0 home team.
Lotte averted the shutout in the sixth when leftfielder Kenji Morozumi scorched one into the rightfield corner for a two bagger and he came around on two groundouts to make it 3-1 Hawks.
Daiei third baseman Hiroki Kokubo got that back, though, in a single stroke when he leadoff the bottom of the inning with a shot into the leftfield bleachers to attain a 4-1 advantage. Two outs later, Motoi Okoshi singled to center and the ball got through Saburo Omura for a three base error as Okoshi sped all the way around to widen the gap to 5-1.
In the eighth, Iguchi got a slider and went with it to right, the ball just barely making it over the 18 foot high wall for a solo homer, and his third longball in three games, to complete the day's scoring at 6-1.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-3 with a walk and is at .233.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at.287.
K. Kato (L, 3-9) IP 0.1 PC 23 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER
2 ERA 6.37
K. Yamasaki IP 4.2 PC 59 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.18
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 3.19
T. Tanaka IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.45
Yoshida IP 1.0 CP 14 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.80
Raggio (W, 3-3) IP 7.0 PC 97 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R
1 ER 1 ERA 5.18
S. Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.44
Nagai IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.94
E: S. Omura, Tsuji
SB: Morozumi, Okoshi
2B: Morozumi, Iguchi
HR: Kokubo (19), Iguchi (11)
RBI: Fukuura, P. Valdez, Iguchi 3, Kokubo
HBP: Taguchi (Yamasaki), Kokubo (Yoshida)
LOB: Lotte 5, Daiei 4
Season Series: Lotte 3, Daiei 10
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Azuma (HP), Tamba (1B), Yamamura (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Seelbach, Yarnell Battle to a 2-2 Standoff
Making his first start in a month, Chris Seelbach pitched well, fashioning eight innings of two run ball on seven hits for Nippon Ham Sunday at Kobe Green Stadium. Unfortunately, Orix starter Ed Yarnell flashed almost identical numbers and neither side could break through from there, so it culminated in a 2-2 12 inning tie. One encouraging thing for the occasionally wild Seelbach is that he only walked two while striking out seven. Nippon Ham manager Yasunori Oshima would be pleased to see more outings like this one.
In the third inning, Orix pulled to the head of the line when centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani leadoff with a single and stole the second of his four bases in the game. Two outs later, Shiotani doubled to leftcenter to score Tani and it was 1-0 Blue Wave.
Nippon Ham, though, surged ahead in the sixth, when second baseman Takaya Hayashi walked and first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara doubled into the leftfield corner. After leftfielder Sherman Obando flied out, third baseman Yukio Tanaka doubled down the rightfield line to chase in both runners and it was 2-1 Fighters.
Orix third baseman Scott Sheldon homered to left in the eighth, however, to gridlock it 2-2.
Neither team had much of a scoring opportunity until the 11th when Orix loaded the bases on three walks with two outs, but Fernando Seguignol grounded out to first and, for all practical purposes, it was over at that juncture since neither side could get a runner on in the 12th.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 0-4 and is at .249. DH D.T. Cromer was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .268.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-4 with an HBP and a walk and three strikeouts and is at .213. Sheldon was 2-6 with an RBI and three strikeouts and is at .227.
IP 8.0 PC 121 H 7 HR 1 K 7 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.93
N. Takahashi IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Shibakusa IP 1.2 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Kato IP 0.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
Tateyama IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.15
Iba IP 1.2 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.71
IP 8.0 PC 114 H 6 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.64
K. Yamaguchi IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
Iwashita IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Okubo IP 1.2 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
SB: Tani 4
2B: M. Ogasawara 2 , Y. Tanaka, Shiotani
HR: Sheldon (8)
RBI: Y. Tanaka 2, Shiotani, Sheldon
HBP: Tani (Seelbach), Seguignol (Seelbach)
LOB: Nippon Ham 6, Orix 13
Season Series: Nippon Ham 9, Orix 5 1 tie
Game Time: 3:53
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Sato (1B), Kodera (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Tatsunami, Tanishige Lead Dragons Past Yokohama 3-1
Chunichi Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada, with Leo Gomez possibly facing retirement if he needs knee surgery, slotted third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami in the cleanup role and he produced, going 3-3 with a pair of RBIs and a walk to spur the Nagoya nine to a 3-1 victory at Ishikawa Prefectural Stadium in Kanazawa (300 down the lines, 400 to center; you can see a pic of the facility at:http://homepage1.nifty.com/tadaf/ishikawa.htm).
Shane Bowers started for Yokohama and while he threw a lot of pitches during his time on the hill, he allowed a measly two hits and a run while striking out six, ultimatley not figuring in the decision. But neither did his opposite number, who also permitted a mere run on five hits in six innings, so it devolved down to a battle of the bullpens and the Dragons were clear winners in that department and so they prevailed when Yokohama's Hosomi was tagged for two runs on two hits in just a little more than an inning.
Tatsunami ended a scoreless deadlock in the fourth, when he slammed a Bowers pitch into the leftfield bleachers to make it 1-0 Dragons.
Yokohama countered when second baseman Seiichi Uchikawa went yard for the first time in his short pro career and it was even at 1-1.
Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige haunted his old team yet again ijn the seventh, poleaxing a Hosomi offering into the rightfield stands and it was 2-1.
An inning later, Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to left and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome legged out a bleeder. Tatsunami singled to right and Ibata jogged in for a 3-1 lead. Eddie Gaillard set the Stars lineup down in order in the ninth to put it to bed and end the Dragons seven game losing streak.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-3 with a walk and is at .178. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .268.
IP 6.0 PC 104 H 2 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.95
Hosomi (L, 0-1) IP 1.1 PC 21 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.77
R. Kawahara IP 0.0 PC 3 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Azuma IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.65
IP 6.0 PC 75 H 5 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.65
Endo (W, 3-1) IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.82
Gaillard (S,17) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
2B: Uchikawa, T. Ishii, T. Nakamura, Tatsunami
HR: Uchikawa (1), Tatsunami (9), Tanishige (12)
RBI: Tatsunami 2, Tanishige, Uchikawa
HBP: Young (Yamai)
LOB: Yokohama 6, Chunichi 6
Season Series: Yokohama 5, Chunichi 10
Game Time: 2:52
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kittaka (2B), Hamano (3B)
Nagata May be Prime High School Pick
According to Nikkan Sports, Tokaidai Boyo High School shortstop Masahiro Nagata could be one of the top high school picks in a November draft that is likely to be dominated mainly by college pitching. Nagata, who is a lefthand hitter with great extension that likes the ball middle in, has raked 30 homers during his scholastic career and some think he has the raw tools to one day be a .280 20 homer guy.
Nagata's father, Koji, played baseball in his youth, but due to "family circumstances," had to quit the sport. However, this doesn't look like a father trying to live through his son since his son didn't started out playing softball in elementary school before moving on to senior league baseball in junior high. His father has coached him and Nagata calls his dad his most trusted adviser. Nevertheless, Nagata may be more project than instant superstar.
According to scouts, Nagata's virtues are that he is exceptionally quick on the defensive side of the ball, a heady player who can make all the routine plays thanks to soft hands and one who won't risk throwing the ball away in order to make a flashy play. Moreover, he gets himself in good throwing position each time, possessing a good flexible body that allows him to do that. He has above average, though hardly astonishing, speed (6.0 for 50 meters).
Where he tends to fall down, scouts say, is that he has a tremendous amount of difficulty with breaking stuff away and anything down and away in general, especially against lefties. That's surprising when you take a look at his swing, where it seems as if he likes to really get extended, but a preference for middle in is the mark of a classic pull hitter and he will have to make that adjustment to get to the big club level. He has a tremendous swing, though, at times reminding of Sadaharu Oh with less of a leg kick and he can hit the ball a long way in spite of his relatively small size (5'11" 170 pounds). You can see an mpg of him at: http://homepage1.nifty.com/marcphoto/02cyuumoku/02cba-nagata.htm You can see a still pic at: http://homepage1.nifty.com/marcphoto/02cyuumoku/02cba-nagata.htm
Kazuo Matsui, not suprisingly and rather aptly, is his favorite player despite the fact that he is a Yomiuri Giants fan. In fact, the way Nagata gets rid of the ball recalls Matsui. A player this advanced defensively probably won't benefit from going to college and should accept a pro offer even if he is still a few years away as a hitter. I love his swing and if he can make some adjustments could be a real contributor for a club in the future as long, as scouts say, whoever takes him on has some patience.
Source: Some of the details of this report wouldn't have been possible without the information provided by the Mei Scout website: http://www1.odn.ne.jp/~caq79450/www1.odn.ne.jp/index.htm
Brother Elephants Take First Half Title in Taiwan
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/07/07/story/0000147404
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 7th and on that date in
Japanese baseball history in 1957, Taiyo Whales lefthander Masatoshi Gondo
ended his 28 game losing streak at Kawasaki Stadium against the Yomiuri Giants,
cracking an RBI knock and throwing a 4-0 shutout.
July 6, 2002
Carlyle, Fukuhara Rocked in 12-2 Loss to Giants
Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui celebrated moving into third place all time for consecutive games played Saturday with a two run third inning bases loaded double, as the Tokyoites stomped their Osaka rival, the Hanshin Tigers, 12-2. Yusaku Iriki was the benificiary of the offensive explosion, one that saw 13 batters come up in the eight during an eight run revolt that put it on ice for the kyojin. Ex-San Diego Padre Buddy Carlyle, in his 2002 debut, was hammered for four runs on five hits in four innings to absorb the loss.
Carlyle actually started out impressively, fanning the four of the first seven men he faced through the second inning. but he was confronted with a bit of bad business in the third. Giants catcher Yoshinori Murata ignited it with a leadoff single to right and was sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to left. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka doubled down the leftfield line to plate Murata. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi walked to pack the sacks. Matsui then got a 3-1 fastball that was letter high and middle out and though he says he kind of got it toward the end of the bat, he torched it into the leftcenter alley to chase in a pair as he went into second with a standup double. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara then hit a little tapper by the mound that Carlyle got to, but his only play was to first as Takahashi hustled in to make it 4-0 Yomiuri.
Hanshin squandered a men on first and second, one out opportunity in the fourth and then a man on second, one out chance in the fifth before Iriki left a fat one to centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka in the seventh and Hamanaka gutted it for a solo homer to left. Two outs later, Kentaro Sekimoto beat out a little bouncer and second baseman Makoto Imaoka slammed a double into the rightcenter gap to shrink the deficit with the Giants to 4-2.
Shinobu Fukuhara had entered the game in the seventh to throw a perfect inning, but he really got his head handed to him in the eighth. Shimizu leadoff with his 100th hit of the season, a big fly into the rightfield stands. One out later, Takahashi singled to right. Matsui walked. Koji Goto, who had replaced Kiyohara when the latter's hanstring began to bother him again, also drew a freebie to juice the bags. Masahiro Kawai struckout, but then Nishi clobbered one off the centerfield fence and everybody went home (and so should have Hanshin at this point) to make it 8-2. Fukuhara plunked Murata. Takayuki Saito, pinch hitting for Iriki, singled to center to send in Nishi. Takehiro Hashimoto was called in from the bullpen and continued to be a huge disappointment, as Daisuke Motoki clocked a double down the leftfield line for two runs. Nioka singled to right, and Takahashi went the same direction to convert Motoki and it was 12-2 Giants.
Mercifully, Hector Almonte finished the Tigers off real quick like in the ninth and it was "game setto."
Matsui, who has racked up ten RBIs in his last six games, extended his consecutive games string to 1180, which brings him up even with former Yakult Swallow and now Hanshin Tiger Katsumi Hirosawa. The Giants cleanup hitter's streak began on August 22, 1993 against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Yokohama. This is also his 345th straight contest in the four hole. Next on the list is Nankai Hawks and Kokutetsu Swallows great Tokuji Iida, with 1246. If Matsui maintains his good health, he should pass that up the final week of the season. Iida also owns the Pacific League record with 899 that was eclipsed by Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui earlier this season.
Hanshin, however, can assert no such glory, as they have dropped their last three and are down to just one game over .500. That means that they are six games under .500 since that seven game victory binge that kicked off their regular schedule. Manager Senichi Hoshino, in fact, was so displeased with the ugliness of this affair that he spent a few minutes after the end of it getting his foot intimately aquainted with a dugout trash can. By contrast, the Giants have won all five of their July tilts. Thanks to Sports Nippon and Nikkan Sports for the stats.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 1-3 with a walk and is at .258. It seems like it was the Eisenhower adminstration when he last went deep. Carlyle was 1-1 and is batting 1.000.
0-1) IP 4.0 PC 60 H 5 HR
0 K 6 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 9.00
Taninaka IP 2.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.06
Fukuhara IP 1.2 PC 55 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 7 ER 7 ERA 5.47
T.H. Hashimoto IP 0.1 PC 13 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 23.14
Y. Iriki (W, 3-1)
IP 7.0 PC 98 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.91
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
2B: Nioka, H. Matsui, Nishi,
Motoki, Imaoka, Yano, Kataoka
HR: Hamanaka (12), T. Shimizu (8)
RBI: Hamanaka, Imaoka, T. Shimizu, Motoki 2, Nioka, Y. Takahashi, H. Matsui 2, Kiyohara, Nishi 3, Takayuki Saito
HBP: Murata (Fukuhara)
GIDP: Imaoka, Etoh
LOB: Hanshin 6, Yomiuri 4
Season Series: Hanshin 5, Yomiuri 9
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Sasaki (1B), Shikida (2B), Tani (3B)
Ramirez Slam, Three Run Homer, Club Record Nine RBIs Crushes Carp 17-3
Yakult Swallows leftfielder Alex Ramirez had the best day of his entire pro baseball career Saturday, as he slugged a pair of homers, one a grand slam, as part of a 4-6 night and set a new RBI team single game standard with nine runs driven in to spur his team's steamrollering of the Hiroshima Carp at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium 17-3. All five Carp hurlers where screwed, blued and tattooed for at least two runs in the barrage by the birds. Ramirez also seized the top spot in the CL RBI race with 53.
The Swallows offense in general also had its highest hit total, 22, since September of 1984, when it rapped out 23 knocks against the Hanshin Tigers. Four players had at least three hits and another three had a pair. This display also ended a four game losing streak against Hiroshima.
Yakult centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff the game with a single to center and, one out later, rightfielder Atsunori Inaba walked. First baseman Roberto Petagine whiffed, but then Carp starter Yasushi Tsuruta nailed catcher Atusya Furuta with a pitch to load the bases. Ramirez was next and after taking a couple of fastballs, he got the forkball he was expecting, a hanger, and though he got it kind of on the middle of the bat (see photo at the end of the paragraph), he got it up into the wind and the ball carried out to rightcenter for a "sensei manrui" (grand slam that gives you the first lead of the game) and a 4-0 advantage. singled http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020707-5.jpg
Yakult starter Takahiko Hagiwara, unfortunately, fared about as well in the Carp half of the same frame. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to center. Takuya Kimura singled to right. Second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to left to push Ogata in. Two outs later, rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to center to recall Kimura and third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to right to deliver Diaz and it was 4-3.
In the top of the third,.Petagine latched on to a Tsuruta offering and buried it beyond the rightcenterfield fence. The Swallows then loaded the bases with one out to depose Tsuruta, but Koji Hiroike induced a pair of groundouts to keep anyone else from scoring and the inning concluded with the Swallows up 5-3.
The next time up, Yakult got another longball to widen their lead. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto walked to open the fourth and then Inaba tried his luck to rightcenter, too, and it was successful, for his second roundtripper of the campaign and it was 7-3.
Rigo Beltran was asked by Carp boss Koji Yamamoto to take the hill in the fifth, and with dire results. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked and went to second on a groundout. Reliever Yuya Kamada, who had replaced Hagiwara in the third, slapped a comebacker to Beltran, who threw it away attempting to get Iwamura at third and the Swallows had another run at 8-3.
The Swallows returned and gave Beltran a real hiding in the sixth. Petagine cracked a one out single to left. Catcher Kosei Ono singled to right. Ramirez went to the opposite field and put it in the seats for a three run homer to make it 11-3. The next man up, Iwamura, exited stage left for back to back jacks and now the difference with Hiroshima was a yawning 12-3.
In the seventh, Miyamoto singled to center and Inaba split the outfielders in leftcenter for an RBI double. Petagine creamed another one into the rightfield bleachers and it was 15-3. They then turned two singles and a pair of doubles into two runs off of Rob Stanifer in the ninth to cap off the rain of runs at 17-3.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .314. First baseman Luis Lopez was 0-3 and is at .243.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 4-6 with nine RBIs and is at .297. Petagine was 3-5 with three RBIs and an error and is at .297.
Hagiwara IP 2.0
PC 40 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.02
Kamada (W, 1-0) IP 3.0 PC 42 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Newman IP 2.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.26
Matsuda IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Teramura IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.92
2-4) IP 2.1 PC 55 H 6 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 7.61
Hiroike IP 1.2 PC 32 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.63
Beltran IP 1.1 PC 38 H 4 HR 2 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 9.15
Hayashi IP 1.2 PC 25 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 16.20
Stanifer IP 2.0 PC 28 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.42
E: Petagine, Lopez, Beltran
2B: Manaka, Inaba, K. Ono, Iwamura
HR: Ramirez 2, (15), Petagine 2 (20), Inaba (2), Iwamura (10)
RBI: Ramirez 9, Petagine 3, Inaba 3, Iwamura, Kamada, Diaz, T. Maeda, Arai
HBP: Furuta (Tsuruta)
PB: K. Ono
LOB: Yakult 9, Hiroshima 9
Season Series: Yakult 4, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Watamari (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Shindo, Seguignol Combine for Seven RBIs in 10-5 Bopping of Nippon Ham
Koo Dae-sung, perhaps as a response to Pacific League manager Masataka Nishida's leaving him off the all star team despite leading the circuit in ERA, twirled another brilliant seven innings of one run ball on seven hits against Nippon Ham at Kobe Green Stadium Saturday to reduce his ERA to 1.87 as his teammates were shredding Fighters starter Itsuki Shoda for six earned runs on six hits in 1.1 innings and then reliever Tateishi for four more to win it easily, 10-5.
Shoda went through the first with no trouble but then couldn't get anyone out in the second. Leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani singled to left. First baseman Scott Sheldon singled to center. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki beat out a tapper to load the bases. Third baseman Tatsuya Shindo singled to right and Shiotani crossed to make it 1-0. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka singled to center to register Sheldon and Shiozaki, but Shindo was out trying to go to third. Rightfielder Daisuke Joji walked. Tani singled to left and Hidaka wheeled around. That was the end for Shoda, who was substitued for Naoyuki Tateishi. Second baseman Koichi Oshima grounded to second. DH Fernando Seguignol, though, went kablooie and airmailed one to an address in the centerfield bleachers for a three run homer and it was 7-0 Blue Wave.
Nippon Ham struck for their first run in the third, when shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to right and went to second on a groundout. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara doubled down the leftfield line and it was 7-1 Orix.
Orix then pillaged Tateishi for three more before going into hibernation. With two out, Sheldon singled to right, as did Shiozaki. Shindo mashed one over the leftfield wall and Orix was in control 10-1.
In the top of the eighth, Ogasawara raked an offering from reliever Jun Hagiwara out to right to make it 10-2.
Imamura was then sent in to mop up for Orix and he demonstrated why he has an ERA over 6.00. With one down, Kaneko singled to right. Rightfielder Kazuteru Shimada singled to center. Ogasawara singled to center to plate Kaneko with his third hit. Leftfielder Sherman Obando doubled in Shimada and second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto flied out to see in Ogasawara. Imamura walked third baseman Yukio Tanaka and that was all for him, as Toshihiro Kase had to save his butt, DH D.T. Cromer flying to left to put this baby to bed.
With his 3-5 day, Ogasawara is now hitting .365, leading the league by 26 points.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-4 with three RBIs and is at .218. Sheldon was 2-4 with two strikeouts and is at .224.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 3-5 with an RBI and a steal and is at .253. Cromer was 0-4 with a walk and is at .274.
2-4) IP 1.1 PC 38 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 6 ER
6 ERA 3.15
Tateishi IP 3.2 PC 61 H 6 HR 2 K 4 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.30
Muto IP 2.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.64
N. Takahashi IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
5-4) IP 7.0 PC 120 H 7 HR 0 K 8
BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.82
J. Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.17
Imamura IP 0.2 PC 23 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.45
Kase IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
2B: M. Ogasawara, Y. Tanaka, Obando, Hidaka
HR: M. Ogasawara (22), Seguignol (17), Shindo (2)
RBI: Seguignol 3, Shindo 4, Tani, Hidaka 2, M. Ogasawara 3, Obando, Kimoto
HBP: Shiotani (Muto)
LOB: Nippon Ham 11, Orix 3
Season Series: Nippon Ham 9, Orix 5
Game Time: 3:13
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kodera (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Ninth Inning Nakamura Longball Gives Buffaloes 7-6 Win
The Kintetsu Buffaloes were down to their last strike Saturday at Sapporo Dome in the top of the ninth, with Seibu Lions reliever Kiyoshi Toyoda endeavoring to finish off Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, who had already been thrown two strikes he had called unhittable. Toyoda tried his luck with another 92mph heater, but left it up over the plate and Nakamura did a real hatchet job on it, sending it the opposite way and well into the rightfield seats to take his side from a 6-5 deficit to a 7-6 lead. Akinori Otsuka then came on and retired the Lions in order to end it. That was the stocky infielder's second come from behind final frame homer of the season among the five total that have been unloaded in all of Japanese baseball in 2002.
Buffaloes starter Hisashi Iwakuma lasted just five hitters and 15 pitches, walking one and hitting another, before he was pulled, though nothing in the press indicates why. If he's injured, though, it will be a huge loss to an already thin staff.
The game was scoreless until the fourth, when Lions starter Mitsui seemed a bit out of sync. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes kicked it off with a single to right. One out later, first baseman Yuji Yoshioka walked. DH Hirotoshi Kitagawa then got a fastball and lasered it over the leftcenterfield fence for a three run homer and a 3-0 Buffs lead.
The Lions began to stir in the fifth, when third baseman Tom Evans leadoff with a triple into the rightfield corner and crossed on a single to left from catcher Tsutomu Itoh and it was 3-1 Kintetsu.
The Buffs turned that around and enlarged the size of the their lead in the top of the sixth, as Nakamura leadoff with a single to center, Yoshioka singled to right and Kitagawa beat out a bleeder to load the bases. Lions reliever Hayato Aoki plunked pinch hitter Kenshi Kawaguchi to force a run in and shortstop Masahiro Abe flied out to give Yoshioka time to tag and hustle in to make it 5-1 Kintetsu.
Seibu, though, didn't quit and things got tense in the bottom segment. With one down, DH Kazuhiro Wada doubled to leftcenter and went to third on a groundout. Evans walked. Itoh then went yard to left and now it was a 5-4 contest.
Alex Cabrera stepped up and got counted bigtime in the seventh. Leftfielder Tetsuya Kakiuchi slapped a two out single single to center and then Cabrera applied some serious pain to an offering from Akira Okamoto and left the remains bruised and battered in the leftcenterfield seats for a gyakuten two run and a 6-5 Lions edge.
But in the ninth, Toyoda couldn't keep a good Buffalo down. Witn one out, pinch hitter Masuda singled to left. One out later, Nakamura, who was looking for either a forkball or a fastball, saw Toyoda leave it in his wheelhouse and it was gone as soon as he hit it for the tying and go ahead runs and the Osaka second favorite sons were up 7-6. That was the first homer that Toyoda had surrendered in 25 appearances and the first for Nakamura in nine games covering 37 at bats.
Otsuka then mosied in and kept the Lions quiet to wrap it up.
Mets scout Isao Ojimi is seriously following Nakamura around, insisting that the third sacker has what it takes to be an everyday player in MLB (I beg to differ). Come July 14, Nakamura will qualify for free agency.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .285, He has homered in four consecutive games. Evans was 1-3 with two strikeouts and a walk and is at .291.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-5, earning a golden sombrero with four whiffs, and is at .268.
IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
Koike IP 3.1 PC 68 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.31
Johnson IP 2.0 PC 36 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 7.50
A. Okamoto IP 0.1 PC 14 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.72
Misawa (W, 3-1) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.94
A.N. Otsuka (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
IP 5.0 PC 76 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.81
Aoki IP 2.0 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.30
Mori IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.62
Toyoda (L, 4-1) IP 1.0 PC 27 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.33
SB: K. Matsui, T. Itoh, H. Takagi
2B: Kitagawa, Wada 2
HR: Kitagawa (1), N. Nakamura (24), T. Itoh (5), Cabrera (23)
RBI: Kitagawa 3, N. Nakamura 2, Kawaguchi, M. Abe, T. Itoh 4, Cabrera 2
SF: M. Abe
HBP: Kawaguchi (Aoki), Miyaji (Iwakuma)
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Seibu 6
Season Series: Kintetsu 7, Seibu 5
Game Time: 3:39
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Akimura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
May's Two Homers Help Lotte Topple Hawks 6-4
Daiei Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh had rookie reliever Iijima make his first ever pro start Saturday at Fukuoka Dome, but he didn't last out the third, as the Chiba Lotte Marines got two homers from DH Derrick May to win for the only time this season so far at the Hawks nest 6-4. Shingo Ono wasn't that great, but by allowing three runs in five innings, he was just good enough to claim his second victory of the year.
Daiei went out to a 2-0 lead in the first, as leftfielder Pedro Valdez walked and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi mortared one over the centerfield wall for his tenth homer of the campaign.
May leadoff the top of the second by taking a drive out to the rightcenterfield bleachers to make it 2-1 Hawks.
In the third, Lotte leftfielder Kenji Morozumi leadoff with an infield hit and stole the first of his two bases. Two outs later, rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa singled to right to topple Iijima and knot it at 2-2. Nobuyasu Matsu replaced him and May greeted him by making him ask for a new ball, since May launched the old one over the rightfield fence for a two run homer and it was now 4-2 Lotte.
Daiei loaded the bases with one out in the fourth on a hit batsman, a walk and a single by DH Noriyoshi Omichi. But rightfielder Koji Akiyama rolled into a 6-4-3 double play to kill the rally.
Lotte then played add on in the fifth, when first baseman Kazuya Fukuura doubled down the leftfield line and went to third on a groundout. May flied out, but centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to right to usher in Fukuura and second baseman Koichi Hori doubled to rightcenter to drive in Omura to make it 6-2.
In the sixth, Iguchi was hit again, this time by reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi, and first baseman Nobuhiko Matsnaka homered to left and Lotte's lead had been whittled down to 6-4. That turned out to the final score, since Brian Sikorsky and Masahide Kobayashi shut the Hawks down the rest of the way.
For Lotte, May was 3-5 with three RBIs and is at .236.
For Daiei, Valdez was 0-3 with a walk and is at .283.
S. Ono (W,
5.0 PC 84 H 3 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.43
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.06
Fujita IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Sikorsky IP 1.1 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.40
M. Kobayashi (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.45
3-3) IP 2.2 PC
63 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.41
Matsu IP 2.0 PC 10 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.80
Matsumoto IP 0.1 PC 8 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.17
Ogura IP 2.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
K. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
Pedraza IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
SB: S. Omura, Hori, Morozumi 2
2B: Akiyama, Fukuura, Hori, May
HR: May 2 (7), Iguchi (10), Matsunaka (12)
RBI: Tachikawa, May 3, S. Omura, Hori, Iguchi 2, Matsunaka 2
HBP: Hori (Iijima), Iguchi 2 (S. Ono)
LOB: Lotte 10, Daiei 6
Season Series: Lotte 3, Daiei 9
Game Time: 4:00
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Yamamura (1B), Hayashi (2B), Higashi (3B)
Yoshimi Makes Ogawa Two Run Homer Standup Against Dragons 2-1
Yuji Yoshimi outpitched Takashi Ogasawara Saturday at Toyama Municipal Stadium to lead the Yokohama Bay Stars past the Chunichi Dragons 2-1. Stars third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa provided the only offense that Yoshimi required, homering to leftcenter with rightfielder Boi Rodrigues on second after a double in the second.
The Dragons scored their sole run in the sixth by combining a single to center from centerfielder Kuramoto and a sacrifice fly by rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome to center. However, the game could very well have been tied had shortstop Hirokazu Ibata not been thrown out trying to steal after he leadoff with a single to center.
In the eighth, Chunichi outfielder Onishi doubled down the rightfield line to commence the stanza and was sacrificed to third, but two Yokohama relievers struckout the following two hitters and that was effectively the ballgame.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .186. Rodrigues was 1-4 and is at .274.
5-3) IP 7.1 PC 95 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.21
Azuma IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.76
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
T. Saito (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.43
T. Ogasawara (L,
5-4) IP 8.0 PC 109 H 5 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.22
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.47
2B: Rodrigues, Onishi
HR: Ogawa (4)
RBI: Ogawa 2
LOB: Yokohama 3, Chunichi 5
Season Series: Yokohama 5, Chunichi 9
Game Time: 2:45
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Kittaka (1B), Hamano (2B), K. Kobayashi (3B)
Marty Kuehnert Ruminates on the Day of the MLB All Star Game
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sp20020710mk.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 6th and on that date in Japanese baseball history
in 1973, former Yankee Joe Pepitone, who was then with Yakult, just disappeared.
What happened was that he went back to the U.S. without telling anyone. So
he was, as you can guess, released.
Hisanori Takahashi Sinks Moore, Hanshin 4-1
Noticing that his fastball and slider were up in the strike zone the first couple of innings, Yomiuri Giants lefthander Hisanori Takahashi began relying on his sinker and to good effect, as the Hanshin Tigers didn't record a safety for the remaining five frames, as the kyojin exploited an error by Tigers third baseman Atsushi Kataoka to go in front and then got a two run homer from Godzilla Matsui for insurance in a 4-1 victory Friday at Tokyo Dome. Takahashi improved to 7-1 while Hanshin starter Trey Moore, who was excellent, saw his fall to 6-6. Hanshin also tumbled into fourth place thanks to the defeat.
One unfortunate fallout of the loss for Moore, though, is that he popped a blister on his index finger and was taken off the roster until it heals. The question is, how does that affect his all star berth? According to Sports Nippon, he won't be able to appear in it, which is sad for someone whose determination as well as fine pitching has injected a lot of life into the resurgent Tigers this season.
The Osaka contingent went in front in the second, as Takahashi endeavored to sneak a fastball under the hands of centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka, but Hamanaka turned and burned, unleashing a rocket into the leftfield seats for a 1-0 lead.
Moore had some control problems in the second and it cost him. Matsui tattooed a fastball past first for a basehit. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara and third baseman Akira Etoh both walked to load the bases. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi lifted a sac fly to left and it was a 1-1 deadlock.
In the fifth, the Giants received some defensive charity from the Tigers infield. With two gone, Kataoka fielded a ground ball from leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu and then dropped it. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka looped a broken bat single to left and Shimizu motored to third. Moore then got a slider in to Yoshinobu Takahashi, but it was also up, and "Wolf," as he is nicknamed, fisted it into centerfield for an RBI and a 2-1 Giants advantage.
The score remained that way until the eighth, when Takahashi leadoff with a single off of Hanshin reliever Shoji Toyama to right and now it was Godzilla's turn. Matsui was 0-13 in 1999 against Toyama, who has generally owned the Yomiuri centerfielder. This time, though, Matsui would turn the tables. Toyama threw a 1-1 forkball that was up and on the outer half of the plate. Matsui appeared to be expecting something harder and had already begun to open his hips up to turn on the ball. He kept his hands back, however, and then threw his top hand at the ball and got it flush on the barrel and lined it into the centerfield seats 415 away, a fearsome piece of hitting technique, kind of Jim Edmonds-like. You can see what I mean when you view the following pic: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020706-6.jpg In any event, that made it 4-1 Yomiuri.
That was Matsui's 299th lifetime dinger and he will soon become the second youngest man ever to make it to 300 long gone kabongs in Japanese history. I trust that Baseball Guru readers, who are a cut above in any case, know who the youngest was. Godzilla said that he would like to hit the third century mark in front of the home folks before the all star break.
Junichi Kawahara came in from the pen batta bing, batta boom, game over.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-4 and is at .258. Moore was 0-2 and is at .257.
Source of some details on this game from the Yomiuri Shimbun english edition.
Moore (L, 6-6) IP 6.2 PC 112 H 3 HR 0 K 6 BB 5 R 2 ER 1
Hesaka IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toyama IP 0.0 PC 5 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 10.13
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.41
H. Takahashi (W, 7-1) IP 7.0 PC 98 H 2 HR 1 K 5 BB 3 R 1 ER 1
Jeon IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
J. Kawahara (S, 15) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
HR: Hamanaka (11), H. Matsui (17)
RBI: Hamanaka, H. Matsui 2, Nishi, Y. Takahashi
LOB: Hanshin 4, Yomiuri 6
Season Series: Hanshin 5, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 2:40
Umpires: Watada (HP), Shikida (1B), Tani (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Seventh Inning Ogata Balst a Winner for Hiroshima
Somehow, "nuketara shikkari utsu miseru yo" lacks the elan of "you hang 'em, we'll bang 'em," but that is exactly what occured at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium on a misty, drizzly Friday, as Hiroshima Carp centerfielder Koichi Ogata thwacked an offering from Yakult Swallows reliever Ryu Kawabata in the bottom of the seventh inning to power a 6-5 Carp triumph. Starter Ken Takahashi got the win for Hiroshima even though his performance blew, five runs on ten hits in seven innings to elevate his squad to third place in the CL pennant race.
Yakult starter Shugo Fujii got off to a rocky beginning in the first. With one out, he plunked Jun Hirose and walked Ogata. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto singled to right to pack the sacks. Second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to left and Hirose and Ogata galloped in for a 2-0 Carp lead.
The Swallows compensated for that in the top of the second, when leftfielder Alex Ramirez' single to left was followed up by a free roundtrip tour to leftcenter by third baseman Akinori Iwamura and it was 2-2.
Their next time at bat in the third, the Swallows splashed a three spot on the big board. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to center. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba laid down a sac bunt. Takahashi tried to get Miyamoto at second, but it was not in time. Both men moved up on a groundout to first. Catcher Atsuya Furuta singled to right to cash the runners in and it was 4-2 Yakult.
But Fujii wasn't on and Hiroshima first baseman Luis Lopez got off. Diaz walked to open the inning and Lopez mashed a Fujii delivery into the leftfield stands and it was even again at 4-4.
Miyamoto catalyzed a mini rally for Yakult in the fifth when he cracked a one out single to center and advanced on a groundout. Now let's do some math, boys and girls, shall we? You have a base open with a man on second and Roberto Petagine looking to murder the first hittable ball he sees. Of course, you intentionally walk him! But nope, the Venezuelan cleanup man was allowed to hit and he did, lacing an RBI single to left to bring in Miyamoto with the lead run at 5-4. Yakult then loaded the bases on singles to center from Furuta and Ramirez, but Iwamura came up empty and they weren't able to inflict anymore damage on Takahashi.
Hiroshima charged back suring their turn, as Kimura leadoff with a single to left and went ot second on a sacrifice. One out later, Kanemoto lashed a single to right and Kimura strode in to restore equilibrium at 5-5.
In the seventh, in the aftermath of a blown sacrifice
that resulted in a double play for Hiroshima and thsu now with two down,
Ogata got a hanging slider from Kawabata and pounded it into the leftfield
seats for the 6-5 lead and the W, since Shigeo Tamaki and closer Yasuhiro
Oyamada threw a hitless inning apiece for the Carp to lock it up. You can
see a pic of the
homer at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/07/06/20020706004530.jpg
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .289. Ramirez was 2-4 with two strikeouts and is at .325.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and two RBIs and is at .316. Lopez was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .247.
IP 5.0 PC 90 H 6 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.84
Kawabata (L, 1-2) IP 2.0 PC 29 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.63
Newman IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.40
K. Takahashi (W, 7-6) IP 7.0 PC 101 H 10 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.51
Oyamada (S, 19) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.09
HR: Iwamura (9), Lopez (5), Ogata (11)
RBI: Iwamura 2, Petagine, Furuta 2, Diaz 2, Lopez 2, Ogata, Kanemoto,
HBP: Hirose (S. Fujii)
GIDP: Manaka, Kanemoto, Hirose
LOB: Yakult 6, Hiroshima 7
Season Series: Yakult 3, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:01
Umpires: Mori (HP), Watamari (1B), Suginaga (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Powell Taken Deep Twice by Cabrera in First Loss in Two Months
Kintetsu Buffaloes starter Jermey Powell was bidding for his tenth win in a row Friday at Sapporo Dome, but was victimized by a pair of huge two run bombs by Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera as well as RBI singles from rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki and centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji to lose it 6-5. Fumiya Nishiguchi claimed the victory for the winners, his eighth.
If the crowd came out to see Cabrera hit one real far, they came away delighted, as the former Diamondback followed up on a one out Ozeki single with a mooonshot off of a big slow curve ball that cleared the upper deck entirely and landed on a stairwell above that level, a shot which was estimated at more than 455 feet. Was Cabrera waiting on a breaking ball? He said after the game that Powell had been getting him out with that pitch (Cabrera had been 1-8 on the year against him), so he went up looking for it and got it and made it 2-0 Lions.
Kintetsu did some yardwork of their own in the top of the second to tie it up and then surge ahead.. Kenshi Kawaguchi leadoff with a drive into the rightfield bleachers. Two outs later, shortstop Masahiro Abe belted his third of the year to left to make it 2-2. Catcher Tetsuya Matsuyama doubled off the leftfield wall. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to left to recall Matoyama and it was 3-2 Buffs.
Powell struckout the side in the second, but when he came back for the third, Cabrera did it to him again. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi leadoff with a single to center and went to second on a groundout. Ozeki ripped a shot off the glove of Abe and Takagi kept on running until he hit home as the ball trickled away. Ozeki was sacrificed along, but that proved to be unnecessary, as Powell threw a high fastball to Cabrera that he caved in, the ball landing just to the left of straightway centerfield for another 455 foot voyage and an additional two RBIs to raise his side to 5-3.
In the fifth, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes may have run the Buffs out of a scoring chance. Omura leadoff with a triple off the rightfield wall. One out later, Nishiguchi nailed Rhodes with a pitch. With third baseman Norihiro Nakamura up at the plate, Rhodes took off for second and the umpire said catcher Tsutomu Itoh's throw was in time, though Rhodes protested that shortstop Kazuo Matsui never touched him before he got to the bag. The umpire's call stood, as it always does, and Nakamura then struckout to end the inning.
No matter which way you cut it, though, that was a bonehead move by Rhodes. For one thing, even if he makes it, you take the bat out of the hands of one of your sluggers, since Nakamura probably would have been intentionally walked to set up a force at every base. Too, as was demonstrated above, if he is out, rather having the possibility of scoring on an out, you now need a knock to bring the runner in. For the record, though, Buffaloes manager Masataka Nishida said that he saw what Rhodes was trying to do and said he liked the ex-Cub's aggressiveness.
Seibu score again in the fifth by converting on an error from second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi. With two outs, Ozeki rolled one to Muzuguchi, who booted it. He went to second on a wild pitch by Powell. Miyaji singled to right and Ozeki blazed in and it was 6-3 Lions.
Kintetsu rallied in the sixth to heighten the tension. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi walked to start it and rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano flamed a one out triple up the rightcenter gap to redeem Kawaguchi. Abe grounded to second and it was 6-5 Seibu. Kintetsu would only muster one more hit the rest of the way, however, and that was the ballgame.
For Seibu, third baseman Tom Evans was 0-2 with a walk and is at .289. Cabrera was 2-4 with four RBIs and is at .286.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-3 with an HBP and is at. 269.
Powell (L, 9-4) IP 5.0 PC 80 H 6 HR 2 K 5 BB 0 R
6 ER 5 ERA 3.41
T. Yoshida IP 2.1 PC 36 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
A.N. Otsuka IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Nishiguchi (W, 8-4) IP 6.0 PC 109 H 8 HR 2 K 6 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.35
Doi IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.83
Mori IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.66
Toyoda (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.69
3B: Takano, N. Omura
HR: Kawaguchi (4), M. Abe (3), Cabrera 2 (22)
RBI: Cabrera 4, Ozeki, Miyaji, N. Omura, Kawaguchi, Takano, M. Abe 2
HBP: Rhodes (Nishiguchi)
GIDP: N. Omura
LOB: Kintetsu 5, Seibu 2
Season Series: Kintetsu 6, Seibu 5
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Akimura (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Kokubo's Four RBIs Lead 8-3 Thumping of Lotte by Daiei
In front of his old manager at Aoyama Gakuin University and 46,000 other folks at Fukuoka Dome Friday, Daiei Hawks third baseman Hiroki Kokubo homered and drove in four runs to help starter Akichika Yamada win his first game in just a hair under two months in an 8-3 Hawks victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines. Another alumnus of that school, which under the tutelage of manager Masao Kawaharai as produced so many fine pro players, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi, also went deep.
Naoyuki Shimizu started for Lotte and he was leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone, and, as he told reporters after the game, "I couldn't make that work," as he was assaulted for five earned runs on five hits to even his record at 5-5.
Daiei went to work on Shimizu rightaway, as centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff the bottom of the first with a single to center and leftfielder Pedro Valdez, who is starting to show signs of pulling out of his long slump, singled to right. Iguchi sacrificed both men along and Kokubo then pounded a ball off the 18 foot high leftfield fence for a double as Valdez and Shibahara found their way home for a 2-0 Hawks lead. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka smacked a liner that was headed for leftcenter if not for the intervention of Lotte's gold glove shortstop Makoto Kosaka, who snared it for the second out. DH Noriyoshi Omichi then struckout to minimize the damage to Shimizu.
In the third, Valdez worked a one out walk and was forced out at second on a grounder from Iguchi. Kokubo then stepped up and atomized an 89mph fastball on the outer half of the plate and hurtled it way back in the leftfield seats to double his side's advantage to 4-0.
Yamada, who has been having problems sticking around past the fifth recently, appeared as if he was going to require a rescue effort in the fifth, as Lotte made it close. Third baseman Tadaharu Sakai leadoff with a bunt single. One out later, leftfielder Kenji Morozumi singled to center. The little guy Kosaka tattooed a shot off the centerfield fence for a double to drive in Sakai. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura flew out to deep center to plate Morozumi and get Kosaka to third. Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa then beat out a tapper toward third and Kosaka was in with the third run to make it 4-3.
Daiei went back up by two in the fifth, as shortstop Yusuke Torigoe tripled into the leftcenter alley and came in on a sac fly from Shibahara and the Hawks had a 5-3 edge.
They then tacked on another tally in the sixth, when Matsunaka singled to center with one out, Omichi singled to left and rightfielder Koji Akiyama singled to center to usher in Matsunaka and it was 6-3 Hawks.
In the seventh and with two out, Iguchi righteously abused a curve ball from Lotte reliever Atsushi Yoshida and rocketed it up into the second deck in left to make it 7-3. You can see a pic of the Kokubo and Iguchi dingers at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020706-9.jpg
The Hawks then aquired their final run of the night in the eighth when Omichi finagled a one out walk and was pinch run for by Munenori Kawasaki, who subsequently went to second on a flyout and scored on a single to left from catcher Masanori Taguchi and that's how it ended, 8-3.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 1-3 with a walk and is at .227.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-3 with a walk and is at .287.
N. Shimizu (L, 5-5) IP 4.0 PC 69 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.65
Kawai IP 1.1 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.53
H. Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
Fujita IP 0.2 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.82
A. Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 31 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.57
A. Yamada (W, 5-5) IP 5.0 PC 106 H 8 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Matsu IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
K. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
Matsumoto IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: Kosaka, Tachikawa, Kawasaki
2B: Kosaka, Kokubo
HR: Kokubo (18), Iguchi (9)
RBI: Kokubo 4, Iguchi, Shibahara, Akiyama, Taguchi, Kosaka, Fukuura, Tachikawa
SF: Fukuura, Shibahara
HBP: T. Sakai (A. Yamada)
GIDP: T. Tsuji, Taguchi, P. Valdez
LOB: Lotte 8, Daiei 4
Season Series: Lotte 2, Daiei 9
Game Time: 3:41
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Hayashi (1B), Higashi (2B), Nagami (3B)
Mets, Braves Circling Around Japanese High Schooler
According to Nikkan Sports, scouts for the Atlanta Braves and the New York Mets are keeping a close eye on Utsunomiya Gakuen righthander Masayoshi Izumi, 18. Izumi, a 5'11" 160 pound Yokohama native who has been playing baseball since first grade, has reportedly touched 92mph on the radar gun. In addition to the heater, he has two types of curve ball, too. Mets scout Isao Ojimi likes his raw potential and due to that wants him to take a shot with the Mets. Braves scout Hiroyuki Ohya likes Izumi's take no prisoners attitude and thinks it's well suited to MLB.
As a first year student high school, Izumi, who was hitting 88mph at the time, hurt his elbow during a Koshien relief appearance and he was converted to an outfielder. However, not satisfied with that, he quit school for a year (in Japan, you only have to attend school up through ninth grade, though more than 90% of Japanese children do finish high school) and basically threw until his elbow quit bothering him. He rejoined his high school squad this year and became its ace and now he looks poised for an appearance at the Koshien Summer Tournament that's coming up. From a press perspective, reporters are hoping that he will hit 93mph or more (150km/h and above is something of a fetish for the baseball press there) on the gun and perhaps be the story of the tournament.
As for Japan's domestic teams, Nippon Ham has expressed interest in him. In a draft that most think will focus mainly on collegians such as Tsuyoshi Wada, Nagisa Arakaki, and Kazuhito Tadano, Izumi's potential could see him go as the highest among high schoolers. Pic of Izumi at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/ama/2000summer/82koshien/image/0810ugaku.jpg
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 5th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1980, in a game at Osaka Stadium between the Nankai Hawks and the Hankyu Braves, Hawks manager Yoshinori Hirose, coach Akitada Niiyama, and first baseman Shinsaku Katahira were ejected when either one or all struck the umpire, the first time in Japanese annals that three people had been tossed in a single incident in a game. I couldn't find what precipitated it.
Hodges Celebrates All Star Nomination with Tenth Win
Tetsuro Kawajiri, in the wake of throwing 33.2 consecutive shutout innings in the minors for Hanshin this season, was called back up and made his first start of the season at Meiji Jingu Stadium. The righthanded sidearmer aquitted himself well, allowing just two runs on seven hits in six innings of work, both runs coming on a jack into the umbrella oendan in right with rightfielder Atsunori Inaba aboard. Unfortunately, his opposite number was Kevin Hodges, who three hit the Tigers in his 6.1 innings and he collected his seventh consecutive victory 2-0 and tenth overall to lead everybody in Japan in that department.
The former Mariners farmhand was getting ahead with first pitch breaking ball strikes consistently and the Tigers found it a challenge to hit the ball out of the infield. He was swatting the Hanshin lineup away like a horse swatting away flies and had only one credible threat during his stint, which came in the sixth. With one out, shortstop Shuta Tanaka singled to center and third baseman Atsushi Kataoka walked. First baseman George Arias struckout on a 1-2 89mph fastball, but Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsui ordered up an intentional walk to rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama, one of the league's leading hitters. So with the bases loaded, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka stood in and Hodges lured him into grounding to short to quell the uprising.
The Swallows bats then got active in the home portion, as Inaba ripped a leadoff single to center and then Petagine put a beating on the Kawajiri mistake and it was 2-0 home team.
Hodges hit leftfielder Derrick White with a pitch to begin the seventh, but got catcher Akihiro Yano to flyout. Then Wakamatsu went to the pen (maybe Hodges had lost something on his fastball?) and Ryota Igarashi responded with 1.2 superlative innings of one walk scoreless relief to get to closer Shingo Takatsu.
The sinkerballer surrendered a little parachute single to left by Hamanaka to lead it off. Veteran Katsumi Hirosawa, himself a former Swallow, pinch hit in his first at bat of the season and grounded to third. Yano then went down on strikes. Koji Hirashita was next and he singled to right to put the tying run on. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka, also one of the league batting leaders, flew harmelessly to right and Takatsu had lifetime save number 214.
By winning this game, Hodges became the first foreign pitcher to outrace everyone else in Japanese baseball to ten victories since Taigen Kaku (Chinese name: Kuo Tai-yuan) of the Seibu Lions in 1988. Former Hanshin Tiger Gene Bacque was the first to do it when he pulled it off in 1965. "Even when I've given up runs, they come back and score," Hodges noted of his offense. "I'm really grateful.for that." The Swallows are the ones who ought to be grateful, as they have won all of Hodges last 11 starts. His last loss was May 3rd against the Chunichi Dragons. All star? As the Japanese say, "monku nashi," or "no doubt about it."
His younger brother, a pitcher for Richmond, the
Braves AAA farm team, will be participating in a minor league all star game,
so they can compare notes when they get a chance. You can see pics of him
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .262. White was 0-2 with an HBP and is at .246.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .290. He is also now tied for the CL lead in homers with Arias at 18. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 2-3 and is at .322.
Kawajiri (L 0-1,) IP 6.0 PC 85 H 7 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.15
Taninaka IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.20
Toyama IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.88
Hodges (W, 10-2) IP 6.1 PC 94 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA
R. Igarashi IP 1.2 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.19
Takatsu (S, 20) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
SB: S. Tanaka
HR: Petagine (18)
RBI: Petagine 2
HBP: White (Hodges)
LOB: Hanshin 10, Yakult 6
Season Series: Hanshin 7, Yakult 9
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Sasaki (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), K. Kobayashi (3B)
Watanabe Error, Matsui Triple, Downs Dragons 5-4
An error on a groundball off the bat of Yomiuri Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi by Chunichi Dragons first baseman Hiroyuki Watanabe in the bottom of the third at Tokyo Dome Thursday lead to three unearned runs and, at the end of the day, a 5-4 Giants victory to maintain their healthy lead over the Yakult Swallows in the Central League pennant race. Masumi Kuwata was the beneficiary of Watanabe's largesse, picking up his fourth victory with seven innings of three run, four hit ball.
The Dragons soured the Giants faithful when they took what turned out to be an ephemeral 2-0 advantage in the first. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata walked to leadoff the game and second baseman Masahiko Morino doubled down the rightfield line. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left and Ibata swept in to make it 1-0. One out later, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami flew out to center and Morino tagged and scored for the 2-0 edge.
The Giants halved that in the second, when third baseman Akira Etoh clobbered a pitch from Dragons starter Kenta Asakura over the rightfield fence for an opposite field home run and it was 2-1 Dragons.
In that pivotal third inning, Giants leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to center with one out. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka struckout. Takahashi then hit one to Watanabe, who geeked it. That gave Godzilla Matsui a chance to hit and he fought Asakura to a 3-2 count over the course of eight pitches. On the ninth, the Ishikawa native rifled a pea past Watanabe and down into the rightfield corner to easily score both runners while he made like a bat out of hell for third for his 16th career triple. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara then produced a clutch single to left and it was 4-2 Giants.
Asakura bent but didn't break from there through the sixth, weathering a couple of two out scoring threats. In the seventh, however, he hung a forkball to Nioka, who hit it real hard and kinda far for a solo homer and it was 5-2 Yomiuri.
The Dragons retaliated in the top of the eighth, when Kuwata walked Ibata to leadoff the inning. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara waved in reliever Hideki Okajima, who got two easy outs. But Watanabe, seeking to redeem himself for the important miscue, took Okajima over the leftfield wall and it was 5-4 Giants.
That was as far as the Dragons were able to go, though, as Giants Junichi Kawahara spun a 1-2-3 ninth to put it in the fridge for the kyojin.
No foreign players appeared in this one.
Asakura (L, 5-6) IP 8.0 PC 149 H 11 HR 2 K 4 BB 3 R 5 ER 2 ERA 2.95
Kuwata (W, 4-3) IP 7.0 PC 106 H
4 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.27
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.98
J. Kawahara (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
E: H.Y. Watanabe
2B: Morino, Kuwata
3B: H. Matsui
HR: H.Y. Watanabe (2), Etoh (8), Nioka (7)
RBI: H. Matsui 2, Kiyohara, Etoh, Nioka, Fukudome, H.Y. Watanabe 2, Tatsunami
LOB: Chunichi 4, Yomiuri 10
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 3:14
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Tani (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Clutch Saeki RBI Single Earns Yokohama 6-5 Triumph
A timely single by Yokohama Bay Stars first baseman Takahiro Saeki in the bottom of the eighth inning at Yokohama Stadium Thursday gave the home team a 6-5 lead, one they were able to defend and they ended a three game losing streak in snatching off a 6-5 triumph over the Hiroshima Carp.Stars starter Daisuke Miura, after being named to his first all star team, went out and stunk, being knocked around for five earned runs on seven hits in seven innings. Thus, closer Takashi Saito was credited with his first win of the year.
Hiroshima starter Shinji Sasaoka's performance was as ugly as Miura's, being pulled in the fifth in the aftermath of permitting five starts baserunners to reach home on ten hits, though he didn't figure in the decision.
The Carp were first to get to the head of the line in the second, when second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to center and, one out later, third baseman Takahiro Arai boomed one beyond the leftcenterfield fence for a 2-0 Hiroshima lead.
Yokohama got off the shnide to tie in the bottom of the inning, as centerfielder Ernie Young leadoff with a single to center and, one out later, third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa walked. Catcher Ryoji Aikawa singled to center to plate Young and Kazu Tanaka singled to right for the equalizer and it was 2-2 after two.
The Stars then came back up in the fourth and pulled ahead. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to center and Ogawa singled to right. Two outs later, Miura singled to center to deliver Rodrigues to make it 3-2 Yokohama.
An inning later, Yokohama knocked Sasaoka out of the box. Shortstop Takuro Ishii commenced with with a single to right, but was out trying to steal second. Saeki singled to right, too. Young doubled to rightcenter. Rodrigues directed a single near the rightfield line to drive in Saeki and Young for a 5-2 Stars lead.
The Carp retorted with some more lightning in the sixth. With two gone, leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto singled to left and Diaz cleaned and jerked one into the centerfield bleachers to shrink the gap with the Stars to 5-4.
Miura then gave the lead away in the seventh. With one out, catcher Shuji Nishiyama legged out a bleeder toward third and was pinch run for by Okagami, who went to second on a groundout by rightfielder Tomonori Maeda. Takuya Kimura then hit a little groundball back to the mound. Miura, feeling pressured by Kimura's speed, threw hastily to first and past Saeki, which enabled Okagami to score to knot it at 5-5.
Yokohama Masaaki Mori is a proponent of small ball and the eighth inning must have tickled him pink. Second baseman Hitoshi Taneda started it with a single to left and he went to second on a sacrifice. Rigo Beltran (can somebody please tell me why he isn't in the minors?) was summoned by Carp boss Koji Yamamoto and the first pitch he threw Saeki went for, getting it on the end of the bat, but yet finding some empty real estate to go up 6-5.
Hiroshima then had to take on Takashi Saito, who has some pretty wicked stuff when he's on, and they failed, not being able to transgress the infield and it was see you later.
For Yokohama, Young was 2-5 with two strikeouts and is at .197. Rodrigues was 2-4 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .274.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .315. First baseman Luis Lopez was 0-4 and is at .247.
IP 4.1 PC 69 H 10 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.63
Stanifer IP 0.2 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Hiroike IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.87
Kobayashi (L, 3-3) IP 1.1 PC 26 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.28
Beltran IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.36
Tamaki IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.65
IP 7.0 PC 103 H 7 HR 2 K 5 BB 0 R 5 ER 4 ERA 2.96
T. Saito (W, 1-1) IP 2.0 PC 34 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.51
E: Miura, Taneda
2B: Young, Ryoji Aikawa
3B: I. Asai
HR: Arai (15), Diaz (14)
RBI: Saeki, Rodrigues 2, Ryoji Aikawa, Miura, K. Tanaka, Arai 2, Diaz 2
HBP: Ogata (Miura)
LOB: Hiroshima 4, Yokohama 12
Season Series: Hiroshima 6, Yokohama 7
Game Time: 3:14
Umpires: Shikida (HP), Suginaga (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), ? (3B)
Central and Pacific Leagues Announce Their All Star Teams
Well, it's getting to be all star time for MLB and it for Japan as well. Thursday, the Central and Pacific Leagues announced who made it to this year's mid-summer classic:
Kei Igawa (Hanshin), Hideki Okajima (Yomiuri), Junichi Kawahara (Yomiuri), Ryota Igarashi (Yakult), Kevin Hodges (Yakult), Hirotoshi Ishii (Yakult), Koji Uehara (Yomiuri), Daisuke Miura (Yokohama), Yasuhiro Oyamada (Hiroshima), Kenshin Kawakami (Chunichi), Trey Moore (Hanshin).
Akihiro Yano (Hanshin), Atsuya Furuta (Yakult), Motonobu Tanishige (Chunichi).
Kazuhiro Kiyohara (Yomiuri), Makoto Imaoka (Hanshin), Atsushi Kataoka (Hanshin), Hirokazu Ibata (Chunichi), Shinya Miyamoto (Yakult), Takahiro Arai (Hiroshima), George Arias (Hanshin), Kazuyoshi Tatsunami (Chunichi).
Hideki Matsui (Yomiur), Yoshinobu Takahashi (Yomiuri), Takayuki Shimizu (Yomiuri), Shinjiro Hiyama (Hanshin), Alex Ramirez (Yakult), Kosuke Fukudome (Chunichi).
Daisuke Matsuzaka (Seibu), Shinji Mori (Seibu), Rodney Pedraza (Daiei), Jeremy Powell (Kintetsu), Akira Okamoto (Kintetsu), Kenichi Wakatabe (Daiei), Shuji Yoshida (Daiei), Kiyoshi Toyoda (Seibu), Masahiko Kaneda (Orix), Kazuo Yamaguchi (Orix), Hiroyuki Kobayashi (Lotte), Hayato Nakamura (Nippon Ham).
Tsutomu Itoh (Seibu), Takeshi Hidaka (Orix), Tetsuya Matoyama (Kintetsu). Note: Matoyama replaces Kenji Johjima (Daiei), who is out with an injury.
Michihiro Ogasawara (Nippon Ham), Tadahito Iguchi (Daiei), Norihiro Nakamura (Kintetsu), Kazuo Matsui (Seibu), Yuji Yoshioka (Kintetsu), Hiroki Kokubo (Daiei), Makoto Kaneko (Nippon Ham).
Tuffy Rhodes (Kintetsu), Koji Akiyama (Daiei), Yoshitomo Tani (Orix), Naoyuki Omura (Kintetsu), Saburo Omura (Lotte).
Alex Cabrera (Seibu).
Question: why no Koo Dae-sung? He's only leading the Pacific League in ERA.
Flashback: Mike Hargrove, Vinny Castilla and Mike Jackson on Ichiro c.1998
While researching another matter, I came across the following quotes from a 1998 Sankei Shimbun article about what major league players thought of Ichiro, after seeing him in that year's NPB-MLB all star series in Japan, which some of you might find amusing.
Mike Hargrove, who was then managing the Cleveland Indians: "He's a good outfielder and he has an above average arm. He wants to come to the majors? It would be impossible for him to be a regular player there."
Vinny Castilla: "he opens his front shoulder early, which cuts his power in half. It will be difficult for him to do anything in the major leagues."
Mike Jackson: "they'll find his weaknesses. If they pound him up and in, he won't hit like he does now."
Rhodes, Petagine, Other Foreign Players Pay Tribute to Darryl Kile
See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020706a3.htm
Even After World Cup, Baseball Still Reigns Supreme in Japan
See Japan Times article by the lovely and talented Dan Latham at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020705a2.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 4th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1959, (Suguru Yukida? Not sure how to read that kanji) of the Taiyo Whales struckout four in the top of the second against the Hiroshima Carp at Kawasaki Stadium, the first time that ever happened in a Japanese game.
The first hitter of the inning, Hiroshima leftfielder and cleanup hitter Akira Owada, fanned for strike three, but the ball got through Whales catcher Kiyoshi Doi for a passed ball as Owada made it safely to first and then proceeded to steal second while the next two men also fanned. Catcher Toshiharu Ueda singled to left to drive in Owada before pitcher (Yukida?) then got third baseman Tatsuo Okitsu to come up empty to end the inning. Taiyo went on to ultimately prevail 4-3 on a sayonara homer in the bottom of the 16th by infielder Nobuyuki Hikiji. (Yukida?) didn't figure in the decision.
Astonishingly, nobody blew down four in an inning again until August 3rd 1993, in a game pittting the Daiei Hawks against the Orix Blue Wave at Toyama Stadium, when Orix' Takahito Nomura, now with the Brewers, did it. The only pitchers to do it since were Kimiyasu Kudoh, who was then with Daiei, on August 2, 1996 against Lotte, Seibu Lions hurler Fumiya Nishiguchi against Lotte on April 12th, 1997, Hideki Okajima of Yomiuri against Hanshin on July 4, 1997 at Koshien Stadium and Yakult hurler Don Lemon on April 14th, 2000 against Hiroshima at Fukuoka Dome. Lemon did it in the process of getting rocked for three runs in the fifth inning on a jack to righth by Itsuki Asai and was named the loser in an 8-3 thrashing by the fish.
Four strikeouts in an inning has occurred 36 times in MLB history, for those wondering. As a historical side note, two days after Lemon did it for Yakult, Chuck Finley did it for Cleveland against the Rangers on April 16th at Jacobs Field. Finley gave up a run in that inning on a single by Ivan Rodriguez before getting Rafael Palmeiro on a 3-2 called strike three four the fourth K to end the inning.
Jimmy's Strike Zone http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~KP7S-OOTK/SANSHIN/4SO/4SO_MAIN.html
We here at Baseball Guru would like to send along our best wishes to the family of former Pacific League official and baseball commentator Kazuo "Pancho" Itoh, who died Thursday from cardiac arrest at the age of 68.
Itoh, a Tokyo native, worked as an assistant to the chairman of the Pacific League starting in 1959 and moved up through the ranks until becoming head of the league's publicity department in 1976. From 1968 until he retired in 1991, he was also master of ceremonies for the pro draft conferences, but was actually more known for his expertise on all things related to the U.S. major leagues.
Itoh had been a fan of MLB since his early teens in an era even before television was introduced into Japan in 1955, listening to MLB games on Armed Forces Radio and studying english that way as well. After starting work for the PL, he also often appeared on television and wrote pieces for various newspapers, including Sankei Sports, when an expert on the big leagues was needed. He even pressed on MLB Commissioner Bud Selig during an interview he did with him that he would like to see a true World Series between the best in Japan and that of MLB.
Japanese commissioner Kawashima lamented the passing of someone "who acted as a bridge between American and Japanese baseball." With his trademark high voice, Kawashima also praised Itoh for the way he handled the draft conferences. "He was still so young. May he rest in peace" Kawashima solemnly offered.
Japan's Mr. Baseball, Shigeo Nagashima, revealed that Itoh accompanied him to MLB games after Nagashima retired as a player and said that he and Itoh were close friends. The Yomiuri Giants hall of famer posited that the reason many Japanese are playing in MLB now is due in large part to Itoh's influence. "May he rest in peace," Nagashima said.
Ichiro Suzuki had spoken on the phone with Itoh during spring training. "He gave me a lot of encouragement before I came [to MLB]. He said that as long as he's been alive, he's wanted to see Japanese play in the major leagues and that really moved me." When Ichiro had heard that Itoh wasn't in very good health recently, he remarked, "if only he could see me play in Seattle one more time...."
Kazuhiro Sasaki revealed that Itoh had also encouraged him to try his luck in MLB. "If Pancho hadn't told us about major league baseball, I doubt that we would have known it existed. He started from scratch in trying to get MLB and Japanese baseball together. He showed that you could make something of nothing. He was an amazing guy."
For a personal account from Marty Kuhnert and Wayne
Graczyk, who both knew Pancho personally, please go to:
Hanshin Pounds Yakult 8-1
Hanshin Tigers starter Keiichi Yabu was able to consistently pound the Yakult Swallows lineup in while his teammates lit up Yakult starter Masanori Ishikawa for six earned run on the way to an 8-1 spanking of the Tokyo team at Meiji Jingu Stadium Wednesday. Yabu is now 6-4 with his first shiroboshi in a month and a half.
Yakult jumped in front in the bottom of the first, as shortstop Shinya Miyamoto took Yabu over the leftfield wall for a 1-0 Swallows lead.
Hanshin counterattacked and never looked back afterward. Hanshin rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama leadoff the top of the second with a single to left and went to second when centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka laid down a perfect bunt down the third base line for a hit. One out later, catcher Akihiro Yano tripled to rightcenter to drive in both men to make it 2-1 Tigers. Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino called for the squeeze bunt. Yano went while Yabu squared around. However, the veteran hurler whiffed on the attempt and Yano was meat. Yabu then popped up to end the inning.
While Yabu was inducing groundballs as if they were going out of style, Hanshin went back on the offensive in the fifth. Yano tripled AGAIN (now how often do you see a catcher do THAT?) to kick off the stanza and scored on a roller to short by Yabu for a 3-1 advantage.
Then in the sixth, Hanshin got maximum separation. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka legged out a tapper. First baseman George Arias seared a double into the leftfield corner and the far less than gifted with quickness Kataoka sprinted all the way in. Hiyama doubled to leftcenter for an RBI. Hamanaka hammered an Ishikawa delivery, but right at Hajime Miki at second. Koji Hirashita singled to right for an RBI and turned for second on the throw home. Yakult catcher Atusya Furuta endeavored to shoot Hirashita down at second and threw it away to enable him to move to third. Yano grounded to Miki, who went home to try to nail Hirashita, but it was late and it was 7-1 Tigers.
In the ninth, Kentaro Sekimoto leadoff with a walk and one out later shortstop Okihara doubled off the leftfield wall to plate Sekimoto and that's how it ended, an 8-1 Hanshin laugher.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine struckout three times and walked in four plate appearances and is at .289. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 and is at .318.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-5 with an RBI and is at .266. He leads the Central League in both homers, 18, and RBIs, 48.Leftfielder Derrick White whiffed in his two times up and .249.
Yabu (W, 6-4) IP 7.0
PC 104 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.86
T.H. Hashimoto IP 0.2 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 22.50
Kanazawa IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.51
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.28
Masanori Ishikawa (L, 5-5) IP 5.0 PC 66 H 9 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.86
Teramura IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 4.12
Matsuda IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.50
2B: Arias, Hiyama, Okihara
3B: Yano 2
HR: S. Miyamoto (4)
RBI: Okihara, Arias, Hiyama, Hirashita, Yano 3, Yabu, S. Miyamoto
LOB: Hanshin 5, Yakult 7
Season Series: Hanshin 7, Yakult 8
Game Time: 2:46
Umpires: Ino (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Four Giants Homers Rout Dragons 9-3
For the first time in two years, the heart of the Yomiuri Giants batting order, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi, centerfielder Hideki Matsui, and first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, all went yard in the same game, as the kyojin crunched the Chunichi Dragons at Tokyo Dome Wednesday 9-3. In addition, Giants leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu also borrowed the yard implements so that all three outfielders went deep as well.
Koji Uehara was hardly in top form, being mugged for 11 hits in seven innings, but he permitted just three runs to grab his ninth victory of the year.
Dragons starter Melvin Bunch was the victim of the Yomiuri bombardment, as he was in for a mere three innings and was charged with four earned run on seven hits.
The Nagoya nine had an early 2-0 edge when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leadoff the game with a double down the leftfield line and went to third on a groundout. With two now gone, first baseman Leo Gomez singled to center to convert Ibata. Leftfielder Kazuki Inoue doubled off the base of the centerfield wall to usher in Gomez.
Shimizu, though, doubled to commence the Giants half and, one out later, Takahashi swung through a fastball that was up in the strike zone and he powdered it into the leftcenterfield seats to knot it at 2-2. Matsui dug in and massacred a 3-2 hanging forkball that was down in a lefty hitter's happy zone and Godzilla dropped it into the upper deck in right to make it 3-2 Giants.
In the third, Kiyohara lined a fastball deep into the centerfield seats and now the Giants were two up at 4-2.
An inning later. Shimizu joined the parade and unloaded his eighth of the season to right and it was 5-2 Yomiuri.
Inoue got that one back when he blitzed an Uehara offering into the rightcenterfield bleachers in the sixth to make it 5-3 Giants.
Giants third baseman Akira Etoh walked to begin the Giants half and another rally. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to center. Catcher Yoshinori Murata singled to left and Etoh scored. Uehara sacrificed the runners to third and second respectively. Shimizu then squirted one back through the middle to drive in Murata and Nishi and it was 8-3 Yomiuri.
The final Giants tally came in the seventh, when Kiyohara singled and was pinch run for by Koji Goto. Daisuke Motoki doubled into the leftfield corner and Goto hotfooted it to the plate to make it 9-3.
Kiyohara, 34 years and ten months old, is 11th on the all time homer list and was sixth fastest to 450 while also being the third youngest to that mark behind Sadaharu Oh (30 years and ten months) and Katsuya Nomura (34 years and nine months). His first bomb was on April 5, 1986 when he was with Seibu against Osamu Fujimoto of the Nankai Hawks. Thanks to Nikkan Sports for the stats.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .267.
Bunch (L, 6-6) IP 3.0 PC 59 H 7 HR 3 K 4 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.40
Kito IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.72
Yamakita IP 1.1 PC 31 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.86
Yaguchi IP 0.2 PC 14 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Kuriyama IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 12.00
Uehara (W, 9-3) IP 7.0 PC 116 H 11 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.78
Kawamoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.78
2B: Ibata, Inoue, Tanishige 2, Fukudome, T. Shimizu, Motoki, Y. Takahashi
HR: Inoue (6), Y. Takahashi (11), H. Matsui (16), Kiyohara (8), T. Shimizu (7)
RBI: Gomez, Inoue 2, Y. Takahashi 2, H. Matsui, Kiyohara, T. Shimizu 3, Murata 2
GIDP: Takayuki Saito
LOB: Chunichi 7, Yomiuri 7
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Yomiuri 7
Game Time: 3:11
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Kiuchi (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Wakatabe Tosses Four Hit 7-0 Shutout at Orix
I'm not sure how long he will be able to sustain this pace since he lost his number one starter's role after a mediocre 2001 campaign, but Kenichi Wakatabe is hot right now, racking up his fifth consecutive win with an outstanding four hit shutout against the Orix Blue Wave at Miyagi Stadium (300 down the lines, 400 to center; you can see pics of the ballpark at: http://www2.csc.ne.jp/~fudoki/sendai.htm) in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture. Despite the small dimentions, though, nobody was able to transgress the friendly confines.
Masahiko Kaneda started for Orix and was doing okay until the third, when Hawks leftfielder Pedro Valdez wacked a ball off Kaneda's elbow and he was removed as a precaution. X rays showed no fracture or any other abnormality except a bruise. Iguchi kept on motoring as it deflected off of Kaneda and slid in safely at second. One out later, Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo, first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka and DH Noriyoshi Omichi all singled to center off of reliever Satoshi Tokumoto and it was 2-0. Okoshi singled to right and Matsunaka hustled home to make it 3-0.
A succession of Orix relievers quieted the Daiei offense down until the top of the ninth, when they mauled closer Masanobu Okubo. Shibahara instigated it with a leadoff walk. Valdez legged out a roller. Iguchi singled to left to push both Shibahara and Valdez in to make it 5-0 Hawks. One out later, Matsunaka walked. Okubo then plunked Omichi to load the bases. Mitsuru Honma jogged out to pinch run for Omichi. Rightfielder Motoi Okoshi grounded out to shortstop Makoto Shiozaki, who went home for the force. Catcher Masanori Taguchi singled to left and two more Daiei runs resulted and it was 7-0. Wakatabe put three of the four hitters he saw in the bottom of the inning away and it was "game setto."
For Orix, Fernando Seguignol struckout in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .217. Scott Sheldon was also sent up to pinch hit and went 0-1 and is at .219.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 and is at .286.
Wakatabe (W, 5-0) IP 9.0 PC 116 H 4 HR 0 K 10 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.10
Kaneda (L, 3-5) IP 2.1 PC 37 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.49
Tokumoto IP 0.1 PC 15 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.58
Kawagoe IP 2.2 PC 59 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.82
Kase IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.38
J. Hagiwara IP 1.1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.62
Okubo IP 1.0 PC 39 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 3 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.60
E: Shiotani, M. Shiozaki
2B: Taguchi, P. Valdez, R. Tsuji
RBI: Iguchi 2, Kokubo, Omichi, Okoshi, Taguchi
HBP: Omichi (Okubo)
LOB: Daiei 11, Orix 4
Season Series: Daiei 5, Orix 6
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Sato (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Maeda (3B)
Hiroshima Continues A Class Bid with 3-1 Win Over Yokohama
Chris Holt didn't pitch as well this time as he did in his last outing, but he gave up three runs in the third and that was it for his five inning stint, and that was all Hiroshima Carp starter Hiroki Kuroda needed, as he went eight innings of one run ball on nine hits to level his record at 4-4 in the Carp's 3-1 victory at Yokohama Stadium Wednesday, the club's fifth win in a row.
The trouble for Holt started when Hiroshima third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to left and went to third on a couple of groundouts. Shortstop Kenjiro Nomura plowed a Holt offering off the rightfield wall for a long single and an RBI. Second baseman Takuya Kimura singled to center. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata drilled a double to the centerfield wall and Kimura and Nomura sped in for the 3-0 advantage.
Kuroda weathered a major storm in the sixth, escaping with the most minimal damage. Yokohama second baseman Hitoshi Taneda inaugurated it with a single to center and first baseman Takahiro Saeki singled to left. One out later, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to left to load the bases. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa singled to left to deliver Taneda and make it 3-1. With the game on the line, Kuroda strukcout both leftfielder Hitoshi Tamura and pinch hitter Hitoshi Nakane to terminate the threat. He then gave up just one hit over the last three innings and sailed on to the winner's circle.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .180. Rodrigues was 1-4 and is at .269.
For Hiroshima, first baseman Luis Lopez was 0-3 and is at .253. Eddie Diaz was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .312.
Kuroda (W, 4-4) IP 8.0 PC 105 H 9 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Oyamada (S, 18) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.14
Holt (L, 3-2) IP 5.0 PC 76 H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB
1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.87
Sugimoto IP 2.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.82
Hosomi IP 0.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.29
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
Azuma IP 1.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
RBI: K. Nomura, Ogata 2, Ogawa
HBP: Ogata (Hosomi), Arai (Azuma)
GIDP: K. Nomura, T. Maeda
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Yokohama 8
Season Series: Hiroshima 6, Yokohama 6
Game Time: 2.52
Umpires: Manabe (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), ? (2B), Shikida (3B)
Japan's Ishii Adjusts to a New Culture
See an exceedingly well done article by Orange County
Register sportswriter Marcia Smith on Kazuhisa Ishii at:
http://www.ocregister.com/sports/ishii00707cci1.shtml (and yes, the quotes from me are accurate).
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 3rd and on that date in
Japanese baseball history in 1952, the first game of that year's all star
series was played to a 2-2 21 inning tie at Nishinomiya Stadium. What is
perhaps even more interesting was the relative brevity of the game in terms
of elapsed time, just 4 hours and 30 minutes. God only knows how long it
would have taken if it had been played by MLB teams.
Igawa Shuts Out Yakult on Two Hits 2-0
Last season, Hanshin southpaw Kei Igawa had zero wins against the eventual Japan Series champion Yakult Swallows. Tuesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium, he collected his third shiroboshi against the Tokyo outfit in 2002, shutting them out on three hits while striking out a career best 13 in a 2-0 Tigers victory. Yataro Sakamoto took another frustrating loss, his fourth despite surrendering only two hits and a run in six innings. This was his fourth shutout of the 2002 campaign and he was clocked at a lifetime high of 92mph.
Hanshin obtained the sole run it would require in the first, as shortstop Shuta Tanaka ripped the first pitch he saw from Sakamoto into the leftcenter alley for a one out double and then came around when Sakamoto walked first baseman George Arias, hit rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama and walked centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to force in Tanaka for a 1-0 Tigers lead.
In the eighth, Hanshin picked up some insurance when pinch hitter Katsunori Nomura grounded to third and Akinori Iwamura kicked it, Hanshin third baseman Atsushi Kataoka doubled off the rightfield fence, and Arias flew out to left for a sacrifice fly and the final margin of victory, 2-0.
Igawa then put an exclamation mark on the night by striking out the side in the ninth.
Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino accumulated his 800th lifetime win in a field boss role, first with the Chunichi Dragons and now with Hanshin.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-3 and is at .294. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 and is at .319.
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-2 with a walk and an RBI. and is at .267. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 and is at .251.
Igawa (W, 9-4) IP 9.0 PC 121 H 2 HR 0 13 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.78
Sakamoto (L, 1-4) IP 6.0 PC 96 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Newman IP 2.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.47
2B: S. Tanaka, Kataoka
RBI: Arias, Hamanaka
HBP: Hiyama (Sakamoto)
LOB: Hanshin 8, Yakult 2
Season Series: Hanshin 6, Yakult 8
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Sasaki (2B), Ino (3B)
Tsuji Grand Slam Keys Rout of Lions 10-2
Lotte rookie catcher Toshiya Tsuji launched the first home run of his career Tuesday at Seibu Dome, and what a blast it was, a grand slam off of Koji Onuma as part of six run fifth that broke the game wide open and allowed the Chiba bunch to bury the Lions 10-2. Nathan Minchey went six innings of two run ball on four hits to net his fifth victory of the season.
Hsu Ming-chieh started for Seibu and he lasted less than four innings, being shaken down for four runs, two earned on four hits to drop his fourth of the campaign.
Lotte seized an initial advantage in the first,
as leftfielder Kenji Morozumi walked to begin the game and was sacrificed
to second. After going to third on a groundout, Morozumi coasted home on
rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa's single to right and it was 1-0 Lotte.
Tachikawa also did some damage in the fourth, bouncing a Hsu pitch off the centerfield wall for a double. DH Derrick May then pancaked a shot off the rightfield wall for a long single and an RBI. One out later, second baseman Koichi Hori walked. third baseman Tadaharu Sakai fanned, but then Tsuji hit one through Tom Evans wickets and down the third baseline for an error and both runners came around to make it 4-0 Lotte.
Seibu cut that lead in the fourth. First baseman Alex Cabrera poleaxed a Minchey offering into the leftcenterfield seats, his 20th of the season. One out later, centerfielder Susumu Otomo did the long distance runaround to right and it was 4-2 Lotte.
The fifth, however, decided it for Lotte. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka leadoff with a single to left. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura walked. Tachikawa singled in Kosaka. May walked to load the bases. centerfielder Saburo Omura hit a sac fly to right to plate Fukuura. One out later, Sakai singled to left to reload the bags. Tsuji then fought off four pitches from reliever Onuma before bringing the hammer down on a 90mph fastball and hurtling it into the leftfield stands to not only make it 10-2, but to make him the first PL rookie since Daiei's Tadahito Iguchi in 1997 to have a granny as his first pro homer. Yomiuri Giants backstop Shinnosuke Abe did it last year in the CL. Tsuji is the first Lotte rookie to accomplish that since Kiyoshi Hatsushiba pulled it off in 1989. The last PL rookie catcher to perform such a feat was Taiheiyo Club Lions receiver Tooru Kusugi in 1974. Thanks to Nikkan Sports and Sports Nippon for the stats.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .281. Evans wore a shiny new golden sombrero (four times up,.four turns toward the dugout without putting the ball in play) and is at .297.
For Lotte, May was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .225.
Minchey (W, 5-9) IP 6.0 PC 85 H 4 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.69
Kawai IP 1.2 PC 42 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.43
H. Kobayashi IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.98
Sikorsky IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Hsu (L, 2-4) IP 3.2 PC 60 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 2
R 4 ER 2 ERA 4.76
Mizuo IP 0.1 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.79
Onuma IP 4.1 PC 70 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.52
Doi IP 0.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.96
SB: S. Omura, K. Matsui
2B: Hori, Tachikawa, Wada, K. Matsui
HR: T. Tsuji (1), Cabrera (20), Otomo (1)
RBI: Tachikawa 2, May, S. Omura, T. Tsuji 4, Cabrera, Otomo
HBP: S. Omura (Doi)
LOB: Lotte 7, Seibu 7
Season Series: Lotte 4, Seibu 9
Game Time: 3:07
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
More Frustration for Kudoh in Giants Extra Inning 5-2 Victory
Geez, why doesn't Giants lefthander Kimiyasu Kudoh just retire? Everytime he goes out to the mound, the Giants bats go on sabbatical. Tuesday at Tokyo Dome, he went eight sterling innings of two run (one earned) ball on eight hits, striking out five and walking one to get yet another no decision. That's because Chunichi Dragons starter Kenshin Kawakami wove a gem himself, leaving the game ahead 2-1 after eight innings of three hit ball. Unfortunately, he was also hung with a no decision when closer Eddie Gaillard surrendered a seeing eye RBI single by Yomiuri first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara in the bottom of the ninth to send it into bonus time, where Giants shortstop Tomohiro Nioka won it on a three run homer to right in the last of the 12th off of Masataka Endo, the final score being 5-2.
In the first, Kudoh tried to get an 85mph fastball down and in to Dragons centerfielder Hidenori Kuramoto, but left it up and out over the plate instead and Kuramoto wrenched it into the leftcenterfield seats for a 1-0 Chunichi lead. "The ball felt really light when I struck it, so I was sure it would get out," Kuramoto told reporters after the game.
Chunichi fomented a rally in the fifth, but it went for nought thanks to rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi, who literally made the Giants victory possible with his defensive excellence. With two down, Kawakami singled to right. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to left. Kuramoto lashed a shot that was headed down into the rightfield corner for one and maybe two runs until it was cutoff with a midair leaping catch to his left by Takahashi. You can see a pic of the stab at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020703-3.jpg
Kawakami was breezing, finally being touched for a single by rightfielder Takahashi in the bottom of the inning after his spectacular grab, the Giants first of the contest. As he was throttling the Yomiuri order, Kawakami's teammates put another run on the board in the seventh. With two outs, second baseman Masahiko Morino singled to center. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui thought at first he had a chance to catch it on the fly, but quickly realizing he didn't, he tried to make a sliding stop and the ball went by him for a two base error and Morino was standing on third before the ball got back to the infield. Kawakami then banged a single to left and it was 2-0 Dragons.
Kawakami finally made a mistake in the bottom of the eighth, throwing a fastball over the outer half of the plate to Kiyohara, who buried it in the rightfield seats to get his side within 2-1. It was also the burly ex-Lion's 450th lifetime dinger.
Kawakami had only gone home 92 times, but Dragons manager opted to dispatch a fresh arm out there in the form of Gaillard and he blew the save. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu walked to lead it off and was sacrificed to second. Takahashi singled to left. One out later, Kiyohara yanked a Gaillard heater between third and short and into leftfield to convert Shimizu with the equalizer at 2-2.
Each team had men on second with one out in the tenth and 11th and couldn't bring them in. In the top of the 12th, that almost changed. With one away, Ibata doubled down the rightfield line. One out later, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left. As the fleet footed Ibata made the turn, Shimizu got to the ball and winged it on the fly to catcher Kohei Ota, who applied the tag for the final out of the stanza.
Maybe that woke the Tokyo contingent up, I don't know, but in their last at bat, they improved their already tremendous extra innings record to 10-1. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. Shimizu was intentionally walked to set up the double play possibility. Nioka got a 2-2 slider away and wacked it deep to rightcenter, the ball easing into the first row for his fifth career sayonara homer and a 5-2 Giants triumph. It also extended the Dragons losing string to four games.
Nioka is now third in Giants history in sayonara
jacks. Sadaharu Oh is first with eight, Shigeo Nagashima is second with seven
and Matsui, Kiyohara, Tatsnunori Hara and Nioka all have five. However, Nioka,
who has just 39 homers in his four years, is the only player in all of Japanese
baseball to have gone yard in a final at bat to win the game five times since
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 1-5 and is at .267.
IP 8.0 PC 92 H 3 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.49
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.88
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Iwase IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.52
Endo (L, 2-1) IP 1.1 PC 31 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.06
IP 8.0 PC 128 H 8 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.47
Jeon IP 1.1 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
Okajima IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.82
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.05
Almonte IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.38
Kawahara (W, 3-2) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.16
E: H. Matsui
2B: Fukudome, Ibata, Oda
HR: Kuramoto (2), Nioka (6), Kiyohara (7)
RBI: Kuramoto, Kawakami, Nioka 3, Kiyohara 2
IBB: T. Shimizu 2
GIDP: K. Goto
LOB: Chunichi 10, Yomiuri 6
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Yomiuri 6
Game Times: 4:21
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kiuchi (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Mirabal Wins Ninth with Six Hit 7-2 Triumph for Nippon Ham
Supported by two run homers from first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and centerfielder Tatsuya Ide, Nippon Ham starter Carlos Mirabal won his ninth of the season Tuesday at Osaka Dome with seven innings of four hit, one run ball in a 7-2 triumph over the Kintetsu Buffaloes. Sean Bergman absorbed the defeat for the losers.
The Buffs actually carved out a 1-0 edge in the bottom of the first and managed to sit on it for a while. With one out, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to right and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes walked. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to left and Mizuguchi galloped in.
Bergman was able to defend that advantage until the sixth, when Nippon Ham got organized. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto singled to left. Ogasawara put a charge into a Bergman fastball and lashed it it deep into the rightfield seats for the gyakuten two run and a 2-1 Fighters lead. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer legged out a tapper toward short and stole second. He was sacrificed to third. One out later, third baseman Yukio Tanaka singled to left and it was 3-1 Fighters.
In the seventh, shortstop Makoto Kaneko beat out an infield roller and Buffs manager Masataka Nishida sent Bergman to the showers. Pinch hitter Takaya Hayashi singled to left and Kaneko blazed to third. Cromer legged out another infield hit and cashed in Kaneko in the process to make it 4-1 Fighters.
An inning later, Nippon Ham leftfielder Seigo Fujishima beat out a bleeder. After Tanaka struckout, Ide clobbered an offering from reliever Hiroshi Takamura into the centerfield seats. Catcher Kazunari Sanematsu walked and went to second on a groundout. Backup seocnd baseman Hiroshi Narahara then ushered Sanematsu in with a drive into the leftcenter alley and the Fighters were comfortably on top 7-1.
Kintetsu got a homer to right from Koichi Isobe in the bottom of the ninth, but that was it and it finished as a 7-2 Nippon Ham victory.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-2 with two walks and is at .273.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 3-5 with an RBI and a stolen base and is at .278. DH Sherman Obando was 1-3 and is at .246.
Mirabal (W, 9-3) IP 7.0 PC 107 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 1 ER
0 ERA 3.26
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.13
Iba IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.12
Bergman (L, 4-2) IP 6.1 PC 107 H 9 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 4 ER
4 ERA 3.30
T. Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
Takamura IP 1.0 PC 34 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.84
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.88
D. Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.84
E: Shimada, Mizuguchi
2B: Ide, Narahara, N. Nakamura
HR: M. Ogasawara (21), Ide (10), Isobe (2)
RBI: Narahara, M. Ogasawara 2, Cromer, Y. Tanaka, Ide 2, N. Nakamura, Isobe
GIDP: N. Nakamura
LOB: Nippon Ham 8, Kintetsu 7
Season Series: Nippon Ham 6, Kintetsu 6
Game Time: 3:36
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Tamba (1B), Nagami (2B), Higashi (3B)
Azuma Walks in Winning Run in 3-2 Hiroshima Defeat of Bay Stars
Yokohama Bay Stars centerfielder Ernie Young unloaded a pair of solo homers, but that was it for the productivity of his club's offense and they went down to a 3-2 defeat in the ninth when reliever Kazumasa Azuma walked Hiroshima Carp third baseman Takahiro Arai to push in centerfielder Koichi Ogata with the game winning tally. The loss wasted an outstanding effort by Shane Bowers, who went seven innings of two run ball on four hits, striking out four and walking none. Instead, Masayuki Hasegawa emerged with his sixth victory and Yasuhiro Oyamada raked in his 17th save.
Hasegawa was the first to crack, as Young flamed a pitch over the centerfield wall to put Yokohama at the head of the line 1-0.
The Carp overtook Yokohama in the top of the fifth, when rightfielder Itsuki Asai singled to left with one out and went to second on a knock to center by Arai. Bowers wildpitched both men up 90 feet. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to center and both men checked in to register the 2-1 lead.
Young restored equilibrium when he went midieval again on Hasegawa to right to make it 2-2.
In the top of the ninth, Ogata leadoff with a single to center. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto walked. Both men were sacrificed along. Pinch hitter Eddie Diaz was intentionally walked to set up a double play possibility. Azuma came in from the bullpen and issued the unintentional free pass to Arai and the Carp had a 3-2 lead.
Yokohama put the first two men on in the bottom of the inning, but a double play ball off the bat of, ironically, Young, sabotaged the comeback and rightfielder Boi Rodrigues struckout to end the game and secure the Hiroshima triumph.
There was an incident in the game you don't see much of in Japan. Stars shortstop Takuro Ishii took a called third strike in the eighth and a fan started riding him. Apparently, the guy said the magic word at some point and upon the last out being made, Ishii attempted to go up into the stands after him. Fortunately, he was restrained from doing so by club employees.
For Hiroshima, first baseman Luis Lopez was 0-3 and is at .258. Diaz was 0-0 with a walk and is at .313.
For Yokohama, Young was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .193. Rodrigues was 0-4 and is at .270.
Hasegawa (W, 6-2) IP 8.0 PC 124 H 4 HR 2 K 8 BB 1
R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.09
Oyamada (S, 17) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.19
IP 7.0 PC 114 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.34
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.33
Takeshita (L, 2-1) IP 0.1 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.73
Azuma IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
E: T. Ishii
SB: T. Ishii
HR: Young 2 (7)
RBI: Arai, K. Kimura 2, Young 2
GIDP: K. Kimura, Young
LOB: Hiroshima 5, Yokohama 3
Season Series: Hiroshima 5, Yokohama 6
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), ? (1B), Shikida (2B), Manabe (3B)
With the World Cup Thankfully Over, It's Back to Baseball
See Wayne Graczyk article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020703wg.htm
Ichiro and His Bats
Really revealing article about what Ichiro thinks of, and how he handles, his equipment from Jim Caple at: http://espn.go.com/mlb/columns/caple_jim/1400915.html
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 2nd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1959, a night game at Korakuen Stadium between the Yomiuri Giants and the Taiyo Whales was the first color telecast of a baseball game in Japanese history by NTV, Yomiuri's tv outlet in Tokyo. The Japanese had started experimental color broadcasts in 1956. In 1957, Toshiba became the first manufacturer to make color televisions for the consumer market.
KBO Leaders and Standings
Team Record GB
Samsung Lions 40-28-0 4.0
Doosan Bears 38-27-2 4.5
LG Twins 33-31-3 9.0
Hyundai Unicorns 31-31-4 10.0
SK Wyverns 28-33-3 12.5
Hanhwa Eagles 25-38-2 16.5
Lotte Giants 19-46-1 23.5
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .347
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .343
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) .341
Kim Jae-hyun (LG) .341
Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .330
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) .325
Lee Ho-joon (SK) .323
Chae Jong-beom (SK) .317
Lee Jong-beom (Kia) .315
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung)
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 26
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 26
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 22
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) 18
Lee Yeong-wu (Hanhwa) 17
Tyrone Woods (Doosan) 15
Jose Fernandez (SK) 15
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 13
Lee Ho-joon (SK) 13
Runs Batted In RBI
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung)
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 65
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 63
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 61
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 51
Tyrone Woods (Doosan) 45
Jose Fernandez (SK) 45
Lee Do-hyung (Hanhwa) 44
Jin Gap-young (Samsung) 43
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) 42
Song Jin-wu (Hanhwa) 2.48
Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 2.91
Mark Kiefer (Kia) 3.04
Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 3.04
Lee Seung-ho (SK) 3.15
Mark Kiefer (Kia) 9
Song Jin-wu (Hanhwa) 9
Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 8
Im Chang-yong (Samsung) 8
Gary Rath (Doosan) 86
Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 86
Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 83
Dave McGee (Lotte) 82
Chang Overpowers Lotte with Three Hit Shutout
Chang Chih-chiah of the Seibu Lions continues to make it look easy, as he twirled a complete game three hit 7-0 shutout against the Chiba Lotte Marines Monday at Seibu Dome, blowing away nine hitters and walking one to earn his third victory of the season. The win also fended off any advancement in the standings by the second place Kintetsu Buffaloes who were also triumphant. Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera also marked his return from back fatigue by obliterating a forkball down in the zone from Kosuke Kato and golfing it on a line into the centerfield seats just below the scoreboard in the fourth for the game's first run.
The score remained 1-0 until the fifth, when the Lions finished Kato off. With two outs, third baseman Kazunori Iyoda booted a ground ball from Lions second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to right, as did Tatsuya Ozeki to plate Takagi. Tetsuya Kakiuchi dug in and got real gone to left for a three run homer and a 5-0 Seibu lead.
In an inning later, they took a pound of flesh out of Ken Yamasaki, as Evans was hit with a pitch and catcher Tsutomu Itoh beat out a tapper. Yamasaki left in favor of rookie Takashi Tanaka and Takagi seared one down the rightfield line to pickup Evans. A Matsui groundout later, Itoh crossed and that is how it ended, 7-0 Lions.
Change just literally cruised, wielding an 89mph fastball and a wicked sinking changeup. Itoh noted that "I didn't feel that they could hit his changeup." Leave it to the great 20 year veteran backstop to see what is what and make best use of it.
The loss also sank Lotte back inthe Pacific League cellar.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .280. The Lions are 16-1 this season when he homers. Evans was 0-3 with an HBP and is at .314.
For Lotte, Derrick May was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .224.
K. Kato (L, 3-8 ) IP 4.2 PC 88 H 7 HR 2 K 3 BB 2 R 5 ER 1 ERA 6.12
K. Yamasaki IP 0.2 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.63
T. Tanaka IP 1.2 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.68
Kawai IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.57
Chang (W, 3-1) IP 9.0 PC 119 H 3 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.64
SB: K. Matsui, H. Takagi
2B: Kosaka, Cabrera, H. Takagi
HR: Cabrera (19), Kakiuchi (4)
RBI: Ozeki, Cabrera, Kakiuchi 3, H. Takagi
HBP: Evans (K. Yamasaki)
GIDP: H. Takagi, Wada, Evans
LOB: Lotte 4, Seibu 4
Season Series: Lotte 3, Seibu 9
Game Time: 2:46
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Nakamura (2B), Yanagida (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Kintetsu Keeps Pace in PL with Win Over Nippon Ham
Kintetsu Buffaloes starter Katsuhiko Maekawa won
his first game in more than a month and a half Monday, as first baseman Yuji
Yoshioka homered and drove in three runs and rightfielder Koichi Isobe put
across two more in a 7-2 victory
over the Nippon Ham Fighters at Osaka Dome.
Hayato Nakamura started for Nippon Ham and wasn't what we've otherwise seen from him this season, as he was rocked for five runs on six hits in 4.1 innings, his shortest outing of the year, to get the blame for the defeat.
Nippon Ham took an early lead in the second when Yukio Tanaka doubled down the leftfield line and then wheeled on in on a single to left by Takaya Hayashi to make it 1-0 Fighters.
They added to that in the third, as first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara walked with two away, DH Sherman Obando singled to left and centerfielder Tatsuya Ide went to left, too, for the RBI and it was 2-0 Fighters.
The Buffaloes then went on a stampeded in the fourth. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi walked to kick it off. One out later, third baseman Norihiro Nakamura doubled to leftcenter. Yoshioka drilled a double to leftcenter to score Mizuguchi. Isobe clocked another two bagger, this one to rightcenter, which plated both Nakamura and Yoshioka and now Kintetsu was ahead 3-2. Shortstop Masahiro Abe tripled to rightcenter (geez, Ide must have been one tired hombre by now) and it was 4-2.
In the fifth, The Buffs got one out singles from Mizuguchi, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and Nakamura to make it 5-2 Kintetsu.
Two innings down the line, Kintetsu DH Kenshi Kawaguchi walked with two outs and Yoshioka exited to the lefthand side and they were up by five at 7-2.
Mike Johnson came on in the ninth and retired three out of the four men that came up in that inning to end it.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 and is at .245. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was was 1-4 and is at .272.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 and is at .275.
H. Nakamura (L, 4-3) IP 4.1 PC 71 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB
1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.12
N. Takahashi IP 0.1 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Muto IP 0.1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.12
Sekine IP 2.0 PC 37 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.74
Tateishi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
Maekawa (W, 3-5) IP 6.2 PC 108
H 9 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.37
A.N. Otsuka IP 1.1 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Johnson IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
2B: Kaneko 2, Y. Tanaka, S. Takahashi, N. Nakamura, Yoshioka, Isobe
3B: M. Abe
HR: Yoshioka (9)
RBI: Ide, Hayashi, N. Nakamura, Yoshioka 3, Isobe 2, M. Abe
LOB: Nippon Ham 9, Kintetsu 6
Season Series: Nippon Ham 5, Kintetsu 6
Game Time: 3:22
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Higashi (1B), Tamba (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for July 1st and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1962, Yomiuri Giants first baseman Sadaharu Oh debuted his now well known flamingo batting style in a game at Kawasaki Stadium with the Taiyo Whales, where he raised one leg high in the air. Actually, that was to cure a hitch he had in his swing, since he would fall over if he tried to buggywhip on the ball. He went 3-4 with a homer.
Also, on this date in 1970, the great Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder, Masahiro Doi was referred to prosecutors for allegedly gambling. Moreover, he was later given a one month suspension from the Japanese commissioner's office. That limited him to just 73 games that season, hitting 11 homers and driving in 41 runs while batting .280. The next season, though, he rebounded with his best year ever, batting .309 and establishing career highs in homers (40), RBIs (113) and SLG (.603). Lifetime, he batted .282 with 465 longballs and an OPS of .839. He also amassed 2452 hits (he was only the tenth man at the time to reach the 2,000 knock plateau) and was named to 15 all star squads. Doi then went on to be the batting coach for the Seibu Lions after retiring in 1981. As a member of the Lions in 1978, he tied a PL record with homers in six consecutive games. He was the Buffaloes cleanup hitter starting at age 19. Wow!
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