Gary Garland / the japanese insider
June 15, 2002
Yomiuri Wins a Wild One Against Hanshin 11-8
The Yomiuri Giants hammered three Hanshin Tigers relievers for six eighth inning runs to give themselves what they must have thought was a comfortable 11-3 edge at the time, but Hanshin then got two late homers that eliminated most of the gap before Giants closer Junichi Kawahara finally sealed an 11-8 victory before a capacity crowd at Koshien Stadium Saturday.
The contest went well over four hours thanks to 20 Giants baserunners, 12 by the Tigers and a total of more than 340 pitches and ten pitching changes. For the folks in the seats, the energy sapping summer heat and humidity in Osaka right now coupled with the game just seeming to go on and on must have made for a pretty trying experience. Too bad their club dropped this one then,. and in so doing, permitted their Tokyo rivals to tie them in the Central League pennant race.
Masumi Kuwata started for Yomiuri and was just good enough, surrendering three runs, two earned, on five hits in five innings to earn his third win of the year. Jeon Min-tae followed and tossed two perfect innings, but then Hideki Okajima, who has been pretty shaky over the last month or so, managed just one out before four runs had crossed the dish and made this a ballgame.
Hanshin's pitching just flat out failed to do anything right. Hisanori Yokota was demoted back to the minors in the aftermath of being bombed for five runs, four earned, in less than four innings, and the unpredictable relief staff was sliced and diced as if it was ambushed by an Iron Chef.
Yomiuri pulled ahead in the first, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to left to leadoff the game and third baseman Koji Goto did the same and Shimizu sprinted around to third. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi grounded to second and Shimizu trotted in and it was 1-0.
that in their ups when second baseman Makoto Imaoka kicked things off by
pancaking the ball off the leftfield wall for a double and was moved along
on a sac bunt. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka walked. First
George Arias flied out to deep left and Imaoka tagged and scored to make it 1-1.
The Giants, though, were not impressed. In the second, shortstop Daisuke Motoki leadoff with a single to right. One out later, second baseman Toshihisa Nishi launched a Yokoto offering into the leftfield seats and it was 3-1 Yomiuri.
Hanshin mounted a comeback in the third. Wtih one away, shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto tapped one to first baseman Takayuki Saito, who booted it. Kuwata then threw Kataoka a fastball on the outer half of the plate that wasn't a particularly good hitter's pitch, but Kataoka got it all and deposited it into the centerfield seats to make it 3-3.
Yokota would only get one out in the fourth, as the Giants used the longball again. With one out, catcher Shinnosuke Abe jackhammered a Yokota delivery and turned it into a souvenir for a 4-3 Yomiuri lead. Nishi singled to left. Kuwata then helped his own cause by spanking a double into the leftcenter alley and the speedy Nishi motored all the way in to widen it to 5-3 Giants and depose Yokota.
Kuwata and Jeon both did a good job from then on out of inducing ground balls and Hanshin was in full hibernation mode. Atsunori Itoh and Yuya Ando had quieted the Giants down for two innings, but Ando and the rest of the Tigers relief corps fell apart in the eighth.With one out, backup shortstop Mototsugu Kawanaka tripled into the leftcenter gap. Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino went to the pen for lefty specialist Takehiro Hashimoto and Giants manager Tatsunori Hara countered with pinch hitter Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who walked. Takahiro Suzuki pinch ran for Kiyohara. Takehito Kanazawa strode in to face Goto. Once more, Hara sent up a pinch hitter, Kenji Fukui, who fouled off a squeeze bunt attempt and then clocked a double down the leftfield line for two RBIs. Takahashi legged out a bleeder toward short. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui singled in Fukui and Akira Etoh doubled against the leftfield wall to convert Takahashi. Abe singled to right and both Matsui and Etoh wheeled around for an 11-3 Giants advantage. Kanazawa retired the nezt two men, but he had been fleeced bigtime.
Hanshin didn't quit. Imaoka doubled into the leftfield corner to lead it off. Centerfielder Taichiro Kamisaka singled to center to plate Imaoka. One out later, Arias singled to left. Hiyama swung through an Okajima offering and buried it in the rightfield seats to shrink the deficit to 11-7. Okajima was spelled by Tsuyoshi Jobe, who obtained the final pair of outs.
In the bottom of the ninth, substitute shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto lofted a long two one fly ball off of Kawahara that he didn't think was going to get out, but it did and now it was 11-8. One out later, Kamisaka singled to center and Arias came out to the on deck circle as Kataoka dug in. Unfortunately for the Tigers faithful, Kataoka grounded out and the hated Giants were now co-owners of the territory at the summit of the circuit.
Hanshin has shown
signs of swooning, so far being 3-6 for June and its pitching staff having
been tattooed for 50 runs during that time frame. Since three teams are within
1.5 games of the top spot, it's probably going to be a while before anyone
will have a truly significant advantage, but the recent lackadaisical Tigers
performances have to be giving their acolytes a
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .114.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-3 with an RBI and is at .276. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 and is at .257.
Kuwata (W, 3-4) IP
5.0 PC 81 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA
Jeon IP 2.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.84
Okajima IP 0.1 PC 16 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.13
Jobe IP 0.2 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.77
J. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 12 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.86
1-1) IP 3.1 PC 64 H 7 HR
2 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 4 ERA
Toyama IP 0.2 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.45
A. Itoh IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.43
Ando IP 2.1 PC 44 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
T. Hashimoto IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 81.00
Kanazawa IP 2.0 PC 27 H 5 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.99
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
E: Takayuki Saito, Nishi 2,
2B: Kuwata, Fukui, Etoh, Imaoka 3
HR: Nishi (3), S. Abe (7), Kataoka (5), Hiyama (9), Sekimoto (2)
RBI: Fukui 2, H. Matsui, Etoh, Motoki 2, S. Abe, Nishi 2, Kuwata, Kamisaka, Kataoka 2, Arias, Hiyama 3, Sekimoto
GIDP: Yano 2, Hiyama
LOB: Yomiuri 9, Hanshin 4
Season Series: Yomiuri 6, Hanshin 5
Umpires: Watamari (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Manabe (3B)
Tuffy! Tuffy! Tuffy! Rhodes Three Homers and Seven RBIs Extends Kintetsu Streak
Most people remember
Tuffy Rhodes as the guy who homered three times on opening day while he was
with the Chicago Cubs before he went to Japan and only then got any notice
in the U.S. in his sixth Japanese campaign due to his challenging Sadaharu
Oh's homer record. Saturday at Osaka Dome, Rhodes pulled a trey for the first
time in his Japanese career for seven RBIs to spur the Kintetsu Buffaloes
on to a 9-7 triumph over the Daiei Hawks. Jeremy Powell twirled six innings
of three run ball on nine hits to get credit for his seventh win, tying him
for tops in the Pacific League. The Buffs winning streak is now at
Daiei took a bite out of Powell in the first, as second baseman Tadahito Iguchi creamed one over the leftcenterfield fence to make it 1-0 Hawks.
In the Buffs portion, centerfielder Naoyuki Omura leadoff with a dinger into the rightfield stands for an instant 1-1 tie. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi legged out a little roller and Rhodes got a high fastball from Hawks starter Junji Hoshino and, despite hitting it toward the end of the bat, lost it in the rightcenterfield seats and Kintetsu was in front 3-1.
The second would be Hoshino's final inning, as Kintetsu put it too him again. Catcher Kenji Furukubo leadoff with a shot against the centerfield wall for two bases. One out later, Hoshino plunked Mizuguchi. Rhodes then got a slider on the inner half of the plate and made contact more toward the middle of the bat and the ball landed in the rightfield stands for a three run homer and a 6-1 Buffs advantage.
Daiei put themselves at least within grand slam range in the fourth, as first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka walked with one down, DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to right and, one out later, catcher Koji Bonishi singled to center to plate Matsunaka and it was 6-2 Kintetsu.
Rhodes wasn't through,
though. With one out, Mizuguchi singled to right. Hawks reliever Shinji Kurano
attempted to spot a fastball on the outer half of the plate and the "naniwa
americajin" Rhodes spotted it on the sweet part of the stick, going upper
tank to centerfield more than 490 feet away, and Kintetsu was comfortably
ahead 8-2 and it shutup the loud Daiei oendan that was in the rightfield
bleachers. You can see pics of Rhodes swing
Daiei picked Powell's pocket for another tally in the sixth. Omichi singled to right with one out and backup catcher Shunsuke Sugiyama legged out a dribbler. Kawasaki singled to left to welcome in Omichi, reducing the gap with Kintetsu to 8-3.
Rookie Shinsuke Ogura was ordered to take the hill and he showed that he was wet behind the ears. Omura cracked a one out single to center. Mizuguchi walked. Rhodes struckout, but Ogura hung a forkball to third baseman Nirohiro Nakamura, who came to the ballpark with what he called a "soft Mohican" hairdo, and Nakamura laced off the base of the righfield wall favor an RBI and a 9-3 lead.
New aquisition Mike
Johnson made his Japan debut in the seventh, retiring three of the four batters
he faced. Rookie Katsunari Yoshikawa succeeded him in the ninth and he let
it get closer than he should have. Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki leadoff with
a triple all the way to the leftcenterfield wall. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara
singled to center to drive him in. Muramatsu beat out a roller toward third.
Akinori Otsuka was waved in by Kintetsu manager Masataka Nishida and he was
shaken down for a double to rightcenter from Iguchi to make it 9-5. Third
baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to left to recall
substitute leftfielder Arihito Muramatsu and Iguchi and the tying run came to the plate. But Matsunaka grounded out and Omichi and rightfielder Motoi Okoshi each whiffed to stanch the bleeding at 9-7. The Hawks are now eight games behind
Seibu and 4.5 behind the Buffs.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was three for five with seven RBIs and is at .286. In June of 2001, he had a career high 14 homers. This June, where the schedule has been altered due to the World Cup, he is 14-28 with five dingers and 15 RBIs in seven games. He also loves what the Hawks pitching staff has been cooking, going yard nine times in 11 battles against them this season.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was was 1-4 and is at .270.
J. Hoshino (L, 4-3) IP
1.1 PC 42 H 7 HR 3 K 1 BB 0 R 6 ER 6 ERA
Kurano IP 2.2 PC 47 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.71
Ogura IP 3.0 PC 57 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Iijima IP 1.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
7-3) IP 6.0 PC 103 H 9 HR 1 K 2
BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.95
Johnson IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
K. Yoshikawa IP 0.0 PC 11 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA infinity
A. Otsuka IP 0.1 PC 5 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
A. Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.37
2B: P. Valdez, Iguchi, Furukubo, M. Abe,
HR: Rhodes 3 (25), Iguchi (7), N. Omura (8)
RBI: Rhodes 7, Shibahara, Iguchi 2, Kokubo 2, Bonishi, N. Omura, N. Nakamura
HBP: Mizuguchi (J. Hoshino)
LOB: Daiei 9, Kintetsu 10
Holt Outstanding in First Japan Start, But Loses on Iwamura Homer
In his third appearance, but his first start, in Japan since coming over from the Colorado Rockies organization, Yokohama Bay Stars hurler Chris Holt made just one mistake, a hanging changeup in the second inning that Yakult Swallows third baseman Akinori Iwamura poleaxed into the rightcenterfield seats Saturday at Yamagata Prefecture Stadium (dimensions: 298 down the lines and 393 to center; you can see a pic of the ballpark at: http://www2.csc.ne.jp/~fudoki/yamagata.htm) and that proved very costly, as the Swallows took a 2-1 victory behind a brilliant six inning effort from the little screwballer Masanori Ishikawa.
Holt went all the
way and limited the Swallows to four hits, striking out five and walking
two for is first loss. He better get used to hat, since Yokohama hasn't been
scoring many runs this season. He did collect his first Japanese hit, a single
to left in the fifth. After he surrendered the longball, Yakult didn't even
get a whiff of a scoring chance the remainder of the game
one of the other two safeties they had was an infield hit.
up his first win in a month before 30 friends and relatives who caravaned
in from his home town of
to watch him.
Yokohama got its only run in the top of the sixth, as second baseman Hitoshi Taneda doubled down the rightfield line to lead it off and then came around on a single to center from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki to make it 2-1. Ishikawa did away with the next three batters no problem and handed the ball to Alan Newman, who struckout two in a perfect inning, as did Hirotoshii Ishii and then Shingo Takatsu mosied in for a 1-2-3 ninth for his 209th lifetime save, 20 away from tying Kazuhiro Sasaki's Japan record in that category.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .160. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-3 with a walk and is at .252.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-3 and is at .297. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 and is at .333.
Holt (L, 1-1) IP 8.0 PC 101 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.61
Masanori Ishikawa (W, 4-4) IP 6.0 PC
102 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Newman IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.76
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.41
Takatsu (S, 15) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
HR: Iwamura (6)
RBI: Iwamura 2, T. Suzuki
LOB: Yokohama 5, Yakult 1
Season Series: Yokohama 4, Yakult 7
Umpires: Ino (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Kittaka (2B), ? (3B)
Evans Slam, Two Matsui Jacks Back Dominant Chang Outing in 11-1 Seibu Victory
was phenomenal for seven innings, scattering four hits across seven shutout
innings and third baseman Tom Evans slugged a grand slam while shortstop
Kazuo Matsui went yard in consecutive at bats in an 11-1 annihilation of
the Chiba Lotte Marines Saturday by the Seibu Lions at Akita Municipal Yabase
Stadium.. You can see a pic of the ballpark
http://homepage1.nifty.com/tadaf/akita.htm Chang is now 2-0 and making it look easy with his 1.06 ERA.
Naoyuki Shimizu started for Lotte and he was not sharp, being taken for seven hits and walking three in just two innings in a "one of those days" kind of outing that saw him give up five runs and inflate his ERA to a still more than respectable 3.13.
Seibu went ahead in the first inning and had Lotte in their rearview mirror all day long. Matsui walked to leadoff the game. Centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji sacrificed him to second. Rightfielder Hiroyuki Oshima beat out an infield roller. First baseman Alex Cabrera then brought the hammer with him and drilled a Shimizu pitch into the leftcenter gap to bring both speedsters in with a 2-0 lead. DH Ken Suzuki walked. One out later, leftfielder Susumu Otomo used his good wheels to leg out a tapper. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh singled to left and Cabrera was delivered to make it 3-0 Lions.
Chang had his only difficulty of the match in the bottom of the inning, as rightfielder Kenji Morozumi leadoff with a single to center and second baseman Koichi Hori steamed one up the leftcenter alley. But centerfielder Saburo Omura whiffed, first baseman Kazuya Fukuura flew out to shallow left and leftfielder Derrick May also flew out harmelssly and Chang cruised from there on in, working from the stretch position exclusively beginning in the third to even out his rhythm, something he had never done before, even in Taiwan.
Shimizu was slapped around again in the second. With two away, Miyaji singled to center. Oshima doubled off the leftfield wall. Cabrera walked to juice the bags. Suzuki singled to center and Miyaji and Oshima chugged in for a 5-0 Lions advantage.
It would be Evans
turn in the fourth to join in the offensive fireworks for Seibu. Miyaji beat
out an infield hit with one down. One out later. pinch hitter Toshiaki Inubushi
and Suzuki walked to load the bases. Rookie Takashi Tanaka was replaced by
Ken Yamasaki . Evans then got a good pitch to hit from Takahashi and he crushed
it into the leftfield bleachers for a grand slam and it was 9-0 Seibu. Yuu
can see a pic of Evans watching his ball leave the field
In the fifth, Matsui dug in with one out and homered to right to put the Seibu advantage in double digits at 10-0.
Matsui would then do that again against Yamasaki in the seventh for an 11-0 lead.
The shoutout was averted only by Lotte third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba's solo jack to left off of Koji Mitsui and that's where it ended, 11-1 Lions.
Evans has been unbelievable for the Lions since the trade with Hanshin. He is 15-33 with four homers and 12 RBIs and this is depsite the fact that he is hitting BEHIND Cabrera in the Lions order. In this game, he finished 2-5 with four RBIs and is at .455.
Cabrera was 1-1 with a walk and two RBIs before hurting his back and leaving the game in favor of Inubushi. Cabrera will sit out Sunday's contests to rest his back. He is at .274.
For Lotte, May was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .228.
Chang (W, 2-0) IP 7.0 PC 100
H 4 HR 0 K 9 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Mitsui IP 2.0 PC 33 H 4 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.50
N. Shimizu (L, 4-3) IP 2.0 PC 68 H
7 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 5 ER 5 ERA
T. Tanaka IP 1.2 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.15
K. Yamasaki IP 3.1 PC 63 H 5 HR 3 K 4 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.03
K. Kato IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.01
2B: Cabrera, H. Oshima, Evans, Hori
HR: Evans (4), K. Matsui 2 (13), Hatsushiba (7)
RBI: K. Matsui 2, Cabrera 2, K. Suzuki 2, Evans 4, T. Itoh, Hatsushiba
Balk: T. Tanaka
LOB: Seibu 7, Lotte 8
Season Series: Seibu 8, Lotte 2
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Koo Lowers ERA to 1.59 in 1-0 Orix Triumph
Koo Dae-sung hampered the Nippon Ham Fighters to four hits, only one of them being for extra bases, over seven great innings Saturday to get a no decision, but he maintained his hold on the PL ERA crown with a tiny 1.57 mark and gave his team a chance to eventually put up the winning tally in the top of the ninth to skive off with the 1-0 victory.
Satoru Kanemura started for Nippon Ham and you couldn't ask for more from him. as he wove eight scoreless frames on three this and struckout eight and walked three to also get a no decision. Instead, his teammate, reliever Naoyuki Tateishi, walked Tatsuya Shindo to start the ninth and was sacrificed to second. Hiroyuki Sekine was called in from the pen and after inducing a lazy fly ball from Yuji Goshima, walked third baseman Scott Sheldon. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka singled to right to load the bases. Kazuhiko Shiotani walked to force in Shindo and that was basically the ballgame, as Orix closer Masanobu Okubo retired three out of four men for his ninth save.
Orix had been 0-6 this season at Tokyo Dome, so the triumph ends that streak.
Kanemura has pitched with no run support lately, as the Fighters offense has scored just one run in his last two times out.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .249. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .265.
For Orix, Sheldon was 0-3 with a walk and is at .225.
IP 7.0 PC 112 H 4 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Yamaguchi (W, 2-2) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.95
Okubo (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.20
IP 8.0 PC 120 H 3 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Tateishi (L, 0-2) IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Kato IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
Sekine IP 0.2 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.53
HBP: Ide (Koo)
LOB: Orix 9, Nippon Ham 8
Season Series: Orix 3, Nippon Ham 9
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Nagami (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Tenth Inning Tatsunami RBI Double Beats Hiroshima 3-2
Chunichi Dragons third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled with two in the top of the tenth to drive in centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome with what proved to be the winning run in a 3-2 victory by the Nagoya faction over the Hiroshima Carp Saturday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. Eddie Gaillard earned his 15th save with a perfect bottom of the tenth and extend the Carp losing streak to four games, the latter's second such string of defeats this season. The fans also got to see two critical outstanding defensive plays.
Kenta Asakura started for the Dragons and was solid, permitting two runs on eight hits and striking out six while walking two, though the decision ultiumately went to reliever Eiji Ochiai, who tossed a scoreless ninth.
Masayuki Hasegawa was throwing too many strikes in this game, being toucned for ten hits, including a bomb to centerfield from Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata in the fifth, who had been 0-14 before that at bat. He had at least one man on in every inning accept the seventh. Despite the barrage of knocks against him, though, he confined the Dragons to two runs. The Carp offense, however, has scored just seven runs during the losing skein and Hasegawa had nothing to show for his doggedness. You can see a pic of Ibata's homer swing at: http://tochu.tokyo-np.co.jp/00/baseball/20020616/ibata.jpg
Hiroshima got on the board first in the third, when third baseman Takahiro Arai took Asakura on an involuntary tour of the leftfield bleachers and it was 1-0 home team.
The Dragons came back in the fifth to overtake Hiroshima with Ibata's roundtipper and a single to right from leftfielder Scott Bullet, a ping off the leftfield fence from first baseman Leo Gomez and an RBI groundout to second from Tatsunami to make it 2-1 visitors.
The Carp saddled up and attempted to dent Asakura again in the home half, but blew it. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Kenjiro Nomura ripped one to right and Kimura held at third. Second baseman Takuya Kimura hit an Asakura pitch real hard, but right at his opposite number, Masahiko Morino, for the second out. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata whiffed and that was that.
In the eighth, though, Ogata dialed long distance on Asakura to left and it was a tie game at 2-2. One out later, first baseman Luis Lopez singled to left and was pinch run for by Kazuki Fukuchi. Fukuchi then tried to steal second, but was gunned down by catcher Motonobu Tanishige, who has nailed the last nine men who had tried running on him. This guy is having an epic year defensively even if he's hitting just .211.
The Dragons almost won it in the ninth when Ibata walked with two gone and substitute leftfielder Takayuki Onishi doubled off the leftfield wall, but Kanemoto did a great job getting to the ball quickly and uncorking a strong relay. Ibata rounded third and the relay beat him to the plate to end the inning.
Fukudome then showed what he can do defensively in the Hiroshima half. Arai walked to lead it off and was sacrificed to second. One out later, Nomura cracked a hit to right, Fukudome charged, gloved it, and hit Tanishige on the fly with an arrow of a throw and Arai was deader than Jimmy Hoffa at home.
The efforts by Fukudome and Tanishige were rewarded in the top of the tenth with a game winning rally. Fukudome leadoff with a single to left. Gomez singled to center. Kanei Kobayashi hung a forkball in the middle of the plate and Tatsunami put a whippin' on it, searing it down the rightfield line to drive in Gomez and make it 3-2 Dragons.
Gaillard then induced two popups and a little fly ball and it was "game setto."
For Hiroshima, Lopez was 1-4 and is at .287.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 2-4 and is at .232. Gomez was 3-5 and is at .270.
IP 8.0 PC 113 H 8 HR 2 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Ochiai (W, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
Gaillard (S, 15) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
IP 7.0 PC 104 H 10 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Hiroike IP 0.2 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.53
Tamaki IP 1.1 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.15
Kobayashi (L, 2-2) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.66
2B: Bullet, Morino, Onishi, Tatsunami, K. Kimura
HR: Ibata (3), Arai (13), Ogata (7)
RBI: Ibata, Tatsunami 2, Ogata, Arai
GIDP: Gomez, T. Kimura
LOB: Chunichi 11, Hiroshima 8
Season Series: Chunichi 5, Hiroshima 6
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Watada (2B), Shikida (3B)
Tokai University Righty Kubo Getting Attention of Giants and Yokohama
Last season, he pitched his team to the championship of Japanese college baseball and was awarded with an MVP of the tournament. This season, Tokai University righthander Yuya Kubo is being looked at by the Yomiuri Giants and the Yokohama Bay Stars as potential draft material. The Tokyo native, 22, has a fastball in the low 90's and a plus slider, according to scouts quoted in Nikkan Sports. They also think he's quite sound from a mechanical standpoint.
At Tokai this season, he is 6-0 with three shutouts and a 0.83 ERA.The Giants are the hottest on Waseda University lefty Tsuyoshi Wada as well as slugging infielder Shuichi Murata of Nihon University right now, but Kubo is also receiving strong consideration. He has also played on Japan's World Cup baseball squad as well as in a tournament against U.S. university teams and took home an MVP from that series of games, too.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 15th, and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1969, former Japanese olympic sprinter Hideo Iijima, who was brought on board by the Lotte Orions as a pinch running specialist, come on in the bottom of the ninth in that role against the Kintetsu Buffaloes. He stole second and third and then scored on a sayonara hit.
Iijima, who had his legs insured for 50,000,000 yen, was signed after being drafted on the ninth round by Lotte during the winter of 1968 and saw his first action in an exhibition faceoff with the Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium on March 15, 1969, who then had a rookie catcher named Koichi Tabuchi, now the Tigers batting coach. Anyway, Iijima was sent in the seventh inning and when he took off, Tabuchi nailed him at second.
He made his regular season debut that year on March 13th at Tokyo Stadium against the Nankai Hawks, who boasted Katsuya Nomura as their backstop. In the bottom of the ninth and the score 3-2, rightfielder Art Lopez (116 lifetime homers in Japan) went deep to tie up the ballgame. Second baseman Hiroyuki Yamazaki cracked a baseknock and was replaced at first by Iijima, who then made for second. Nomura tried to get the ball off quickly and it sailed into centerfield, allowing Iijima to get to third. Pinch hitter Reiji Iishi smacked a basehit and Iijima trotted in with the winning run.
However, as Herb Washington found out five years later, trying to be a sprinter among players who grew up playing the game all their lives is a hard slog and he was gone after two more seasons after appearing in 117 games and swiping 23 bags and being thrown out 17 times for a less than sterling success rate of just under 58%. 17 of those thefts were of second base, four were of third and two of home.
One wonders if this is where Charlie Finely got the idea when he added Washington to the roster, though the ex-track great had somewhat similar results to Iijima. Washington stole 31 bases in 105 games in 1974-75 and was pegged out on 17 occasions for a success rate of just a tad under 65%.
In 1983, Iijima was involved in a traffic accident in which a girl was killed and he was arrested. I haven't been able to run across any info indicating what he's doing these days.
Source (with the Washington material added
No games scheduled.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 14th and on that date in Japanese baseball history
in 1941, due to worsening relations with the USA, four Japanese-Americans
(all Nisei and U.S. citizens) playing in Japan were ordered to go home by
the American government. They were Black Eagles submariner Tadashi
Kameda (65-78 2.41 lifetime in four seasons) and fellow moundsman Shigekazu
Hasegawa (couldn't find a record for him), and Hanshin's Fumihito Horio,
an outfielder who was reportedly the only man to hit the ball out to centerfield
in Korakuen Stadium before the war, (.236 with 22 homers in six seasons)
and Toshio Kameda, a
pitcher (2-1 1.44 in 24 innings in three seasons).
Also on that date in 1967, Toei Flyers second baseman Shuzo Aono had a 3-2 count on him in the top of the fifth during a game against the Tokyo Orions at Tokyo Stadium and then took the following pitch for ball four. However, he didn't notice and remained in the batter's box. On the next pitch, he swung and missed, striking out. Now how did that happen you ask, since the umpire should have informed Aono, a damned solid player in his day, by the way, of the walk? Well, umpire Fumitoshi Saita (and I hope that I'm transliterating that name correctly. If not, please let me know) had lost track of the count and asked the official scorer what it was. The scorer informed Saita that it was 3-2, but Saita misunderstood the scorer and thought it was 2-2. Thus the rare instance of someone whiffing on a 4-2 count. The scorer tried to correct Saita before the pitcher made his next delivery, but Saita didn't get the message. A tip of the hat to the following site (in Japanese) for explaining what happened: http://www.asahi-net.or.jp/~KP7S-OOTK/BALLPARK/TOKYOSTD/TOKYOSTD_2.html
Also on that date in 1977, Morimichi Takagi, an infielder with the Chunichi Dragons, then in his 18th season as an active player, homered in his first two at bats in a game against the Taiyo Whales at Nagoya Stadium, giving him four homers in four at bats over a three game span,. the first man to do that. He went on to drill 20 out of the park that year while batting .291. He amassed 2274 hits during his career and won three steals crowns (369 thefts lifetime). He had looked like he was going to be a real superstar until the Yomiuri Giants Tsuneo Horiuchi struck him in the face with a pitch in 1968 and he wasn't quite the star afterward that he had been, but he still made a nice career for himself. At the time he was just the fourth man in history to homer in his first pro at bat in Japan, doing that in 1960 and he was the tenth to reach 2000 hits.
Source for all these historical tidbits, as always: http://www2.plala.or.jp/ippeifuji/w06.htm
More Info on Cubans Playing in Japan
Please see Baseball America article at: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/news/cubans061102.html
Japanese Baseball Faces New Threat
See article by the Yomiuri Shimbun's Jim Allen at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020613wo51.htm
Players Approve of New Field Turf in Tokyo Dome
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002061300782.html
Kintetsu Trying to Aquire Yanagisawa
The Kintetsu Buffales are said to be talking to the Chunichi Dragons, trying to work out a cash deal that would being Dragons backup catcher Yuichi Yanagisawa to Osaka in hopes of improving their defense at that position. Yanagisawa was a number two draft choice in 1993 by Yomiuri and played with Orix and then on to Nagoya. He has hit .209 in 101 career games.
Dragons Trying to Aquire Vargas
The Chunichi Dragons are said to be interested in the aquisition of Cleveland Indians righthander Martin Vargas, a Dominican Republic native who is currently with the Indians AAA affiliate in Buffalo.He is 6' 160 pounds. If they can't buy Vargas, the Dragons are saying that they are looking at a couple of other unnamed foreign players.
Wada Rakes 12 More Strikeouts in Complete Game Tournament Win
Well, Japan's equivalent of the College World Series is underway and Waseda University's "Dr. K" southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada, rang up another 12 strikeouts in a complete game victory over East Asia University at Meiji Jingu Stadium earlier today. He allowed two hits, though despite the good numbers says his performance sucked. "We have no chance to win it all if I continue to throw those kinds of pitches," Wada remarked to the press after the game. Wada will probably go top five in this year's Novemnber draft and has drawn interest from Seattle and the Dodgers.
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team Record GB
Samsung Lions 36-21-0 ---
Doosan Bears 30-25-1 5.0
Hyundai Unicorns 26-26-4 7.5
LG Twins 26-27-3 8.0
SK Wyverns 23-29-2 10.5
Hanhwa Eagles 23-30-2 11.0
Lotte Giants 17-38-1 18.0
Lee Ho-joon (SK) .349
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) .343
Lee Seung-yop (Samsung) .339
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .329
Kim Jae-hyeon (LG) .327
Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) .322
Chae Jong-beom (SK) .320
Shim Jae-hak (Doosan) .319
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) .319
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 22
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) 20
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 17
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) 14
Runs Batted In RBI
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 60
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 50
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 47
Jin Gap-yong (Samsung) 41
Arias Double in Tenth Wins it for Hanshin 1-0
After getting his butt well and thoroughly kicked in his last outing, Hanshin Tigers lefthander Trey Moore rebounded with a superb eight inning four hit shutout effort, striking out seven and walking two. Unfortunately, he didn't get a decision in this one since Melvin Bunch also threw blanks for eighth innings and it ended up in extra innings, with George Arias doubling with one out to bring in shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto from first base to give Hanshin a 1-0 triumph and interrupt a four game losing streak. You can see the winning swing here: http://www.sponichi.com/base/200206/14/images/base01.jpg
While Moore was dominating the Dragons order, one had to wonder if Hanshin was nevertheless destined to tack on another defeat since they literally frittered away three prime scoring opportunities, including a one out, bases loaded situation in the fifth, where the inning ended on a 6-4-3 double play ball off the bat of third baseman Atsushi Kataoka. Man, if there's a pill to help you hit with RISP, Hanshin will take a warehouse full.
So on to the tenth it went, Fujimoto leadoff with a single to center off of Eiji Shotsu, who was then relieved by Masahiro Yamamoto, who struckout Kataoka. Arias checked in and Yamamoto threw the ex-Padre a slider on the inner half of the plate and Arias really cranked on it, rifling a screamer that hit the ground just in front of the leftfield wall near the line as Fujimoto put it into overdrive and scored without a throw to make it 1-0 Tigers.
Mark Valdez was then handed the ball and he permitted a leadoff single to
left from Masahiro Araki, but then induced a foul out to the catcher, a
comebacker, and a strikeout to register his 13th save.
There was apparently some concern by the Dragons management that Moore was stealing signs and this almost lead to a brawl. A couple of Chunichi coaches warned Moore about it while he was throwing on the side, eliciting a "what the hell are they talking about?" response from Moore. Then in the fifth, Bunch plunked second baseman Makoto Imaoka on the elbow, though Imaoka was fine and lped off to first. Two innings later, Bunch whizzed one by Moore's head, drawing angry words and a fierce stare from Moore as the two began to approach each other. Both benches emptied and there was a lot of pushing and milling around (in other words, typical baseball fighth) before the game continued. You can see a rather amusing photo of Moore trying to avoid the Bunch chin music here: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/06/14/20020614020757.jpg
Bunch probably should have been tossed for making a dangerous pitch, as is specified in CL rules, but he wasn't. In 13 games between the two clubs, there have been 15 hit batsmen and this trend is likely to continue.
Is Greg Hansell's Japanese baseball career over? He went back to the U.S. to have back surgery and it is appearing unlikely that he will be back. He is still only 31, so he might be able to get a job somewhere, but then again, Jason Jacome couldn't get arrested after returning from Japan, so we'll see.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .271. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .262. Moore was 1-2 and is at .300.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 1-4 and si at .215. First baseman Leo Gomez was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .261.
IP 8.0 PC 117 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.67
T. Hashimoto IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 54.00
Kanazawa (W, 4-0) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.83
M. Valdez (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.46
IP 8.0 PC 139 H 8 HR 0 K 9 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.25
Shotsu (L, 0-2) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.98
M. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.56
Kito IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
2B: Arias, Bullet, Tanishige, Araki
HBP: Imaoka (Bunch)
GIDP: Hiyama, Kataoka, Bullet
LOB: Hanshin 11, Chunichi 6
Season Series: Hanshin 5, Chunichi 7
Game Time: 3:38
Umpires: Suginada (HP), Watada (1B), Shikida (2B), ? (3B)
Takatsu, Ishii Creamed by Yomiuri Homer Barrage in 8-5 Loss
An incredible five homer barrage over the last four innings by the Yomiuri Giants off of Yakult Swallows starter Yataro Sakamoto, closer Shingo Takatsu and reliever Hirotoshi Ishii literally brought them back from the precipice of being victims of a perfect game to an extra inning victory 8-5, with utility man Kenji Fukui deciding it with a three run sayonara clout in the bottom of the 11th. The defeat kept the Swallows out of second place.
Yusaku Iriki started for Yomiuri and wasn't very good, being mugged for nine hits and four earned runs over six innings, though it could have been worse than that. In the second, first baseman Roberto Petagine legged out a leadoff slow roller and catcher Atsuya Furuta doubled down the leftfield line. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez popped out to the catcher, but third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked to pack the sacks. However, second baseman Hajime Miki and Sakamoto both came up empty and that opportunity went by the boards.
So it was locked up 0-0 until the sixth, when Petagine beat out another tapper (just the thing those bad knees need).Furuta doubled down the leftfield line. While y'all are quoting Yogi Berra, you should know that Ramirez then put one on the sweet spot and launched an artillery shot into the righcenterfield bleacher for a 3-0 lead. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto beat out a grounder toward second and Miki zipped one down the leftfield line, Miyamoto made the turn at third and headed home safely to go up 4-0.
Petagine atomized a pitch in the seventh from Tsuyoshi Jobe, carroming it off a light standard at the rear of the rightfield stands 490 feet away for his 12th longball of the season and with Sakamoto putting the Giants away, it seemed as if this one was already pretty much over. Oops!
In the home half, Yoshinobu Takahashi walked to end the bid for the perfecto, but the no hitter was still in effect after seven complete.. Sakamoto then got the first man in the eighth and turned his attention to Daisuke Motoki, who came up sitting on a fastball. He got an 85mph heater and he broke up both the no no and the shutout with one swing of the bat, the ball carrying into the leftfield bleachers. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe followed and as sometimes happens, a disappointed Sakamoto laid a fat one into Abe and he destroyed it, depositing it in the rightfield stands and now it was 5-2 Swallows. Ryota Igarashi was summoned from the pen and he got the last two outs of the inning.
Shingo Takatsu was waved in by Swallows manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu and leftfielder Takayuki Shimiku connected for a homer to right. Third baseman Koji Goto flied out, but Takahashi singled to right. Hideki Matsui grounded into a force play at second and Giants manager Tatsunori Hara sent up Kazuhiro Kiyohara to pinch hit for first baseman Takayuki Saito. The count went to 3-2 and then Takatsu threw a sinker down and on the inner half of the plate. Kiyohara put one of his trademark compact, though brutal, strokes on it and there was no doubt about it, the ball landing in the upper part of the leftcenterfield bleachers to deadlock it at 5-5 as Giants fans and players went nuts.
In the wake of the fever over the dramatic homer, things stagnated until the bottom of the 11th. Shimizu managed an infield hit off of Ishii and was sacrificed to second. Takahashi flied out to shallow left for the second out. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui was intentionally walked. Kenji Fukui, who had replaced Goto at third, was next and made contact. He didn't know if it was going to go, so he really started busting out of the batter's box and then slowed down as he saw it disappear amid the fans in the leftfield seats for his first ever sayonara homer and the 8-5 victory.
The Kiyohara pinch hit blast was the third homer in that role of his career, the last one being in July of 2000 against the Chunichi Dragons. This was also the first time the Giants had tied a game with two out in the ninth on a pinch hit dinger since 1996 against Hanshin. Moreover, Takatsu had surrendered a game tying shot to Abe on April 23rd of this season, so he relived that nightmare again, except with a different hitter. Thanks to Nikkan Sports for another great stats job.
For Yakult, Petagine was 3-5 with an RBI and is at .302. He thinks the homer Thursday was the longest one he has ever hit in Japan. Ranirez was 1-4 with three RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .338.
IP 7.1 PC 93 H 2 HR 2 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.57
R. Igarashi IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Takatsu IP 1.0 PC 24 H 3 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.50
H. Ishii (L, 3-1) IP 1.2 PC 34 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.48
IP 6.0 PC 83 H 9 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.70
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.83
Kawamoto IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Okajima IP 2.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
Y. Maeda (W, 2-1) IP 1.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.33
2B: Furuta 2, Miki
HR: Ramirez (12), Petagine (13), Motoki (3), S. Abe (6), Fukui (3), T. Shimizu (5), Kiyohara (6)
RBI: Petagine, Ramirez 3, Miki, Fukui 3, Kiyohara 2, T. Shimizu, Motoki, S. Abe
IBB: H. Matsui
LOB: Yakult 7, Yomiuri 1
Season Series: Yakult 7, Yomiuri 7
Game Time: 3:54
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kittaka (1B), Manabe (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Yokohama Wins Fourth in a Row on Rodrigues Roundtripper 4-3
A two run homer to rightcenter in the eighth inning by Yokohama Bay Stars rightfielder Boi Rodrigues broke up a 2-2 tie with the Hiroshima Carp at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium Thursday, as the Stars then held on to eek out a 4-3 victory. Chris Holt was credited with his first Japanese win in relief and closer Takashi Saito earned his ninth save by doing away with the last five hitters of the game.
Yokohama went out to a short lived 1-0 lead in the first, as shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff the game with a single to right, stole second, and was sacrificed to third. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki walked. Centerfielder Ernie Young grounded to short and Ishii came across to make it 1-0 Stars.
Yoshimi, though, coughed that one up like a bad hairball, as shortstop Kenjiro Nomura leadoff the Hiroshima ups with a tour of the diamond as the ball was bandied about by the fans in the centerfield bleachers and it was 1-1.
The Carp then took their turn at the head of the line in the sixth. Nomura walked to commence things and was sacrificed to second. After going to third on a groundout, leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto walked. First baseman Luis Lopez wacked a single to left and Nomura toed the dish unimpeded to put the Carp up 2-1.
A half inning later, Yokohama leveled it when first baseman Takahiro Saeki beat out an infield hit and was sacrificed to second. Saeki then went to third on a groundout and scored on an infield hit by Ishii and it was 2-2.
In the eighth, Yokohama ended the stalemate and got what they needed to prevail against Ken Takahashi. With one out, Young singled to right. Rodrigues then hammered a Takahashi pitch over the rightcenterfield wall and now the Stars had a 4-2 lead.
Holt had worked a perfect seventh and was back in the center of the diamond for the bottom of the eighth and misfired. Nomura leadoff with a single to left. Second baseman Takuya Kimura struckout. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata walked and Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori went to the bullpen for Ryuichi Kawahara, who walked Kanemoto to juice the bags. Mori then went to Saito, who gave up an RBI single to center from Lopez to make it 4-3. Pinch hitter Itsuki Asai hit the ball right on the screws, but right at somebody (who isn't specified) and two were out. Third baseman Takahiro Arai struckout and that was the last taste Hiroshima had, since Saito fashioned a 1-2-3 ninth to end it.
For Yokohama, Young was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .190. Rodrigues was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .256.
For Yokohama, Lopez was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .288.
IP 6.0 PC 93 H 3 HR 1 K 4 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.03
Holt (W, 1-0) IP 1.1 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
R. Kawahara IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
T. Saito (S, 9) IP 1.2 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.14
K. Takahashi (L, 5-5) IP
7.1 PC 115 H 10 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.28
Tamaki IP 1.2 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
E: K. Takahashi
SB: T. Ishii
2B: Ryoji Aikawa
HR: Rodrigues (11), K. Nomura (2)
RBI: Rodrigues 2, K. Nomura, T. Ishii, Young, Lopez 2
GIDP: K. Takahashi
LOB: Yokohama 7, Hiroshima 7
Season Series: Yokohama 6, Hiroshima 4
Game Time: 3:00
Umpires: Mori (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kamimoto (2B),Yoshimoto (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 13th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1958, Masaichi Kaneda of the Kokutetsu Swallows won his 20th game of the season only two months into the schedule to become the fastest to that mark in history. He finished 31-14 with a 1.30 ERA, including 11 shutouts, in 332.1 innings. One reason he was successful during that campaign was a 5-1 K/BB ratio.
Also on that date in 1977, in a game between the Yomiuri Giants and Taiyo Whales at Kawasaki Stadium, Giants rookie outfielder Tadashi Matsumoto entered as a pinch runner. Yomiuri batted around in that inning and Matsumoto got a chance to hit, hammering a grand slam homer. He was the first man ever to enter as a pinch runner and then homer in the same inning. What makes that even more interesting and unlikely was that Matsumoto hit just 28 more homers during his 10 season career.
And on the same day as the above, Yakult Swallows outfielder Tsutomu Wakamatsu ended a game with a pinch hit sayonara homer, as he had done the previous night as well. That made him at that time only the second man in history to collect pinch hit walkoff homers in consecutive games.
Hodges Racks Up League Best Eighth Win for Yakult
Just as Pedro owns the Seattle Mariners, former M's righthander Kevin Hodges can't seem to put a foot wrong against the Yomiuri Giants, winning for the fourth time in four starts against them thus far with seven shutout innings of three hit ball, striking out five and walking four. Hodges ERA this season against Japan's most popular team is now a remarkbale 0.69 in 26 total innings of work and he has allowed a measly 12 hits in that span, all to lefthanded hitters. The victory also moves him into a tie with Hanshin southpaw ace Kei Igawa in triumphs with eight. For Kevin's fans and family, you can see a Nikkan Sports photo of him at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020613-3.jpg
Hodges could shatter the Yakult record for victories by a foreigner against Yomiuri in pretty short order, since that mark is held by Terry Bross with five in 1995.
According to Nikkan Sports, Hodges has a 23 year old brother named Tory who has rung up nine wins and two losses for Richmond in the Atlanta organization. He hopes that he can get back to the big leagues and one day faceoff against his younger sibling.
So on to the game. Hisanori Takahashi started for Yomiuri and while he wasn't as good as he has been lately, he was responsible for four earned runs, but only two earned, on ten hits to be blamed for the defeat. Jeon Min-tae then came in and was abused for two earned runs on three hits in 1.2 innings to put this one out of reach.
Yakult was ahead from the third inning on. In that frame and with two away, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to center and Shinichi Sato doubled over the head of rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi to plate Miyamoto and make it 1-0.
In the fourth, the Swallows doubled that advantage when leftfielder Alex Ramirez cracked a one out single to left, third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to right and second baseman Hajime Miki doubled down the leftfield line for an RBI and it was 2-0 Swallows.
Giants third baseman Akira Etoh booted a one out groundball from Ramirez in the sixth. Iwamura singled to right and Ramirez made a beeline for third. Miki laid down a squeeze bunt out in front of the mound and Takahashi fielded it and threw wildly to first. The bunt was ruled a basehit, but Takahashi was still hung with the error for allowing Iwamura to go to third on the bad peg. Jeon replaced Takahashi and Miki then faked as if he was thinking of taking off and Jeon bit on it, getting Miki in a rundown by throwing over to first, where Takayuki Saito then tossed it to shortstop Mototsugu Kawanaka at second. While this was happening, Iwamura lit out for home and made it safely without a throw for a 4-0 lead.
The Swallows expanded on that in the seventh, as shortstop Shinya Miyamoto beat out a tapper near short to lead it off. Sato scorched one into the leftcenter alley and Miyamoto sprinted for home to make it 5-0. Two outs later, Ramirez singled in Sato and it was 6-0 Yakult.
In the bottom of the eighth, Yoshinobu Takahashi homered to right for the lone Giants run off of Hirotoshii Ishii, but then the Yomiuri order couldn't get out of the infield in the ninth against Ryota Igarashi and it was "game setto."
For Yakult, Ramirez was 3-4 with an RBI and is now at .340. First baseman Roberto Petagine was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is at .293.
8-2) IP 7.0 PC 104 H 3 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.74
R. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.30
H. Takahashi (L, 5-1) IP
5.1 PC 88 H 10 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 4 ER 2 ERA 3.34
Jeon IP 1.2 PC 25 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.15
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
E: Etoh 2, H. Takahashi
SB: Iwamura, Miki
2B: S. Sato 2, Ramirez, Miki
HR: Y. Takahashi (9)
RBI: Y. Takahashi, S, Sato, Ramirez, Miki 2
PB: S. Abe
GIDP: Y. Takahashi
LOB: Yakult 8, Yomiuri 6
Season Series: Yakult 7, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Manabe (1B), Sasaki (2B), Tani (3B)
Young Homer Backs Miura Shutout Over Hiroshima
Yokohama Bay Stars centerfielder Ernie Young belted a seventh inning two run homer while ace Daisuke Miura three hit the Hiroshima Carp in an 8-0 victory by the last place Stars to get his third win of the season and first in almost two months against nine often mostly frustrating and undeserved losses. An error by shortstop Kenjiro Nomura helped set up a three run first inning for Yokohama and Miura and company cruised from there for the squad's third consecutive triumph.
Shinji Sasaoka began the game on the hill for Hiroshima and would have still lost, but due to the Nomura error, only two of the five runs he gave up were earned. Yokohama then added a deuce off of Hiroike and a run off of Rigo Beltran to put it in the refrigerator.
In that initial inning, Sasaoka had two outs when he was done up for a double down the leftfield line by leftfielder Takanori Suzuki. Young rolled one to Nomura, who kicked it. Rightfielder Boi Rodriges walked to load the bases. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa then cleared the decks with a liner into the rightcenterfield gap and it was 3-0 Yokohama.
Miura struckout the side in the bottom half of the inning and the first man he saw in the second for four consecutive Ks on the way to six hitless frames.
Sasaoka fanned the first two men he saw in the fifth, but then he had control problems, walking the next two and Young smacked a single to center to drive in second baseman Hitoshi Taneda for a 4-0 Yokohama edge.
Ogawa leadoff the sixth with a rocket into the rightcenterfield bleachers and it was 5-0 Stars.
In the seventh, Taneda walked again and Young went downtown through the rightcenterfield exit and now it was a laugher at 7-0.
The Carp got two one out singles in the home half for their first safeties and one more in the ninth and that was it. Meanwhile, in the Yokohama portion of the ninth, shortstop Takuro Ishii was nailed by Rigo Beltran to start it and Taneda finagled yet another free pass. Suzuki bounced into a 4-6-3 double play, but backup rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura singled to center and Ishii trotted in and that capped the night's scoring at 8-0.
For Hiroshima, first baseman Luis Lopez was 0-4 and is at .281.
For Yokohama, Young was 2-4 with three RBIs and is at .176. Rodrigues was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .257.
Miura (W, 3-9) IP 9.0 PC 139 H 3 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.02
Sasaoka (L, 2-4) IP
6.0 PC 99 H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 3 R 5 ER 2 ERA 3.50
Hiroike IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.70
Tomabechi IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.38
Beltran IP 1.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.27
E: Tamura, K.Nomura
2B: T. Suzuki, Ogawa
HR: Ogawa (2), Young (2)
RBI: Ogawa 4, Young 3
HBP: T. Ishii (Beltran)
GIDP: Young, T. Suzuki, Arai
LOB: Yokohama 6, Hiroshima 6
Season Series: Yokohama 5, Hiroshima 4
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), Mori (3B)
Hanshin's Troubles Against Dragons Continue in 3-2 Loss
One reason that the Hanshin Tigers can't seem to pull away from the pack is that they have a hard time beating the Chunichi Dragons, and the erratic Osaka nine took it on the chin from their Aichi Prefecture counterparts again 3-2 Wednesday at Nagoya Dome on back to back sixth inning solo jacks by first baseman Leo Gomez and third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami for their fourth loss in a row. Kenshin Kawakami went seven solid innings to outduel Kei Igawa for his fifth victory and Eddie Gaillard pocketed save number 14. It is now a four team race in the Central League, with just two games separating the 1-4 slots.
It was a scoreless deadlock until the bottom of the fifth, when Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige leadoff with a walk, Masahiko Morino doubled down the leftfield line and, with the infield up, Kawakami hit a little looper that barely got over the outstretched arms of the infielders for a 1-0 lead.
Hanshin surmounted that conundrum by scratching for a temporary advantage in the top of the sixth. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka leadoff with single to left and went to second on a sac bunt. One out later, first baseman George Arias spanked a single to center and Imaoka was in with the 1-1 tie. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama cannonaded a double to rightcenter to welcome Arias in and make it 2-1 Tigers.
In the home segment and with one down, Gomez turned on a pitch and unloaded a high fly ball that landed just to the right of the leftfield foul pole deep into the leftfield seats to knot it at two apiece and give him 150 lifetime Japanese homers. Tatsunami then took the second delivery he saw and hit a towering drive that he wasn't sure would reach the seats, but it barely did and the Dragons were back in front 3-2. Igawa has now seen ten of his offerings not come back, which is the most gopher balls of any CL hurler.
The Tigers couldn't convert on a one out, men on first and second opportunity in the seventh and that was all she wrote, as relievers Eiji Ochiai and Eddie Gaillard put the final six Hanshin batters away to secure the W.
Gomez is only the second Dragons foreigner to have accumulated 150 or more roundtrippers, the other one being Gene Martin, who had 4 30 homer seasons for Chunichi before finishing up with one year at Taiyo in the mid and late 70's. Altogether, Martin went yard 184 times in his six Japanese campaigns with a .272 average and an OPS of .871. Reaching the 150 mark "is really hard for a foreigner in Japan," said Gomez. I would like to thank God for making it possible for me to do it." Overall, the former Cub is the 120th player to attain that milestone.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .268. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-2 and is at .269.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .267.
8-3) IP 7.0 PC 123 H 8 HR 2 K 8 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.86
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
Kawakami (W, 5-0) IP 7.0
PC 102 H 6 HR 0 K 8 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.56
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
Gaillard (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.89
2B: Hiyama, Morino
HR: Tatsunami (7), Gomez (13)
RBI: Arias, Hiyama, Gomez, Tatsunami, Kawakami
HBP: Yano (Kawakami)
GIDP: Fujitate, Araki
LOB: Hanshin 6, Chunichi 4
Season Series: Hanshin 4, Chunichi 7
Game Time: 2:48
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Shikida (1B), ? (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Matsui Homer Gives Seibu 6-3 Victory
A two run homer in the top of the seventh at Kobe Green Stadium by Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui provided the Tokorozawa titans with a 5-1 lead and enough to hold off a ninth inning two run homer from Orix Blue Wave pinch hitter Takeshi Hidaka in an eventual 6-3 victory Wednsesday. Fumiya Nishiguchi picked up his seventh win while Blue Wave starter Ed Yarnell is now 4-6.
Alex Cabrera literally fired the opening salvo in this one, as he thundered a Yarnell delivery more than 490 feet over the leftfield stands and on to a walkway in the second to make it 1-0 Lions. Third baseman Tom Evans singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Tetsuya Kakiuchi singled to left and catcher Tsutomu Itoh flied out to center to recall Evans and it was 2-0 Seibu.
In the bottom of the third, Orix catcher Takeshi Miwa leadoff by putting a dent in a chair in the leftfield bleachers to cut it to 2-1 Lions.
Evans kicked off another small rally for Seibu in the fourth when he singled to left with one away and was sacrificed to second. Kakiuchi doubled down the leftfield line and it was 3-1 Lions.
In the seventh, second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi beat out a tapper and Matsui served it into the rightfield bleachers to open a 5-1 advantage. One out later, 20 year old pinch hitter Hiroyuki Oshima dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 on a 1-1 fastball for his first pro homer and it was 6-1 Lions.
Orix countered briefly when first baseman Yuji Goshima leadoff with an infield hit against reliever Hayato Aoki and Hidaka then exited stage right to make it 6-3. Aoki kept everything in the infield from there on in and that was as close as Orix got.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .270. Evans was 3-4 and is at .464.
For Orix, third baseman Scott Sheldon was 1-5 and is at .229.
7-3) IP 6.0 PC 103 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.75
Doi IP 1.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.88
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.12
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 17 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.78
5.2 PC 97 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.53
Ogura IP 1.1 PC 29 H 3 HR 2 K 1 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.36
Tokumoto IP 2.0 PC 40 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
2B: Kakiuchi, K. Oshima,
HR: Cabrera (18), K. Matsui (11), H. Oshima (1), Miwa (2), Hidaka (4)
RBI: Cabrera, K. Matsui 2, H. Oshima, Miwa, Hidaka 2, Kakiuchi, T. Itoh
SF: T. Itoh
HBP: Takamizawa (Nishiguchi)
GIDP: Goshima, Tani
LOB: Seibu 7, Orix 10
Season Series: Seibu 10, Orix 2
Game Time: 3:11
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Iizuka (1B), Hayashi (2B), Higashi (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 12th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1954, Takahashi Unions (later dissolved) pitcher Mitsuru Tamura walked seven men in one inning in a game against the Nishitetsu Lions at Kawasaki Stadium to set a record.
Screws Tighten on Hanshin in 8-1 Loss to Dragons
Again, the Hanshin Tigers are having a hard time separating themselves from the .500 mark since that seven game winning streak they had to start the season, as they dropped their third in a row to the Chunichi Dragons Tuesday 8-1. Shinji Taninaka struggled for the Osaka favorite sons, being blasted for six runs on seven hits in five innings to absorb the loss. His defense actually saved the damage from being much worse, he was that bad. Hanshin has had three losing skeins of three or more games so far.
Takashi Ogasawara started for the party from Nagoya and didn't see out the fourth for whatever reason (since the sports press in Japan seems to have glossed over this), but permitted only one run on seven hits, striking out three and walking one on 80 pitches. If he wasn't pulled due to injury (and that doesn't seems to be the case), Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada was apparently not very impressed by what he was seeing and decided to pursue other options before Ogasawara may have blown up. Consequently, reliever Masataka Endo ended up with the victory, his second, after 1.1 shutout innings of hitless two strikeout ball.
Chunichi shortstop Hirokazu Ibata scorched a double down the leftfield line to leadoff the bottom of the first. Leftfielder Scott Bullet attemtpted to sacrifice and hit it right back at Taninaka, who went to third to get the sliding Ibata. Bullet then tried to steal second and was gunned down by catcher Akihiro Yano. Centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome doubled into the rightcenter alley. Taninaka nailed first baseman Leo Gomez. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to center and Fukudome crossed to make it 1-0 Dragons. Rightfielder Jun Inoue walked to load the bases. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige singled up through the middle and Tatsunami and Gomez reported for a 3-0 Chunichi advantage.
Being Hanshin, i.e., no hitting with RISP, the team had men in ready to come home in each of the first three innings, but ended up with goose eggs. The finally managed to do something in the fourth, though. With two gone, Yano walked. Taninaka singled to center. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka ripped a double into the leftfield corner to drive in Yano and send Ogasawara to the locker room and it was 3-1 Dragons.
For all practical purposes, the Dragons then put the game away in the sixth. With one down, Taninaka walked Ibata and then picked him off for the second out. Bullet jerked one off the centerfield wall for two bases. Fukudome was intentionally walked. Gomez pinged a shot off the leftfield fence to convert both runners and Tatsunami singled to left to cash Gomez in for a yawning 6-1 gap between the two clubs in Chunichi's favor.
In the sixth, Tanishige took Masashi Date over the leftfield wall for his ninth homer and a 7-1 Dragons lead. Tanishige then oloaded one into the same spot in the seats to go up 8-1.
The Tigers got two one out singles in the top of the ninth, but that was shortcircuited by a 4-6-3 double play and Imaoka grounded to short to end it.
Atsushi Kataoka is back off theinjured list and had a 2-4 night to raise his average to .243.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-4 and is at .213. Gomez was 1-3 with two RBIs and an HBP and is at .262.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .268. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 and is at .272.
4-3) IP 5.0 PC 96 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.49
Date IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.32
Toyama IP 1.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 10.50
A. Itoh IP 0.2 PC 9 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.64
Ogasawara IP 3.2 PC 80 H
7 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.68
Endo (W, 2-0) IP 1.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.03
Shotsu IP 2.0 PC 30 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
Yamai IP 2.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
2B: Arias, Sekimoto, Imaoka
2, Bullet, Gomez, Ibata, Fukudome
HR: Tanishige 2 (10)
RBI: Imaoka, Gomez 2, Tanishigie 4, Tatsunami 2
HBP: Gomez (Taninaka)
LOB: Hanshin 9, Chunichi 3
Season Series: Hanshin 4, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Watada (HP), ? (1B), Suginaga (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Kintetsu Wins Ninth in a Row 5-3
For the first time in eight years, the Kintetsu Buffaloes have won nine in
a row, as Sean Bergman went seven solid innings off three run ball on six
hits to earn his third victory while the opposition still hasn't learned
that you only piss off Norihiro Nakamura when you walk Tuffy Rhodes in front
of him and that almost always leads to disaster.
With the score 2-2 and runners on first and a runner on third in the seventh, the Chiba Lotte Marines decided to issue an intentinal walk to Rhodes, which the stocky Nakamura always percieves as an insult. Lotte starter Nathan Minchey threw a 3-1 fastball inside to the righthanded third baseman and Nakamura fought it off by looping it over third for an RBI basehit and a 3-2 lead. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi then seared a double down the rightfield line to recall both Nakamura and Rhodes and a 5-2 advantage.
The Buffaloes had gotten an instant lead in the first, when second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to right with one out and Rhodes, with his seven year old son Karl Jr. in the stands, put good wood on a first pitch Minchey heater and howitzered it into the leftcenterfield bleachers and it was 2-0 Kintetsu.
Lotte deadlocked it a step at a time, though. In the second, Bergman hit leftfielder Derrick May with a pitch. One out later he was forced out on a grounder from third baseman Koichi Hori. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu doubled off the leftfield wall to turn Hori in and make it 2-1.
An inning later, Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura went center backscreen for the gyakuten solo and it was even at 2-2.
After Kintetsu went ahead in the seventh, Lotte made it closer in the home portion. Second baseman Ryosuke Sawai leadoff with a bloop double to left and went to third on a sacrifice. Shimizu flied out to center and Sawai tagged up and hustled in to tighten it to 5-3.
In the ninth, Lotte started a two out rally that fizzled. Kintetsu closer Akira Okamoto induced a pop out from pinch hitter Tasuku Hashimoto and a flyout to center from Shimizu. Rightfielder Kenji Morozumi singled to right and Omura singled to left. But shortstop Makoto Kosaka grounded to second and Kintetsu's streak of triumphs was sustained.
When the opposition has walked Rhodes this season, Nakamura is 11-23 with five homers, a .478 mark. Over the last six years, when they have intentionally walked Rhodes to get to Nakamura, he is 3-5 with a walk and two homers, and both times this season have resulted in a long homer and the RBI single. So that tactic doesn't work. All it does is make Nakamura concentrate better. Thanks again to Nikkan Sports for more terrific stats work.
For Lotte, May was 1-3 with a walk and is at .233.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-3 with two RBIs and two walks and is at .279.
3-1) IP 7.0 PC 97 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.32
Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.19
Otsuka IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
A. Okamoto (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.40
3-9) IP 7.0 PC 134 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 4 R 5 ER 4 ERA 4.16
Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.70
K. Yamasaki IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
E: Yoshioka, Morozumi
2B: Isobe, Kawaguchi, M. Shimizu 2, Sawai
HR: Rhodes (22), S. Omura (2)
RBI: Rhodes 2, N. Nakamura, Kawaguchi, M. Shimizu 2, S. Omura
SF: M. Shimizu
HBP: N. Nakamura (Minchey), May (Bergman)
LOB: Kintetsu 8, Lotte 8
Season Series: Kintetsu 9, Lotte 3
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Akimura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Shibahara Sayonara Single Disappoints Nippon Ham 2-1
Nippon Ham starter Itsuki Shoda took a 1-0 lead into the bottom of the ninth at Fukuoka Dome Tuesday looking for his first pro shutout, but a two out bases loaded single to right from centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara off of reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa scored two for a 2-1 Daiei Hawks sayonara victory. Shuji Yoshida, who has done yeoman's work in the bullpen this season, was credited with this third win against no losses.
Shoda had pitched eight shutout innings on six hits, all singles, and had been cruising since giving up a pair of one out knocks in the fifth to outpitch Daiei starter Akichika Yamada, who had his best outing since early April. Yamada was in on short notice since scheduled starter Hayato Terahara came up with a pulled hamstring suffered in pre-game drills.
The Fighters went out in front in the second, when leftfielder D.T. Cromer leadoff by piledriving a Yamada delivery into the Daiei oendan in right for a 1-0 lead.
Yamada then got himself into a mess in the fifth, when Kazuteru Shimada lined a one out double down the leftfield line. Cromer was intentionally walked. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka singled to center to load the bases. But Yamada fanned both catcher Kazunari Sanematsu and centerfielder Tatsuya Ide to snuff the threat.
In the ninth, the Hawks, who had two earlier scoring opportunities evaporate due to the double play ball, struck for the winning rally. With one down, rightfielder Koji Akiyama singled to left and was pinch run for by Muramatsu. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe sacrificed Arihito Muramatsu to second. Pinch hitter Pedro Valdez walked and was pinch run for by Yudai Deguchi, causing Fighters manager Yasunori Oshima to select Shibakusa from the bullpen, who then plunked leftfielder Motoi Okoshi to fill the sacks. Shibahara worked the count to 3-2 and on the sixth pitch got a fastball on the inner half of the plate and clocked it between first and second and into right as Muramatsu and Deguchi flew home for the 2-1 triumph.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .253. Cromer was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .270.
For Daiei, Valdez had a walk in his one time up and is at .270.
1-3) IP 8.2 PC 130 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 2 ER
2 ERA 3.25
Shibakusa IP 0.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.87
IP 6.0 PC 120 H 8 HR 1 K 8 BB 5 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.25
S. Yoshida (W, 3-0) IP 3.0 PC 40 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.03
2B: Cromer, Shimada
HR: Cromer (10), Shibahara 2
WP: A. Yamada, Shoda 3
HBP: Shimada (A. Yamada), Okoshi (Shibakusa)
GIDP: Iguchi, Matsunaka
Season Series: Nippon Ham 6, Daiei 7
Game Time: 3:33
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Maeda (1B), Sato (3B), Yamamura (3B)
Kuroda is Painted Black by Yokohama 10-2
Yokohama got three things in this one that we havn't seen much of yet this season: great pitching and a win from Shane Bowers and an offensive explosion, as the Bay Stars wacked Hiroki Kuroda around eight to the bar and strutted back to the hotel with a 10-2 victory and to knot up the season series with the Carp at 4-4.
The Stars broke through in the second, when rightfielder Boi Rodrigues leadoff with a single to right and stole second. Two strikeouts later, catcher Ryoji Aikawa found some empty space stage right as well for a knock and Rodrigues galloped in to make it 1-0 Stars.
In the third, leftfielder Takanori Suzuki, making his first start in eight games since suffering a shoulder injury, connected off of a Kuroda fastball for a solo homer to rightcenter and a 2-0 advantage.
It was still 2-0 when second baseman Hitoshi Taneda stepped up in the fifth and put a devastating swing on a Kuroda offering, leaving it in the leftcenterfield seats and it was 3-0 Yokohama.
Yokohama then amassed four more hits in the sixth to break it open. Rodrigues leadoff with a single to right and one out later Takahiro Saeki spanked a double off the rightfield wall. Aikawa was intentionally walked to pack the bags and bring up Bowers, who had singled earlier. The former Twin struckout. However, shortstop Takuro Ishii guided one through the middle of the infield and into center for two RBIs. Tetsuto Tomabechi replaced Kuroda and he walked Taneda to reload the bases. Suzuki singled to center and now it was 7-1 visitors.
Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto went yard to right to reduce the Carp deficit to 7-1. Third baseman Takahiro Arai chipped him in his contribution, a blast into the centerfield bleachers to make it 7-2 Stars.
In the eighth, Yokohama responded with three more off of Rigo Beltran and Ramon Ramirez.. Ishii began it with a single to left and Taneda singled to right. Suzuki laced a double to leftcenter to usher in Ishii. One out later, Rodrigues walked to load the bases. After another out, Saeki singled to right for the 10-2 margin of victory.
For Hiroshima, first baseman Luis Lopez was 2-4 and is at .291.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .077. Rodrigues was 2-4 with two strikeouts and is at .262.
1-1) IP 6.1 PC 96 H 8 HR 2 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER
2 ERA 5.18
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Azuma IP 0.2 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Takeshita IP 0.2 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.82
Holt IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2-3) IP 5.2 PC 91 H 10 HR 2 K 7 BB 1 R 7 ER
7 ERA 4.98
Tomabechi IP 1.1 PC 37 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.65
Beltran IP 0.0 PC 12 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.16
Ramirez IP 1.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Hiroike IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
E: Lopez, Arai
2B: Saeki 2, T. Suzuki
HR: T. Suzuki (4), Taneda (1), Kanemoto (8), Arai (12)
RBI: T. Ishii, Taneda, T. Suzuki 4, Saeki 2, Ryoji Aikawa, Kanemoto, Arai
IBB: Ryoji Aikawa
GIDP: Ryoji Aikawa, Arai, Ogata
LOB: Yokohama 11, Hiroshima 9
Season Series: Yokohama 4, Hiroshima 4
Game Time: 3:36
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Mori (2B), K. Kobayashi (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 11th and on that date in Japanese baseball history, the Nihon Shokugyou Yakyuudan, another name for what became known as the Yomiuri Giants, opened their business office in Tokyo.
Also on this date in 1934, the Tokyo Giants great ace, Eiji Sawamura, was
given the bum's rush by the St. Louis Cardinals while the Giants were on
tour in the U.S. and it appeared they had just about talked Sawamura into
becoming the first Japanese MLB player, but manager Suzuki talked him out
of it. Japan's version of the Cy Young Award is named for Sawamura after
he went on to throw three no hitters and win 63 games with a 1.74 ERA before
being killed in WWII.
Kintetsu Takes it to Lotte 8-0
Geez, if the Seibu Lions weren't on fire themselves right now, the Kintetsu Bufflaoes could really be causing some serious havoc in the Pacific League pennant race. But as it is, Kintetsu's winning streak reached eight games Monday at Chiba Marine Stadium by getting outstanding shutout pitching from Hisashi Iwakuma, who also struckout a career high 12 by mixing up his forkball and two different sliders along with a 90-92mph heater, and three RBIs from shortstop Masahiro Abe to trounce the Chiba Lotte Marines 8-0.
Takashi Kawai started for Lotte and put in an honorable effort, going five innings of two run ball on seven hits, but his having delivered to the plate 90 times necessitated his being yanked, as it hasn't yet been that long since he was promoted from the bullpen into the starting rotation. It was actually a close 2-0 game until the Buffs offense ripped the head off of Brian Sikorsky in a six run ninth to ensure the victory.
Kawai got out of a jam in the first, when leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes doubled to rightcenter with two gone and then third baseman Norihiro Nakamura tattooed a single to center. Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura charged the ball and made a strong throw home in time to get the sliding Rhodes for the last out of the frame.
Kintetsu went ahead 1-0 in the second, though, when DH Hirotoshi Kitagawa tripled down the rightfield line and two outs later completed the circuit on a single to right from Abe.
Iwakuma extricated himself out of a two on, nobody out pickle in the fourth by striking out the next two hitter and inducing another to ground to second.
So his teammates rewarded that feat by creating another run in the top of the fifth. Abe leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second and then sacrificed again to third. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi then converted the chance with a single to center and it was 2-0 for the Osaka boys.
Iwakuma struckout the side in the bottom of the inning and allowed just a hit and walk until Kintetsu manager Masataka Nishida gave him a pat on the back and handed the ball to Shogo Yamamoto with one out in the eighth. Yamamoto gave up a single to shortstop Makoto Kosaka, so Nishida went to the pen again and waved in Akinori Otsuka, just back from an oblique strain, who got a double play ball to kill the threat.
The Buffaloes then stampeded Sikorsky. Pinch hitter Daisuke Masuda leadoff the ninth with a double to leftcenter and Koichi Isobe singled to right. Abe tried to leave the yard backscreen style, but was stymied form doing so by the centerfield wall, settling for a two run double. Kenji Furukubo advanced Abe with a sac bunt and centerfielder Naoyuki Omura spanked a knock to right to make it 5-0. Mizuguchi singled to center and Rhodes careened one into the leftcenter alley for a 7-0 advantage and to rid themselves of Sikorsky. Ken Yamasaki walked in and was immediately touched for an RBI single to center from Nakamura before then retiring the final two batters of the stanza, and Kintetsu was in control at 8-0. When Lotte couldn't answer that, it went into the books as a W for the Buffs.
The much maligned Kintetsu staff have also allowed just two runs in five June contests. According to Nikkan Sports, during a similar eight game victory string last season, they gave up 28 runs while during this one they have permitted just 10 for a 1.09 ERA. In just one game in this stretch has a Kintetsu hurler been lit up for two runs or more in an inning. When everything is going right for a ballclub, it's really a thing of beauty, no?
For Lotte, leftfielder Derrick May was 0-4 with three strikeouts (Saburo Omura also whiffed thrice) and is at .232.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-5 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .273.
Iwakuma (W, 3-3) IP 7.1 PC 126 H 4 HR 0 K 12 BB
2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
S. Yamamoto IP 0.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
A.N. Otsuka IP 0.2 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T. Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
IP 5.0 PC 90 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.34
A. Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
H. Kobayashi IP 2.1 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Sikorsky IP 0.1 PC 26 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 6 ER 6 ERA 4.68
K. Yamasaki IP 0.2 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
SB: A. Otsuka, Fukuura
2B: Masuda, M. Abe, Rhodes 2, Morozumi
RBI: N. Omura, Mizuguchi, Rhodes 2, N. Nakamura, M. Abe 3
GIDP: Yoshioka, A. Otsuka
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Lotte 7
Season Series: Kintetsu 8, Lotte 3
Game Time: 3:50
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Yanagida (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Lions Juggernaut Rolls on with Suzuki Sac Fly 3-2
Seibu Lions closer Kiyoshi Toyoda won for the third time this season without suffering a defeat Monday when Ken Suzuki lifted a sacrifice fly in the top of the 12th to bring in shortstop Kazuo Matsui, who had singled, gone to second on a sac bunt and then stole third on a 3-0 count on a play called from the Seibu bench. Third baseman Tom Evans helped them get to that point with a fourth inning homer that gave the Lions a temporary 2-1 lead. The Tokorozawa nine lengthened their winning skein to seven games, their first such streak in five years.
Both starters in this one had strong outings, Seibu's Takashi Ishii going seven innings of one run, three hit ball, striking out four and walking one while his opposite number, Masahiko Kaneda, went seven as well and was responsible for two runs on eight hits while fanning four and walking one. Neither man figured in the decision.
Ishii whiffed all three men he faced in the second and then was further encouraged when his offense displayed some life in the third. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh singled to left and was sacrificed to second. Matsui doubled down the leftfield line to drive the old backstop in and make it 1-0 Lions.
Orix, though, didin't lay down and tied it up in the bottom of the inning. With one out, third baseman Scott Sheldon cracked some paint off the rightfield wall and cadillaced into second. After going to third on a groundout, second baseman Koichi Oshima produced a "timely anda" and it was 1-1.
Evans, though, who has come out of the gate looking more Bill Mueller than the guy who hit .240 with Hanshin in 2001, got something he could hammer and it ended up bounding around the leftfield seats for a "kachikoshi solo" and a 2-1 Seibu advantage.
Ishii escaped a men on second and third two out fix in the fifth by luring Oshima into a flyout and then battened down the hatches the next two innings, from where it was run on over to setup man Shinji Mori, who was victimized by an Alex Cabrera error on a popup by catcher Takeshi Hidaka, who had hustled all the way to second on the miscue. Oshima then laid down a sac bunt and Cabrera attempted to get Hidaka at third, but umpire Kakigizono signaled safe. After a walk to rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi to load the bases, centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani then went to centerfield, where it was flagged down by Masaji Shimizu, and Hidaka scooted in to knot it at 2-2.
Orix appeared as if they would scratch out a game winning tally in the bottom of the ninth off of Mori, but it wasn't to be. Leftfielder Koji Takamizawa legged out a tapper for an infield hit and was sacrificed to second. Sheldon was intentionally walked, which set up a double play opportunity. Mori then struckout both Oshima and Hidaka to send it to extra time.
Seibu had leftfielder Susumu Otomo aboard in the 11th on a one out double, but didn't get the big hit. Orix had a man on second with two down, but no clutch performance there either and it went to the 12th and final inning. Matsui leadoff with a walk and was sacrificed to second. Fumiaki Imamura was waved in and got behind to Suzuki 3-0. Seibu manager Haruki Ihara thought that Imamura wasn't paying enough attention to Matsui, so he sent Matsui and the speedster was in with his PL leading 12th theft. Suzuki lofted a fly ball to center, where Tani gathered it in and winged it home, but he isn't Vlad Guerrero and Matsui made it easily.
Toyoda then sealed it by getting a flyout and two strikeouts and as hot as Kintetsu is, they haven't gotten much of anywhere with the continuance of the Lions winning ways.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-3 with two walks and two strikeouts and is at .230.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with two walks and an error and is at .272. Evans was 2-6 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .417.
Ishii IP 7.0 PC 88
H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Mori IP 3.0 PC 50 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.76
Toyoda (W, 3-0) IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.82
IP 7.0 PC 118 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.83
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.01
Okubo IP 2.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
Tokano IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.33
Kase (L, 0-2) IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.45
Imamura IP 0.2 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.23
E: Cabrera, K. Oshima
SB: K. Matsui, Ueda
2B: K. Matsui, Sheldon, Otomo
HR: Evans (3)
RBI: Evans, K. Suzuki, K. Matsui, K. Oshima, Tani
SF: K. Suzuki
HBP: Sheldon (Takashi Ishii)
GIDP: T. Itoh, Y. Fujii
LOB: Seibu 11, Orix 9
Game Time: 3:49
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Higashi (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Hawks Lose Johjima to Fracture in 4-2 Defeat
Even more so than going down to Nippon Ham 4-2 Monday, the Daiei Hawks lost catcher Kenji Johjima to a fractured collarbone on a foul tip in the fifth inning off the bat of Fighters third baseman Yukio Tanaka and is going to be out until after the all star break. Considering that Johjima is easily the biggest offensive force among all Japanese receivers and that Daiei's pitching staff has not been getting the job done, this has substantial implications for the PL pennant race. No doubt abou it, this is the lowpoint of a very disappointing season for the birds of prey. The word "crippling blow" is no exaggeration. Even when he returns in late July, he is still not going to get his timing back for another week or two.
The Hawks are a club that has some powerful weapons at its disposal, and they absolutely need everyone to step up to compensate for Johjima being on the shelf. When first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka was out for a while during Daiei's 2000 pennant run, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo filled the void by hitting well over .400. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and Matsunaka have both been slow to get rolling. If they can't step up soon, the PL pennant competition could devolve rather rapidly down to a two team race between Seibu and Kintetsu with all the other clubs thinking about next year.
At least even is Daiei couldn't emerge victorious Monday, starter Keisaburo Tanoue pitched into the seventh inning, something that manager Sadaharu Oh has been sorely pursuing for the last month. Unfortunately, Tanoue was also shaken down for four earned runs and that was all it took for Fighters starter Carlos Mirabal to notch his seventh win.
Hawks centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara got his side off on the good foot by leading off the bottom of the first by drilling a Mirabal offering into the rightcenterfield seats for a 1-0 lead.
Mirabal was rocked by the home run ball again in the fourth, as Johjima buried a fat one in the leftfield bleachers to boast a 2-0 Hawks advantage.
Tanoue went into the sixth ahead and came out just even after it. With one away, centerfielder Tatsuya Ide walked and shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to right. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto went through the rightside, too, and Ide scampered in to make it 2-1. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to left and Kimoto sprinted around for the 2-2 tie.
Oh opted to push Tanoue a little further and it didn't work. Rightfielder Kazuteru Shimada leadoff with a walk and leftfielder D.T. Cromer singled to right. Oh replaced Tanoue with Katsunori Okamoto. Tanaka bounced to Okamoto, who threw errantly going for the twin killing to load the bases. Ide singled to center and both Shimada and Cromer crossed for a 4-2 Fighters edge.
Mirabal worked two perfect innings and then had a little difficulty in the ninth that he was able to overcome. With one out, pinch hitter Koji Bonichi beat out a bleeder. DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to right and the winning run came to the plate in the form of Koji Akiyama. The man with over 400 lifetime dingers, though, grounded into a game ending 6-4-3 double play and that was that. Mirabal now heads up the PL in wins with seven.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-3 with a walk and is at .270.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 2-4 and is at .264. DH Sherman Obando was 1-4 and is at .259.
Mirabal (W, 7-2) IP 9.0 PC 117 H 9 HR 2 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.35
Tanoue (L, 1-5) IP 6.0
PC 102 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.34
K. Okamoto IP 0.1 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Matsumoto IP 2.1 PC 43 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.69
E: K. Okamoto, Uchinokura, Nonogaki
SB: M. Ogasawara
2B: Cromer, Omichi
HR: Shibahara (1), Johjima (12)
RBI: Kimoto, M. Ogasawara, Ide 2, Shibahara, Johjima
GIDP: Shimada, Akiyama 2
LOB: Nippon Ham 8, Daiei 6
Season Series: Nippon Ham 6, Daiei 6
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Sato (1B), Yamamura (2B), Maeda (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 10th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1958, NTV (a television station) president Shimizu announced plans for a domed ballpark that would be 70 meters high, but theplan was never put into effect.
Also on that day in 1948, in a game
between the Chunichi Dragons and the Kyuei Flyers at Korakuen Stadium (this
was still during the single league era), Hiroshi Oshita, a future Hall of
Fame inductee, used a bat made of bamboo. That was a rules violation and
he was fined 100 yen.
Hirosawa Signs with Albany
Former Yakult swallows and Hanshin Tigers infielder Yoshiteru Hirosawa, 31, signed with Albany of the Northern League this past weekend and has already started in a game, going 1-4. Hirosawa, not to be confused with former Yakult Swallows, Yomiuri Giants and now Hanshin Tigers first baseman/outfielder Katsumi Hirosawa, only had a handful of at bats at the big club level during his career, which was mostly spent in the minors.
Yakult sold him to Hanshin in 1996 and then Hanshin released him after the 1997 season. He throws right and hits from the lefthand side of the plate. The last five years, he has been making his living doing tv commercials and acting parts and is reportedly close friends with Tsuyoshi Shinjo.
Brother Elephants Clinch First Half Title
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/06/10/story/0000139832
Elephants Pitcher Never Gave Up
In a related story, a guy who never got drafted in Taiwan is now making an impact in pro baseball there: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/06/01/story/0000138540
Baseball Official Comments on State of Taiwanese Baseball
See Taiwan Headlines story at: http://th.gio.gov.tw/show.cfm?news_id=11692
Taiwan and Gambling on Baseball
While researching another matter, I came across an article from the Taiwan Headlines (http://www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw) website about one of the major Taiwanese teams that broke up in the wake of the gambling scandal that hit pro baseball in that country a few years back. It is dated December, 1999: http://www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw/19991214/19991214s2.html
Taiwanese Government Bans Players Who Go Overseas from Domestic Action
See Taiwan Headlines story at: http://th.gio.gov.tw/show.cfm?news_id=9552
Flashback: San Shang Tigers Go Out of Business
Article from November of 1999 at:http://th.gio.gov.tw/show.cfm?news_id=1770
June 9, 2002
No games scheduled.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report would have been for June 9th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1977, Hall of Fame NHK baseball color commentator and ex-Shochiku Robins manager Tokuro Onishi, known for his rapid fire speaking style and catch phrase, "nan to moushimashou ka" or "what can one say about that?," died at the age of 80. You can see a pic of him while he was with Shochiku at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/yomidas/konojune/aw/awr0404.jpg
Also on that day in 1979, the Kintetsu
Buffaloes Charlie Manuel was hit in the lower jaw by Lotte Orions reliever
June 8, 2002
Uehara Outpitches Asakura in 1-0 Shutout
Koji Uehara played the Chunichi Dragons
like a violin Saturday at Fukuoka Dome, limiting them to four hits, all singles,
and walking none while striking out eight for his seventh victory of the
season against three losses. Third baseman Akira Etoh drove in the sole run
of the match with a two out single to center to deliver second baseman Toshihisa
Nishi in the fourth.It also
put the brakes on a four game Giants slide.
Kenta Asakura started for the Dragons and he was tenacious, not giving the Giants much of anything except for that fourth inning, when he surrendered three of the seven hits he permitted on the night, to lose it. The Chunichi pitching staff actually combined to throw seven fewer deliveries than did Uehara, so well pitched was this battle.
Uehara was able to to keep his forkball down while using cut fastballs on the inner half of the plate and he challenged the hitters. He had a no hitter until tow gone in the sixth, when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata had a clean single to left. Leftfielder Scott Bullet then singled to right to raise the only threat of the game, but centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome fouled out and that was pretty much it.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .211. First baseman leo Gomez was 0-2 and is at .261.
Asakura (L, 5-4) IP 7.0 PC 98 H 7 HR 0 K
4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.76
Endo IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.29
M. Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.67
Shotsu IP 0.2 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Uehara (W, 7-3) IP 9.0 PC 117 H 4 HR 0 K 8 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.95
E: Takayuki Saito
2B: Y. Takahashi
HBP: Nishi (Asakura)
PB: S. Abe
LOB: Chunichi 5, Yomiuri 7
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Yomiuri 5
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Ino (1B), Tani (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Six Run Eighth by Hiroshima Slays Tigers
Keiichi Yabu struggled for Hanshin and his teammates in the bullpen, Shinobu Fukuhara and Takehiro Hashimoto, may be investigated for arson for their part in a six run rally by the Hiroshima Carp Saturday at Hiroshima Municipa Stadium that put it in the icebox for the home folks 9-5. Masayuki Hasegawa went seven solid innings of seven hit three run ball for his fourth victory.
The four innings he lasted in this one was his shortest outing of the year. He went down 1-0 in the bottom of the second, as first baseman Takahiro Arai singled to center with one away and catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to right. Second baseman Kazuki Fukuchi singled to center to plate Arai with the first run of the contest.
Hanshin clawed back and actually went ahead in the third. Koji Hirashita leadoff with a double off the centerfield wall. Catcher Akihiro Yano rolled a double play ball to Fukuchi, who threw it away and Hirashita hustled in to level it at 1-1. One out later, second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to left and Yano was cashed in for a 2-1 Tigers edge.
The Carp would also run a deuce up on the board to retake the lead in the fourth. With one out, Arai doubled to rightcenter and Fukuchi singled to right to tie it at two apiece. Hasegawa singled to right and so did third baseman Kenjiro Nomura and Fukuchi was home with the 3-2 advantage.
In the fifth, Hiroshima centerfielder Koichi Ogata leadoff the inning with a double down the leftfield line and Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino went to the pen. Shoji Toyama and Takehito Kanazawa stranded Ogata, but now the Carp was into the mediocre Tigers relief corps and they woudl eventually profit from that.
Hanshin managed to restore equilibrium in the top of the sixth when rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama kicked it off with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. One out later, Yano doubled into the leftfield corner and it was 3-3.
Fukuhara had twirled a perfect seventh and was back for the eighth, but not for long. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto leadoff with a single to left and went to second when Hirashita mislplayed it for an error. Kanemoto was wild pitched to third. Rightfielder Tomoaki Maeda singled to center and Kanemoto jogged in for a 4-3 lead. Maeda was then pinch run for by Shigeru Morigasa. Arai doubled down the leftfield line. Kazuyoshi Kimura flied out to right to send Morigasa in and backup second baseman Kazunori Okagami walked. Fukuhara headed for the showers and Hashimoto tried his luck. Luis Lopez singled to center to convert Arai and Terunobu Seto dispatched out to run for him. Nomura singled in Okagami, doing away with Hashimoto and welcoming Masashi Date. Shortstop Takuya Kimura doubled off the leftfield fence and both Seto and Nomura sprinted in and it was 9-3 Hiroshima.
Hanshin failed to do anything with a two on, one out situation in the eighth, so on to the ninth with Shigeo Tamaki endeavoring to lock it up for Hiroshima. Imaoka leadoff by beating out an infield bleeder. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto singled to left. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka rolled into a 6-4-3 double play, but first baseman George Arias smoked a Tamaki offering into the leftfield seats for a two run homer and make it 9-5. Hiyama grounded out to second and it was over.
For Hiroshima, Lopez was 1-1 with an RBI and is at .283.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-5 with two RBIs and is at .269. Derrick White was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .277.
Hasegawa (W, 4-2) IP 7.0 PC 125 H 7
HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 1 ERA 3.39
Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.31
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 13 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.71
IP 4.0 PC 75 H 9 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.90
Toyama IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 13.50
Kanazawa IP 1.1 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.04
Fukuhara (L, 1-1) IP 1.1 PC 31 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.31
T. Hashimoto IP 0.0 PC 4 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 54.00
Date IP 0.2 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.13
M. Valdez IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.48
E: Fukuchi, Hirashita
2B: Arai 2, Ogata, T. Kimura, Hirashita, Yano
HR: Arias (18)
RBI: Arias 2, Imaoka, Yano, S. Nomura, T. Kimura, T. Maeda, K. Kimura, Fukuchi 2, Lopez
WP: Fukuhara, A. Itoh, Hasegawa
LOB: Hiroshima 7, Hanshin 9
Season Series: Hiroshima 3, Hanshin 7
Game Time: 3:55
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Mori (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Lions Maul Lotte 11-6
Alex Cabrera mortared another 490 foot bomb with a man on in the first and then his buddy across the infield, Tom Evans, mashed a two run homer two batters later to kickstart an 11-6 pounding of the Chiba Lotte Marines at Seibu Dome Saturday. Shingo Ono, following a pretty good outing in his last appearance, was stomped for six earned runs on eight hits to take the defeat and remain winless this season.
Tetsuya Shiozaki started for the victors and had one bad inning, his ERA ballooning to 2.87 in the aftermath of being tattooed for four runs, three earned, on three hits, one a three run homer by leftfielder Kenji Morozumi. Nonetheless, he was credited with his fifth shiroboshi against one loss.
Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff the bottom of the first with a shot off the leftfield wall for a double and was sacrificed to third. One out later, Cabrera got an 0-1 88mph belt high running fastball and boomed it over the leftfield stands on to a service walkway for a 2-0 lead. You can see a pic of Alex' longball at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020609-2.jpg
DH Oshima then singled to right and Evans powdered an Ono pitch into the leftfield bleachers to make it 4-0 after one complete.
In the third, rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki leadoff with a double to leftcenter and Katsuhiko Miyaji singled him in to go up by five.
Lotte almost made that up in one gulp in the fifth. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura leadoff with a double into the leftcenter ally for his side's initial hit of the game. DH Derrick May produced a copy of tehat shot and it was 5-1. Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa grounded to Cabrera, who tried to get the double play, but misplayed it for an error. Shiozaki then threw a porkchop and Morozumi fed it to the folks in the rightfield seats and Lotte had closed to within 5-4. Shiozaki got the next three men, but he was done for the day.
The Lions reacted with a small charge in the bottom segment. With two down, both Cabrera and Hiroyuki Oshima walked. Evans then smacked a knock to left that plated Cabrera to make it 6-4.
Chang Chieh-chia was called upon to pitch the sixth and the answer proved favorable to Lotte. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka, making his first start since breaking his foot in spring training, beat out a roller toward short. Two outs later and now with Kosaka on second, May singled to left to drive in Kosaka and it was a one run ballgame again at 6-5.
Once more, the Lions kicked back, this time with some small ball. Pinch hitter Masaji Shimizu singled to right and was sacrificed to second and then went to third on a groundout. Matsui hit a slow roller near third and beat it out as Shimizu put it in gear for home and it was 7-5 Seibu.
Hiroyuki Kobayashi was commanded to the mound in the seventh and the Lions put it away. Ozeki leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. Cabrera was intentionally walked. Kosuke Kato entered the game from the bullpen and one out later Evans walked to load the bases. Masaji Shimizu singled to center for one run and catcher Tsutomu Itoh did the same for two more. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi singled to left and Shimizu touched the plate for an 11-5 Seibu advantage.
Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura guided a Chang pitch around the leftfield bleachers to shrink the Lions lead to 11-6, but that was the last shell they had and Chang closed it out in fairly short order afterward.
For Lotte, May was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .237.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-2 with three walks and two RBIs and is at .273. Evans was 2-3 with a walk and three RBIs and is at .444.
S. Ono (L, 0-3) IP 5.0 PC 85 H 8 HR
2 K 3 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 5.53
T. Tanaka IP 0.2 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.38
H. Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 11 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
K. Kato IP 1.2 PC 47 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.28
Shiozaki (W, 5-1) IP 5.0 PC 63 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA
Chang (S, 1) IP 4.0 PC 59 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.80
2B: May, Fukuura, Tachikawa, K. Matsui, Ozeki
HR: Morozumi (2), S. Omura (1), Cabrera (17), Evans (2)
RBI: S. Omura, May 2, Morozumi 3, K.Matsui, Miyaji, Cabrera 2, Evans 3, Masaji Shimizu, T. Itoh, H. Takagi
WP: S. Ono
LOB: Lotte 3, Seibu 6
Season Series: Lotte 2, Seibu 7
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Akimura (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Sugimoto Four Hits Yakult 3-0
Yu Sugimoto was thrown on the mound this time as Yokohama Bay Stars manager Masaaki Mori seeks to find a combination that can bring them at least some modicum of repectabillity. Their year is already over, that much is certain. I don't know if Sugimoto can can become the second man in a rotation that is basically known as Daisuke Miura and four bums, but at least for one night anyway Sugimoto was awesome, going eight super innings of shutout baseball on four hits while striking out nine and walking one to win it 3-0 against the Yakult Swallows at Yokohama Stadium.
Rookie Masanori Ishikawa started for the Swallows and fought himself to the point where despite permitting just one earned run in four innings, manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu pulled him after 80 pitches lest he really let the game get out of hand. Alan Newman and Hirotoshi Ishii proceeded to weave four innings and was touched for only one unearned run on one hit to keep it close.
Yakult's backup first baseman, Hirobumi Watarai, had some trouble catching the ball during this game, and he helped Yokohama score its inital run in the first. Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff with a single to left and second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to right. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues slapped one to Watarai, who must have been thinking about turning two, but he threw it into centerfield and Ishii motored in to make it 1-0 Stars.
In the fourth, Yokohama squeakied out a run when Hitoshi Tamura leadoff with a double down the leftfield line and went to third on a groundout to first. One out later, Ishii, who still has good wheels despite his many years in the league, beat out a tapper and Tamura chugged in for a 2-0 advantage.
An inning later and with Newman in
for Yakult, Rodrigues leadoff with a single to center. One out later, Takahiro
Saeki grounded to Watarai, who threw it away AGAIN and Rodrigues went to
third. Newman threw a wild pitch, Rodrigues came in, and it was 3-0
Sugimoto gave up a couple of singles in the eighth, but they were sandwiched around a couple of outs and he induced a groundout to kill any hopes of a Yakult comeback. Takashi Saito then took just 12 pitches to turn the lights out and glean his eighth save.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk and is at .255. Leftfielder Ernie Young was 0-4 and is at .125. Third baseman Mike Gulan fanned all four times up and will wear that golden sombrero when he reports to the Stars minor league affiliate since he was demoted. He is at .222.
For Yakult, leftfielder Alex Ramirez
was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .332. The Brazilian rookie, Yuuichi
Matsumoto, was 0-2, coming in after the starting rightfielder. Kota Soejima,
whiffed his first two times up. Matsumoto is at .222.
Masanori Ishikawa (L, 3-4) IP 4.0 PC 80 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R
2 ER 1 ERA 3.90
Newman IP 3.0 PC 49 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.86
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
1-0) IP 8.0 PC 97 H
4 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.28
T. Saito (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.33
E: Watarai 2
2B: S. Miyamoto, Taneda, Tamura
RBI: T. Ishii
WP: Sugimoto, Newman
LOB: Yakult 5, Yokohama 7
Season Series: Yakult 6, Yokohama 4
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Shikida (HP), Suginaga (1B), Fukatani (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Orix Continues to Give Daiei Fits 7-3
One would figure that since the Orix Blue Wave are so punchless this season, that Daiei would be beating up on them, but just the opposite is true, as the party from Kobe scooped up is sixth triumph in ten attempts against their opponents from Fukuoka with a 7-3 triumph at Nagoya Dome Saturday. Koo Dae-sung, while he didn't pitch as well as you would expect of someone who has an ERA below 2.00, still won his fourth after giving up three runs on five hits, two of those homers, in six innings.
Hey, has anyone checked Sadaharu Oh's dome out yet? How much hair does he have left? It can't be much these days in the wake of yet another dubious and short performance from one of his starters, in this case Junji Hoshino, who didn't finish the fifth before Oh had to call in a reinforcement, who then walked both men he faced to load the bases, then another reliever, Kazuhiko Iijima, in the same inning hit a man to force in a run before getting the final outs of the frame. That would ANYONE tear his hair out.
Orix was able to move in front in the second, as shortstop Tatsuya Shindo leadoff with a single to center and went to second on a groundout. First baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani singled to right to plate Shindo. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka singled to right and third baseman Scott Sheldon doubled to rightcenter to invite Shiotani home and it was 2-0 Blue Wave.
The fifth could have been a lot worse than it was for Daiei, but if you are a Hawks fan, you have to hate what happened. Second baseman Koichi Oshima began the festivities with a walk off of Hoshino and was sacrificed to second. Oh then dialed local for Hirokazu Watanabe, owner of a sparkling 0.71 ERA. He intentionally walked extra base machine Yoshitomo Tani and then walked DH Yasuo Fujii to pack the sacks. Iijima was substituted for Watanabe and he nailed Shindo to force in Oshima. Leftfielder Koji Takamizawa flew out to center and Arihito Muramatsu cut Tani down at the plate for the third out. Even so, it was still 3-0 Orix.
Daiei made a run at Orix in the top of the sixth when second baseman Tadahito Iguchi walked and pinch hitter Motoi Okoshi killed a Koo offering, cannonading it into the leftfield seats for his first pro homer to make it 3-2 Orix.
Sheldon got one of those runs back when he homered to leftcenter in the bottom half and it was 4-2 Orix.
Daiei rightfielder Koji Akiyama, though, went yard center backscreen stylee in the top of the seventh and it was tight again at 4-3.
Shuji Yoshida, who should never have gotten into this game after going three innings Friday, had some control problems in the eighth and it was decisive. Shiotani leadoff with a single to center. Hidaka walked. One out later, Oshima worked a freebie to load the bases. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi doubled to the wall in center to push two across and it was 6-3. Tani grounded out to second and Oshima strode in and that is how it ended, 7-3 Orix.
For Daiei, Pedro Valdez was given a night off do to his slump.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .228.
J. Hoshino (L, 4-2) IP 4.1 PC 74 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB
1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.47
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.71
Iijima IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.74
S. Yoshida IP 1.2 PC 29 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.38
A. Yamada IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.53
6.0 PC 107 H 5 HR 2 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.74
Yamaguchi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Okubo IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2B: Sheldon, Tani, Katsuragi
HR: Ogoe (1), Akiyama (5), Sheldon (5)
RBI: Ogoe 2, Akiyama, Katsuragi 2, Sheldon 2, Shindo, Shiotani
HBP: Shindo (Iijima)
Balk: A. Yamada
LOB: Daiei 4, Orix 9
Season Series: Daiei 4, Orix 6
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Higashi (2B), Kodera (3B)
Kintetsu Scores Four in the 11th to Beat Nippon Ham 5-1
The Kintetsu Buffaloes are hotter than July right now and they received a gutty 167 pitch effort from Katsuhiko Maekawa Saturday to get them into extra innings, where they won it with a four run rally in the top of the 11th inning to prevail 5-1 over Nippon Ham Saturday at Iwaki Green Stadium in Iwaki, Fukushima Prefecture and win their seventh in a row. The dimensions of the ballpark are 328 down the lines and 400 to dead center. You can see a pic of it at: http://www2.csc.ne.jp/~fudoki/iwaki.htm
Satoru Kanemura started for Nippon Ham and was very good, going nine and giving up four hits and a run while striking out five and walking four, only to not be rewarded.
Kintetsu scored in the second inning to pull to the head of the line. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi leadoff with a walk and was sacrificed to second. One out later, shortstop Masahiro Abe doubled to leftcenter to drive in Kawaguchi and it was 1-0 Buffs.
Maekawa had already escaped two good sized jams before running into a real tight squeeze in the seventh. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi leadoff with a single to center. One out later, shortstop Makoto Kaneko beat out a nubber. After second baseman Hiroshi Narahara fanned, dangerous first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara was intentionally walked to get to DH Sherman Obando. Obando could have done some real damage here, but he instead grounded out to third and it remained 1-0 Kintetsu.
Kintetsu would then make the decision to pitch to Ogasawara with a base open and regret it in the ninth. With one out, Kaneko played jai lai with the centerfield fence and went into second standing up. Narahara struckout again, making it Ogasawara's turn. Buffaloes manager Masataka Nishida came out to the mound to talk over what to do with Ogasawara. They decided to try getting him out. Maekawa got the count to 1-2 and then he threw a running fastball that Ogasawara pinged past second base to deliver the speedy Kaneko and knot it at 1-1.
After a sedate tenth, the Buffaloes turned things up a notch in the 11th against four Fighters relievers. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi leadoff with a single to right. Tatsuhito Kato pitched around leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes, who waited out the walk. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura rifled a liner into the leftcenter alley to score Mizuguchi easily. Kawaguchi cracked a hit to right to send Rhodes in. Following a groundout, first baseman Yuji Yoshioka doubled in two more and it was 5-1 Kintetsu.
Akira Okamoto pitched the bottom of the inning for Kintetsu and retired all three men to bring down the curtain on this affair. Now the questions is, can a club that finished last in ERA in 2001 keep this up or will they, like a lot of the PL outfits this season, drop a bunch after a winning streak?
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 with a walk and is at .259. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-3 and is at .259.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-4 with a walk and is at .269.
IP 9.0 PC 167 H 11 HR 0 K 11 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.34
Misawa (W, 2-1) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.21
A. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.46
IP 9.0 PC 107 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.77
Tateishi (L, 0-1) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
T. Kato IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.31
Shibakusa IP 0.1 PC 16 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.87
Iba IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.63
E: Tateishi, N. Omura
2B: M. Abe, N. Nakamura, Yoshioka, Y. Tanaka, Kaneko
RBI: N. Nakamura, Kawaguchi, Yoshioka 2, M. Abe, M. Ogasawara
IBB: M. Ogasawara
HBP: Obando (Maekawa)
GIDP: Rhodes, Kawaguchi, Matoyama
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Nippon Ham 11
Season Series: Kintetsu 5, Nippon Ham 5
Game Time: 4:09
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Nakamura (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 8th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1967, Darryl Spencer of the Hankyu Braves confronted the official scorer about a lay that had been called an error on him from the previous night. Spencer grabbed the official's scorecard and ripped it up, which earned him a 50,000 yen fine (then about $150).
Also on that day in 1980, Yomiuri
Giants hurler Suguru Egawa was involved in a traffic accident where he rear
ended a taxi and then attempted to deny it to the press the next
June 7. 2002
Hodges, Igarashi Pitch Yakult to Within Three Games of First
Kevin Hodges picked up his team high seventh win Friday at Yokohama Stadium with six innings of two run ball on seven hits against the woeful Yokohama Bay Stars, as the Yakult Swallows rallied from a 2-0 deficit to score five in the seventh and two more in the ninth to prevail 7-2. Yuji Yoshimi took the loss to even his record at 3-3.
Hodges and Yoshimi dueled to a scoreless tie until the sixth, when the Stars pulled ahead. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to right to lead it off and then new signing Ernie Young, stationed in centerfield while making his Japan debut, homered to right in his third at bat for the Stars to make it 2-0 home team.
Yakult anwered in the top of the seventh by meeting that challenge and then some. With two out, the rookie Munehiro Shida was sent up to pinch hit for Hodges and slapped an 0-2 single to left to get it started. Second baseman Hajime Miki walked and shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to left to plate Shida and centerfielder Shinichi Sato singled to left to send in Miki with the tying run. Yoshimi was lifted in favor of Azuma, who plunked catcher Atsuya Furuta to load the bases. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to right for two RBIs and third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to right to drive in Furuta and it was 5-2 Yalkult.
Ryota Igarashi rendered Yokohama runless in the eighth and Yakult carved out some insurance for themselves in the top of the ninth. Furuta leadoff with a single to right and Ramirez singled to left. Takenori Daita pinch ran for Ramirez. Iwamura grounded out but first baseman Hirobumi Watarai walked to pack the sacks. One out later, Shida singled to left and Daita and Furuta galloped in to make it 7-2 Swallows. That was Shida's first pro RBIs. Yakult reliever Tomokazu Teramura then mosied in from the pen and struckout the side to end it.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 2-4 and is at .254. Young was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .250. Third baseman Mike Gulan was 1-4 and is at .228.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 2-5 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .339.
Hodges (W, 7-2) IP 6.0 PC 91 H 7 HR
1 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.62
R. Igarashi IP 2.0 PC 30 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.39
Teramaura IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Yoshimi (L, 3-3) IP 6.2 PC 102 H 8 HR 0 K
6 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.19
Azuma IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.46
Tazaki IP 1.0 PC 25 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.00
HR: Young (1)
RBI: Young 2, S. Miyamoto, S. Sato, Ramirez 2, Shida 2, Iwamura
Catcher's Interference: Ryoji Aikawa
HBP: Furuta (Azuma), Shida (Hosomi), Nakane (Hodges)
LOB: Yakult 12, Yokohama 6
Season Series: Yakult 6, Yokohoma 3
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Fukatani (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Shikida (3B)
Powell Wow! Throws Another Shutout
Boy oh boy, Jeremy Powell showed that he really did deserve that Pitcher of the Month award he received for his May exploits, as he then went out Friday and blanked the Nippon Ham Fighters on four hits as the Kintetsu Buffaloes pocketed a 5-0 victory at Hitachinaka Municipal Stadium in Hitachinaka, Ibaraki Prefecture. The dimensions of the ballpark are 328 feet down the lines and 400 feet to straightaway centerfield. You can see pics of it at: http://www2.csc.ne.jp/~fudoki/hitachinaka.htm The shutout was the second in a row for Powell and the first time any foreign pitcher has done that for the Buffs.
Chris Seelbach started for Nippon Ham and kept Kintetsu at bay until the fourth, when leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes took over and then capitalized on a mistake by the Fighters hurler. Rhodes singled to lead off the inning and stole second. One out later, he advanced to third on a groundout and then crossed when Seelbach balked for a 1-0 Kintetsu edge.
In the fifth, Kenshi Kawaguchi walked to kick the inning off and went to second on a groundout. With two now gone, centerfielder Naoyuki Omura walked. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to right to load the bases and Rhodes singled to center to allow both Kawaguchi and Omura to scurry in and make it 3-0. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura then singled to center and Mizuguchi busted for home and it was now 4-0 Buffs.
Kintetsu then added another tally in the seventh when Fumitoshi Takano walked to lead it off and went to second on a sac bunt. One out later, Nakamura walked and Koichi Isobe converted Takano with a knock to left to cap off the day's scoring at 5-0.
The Fighters only squeeked out a double over the last three innings and Powell coasted to the triumph.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 4-5 with two RBIs and made a nifty catch in centerfield after spelling Omura there on a ninth inning screamer over his head by D.T. Cromer with his back to the plate, his head striking the wall as he hauled it in. Thank God the fences are padded nowadays. He is now hitting .265.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 and is at .259. Cromer was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .263.
Powell (W, 6-3) IP 9.0 PC 112 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.11
Seelbach (L, 4-4) IP 5.0
PC 94 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.12
Muto IP 1.1 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.21
Kato IP 0.1 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.76
Tateishi IP 1.1 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sasaki IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
2B: Rhodes, Akane
RBI: Rhodes 2, N. Nakamura, Isobe,
HBP: Takano (Tateishi), M. Ogasawara (Powell)
Balk: Muto, Seelbach
LOB: Kintetsu 10, Nippon Ham 5
Game Time: 2:56
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Nakamura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Moore Hammered Early and Often in Loss to Hiroshima
This game started in a bizarre fashion when Hiroshima Carp manager Koji Yamamoto penciled in pitcher Yasushi Tsuruta as his leadoff man when the Hanshin Tigers didn't announce who was going to start the game on the mound. When Trey Moore came out, Yamamoto sent up Kojiro Machida to pinch hit and one minute later the visitors had a 1-0 lead when Machida smashed a shot over the leftfield wall. Moore then went on to surrender eight more runs before being removed in the fifth, the most he has given up in a contest in his pro career, to take a 9-5 loss.
The Machida dinger was his 17th lifetime in a pinch hit role, which set a new Central League record. The overall best mark in that regard was by Hankyu Braves backup first baseman Yasuhiro Takai, who piled up 27 during his 16 seasons in the Pacific League. Machida is third all time. The bombardment raised Moore's ERA by almost a full run to 2.95.
In the wake of Machida's handiwork, Moore got two outs and then leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto legged out a bleeder toward third. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata doubled down the leftfield line and rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to left to usher both men in and make it 3-0 Carp.
Hiroshima went up by four in the second when catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura spanked a leadoff double to leftcenter and was sacrificed to third. Shortstop Takuya Kimura singled to center to deliver the backstop and it was 4-0 Carp.
Hanshin actually managed to knot it in the bottom portion, as rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama commenced the time at bat with a single to center and advanced on an error by Takuya Kimura on a grounder off the bat of third baseman Kentaro Sekimoto. Taichiro Kamisaka beat out a roller near third to juice the bags. Catcher Akihiro Yano unburdened the basepaths with a three run double down the rightfield line and was sacrificed to third by Moore. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to center to chase in Yano and it was deadlocked at 4-4.
Moore lasted through the fourth without
anyone else scoring and then appeared for the fifth, which proved to be his
and the Tigers undoing. Second baseman Eddie Diaz began things by steaming
a double down the leftfield line. Kanemoto used his good wheels to outrun
a tapper toward short. Ogata walked. Maeda singled to left to see in Diaz
and third baseman Takahiro Arai ricocheted a Moore delivery off the leftfield
fence to score another pair and topple Moore. Takehito Kanazawa was summoned
and Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to right off of him to cash in Maeda and starter
Ken Takahashi bounced into a 6-4-3 double play as Arai toed the dish and
it was 9-4 Hiroshima.
The Tigers got Takahashi out of the game in the top of the sixth when Yano mortared a shot off the centerfield wall for two bases. Tamaki climbed the hill and pinch hitter Ryo Asai doubled to leftcenter to drive in Yano. But then Shigeo Tamaki quieted the uprising by inducing a couple of groundouts and a pop out. Hanshin had just one more hit the rest of the way and the Carp cadillaced to the win.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-3 and is at .330. Luis Lopez was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .277.
For Hanshin, first baseman George
Arias wore a golden sombrero (four strikeouts) in five hitless trips to end
his 16 game hitting streak and is at .270. Moore was 1-1 and is at .286.
Takahashi (W, 5-4) IP 5.0 PC 103 H 9 HR 0 K 7 BB
1 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.24
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.37
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.02
Moore (L, 6-4) IP 4.0 PC
81 H 11 HR 1 K 0 BB 3 R 9 ER 9 ERA 2.95
Kanazawa IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
A. Itoh IP 2.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.24
Ando IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.53
E: T. Kimura
SB: Okagami 2, Kanemoto, Hamanaka
2B: K. Kimura, Ogata, Diaz, Arai, Yano 2, Asai
HR: Machida (2)
RBI: Machida 2, T. Maeda 3, Arai 2, K. Kimura, Imaoka, Yano 3, R. Asai
HBP: K. Kimura (Moore)
GIDP: Diaz, K. Takahashi
LOB: Hiroshima 7, Hanshin 9
Season Series: Hiroshima 2, Hanshin 7
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), K. Kobayashi (2B), Tomoyori (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Seibu Marches on with Otomo Sayonara Single
The Seibu Lions continued their supremacy over the Pacific League Friday at Seibu Dome when Leftfielder Susumu Otomo rolled a ground ball through the rightside of the infield against the Chiba Lotte Marines with the bases loaded in the bottom of the tenth inning off of reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi for his first career sayonara hit in a 5-4 home victory. Kiyoshi Toyoda was credited with his second win with no defeats while Kobayashi leveled his record at 3-3.
Lotte starter Naoyuki Shimizu was the first to crack, as the Lions attacked him with a one out homer to right from shortstop Kazuo Matsui in the third to make it 1-0 Seibu.
Lotte was up to the task, though in the top of the fourth, using a two out double to center from Kazunori Iyoda and a single to center from Takashi Tachikawa to tie it at 1-1.
Seibu didn't convert on a two on, nobody out situation in the fifth, but in the sixth, first baseman Alex Cabrera taught Shimizu the meaning of "muy grande" with a 490 foot parabola to straightaway center to put the Lions on top 2-1. One out later, third baseman Tom Evans walked and Otomo jackhammered a double into the leftcenter alley and Evans blazed across the plate for a 3-1 Lions advantage.
But the visitors surged back in the top of the seventh when Kenji Morozumi clocked a leadoff single to center, Tasuku Hashimoto walked, both men were moved up on a sacrifice, and centerfielder Saburo Omura slammed a two run "timely two base" to leftcenter to make it a new ballgame at 3-3.
The Tokorozawa nine reacted by going to the head of the line yet again in their portion, as second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi leadoff with a single to left, stole second, went to third on a groundout and was dispatched to the plate by a Hisashi Takayama knock to left and it was 4-3 in favor of the big cats.
Lions setup man Shinji Mori couldn't keep Lotte under control, however. With two gone, Tachikawa killed a Mori offering and splattered it off the centerfield fence for a double. Ryosuke Sawai singled to left and Tachikawa was homeward bound, oh yes he was, and it was even at 4-4. Lotte then loaded the bases on another single and an intentional walk,.but further disaster was averted for Mori when he was replaced by Yoshihiro Doi, who retired second baseman Koichi Hori for the third out.
Both sides went quietly until the bottom of the tenth, when Masaji Shimizu leadoff with a single to center. One out later, Hiroyuki Oshima walked and Kobayashi threw a wild pitch while Evans was up, so Evans was intentionally free passed to load the bases. That set the table for Otomo and Shimizu was able to jog in on the game winner.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-5 and is at .231. He may be demoted soon if his bat doesn't get well in a hurry.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-3 with an RBI, two walks and two strikeouts and is at .264. Evans was 0-3 with two walks and is at .400.
IP 6.0 PC 100 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.49
Fujita IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.14
Sikorsky IP 2.1 PC 43 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.77
H. Kobayashi (L, 3-3) IP 0.1 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.95
IP 4.0 PC 55 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.44
Aoki IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Goto IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.45
Mori IP 1.1 PC 33 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.95
Doi IP 1.1 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.03
Toyoda (W, 2-0) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.90
E: H. Takagi
SB: H. Takagi
2B: Iyoda, Masaji Shimizu, S. Omura, Tachikawa, Oshima, Otomo
HR: Matsui (10), Cabrera (16)
RBI: Matsui, Cabrera, Otomo 2, Takayama, S. Omura 2, Tachikawa, Sawai
IBB: Evans, Cabrera, Hashimoto
WP: Mori, H. Kobayashi
LOB: Lotte 9, Seibu 10
Season Series: Lotte 2, Seibu 6, 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:50
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Akimura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Two Matsunaka Homers Down Orix
The Daiei Hawks, on the back of two homers from first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka that drove in all four of his team's runs, overcame an otherwise creditbale outing from Orix Blue Wave starter Hidetaka Kawagoe Friday at Nagoya Dome to win it 4-1. The victory ended a two game losing skid for the Fukuoka contingent.
Kenichi Wakatabe started for Daiei and while he gave up seven hits over five innings, only allowed one run to come across and thus earned credit for his second triumph of the year. Shuji Yoshida then came on and tossed three hitless innings and Rodney Pedraza snatched his tenth save to close it out.
Kawagoe and Wakatabe kept it at 0-0 until the top of the fourth, when second baseman Tadahito Iguchi leadoff with a single to left and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo followed with a walk. Matsunaka then unloaded, breaching the park's dimensions with a rocket into the rightfield bleachers to make it 3-0 Hawks.
Orix came back with a tally in the bottom of the inning, as centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani doubled off the leftfield wall and two outs later was turned in on a single to center from leftfielder Koji Takamizawa and it was 3-1 Hawks.
Orix had a chance to really put it to Wakatabe in the sixth but geeked it. Tani began the uprising with single to center and DH Yasuo Fujii singled to right. Shortstop Tatsuya Shindo then laid down a sac bunt and Wakatabe mishandled it to load the bases. Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh went to the bullpen for Yoshida, who induced a comebacker from pinch hitter Manabu Satake for the 1-2-3 double play. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was intentionally walked to repack the bags. pinch hitter Fukutome was next and he whiffed to squelch the revolt.
From that point forward it was a whole lotte nothing for the Blue Wave offensively while Matsunaka, who also had a double in the game, did some bigtime yardwork to rightcenter for a "dame oshi" (insurance run) and the Hawks had themselves a desperately needed 4-1 victory.
For Orix, Sheldon was 0-3 with a walk and is at .222. Tani was 3-4 to move his average up to .359.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .274.
Wakatabe (W, 2-0) IP 5.0 PC 86 H 7 HR 0 K
4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
S. Yoshida IP 3.0 PC 36 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.52
Pedraza (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.77
Kawagoe (L, 3-6) IP 7.0 PC 89
H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.64
Imamura IP 0.1 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Yamaguchi IP 0.2 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.22
Tokumoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.65
E: Wakatabe, Johjima, Kokubo
2B: Matsunaka, Tani
HR: Matsunaka 2 (11)
RBI: Matsunaka 4, Takamizawa
IBB: Sheldon, P. Valdez
GIDP: Iguchi, Sheldon, Satake
LOB: Daiei 3, Orix 9
Season Series: Daiei 4, Orix 5
Game Time: 2:43
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Kodera (2B), Kakigizono (2B), Iizuka (3B)
Giants Lose in Extra Innings on Tatsunami Homer
The Yomiuri Giants dropped their fourth
in a row Friday at Fukuoka Dome, when Chunichi Dragons third baseman Kazuyoshi
Tatsunami homered in the top of the 12th off of Junichi Kawahara to enable
the Nagoya nine to emerge on top 5-4.
Melvin Bunch started for the victors and went seven strong innings and blasted a solo homer, his first of the season, that put the Dragons up for half an inning, but didn't figure in the decision.
Masumi Kuwata started for Yomiuri and got shaken down for ten hits and three earned runs in 5.2 innings while also walking three and was lucky that he didn't take the loss, managing to wriggle out of a couple of jams that could have turned the tide of this game in regulation.
The Giants had an initial 1-0 lead in the second, when centerfielder Hideki Matsui leadof with a single to right, catcher Shinnosuke Abe walked with two away and Daisuke Motoki singled to left to usher Matsui in.
The Tokyo club then slapped another one on the big board in the next inning, as Kuwata leadoff with a groundball to Tatsunami, who booted it. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to right and both men were sacrificed along. Bunch nailed rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi to pack the sacks and Matsui flew out to center for the RBI and the 2-0 advantage.
The Dragons were able to catch up, though, in the fifth, when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to right, leftfielder Scott Bullet singled to left, and centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome scorched one into the leftfield corner to drive Bullet and Ibata in with the tying runs. First baseman Leo Gomez singled. Tatsunami attempted to go back through the middle, but lined it right at Kuwata for the first out. Rightfielder Jun Inoue hammered a shot toward short that had too much on it for Fukudome to score, so now it was two outs. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige then grounded harmlessly to short and that was that, a 2-2 deadlock.
In the top of the sixth, Bunch took Kuwata into the rightfield seats to make it 3-2 Dragons. He wouldn't be able to hold it, however.
During the Giants turn, Takahashi whistled a two bagger down the rightfield line. Two outs later, third baseman Akira Etoh doubled to left and it was knotted at three all.
Chunichi retorted in their next ups with a double into the rightfield corner from Fukudome leading it off and he wheeled around on a two out single to center from Tatsunami for a 4-3 Dragons lead.
Hitoki Iwase came on in the eighth and the first hitter he faced, Takahashi, singled to center and was sacrificed to second with one out. Etoh singled to right and Takahashi made it safely for a 4-4 tie.
Neither team mounted any threat whatsoever and it moved on to the 12th, and Kawahara climbed the hill to maintain the status quo. He got Gomez to groundout to him, which brought up Tatsunami. Kawahara threw a 1-0 fastball he was aiming to spot on the outside corner but that ended up in the middle of the strike zone and the veteran infielder lambasted it into the rightfield seats to put the Dragons in the driver's seat at 5-4. Now it would be up to Eddie Gaillard.
Things didn't look so hot after Gaillard was kissed for a leadoff single to center by Shimizu and a double down the leftfield line from second baseman Toshihisa Nishi. Takahashi struckout. Matsui was intentionally walked to set up a double play possibility. Kawai popped out in foul territory to Gomez for out number two. Etoh, who already had two big hits in the contest, flied out to right to give it to the Dragons.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is at .208. Gomez was 1-6 and is at .263.
IP 7.0 PC 108 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.65
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.53
Ochiai IP 1.1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
M. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.73
Kito (W,) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.83
Gaillard (S, ) IP 1.0 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
IP 5.2 PC 106 H 10 HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.09
Kawamoto IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Almonte IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
Okajima IP 2.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
Jeon IP 1.2 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
J. Kawahara (L, 1-2) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.47
2B: Fukudome 3, Tatsunami, Y. Takahashi, Etoh, Nishi
HR: Bunch (1), Tatsunami (6)
RBI: Fukudome 2, Tatsunami 2, Bunch, H. Matsui, Etoh 2, Motoki
SF: H. Matsui
IBB: H. Matsui
HBP: Tanishige (Jeon), Y. Takahashi (Bunch)
GIDP: Bullet, Y. Takahashi
LOB: Chunichi 12, Yomiuri 11
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Yomiuri 5
Game Time: 5:07
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Tani (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 7th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1959, the third Asia Baseball Tournament was held in Tokyo, the first time ever Japan had been host to an international baseball tournament.
Also on that date in 1952, at a game at Korakuen Stadium against the Tokyu Flyers (now Nippon Ham), the Nankai Hawks scored in every inning, the first time that had ever occurred in Japanese pro history.
Igawa Shuts Out Hiroshima on Three Hits
Painting the corners consistently, Hanshin Tigers southpaw Kei Igawa claimed his eighth win of the season and went to the top of the Central League ERA race with a three hit shutout against the Hiroshima Carp Thursday at Koshien Stadium, taking the shiroboshi by a 7-0 margin. The Tigers also went over one million in attendance for the year, fans coming through the turnstiles at the second fastest pace in the club's long history.
Shinji Sasaoka started for the Carp and couldn't get out of the fifth before he was replaced, allowing six runs (four earned) on nine hits, including first baseman George Arias' 17th homer.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the second, when Arias got an 89mph fastball on the inner half of the plate and lashed it on a line 377 feet into the leftcenterfield seats to make it 1-0 Tigers. One out later, third baseman Kentaro Sekimoto grounded to Takahiro Arai at third, who booted it. Leftfielder Koji Hirashita singled to right and, one out later, Igawa singled up through the middle to plate Sekimoto and second baseman Imaoka did the same thing to usher in Hirashita and it was 3-0 Hanshin.
In the fifth, the Tigers unleashed a barrage of extra base hits to pull away. With one out, Arias drilled a Sasaoka pitch into the leftcenter alley for a double. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama two bagged one into the rightcenter gap to chase in Arias. Sekimoto scalded a shot down the rightfield line for a triple and Hiyama crossed. Pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi rammed a ball off the centerfield wall to deliver Sekimoto and it was now 6-0 Hanshin.
Their next at bat, Hanshin capped off the scoring with a one out double to the centerfield fence by centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka, a walk to Arias and Hiyama converted Hamanaka with a rip to left for a 7-0 advantage.
Igawa was cruising, not allowing any Carp runner get past first base until the top of the ninth, when he had two on and one out. He then retired centerfielder Koichi Ogata on a fly ball to center and rightfielder Tomonori Maeda on a grounder to short and it was in the refrigerator.
Hiyama was named CL player of the month for May and following the game welcomed his and his wife Sari's first child into the world, a son.
Igawa is reportedly quite the soccer fan, having played it on sandlots during his childhood in Ibaraki Prefecture, and is having his mother Ritsuko record the World Cup games for him.
For Hiroshima, second baseman Eddie Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and is at .329. Luis Lopez was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .279. Ramon Ramirez was clocked at 92mph, but he wasn't getting much movement on his breaking pitches and paid the price for it by giving up a run on two hits in two innings of work.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-4 with an RBI and a walk to extend his hitting streak to 16 and is at .277. The ex-Padre has hit .422 during that skein with five homers and 12 RBIs.
Sasaoka (L, 2-3
) IP 4.1 PC 83 H 9 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 6 ER 4 ERA 3.55
Hiroike IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Tamaki IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
R. Ramirez IP 2.0 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Beltran IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.51
Igawa (W, 8-2) IP 9.0 PC 129 H 3 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
E: Arai, Imaoka
2B: Arias, Hiyama, Yagi, Hamanaka
HR: Arias (17)
RBI: Imaoka, Arias, Hiyama, Sekimoto, Yagi, Igawa
WP: R. Ramirez
HBP: Hamanaka (Beltran)
GIDP: Ogata, Arias
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Hanshin 9
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Mori (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Miura Hammered by Yakult
Alan Newman scooped up his second win of 2002 and his first since March 31st when the Yakult Swallows lineup bombed Yokohama Bay Stars ace Daisuke Miura for six earned runs on six hits in just two innings to walk off with an 8-6 victory. Centerfielder Shinichi Sato homered and drove in four runs to power the victory.
The young rookie Yataro Sakamoto started for the Swallows and was knocked around for three earned run on five hits in 1.1 innings before being given the hook in favor of Newman, who then pitched the succeeding 3.2 innings and allowed three hits and a run while striking out five and walking one, using a mixture of sinkers and cut fastballs to keep the Stars offense in check.
Yakult went ahead in the first and never looked back, as shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to right with one out and Sato played some hammertime into the leftfield seats to make it 2-0 Swallows.
The Swallows then hammered Miura again in the second, when third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to right and stole second. One out later, rightfielder Kota Soejima singled to center for an RBI and after Sakamoto went down on strikes for Miura's 1000th career whiff, first baseman Chihiro Hamana laced a drive into the leftcenter alley to send in Soejima. Miyamoto walked and Sato clocked one down the rightfield line to score both Miyamoto and Hamana and Yakult was in the driver's seat at 6-0.
Sakamoto proved susceptible to the extra base knock in the home half, though, since he was leaving a lot of pitches up in the strike zone and he couldn't stick around. Stars rightfielder Boi Rodrigues cracked a leadoff double to leftcenter and Hirofumi Ogawa unloaded a missile off the rightfield fence to plate Rodrigues. One out later, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda played pong off the leftfield wall to get Ogawa in and then he completed the circuit himself when shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to right to make it 6-3.
Miura was obviously left in this game too long, though and Manager Massaki Mori may have cost his team a chance to win it by permitting the righthander to come out for the third. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez zipped one to leftcenter for a double and Iwamura buried a Miura offering into the rightfield seats for an 8-3 lead.
Yokohama would chip away during the rest of the game, but ultimately never recovered. In the bottom of the fourth, Taneda singled to right and Ishii mortared one over the head of Soejima and Taneda sprinted home to make it 8-4.
Ryu Kawabata came out to take the hill in the sixth for Yakult and he took a premature shower as well. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura leadoff with a single to center and Taneda singled to right. Ishii spanked a double into the rightfield corner and Nakamura lumbered in. Centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo grounded to first and Taneda hustled in and it was 8-6 Swallows. Hirotoshi Ishii was then brought in by Swallows boss Tsutomu Wakamatsu and he snuffed out the rally and then parlayzed the Yokohama offense through the eighth before passing the baton to closer Shingo Takatsu, who earned his 14th save with a 1-2-3 ninth.
This is the first time that Sato has had four RBIs in three years, that also being against Yokohama.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan struckout three times in five hitless at bats and is at .228. Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk and a stolen base and is at .246.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 3-5 and is at .337. The Brazilian kid, Yuichi Matsumoto, was 0-1 in pinch hitting duty and is at .286.
IP 1.1 PC 39 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.59
Newman (W, 2-3) IP 3.2 PC 64 H 3 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.17
Kawabata IP 0.1 PC 17 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.26
H. Ishii IP 2.2 PC 39 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.55
Takatsu (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.12
2-9) IP 2.0 PC 66 H 6 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA
Hosomi IP 2.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.60
Tazaki IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Azuma IP 2.0 PC 35 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.91
SB: Iwamura, T. Ishii, Rodrigues
2B: Hamana, A. Ramirez 2, S. Sato, T. Ishii 2, Rodrigues, Ogawa, Taneda
HR: S. Sato (2), Iwamura (5)
RBI: Hamana, S. Sato 4, Iwamura 2, Soejima, T. Ishii 4, Kinjo, Ogawa
HBP: T. Suzuki (H. Ishii), Saeki (Sakamoto)
LOB: Yakult 7, Yokohama 8
Game Time: 3:38
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Shikida(2B), Kasahara (3B)
Evans Three Hits and Three RBIs Leads Seibu Crunching of Lotte 12-2
One advantage to coming to a new league is that the pitchers are going to need time to find out where the holes in your swing are and what pitches you can and can't handle, so Tom Evans, after a .254 campaign in the Japanese minors, has been tearing it up during his first few games in a Seibu Lions uniform since coming over from Hanshin, as he went 3-4 and drove in three runs to lead the Lions to a 12-2 thrashing of the Chiba Lotte Marines Thursday at Seibu Dome.
Nathan Minchey started for Lotte and really got flamed, giving up ten hits and eight runs (six earned) to get hung with his eighth defeat of the year.
On the other side of the diamond, Seibu starter Fumiya Nishiguchi twirled six strong innings of shutout ball on two hits, striking out seven and walking none to post his sixth victory. He was clocked at a high of 90mph.
It was 0-0 until the third, when shortstop Kazuo Matsui doubled to leftcenter to get things going and was sacrificed to third. One out later, first baseman Alex Cabrera walked and Evans singled to left to push Matsui in. Susumu Otomo singled to center and Cabrera came around to make it 2-0 Seibu.
In the fifth, the wheels really came off for Minchey. Katsuhiko Miyaji ripped a leadoff single to center and Cabrera singled to right. Evans singled to center and Miyaji motored around for the Lions third run. Otomo grounded to Minchey, who threw wildly to load the bases. Tetsuya Kakiuchi singled to left for an RBI and Minchey plunked catcher Tsutomu Itoh to force another Lions runner in. Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto went to the pen for Kosuke Kato and he surrendered a two run single to right by second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi. Two groundouts later, Hisashi Takayama beat out a roller toward short for an RBI and the Tokorozawa contingent was up 8-0. Cabrera walked to load the bases and Evans forced him in by drawing a free pass himself, making it 9-0 Seibu.
The Lions tacked on a run in the sixth and in the seventh Kosuke Noda singled with the bases loaded for a 12-0 lead.
Lotte finally put up a fight in the top of the ninth. Lions reliever Hayato Aoki hit the first batter of the inning, centerfielder Saburo Omura. Leftfielder Derrick May doubled down the leftfield line and third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled Omura in. Tachikawa grounded to second to get May in and that's where it ended, a 12-2 Lions laugher.
Lotte first baseman Kazuya Fukuura sat this one out with back pain, the only game he's missed thus far in 2002. Frank Bolick is also out with a knee problem. However, Gold Glove shortstop Makoto Kosaka, who broke his foot during spring training, is going to be back in a few days.
For Lotte, May was 2-4 and is at .238.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-3 with two walks and is at .263. Evans is hitting .500 with his 3-4 night.
3-8) IP 4.0 PC 92 H 10 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 8 ER 6 ERA 4.08
K. Kato IP 2.0 PC 46 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.16
K. Yamasaki IP 1.0 PC 25 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.50
T. Tanaka IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Nishiguchi (W, 6-3) IP 6.0
PC 83 H 2 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.85
T. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 22 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.29
E: Minchey, Hatsushiba,
2B: May, Otomo, K. Matsui 2
RBI: Hatsushiba, Tachikawa, K. Matsui, Takayama, Evans 3, Otomo, Kakiuchi, T. Itoh, Noda, H. Takagi 2
WP: K. Kato
HBP: S. Omura (Aoki), T. Itoh (Minchey), K.Suzuki (K. Yamazaki)
LOB: Lotte 7, Seibu 13
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Tachibana (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Terahara Leaves Early in 6-2 Defeat to Orix
Hayato Terahara looked great in his last start, but he was just the opposite of that against Orix Thursday at Nagoya Dome, being mugged for four runs on five hits while seeing a big drop in velocity after the first inning and being unable to extricate himself from the third in what became a 6-2 defeat for the Daiei Hawks.
By contrast, Ed Yarnell had a very nice showing for the Blue Wave, weaving seven solid innings of three hit, two run ball to snatch his fourth victory against five losses.
The Hawks got on the board first, as third baseman Hiroki Kokubo leadoff the second with a single to left and one out later DH Noriyoshi Omichi celebrated his wife's birthday with a longball into the leftfield bleachers for a 2-0 Daiei lead.
Orix put a tally up in the bottom portion, when shortstop Tatsuya Shindo beat out a groundball and went to third on a single to right from leftfielder Koji Takamizawa. Third baseman Scott Sheldon flied out to right and Shindo tagged and scored to make it 2-1 Hawks.
In the third, Orix bashed Terahara around the yard. With one out, second baseman Koichi Oshima legged out a bleeder toward short. First baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani walked. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani doubled to rightcenter to provide cover for Oshima and Shiotani heading home and 40 year old Yasuo Fujii creamed a Terahara delivery off the leftfield wall for another RBI double and a 4-2 Orix advantage.
The Blue Wave order then climbed on Keisaburo Tanoue for another run in the fourth. Sheldon leadoff with a double down the rightfield line and rightfielder Ryutaro Tsuji collected his first pro RBI with a single to right to open a 5-2 gap with Daiei.
Tanoue was victimized again the sixth when Tani commenced it with a single to left and went to third on a one out single to left from Tatsuya Shindo, and then crossing on a groundout to second by Takamizawa. Now at 6-2 it would take a grand slam to tie it.
Daiei had the bases loaded with two outs in the eighth and then men on first and second with nobody out in the seventh against Yarnell and didn't cash in any of those runners, the last times in the game they had a chance to dent their deficit with Orix, who prevailed 6-2.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-4 and is at .278. Pinch hitter Morgan Burkhart struckout in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .214.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-3 with an RBI and is at .226.
Terahara (L, 3-2)
IP 2.1 PC 60 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.42
Tanoue IP 2.2 PC 66 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 3.05
A. Matsumoto IP 3.0 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yarnell (W, 4-5) IP
7.1 PC 106 H 3 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.44
Yamaguchi IP 1.2 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.28
2B: Tani, Y. Fujii, Sheldon
HR: Omichi (3)
RBI: Omichi 2, Tani 2, Y. Fujii, Takamizawa, Sheldon, Tsuji
HBP: Matsunaka (Yarnell), Johjima (Yarnell), Tani (Matsumoto)
LOB: Daiei 7, Orix 6
Game Time: 2:54
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Iizuka (1B), Kodera (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Kudoh Goes Unrewarded Again in Giants Loss
For the sixth time this season, the Yomiuri Giants scored a mere one run while Kimiyasu Kudoh was toiling on the mound, making him this year's poster child for no run support, as the Chunichi Dragons went on to a 2-1 victory Thursday at Fukuoka Dome behind Kenshin Kawakami. Eddie Gaillard spun a shutout ninth to cadge his 12th save.
The Dragons siezed a 1-0 lead in the first, as shortstop Hirokazu Ibata began the game with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. Centerfielder Kosuke Fukdome singled near the line in right and the fleetfooted Ibata made it in. This was the fifth consecutive start in which Kudoh has been touched for the inital run of a contest.
After that, though, the veteran lefty was never in any formidable trouble, which gave his club time to knot it up in the seventh. First baseman Takayuki Saito catalyzed the rally by beating out a tapper toward second and advanced on a sacrifice. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to right to recall Saito and it was 1-1. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi grounded to third for the second out and then Kawakami picked Abe off of second to keep it tied.
In the top of the eighth, pinch hitter Scott Bullet walked off of Tsuyoshi Jobe with one out to provide the needed opening for the game winning rally. One out later, first baseman Leo Gomez singled to right and third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to left to drive in Bullet and it was 2-1 Dragons. Now it was up to the Chunichi bullpen to maintain the lead.
Kawakami saw the first hitter of the bottom of the eighth, Mototsugu Kawanaka, pinch hitting for Jobe, single to right and he was replaced by Hitoki Iwase. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu laid down a sacrifice bunt that Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige grabbed and winged to second, where it was wide of the bag and everybody was safe. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki sacrificed the runners over and now all the Giants needed was a fly ball to even it. Unbelievably, they pitched to centerfielder Godzilla Matsui with first base open and got away with it when the slugger struckout on a slider. Kazuhiro Kiyoahara was then dispatched to the plate by Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara and he too went down swinging. Matsui, by the way, has only one RBI in all of Kudoh's starts.
Gaillard got a couple of quick outs in the ninth and then Nishi doubled to rightcenter to put the tying run aboard. However, Kawanaka struckout and it was "game setto."
Matsui made no contact in three of his at bats, the second time this season he has struckout thrice in a game. He had historically hit well at Fukuoka Dome, batting .329 in 24 games at that facility with seven homers, though the last couple of seasons he has managed just a .238 clip. This is the third instance in 2002 where the Yomiuri squad has dropped a trio of contests consecutively.
Aside from thre inability to muster any offense when Kudoh starts, overall the Giants have been shutout four times and have amassed only one run in ten other games. How's that possible with that lineup one would think. but the answer is that they live and die by the home run and when they don't get it they usually lose. Thanks to Nikkan Sports and Sankei Sports for digging up the stats.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 0-0 with a walk and is at .208. Gomez was 1-4 and is at .267.
Kawakami (W, 4-0)
IP 7.0 PC 92 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.56
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.27
Gaillard (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.12
IP 7.0 PC 105 H 8 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.74
Jobe (L, 1-1) IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.45
Y. Maeda IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.65
Almonte IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Jeon IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Fukudome, Nishi
RBI: Fukudome, Tatsunami, S. Abe
HBP: Y. Takahashi 2 (Kawakami & Iwase)
LOB: Chunichi 7, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 3:22
Umpires: Ino (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Kittaka (2B), Manabe (3B)
Rockies Draft Japanese Outfielder
For perhaps the first time in MLB draft history, a big league club has selected a Japanese national, as the Colorado Rockies tapped Western Arizona Junior College outfielder Mitsuru Sakamoto, a graduate of Kyusan Greater Kyushu High School, as the 711th overall pick. He reportedly can really run and the Rockies scouting report is said to have asserted that he is "like Ichiro" bodywise and toolswise. The Commissioner's Office in Japan says that they can't remember another Japanese national being drafted by an MLB outfit.
Sakamoto, for his part, was surprised by his selection and says that he will talk it over with his parents as to whether or not he will sign. Of course, this no doubt has gotten the attention of some Japanese teams and one of them could attempt to either draft or sign him, depending on the rules in this case, this coming November.
Powell, Takahashi Named Pitchers of the Month
Kintetsu Buffaloes hurler Jeremy Powell has been dubbed the Pitcher of the Month for May in the Pacific League after a string of killer performances that saw him grab four wins and help his side to a 14-7 finish for that period. "The team scored a lot of runs while I was out there," Powell told reporters, "and I was happy to contribute." See a pic of Powell at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/06/07/20020607024645.jpg
Yomiuri Giants lefthander Hisanori Takahashi was bestowed the same honor for the Central League. Note though, that Takahashi has yet to scratch out a victory in June for his career.
Norihiro Nakamura was named Player of the Month for the PL, after rocketing 14 homers and driving in 26 runs while hitting .357, the 14 homers a personal high for the stocky Osaka native for any one month.
Pro Yakyu for Old Farts?
Another fine piece of work by the Yomiuri Shimbun's Jim Allen: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020606wo51.htm
Nippon Ham to Play Games in Tokyo After Sapporo Move
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020607a2.htm
World Cup Hurting KBO
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200206/t2002060417155947110.htm
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team Record GB
Kia Tigers 30-19-3 2.0
Doosan Bears 29-22-1 3.0
Hyundai Unicorns 23-25-4 7.5
SK Wyverns 23-26-1 8.0
LG Twins 23-27-2 8.5
Hanhwa Eagles 22-27-2 9.0
Lotte Giants 17-34-1 15.0
Lee Ho-joon (SK) .343
Song Ji-man (Hanwha) .333
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) .333
Lee Seung-yong (Hyundai) .329
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .328
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .327
Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) .323
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) .318
Jin Gap-yong (Samsung) .312
Song Ji-Man (Hanhwa) 22
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 22
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) 19
Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) 14
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) 13
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 13
Four tied with 12
Runs Batted In RBI
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 56
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 50
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 45
Jin Gap-yeong (Samsung) 39
Song Jin-wu (Hanhwa) 2.58
Kiefer (Kia) 2.82
Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 2.86
Koo Ja-oon (Doosan) 2.88
Gary Rath (Doosan) 2.93
Lee Seung-ho (SK) 2.94
Manzanillo (LG) 3.13
McGee (Lotte) 3.14
Victor Cole (Doosan) 3.19
McGee (Lotte) 75
Lee Seung-ho (SK) 74
Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 74
Gary Rath (Doosan) 69
Kim Soo-kyung (Hyundai) 69
Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 8
Melquicides Torres (Hyndai) 6
Kiefer (Kia) 6
Kim Soo-kyung (Hyundai) 6
Choi Sang-deok (Kia) 6
Six tied with 5
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 6th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1980 at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo, a player for the Hankyu Braves, while hitting into a net as a coach tossed balls to him, hit the projectile through the mesh and it struck a fan in the eye, causing an injury that took two weeks to heal.
And on that date in 1947, a game that was scheduled between the Nankai Hawks
and the Hankyu Braves for Korakuen Stadium was forfeited by Hankyu since
they never left to go to the stadium. Reportedly, it was coming down in buckets
where the Braves were staying and they thought that the game would be cancelled
due to bad weather. Whoops!
Chang Dominates Nippon Ham in Japan Debut 5-0
Taiwanese import Chang Chieh-chiah became the first pitcher from his country to win his first Japanese start in 17 years, as he absolutely owned the Nippon Ham Fighters Sunday at Seibu Dome, going six shutout innings and permitting a mere two hits and striking out five and walking one on an economical 67 pitches in a 5-0 victory. Three Lions relievers tossed three hitless innings once Chang's day was over.
Third baseman Tom Evans struck first for Seibu with one out in the second, taking Fighters starter Carlos Mirabal over the leftfield wall to make it 1-0.
In the third, rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki tattoed a one out single to center and one out later first baseman Alex Cabrera walked. DH Ken Suzuki laced a shot into the rightcenter gap to deliver Ozeki. Evans walked to load the bases, but leftfielder Susumu Otomo grounded out to end the inning.
Mirabal and Cabrera got into it in the fifth and the ex-Diamondback was ejected. With two outs, Mirabal hit Cabrera and Cabrera threw his bat on the ground and charged the mound, pushing Mirabal before other players and coaches intervened. Cabrera has been pitched inside quite a bit this season and is evidently pretty irritated at it. "He's a big guy with a lot of muscle," said Mirabal, after the game. "He'll be okay." Mirabal also insists that he wasn't throwing at Cabrera.
Chang had the Nippon Ham lineup killing worms until the sixth, when shortstop Makoto Kaneko tripled to rightcenter with two gone. The righthander then fanned second baseman Kokichi Akune and he had a seat on the bench and waited for the ballgame to end.
The Lions gave themselves more room to operate in the eighth, when Suzuki walked and was sacrificed to second. Pinch hitter Hiroyuki Oshima walked. Catcher Tustomu Itoh singled to left to pack the sacks. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi singled to right for two runs and shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to right to load the bases. Ozeki then lifted a sac fly to center and it was 5-0.
It was "sansha bontai (three up, three down)" in the ninth for Nippon Ham and the Lions were another game up on the Daiei Hawks in the PL pennant race. After their five game winning streak, the Fighters have suffered three consecutive defeats.
Getting back to Chang, Taigen Kaku (Kuo Tai-yuan), an ex-Lion himself, was the last Taiwanese to win his first Japan start. His brother Genji also did the same for Chunichi in 1981. Both had very successful careers in the land of the rising sun.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 and is at .264. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-2 with a walk and is at .269.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-1 with a walk and an HBP and is at .256. Evans was 1-2 with a walk and an RBI and is at .375.
Mirabal (L, 6-2)
IP 7.1 PC 141 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 5 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.52
Shibakusa IP 0.0 PC 9 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
Kato IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
1-0) IP 6.0 PC 67 H 2 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Mitsui IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Mori IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
Toyoda IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.95
2B: K. Suzuki
RBI: Evans, Ozeki, K. Suzuki, H. Takagi 2
HBP: Cabrera (Mirabal)
LOB: Nippon Ham 2, Seibu 10
Season Series: Nippon Ham 3, Seibu 8
Game Time: 2:49
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Yamazaki (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Hodges Hampers Hanshin
Rightander Kevin Hodges handcuffed the Hanshin Tigers Sunday at Chiba Marine Stadium, holding them to one run on seven hits and a pair of walks in eight innings to keep pace with Shugo Fujii for the team lead in wins at six with a 7-1 victory. It also got the Swallows within four games of the Tigers in the CL pennant race.
Yuya Ando has possibly made his last start as a member of the Tigers rotation, as manager Senichi Hoshino lambasted Ando to reporters after the game, saying, "he looked like an idiot out there." The focus of Hoshino's ire gave up five earned runs on eight hits in 3.1 innings, his pitches being consistently up in the strike zone.
Yakult did Ando for a run in the first, as shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to left with one out and centerfielder Shinichi Sato did similarly and Miyamoto sped to third. Catcher Atsuya Furuta flied out to left and Miyamoto tagged and scored to make it 1-0.
Ando got two quick outs in the third, but couldn't finish Yakult off until they had gotten a pound of flesh out of him. Furuta doubled to rightcenter and leftfielder Alex Ramirez walked. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to right for an RBI and second baseman Hajime Miki singled to center for another and it was 3-0 Swallows.
Why Hoshino brought Ando out for the fourth is anyone's guess, but first baseman Chihiro Hamana and Miyamoto hit one out singles to center. Exit Ando and enter Atsunori Itoh. Sato walked to load the bases. Furuta singled to left and Hamana and Miyamoto wheeled on in for a 5-0 Yakult advantage.
In the sixth, Miyamoto leadoff with single to center and Furuta reamed Itoh for a double down the rightfield line. Ramirez singled to left for the two RBIs and a 7-0 lead.
Hodges had two outs in the eighth before first baseman George Arias doubled to leftcenter and was brought in on a single to right from Shuta Tanaka to make it 7-1.
Hanshin had men on second and third with one out in the ninth, but reliever Hirotoshii Ishii put the boot in and induced a flyout to right and a grounder to second to shut it down. Here is a pic of Hodges receiving the game ball from Ishii: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/06/03/20020603021633.jpg
Katsunori Nomura, son of Katsuya Nomura, made his first start at catcher this season and went 2-3 with a double.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 1-2 with two RBIs and two walks and is at .330.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .273. He has a 15 game hitting streak.
2-5) IP 3.1 PC 95 H 8 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.63
A. Itoh IP 2.2 PC 43 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.35
Date IP 2.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.64
Hodges (W, 6-2 )
IP 8.0 PC 125 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.58
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
SB: S. Sato, Furuta, Miki,
2B: K. Nomura 2, Furuta 2, Arias
RBI: S. Tanaka, Furuta 3, Ramirez 2, Iwamura, Miki
HBP: R. Asai (Hodges)
PB: R. Asai
GIDP: Iwamura, S. Miyamoto
LOB: Hanshin 10, Yakult 8
Season Series: Hanshin 5, Yakult 6
Game Time: 3:09
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Kasahara (2B), ? (3B)
Yamada Leaves Early to Lose to Lotte 2-1
A homer by leftfielder Derrick May and a walk to first baseman Kazuya Fukuura with the bases loaded got the Chiba Lotte Marines a 2-1 victory Sunday at Toyama Municipal Stadium (dimensions: 325 down the lines, 400 to straightaway center. You can view pics of the ballpark at: http://www2.csc.ne.jp/~fudoki/toyama.htm) against the Daiei Hawks.Akichika Yamada, as has been a recent trend among Hawks starters, lasted just 4.2 innings until his wildness necessitated his removal by manager Sadaharu Oh.
Takashi Kawai made his second start since being promoted from the bullpen for Lotte and despite putting runners on in every inning managed to limit the Daiei Hawks to one run on five hits and four walks, but he kept his slider down on the hitters and ended up being credited with the win.
Lotte took a 1-0 lead in the second when May obliterated a pitch from Yamada and hurtled it completely out of the ballpark beyond the rightfield stands, a tape measure shot.
Kawai ran into some major worries in the fifth, when Daiei second baseman Tadahito Iguchi walked to lead it off and was sacrificed to second. DH Noriyoshi Omichi walked and so did third baseman Hiroki Kokubo to fill the bases. catcher Kenji Johjima flied out to left and it was gridlocked at 1-1.
Lotte went back in the lead in the bottom of the inning when rightfielder Yukihiko Sato singled to center and two outs later leftfielder Kenji Morozumi singled to left. Centerfielder Saburo Omura and Fukuura walked, the latter pushing Sato across to make it 2-1.
Brian Sikorsky came on in the sixth for Lotte and wove three hitless innings and then Masahide Kobayashi spelled him in the ninth, but made Lotte fans sweat when he did. Kobayashi got the first two outs in pretty short order, only to then see Iguchi and centerfielder Hiroshim Shibahara both single to center. Omichi, if he clocked an extra base hit, would have won it with the two speedsters on the basepaths. However, it was not to be, as he flied out to center for Kobayashi's eighth save.
For Daiei, first baseman Morgan Burkhart was 2-4 and is at .216. Pedro Valdez was hurt and did not play.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .231.
A. Yamada (L,
4-4) IP 4.2 PC 89 H 4 HR 1 K 3 BB 5 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.55
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.2 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.71
Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.96
Yoshida IP 1.2 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.86
IP 5.0 PC 89 H 5 HR 0 K 2 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.30
Sikorsky IP 3.0 PC 39 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.93
M. Kobayashi (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.13
SB: S. Omura
HR: May (5)
RBI: May, Johjima, Fukuura
LOB: Daiei 11, Lotte 10
Season Series: Daiei 8, Lotte 2
Game Time: 3:07
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Bergman Superb in 4-1 Victory Over Orix
Sean Berman had easily his finest outing of the season to date for the Kintetsu Buffaloes, throwing seven shutout innings on five hits and striking out five and walking two in the Buffs 4-1 victory over the Orix Blue Wave Sunday at Osaka Dome. Masahiko Kaneda, who has othwerwise been pretty good this season no matter what his won-loss record says, had a rough time in this one, being touched for four earned runs in just over five innings of work to earn blame for the defeat.
Things were quiet on the Kansai front until the bottom of the third, when Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura used his wheels to get on after dribbling one near short. That brought up leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and Kaneda was taking his sweet time pitching to him. Rhodes complained to the umpire, who warned Kaneda. Kaneda then said something to Rhodes, who speaks Japanese, and Rhodes put his bat to his side and squared his body angrily toward Kaneda, which caused both benches to empty. The umpires got everyone back in the dugouts and the at bat resumed. Kaneda then threw a pitch to Rhodes and he destroyed it, the ball landing in the upper deck in right for a two run homer and a 2-0 Kintetsu lead.
Kintetsu doubled that lead in the sixth when Hirotoshi Kitagawa singled to center and rightfielder Koichi Isobe singled to right. Shortstop Masahiro Abe doubled off the leftfield wall to drive in Kitagawa. Kaneda was history and Satoshi Tokumoto put in his place. Tetsuya Matoyama then tried to sacrifice, Tokumoto picking the ball up and throwing wildly and Isobe strode in to make it 4-0.
Orix scored its sole run in the eighth, as Yoshitomo Tani drilled his third double of the game, this one to the centerfield wall, and, ijn a really ballsy move, stole third. DH Fernando Seguignol beat out a roller to second and Tani sprinted in and it was 4-1. Kintetsu closer Akira Okamoto worked a 1-2-3 ninth to post his 11th save and to put his team in second place, three games behind Seibu.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .241. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 1-3 with two strikeouts and an error and is at .217.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes, who now has 21 homers, was 1-3 with a walk and two RBIs and is at .250.
1-4) IP 5.1 PC 100 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Tokumoto IP 0.0 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Kase IP 1.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Hagiwara IP 1.2 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.00
2-1) IP 7.0 PC 114 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.19
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.50
A. Okamoto (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.52
E: Tokumoto, Sheldon
2B: Tani 3, M. Abe, Sheldon, Takamizawa
HR: Rhodes (21)
RBI: Rhodes 2, Seguignol, M. Abe, Matoyama
IBB: N. Omura
LOB: Orix 7, Kintetsu 10
Season Series: Orix 3, Kintetsu 7
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Tamba (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Arai Three Run Homer Enables Hiroshima to Squeeze by Yomiuri
A circuit clout into the leftfield bleachers at Tokyo Dome with two on in the eighth inning by Hiroshima Carp third baseman Takahiro Arai off of Yomiuri Giants reliever Hideki Okajima proved to be the difference in the game, as the Giants went down at home 8-7. The Carp are back at .500 with the win.
Masayuki Hasegawa and Hisanori Takahashi were locked up in a scoreless struggle until the top of the fifth, when catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to left off of Takahashi and went to second on a sac bunt. One out later, shortstop Takuya Kimura doubled down the rightfield line and Hiroshima was ahead 1-0.
Hasegawa, though, forfeited the lead real quickly. In the home portion, third baseman Akira Etoh singled to left with one out. One out later, second baseman Toshihisa Nishi also pinged a knock to left and Etoh managed to slide into third safely. Takahashi beat out a tapper and Etoh went home. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to right to plate Nishi and it was 2-1 Yomiuri.
Hiroshima leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto changed that with a wave of his bat in the sixth, dispatching a Takahashi delivery into the rightcenterfield bleachers to knot it at two all.
The Giants were persistent, however, and in the bottom half, Etoh drew a two out walk from Hasegawa and catcher Shinnosuke Abe was thrown a fastball on the inner half of the plate and Abe made it disappear into the rightfield seats for a 4-2 Yomiuri advantage.
Hiroshima surged back in the seventh when Kojiro Machida slugged the 16th pinch hit homer of his career, tying him for first all time for the Central League. That also did away with Takahashi, who was substituted for Tsuyoshi Jobe. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to right. Jobe tried to pick Ogata off and threw it down the rightfield line, enabling Ogata to wheel around to third. Takuya Kimura flied out to left and Ogata was able to cross the plate and it was a standstill again at 4-4. That was the first time in 18 games that Jobe had given up a run.
In the eighth, Kanemoto walked off of Okajima and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda walked. Arai's turn came and he REALLY liked a hanging curve ball that Okajima threw, So much, in fact, that he practically screwed himself into the ground swinging at it, the ball landing halfway up the leftfield stands, and the Carp had the upper hand at 7-4. You can see a photo of the swing at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/06/03/20020603021021.jpg
The Giants kept on truckin' and turned it into a one run game in their at bats. With one out, first baseman Takayuki Saito walked and Etoh connected on an offering from Carp reliever Kanei Kobayashi and powered it into the leftfield seats to make it 7-6.
After Hiroshima blew a scoring opportunity in the top of the ninth, Carp closer Yasuhiro Oyamada was left in charge of how his team would fare this night. Feeding the Giants a steady diet of fastballs, seemingly a suicidal tactic against a club that eats them for lunch, he induced a strikeout, a flyout and a groundout for perfect inning and his 12th save.
Arai's bother Ryota plays for Komazawa University, so will we see the two playing side by side in the future? Stay tuned.
For Hiroshima, second baseman Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and is at .329. First baseman Luis Lopez was 0-2 with a walk and is at .282.
IP 6.0 PC 116 H 5 HR 1 K 5 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.64
Kobayashi (W, 2-1) IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.53
Oyamada (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Takahashi IP 6.1 PC 98 H
6 HR 2 K 6 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.34
Jobe IP 0.2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Okajima (L, 3-2) IP 1.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.38
Cho IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
Kawamoto IP 0.2 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: S. Abe, Jobe
SB: T. Shimizu
3B: T. Kimura
HR: Kanemoto (7), Machida (1), Arai (11), S. Abe (5), Etoh (6)
RBI: Kanemoto, Machida, Arai 3, S. Abe 2, Etoh 2, T. Kimura 2, T. Shimizu, H. Takahashi
SF: T. Kimura
LOB: Hiroshima 8, Yomiuri 5
Season Series: Hiroshima 5, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 3:25
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Manabe (2B), Ino (3B)
Gomez Bazookas Big Homer in Dragons Victory
A two run homer by Chunichi Dragons first baseman Leo Gomez in the bottom of the eighth inning at Hamamatsu Stadium in Hamamatsu, Shizuoka Prefecture, Sunday provided important insurance runs in a 7-4 Dragons triumph over the Yokohama Bay Stars. Masahiro Yamamoto had what was without a doubt his best outing of the season, going six innings of two run ball on five hits, striking out seven and walking none to snatch his initial 2002 victory.
Masao Morinaka started for Yokohama and matched Yamamoto pitch for pitch until the fifth, when he got spanked something fierce. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige lead off with a walk and leftfielder Jun Inoue jacked a Morinaka pitch into the rightcenterfield seats.Yamamoto then legged out an infield hit and one out later centerfielder Scott Bullet went yard to dead center to make it 4-0. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome then piggybacked on that with a long distance runaround of his own to right for a 5-0 Dragons advantage.
Yokohama chipped one off that deficit in the sixth, when pinch hitter Seiichi Uchikawa tripled to right and come home on a two out single to center from centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo to make it 5-1. Uchikawa then stayed in and played shortstop, replacing Takuro Ishii.
Then the Stars really got in the face of the Dragons in the seventh. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues started it with a double to rightcenter and two outs later catcher Ryoji Aikawa singled to left to plate Rodrigues. Uchikawa doubled down the leftfield line and pinch hitter Hirofumi Ogawa singled to left to send in both Aikawa and Uchikawa and it was close at 5-4.
In the eighth, Fukudome leadoff with a single to center against Takashi Saito and Gomez got a fastball that bit off too much of the plate and he mashed it well over 400 feet to right for a two run homer and it was 7-4 Dragons, Now Yokohama couldn't play small ball to come back with just three outs left, they had to go up hacking. And Dragons closer Eddie Gaillard exploited that, retiring all three men he faced and it was time to turn out the lights.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .244. Third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .236.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .208. Gomez was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .267.
Morinaka (L, 1-3)
IP 5.0 PC 99 H 7 HR 3 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.96
Sugimoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.13
R. Kawahara IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.08
Takashi Saito IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.45
M. Yamamoto (W, 1-4) IP
6.0 PC 85 H 5 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.85
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 23 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.26
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.32
Gaillard (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
E: Ryoji Aikawa
2B: Saeki, Rodrigues, Uchikawa
HR: J. Inoue (5), Bullet (5), Fukudome (10), Gomez (12)
RBI: J. Inoue 2, Bullet 2, Fukudome, Gomez 2, Ogawa 2, Kinjo, Ryoji Aikawa
HBP: Tanishige (Takashi Saito)
GIDP: J. Inoue
LOB: Yokohama 4, Chunichi 4
Season Series: Yokohama 2, Chunichi 8
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Kittaka (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Mori (3B)
According to winning percentage, who is the losingest team of all time in Japan? Answer at the end of the article.
Rockies Holt Signs with Yokohama
The Yokohama Bay Stars Monday JST announced the signing of Colorado Rockies righthander Chris Holt, who is currently at their Colorado Springs affiliate. Holt, 30, is 28-51 lifetime in 133 MLB games with a 4.76 ERA and was 6-3 this season at AAA. The Stars reportedly like Holt's sinker. His fastball tops out at 89-90mph. He's a Texas native who was drafted in the third round by Houston in 1992. He was released by Detroit after last season and hooked up with the Rockies.
This probably means that Yokohama is planning to release ex-Mariner minor leaguer Jason Turman and former Minnesota Twin Shane Bowers. They are also going to tryout Diamondbacks minor leaguer Ernie Young, who batted cleanup for the 2000 U.S. olympic baseball team.
Cuban Stars to Play for Japanese Industrial League Club
A trio of Cuban players, at least two of whom have played for that country's national team, will be playing for Tokyo-based food supplier Shidax on their industrial league team. Antonio Pacheco and Orestes Kindelan, mainstays of the squad that beat the Baltimore Orioles, are definitely going over and could be in uniform as soon at the end of the month.
The other possibility that has been mentioned in the Japanese press is 29 year old righthander Leonidas Torcas Rodriguez (I hope I've transliterated that correctly), who reportedly runs it up to the plate at about 93mph. The Shidax nine will be playing in tournament in October, according to the Japanese media.
Powell Does Baseball Clinic for Japanese Youngsters
Three members of the Kintetsu Buffaloes visited Chikae Elementary School
in Osaka Monday, playing catch with the students and taking questions from
them. The team's popular leftfielder, Tuffy Rhodes, will be doing something
similar Tuesday at another Osaka area school. Due to the Soccer World Cup,
there is a three day break in the schedule this week, so many of the clubs
are using that as an opportunity to promte themselves in their local communities.
In the pic below from left to right: Powell, Iwakuma, and Kenshi Kawaguchi:
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 2nd and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1979, Suguru Egawa made his debut on the mound for the Yomiuri Giants at Korakuen Stadium in a game against the Hanshin Tigers. Tigers outfielder Mike Reinbach slugged a three run homer and Egawa was also taken downtown for solo jacks by two other Hanshin players and ended up giving up a total of five runs before being taken out in the eighth.
Also on on that date in 1957, Masatoshi Gondo of the Taiyo Whales was the losing pitcher in a game against Hanshin at Koshien Stadium, making him winless over a three season period, or 28 straight losses, to set a record. Here's is how his record broke down over that time:
1955: G 40 W 3 L 21 ERA
3.73 IP 198
1956: G 20 W 0 L 13 ERA 4.03 IP 95.1
1957: G 40 W 12 L 17 ERA 2.74 IP 217
The streak ran from when he lost to Hiroshima on July 19, 1955 to lose his
last eight of that season, 13 in a row in 1956 and then seven more consecutively
before mercifully getting a win.
This was a guy who went 15-13 with a 2.77 ERA in 1953 in 220.2 innings his first season to pick up the Rookie of the Year Award. He won an ERA championship in 1967 with a 1.40 mark when he was with Hanshin, when he went 9-6 in 135 innings. His best all around year was in 1960, when he was 12-5 with a 1.42 ERA (four shutouts) in 158 innings for a team that went all the way from last in 1959 to the Japan Series, where they swept the Daimai Orions. He hadn't thrown enough innings that season to qualify for the ERA title, but he was finally on a winner.They then finished in the cellar in 1960. Lifetime, he was 117-154 with a 2.78 ERA in 719 games (ninth all time), so this was a good pitcher who had a nightmare stretch. Reportedly, he had a good live fastball with a great overhand curve ball.
When he finally won again to break the streak on July 8, 1957 against the Yomiuri Giants at Kawasaki Stadium, his teammates tossed him up in the air (called "doage" in Japanese) in celebration and then when Gondo got back to the bench he cried as the fans in the stands gave him a standing ovation. Gondo had an RBi single in the game, a 4-0 shutout.
What makes Gondo's career even more remarkable, though, was that he was afflicted during his childhood with polio and suffered paralysis on his left side as a result. But through sheer force of will and hard work, he conquered it. In addition, he also cut the index finger on his throwing hand with a knife that left the finger permanently crooked. Thus, his curve ball may have been more of a knuckle curve due to that injury. Gondoh himself, though, thinks he could have thrown an even better curve ball had the finger been normal. He was known for his absolutely ferocious practice regimen and yey his reputation as a person was as, the great hurler Yutaka Enatsu put it, "I've never seen him get angry or yell at anyone."
It's the team from Yokohama. When you combine the club's record as both the
Taiyo Whales and the Yokohama Bay Stars, you have a team with a .453 (2864-3454)
winning percentage, the worst in Japanese pro history. They are 590 games
under .500. It would take them going 85-55 for nigh on 20 years just to get even. Won't happen in my lifetime, I don't think.
By the way, Yokohama also owns the record for fewest wins in the Central League in a season, 31, in 1955.
Hanshin Lights Up Maeda to Beat Yakult 7-3
Hiroshi Yagi, in a rare start, slugged a three run homer and had a total of three hits on the day and the top four in the Hanshin lineup wach collected a pair of knocks as they disposed of Yakult Swallows starter Hirotsugu Maeda in 1.2 innings and cruised to a 7-3 victory Saturday at Chiba Marine Stadium. Hisanori Yokota got his first start of the year after coming over from the Chiba Lotte Marines this past winter for Hanshin and was adequate, going 5.2 innings and giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits, four strikeouts and two walks. The win put the Osaka contingent 12 games over .500 at this point in the season for the first time in 17 years.
Hanshin was all over Maeda from the time the umpire said "play ball," as they went out to an immediate 4-0 lead in the first. With two away, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka legged out an infield hit. Red hot third baseman George Arias singled to left to extend his hitting streak to 14. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama went to left to drive in Hamanaka. First baseman Yagi got a fourth pitch forkball and launched it on a high line through the wind into the leftfield seats to make it 4-0. Yagi didn't think it would be able to surmount the strong breeze, but it did and Yokota had a comfortable early margin to work with. You can see a pic of Yagi's swing at: http://www.sponichi.com/base/200206/02/images/base01.jpg
Yakult fought back with a three spot in their half of the inning. Second baseman Chichiro Hamana leadoff with a single to center. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto beat out what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt, Arias throwing the ball away so that Hamana was able to score. Rightfielder Shinichi Sato walked. Catcher Atsuya Furuta grounded to Yagi, but leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to center to drive in Miyamoto. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura flew out to right to usher in Sato and it was 4-3 Tigers.
Hanshin then pulled away in the third thanks to misplays by Iwamura and Hamana. Yokota leadoff against Swallows reliever Tomokazu Teramura with a double down the leftfield line. One out later, Fumikazu Takanami beat out a roller to third. Hamanaka then hit a ground ball to Iwamura, whose throw to first was off the mark and Yokota completed the circuit to open a 5-3 Hanshin advantage. Arias singled to right, resulting in Teramaura being replaced by Alan Newman. Hiyama tapped to Hamana, who also threw wildly in attempting to turn a twin killing and two more came in for the Tigers to make it 7-3.
After Yokota was sent to the showers by Hanshin boss Senichi Hoshino with two out in the sixth and a man on, the little lefty Takehiro Hashimoto was given the ball to face Iwamura and he struck him out to end the inning. From there, Takehito Kanazawa threw three innings of one hit ball to bring this one to a favorable conclusion for the Tigers.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .328. The Brazilian centerfielder, Yuichi Matsumoto, was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .333.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-5 with an error and is at .273. Derrick White did not play due to a bruised hand.
1-0) IP 5.2 PC 93 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R
3 ER 2 ERA 3.18
T. Hashimoto IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kanazawa (S, 1) IP 3.0 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.47
H. Maeda (L,
1-1) IP 1.2 PC 31 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Teramura IP 1.2 PC 41 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 1 ERA 4.11
Newman IP 1.2 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.36
Kawabata IP 2.0 PC 30 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.92
Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.09
R. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.59
E: Imaoka, Arias, Hamana,
2B: Yokota, Imaoka
HR: Yagi (2)
RBI: Hamanaka, Hiyama 2, Yagi 3, Ramirez, Iwamura
PB: R. Asai
GIDP: Sekimoto, S. Sato
LOB: Hanshin 11, Yakult 4
Season Series: Hanshin 5, Yakult 5
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kasahara (1B), ? (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Powell Throws Five Hit Shutout at Orix
Koo Dae-sung had another killer outing for Orix, giving up just one run on five hits in a complete game dandy Saturday at Osaka Dome, but Kintetsu Buffaloes starter Jeremy Powell was just that much better, throwing a four hit complete game shutout, the first of his pro baseball career, in a 1-0 Kintetsu victory. All four safeties against Powell were singles, one of them of the infield variety.
The lone Kintetsu tally came in the sixth, when shortstop Masahiro Abe leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. One out later, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi ripped a two bagger down the leftfield line and Abe chugged in to make it 1-0, a lead that Powell was able to sustain. He allowed just two baserunners over the final four innings and Orix went down in order in the ninth to seal it. You can see a pic of Powell and Mizuguchi during their hero interviews at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020602-7.jpg
Powell was able to finally able to pick up his labrador retriever, Bailey, from a customs quarantine last week and that lightened his mood going into the game. was able to keep his breaking pitches down and then came in with the high heat to keep the hitter's eyes jumping around. He also said that he is finally comfortable with Japanese culture and the lifestyle there.
Koo, who had caught a bad cold, complained that his fastball didn't have its usual movement and that he felt sluggish out there. His ERA went down to 1.51, so the Kintetsu lineup might tell you he didn't appear to be sluggish to them, especially since he did such a good job changing speeds.
One odd historical note, according to Nikkan Sports: this is the first nine inning game in six years where neither side used a substitute player somewhere along the line. Since the DH system was introduced in 1975, it's only the tenth occasion on which that has happened. Geez, who even thought to check on THAT? Orix has also now lost ten straight at Osaka Fome.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder tuffy Rhodes was 0-3 and is at .249.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 0-4 and is at .239. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-3 and is at .215.
Koo (L, 3-3) IP 9.0 PC 133 H 5 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.51
Powell (W, 5-3) IP 9.0 PC 94 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.48
2B: Kitagawa, Mizuguchi
HBP: Shindo (Powell)
LOB: Orix 4, Kintetsu 4
Season Series: Orix 3, Kintetsu 6
Game Time: 2:11
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Higashi (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Nagami (3B)
Three Run Seventh Inning Rally Gets Daiei Come From Behind Victory
The Daiei Hawks used timely hitting in the seventh inning to bring theselves back from a 4-3 deficit to seize the day over the Chiba Lotte Marines 6-4. Daiei starter Junji Hoshino didn't make it thorught the fourth, but four Hawks relievers permitted only one run on five hits over the last five innings to give Shuji Yoshida his second win of the season at Ishikawa Prefectural Stadium Saturday in Kanazawa.
Naoyuki Shimizu started for Lotte and was solid again, going 6.1 innings of three run (two earned) ball on seven hits, striking out four and walking none to lose it.
Daiei got on the board in the first inning, when second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled to right and went to second on a passed ball by Masaumi Shimizu. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez singled to center to push Iguchi across and it was 1-0 Hawks.
Lotte restored equilibrium in their portion when Saburo Omura singled to center with one down and first baseman Kazuya Fukuura doubled into the leftfield corner. Leftfielder Derrick May walked to pack the sacks and DH Frank Bolick flew out to right to get Omura in for the 1-1 tie.
That's the way it stayed until the fourth, when Lotte's Kazunori Iyoda grounded to Takeshi Nonogaki at short and he booted it. He was sacrificed along and then moved to third on a single from shortsop Masato Watanabe. Second baseman Koichi Hori doubled down the leftfield line and Iyoda trotted in. Omura flew out to center and Watanabe was back in the dugout with a 3-1 lead.
In the fifth, Lotte third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba homered to left off of Hawks reliever Kazuhiko Iijima and the Marines were up 4-1.
Daiei started breathing down Lotte's neck, though, in the top of the sixth, when rightfielder Koji Akiyama cleaned and jerked a delivery from Shimizu into the rightcenterfield seats with third baseman Hiroki Kokubo on first after an infield hit to close it within 4-3.
The very next inning, centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara scalded a double down the leftfield line off of Lotte reliever Kosuke Kato and Iguchi singled to right. Backup leftfielder Arihito Muramatsu hit a little seeing eye groundball into the hole at short that Watanabe was able to knock down, but that's about it and Shibahara reported to knot it at four all. Hiroyuki Kobayashi came in to face Kokubo and threw a wild pitch to put both runners in scoring position. Kokubo popped out, but DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to right and Iguchi and Muramatsu sped in and it was 6-4 Hawks.
Rodney Pedraza strolled in for the ninth to attempt to aquire the save and gave Lotte an opening, though he ultimately shut that chance down. Fukuura leadoff with a single to left. May grounded into a 6-4-3 double play, but Bolick singled to center. Now Hatsushiba was up with an opportunity to even it if he went yard, but Pedraza fanned him and it was "game setto."
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-2 and is at .284. First baseman Morgan Burkhart was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .207.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with a walk and is at .231. Bolick was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .214.
IP 3.2 PC 74 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 3 R 3 ER 1 ERA 3.29
Iijima IP 1.2 PC 30 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.96
Yoshida (W, 2-0) IP 1.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.10
Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Pedraza (S, 9 ) IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
IP 6.1 PC 114 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.28
K. Kato (L, 2-7) IP 0.0 PC 7 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.09
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.72
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.26
E: Nonogaki, Hori
2B: Johjima, Shibahara, Fukuura, Hori
HR: Akiyama (4), Hatsushiba (6)
RBI: Muramatsu, Omichi 2, Akiyama 2, Hori, S, Omura, Bolick, Hatsushiba
SF: S. Omura, Bolick
WP: H. Kobayashi
HBP: M. Shimizu (Iijima), Hori (Iijima)
PB: M. Shimizu
GIDP: Fukuura, Bolick, May
LOB: Daiei 7, Lotte 11
Season Series: Daiei 8, Lotte 1
Game Time: 3:35
Umpires: Sato (HP), Tachibana (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Nippon Ham Comeback Bid Just Misses Against Seibu
Down 4-0 after seven, the Nippon Ham Fighters lived up to their nickname with a seventh inning rally that just fell short, as the Seibu Lions held on to come out on top 4-3. Alex Cabrera had a historical accomplishment in this one, creaming a knee high forkball from Fighters starter Satoru Kanemara and mortaring it into the leftfield seats for the 3000th homer in the annals of the Lions.
The rookie Mitsutaka Goto started for Seibu and had his best outing since being called up in May, going five innings shutout innings on three hits and striking out five and walking three.
Kanemura and Goto were in a scoreless duel until the fourth, when Kazuhiko Miyaji singled to center to begin the inning and stole second. Cabrera hammered a liner off the glove of Kuniyuki Kimoto at third and Miyaji just kept on gong until he had reached home to make it 1-0. Ken Suzuki singled to right and third baseman Tom Evans walked to load the bases. Susumu Otomo then worked a freebie that forced in Cabrera. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh grounded into a double play and Suzuki ran in and Seibu was in the driver's seat at 3-0.
Cabrera checked in during the sixth after not having had much success against Kanemura in previous encounters with him. He had whiffed three times against Kanemura on May eighth and he came up empty on another forkball earlier in the game. So he dug in looking for a forkball and turned it into a souvenir to expand Seibu's advantage to 4-0. You can see a pic of Cabrera's swing at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200206/image/060207kabureraNK085601_b.jpg and http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/06/02/20020602012742.jpg
In the eighth, Nippon Ham tried to get back in it. Shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to center an went to second on a groundout. Ogasawara homered to right and DH Sherman Obando blasted one into the same part of the ballpark and it was now 4-3 Lions. That was as far as it went, though, since leftfielder D.T. Cromer grounded out to short and third rate Yukio Tanaka struckout to let the air out of the balloon. Seibu closer Kiyoshi Toyoda thrn twirled a perfect ninth to wrap it up.
Seibu hot some good news about Daisuke Matsuzaka. They didn't find any abnormalities in his elbow after an MRI, though he has some inflammation, so he just needs rest. He is still likely to be out until the end of June, though, as manager Haruki Ihara wants to be cautious, especially since Matsuzaka had been abused by Ihara's predecessor, Osamu Higashio.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .268. Cromer was 1-4 and is at .272.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 3-4 with two RBI and is at .257. Evans was 1-2 with two walks and is at .333.
Kanemura (L, 2-1
) IP 5.0 PC 85 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.18
Sasaki IP 2.0 PC 45 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Tateishi IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2-1) IP 5.0 PC 72 H 3 HR
0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
T. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 35 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.79
Aoki IP 0.1 PC 12 H 3 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.45
Mori IP 0.2 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.78
Toyoda (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
SB: Narahara, K. Matsui,
HR: M. Ogasawara (17), Obando (13), Cabrera (15)
RBI: M. Ogasawara 2, Obando, Cabrera 2, Otomo
GIDP: Cromer, Fujishima, T. Itoh
LOB: Nippon Ham 6, Seibu 7
Season Series: Nippon Ham 3, Seibu 7
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Yanagida (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Hiroshima Rocks Tiring Uehara for Four Seventh Inning Runs to Win It
The Yomiuri Giants dropped another game behind the Hanshin Tigers Saturday when the team's starter, Koji Uehara, was bombed for four runs in the seventh inning by the Hiroshima Carp in what became a 7-2 victory by the Red Hell. Ken Takahashi started for Hiroshima and went 7.2 solid innings of two run ball on eight hits and struckout six while walking none to even his record at 4-4.
The Giants jumped to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second when centerfielder Hideki Matsui slugged his fifth homer in the last ten games to straightaway centerfield.
Hiroshima made it 1-1 in the fourth, as shortstop Takuya Kimura beat out a tapper toward first and stole second. One out later, second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to center for the RBI.
Yomiuri popped back in front in the fifth with a trip uptown to rightcenter by catcher Shinnosuke Abe to make it 2-1.
The Carp were up to that challenge, too, as third baseman Shinjiro Nomura leadoff the top of the sixth with a splat against the leftfield wall for a double and an RBI single off an Uehara fastball by leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto to level it at 2-2.
The Red Hell then went beserk on Uehara in the seventh. First baseman Takahiro Arai leadoff with a single to center and catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to left. Takahashi tried to sacrifice and laid a bunt down the third base line. Uehara got to it and then slipped and fell down. He threw to first anyway and Takahashi was safe and now the bags were juiced. Nomura drilled a shot to right to score Arai, but rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi threw Nomura out at first and he isn't exactly slow. Takuya Kimura singled to right to push the other Kimura in. Cho Sung-min replaced Uehara and Diaz flew to right to drive in Takahashi. Kanemoto singled to right and centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to center and Kimura jogged in and it was 6-2 Carp.
Hector Almonte started the eighth for the Giants and the first man he saw, Arai, mugged him for a roundtripper center backscreen style to make it 7-2. Yomiuri did very little from that point forward and they went back to the hotel with a W in pocket.
Matsui, who is hitting .332, was 3-4, the fifth time this season he has had three or more safeties in a contest.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-2 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .329.
K. Takahashi (W,
4-4) IP 7.2 PC 113 H 8 HR 2 K 6 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.94
Kobayashi IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.57
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.15
6-3) IP 6.1 PC 123 H 10 HR
0 K 5 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.31
Cho IP 0.1 PC 11 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.65
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.00
Kawamoto IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: T. Kimura
2B: S. Nomura, Nishi
HR: Arai (10), H. Matsui (13), S. Abe (4)
RBI: Arai, H. Matsui, S. Abe, S. Nomura, T. Kimura, Diaz 2, Kanemoto, Ogata
GIDP: T. Maeda, S. Abe
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Yomiuri 6
Season Series: Hiroshima 4, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 3:27
Umpires: Honda (HP), Manabe (1B), Ino (2B), Tani (3B)
Yoshimi Just Good Enough as Gulan Bomb Puts Dragons Away
Yokohama Bay Stars hurler Yuji Yoshimi wasn't all that hot, not being able to get an out in the sixth before being given the hook after surrendering three runs, but he was better than Chunichi Dragons starter Kenta Asakura, who was rocked for five runs in just over five innings due to his walking everybody but your dog during his stint in a 7-4 Stars win. Shortstop Takuro Ishii, catcher Ryoji Aikawa and third baseman Mike Gulan each had two RBIs to spearhead the Yokohama attack.
Ishii lead the game off with a walk and was sacrificed to second. First baseman Takahiro Saeki singled to right and Ishii motored in to make it 1-0 Yokohama.
Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome came up, though, in the bottom of the inning and jacked an Asakura offeirng into the centerfield seats to tie it at 1-1.
A walk cost Yoshimi in the fifth, when leftfielder Jun Inoue finagled one to leadoff the inning and was sacrificed to second and then sent plateward with a single to center from shortstop Hirokazu Ibata to put the Dragons in front 2-1.
In the top of the sixth and one out, Asakura walked the bases loaded. Aikawa singled to left to put Yokohama in the lead 3-2. Yoshimi sacrificed the runners along and Ishii converted them with a single to center to make it 5-2 Stars.
Yoshimi had nothing in the bottom half. Fukudome kicked it off with a single to center.First baseman Leo Gomez walked. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to right to send Fukudome in and knock Yoshimi out of the game. Three relievers got the nest three hitters to cut this rebellion off at the knees.
In the top of the ninth, outfielder Kazunori Tanaka cracked a one out single to center and one out later Gulan tucked a pitch from Shotsu into the rightfield seats for two important insurance runs and it was 7-3.
The win halted a seven game losing streak to the Dragons for Yokohama as well as ended a three game losing skid.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 0-3 with a walk and is at .262.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 1-5 with two RBIs and is at .243. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-1 with three walks and an error and is at .244.
3-2) IP 5.0 PC 96 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Azuma IP 0.1 PC 4 H 9 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Kizuka IP 2.1 PC 37 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.96
Taskeshita IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.05
5-3) IP 5.1 PC 103 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 5 R 5 ER 5 ERA
T. Ogasawara IP 1.1 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Endo IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.29
Shotsu IP 2.0 PC 33 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.80
HR: Gulan (8), Fukudome (9)
RBI: Ibata, Fukudome, Tatsunami, T. Ishii 2, Saeki, Gulan 2, Ryoji Aikawa 2
LOB: Yokohama 8, Chunichi 7
Season Series: Yokohama 2, Chunichi 7
Game Time: 3:35
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Nishimoto (1B), Mori (2B), Watamari (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 1st and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1961, none of the Central League teams were observing the rule against players from one team riding those of the other and thus an executive commmitte of the circuit reprimanded all six clubs.
Also on that day in 1973, fans angered by Lotte Orions manager Masaichi Kaneda's remark about the Taiheiyo Lions playing "farmer baseball," gathered chanting "get Kaneda out here!" and riot police had to be called.
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