Gary Garland / the japanese insider
June 30, 2002
No games scheduled.
Kisanuki Pitches Well in Complete Game Loss Against U.S. University All Star Team
Asia University righthander Hiroshi Kisanuki held an American collegiate all star squad to two runs and seven hits over eight innings while striking out nine, but absorbed the loss when the Japan team could only manage two hits in a 2-0 defeat Sunday at City Bank Park in Central Islip, NY. Mariners international scouting head Ted Heid evaluated, "I saw him last year, but his growth as a pitcher since this spring has been remarkable." A Dodgers scout was also keeping a close eye on Kisanuki while he threw in the bullpen. An Orix scout noted that Kisanuki's arm has good whipping action. Of course, what isn't said is that is going to lead to injury later on, so we'll see how durable he is after he turns pro. You can see a pic of his delivery at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020702-5.jpg
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 30th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1964 at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, Carp infielder Junro Anan tried to move the runners on first and second over on a sac bunt, but popped it up in the air. Hanshin Tigers submariner Midori Ishikawa went for the ball and thought he had caught it in the air, but plate umpire Inada said it was a trap. As soon as the umpire made the call, the runners took off. Ishikawa threw to second and then the ball was relayed to first for what Hanshin thought was a triple play since they thought that the ball had been cut off in flight. Of course, upon finding out it had been called a trap, the Hanshin players objected. The umpiring crew huddled and the call was changed to a catch and thus the triple play was made valid.
Hiroshima's manager and players weren't about to accept the new call and the arguing carried on for two hours. The umpires even offered a compromise, calling Anan out and resuming the game with there being one out and men on first and second. The Hanshin side wasn't going for that, so at the two hour and 29 minute mark of the rhubarb, the umpires called the game, citing their "misjudgement." It was now 9:52 in the evening. When this was announced to the crowd, about a thousand fans stormed the field and began rioting, throwing rocks at the broadcast booth and just generally tearing the place apart. The police finally restored order at around 11:00 p.m. and it lead to the entire series with Hanshin being cancelled due to the destruction waged on the facilities.
Muffed Sac Bunt by Iriki Leads to Big Yakult Rally and Giants Loss
A throwing error on a sacrifice bunt by Yomiuri Giants starter Yusaku Iriki enabled the Yakult Swallows to rally from a 6-2 deficit Saturday to tie it up in the sixth inning and then go on to victory with three runs in the eighth off of reliever Tsuyoshi Jobe by a 9-6 score. Yakult righthander Ryota Igarashi scooped up his sixth shiroboshi of the year after striking out the side in his one inning stint.
Kevin Hodges, who has basically eaten the Giants for lunch in four previous starts against them, was thumped for six runs, four earned, in five innings to miss a chance to match Terry Bross' team record for wins by a foreigner in a season against their crosstown enemies, ultimately getting a no decision when the Swallows staged their comeback.
Centerfielder Hideki Matsui ignited a Giants rally in the second inning, doubling off the rightfield fence. Hodges then plunked first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara and both were moved up on a sac bunt. Yakult catcher Atsuya Furuta then allowed a pitch to get by him for a passed ball and a 1-0 Giants lead. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to center and it was 2-0 Yomiuri.
Yakult returned the favor in the bottom half. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to right, as did third baseman Akinori Iwamura. Both men were sent along on a sac bunt and Hodges singled to left to knot it at two all.
In the fifth, the Giants put four on the board. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu singled to right with one out. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka did likewise. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi doubled down the leftfield line to drive in Shimizu. Matsui then creamed one over the rightfield fence and it was 6-2 Yomiuri.
Yakult, though, steamed back in the sixth when Ramirez singled to left and Iwamura singled to right. Second baseman Hajime Miki then endeavored to sacrifice and Iriki hurried his throw and missed the first baseman to permit Ramirez to cross. Pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama walked to load the bases. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka grounded to second to convert Iwamura. Hector Almonte was summoned from the pen and shortstop Shinya Miyamoto grounded to short and Miki was in to make it a one run game at 6-5. That should have been the third out of the inning. Shinichi Sato singled to left for an RBI and the 6-6 tie.
In the eighth, stuck the knife in. Manaka and Miyamoto both singled to left with one out. Sato fanned, but first baseman Roberto Petagine was intentionally walked to load the bases. Furuta singled to center and Manaka and Miyamoto hit the dish to make it 8-6. Ramirez walked. Iwamura singled to left and Petagine made it in and now the Swallows were in the driver's seat at 9-6. Yakult closer Shingo Takatsu worked a 1-2-3 ninth to seal it.
For Yakult, Petagine was 0-2 with two walks and a hit batter and is at .298. Ramirez was 2-4 with a walk and is at .323.
IP 5.0 PC 97 H 8 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 6 ER 2 ERA 2.96
Kawamoto IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Almonte IP 0.1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.46
Y. Maeda IP 1.1 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Jobe (L, 1-2) IP 0.2 PC 30 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.91
Okajima IP 0.1 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.90
IP 5.0 PC 91 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 6 ER 4 ERA 2.83
Teramura IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.58
Newman IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.63
R. Igarashi (W, 6-1) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.29
Takatsu (S, 19) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.13
E: Murata, Y. Iriki
2B: H. Matsui, Y. Takahashi,
HR: H. Matsui (15)
RBI: H. Matsui 3, Y. Takahashi, Nishi, Manaka, S. Miyamoto, H. Sato, Furuta 2, Iwamura, Hodges 2
HBP: Kiyohara (Hodges), Petagine (Y. Iriki)
LOB: Yomiuri 4, Yakult 11
Season Series: Yomiuri 8, Yakult 8
Game Time: 3:40
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Sasaki (1B), Kasahara (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
June 29, 2002
Hanshin Ends Losing Streak with 10th Inning Sayonara Victory
The Hanshin Tigers, 0 for June at Koshien Stadium, their homeground, coming into this game, got a two out looper off the bat of pinch hitter Koji Hirashita in the bottom of the tenth that tipped off the glove of Yokohama Bay stars shortstop Takuro Ishii that drove in catcher Akihiro Yano from second for a 4-3 sayonara victory, their first triumph in their last nine tries. Mark Valdez was credited with his first Japan win with a dominant two innings, striking out four in a row after entering the contest.
Trey Moore started for Hanshin and threw a solid seven innings of three run ball on seven hits, striking out five and walking two. Yuji Yoshimi, the man on the hill for the Stars, was even better, surrendering three runs on five hits in seven innings and fanning seven while walking one. Neither figured in the decision.
Yokohama jumped in front first, as rightfielder Boi Rodrigues hammered a Moore delivery over the rightfield wall for a 1-0 lead with one out in the second. Rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura singled to right. Leftfielder Masaaki Koike singled to center and Tamura motored to third. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura flied out to right and Tamura tagged and scored to make it 2-0 Yokohama.
In the third, Moore dug a little bit of a hole for himself, but escaped unscathed. With one out, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to right and third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa walked. Centerfielder Ernie Young struckout, but Rodrigues walked to load the bases. Tamura, though, struckout and disaster was averted.
Yokohama had men on second with one out in both the fourth and fifth, but Moore shut those problems down.
In the sixth, Hanshin roused itself and halved the Stars advantage. Yano leadoff with a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third by Moore. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka flied out to right and Yano crossed and it was 2-1.
Rodrigues, however, took Moore on a downtown tour to the righthand side in the eighth and the Stars were back up by a deuce at 3-1.
Hanshin centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka responded by going to the opposite field on a 1-1 88mph fastball from Yoshimi in the home segment and rebounded it off the rightifield foul pole to shrink the Hanshin deficit to 3-2. Leftfielder Derrick White walked and Yoshimi was removed by manager Masaaki Mori, with Azuma being inserted in his place. Yano sacrificed White to second. One out later, Imaoka rammed an 89mph fastball up through the middle to knot it at three apiece.
In the bottom of the tenth, Yano doubled with two gone down the leftfield line. Hirashita then was jammed on an 89mph fastball and fisted it over short, where Ishii turned his back and pursued it. He got his glove on it, but couldn't hold it as Yano made a beeline for the plate and Hiroashita had his first career sayonara hit and Hanshin had a W in the bank.
For Yokohama, Young was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .170. Rodrigues was 2-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .276.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .269. White was 0-2 with a walk and is at .255.
IP 7.0 PC 97 H 5 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.45
Azuma IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.21
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.42
Sugimoto (L, 1-1) IP 0.2 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.97
IP 8.0 PC 118 H 7 HR 2 K 5 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.11
M. Valdez (W, 1-1) IP 2.0 PC 29 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.76
2B: Yano 2
HR: Rodrigues 2 (13), Hamanaka (10)
RBI: Rodrigues 2, T. Nakamura, Imaoka 2, Hamanaka, Hirashita
SF: T. Nakamura, Imaoka
LOB: Yokohama 6, Hanshin 3
Season Series: Yokohama 4, Hanshin 11
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Kittaka (1B0, Tsuchiyama (2B), Tani (3B)
Powell Wins Ninth Straight for Kintetsu 4-3
There is nobody hotter in baseball anywhere in the world than Jeremy Powell, who notched his ninth consecutive win with a 4-3 Kintetsu Buffaloes victory over the Daiei Hawks Saturday at Fukuoka Dome behind two run homers from first baseman Yuji Yoshioka and DH Kenshi Kawaguchi, as well as a bizarre triple play in the seventh. Closer Akira Okamoto racked up his 17th save for the Buffs.
Daiei starter Akichika Yamada was the victin of all four Kintetsu tallies, though he was hardly getting hit around. He just made a couple of mistakes and paid huge for them in his 5.1 innings.
Powell looked a little shaky in the first, as Daiei centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff with a triple into the rightfield corner and then headed home on a two bag scorcher into the rightcenter alley by leftfielder Pedro Valdez. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi beat out a roller toward short. But Powell induced a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to keep it at 1-0 Hawks.
In the top of the second, Kintetsu leapfrogged over their Fukuoka opponents. Kawaguchi leadoff with a one out double to rightcenter. Yoshioka then got a hold of a Yamada delivery and catapulted it over the leftfield fence and now it was 2-1 Buffs.
Two innings later, a knock and a blast put the Buffs firmly in control. With one down, third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to right. Kawaguchi then mortared a hot over the rightcenterfield wall to make it 4-1 Kintetsu.
The Buffs loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but a 4-6-3 double play ball killed that chance.
In the bottom of the seventh, Daiei third baseman Hiroki Kokubo went yard to leftcenter for the 17th time this season and it was 4-2 Buffs. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka then beat out a tapper. DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to left. Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki attempted to sacrifice on a two strike count and whiffed on a curve ball. Catcher Tetsuya Matoyama then winged it to second to get Matsunaka, who was trying to cheat a bit in anticipation of Kawasaki laying the ball down. During the rundown, Omichi endeavored to sneak into second, but his timing was bad and he was tagged out after Matsunaka was likewise done in, a triple play. Now THAT is running yourself out of an inning.
Daiei outfielder Arihito Muramatsu doubled to left with one away in the eighth and Kintetsu manager Masataka Nishida went to the pen for Yamamoto. One out later, Valdez spanked an RBI single to right. Okamoto relieved Yamamoto and Iguchi singled to center. Now with the winning run on first, Okamoto lured Kokubo to fly out to left to keep his side ahead 4-3.
Kintetsu made a little noise in the eighth but couldn't covert against Rodney Pedraza. Okamoto returned to the center of the diamond and put away three of the final four hitters to put it in the refrigerator for the Osaka contingent.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .283.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-5 and is at .275.
Powell (W, 9-3) IP
7.1 PC 114 H 9 HR 1 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.14
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
A. Okamoto (S, 17) IP 1.1 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.45
A. Yamada (L, 4-5) IP 5.1 PC 95 H 5 HR 2 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Matsu IP 2.1 PC 33 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kurano IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.76
Pedraza IP 0.2 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
S. Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
2B: Kawaguchi, Matoyama, P. Valdez, Muramtasu
HR: Yoshioka (8), Kawaguchi (3), Kokubo (17)
RBI: Kawaguchi 2, Yoshioka 2, Kokubo, P. Valdez 2
HBP: Yoshioka (Matsu)
LOB: Kintetsu 8, Daiei 5
Season Series: Kintetsu 6, Daiei 7, 1 tie
Game Time: 3:43
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Sato (1B), Maeda (2B), Kodera (3B)
Wada Homer in the Eighth Vanquishes Nippon Ham 4-3
Seibu Lions DH Kazuhiro Wada sustained a hairline knee fracture ealier this season and made a speedy recovery. Saturday, he fractured a pitch from Nippon Ham reliever Kato in the eighth and landed it beyond the centerfield wall to break a 3-3 tie to enable the Lions to break a little two game losing streak and seize the day at 4-3.
Nippon Ham got on the board in the bottom of the first, as shortstop Makoto Kaneko leadoff with a single to right, was sacrificed to second, went to third when Seibu starter Takashi Ishii walked the next two men to load the bases, rightfielder Yukio Tanaka lofted a sac fly to right and leftfielder D.T. Cromer singled to center to plate first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara for a 2-0 Fighters lead.
Nippon Ham starter Satoru Kanemura, who otherwise had a very credible outing, didn't hold that advantage long. With one out in the second, leftfielder Susumu Otomo singled to left. One out later, catcher Satoshi Nakajima singled to center.Kanemura wild pitched both men up a base. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi singled to left and both runners scurried around to knot it 2-2.
Kanemura then left a hittable pitch in the strike zone to third baseman Tom Evans in the fourth to left and it was 3-2 Lions.
However, Seibu starter Takashi Ishii, who has been out until recently with an injury and hasn't won in more than two months, saw one of his pitches brutalized by Cromer, the ball clattering around the leftfield seats to deadlock it at 3-3.
Kanemura gave way to Tatsuhito Kato in the eighth
and with one out, Wada pulled his hands inside a pitch that was about letter
high in the zone and managed to get it past the centerfield fence for what
was ultimately the game winner. You'll see why I said "managed" when you
see the photo of Wada's swing on the longball. The pitch had gotten on him,
but he got the head of the bat on it and still had enough batspeed left to
goose it out of the park:
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 1-3 with a walk and is at .244. Cromer was 2-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .272.
For Seibu, Evans was 2-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .328.
Takashi Ishii (W, 3-1) IP 7.0 PC 106 H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 5 R 3 ER
3 ERA 2.78
Doi IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.04
Mori IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Toyoda (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.72
IP 6.0 PC 113 H 8 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.62
T. Kato (L, 0-1) IP 1.1 PC 22 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.20
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
N. Takahashi IP 0.2 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
SB: K. Matsui, Shibata
2B: Evans, Ide
HR: Evans (6), Wada (9), Cromer (13)
RBI: Evans, Wada, H. Takagi 2, Cromer 2, Y. Tanaka
LOB: Seibu 7, Nippon Ham 8
Season Series: Seibu 9, Nippon Ham 5
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Yanagida (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Akimura (3B)
Tachikawa Slam Paves Way for Bombardment of Koo, Kase in Lotte Victory
Lotte rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa basically took over what had been a 2-1 ballgame in the sixth inning Saturday at Chiba Marine Stadium, smashing a grand slam in the sixth and a solo bomb in the seventh for a total of five RBIs on the day, as the home team administered a 7-3 defeat to Koo Dae-sung and the Orix Blue Wave 7-3. The four earned runs that Koo was charged with in his five inning stint "inflated" his ERA from 1.57 to 1.86 and evened his record at 4-4. Furthermore, it pulled Lotte out of last place in the PL for the first time this season and ended a personal three game losing skein by starter Naoyuki Shimizu.
Lotte ended a 14 inning scoreless streak against Koo in the bottom of the second, as third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba bashed one into the leftfield seats to make it 1-0.
Orix charged back in the fourth, however,. shortstop Makoto Shiozaki pinged a one out double off the leftfield wall and then jogged all the way around on a belt into the leftfield stands from centerfielder Koji Takamizawa and it was 2-1 Blue Wave.
The sixth, though, was Tachikawa's, and thus Lotte's. Centerfielder Saburo Omura leadoff with an infield hit. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka came up and when he swung, Orix catcher Takeshi Hidaka was called for interference and Kosaka was awarded first base. Koo walked first baseman Kazuya Fukuura to pack the sacks. Koo ran an 0-2 slider on the inner half of the plate up there and Tachikawa crushed it to left for his first pro grand slam and it was 5-2 Lotte.
In the seventh, Lotte used the deep ball again, as Fukuura homered into the rightfield seats with two outs and then Tachikawa made it back to back jacks with a shot to left to expand the gap between them and Orix to 7-2. Tachikawa has hit in all four of the games in which he has been slotted in the four hole.
Orix put men on first and second in the eighth with nobody out, but couldn't even advance the runners. Lotte reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi struckout the side in the ninth, but not before being mugged for a solo sock to left by leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani and that's how it ended, 7-3 Lotte.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol took home a golden sombrero (four times up, four strikeouts) and is at .218. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was only slightly less dire, throwing in three empties in four hitless at bats to sink to .220.
Koo (L, 4-4) IP 5.0 PC 88 H 6 HR
2 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 4 ERA 1.86
Tokano IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.01
Kase IP 0.1 PC 12 H 3 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Hagiwara IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
N. Shimizu (W, 5-4 ) IP 8.0 PC 132 H 7 HR 1 K 9 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.26
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
2B: Shiotani, Shiozaki
HR: Takamizawa (3), Shiotani (3), Hatsushiba (8), Tachikawa 2 (3), Fukuura (3)
RBI: Takamizawa 2, Shiotani, Hatsushiba, Tachikawa 5, Fukuura
Catcher's Interference: Hidaka
LOB: Orix 6, Lotte 5
Season Series: Orix 7, Lotte 5
Game Time: 2:57
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Kanemoto Three Run Homer Puts Dragons Away 10-4
Hiroshima Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto capped off a six run fifth inning rally by jackhammering a pitch from Chunichi Dragons starter Takashi Ogasawara into the rightfield seats at Nagoya Dome with two men on, as the Red Hell went on to amass a total of 12 hits in a 10-4 cakewalk over the darlings of Aichi Prefecture Saturday. Ken Takahashi was strong for the visitors, weaving seven innings of two run ball on eight hits and striking out six to level his record at 6-6.
The Dragons got the jump on the Carp, when catcher Motonobu Tanishige dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 on Takahashi for a 1-0 lead in the third.
Ogasawara had been sailing along for the first four innings, having been touched for just two hits, one an infield safety, but then he capsized in the fifth. Rightfielder Kojiro Machida leadoff with single to center. Third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to right and catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to left to juice the bags. One out later, centerfielder Koichi Ogata walked to force in the tying run. Takuya Kimura singled to right for two RBIs. After another out, Kanemoto put one in the no deposit, no return section in right and it was 6-1 Carp.
In the bottom of the sixth, Chunichi chipped one off of that lead with a double to right by rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome, a one out infield hit by second baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami and a sac fly to right by third baseman Hiroyuki Watanabe to make it 6-2.
Hiroshima saw that one and raised them another three in the seventh. Ogata commenced it with a single to left. Shortstop Takuya Kimura walked. One out later, Kanemoto worked a freebie to fill the bases. First baseman Luis Lopez cleared them when he tripled to center and then he was back in the dugout himself on a single to center by backup rightfielder Jun Hirose and it was a blowout at 10-2 Carp.
The Dragons put up a pair in the eighth, but it would be too little, too late. Fukudome leadoff with a double down the leftfield line. First baseman Leo Gomez walked. Tatsunami then lasered a double into the rightcenter alley and both men sprinted in to make it 10-4.
Chunichi squeeked out two infield hits in the ninth, but that was the last of what they had and Rob Stanifer turned out the lights when he induced a ground ball from Fukudome for the final out of the battle.
For Hiroshima, Lopez was 1-4 with three RBIs and is at .263. Second baseman Eddie Diaz was 0-3 with a walk and is at .313.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 0-3 and is at .269. Scott
Bullet was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .192.
K. Takahashi (W, 6-6) IP 7.0 PC 118 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER
2 ERA 3.27
Tamaki IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.75
Stanifer IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.02
T. Ogasawara (L, 5-3) IP 5.0 PC 91 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB
2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.34
Kuriyama IP 2.0 PC 58 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 18.00
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.57
2B: Fukudome 2, Tatsunami
HR: Kanemoto (10), Tanishige (11)
RBI: Kanemoto 3, Lopez 3, T. Kimura 2, Hirose, Ogata, Tanishige, H.Y. Watanabe, Tatsunami 2
SF: H.Y. Watanabe
HBP: Diaz (T. Ogasawara)
GIDP: Lopez,.T. Kimura, Haru, Ibata
LOB: Hiroshima 5, Chunichi 8
Season Series: Hiroshima 9, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:26
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Honda (1B), Fukatani (2B), Ino (3B)
Wada's 181 Pitch CG Leads Japanese Collegians to Victory
Waseda University southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada went all 11 innings Saturday at Harbor Yard Stadium in Bridgeport, CT in a 4-3 sayonara victory to even the series with a team of American university all stars at one all.
Wada started the game by striking out both of the first two men he faced and amassed nine K's total while permitting three runs, all before the fifth. After that, he started using his breaking pitches more and shut the U.S. attack down over the final six innings.
Dodgers scout Ron Ridge is quoted by Sports Nippon as stating that Wada "he uses his off speed pitches really well. If Ishii is an attacking type pitcher, Wada is a brains type pitcher."
Whan asked about Wada delivering to the plate so many times in the game, U.S. manager Prado (?) said, "unbelievable. I've never seen a pitcher go all the way in an extra inning game. If I left a pitcher out there that long, I'd get sued. Since he threw so long, we won't have to face him again, right?" the skipper joked.
Female Pitcher Makes Start on Mound in Japanese Club Tournament
Tomomi Yamamoto, a 25 year old lefthander, started on the mound for DTJ Fukuoka against the Oita Hercules, each Kyushu club teams, in a tournament of Kyushu adult baseballers, the first time that has been done in the history of Japanese adult amateur baseball, according to Nikkan Sports.
Yamamoto is a graduate of Kyushu Women's Junior College who has played for a woman's professional baseball team in the U.S. called the Florida Regents as well as U.S. semi-pro ball. Stuffwise, she has a 66mph fastball and a curve ball. Physically, she is 5'1" with a regular female build. You can see a pic of her at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020630-9.jpg
In the above mentioned start, she faced seven men and got one out while walking two and giving up a three run homer during a six run shelling on 17 pitches before being yanked in a 22-0 defeat.
It's Like Ichiro Never Left
With making it in the big leagues like he has, Ichiro is becoming almost omnipresent back home in Japan. See Seattle Times story at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134485024_ichiro30.html
Quote of the Week
Larry Stone of the Seattle Times in his weekly MLB power rankings on number 28 out of 30 Milwaukee Brewers: "All the accumen of WorldCom, the vision of Enron." Obviously, THAT Bud is not for him. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134484963_power30.html
Kindelan Cranks 420 Foot Homer in Shidax Victory
Former Cuban national team member Orestes Kindelan slugged an eighth inning two run homer deep into the leftfield seats at Seibu Dome for Shidax against Tokyo Gas Saturday to bring his club from a run back to one ahead, as Shidax won the day 6-5. That was his first longball since coming to the club, which is in Japan's industrial league.
Kindelan's side was won 4-3 in the eighth, but with two down and a man on first, he got a 1-0 fastball down and on the inner half of the plate and mashed a towering drive 420 feet away from home plate. He also had an RBI single to accompany the dinger.
Kindelan was a .313 career hitter in Cuba with 487 homers and 1511 RBIs and industrial league officials are hoping that his presence will generate more interest in their product.
After the game was over, Kindelan spent time with fans, signing autographs and having his picture taken. There is also talk of having him do clinics for little leaguers.
Another Cuban player, Antonio Pacheco, went 0-4 and is 0 for Japan so far.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 29th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1946, Nippon Kangyo Bank sold lottery tickets where the winners would win ducats to a Yomiuri Giants game at Korakuen Stadium.
Also on this date in 1952, the Daiei Stars were victimized by two triple plays in a game against the Mainichi Orions at Kawasaki Stadium, the only time one team has ever suffered that indignity in the same contest. The Stars were later merged with the Orions and the club became known as the Daimai Orions.
Yokohama Knows When to Holt 'em and Hanshin Does the Folding
By the time you've read this, Hanshin Tigers starter Shinji Taninaka will be a reliever, since he got demoted after this abortion of a start in which he went just four innings and surrendered six runs, all earned, on eight hits, three of those homers, as Yokohama Bay Stars starter Chris Holt, who was just good enough to get credit for the win, was able to make it to the end of the seventh inning and handed the Tigers their eighth straight defeat, the first time in two years they had dropped so many consecutively. The Central League race is now so tight that the Osaka nine is in danger of sinking to fifth place if they don't improve things pronto.
Taninaka put the Stars lineup away in order in the first, but couldn't surmount centerfielder Ernie Young in the top of the second, as the former Diamondback took a slow curve and blowed it up real good into the leftfield seats for a 1-0 Yokohama lead.
Hanshin equalized it in their ups in the same stanza, first baseman George Arias beating out a tapper toward third, going to second on a groundout and coming around on a broken bat first pitch single by centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to make it 1-1. That was Hamanaka's first non-homer RBI in 15 games.
Taninaka then had some control issues in the third. With two away, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to center and first baseman Takahiro Saeki singled to left. Young walked to pack the sacks. And so did rightfielder Boi Rodrigues, to force in Taneda and it was 2-1 Yokohama.
The Tigers managed to overcome that obstacle, too, when their turn came. Taninaka singled to right and was sacrificed to second. One out later, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka singled to center and Taninaka crossed with the leveler at 2-2.
The Stars, perhaps weary of that routine, put the game away in the fourth. Hitoshi Tamura leadoff with a blast into the centerfield seats. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura singled to right. Holt moved him with a sac bunt. One out later, Taneda beat out a little ground ball toward short. Saeki stepped up and got a little slider, little because it didn't have much break on it and was in a decent location, but Saeki got it all anyway and lost it in the rightfield stands for a three run homer and a 6-2 Yokohama advantage.
Holt was shaken down again in the home half. Hamanaka cracked a one out single to left. Leftfielder Derrick White launched his first homer in 113 at bats and 36 games, delighting some lucky fan in the leftfield bleachers to bring his team within 6-4. Hanshin wouldn't do a thing with Holt from there on in except for a double to leftcenter from second baseman Makoto Imaoka in the seventh with two out. Imaoka was stranded when Holt whiffed catcher Akihiro Yano to end the inning, the score now 6-4.
In the sixth, Yokohama grabbed an insurance run when shortstop Takuro Ishii walked and was sacrificed to second, Saeki walked, Young was hit with a pitch to crowd the basepaths again and Rodrigues flied out to right to plate Ishii and make it 7-4 Stars.
Hanshin got a one out double from Arias with one gone in the eighth, but Hiyama struckout and Hamanaka lined to third to extinguish that threat and then Yokohama closer Takashi Saito struckout the side in the ninth to save it.
Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto, who struckout twice in three hitless trips to go down to .189, was demoted to the minors. Manager Senichi Hoshino was reportedly especially upset with a mental error that Fujimoto made in being tardy to cover second in the sixth. Accompanying Fujimoto on the bus to the minors was White, who has been in a long slide at the plate.
The Hanshin offense hasn't generated a lead in 59 innings and the opposition has gotten in front first in 12 of the club's 16 June confrontations.
For Yokohama, Young was 1-3 with an RBI, a walk
and an HBP and is at .184. Rodrigues was 1-2 with two RBIs and two walks
and is at .269. For fans of Holt, you can see a pic of his delivery at:
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-4 and is at .273. White was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .258.
Holt (W, 3-1) IP 7.0 PC 89 H 7
HR 1 K 7 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.39
Takeshita IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.52
Azuma IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.46
T. Saito (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Taninaka (L, 4-5) IP 4.0 PC 83 H 8 HR 3 K 4 BB 2 R 6 ER
6 ERA 4.27
Yoshino IP 0.0 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Hesaka IP 1.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T.H. Hashimoto IP 0.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 33.75
Kanazawa IP 1.2 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
Fukuhara IP 2.0 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.42
E: Young, Ogawa
2B: Imaoka, Arias
HR: Young (5), Tamura (1), Saeki (1), White (7)
RBI: Young, Tamura, Saeki 3, Rodrigues 2, Kataoka, Hamanaka, White 2
HBP: Young (Kanazawa), Hamanaka (Holt)
LOB: Yokohama 9, Hanshin 5
Season Series: Yokohama 4, Hanshin 10
Game Time: 3:22
Umpires: Mori (HP), Tsuchiyama (1B), Tani (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Kaneko Sayonara Single Downs Seibu 2-1
Seibu Lions starter Koji Mitsui and Nippon Ham moundsman Itsuki Shoda were both excellent Friday at Tokyo Dome, each permitting one run on four and three hits respectively, but neither figured in the decision, which went to Fighters reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa when shortstop Makoto Kaneko sinngled to center in the bottom of the ninth with the bases loaded for a 2-1 sayonara victory at the expense of Shinji Mori, who absorbed his fifth loss.
An error by second baseman Takaya Hayashi made the lone Lions run possible. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff the game with a two bagger up the leftcenter alley. One out later, first baseman Toshiaki Inubushi grounded to Hayashi, who let it get through him, and Matsui wheeled on in for a 1-0 advantage.
Nippon Ham then would capitalize on a mistake from Mitsui to knot it up. With one out in the sixth, Mistui nailed rightfielder Kazuteru Shimada, who was then pinch run for by Morimoto, who proceeded to steal second while third baseman Yukio Tanaka was striking out. Toshihiro Noguchi was then sent up to hit for leftfielder D.T. Cromer, who had struckout in his two at bats up to that point. Noguchi singled to left and Morimoto dashed in to make it 1-1.
Nothing happened after that until the bottom of the ninth. Tanaka walked to lead it off and was pinch run for by Shigeyuki Furuki. Noguchi, now in rightfield, bunted. Mori attempted to get Furuki at second and failed, both men reaching safely. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide sacrificed Furuki and Noguchi to third and second. Pinch hitter Kuniyuki Kimoto was intentionally walked to set up a force at every base. Kaneko got a 2-2 hanging forkball and spanked it into leftcenter for his second sayonara knock of the year. It also put Nippon Ham back at .500.
For Seibu, third baseman Tom Evans was 1-3 with a walk and is at .317.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 1-3 with a walk and is at .243. Cromer had the two whiffs in two at bats and is at .267.
IP 7.2 PC 132 H 4 HR 0 K 10 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.55
Aoki IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.21
Mori (L, 3-5 ) IP 0.1 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.72
IP 8.0 PC 139 H 3 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.21
Shibakusa (W, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
E: Hayashi, Sanematsu
2B: K. Matsui, Evans, Hayashi, Kaneko
RBI: Kaneko, Noguchi
Catcher's Interference: Sanematsu
HBP: H. Takagi (Shoda), Kaneko (Mitsui), Shimada (Mitsui)
LOB: Seibu 7, Nippon Ham 10
Season Series: Seibu 8, Nippon Ham 5
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Akimura (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Takahashi Gets First Career June Win as Giants Edge Swallows 4-3
They say that all good things come to an end at one time or another. Well, sometimes, so do some bad things. Friday at a packed Meiji Jingu Stadium, despite being lit up for one of Yakult Swallows first baseman Roberto Petagine's two homers, Yomiuri Giants starter Hisanori Takahashi grabbed his first career June win by taking a 4-3 decision over their crosstown rival Swallows. Takahashi, who, after a dismal spring, has been little short of spectacular once the bell rang, is now 6-1. He went 6.1 innings and surrendered five hits and one earned run.
The Giants got busy from the word go, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu belted a double to leftcenter to begin the game and then galloped around on a scorcher up the rightcenter alley from shortstop Tomohiro Nioka off of Swallows starter Shugo Fujii. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi walked. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui put the good wood on another Fujii delivery, but it was right at rightfielder Shinichi Sato for the first out. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara then spanked a single to center and Nioka was back in the dugout with a 2-0 Giants lead.One out later, second baseman Toshihisa Nishi cannonaded a triple into the rightcenter gap and Kiyohara and Takahashi were in uncontested and the Giants had a whopping 4-0 advantage.
Fortunately for Yakult, Fujii, who saw his pitches reaching the plate up in the zone in that disastrous initial frame, made some immediate adjustments and shut the Kyojin attack down on one hit during the remainder of his seven inning stint and waited in the hope that his side could mount a comeback. In the fourth, Petagine brought some major pain to a Takahashi offering and went to leftcenter anjd over the fence to make it 4-1 Giants.
Takahashi was saling along, working the outside corner and then finishing the hitters off with his sinker until the seventh, when leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to left to lead it off. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked. Second baseman Hajime Miki grounded out. Manager Tatsunori Hara went to the mound and pulled Takahashi in favor of Jeon Min-tae when Takahiro Ikeyama was sent up by Swallows manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu to hit for Fujii. Ikeyama walked to put the tying run on first. But centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka flew out to shallow center and shortstop Shinya Miyamoto bounced out to Jeon to snuff a promising rally.
In the eighth, Petagine went yard again, this time to left and it was 4-2.
Junichi Kawahara came on in the bottom of the ninth to try to close it out and Iwamura welcomed him with a solo jack to center. Now each hitter would be the potential leveler, but the next three batter went meekly and the Swallows lost another game in the standings.
Kiyohara was hit by a pitch from Yakult reliever Ryu Kawabata in the eighth and suffered a bruise on his left pinky, but isn't expected to miss any playing time.
Yakult catcher Atsuya Furuta was 0-3 in this one against Takahashi and is now 0-31 in his career against him.
Petagine has slugged two homers in a game 13 times in his four seasons in Japan. His single season high in that department is six, which he accomplished in 1999. He also has 33 lifetime bombs off of Giants hurlers.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 2-4 and is at .320. Petagine was 2-3 with a walk and two RBIs and is at .302.
H. Takahashi (W, 6-1) IP 6.1 PC 112 H 5 HR 1 K 7 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.11
Jeon IP 1.2 PC 19 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
J. Kawahara (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Fujii (L, 5-3) IP 7.0
PC 102 H 5 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.50
Hagiwara IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.65
Matsuda IP 0.1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.77
Newman IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.71
2B: T. Shimizu, Nioka, S. Miyamoto
HR: Petagine 2 (17), Iwamura (8), Nioka, Kiyohara, Nishi 2
RBI: Petagine 2, Iwamura,
HBP: Kiyohara (Kawabata)
LOB: Yomiuri 6, Yakult 7
Season Series: Yomiuri 8, Yakult 7
Game Time: 3:06
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kasahara (1B), Kiuchi (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Hiroshima Keeps Dragons from Taking Sole Possession of Third 8-7
For the first time in 11 games, the Hiroshima Carp batting order generated double figures in hits, tying their season high with 15, as they went on to edge the Chunichi Dragons 8-7 at Nagoya Dome Friday. Dragons third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami drilled a grand slam homer and drove in a total of seven runs to account for all of that outfit's tallies. The loss was Chunichi's 16th one run defeat of the year.
Centerfielder Koichi Ogata gave an indication that Chunichi starter Kenta Asakura, who hasn't won a game since May 19th, didn't have his best stuff, as the veteran outfielder leadoff the contest with a shot into the leftcenterfield bleachers. Two outs later, leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto lofted another delivery over the centerfield wall and it was 2-0 Carp.
Yasushi Tsuruta started for the Carp and wouldn't get past the first inning, as shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to left and Hiroyuki Watanabe beat out a roller toward short. Kosuke Fukudome singled to right to pack the sacks. One out later, Tatsunami unloaded bigtime on a forkball to touch 'em all to right and it was 4-2 Dragons. That was the sixth granny of Tatsunami's career, tying him for third on the all time list in that category for the Dragons. The club record is eight, by the great Shinichi Etoh. You can see a pic of the swing at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200206/image/062907tatunamiOS113628_b.jpg
Ogata would pop in again in the second, however, to rectify that situation. Itsuki Asai leadoff with a single to right and third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to left. A strikeout and a groundout later, Ogata kissed the leftfield fence to usher in both runners and it was 4-4.
Chunichi would surge out to another lead, though, on another Tatsunami extra base hit in the home portion. With one out, Ibata doubled to leftcenter. Watanabe walked. One out later, first baseman Leo Gomez also finagled a free pass to juice the bags. Tatsunami then whizzed a shot into the leftcenter alley and all the way to the wall, everyone scoring while Tatsunami went into second standing up to pull the Dragons in front 7-4.
Masahiro Yamamoto was called in for the Dragons and he got rocked. Kanemoto commenced the fourth with a single to right. First baseman Luis Lopez singled to left. Both men were sacrificed along. Arai then mashed a Yamamoto pitch off the centerfield wall to plate Kanemoto. Why Lopez didn't score is beyond me. Maybe he thought the ball would be caught? Anyway, it was academic, as catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura, who owns the Dragons pitching staff, singled to right to push Lopez in and it was a one run ballgame at 7-6.
In the top of the fifth, Arai this time got it over the fence in leftcenter and it was knotted at 7-7.
Kimura was then big in the clutch to enable the Carp to prevail. In the top of the seventh, Kanemoto doubled to leftcenter and went to third on groundout. Kojiro Machida walked. One out later, Kimura took a fastball on the outer half of the plate and went with it to right and Kanemoto trotted in with the 8-7 lead.
Kobayashi struckout the side in the eighth and closer Yasuhiro Oyamada retired the last three of four men he saw in the ninth and it was all done.
Kimura is 15-32 against the Dragons this year, a .652 clip.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-4 and is at .194. Gomez was 0-2 with two walks and two strikeouts and is at .272.
For Hiroshima, Lopez was 1-4 and is at .264. Second baseman Eddie Diaz was was 0-5 and is at .318.
IP 1.0 PC 39 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.82
Tomabechi IP 1.0 PC 27 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.18
Hiroike IP 3.0 PC 35 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
K. Kobayashi (W, 3-2) IP 3.0 PC 42 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.05
Oyamada (S, 16) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.25
IP 2.0 PC 44 H 5 HR 2 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.01
M. Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 10 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.92
Endo IP 1.2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.34
Yaguchi IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Yamakita (L, 0-2) IP 2.0 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.96
Kito IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.62
2B: Ogata, Arai, Kanemoto, Tanishige, Tatsunami, Morino, Ibata
HR: Ogata (10), Kanemoto (9), Arai (14), Tatsunami (8)
RBI: Ogata 3, Kanemoto, Arai 2, K. Kimura 2, Tatsunami 7
LOB: Hiroshima 9, Chunichi 5
Season Series: Hiroshima 8, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:50
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Fukatani (1B), Ino (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Kokubo Slam Leads Hawks Past Buffaloes 5-2
Daiei Hawks starter Kenichi Wakatabe held the Kintetsu Buffaloes to two runs on seven hits and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo creamed a breaking ball from Hisashi Iwakuma to power the Kyushu nine to a 5-2 victory Friday at Fukuoka Dome. Wakatabe also went all the way, something the beleaguered Hawks rotation hasn't been able to do in quite some time.
Kintetsu took a temporary lead in the third, as centerfielder Naoyuki Omura had a little fly ball double to left and, one out later, went plateward on a single to right by leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes to make it 1-0.
Daiei reacted by burying the Buffs in their ups in the same stanza. DH Noriyoshi Omichi leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a groundout. One out later, centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara doubled to leftcenter for the tying run. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez walked. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi was then hit by a 1-2 pitch to load the bases. Kokubo dug in and pasted whatever Iwakuma ran up to the plate, the ball a real cruise missile that landed in the second deck in left just inside the foul pole for the grand salami and the 800th bases loaded roundtripper in Pacific League history. Oh, and the Hawks were sitting pretty at 5-1. The all star third baseman now has six total grannies. You can see a pic of the finish on Kokubo's swing at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200206/image/062908kokuboOS112628_b.jpg Too, that was the first bases loaded ding dong Iwakuma has surrendered in his three pro seasons.
In the sixth, Kintetsu combined a leadoff double by third baseman Norihiro Nakamura and a two out single to right by Koichi Isobe to make it 5-2. Wakatabe then rendered the Buffs hitless and this one was soon in the books. It was also Daiei manager Sadaharu Oh's 1000th lifetime game as the Hawks' field boss. In that position, he is 496-489-15.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .281.
For Daiei, Valdez was 0-2 with two walks and is at .279
Iwakuma (L, 4-4) IP 3.2 PC 55 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Takamura IP 2.2 PC 43 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.36
Johnson IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Wakatabe (W, 4-0) IP 9.0 PC 128 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.55
SB: Matsunaka, Torigoe
2B: N. Nakamura, N. Omura, Omichi, Shibahara, Matsunaka
HR: Kokubo (16)
RBI: Rhodes, Yoshioka, Shibahara, Kokubo 4
HBP: M. Abe (Wakatabe), Iguchi (Iwakuma)
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Daiei 5
Season Series: Kintetsu 5, Daiei 7
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Kodera (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Maeda (3B)
Ono, Kobayashi Combine for Three Hit Shutout Against Orix
Chiba Lotte Marines starter Shingo Ono was able to consistently keep the ball in on Orix Blue Wave hitters to finally get into the victory column this season, twirling eight outstanding innings of shutout ball on three hits, as he bested an excellent outing from Orix Blue Wave starter Ed Yarnell 2-0. Masahide Kobayashi saved it in the ninth to bring it to a close. Lotte second baseman Koichi Hori drove in both runs with a two out two run single to left off of a first pitch slider from Yarnell in the first for the only scores Ono required to get the job done.
For Orix, first baseman Fernando Seguignol was 0-3 and is at .224. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-3 and is at .224.
For Lotte, outfielder Derrick May did not play.
Yarnell (L, 4-8) IP 7.0 PC 122 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 6 R 2 ER
2 ERA 3.76
Kawagoe IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.03
S. Ono (W,
IP 8.0 PC 101 H 3 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.29
M. Kobayashi (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.53
RBI: Hori 2
LOB: Orix 4, Lotte 7
Season Series: Orix 7, Lotte 4
Game Time: 2:30
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Yamazaki (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
If You Just Can't Get Enough of Ichiro
The Seattle Times has added a section devoted to Ichiro with photos, a trivia quiz, and archived articles. Just point your browser to: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/sports/mariners/spotlight/ichiro/
Japanese College All Stars Lose First Game of Five with U.S. Collegians
A Japanese all star team facing off in a five game series with a similarly composed U.S. nine, went down to a 6-1 defeat Saturday in the opener, this one played at Ripken Field in Aberdeen, Maryland. Tokai University hurler Yuya Kubo, who may go as a low first rounder in the November draft, started and gave up three runs in five innings to accept blame for the loss. The lone Japanese tally came on a sac fly, as they managed just three hits.
Kubo, who hit a high of 91mph on the radar gun, allowed just one hit in the first four innings, but defensive breakdowns lead to the three runs he was charged with ijn the fifth and the Japanese couldn't mount a counterattack. They did get a chance, though, to play in front of about ten major league scouts.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 28th, and on that date in Japanese basebal history in 1965, Hanshin Tigers rightyander Gene Bacque became the first foreign hurler to toss a no hitter in Japan when he victimized Sadaharu Oh, Shigeo Nagashima and the rest of the Yomiuri Giants lineup at Koshien Stadium in a 7-0 Tigers victory. Bacque pitched for eight seasons in Japan, going 100-80 with a 2.34 ERA. His best season was in 1964, when he was 29-9 with four shutouts and a 1.89 ERA in 353.1 innings, winning both the ERA title and a Sawamura Award.
Also on the that date in 1977, the head of a privately organized Yomiuri Giants cheering section raped a woman and was arrested.
Also on that date in 1950,. Yomiuri Giants hurler Hideo Fujimoto threw the first perfect game in Japanese history against Nishi Nihon Pirates (later merged with the Nishitetsu Clippers, who changed their names to the Lions) in a 4-0 win at Aomori. Fujimoto went 26-1 with a 2.64 ERA that season, with 33 complete games, six of them shutouts in 360.1 innings. Fujmoto was a little guy, only 5'7" and 145 pounds soaking wet. You can review Fujimoto's illustrious career at the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
Hanshin Loses Seventh Straight to Yokohama 2-1
Daisuke Miura was brilliant again for the Yokohama Bay Stars Thursday at Osaka Dome, going all the way and allowing the Hanshin Tigers one run on seven hits while striking out a career best tying 12. He didn't get much run support, as his club's offense only put two first inning runs on the board and then couldn't get anything else going against Tigers starter Kei Igawa, but it was nonetheless good enough and the Osaka favorite sons went down to defeat for the seventh straight game.
Yokohama got their only tallies of the contest in a rally started by shortstop Takuro Ishii's 0-2 single to center and subsequent steal of second. After Ishii was sacrificed to third, leftfielder Takanori Suzuki was plunked with an Igawa pitch and he stole second. One out later, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues drilled a ball up the leftcenter alley and both Ishii and Suzuki crossed to make it 2-0 Yokohama.
Hanshin had a chance to at least chip a run off that lead in the bottom of the inning, but first baseman George Arias killed that opportunity. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to center to begin things. Shortstop Shuta Tanaka sacrificed him along. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka, celebrating his 33rd birthday, then legged out a tapper. That brought up Arias, who tried to pull something he shouldn't have and rolled into a 4-6-3 double play and that was the end of the uprising.
Igawa got into trouble for the final time in the game in the fifth, when he surrendered a one out single to center by Hitoshi Taneda, who then went to third on a two out double off the leftfield wall by centerfielder Ernie Young. Rodrigues, however, grounded to first and Igawa put it in cruise control until leaving upon the conclusion of the eighth.
Hanshin then got its sole score of the game when centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka homered to left on a first pitch hanging forkball from Miura in the home portion and it was 2-1 Yokohama.
Miura, who was clocked at a high of 91mph, was touched for two singles from then on until the ninth, when Kataoka leadoff with a screamer into the leftcenter alley for a double and went to third on a groundout. With a chance to deadlock it, though, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama fanned and pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi came up empty on an 86mph fastball and that was the ballgame.
Of Hanshin's twelve losses this month, five have been by one run. And they are 1-5 in one run ballgames for June after taking eight of 12 such close matches in May.
By contrast, Yokohama, who couldn't by a victory the first two months of the season, are now 9-6 for June.
Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino, when he was running the Chunichi Dragons, suffered an eight game losing skein in 1990, which was his worst experience as a skipper. Hanshin has a possibility of matching that tomorrow.
For Yokohama, Young was 2-4 with two strikeouts and is at .174. Rodrigues was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .267.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 and is at .270. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .258.
Miura (W, 4-9) IP 9.0 PC 125 H 7 HR 1 K 12 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.81
Igawa (L, 8-4) IP 8.0 PC 122 H 6 HR 0
K 10 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.93
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.73
SB: T. Ishii, Taneda, T. Suzuki, Hiyama, Hirashita
2B: Rodriguez, Taneda, Young, Kataoka
HR: Hamanaka (9)
RBI: Hamanaka, Rodrigues 2
HBP: T. Suzuki
GIDP: Saeki, Rodrigues, Arias
LOB: Yokohama 6, Hanshin 5
Season Series: Yokohama 3, Hanshin 10
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), Mori (3B)
Cromer Three Run Homer Ensures Fighters Victory
Two homers by Nippon Ham leftfielder D.T. Cromer, including a critical 490 foot three run bomb in the sixth, Thursday at Tokyo Dome enabled the Fighters to carry the day against PL leading Seibu 7-5. Carlos Mirabal tied Jeremy Powell for tops in wins in the league with his eighth against three losses while Lions reliever Hayato Aoki was saddled with his first loss.
Tom Evans continues to contribute at third base for Seibu, as in the top of the second, he followed a walk to first baseman Ken Suzuki with some yardwork in the leftfield bleachers to make it 2-0 Lions. Seibu would then load the bases with two outs, only to have centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji groundout to neutralize the attack.
Nippon Ham halved that disadvantage, when Cromer went downtown with two outs in the bottom of the frame off of Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi and it was 2-1 Seibu.
An inning later, Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara raked Nishiguchi for a jack over the rightcenterfield wall to knot it at 2-2.
Seibu went back in front, though, in the fourth, when rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki scorched a double to rightcenter and scored when Miyaji's sac bunt was thrown away by catcher Kazunari Sanematsu and it was 3-2 Lions.
Cromer, though, wouldn't allow that to stand. With Koji Onuma on the hill for Seibu in the sixth, second baseman Shigeyuki Furuki leadoff with a walk. One out later, DH Sherman Obando also worked a freebie, this time off of another reliever, Aoki, who was fresh out of the pen. Rightfielder Kazuteru Shimada singled to center to plate Furuki. Third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto then rolled what looked like a double play ball to Hiroyuki Takagi at second, who misdirected a throw and Obando was in with the lead run. Then Cromer mashed an Aoki fastball that was up in the zone off a sign at the rear of the rightfield seats, giving him 1,000,000 yen from the sponsor of that billboard and a three run homer to make it 7-3 Fighters.You can see a pic of Cromer swingin' at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200206/image/062807kuroma1NK173627_b.jpg
Seibu signalled that they weren't going to just lay down now, as Ozeki singled with one out in the seventh and then Tetsuya Kakiuchi dialed long distance on Fighters reliever Naoyuki Tateishi to contract the disparity with the Tokyo side to 7-5. That was the best Seibu had, though, and relievers Tatsuhito Kato and Tomokazu Iba, who appears to have his closer's job back, combined to suppress the Lions on one hit over the final 2.1 innings to shut the door and secure the triumph.
Nishiguchi had complained of discomfort in his lower back before the game, but manager Haruki Ihara chose to keep him in. A stiff back makes it hard to finish your pitches properly and they will tend to come up in the strike zone, which is what happened on both of the longballs he served up.
For Seibu, Evans was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .317.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 2-4 with four RBIs and is at .269. Obando was 0-3 with a walk and is at .242.
5.0 PC 81 H 3 HR 2 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.07
Onuma IP 0.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
Aoki (L, 2-1) IP 0.2 PC 29 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 4 ER 2 ERA 3.25
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.89
Doi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Mirabal (W, 8-3) IP 6.0 PC 99 H 6 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R
3 ER 2 ERA 3.51
N. Takahashi IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 10.80
Tateishi IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
T. Kato IP 1.1 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.95
Iba (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
E: H. Takagi, Sanematsu
HR: Evans (5), Kakiuchi (3), Cromer 2 (12), M. Ogasawara (20)
RBI: Kakiuchi 2, Evans 2, M. Ogasawara, Shimada, Cromer 4
LOB: Seibu 7, Nippon Ham 3
Season Series: Seibu 8, Nippon Ham 4
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Akimura (2B), Higashi (3B)
Sasaoka Outpitches Bunch 3-2
Hiroshima ace Shinji Sasaoka and Chunichi Dragons righthander Melvin Bunch hooked up in a battle of two solid pitchers and it was the Carp veteran who prevailed when the smoke cleared, as the Red Hell beat the Dragons Thursday at Nagoya Dome for their fourth victory in a row there 3-2. The win evened Sasaoka's record at 4-4 while Bunch is now 6-5.
Hiroshima drew first blood in the top of the second, as Itsuki Asai blodgeoned a Bunch delivery into the rightcenterfield seats to make it 1-0 visitors.
Bunch then made the wrong decision in the third and it cost him a kuroboshi. Kenjiro Nomura leadoff the inning with a walk. Takuya Kimura laid down a sac bunt. Bunch grabbed it and fired to second, but it was not in time and now two were on and nobody out. Second baseman Eddie Diaz then finagled a walk to load the bases. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto flew out to center and Nomura tagged and hustled in with the second run while the speedy Kimura tagged up and sprinted to third. Koichi Ogata grounded to short for what should have been the last out of the inning, but instead it got Ogata an RBI and the Carp were on top of the world at 3-0.
The Dragons labored for their initial score of the night in the fourth, as rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome beat out an infield roller for a hit to lead it off. First baseman Leo Gomez singled to center, Fukudome chugging on to third. One out later, rightfielder Kazuki Inoue grounded to short and Fukudome hit the dish to make it 3-1.
In the seventh, the Dragons scratched out another tally when Jinno singled to center and went ot second on a groundout, and then blazed in on a single to center from Hiroyuki Watanabe and it was 3-2 Carp.
Carp reliever got himself into a fix in the eighth, when Gomez tattooed a shot off the leftfield wall for a double. One out later, Inoue walked. But the next two men struckout to let the opportunity slip away.
The home team then made it tense again in the ninth. With one out, shortstop Hirokazu Ibata walked off of closer Yasuhiro Oyamada. Watanabe singled to right and now the team's most dangerous hitter, Fukudome, was up. But he flew out and Masahiro Araki grounded out and it was "game setto."
Once the game concluded, Hiroshima announced the signing of another prospect from its Dominican Academy, Natanael Mateo, a 20 year old righthanded pitcher. He is 5'11" 190 and will make in excess of $35,000. He will be assigned to the Japanese minors.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was2-3 with a walk and is at .326.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-3 with a walk and is at .275. Leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 and is at .202.
Sasaoka (W, 4-4) IP 6.2 PC 112 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Tamaki IP 1.1 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.13
Oyamada (S, 15) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.31
Bunch (L, 6-5) IP 7.0 PC 118 H 1 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R
3 ER 3 ERA 3.11
Endo IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.54
Yamakita IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.82
Kito IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2B: Kanemoto, Gomez
HR: I. Asai (2)
RBI: Kanemoto, I. Asai, Ogata, H.Y. Watanabe, Inoue
LOB: Hiroshima 5, Chunichi 11
Season Series: Hiroshima 7, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:18
Umpires: Honda (HP), Ino (1B), Suginaga (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 27th and on that date in
Japanese baseball history in 1981, MLB players were out on strike, so a game
between the Hiroshima Carp and the Yomiuri Giants from Korakuen Stadium was
broadcast in the U.S.to apparently excellent ratings. I have to confess that
I don't know anything about this, but that's what it says.
No games scheduled.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report would have been for June 26th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1970, Sadaharu Oh became the first man in Japanese annals to have accumulated 3,000 total bases.
June 25, 2002
Uehara Shuts Out Hiroshima 4-0
The Yomiuri Giants maintained their stranglehold on first place Tuesday, as starter Koji Uehara escaped a big first inning jam by feeding the Hiroshima Carp lineup a steady diet of forkballs and then cruised the rest of the way by heavily utilizing a cut fastball in a 4-0 Giants victory at Sapporo Dome. Uehara is now 8-3.
The Carp got on Uehara's case as soon as the game was under way, shortstop Kenjiro Nomura cracking a leadoff single to center and rightfielder Takuya Kimura beating out a bunt. After second baseman Eddie Diaz grounded to third to force the runner at second, leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto walked to load the bases. That's when Uehara and catcher Yoshinori Murata met and decided on the forkball strategy. It worked well, as centerfielder Koichi Ogata popped out and first baseman Itsuki Asai whiffed to kill the threat.
Hiroshima starter Hiroki Kuroda escaped two relatively minor squeezes before giving in during the sixth. Yomiuri leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff with a triple off the rightfield wall. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki walked. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi doubled to leftcenter to send in Shimizu and Motoki. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui grounded to short, Takahashi advancing to third on the play. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara flied out to center and Takahashi tagged and crossed to make it 3-0 Yomiuri.
In the eighth, Shimizu leadoff with a homer off of Tetsuto Tomabechi for the final 4-0 margin of victory. Hiroshima went down in order in the ninth and it was all over.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-4 and is at .321. Luis Lopez was 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance and is at .266.
Kuroda (L, 3-4)
IP 6.0 PC 86 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.47
Tomabechi IP 1.1 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.39
Hiroike IP 0.2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Uehara (W, 8-3) IP 9.0 PC 125 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.71
2B: Uehara, Y. Takahashi
3B: T. Shimizu
HR: T. Shimizu (6)
RBI: T. Shimizu, Y. Takahashi 2, Kiyohara
GIDP: T. Kimura, Uehara, Etoh
LOB: Hiroshima 7, Yomiuri 4
Season Series: Hiroshima 8, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Suginaga (1B), Mori (2B), Honda (3B)
Triple Play, Nakamura Error Fries Buffaloes 2-1
Chiba Lotte Marines first baseman Kazuya Fukuura made a nifty pick of a hot shot in the seventh and turned it into a triple play while starter Nathan Minchey waited for Sean Bergman to leave so that his offense could hit up the Kintetsu bullpen for two runs, as Lotte squeaked by the Buffs 2-1 at Osaka Dome Tuesday. Minchey is now 4-9 and this is his first victory since May 24th. Bergman didn't figure in the decision.
It was 0-0 until the sixth, when Kintetsu catcher Tetsuya Matoyama went midieval on a Minchey pitch and ditched it in the leftfield seats to make it 1-0 Buffs.
Kintetsu threatened again in the seventh, but Fukuura repelled that attack almost singlehandedly. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi leadoff with a double to leftcenter. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes walked. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to center to load the bases. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi hit a sharp one hopper that Fukuura gloved almost as soon as it hit the ground and went home for the force. Lotte catcher Toshiya Tsuji then returned the throw to first to get the runner. Nakamura had started late from first since he though Fukuura might catch it in the air. After receiving the return throw, Fukuura then whipped it on to Gold Glove shortstop Makoto Kosaka, who put the tag on the slow Nakamura for the third leg of the triple play.
Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa then greeted reliever Akinori Otsuka by yanking his first pitch into the centerfield seats in the eighth to knot it at one all.
Daisuke Miyamoto spelled Otsuka for the ninth and an error by Nakamura would determine the course of the game. Third baseman Kazunori Iyoda walked to open the frame and he was sacrificed along. Centerfielder Saburo Omura slapped a routine grounder to Nakamura, who booted it. Kosaka singled to right and Iyoda sprinted in for a 2-1 Lotte lead.
Kintetsu nearly evened it in the home half. Pinch hitter Daisuke Masuda leadoff with an infield single and was sacrificed to second. Pinch hitter Hirotoshi Kitagawa singled to left. With the tying run on third and one out, closer Masahide Kobayashi put the pedal to the metal and fanned Rhodes and then had Nakamura crossed up enough during his at bat that he took a hanging slider for strike three to put it in the books as a Lotte victory. This was the first time Kintetsu had lost two in a row in a month and a half. Now that is HOT!
The triple play was the first one for Lotte since 1994, in a game against Seibu. The last time a first baseman started a triple play on a ground ball was in 1982 in a tilt between the Taiyo Whales and the Hiroshima Carp.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-3 with a walk and is at .282.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-2 with two walks and is at .225.
4-9) IP 8.0 PC 101 H 3 HR
1 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.73
M. Kobayashi (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.62
IP 7.0 PC 96 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 6 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Otsuka IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.91
D. Miyamoto (L, 0-1) IP 0.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.98
E: Kosaka, Mizuguchi, N.
2B: N. Omura, Otsuka, Mizuguchi
HR: Tachikawa (1), Matoyama (2)
RBI: Kosaka, Tachikawa, Matoyama
HBP: Fukuura (Bergman)
GIDP: Iyoda, Yoshioka
LOB: Lotte 10, Kintetsu 3
Season Series: Lotte 5, Kintetsu 10
Game Time: 2:59
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Maeda (1B), Sato (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 25th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1959 at Korakuen Stadium, Emperor Hirohito attended the first ballgame ever personally graced by a Japanese monarch, a faceoff between the Yomiuri Giants and the Hanshin Tigers. It was tied 4-4 going into the bottom of the ninth and third baseman Shigeo Nagashima homered to left off of eventual Hall of Fame inductee Minoru Murayama for a sayonara victory. You can see a pick of the Nagashima walkoff at: http://www.sanspo.com/morespo/century/image/century01-1_b.jpg
Another great, Masaaki Koyama, started for Hanshin, having just come off tossing a three hit shutout at the Kokutetsu Swallows. Despite being rested and feeling confident, he wasn't getting much movement on his pitches, his fastball not boring in on the hitters as it normally did. In the bottom of the fifth, Nagashima, who had been in a slump (such as it was; he was still hitting .326) before the game, hammered a 1-1 running fastball ("shuuto") into the leftcenterfield seats.
Murayama, who was the first Japanese pitcher to shutout an MLB team (the Detroit Tigers, against whom he had a no hitter until two gone in the eighth, finishing with a two hitter on November 18, 1962) came into the game in relief with one out in the seventh and Nagashima was sitting on a shuuto on the innner half of the plate. Nagashima had been doing a better job keeping his hands inside the ball in batting practice before the game and he did it again here, as the ball drifted up and over the middle of the plate and Nagashima turned on it and lined it deep into the leftfield seats near the foul pole. Murayama was such an intense competitor that he insisted until the day he died that the ball was foul.
Koyama, who finished his career with 320 wins and a Hall of Fame plaque to call his own, had a couple of hits and an RBI on the day at the plate, so while he didn't throw well, he helped the offense keep it even until Nagashima, who finished 3-4, ended it. Rookie Sadaharu Oh batted sixth and slugged a two run homer to right off of a slider in the seventh to knot the game up and KO Koyama. This was the first of 106 times in history in which Oh and Nagashima would each go yard in the same match. Genji Fujita got credit for the victory for Yomiuri.
The homer that Oh cracked off of Koyama wasn't the first time that the great first baseman would give the phenomenal righthander problems. So let's cite another instance of Oh foiling a Koyama outing. What record did Oh keep Koyama from tying with another two run homer in 1962? Answer at the bottom of the article.
June 24, 2002
Giants Fumble Away Game to Hiroshima 5-2
Four errors by the Yomiuri Giants infield lead to four unearned runs for the Hiroshima Carp, as the fish went on to drown their Tokyo counterparts Monday 5-2 at Sapporo Dome. Masayuki Hasegawa went all the way for the victors while the miscues sabotaged an otherwise solid effort from Giants starter Masumi Kuwata. To add to the Giants misery, they lost starting catcher Shinnosuke Abe, who suffered internal bleeding in his left thigh after a collision with Kazuki Fukuchi in the eighth inning and he will be gone until at least the first week of August.
Yomiuri took an early 1-0 lead in the first, when leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu
commenced the attack with a triple to rightcenter. One out later, rightfielder
Yoshinobu Takahashi legged out a grounder near second for the RBI.
The Carp saw that one and raised their opponent another in the top of the second, as first baseman Itsuki Asai leadoff with a single to right and went to second on a groundout, catcher Kazuya Kimura singled to left and Hasegawa hit a dribbler out in front of the plate that he threw wildly to first on and Asai hit the dish with the equalizer. Shortstop Kenjiro Nomura grounded to Yomiuri second baseman Toshihisa Nishi, who booted it to enable Kimura to cross and it was 2-1 Hiroshima.
That was the way it remained until the eighth, when the Carp threw another deuce on the board with the help of a suspect Giants fielding decision. Second baseman Eddie Diaz leadoff with a single to left and he was pinch run for by Fukuchi. Tomoaki Kanemoto singled to right and Fukuchi blazed into third. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata grounded to short and Daisuke Motoki threw home, where Abe had tried to block the plate. When the dust cleared, Abe had dropped the ball and was then escorted off the field on a stretcher, Yoshinori Murata replacing him. In the meantime, Kanemoto snuck into third, from where he scored on a flyout to right from pinch hitter Luis Lopez and it was 4-1 Hiroshima.
One more error lead to another Carp run in the top of the ninth. With one out, shortstop Takuya Kimura singled to left and stole second. One out later, Kanemoto hit one to first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, who let the ball get by him and the Red Hell were up by four at 5-1.
Godzilla Matsui dined on a slow curve ball from Hasegawa to start the ninth and carromed it off the rightfield four pole for his 14 homer of the year, his first dinger in 11 games and the only time in in his career he has gone deep in Hokkaido's capital. This was his 19th lifetime contest there and the yardwork came on his 84 at bat in the north country.
That was all the Giants order had to offer, though, and three batters later, Hiroshima went back to the hotel with a 5-2 triumph.
According to Sports Nippon, Sapporo has been the site of some mostly forgettable incidents for the Giants. Yomiuri batting coach Sadaaki Yoshimura, who was once a catcher himself, was really racked up in 1988 in a collsion at home with the Chunichi Dragons Tadahiro Sakaemura and suffered a severed knee ligament and wasn't able to return until September of the following season. He had been enjoying a good year until that day, hitting .302 with 13 homers and 38 RBIs. He wasn't the same player in the after math, going from .322-30-86 in 1987 in 127 games to playing in just 84 games in 1990 (though he went .327-14-45) and then .227-10-42 in 1991 and it was downhill from there.
Other notable trips to Sapporo for Yomiuri:
Ten walks in one inning by three Giants hurlers (Asano 4, Kado 3, Tamura 3) on July 6, 1978 that forced in six runs.
1983, Hajime Kato complins of pain in his right arm. He goes back to Tokyo to have it looked at and it turns out to be a blood clot and he was done for the season. He recovered to go 10-7 with a 3.36 ERA the following season.
July 10, 1990, Masumi Kuwata, after getting hammered in a game at Asahikawa, Hokkaido, gets into an argument with one of his coaches on the way to Sapporo and is sent home by manager Genji Fujita.
July 9, 1996, they get nine hits in a row to win a game and start a drive that would narrow an 11.5 game deficit to almost nothing in the standings.
July 11, 2000, Kazuhiro Kiyohara rips his 400th and 401st homers.
Getting back to Monday's game, however, Shimizu, with his four hits, now has 12 games in which he has had three ot more safeties and in four of those he has had a quartet of knocks. He is now at .336.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-4 and is at .322. Lopez had the RBI in the one plate appearance and is at .268.
Hasegawa (W, 5-2) IP 9.0 PC 138 H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.17
3-5) IP 7.0 PC 120 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 4 ER 1 ERA
Kawamoto IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Almonte IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.21
E: Nishi, Kiyohara, Etoh,
SB: T. Kimura
3B: T. Shimizu
HR: H. Matsui (14)
RBI: H. Matsui, Y. Takahashi, Ogata, Lopez
IBB: K. Kimura
GIDP: T. Kimura, Y. Takahashi
LOB: Hiroshima 9, Yomiuri 5
Season Series: Hiroshima 6, Yomiuri 7
Game Time: 3:25
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Mori (1B), Honda (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Two Run Itoh Double Gets Seibu Come From Behind Victory
A two run sixth inning double from Seibu Lions catcher Tsutomu Itoh put his team ahead to stay in what became a 5-4 victory for the Tokorozawa nine against the Orix Blue Wave Monday at Seibu Dome. Hayato Aoki got his second win in relief when starter Tetsuya Shiozaki couldn't maintain a 3-1 lead he had been staked to.
Seibu shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff the bottom of the first with a double to rightcenter and came home on a double to right from third baseman Tom Evans with two out to make it 1-0 Lions. First baseman Ken Suzuki singled to right to convert Evans and it was 2-0 for the home folks.
Matsui went for extra bases again in the fourth with two outs, and then strolled in on a single to right from rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki to widen the Seibu lead to 3-0.
Orix then used a three bagger for its first tally of the game. First baseman Yuji Goshima leadoff with a walk and one out later rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi seared a shot up the rightcenter gap to turn in Goshima and make it 3-1. However, Katsuragi was stranded when the next two hitters bounced out to Shiozaki and to third respectively.
The Kobe contingent then returned in the sixth to even it, as Katsuragi leadoff with a single to center and second baseman Koichi Oshima singled to right. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki went to sacrifice and Tetsuya Shiozaki fumbled it to load the bases. Centerfielder Koji Takamizawa hit a roller near second for an infield hit and two runs scored to knot it at three apiece. DH Yoshitomo Tani was jammed with slider, but still fisted it to right for a single and Shiozaki scored to make it 4-3 Orix.
Seibu retorted with the game winning runs in their portion. Suzuki leadoff by spanking a single off the rightfield wall for a long single and was sacrificed to second. Pinch hitter Kazuhiro Wada, finally back after that hairline fracture, singled to right. Itoh then got an 87mph fastball that was up in the zone and he put a beatin' on it, cannonading it into the leftcenter alley to usher in both runners and the Lions were back on top 5-4.
Three relievers suppressed the Orix lineup on four hits through the eighth before closer Kiyoshi Toyoda struckout the side to put it on ice. This is one of the few games you will see where three consecutive whiffs bookend the game for the same club.
Manager Hiromichi Ishige has kept both Scott Sheldon and Fernando on the bech the last couple of games, asserting that both men lacked focus and that their failures are ones of character and their punishment isn't any sign of a cultural misunderstanding. For his part, Seguignol isn't taking this too well, arguing that how is the team supposed to win with him and Sheldon riding the pine. Ishige replied that they are piling up too many strikeouts.
For Seibu, Evans was 1-4 with an RBI and three strikeouts and is at .321.
IP 5.0 PC 76 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.72
Kase IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.09
Tokano (L, 3-3) IP 1.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.13
Imamura IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
IP 5.0 PC 78 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.83
Mizuo IP 0.0 PC 8 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
Aoki (W, 2-0) IP 1.1 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.67
Mori IP 1.2 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.49
Toyoda (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
SB: K. Oshima, Ueda
2B: T. Itoh, K. Matsui, Evans
3B: Katsuragi, K. Matsui
RBI: Takamizawa 2, Tani, Katsuragi, Ozeki, Evans, K. Suzuki, T. Itoh 3
IBB: H. Oshima
GIDP: Tani, Shindo, H. Takagi
LOB: Orix 4, Seibu 5
Season Series: Orix 3, Seibu 12
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Nagami (1B), Nakamura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Kato Finally Has Good Outing for Lotte
Kosuke Kato, now back in the Lotte rotation after a disastrous first three months of the season, finally showed the promise he displayed last season, going 7.1 innings and limiting the Kintetsu Buffaloes to four hits while fanning seven and walking two to obtain his third win against seven losses, his first shiroboshi since April 26th.
There was a lot of grousing about home plate umpire Hayashi's liberal strike zone by both Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, who said that the arbiter beat his squad, not Kato, and manager Masataka Nishida, who grumbled about how high his strike zone was.
That zone, though, didn't do Kintetsu starter Katsuhiko Maekawa any favors, as he was mugged for four runs on six hits in seven innings for his fifth defeat.
Lotte seized a 1-0 lead in the third, when Maekawa nailed centerfielder Saburo Omura with a pitch and stole second. One out later, first baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to center to drive in Omura.
Lotte rookie catcher Toshiya Tsuji torched his a double to leftcenter and Lotte was back in business in the seventh. One out later, shortstop Makoto Kosaka doubled down the leftfield line and it was 2-0 Lotte.
Tsuji was then in the middle of another Lotte rally in the eighth. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba walked to leadoff the inning and was sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Akira Otsuka doubled into the rightfield corner for one run and third baseman Kazunori Iyoda singled to left. Tsuji laced a double into the leftcenter alley and Iyoda and Otsuka crossed for a 5-0 Lotte edge.
Kintetsu leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes went boom to make it close in the bottom segment. Kato plunked centerfielder Naoyuki Omura and pinch hitter Fumitoshi Takano singled to right. Soichi Fujita was summoned to face Rhodes and threw the ex-Cub a 1-0 slider that was destroyed, Rhodes mortaring it into the upper deck in rightcenter. Can you say "bomb" boys and girls? Fujita had owned Rhodes previously, but obviously the 2001 homer champ got the upperhand this time and it was 5-3 Lotte. Unfortunately for their faithful, that was the final bullet in the chamber and Masahide Kobayashi kept the Kintetsu bats quiet in the ninth to wrap it up for his 11th save.
Rhodes' homer was his 28th in his 58th game, well ahead of his 2001 pace, when he reached that number in his 70th battle. He has also homered eight times in the last 12 games.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was was 1-3 and is at .227. Lotte is batting a pitiful .230 as a team and one reason is that last season's batting champ, Fukuura, is hitting just .283. That leads all Lotte batsmen
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with a walk and three RBIs and is at .286.
K. Kato (W,
3-7) IP 7.1 PC 128
H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.45
Fujita IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.19
H. Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.86
M. Kobayashi (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.72
Maekawa (L, 2-5
) IP 7.1 PC 124 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 5 R 4 ER 4
Misawa IP 0.1 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.16
Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
A. Otsuka IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
E: A. Otsuka, N. Nakamura
SB: S. Omura
2B: Tsuji 2, Tachikawa, Kosaka, Otsuka
HR: Rhodes (28)
RBI: Rhodes 3, Kosaka, Fukuura, Otsuka, Tsuji 2
HBP: S. Omura (Maekawa), N. Omura (K. Kato)
LOB: Lotte 11, Kintetsu 6
Season Series: Lotte 4, Kintetsu 10
Game Time: 3:32
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Kodera (3B)
Saito Lit Up in Ninth in Yokohama Defeat
Yokohama Bay Stars closer Takashi Saito was stomped for five runs, three of them earned, in the top of the ninth at Yokohama Stadium Monday to break a 6-6 deadlock to decide it for the Chunichi Dragons 11-6. Masahiro Yamamoto was credited with the win even though he surrendered a game tying three run homer in the eighth to Stars centerfielder Ernie Young.
The Dragons drew first blood in the second, when third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled down the leftfield line and went to third on a long fly ball to center and then completed the circuit on a sac fly from catcher Motonobu Tanishige to make it 1-0 for the party from Nagoya.
In the fifth, rightfielder Kazuki Inoue lead it off with a ground ball to Hitoshi Taneda at second, who threw wildly to first and Inoue went to second. Tanishige pinged a shot off the leftfield wall for a long single and an RBI. Second baseman Masahiko Morino doubled off the centerfield fence. One out later, shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to center to deliver Inoue and the Dragons were sitting pretty at 3-0.
Yokohama was pretty quiet against Dragons starter Kenshin Kawakami until the seventh, when they neutralized the Chunichi advantage in a gulp. With one away, Young lofted a ball into the rightfield bleachers for a solo homer. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to left. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa then jackhammered a Kawakami delivery into the rightfield stands and it was 3-3.
Another fielding miscue from the Stars would aid the Dragons in retaking the lead. Ibata walked to begin the frame. Pinch hitter Takayuki Onishi hit a comebacker to reliever Yu Sugimoto, who was thinking twin killing and ended up with bupkis. One out later, first baseman Leo Gomez sang a longball serenade to Sugimoto and as the ball bouned around the leftcenterfield seats, the Dragons were back in the catbird seat at 6-3.
Young would change that, though. Catcher Ryoji Aikawa started it with a single to center. One out later, backup second baseman Seiichi Uchikawa grounded to third for what should have been the inning ending double play, but he muffed it. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki popped out, but Young got every bit of a sinker from Yamamoto and he knew it was gone as soon as contact was made to level it at 6-6.
I'm not really sure why Saito was out there for the ninth since what would manager Masaaki Mori do if the game went into extra innings, but climbed the hill and pinch hitter Koichi Sekikawa walked and was sacrificed to second. Onishi, now in left, struckout. Centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome was intentionally walked. Aikawa was charged with a passed ball and both runners advanced. Hiroyuki Watanabe, who was put into the game as a defensive replacement for Gomez, singled to center to plate both men and he then came all the way around when shortstop Takuro Ishii made a bad relay. Tatsunami legged out an infield hit. Hidenori Kuramoto then connnected and deposited the ball in the leftcenterfield stands and it was 11-6.
Eddie Gaillard allowed a couple of baserunners in the bottom of the ninth, but left them on the diamond as he struckout two and induced a groundball to end it.
For Yokohama, Young was 2-4 with four RBIs and is at .143. Rodrigues was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .267.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .209. Gomez was 1-4 with three RBIs and is at .270.
IP 7.0 PC 101 H 6 HR 2 K 7 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.62
Ochiai IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.70
M. Yamamoto (W, 2-4 ) IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.50
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.64
IP 5.0 PC 92 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER 2 ERA 4.75
Sugimoto IP 3.0 PC 60 H 2 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.78
T. Saito (L, 0-1) IP 1.0 PC 30 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 5 ER 3 ERA 2.81
E: Tatsunami, T. Ishii,
SB: Ibata, Tanishige, Inoue
2B: Tatsunami, Morino
HR: Gomez (16), Kuramoto (1), Young 2 (4), Ogawa (3)
RBI: Ibata, Gomez 3, H.Y. Watanabe, Tanishige 2, Kuramoto 2, Young 4, Ogawa 2
PB: Ryoji Aikawa
GIDP: T. Ishii
LOB: Chunichi 5, Yokohama 4
Season Series: Chunichi 9, Yokohama 4
Game Time: 3:31
Umpires: Sasaki (HP), Tani (1B), Arisumi (2B), Hamano (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 24th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1956, Hanshin Tigers infielder Fumio Fujimura slugged a walkoff come from behind grand slam homer against the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium.
Also on that date in 1965, Sankei Atoms (now the Yakult Swallows) light hitting first baseman Yoshinori Hoshiyama slammed a pitch from Hiroshima Carp sidearmer Sohachi Aniya into the rightfield bleachers at Meiji Jingu Stadium in the fifth inning with two on. However, in trying to pick up the flight of the ball on his way to first, he didn't notice that the runner at first, infielder Isamu Shinoda, had turned around to see where the ball went as well and as Hoshiyama rounded the bag he sent Shinoda sprawling onto the outfield grass in the resultant collision. What makes this even funnier is that the first base umpire had his back turned to all this to find the ball himself. However, the plate umpire was paying attention and he called Hoshiyama, who finished his career with just 24 homers in eight seasons, was called out. It was scored as a two RBI single and a putout by the Carp first sacker. Again, the lesson here, kids. is don't run with your head down.
Orix Trades Ebisu to Yakult for Soejima
The Orix Blue Wave and the Yakult Swallows announced a trade between the two teams Tuesday that sent pitcher Nobuyuki Ebisu (31) to the Swallows in exchange for outfielder Kota Soejima (28). Considering that Ebisu was in Orix' starting rotation last season, one wonders just what is going on here. Soejima played in 91 games two years ago and batted .321. Orix manager Hiromichi Ishige likes his compact swing and hopes he can provide some pop. Nevertheless, since then, he has been little more than a spare part for Yakult.
Ebisu had a horrendous spring and has spent some injury time. That invites the question as whether if Ebisu is damaged goods or if he has worn out his welcome in Hyogo Prefecture with team management. Very curious.
Ihara Makes Best of Lions Odds and Ends
See Jim Allen article at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020627wo53.htm
Cuba's Omar Linares to Play with Chunichi
Just when Japanese pro teams had given up on the possibility of aquiring a Cuban player, the Chunichi Dragons receive a phone call from someone in the Cuban baseball establishment informing them that former national team member Omar Linares, a third baseman, will be made available to them. He will report after the all star break.
According to Sankei Sports, Linares, 34, will live in a Nagoya area hotel and will have an interpreter by his side. the Cuban government will be paid, $4,000 a month for each of the three months he will be in Japan.
Making this even more fascinating, though, is that Sankei is saying that
Linares is a "leading candidate" to manage the Cuban squad at the 2004 Athens
Olympics. One of the Japanese reporters asked a Cuban official if what the
Cubans are doing amounts to "selling labor abroad," the official replied
that Linares is there soley to pick up coaching tips while he plays for the
Dragons. You can see a pic of Linares at:
Biographical info: born on October 23rd, 1967, his father taught him how
to play baseball starting at age 12. He was picked to be on the Cuban National
Team at the age of 17 and participated in three olympics and won the first
Triple Crown in Cuba's history. He is a member of the Pinar Del Rio team
in the Cuban leagues. He is 6'1" 225 pounds and hits and throws righthanded.
In further news about the interaction between the Dragons and Cuba, when they play some exhibition games in Cuba in November, they will pay $70,000 out of their own pockets to pad the outfield walls at one of the Cuban parks, many of which have concrete fences.
Nikkan Sports gave a timeline of the Japanese flirtation with the Cuban leagues:
October, 1991: The Yomiuri Giants start looking into the possibility of aquiring Cuban stars.
October, 1993: NPB President
Eiichiro Yamamoto tells the press that there is a likelihood Cuban players
will be allowed by Cuba to play in Japan.
December, 1993: The chairman of the Cuban Baseball Federation says that there will be no Cubans going to Japan.
May, 1994, five Cuban players join the Shidax team of Japan's industrial league. Their estimated salary: 5,000,000 yen.
November 1995, Cuba's Minister of Sports tells Yamamoto that if they were to send players abroad, Japan would be at the head of the list.
December, 1995, Castro, on his first ever trip to Japan, makes noises about allowing Cuban players to go to Japan.
October, 2000: then Prime Minister Mori asks a Cuban official to help make it possible for Cubans to play in Japan.
May, 2002, Yomiuri, Yakult and Chunichi talk of send their directors of player personnel to Cuba and the issue of aquiring Cuban players reignites. Chunichi Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada is more skeptical about this, wondering if Cuban players who have been all over the world can adjust to the "detailed" way in which the Japanese pro leagues conduct themselves.
June 27, 2002: Former Cuban National Team members Antonio Pacheco and Orestes Kindelan scheduled to arrive in Japan to join Shidax.
For another take on this, see an article from the english edition of the Yomiuri Shimbun at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020627wo52.htm
Converted Pitcher Teramoto Has a Lot of Pop in Small Package
Shiro Teramoto, after losing to Daisuke Matsuzaka in a late inning loss for Meitoku Gijuku High School at the Koshien tournament in 1997, was drafted in the fourth round by the Chiba Lotte Marines, posting mediocre numbers in the minors before being asked to take some swings in the batting cage this spring by the club's minor league manager. Hammering one ball after another, he was asked to hit in the cage the day after and the the day after that before it was decided that they would end Teramoto's days as a hurler and make him an outfielder.
Teramoto, 5'9" and 170 pounds, is one strong hombre, reportedly being able to back lift 720 pounds and bench press 270 pounds, which would put him in the top five all Japanese high schoolers the year he graduated. So far, the 21 year old Tokushima native has played in 44 games for Lotte's Eastern League affiliate and is batting .256 with two homers and ten RBIs in 133 at bats. He has struckout 20 times. You can see a pic of him at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200206/image/062712teramoto02MT219626_b.jpg
A few years ago, the same manager did the same thing with Kazuya Fukuura, who won the 2001 Pacific League batting title. So Teramoto may be someone to keep an eye on.
Source: Sankei Sports.
Rockies Draftee Sakamoto Interview
Outfielder Mitsuru Sakamoto, who was drafted in the 24th round by the Colorado Rockies recently, was interviewed by Nikkan Sports. Here is my translation of it:
Nikkan Sports: How does it feel to be the first ever Japanese player to be drafted and signed by an MLB team?
Sakamoto: Everybody made such a big fuss over it. I got a lot of phone calls. Speaking for myself, I'm not sure what to make of it all.
Nikkan Sports: What did you think when they selected you?
Sakamoto: On June 4th at around 8.a.m., I got a call from a Rockies scout saying, "we've decided to draft you, but will you sign?" I said "YES!"
Nikkan Sports: Did you know beforehand that you would be selected?
Sakamoto: During March of
this year, I was contacted by scouts from about 15 MLB teams. I thought then,
"well, I wonder who will take me?" The team that seemed most enthusiastic
was the White Sox, so, to be honest, I was surprises when the
Rockies picked me.
Nikkan Sports: When did you officially sign?
Sakamoto: June 8th.
Nikkan Sports: By yourself?
Sakamoto: Yes. I had agents calling me asking if I woudl allow them to represent me, but I thought that I should do this myself. I looked at the contract myself and signed a lot of documents.
Nikkan Sports: What were the provisions?
Sakamoto: The signing bonus was $7,500 and the monthly salary is $800. There was also a provision that if I was injured and couldn't play anymore, the Rockies would pick up three years worth of the cost of my education.
Nikkan Sports: Why did you choose to try your luck in America and not in Japan?
Sakamoto: That started with Nomo. I saw him start the 1995 all star game in Texas and I thought to myself that I wanted to play baseball in America.
Nikkan Sports: You didn't want to play in Japan, then?
Sakamoto: At that time, I didn't have the skills that would have interested anyone anyway. All I could think of was that image of Nomo and I never had any intention of playing in Japan.
Nikkan Sports: You went over after you graduated high school?
Sakamoto: The first year
there, I was just trying to pick up vocabulary. I was also homesick. I didn't
really think about baseball.
Eventually, I was able to relax and was able to concentrate on baseball and joined the Arizona Western [Junior College] team my second year there.
Nikkan Sports: What is the thing you remember most about college?
Sakamoto: The beginning of May of this year at the college playoffs, a ton of scouts came to see us. My coach told me, "show them that you can hit a homer." I went up there trying to hit it out and I did, but we lost and that was my last game. I remember it really well.
Nikkan Sports: What are your selling points?
Sakamoto: I'm fast and have a strong arm. I hit mainly for average, but eventually I would like to get stronger and be able to add some power.
Nikkan Sports: How far can you throw the ball?
Sakamoto: I haven't really measured it, but I was able to throw it to the centerfield fence, which was 400 feet from home.
Nikkan Sports: How fast do you get to first?
Sakamoto: 3.8 seconds.
Nikkan Sports: They sent you to Casper in the Rookie League.
Sakamoto: My shoulder is still tired from playing in college, so for medical reasons, I haven't played yet. I would like to do so as soon as possible, though. Taking 16 hour bus trips will be hard, but we did that in college, too, so it won't really be a problem.
Nikkan Sports: You will wear #65, right?
Sakamoto: Rookies can't pick their numbers. It was picked more for size than the number itself. I wore #1 in college, so I hope that I'll become good enough so that I can pick my own number.
Nikkan Sports: On MLB's homepage, they said you were "an Ichiro type player."
Sakamoto: Everybody has called me Ichiro (laughs). I don't really have his speed,.but I hope that I can be the same kind of outfielder he is. But I want to be someone who just doesn't pile up basehits, but can slug homers, too.
Biographical sketch: Born in Fukuoka on the island of Kyushu on October 7, 1980, he started playing baseball in sixth grade. At Kyusandai Kyushu High School, he batted fifth and played centerfield. His senior year, his team made it to the group of eight in the prefectural tournament beforebeing knocked out. He can go 50 meters in 5.8 seconds. When he went to America, he started at Indian Hills JC the moved on to Arizona Western his second year. He is 6'2" and 175 pounds and throws right and hits lefthanded. Father Manabu, Mother Kuniyo, and younger sister Erika comprises his family. Pic at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020627-1.jpg
Koyama had twirled five consecutive shutouts until he had to face Oh and the Giants again and Oh took him deep to keep Koyama from tying the record of six, held by Hideo Fujimoto of the Giants in 1943. Fujimoto went 34-11 with 19 shutouts that season. The quality of bats was reportedly not too good due to everything being put into the war effort in Japan, but Fujimoto was excellent after the war, too, so it could have been more him than lackluster equipment.
Pair of Two Run Homers Beats Chang and Seibu 4-1
A two run homer from first baseman Yuji Goshima in the second and another blast with a man on in the third from centerfielder Koji Takamizawa sunk Taiwanese import Chang Chieh-chia and the Seibu Lions 4-1 Sunday at Seibu Dome, as Orix Blue Wave starter Masahiko Kaneda threw eight magnificent innings of five hit, one run ball to earn his third victory of the season. The triumph also terminated an eight game losing streak that the Kobe squad had going against their Tokorozawa counterparts.
What is ironic in this game is that both longballs came after a flubbed sac bunt. In the second inning, Chang walked catcher Takeshi Hidaka. Tatsuya Shindo attempted to bunt Hidaka into scoring position, but he eventually struckout. That brought up Goshima, who creamed a Chang offering into the rightcenterfield seats to make it 2-0 Orix.
The Lions responded in the bottom of the inning, when Tetsuya Kakiuchi leadoff with a circuit clout into the centerfield stands to halve the deficit to 2-1.
Now for a little "deja vu all over again:" Chang walked second baseman Koichi Oshima to begin the third. Makoto Shiozaki endeavored to sacrifice Oshima to second, only to pop out to Tsutomu Itoh behind the plate. Up comes centerfielder Koji Takamizawa, who dials Ibaraki 6-5000 by way of the rightfield bleachers and it's 4-0 Blue Wave.
Kaneda then permitted just three hits and a walk the rest of his stint before handing the ball to closer Masanobu Okubo, who retired the Lions 1-2-3 in the bottom of the ninth to lock it up for the visitors.
Chang's parents were in the stands this night and while Chang really didn't so that badly, they saw him pay dearly for the early mistakes he made against the Orix lineup.
Seibu ace Daisuke Matsuzaka will start throwing again Tuesday, but will nevertheless still be held out until they no he is well and truly recovered from his elbow injury.
For Orix, neither Scott Sheldon or Fernando Seguignol played, as manager Hiromichi Ishige continues to punish them for dissapointing offensive output this season.
For Seibu, third baseman Tom Evans struckout three times in four at bats and is at .327.
3-4) IP 8.0 PC 121 H 5 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.45
Okubo (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.37
2-1) IP 7.0 PC 142 H 7 HR 2 K 10 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Onuma IP 2.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
HR: Goshima (2), Takamizawa (2), Kakiuchi (2)
RBI: Goshima 2, Takamizawa 2, Kakiuchi
PB: T. Itoh
LOB: Orix 5, Seibu 4
Season Series: Orix 3, Seibu 11
Game Time: 2:43
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Nagami (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Buffaloes Close in on Seibu with Eighth Powell Victory
Jeremy Powell still has the hot hand for the Kintetsu Buffaloes, scooping up his eighth consecutive win to aid his side in gradually closing the gap in the standings with the Seibu Lions Sunday at Osaka Dome in a 4-2 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines. The Buffs are now only two games back of the frontrunning Lions. Powell, who said that he got into a good rhythm and was able to spot his fastball well, is 4-0 for June and 8-3 overall. The eight triumphs tops the PL.
The Buffs swarmed on top with a big clutch hit in the second. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura lead it off with a single to right. One out later, first baseman Yuji Yoshioka laced a double to rightcenter. With the infield up, Koichi Isobe grounded to second and Koichi Hori threw home in time to nail the sliding Nakamura. Shortstop Masahiro Abe walked to load the bases. Catcher Tetsuya Matoyama then got a slider and wailed on it, cannonading it off the fence in rightcenter as all three runners scampered in to make it 3-0 Buffs.
In the fourth, Yoshioka unloaded a missile into the centerfield seats and it was 4-0 Kintetsu. That was the veteran's first dinger in 25 games, a span of 102 at bats.
Powell was humming along until he hit a bump in the road in the eighth. Leftfielder Akira Otsuka ripped a one out double to leftcenter. Rightfielder Kenji Morozumi drilled a ball down the leftfield line for another two bagger and Otsuka was in with Lotte's first tally to make it 4-1. Powell induced two groundballs to end that threat, but then was immersed in hot water again in the ninth. With one down, DH Derrick May doubled to rightcenter. One out later, centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to right to plate May. Kintetsu manager Masataka Nishida went to the pen for closer Akira Okamoto, who fought with rookie pinch hitter Takashi Kita until he had him bite on a sinker and fan for the final out of the battle.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder tuffy Rhodes was 0-3 with a walk and is at .285.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 and is at .226.
N. Shimizu (L,
4-4) IP 6.0 PC 98 H 7 HR 1 K 2 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.38
Kawai IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.66
A. Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.95
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
K. Yamasaki IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.97
8-3) IP 8.2 PC
108 H 6 HR 0 K 8 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.10
A. Okamoto (S, 16) IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.52
E: Yoshioka, M. Abe
2B: A. Otsuka, Morozumi, May, Yoshioka 2, Matoyama, N. Nakamura
HR: Yoshioka (7)
RBI: Morozumi, S. Omura, Yoshioka, Matoyama 3
HBP: N. Omura (N. Shimizu)
GIDP: Rhodes 2
LOB: Lotte 6, Kintetsu 7
Season Series: Lotte 3, Kintetsu 10
Game Time: 2:45
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Yamamura (1B), Tamba (2B), Sato (3B)
Petagine and Hodges Team Up to Frustrate Hanshin 4-3
The Hanshin Tigers did okay in this game from a hitting with men in scoring position standpoint, but it still wasn't enough as Yakult Swallows starter Kevin Hodges and three relievers held off the Tigers to prevail 4-3 at Koshien Stadium. First baseman Roberto Petagine powered two balls over the fences for three RBIs to lead the birds attack.
Tigers starter Keiichi Yabu was done in by three timely extra base hits,
one of those following another multi-bag knock. In the first, Swallows
centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff the game with a double down the leftfield
line and went to third on a groundout. One out later, Petagine checked in
and bashed a Yabu pitch into the rightcenterfield seats for a 2-0 Yakult
You can see a pic of that homer at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/06/24/20020624001641.jpg.
In the bottom of the inning, Hanshin centerfielder Koji Hirashita commenced the home half with a single to center. Shortstop Shuta Tanaka singled to right. But second baseman Makoto Imaoka flied out, first baseman George Arias whiffed and after rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama walked to pack the sacks, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka grounded out to keep it 2-0.
Hanshin had a man second with two gone in the second as well, but Hirashita flied out to spray water on that fire.
The Tigers were able to finally sustain something, at least for a bit, in the third. Tanaka beat out a grounder near second and went to second on a one out grounder to third. Hiyama singled to center to make it 2-1 Swallows. Kataoka doubled to rightcenter. However, leftfielder Derrick White struckout and Hodges escaped once more.
Hodges, though, would allow the home team to knot it in the fourth. Catcher Akihiro Yano leadoff with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. One out later, Tanaka got the second of his three hits and an RBI to level it at 2-2.
Yabu, though, proved inadequate ijn holding the line. With one out, shortstop Hajime Mike singled to left and was sacrificed to second by Hodges. Manaka cranked his second double down the leftfield line and the speedy Miki scored easily to put the Swallows in the driver's seat at 3-2. Petagine would then go downtown on Yabu in the sixth to left to expand the gap to 4-2.
Hodges put the Tigers away in order in the sixth and was replaced by Ryota Igarashi, who worked a perfect sixth before confronting difficulties in the eighth. Hiyama kicked it off with a single to right and was forced out by Kataoka. White doubled into the leftcenter alley and the far less than quck footed Kataoka chugged all the way in to contract the extent of the Swallows supremacy to 4-3. Yano grounded back to Igarashi for the second out and pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi battled for a walk. Hirotoshi Ishii was summoned from the bullpen by Swallows manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu and lured pinch hitter Osamu Hamanaka into grounding to short to kill off the uprising.
Shingo Takatsu suppressed the Hanshin lineup on two groundballs and a game ending strikeout for his 212th lifetime save.
Hanshin is now 3-11 for June despite collecting double figures in hits in nine of those games. Nikkan Sports points out why this is with the following stats: In March, the Hanshin staff had a 1.00 ERA. April, 2.48. May, 3.52. June, a whopping Texas Rangers-like 5.12. Notice the trend? Each month is worse than the last. Will a bad July finish them off? Stay tuned.
Wakamatsu believes that Petagine, who is now in his fourth Japanese season at the age of 31, is losing batspeed. If that's true, he is still putting up decent numbers.
One bright spot for Yakult in an up and down season is that they have done pretty well in one run ballgames, winning 12 and dropping four, a .750 clip. That will get it done. Hodges is now the Central League victories leader with nine, a nice early present for his birthday, which is Monday. Moreover, he has won two of three starts against Hanshin and has four triimphs in June. All Star game, here we come!
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-5 with three strikeouts and is at .270. White was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .263.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-4 with three RBIs and is at .296. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 and is at .317.
(W,) IP 6.0 PC 103
H 9 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.59
R. Igarashi IP 1.2 PC 43 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.36
H. Ishii IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
Takatsu (S, 18) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.27
5-4) IP 6.0 PC 88 H 6 HR 2 K 3
BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.99
Kanazawa IP 0.2 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Toyama IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
Fukuhara IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.74
Valdez IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.83
2B: White, Kataoka, Manaka
HR: Petagine 2 (15)
RBI: Manaka, Petagine 3, White, S. Tanaka, Hiyama
LOB: Yakult 6, Hanshin 10
Season Series: Yakult 8, Hanshin 5
Game Time: 3:24
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Watada (2B), Manabe (3B)
Mr. Shutout or Nothing, Yoshimi, Blanks Dragons 3-0
Yokohama Bay Stars starter Yuji Yoshimi seems to have a Jekyll-Hyde thing going in this, his first season as a rotation regular. If he isn't completely shutting a team out, he is getting lit up like the Fourth of July. Sunday at Yokohama Stadium, he was the good Yoshimi despite surrendering 11 hits in 8.1 innings, but none of those runners scored and the Stars walked away with a 3-0 nothing victory over the Chunichi Dragons.
All of the Yokohama runs came in the fourth, when leftfielder Takanori Suzuki leadoff with single to left and Chunichi starter Daisuke Yamai walked both centerfielder Ernie Young and rightfielder Boi Rodrigues to load the bases. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa singled to right to plate Suzuki, first baseman Takahiro Saeki singled in Young and Rodrigues was thrown out at the plate. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura walked to rejuice the bags. Yoshimi singled to right and Ogawa reported for the 3-0 lead.
In the sixth, the Dragons sought to mount a counterattack, but were cut off at the pass by Suzuki. Shortstop Kazuhiro Ibata leadoff with a single to center. One out later, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left. First baseman Leo Gomez flied out, but third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to left and the speedster Ibata made the turn for home. Suzuki got to the ball and winged it right to Nakamura, who blocked the plate as both the runner and the ball arrived almost simultaneously, the umpire judging Ibata to be out.
The Dragons were able to get men on base in each of the final three innings, but stranded them and Takashi Saito knocked out the two men he faced in the bottom of the ninth to put it in the books.
For Yokohama, Young was 0-2 with a walk and is at .105. Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .267.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 0-4 and is at .270.
3-1) IP 3.1 PC 67 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.87
Yamakita IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.86
Shotsu IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Kito IP 3.0 PC 49 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.76
Endo IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.67
Yoshimi (W, 4-3) IP
8.1 PC 113 H 11 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.40
T. Saito (S, 11) IP 0.2 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.82
2B: Fukudome, Yoshimi
RBI: Yoshimi, Ogawa, Saeki
GIDP: Yamai, Tanishige, Taneda
LOB: Chunichi 8, Yokohama 11
Season Series: Chunichi 8, Yokohama 4
Game Time: 3:00
Umpires: Ino (HP), Arisumi (1B), Hamano (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Daiei Misfires Against Nippon Ham Again 5-3
The Daiei Hawks pitching staff took on more water for what is a rapidly sinking ship when starter Keisaburo Tanoue was abused for five runs, all earned, on seven hits in seven innings to lose it to the Nippon Ham Fighters Sunday at Matsuyama, Ehime Prefecture on Shikoku 5-3. Satoru Kanemura, who has pitched in some tough luck this year, went six innings and was responsible for two runs on seven hits to claim his third victory, though he did raise his ERA to an excellent 2.44.
Nippon Ham took a 1-0 lead in the second, when Kazuteru Shimada leadoff with a single to right and, one out later, leftfielder D.T. Cromer singled Shimada over to third. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide rolled out to second to push Shimada in.
In the fourth, Nippon Ham DH Sherman Obando walked to ignite a three run rally. Shimada sacrificed him to second. Kuniyuki Kimoto singled to center. Cromer tripled into the rightcenter gap and it was 3-0 Fighters. Ide singled to left to exploit Cromer and it was 4-0 for the Tokyo side.
Daiei got off the floor when centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara homered to right in the fifth to make it 4-1. His teammates then chipped another point off the Fighters advantage in the sixth. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo doubled to leftcenter with one out. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to center to deliver Kokubo and now it was 4-2.
The Hawks then organized a two out revolt in the seventh to make it tight. Shibahara beat out a bouncer near short. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez singled to right. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled off the leftfield wall for a long single and Shibahara crossed to draw up to 4-3.
Nippon Ham put another one on the big board, though, in their ups, when shortstop Makoto Kaneko torqued a Tanoue offering into the leftcenterfield bleachers and they were back up by three at 5-3. Nippon Ham reliever Tomokazu Iba retired four of the last five men in the game to put it in the W column for Nippon Ham. This is the fourth time this season that Daiei has lost three in a row.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 and is at .281.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 0-3 with a walk and is at .245. Cromer was 2-3 with two RBIs and is at .265.
1-6) IP 7.0 PC 94 H 7 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R
5 ER 5 ERA 3.94
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Kanemura (W, 3-1)
IP 6.0 PC 96 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.44
N. Takahashi IP 0.2 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Shibakusa IP 0.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.71
Kato IP 0.1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Iba (S, 7) IP 1.1 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.19
SB: Iguchi, Ide
HR: Shibahara (2), Kaneko (3)
RBI: Shibahara, Iguchi, Matsunaka, Kaneko, Cromer 2, Ide 2
GIDP: P. Valdez, Taguchi
LOB: Daiei 7, Nippon Ham 3
Season Series: Daiei 7, Nippon Ham 8
Game Time: 3:11
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Kudoh Gets Some Rare, Albeit Late, Run Support in Giants Triumph
As he has been doing this season, Yomiuri Giants starter Kimiyasu Kudoh surrendered the game's lead run, which has usually foretold either a defeat or a no decision since he has rarely received any run support from his offense. Sunday at Sapporo Dome, however, the Giants scored a total of six runs over the final four innings for a 6-2 come from behind victory over the Hiroshima Carp. Kudoh, despite a 2.61 ERA, is now only 4-5.
The Carp used a one out single to left from catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura, a sac bunt, and a double to leftcenter from rightfielder Jun Hirose to stake a 1-0 advantage. Carp starter Ken Takahashi was able to keep it that way until Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi, with his mom and dad in the stands, mashed an 86mph fastball over the rightfield wall to tie it up at 1-1. It was also the 7500th homer a Giants batter has launched in club history.
Yomiuri then went to the head of the line in the seventh, when Daisuke Motoki cracked a leadoff single to center, catcher Shinnosuke Abe legged out an infield hit, both were sacrificed up 90 feet by pinch hitter Masahiro Kawai and second baseman Toshihisa Nishi zapped a double down the leftfield line to send in two and it was 3-1 Giants.
Hiroshima made up part of that when they combined a a double into the rightfield corner from Kazuyoshi Kimura, and pinch hitter Itsuki Asai single to center to make it 3-2.
The Giants buried three Hiroshima relievers in their portion, however. Centerfielder Hideki Matsui leadoff with a single to center. One out later, third baseman Akira Etoh jacked a delivery from Shigeo Tamaki over the centerfield fence. Felipe Crespo struckout, but Abe did that truncheon thing on a pitch from Rigo Beltran and parked it in the rightcenterfield bleachers for a 6-2 Yomiuri lead. Giants closer Junichi Kawahara, who has had his troubles this month, then turned out the lights on a couple of groundouts and a strikeout.
With his five strikeouts Sunday, Kudoh moves up to number ten all time in that department with 2247.
One of the Japanese papers noted that while Yoshinobu Takahashi slugged the 7500th Giants dinger, his manager, Tatsunori Hara, rang up number 4500 when he was an active player.
For Hiroshima, Second baseman Eddie Diaz, in his first game back from the injured list, was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .324. First baseman Luis Lopez was 0-4 and is at 0-4 and is at .268.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 0-1 and is at .108.
K. Takahashi (L, 5-6)
IP 7.0 PC 118 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.32
Hiroike IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.09
Tamaki IP 0.1 PC 12 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.32
Beltran IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.36
4-5) IP 7.0 PC 87 H 2 HR
0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.61
Y. Iriki IP 0.1 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
Okajima IP 0.1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.94
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
J. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.96
E: K. Kimura
2B: Hirose, K. Kimura, Nishi
HR: Y. Takahashi (10), Etoh (7), S. Abe (8)
RBI: Hirose, I. Asai, Nishi 2, Y. Takahashi, Etoh 2, S. Abe
LOB: Hiroshima 4, Yomiuri 6
Season Series: Hiroshima 7, Yomiuri 5
Game Time: 3:19
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Honda (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Japan-U.S. Baseball Tournament Begins Friday
Starting June 28th in Maryland, a team of Japanese collegiate all stars,
including Wasdeda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada as well as the ace
of the 2002 All Japan University Championships winning Asia University, Hiroshi
Kisanuki, will square off with a similar U.S. squad in a five game series.
Though the series is 31 years old, the Japanese side has never won it.
For those who plan to go, another name to keep an eye on is Yuya Kubo, a righthanded power hitter from Tokai University who some think could go high in the November draft. For those of you who can read Japanese, here is a roster list for the Japanese contingent: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/ama/university/j-us/2002/j-member.htm
For the full schedule, go to Baseball America at: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/leagues/international/usa062402.html
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 23rd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1955, a faceoff between the Taiyo Whales and the Hanshin Tigers at Kawasaki Stadium was called off when the lights went out and couldn't be repaired that night.
Also on that date in 1968, Yomiuri Giants pitcher Masaichi Kaneda entered a game against the Hiroshima Carp at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium as a pinch hitter and went yard. That was the second pinch homer of his career, the one previous to that coming on September 22nd, 1962 when he was still with the Kokutetsu Swallows. It was his 38th lifetime jack. Kaneda was a good enough hitter that he was used 108 times as a pinch hitter during his days as an active player.
Anyway, to add to the homer, he also took the mound in the sixth and got the win after twirling four no hit innings. And more significantly, that appearance gave him 907 lifetime, which eclipsed Cy Young's pro world record of 906. Kaneda would finish with 944 total appearances and 400 wins. Talk about a momentous day!
June 22, 2002
Okubo Error Sets Up Evans Sayonara Single in 2-1 Seibu Win
Koo Dae-sung had another stellar outing Saturday at Seibu Dome, throwing
seven innings of three hit, one run ball and striking out nine. And what
did he have to show for it? Nada. Why? Because Seibu Lions starter Takashi
Ishii was able to keep the Orix Blue Wave to one run on seven hits in 7.1
innings and then Lions third baseman Tom Evans, after fanning his first four
times up, got sawed completely off in the bottom of the tenth off of Orix
closer Masanobu Okubo, but found a piece of empty real estate with it, to
drive in second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi with the winning run in a 2-1 Seibu
triumph. Seibu is 11-2 in the season series with Orix this season, and have
taken their last eight matches against the Kobe squad. You can see a pic
of Evans at the end of his swing, where he was left with just the handle,
Orix pulled out in front in the second, when first baseman Yuji Goshima hammered an Ishii offering and launched it over the centerfield fence to make it 1-0 Blue Wave. Ishii then gave up a two out double off the centerfield wall by rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi and walked second baseman Koichi Oshima, but he struckout shortstop Makoto Shiozaki to end the inning.
Seibu evened it in the seventh, but they were lucky to do it. With two gone, centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji singled to center and catcher Tsutomu Itoh walked. Takagi swung and missed at a ball well out of the strike zone for strike three, but the pitch skipped by Takeshi Hidaka and when he retrieved the ball, he hurriedly threw wildly to first to try to nail Takagi and Miyaji hustled in with the tying run.
Orix then blew a prime scoring opportunity in the top of the eighth. Shiozaki leadoff with a double to rightcenter and was sacrificed to third. DH Yoshitomo Tani walked. Yoshihiro Doi replaced Ishii and struckout pinch hitter Fernando Seguignol and induced third baseman Tatsuya Shindo to ground out and that was that.
After 2.1 innings of dominant relief by their teammate Shinji Mori, the Lions took their turn in the bottom of the tenth against Okubo. Takagi kicked it off with a single to left. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui laid down a sacrifice bunt and Okubo muffed it for an error. Leftfielder Masaji Shimizu grounded to first to advance the runners. Hiroyuki Shibata struckout with what should have been the third out. Okubo then got into Evans kitchen and Evans fisted it into left to send in Takagi and that was the ballgame. That was the Lions sixth sayonara victory of 2002.
Koo, despite a sparkling 1.57 ERA, is only 4-3. Too bad he can't sue for non-support.
For Seibu, Evans was 1-5 with an RBI and four strikeouts and is at .354.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-1 and is at .228.
IP 7.0 PC 129 H 3 HR 0 K 9 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.57
Yamaguchi IP 2.0 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.66
Okubo (L, 1-3) IP 0.2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.50
Ishii IP 7.1 PC 112 H 7 HR 1 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Doi IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.20
Mori (W, 3-4) IP 2.1 PC 29 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.56
2B: Shiozaki, Katsuragi, Hidaka
HR: Goshima (1)
RBI: Goshima, Evans
GIDP: T. Itoh
LOB: Orix 8, Seibu 9
Season Series: Orix 2, Seibu 11
Game Time: 3:13
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Yamazaki (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Tsugawa (3B)
Moore Hammered for Six Runs in Another Hanshin Loss
After getting knocked all over the field by the Yakult Swallows batting order, Hanshin Tigers starter Trey Moore told the press that the birds were reading his pitches really well and that maybe he was pitching them too predictably. As you will soon see, Moore may have been correct. In any event, Hanshin dropped its fifth game in a row 9-5 thanks to an excellent performance from Shugo Fujii, who allowed two runs in seven innings to pick up his fifth win.
In the bottom of the first, some timid third base coaching may have cost Hanshin a run. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka leadoff with a ground ball to short that Hajime Miki geeked and then went ot second on a groundout. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to left and Hanshin's third base coach decided to put up the stop sign, so Hamanaka stopped at third. The scouting report on Ramirez is that he doesn't have a great arm despite a game earlier this season where he nailed two runners on the basepaths. With George Arias up at the plate and a two strike count, Imaoka took off for second. Arias swung and missed. Furuta then threw to second and Imaoka got caught in a rundown. Hamanaka then tried to score and he was out easily for a weird strikeout-throw 'em out double play.
Nevertheless, Hamanaka's stopping at third made Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino hit the roof and he blamed Hamanaka for it rather than the coach, who was clearly at fault in this case. So following his next at bat, Hoshino pulled Hamanaka as punishment.Eventually, this behavior by Hoshino would bring a rebuke in the media from former Hankyu Braves field boss Yukio Nishimoto, who has something Hoshino doesn't, a couple of Japan Series titles. More about that later.
In the top of the second, Yakult opened up on Moore with both barrels. Furuta leadoff with a walk. Ramirez went up to the dish looking for a breaking ball. What he got was a changeup and he really crushed it, rocketing it into the mezzanine section in rightcenter for a 2-0 Swallows lead. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to right. Centerfielder Tetsuya Iida singled to left. Fujii sacrificed both runners over. Miki singled to right to drive in Iwamura. Second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi grounded to short and Iida crossed to make it 4-0 Yakult.
The Swallows blew a scoring chance in the fourth, when they had a man on third with one out and couldn't get him home.
The Tigers made a little noise in the bottom half, when Arias cracked a two out single to right and rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama doubled into the rightfield corner to allow Arias to come all the way around and make it 4-1 Yakult.
Yakult compensated for its fourth inning misadventure by splashing a deuce on the board in the fifth. Furuta leadoff with a screamer down the leftfield line and cruised into second. Ramirez dug in and was hoping to see something on the inner half of the plate, which is where Moore threw his slider, the former Indian drilling the ball into the leftfield bleachers for a 6-1 Swallows advantage. Did Ramirez know what was coming? He sure seemed in tune with Moore in this one.
Hanshin answered, but not with very much. Fujii plunked third baseman Atsushi Kataoka with one away in the home portion. Imaoka singled to left. One out later, Hiyama singled to center and delivered Kataoka to reduce the deficit to 6-2.
Atsunori Itoh replaced Moore in the seventh and he was rudely recieved, too. With one out, Dobashi doubled off the leftfield wall. Rightfielder Shinichi Sato then took Itoh over the centerfield fence for an 8-2 Swallows edge. Itoh was also sent to the showers, Yoshino being substituted for him.
In the eighth, Hanshin put on a fireworks show, but again, it was an ultimately futile gesture. Kataoka commenced the frame with a shot into the centerfield stands off of reliever Tomokazu Teramura. Imaoka then did the long distance runaround to left. One out later and with Alan Newman now on the hill, Hiyama buried a pitch in the rightcenterfield seats and it was 8-5.
Sato, though, retorted in the ninth with a two out double off the centerfield fence with two down and completed the circuit on a two bagger to deep right by first baseman Roberto Petagine. Newman retired all three men he faced and it was "game setto."
Last season, Ramirez had some problems with the breaking ball and at the suggestion of the Swallows batting coach, he opened his stance and is getting better results, hitting .318 with 13 homers with his 2-4 night. Ramirez has been taking infield practice and wants to play third at some point. Pretty unlikely that will happen with Iwamura a fixture at that spot. This was Ramirez' second multi-homer game of the season and he did it four times last year, the Swallows seizing the day each time.
Yakult is six games over .500 for the initial time this season and are in second place, their best position of the season. Hanshin, though, hasn't won a game at home since May 30th. To exacerbate that frustration, there is some turmoil in their pitching ranks. Rookie Yuya Ando is out of action with shoulder discomfort and ex-Padre Buddy Carlyle, marooned in the Japanese minors all season, is making noises about wanting to be traded. Hanshin management, however, say they have no intention of trading the import. If Carlyle had better control, they would probably put him in their dire bullpen, but his lack of command hurts him.
Aside from Ando and just his second bad outing of the year, Moore and the remainder of the Tigers starting staff has been rock solid. The team's offense, though, is still a sore point and they have lost the last nine games in a row in which they have surrendered the first run of the game.
Nishimoto, though, through the press, reminded Hoshino not to be too oppressive on his players since it discourages them and it carries over into how they perform in the games. The fiery disciplinarian, once he got word of Nishimoto's remarks, seemed chastened, but he is still going to do things his way, make no mistake about it.
Fujii lost nine pounds in the aftermath of becoming ill after attending the Japan-Belgium World Cup match and was fined $4,000 for not taking care of himself. Now that's stupidity on ice, no? Yakult's piching coach wasn't very impressed by Fujii's stuff Saturday, but it was good enough to earn the southpaw his first win since May 29th.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with three strikeouts and is at .276. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-3 with a walk and is at .257.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-5 with an RBI and is at .291.
S. Fujii (W, 5-2) IP 7.0
PC 102 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.28
Teramura IP 0.1 PC 14 H 2 HR 2 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.86
Newman IP 1.2 PC 23 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.74
6-5) IP 6.0 PC 105 H 9 HR 2 K 3
BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.09
A. Itoh IP 0.1 PC 15 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.16
Yoshino IP 1.2 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
T.H. Hashimoto IP 0.2 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 36.00
Kanazawa IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.94
2B: Iwamura, Furuta, Dobashi, S. Sato, Petagine, Hiyama
HR: Ramirez 2 (13), S. Sato (3), Kataoka (6), Imaoka (8), Hiyama (10)
RBI: Miki, Dobashi, S. Sato 2, Petagine, Ramirez 4, Kataoka, Imaoka, Hiyama 3
HBP: Furuta (Yoshino), Kataoka (S. Fujii), White (S. Fujii)
GIDP: Iida, Sekimoto
LOB: Yakult 5, Hanshin 5
Season Series: Yakult 7, Hanshin 5
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Watada (1B), Manabe (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Shoda Throws Six Hit 6-0 Shutout Against Daiei
Boy, Itsuki Shoda has turned into a real find for Nippon Ham. Saturday at Kagawa Prefectural Stadium in Takamatsu (315 down the lines and 400 to straight away center; you can see a pic of the facility, which is in a beautiful setting, at: http://homepage1.nifty.com/tadaf/kagawa.htm), he spun his first pro shutout as the Fighters went on to spank the sluggish Daiei Hawks 6-0. Junji Hoshino started for Daiei and survived for just 2.1 innings before being told to take a walk by manager Sadaharu Oh. Shoda was leaving a lot of balls up in the game, but when you're going bad those become popups and not homers and that was the case with the party from Fukuoka.
Shoda had seen a victory disappear against the Hawks on June 11th, when reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa couldn't get anyone out in the ninth of a 1-0 tilt. This time, he was determined to go all the way and he did for his second shiroboshi of 2002 to accompany his 2.60 ERA. The Fighters order gave their hurler some early breathing room in the second, when centerfielder Tatsuya Ide homered to left for a 1-0 Nippon Ham lead.
An inning later, first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara , with an OPS of better than 1.100, leadoff with an infield hit. DH Sherman Obando put a whipping on a pitch from Hoshino and sunk the remains in the centerfield bleachers. Kazuteru Shimada doubled down the leftfield line and went to third on a groundout. Nobuyasu Matsu strode in from the pen to make his season debut. Ide flew out to center to plate Shimada and it was 4-0 Fighters.
Matsu did a tremendous job over his 3.2 innings in bogging the Nippon Ham attack down, but when the veteran Hirokazu Watanabe took his place, the Fighters got another long ball in the seventh. With one away, Takaya Hayashi doubled down the leftfield line. Ogasawara didn't miss a fat one from Watanabe and expelled it from the field of play via the lefttcenterfield stands for the final margin of victory, 6-0.
Shoda disposed of three of the four men he faced in the ninth and the tirumph was his. This was the first game since May 27th in which Nippon Ham has scored more than five runs.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 and is at .282. Morgan Burkhart went back to the U.S to have surgery on his left shoulder after batting .214 in 42 games with nine homers and 18 RBIs.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-5 with two RBIs and is at .249. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was was 1-4 and is at .259.
J. Hoshino (L, 4-4)
IP 2.1 PC 56 H 6 HR 2 K 0 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.52
Matsu IP 3.2 PC 52 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.93
Matsumoto IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shoda (W, 2-3) IP 9.0 PC 115 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.60
E: Kawasaki, Kaneko
SB: Kokubo, Furuki
2B: Cromer, Shimada, Hayashi
HR: Ide (9), Obando (14), M. Ogasawara (19)
RBI: M. Ogasawara 2, Obando 2, Ide 2
HBP: Sanematsu (J. Hoshino)
GIDP: Matsunaka, Akiyama, Iguchi, Ide
LOB: Daiei 5, Nippon Ham 5
Season Series: Daiei 7, Nippon Ham 7
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Yanagida (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Holt Goes All the Way Again, Except This One's a 2-1 Winner
Ex-Rockie Chris Holt pitched well in his last appearance for the Yokohama Bay Stars, throwing a complete game in what proved to be a losing effort. This time out, however, he went the distance and limited the Chunichi Dragons to one run on six hits while striking out three and walking none in his first home start Saturday to win it 2-1. Kenta Asakura went eight innings and coughed up nine hits and two runs to even his record at 5-5.
Yokohama took a 1-0 lead in the second on a walk to rightfielder Boi Rodrigues, who went to second on a groundout, and a single to center by first baseman Takahiro Saeki.
Holt really had them pounding the ball into the dirt, getting a total of 15 ground ball outs along with three other ground balls, two that went for hits and one that was kicked by Saeki, in a dominating tour de force. There were also two liners that were flagged down by shortstop Takuro Ishii.
In the fifth, though, the Dragons evened the score when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata cracked a two out single to left and then stole second, going home when Holt had a curve ball wacked into deep center by leftfielder Scott Bullet to make it 1-1.
But Asakura cracked again, this time in the eighth, and that decided the game's outcome. Ishii leadoff with a single to center and second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to left. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki was intentionally walked to get to centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo, who popped out to second. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to left to drive in Ishii, but Taneda was out at the plate. Third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa beat out a roller to repack the bases, though all the runners were stranded when Saeki grounded out.
The Dragons had one last chance in the top of the ninth. Holt struckout first baseman Leo Gomez and third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami grounded out. Rightfielder Kazuki Inoue scorched a double down the leftfield line to become the tying run. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige checked in and he lined out to Ishii to put it in the refrigerator for the home team.
Chunichi's offense has been sad the lat four games, averaging just 1.75 runs each time out and accumulating a paltry 23 hits in that time. Asakura has done well on the mound, but hasn't won in a month due to lack of run support.
As a weird note, pitcher Takashi Ogasawara was penciled into the starting lineup in leftfield since the Stars didn't announce their starter until Holt came in from the bullpen. Bullet was then inserted into Ogasawara's place when it came time for him to hit in the first inning.
This was the shortest game of the year in the Central League at two hours and 16 minutes.
For Yokohama, starting centerfielder Ernie Younmg was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .111. Rodrigues was 3-3 with an RBI and is at.266.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .216. Gomez was 1-4 and is at .275.
Asakura (L, 5-5) IP 8.0 PC 121 H 9 HR 0 K 5 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.67
Holt (W, 2-1) IP 9.0 PC 106 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.86
2B: Bullet, Inoue
RBI: Bullet, Rodrigues, Saeki
IBB: Saeki, T. Suzuki
LOB: Chunichi 6, Yokohama 8
Season Series: Chunichi 8, Yokohama 3
Game Time: 2:16
Umpires: Tani (HP), Hamano (1B), Sasaki (2B), Ino (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 22nd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1977, several private rooting associations of the Chunichi Dragons were so unhappy with they way the club was playing that they all announced that they were disbanding. Now THAT is getting dissed!
Also on that date in 1955, Masaichi Kaneda of the Kokutetsu Swallows struckout
the side against the Chunichi Dragons on nine pitches in the second inning.
None of the hitters made contact with the ball during those at bats.
Like all of you, I was flabbergasted and saddened by the sudden death of Darryl Kile Saturday. As a Dodgers fan whose team has been a frequent victim of Kile's competetiveness and pitching skill, I would like to pass on my best wishes and thoughts to both the St. Cardinals and, especially, to Darryl's family. If there is one consolation in this truly terrible event, he got to play most of his career in front of the best fans in all of baseball. May he rest in peace.
June 21st, 2002
No games scheduled.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report would have been for June 21st and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1959, there was a dispute on a call concerning a ball hit by Yomiuri Giants outfielder Kazuhiko Sakazaki. The fans in the stands also apparently got involved somehow and umpire Maruyama was roughed up in the bruhaha.
Also on that date in 1995, Yakult Swallows outfielder Atsunori Inaba, making his pro debut in a game at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium (though he made the start at first base in this one), homered in the second inning with a man on to become the 34th player in history to go deep in his first at bat with the big club. he finished 3-4 on the day.
Kazuo Matsui set a record Thursday when he became the first switch hitter in Japanese history to homer in five consecutive games. He has another homer record. What is it? Answer at the bottom of this article.
June 20th, 2002
Hanshin Tumbles into Third with Fourth Straight Loss
The Central League pennant race just got even more interesting now with Hanshin's fourth straight defeat, the latest being Thursday's tilt with Hiroshima that saw starter Shinji Sasaoka and three relievers stop the Tigers from scoring more than two runs despite 10 hits as Carp centerfielder Koichi Ogata belted two homers off of Hanshin starter Shinji Taninaka to lead his side to a 3-2 triumph at Toyama Municipal Stadium (325 down the lines, 393 to dead center) in Toyama. The loss drops the Osaka nine down to third place for the first time this season, with Yakult assuming the second rank.
As yet another example of Hanshin's inability to get consistent clutch hitting, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka leadoff the game with a double off the centerfield wall and was sacrificed to third, now needing just a grounder to the right side or a medium deep fly ball to get the run home. Instead, second baseman Makoto Imaoka struckout and so did first baseman George Arias to strand Hamanaka and put another gray hair on manager Seninchi Hoshino's head.
The match remained scoreless for the first three and a half innings until Ogata laid the smack down on a Taninaka delivery with one out in the fourth to make it 1-0 Hiroshima.
Hanshin knotted it in the sixth, though, as Imaoka looped a two out fly ball double to right and came around on a single to left from Arias and it was 1-1.
In the bottom of the inning, however, Taninaka made a couple of mistakes and that was effectively the ballgame. Sasaoka hit a groundball back toward the mound that Taninaka muffed. Fortunately, he was able to induce a double play ball. That brought up second baseman Takuya Kimura, who singled to right. Taninaka seemed bothered by the speedy Kimura's presence, making several throws to first base trying to hold him. When he went to the plate, he hung a slider to Ogata, who deposited it into the leftfield seats for a 3-1 Carp lead.
After blowing two more scoring chances in the seventh and eighth, Hanshin hit upCarp closer Oyamada to get close, but not close enough. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka leadoff with a single to center. Leftfielder Derrick White also singled through the middle. Both men were sacrificed along and now the tying run was at second. Hiroshi Yagi was sent up to pinch hit for Yuya Ando and the count went to 3-2 before Yagi found a hole between third and short to drive in Kataoka. Ryo Asai came in to pinch run for Yagi. Hamanaka, who has some pop, shortcircuited the comeback with a ground ball to third baseman Takahiro Arai, who whipped it around the infield for the game ending double play. The Tigers are 3-9 in June and sinking fast.
For Hiroshima, first baseman Luis Lopez was 0-3 and is at .275. He has all but disappeared offensively since the confrontation with Maeda a couple of months back.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .276. White was 2-4 and is at .262.
Taninaka (L, 4-4) IP 6.0 PC 96
H 5 HR 2 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.60
Toyama IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
Ando IP 1.2 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.35
Sasaoka (W, 3-4) IP 6.1
PC 89 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.31
Tamaki IP 0.2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.95
K. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
Oyamada (S, 14) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.37
2B: Hamanaka, Imaoka 2
HR: Ogata 2 (9)
RBI: Ogata 3, Arias, Yagi,
GIDP: K. Nomura, Hamanaka
LOB: Hanshin 8, Hiroshima 2
Season Series: Hanshin 7, Hiroshima 5
Game Time: 2:44
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Manabe (1B), Ino (2B), Nemoto (3B)
Ishikawa Outstanding and Yakult Moves Up to Second
Rookie Masanori Ishikawa had his second good start in a row Thursday at Nagoya Dome in a 3-1 victory over the Chunichi Dragons. With the win, Ishikawa, who had excellent movement on his fastball and good command of his pitches, has now beaten all of the other five Central League clubs and elevated his side to second place in the pennant race.
Yakult went out in front early, as rightfielder Shinichi Sato singled to left in tghe first with two down, first baseman Roberto Petagine singled to center and catcher Atsuya Furuta inside outed a fastball on the inner half of the plate back up the middle to push Sato across with a 1-0 lead.
The Swallows then needed just one hit in the third for their second tally. Sato tripled over the head of centerfielder Masahiro Araki with one out and Petagine flied out to left to recall Sato and it was 2-0 Yakult.
In the sixth, Chunichi had its first substantial threat. With one out, shortstop Hirokazu Ibara singled to right and went to second on a groundout. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome lined a single to right and the fleetfooted Ibata made the turn for home. Sato made a throw right on the nose and Furuta tagged Ibata out at the plate for the final out of the frame.
Ryota Igarashi spelled Ishikawa and dominated, striking out the last four hitters he saw before handing it over to Shingo Takatsu in the ninth. Takatsu had a little more breathing room, when third baseman Akinori Iwamura got good wood on an offering from Dragons reliever Masahiro Yamamoto and rammed it over the rightcenterfield fence for a 3-0 advantage.
Takatsu retired the initial pair of Dragons hitters that dug in against him before Fukudome connected for his 11th jack of 2002 to ruin the shutout. Takatsu then got Gomez to groundout to short on a sinker to end it.
Yakult is the main reason that the Dragons are in fourth, as the Nagoya outfit has a winning record with three of the four other clubs and a 6-6 mark in faceoffs with the Hiroshima Carp, who are eating the Swallows alive.
For Yakult, Petagine, who also made a nice pick of a basehit bid from Dragons third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, was 2-3 with an RBI and is at .294. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 and is at .315.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 1-4 and is at .275. Leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 and is at .214.
Masanori Ishikawa (W, 5-4) IP 6.0 PC
71 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.36
R. Igarashi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.20
Takatsu (S, 17) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.43
T. Ogasawara (L, 5-2) IP 6.0 PC
87 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.72
M. Yamamoto IP 3.0 PC 42 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.35
2B: Petagine, Gomez
3B: S. Sato
HR: Iwamura (7), Fukudome (11)
RBI: Iwamura, Petagine, Furuta, Fukudome
LOB: Yakult 6, Chunichi 3
Season Series: Yakult 9, Chunichi 4
Game Time: 2:28
Umpires: Mori (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Shimada (3B)
Three Run Inubushi Pinch Hit Come From Behind Sayonara Homer Fells Hawks 5-4
Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui set a new record with a homer in his fifth straight game Thursday at Seibu Dome, but Toshiaki Inubushi provided the signal blow of the contest with a pinch hit three run homer in the bottom of the ninth off of Daiei Hawks reliever Shuji Yoshida to win it 5-4. Kiyoshi Toyoda was the beneficiary of Inubushi's first ever sayonara blast in his 12 pro years, being credited with his fourth win without a loss after a ten pitch perfect top of the ninth.
The Lions pounced on Hawks starter Akichika Yamada for a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Matsui destroyed an 88mph fastball on the inner half of the plate and unleashed a rocket deep into the rightfield stands. "I got it right on the sweet spot," Matsui revealed. "I knew it was gone as soon as I hit it." With that tater, Matsui becomes the first switch hitter in Japanese history to go yard five games in a row. The last time any Seibu player homered in five of five games was Koji Akiyama, now a Hawk, in 1991. Next is the Pacific League record for any player of big flies in six consecutive battles. The overall mark for any batter is seven, held jointly by Sadaharu Oh and Randy Bass. Thanks to Nikkan Sports for the stats.
Daiei tied it in the fourth, as centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara doubled to leftcenter, and, two outs later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo cracked a single to left and it was 1-1.
Then in the fifth, Hawks rookie shortstop Munenori Kawasaki tripled to left and Shibahara brought him in with a perfect squeeze bunt and now the visitors were in control 2-1.
Seibu starter Koji Mitsui was finished off in the sixth, when first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka laced a double down the rightfield line, DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to left and Akiyama also singled to left, that one off of Hayato Aoki for the RBI and the 3-1 edge.
Hawks leftfielder Pedro Valdez then used his legs to run up another score for his side. With one away, Valdez singled to left and stole second. One out later, Kokubo singled to left and Valdez reported to expand the Daiei advantage to 4-1.
Seibu chipped a run off the deficit in the eight, when Matsui legged out a dribbler and Masaji Shimizu doubled to rightcenter to drive in Matsui and it was 4-2 Daiei.
So on to the bottom of the ninth. Third baseman Tom Evans walked to lead it off. Kosuke Noda singled to left. Both runners moved up on a groundout. Inubushi, whose name can be translated as "prostrating dog," didn't come into this one lying down despite a recent 1-16 slump, putting a bigtime hurt on a 2-2 hanging slider and mortaring it over the rightcenterfield fence as the Seibu bench went bananas in celebration of the 5-4 come from behind triumph.
The last time a Lions player had slugged a pinch hit sayonara homer was in 1994 in a game against the Chiba Lotte Marines, the batter on that occasion being Ken Suzuki. And it is the first come from behind sayonara circuit clout for the Lions since they were owned by Nishitetsu in 1971, a span of 31 years, and just the third time in whatever permutation of the club in history. How about that?Again, more excellent stats work by Nikkan Sports.
Inubushi has been getting a lot of playing time this year because he has been hitting lefthanders at a .347 clip. With Rodney Pedraza among the ranks of the injured, though, Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh really didn't have any other options than to stay with the overworked Yoshida.
For Daiei, Valdez
was 2-5 and is at .282. Evans was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and
is at .372.
IP 7.2 PC 119 H 4 HR 1 K 8 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.05
S. Yoshida (L, 4-1) IP 0.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.58
IP 5.1 PC 84 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.69
Aoki IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
Doi IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Mori IP 1.2 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.67
Toyoda (W, 4-0) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.78
SB: Kokubo, P. Valdez, Miyaji, Shibata 2
2B: Shibahara, Matsunaka, Masaji Shimizu
HR: K. Matsui (16) Inubushi (2)
RBI: K. Matsui, Masaji Shimizu, Inubushi 3, Shibahara, Kokubo 2, Akiyama
LOB: Daiei 7, Seibu 4
Season Series: Daiei 5, Seibu 7
Game Time: 3:13
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Akimura (3B)
Rhodes Jacks Power Kintetsu Over Orix
Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes homered in each of his first two at bats for a total of four RBIs and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura cranked a what turned out to be vital solo bomb in the eighth, as six Buffaloes relievers then held off a late charge from the Orix Blue Wave to take it 6-5. Hisashi Iwakuma started for Kintetsu and earned his fourth victory against three defeats with six solid innings of eight hit, one run ball. Hidetaka Kawagoe started for Orix and was clobbered for five earned runs in just short of four innings and accepted blame for the defeat.
Rhodes checked into the batter's box with two gone in the first and massacred a first pitch 88mph fastball into the rightcenterfield bleachers 430 feet away and it was 1-0 Buffs.
In the third, Buffaloes catcher Kenji Furukubo spanked a one out single to right and centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to left. One out later, Rhodes pounded a 1-0 slider into the rightfield stands to make it 4-0 Kintetsu.
An inning later, Kintetsu used a one out single to center from first baseman Yuji Yoshioka, a Kawagoe wild pitch and a two out single to left by shortstop Masahiro Abe to widen it to 5-0 in the Buffs favor.
Orix finally began to put up some resistance in the fifth. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi doubled down the rightfield line and second baseman Koichi Oshima hit a ball to Yoshioka, who let it get through him and Katsuragi scored to make it 5-1 Kintetsu.
Then in the sixth, Orix third baseman Tatsuya Shindo doubled into the rightcenter alley and, one out later, leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani singled to right to plate Shindo to shrink the Kintetsu lead to 5-2.
Orix hit up Kintetsu pitching once more in the seventh, as shortstop Makoto Shiozaki clocked a one out single to left and went to third on a single to right from centerfielder Koji Takamizawa. Pinch hitter Yoshitomo Tani flied out to right and Shiozaki tagged and hustled in to close it up to 5-3.
Nakamura got that back, however in the top of the eighth, rifling a 2-2 fastball to the opposite field and into the rightfield bleachers and it was 6-3 Kintetsu. Between them, Rhodes and Nakamura have 50 bombs.
An Orix baserunner, probably Katsuragi, made a baserunning blunder and it blunted his team's ability to even the game. Shiotani singled to center with one out. Katsuragi singled to right and was subsequently picked off. Oshima singled to right to drive in Shiotani and it was 6-4 Kintetsu. Shiozaki singled to left. But pinch hitter Manabu Satake whiffed and that was that.
In the ninth and with Akira Okamoto attempting to draw the curtain down for the Buffs, pinch hitter Yuji Goshima doubled to lead it off and methodically worked his way around on two ground ball outs to make it a one run proposition at 6-5. Okamoto then got DH Fernando Seguignol to groundout as well and the Buffs escaped by the skin of their teeth.
The Buffaloes are 10-0 this year when Nakamura and Rhodes have gone deep in the same contest and 13-0 dating back to the end of last season.
For Kintetsu,. Rhodes was 3-4 with four RBIs and is at .289. He is the third fastest all time to 27 homers, bested only by Alex Cabrera (50 games), and Sadaharu Oh (55 games).
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .229. First baseman Scott Sheldon struckout all three times he went up to the dish and is at .228.
Iwakuma (W, 4-3) IP 6.0 PC 98
H 8 HR 0 K 8 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.67
Takamura IP 0.2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.49
Yoshida IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
A. Otsuka IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Misawa IP 0.2 PC 20 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.84
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
A. Okamoto (S, 15) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.53
Kawagoe (L, 3-7) IP
3.2 PC 59 H 7 HR 2 K 2 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.12
Ogura IP 4.1 PC 58 H 3 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.75
E: Yoshioka, Shiozaki
2B: Shindo, Katsuragi, Goshima
HR: Rhodes 2 (27), N. Nakamura (23)
RBI: Rhodes 4, N. Nakamura, M. Abe, K. Oshima, Tani, Shindo, Shiotani
HBP: Shiozaki (Iwakuma)
LOB: Kintetsu 4, Orix 11
Season Series: Kintetsu 9, Orix 3
Game Time: 3:26
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Sato (1B), Fujimoto (2B), Tamba (3B)
Asia University Wins Japan College Championship Over Wada, Waseda University 2-1
A ninth inning sacrifcice fly by Asia University infielder Ryohei Kawamoto scored the winning run off of Wadeda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada Wednesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo to reign supreme among Japanese universities for 2002 Kisa started for the victors and allowed just one run on six hits and fanned 14 to earn credit for the shiroboshi. He was clocked at a high of 90mph and went to the plate 164 times over the course of the game.
By contrast, Wada, the most heralded college hurler this season, whiffed eight.
A scout for the Nippon Ham Fighters noted that Kisa has very good arm speed, a smooth delivery, and hides the ball well. "There's a lot of potential there," the talent evaluator allowed. Kisa also bested Nagisa Arakaki, another highly touted hurler who goes to Kyushu Community College. Kisa took home the MVP while, curiously, Wada was named best pitcher of the championship tournament. Arakaki was bestowed a fighting spirit award.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 20th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1956, NPB announced that it would hold a ceremony before one of the all star games commemorating the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Japanese pro baseball leagues. As part of that ceremony, distinguished service awards would be given to early players and officials who helped get pro baseball in Japan off the ground.
Also on this date in Japanese baseball history in 1961, submarining righty Yoshimi Moritaki of the Kokutetsu Swallows threw the seventh perfect game in Japanese history at Korakuen Stadium against the Chunichi Dragons on 113 pitches. Moritaki was in just his second year and was making his 47th start. Four of the outs were on strikeouts and 17 were on balls that never left the infield (15 ground balls and two pop flies). He also hit a third inning double that helped get the only run of the ballgame. He would then make just 15 more starts during his seven year, 204 appearance career and finish 16-46 with three shutouts and an ERA of 3.46. 1961 was easily his best season, as he went 10-8 with a 2.30 ERA in 38 appearances. Looking at the sudden falloff in IP his last two seasons, it looks like he got bit by the injury bug and it finished him. He had a terrible K/BB ratio, though, even if his control was excellent. His BB/9 was 2.28, considered very good indeed, and he was tough to take deep.
Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui was the first man ever in Japanese history to start a game in the top of the first with a leadoff inside the park homer, which he did against the Daiei Hawks on June 28th, 1998.
Only one other man in history has done it since, that being Tomochika Tsuboi of the Hanshin Tigers on July 4, 1998 against the Hiroshima Carp. What's remarkable is how closely the Tsuboi and Matsui feats occurred.
Five others have
leadoff the BOTTOM of the first inning with inside the park homers, the first
of that set being Hanshin's Hidefumi Miyake on June 25, 1958. The last man
to do it was Kazuhiko Miyaji of the Seibu Lions on September 2, 2000.
Hanshin in Swoon Mode? Drops Third Game in a Row 4-2
Is this picture all too familiar Hanshin fans? Your favorite team pulling a deep six act in June? With their latest loss, a 4-2 decisions that went to the Hiroshima Carp at Fukui Prefectural Stadium (dimensions: 328 down the lines and 400 to center; you can see pics of the facility at: http://homepage1.nifty.com/tadaf/fukuikenei.htm) Wednesday, Hanshin is one game under .500 since that seven game winning streak they opened the season with. Shinobu Fukuhara took his second loss in relief after the Tigers had fought their way back to tie.
Kuroda started for Hiroshima and was excellent, going eight innings of two run ball on seven hits, striking out five and walking none to scoop up his third victory against an equal number of losses.
Hiroshima went out in front in the first, when second baseman Takuya Kimura leadoff with a single to left and went to second on a sac bunt. One out later, leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto doubled off the centerfield wall to send in Kimura and it was 1-0 Carp.
Hanshin's inability to hit with runners in scoring position then raised its head in the third. Leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka, zero for his last 23 at bats coming into the game, kicked it off with a single to right and catcher Akihiro Yano singled to left. Both men were sacrificed along and that is where they stayed, as second baseman Makoto Imaoka struckout to end the inning.
Hanshin starter Kei Igawa was throwing well, but was touched for another run in the seventh. First baseman Luis Lopez leadoff with a single to left and was pinch run for by Kazuki Fukuchi, who stole second. Kojiro Machida singled to left and Fukuchi reported to make it 2-0 Carp.
Hanshin then used a couple of infield hits to even it in the top of the eighth. With one out, Hamanaka bunted toward third and slid headlong into first safely.One out later, Koji Hirashita, pinch hitting for Igawa, legged out a roller toward second. Imaoka singled to left to plate Hamanaka and pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi guided one through the hole between third and short to send in Hirashita and it was 2-2.
Fukuhara, though, made a big mistake and that was the ballgame. Pinch hitter Itsuki Asai beat out a tapper to begin the inning and was sacrificed to second. Rookie pinch hitter Hideharu Hyodo then got a third pitch hanging slider and drilled it over Hamanaka's head and Asai galloped in to make it 3-2 Hiroshima. One out later, Kanemoto singled to right to deliver Hyodo to make it 4-2 Carp.
Hanshin went up for its last at bat in the ninth and first baseman George Arias hammered a double down the leftfield line to lead it off and went to third on a groundout. But shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto popped out and Hamanaka flew out to center and that little rally petered out to hand Hiroshima the victory.
On an interesting historical note: Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino, when he was a rookie righthanded pitcher for the Chunichi Dragons in 1969, grabbed his first lifetime win at this ballpark. He would then go on to play 13 more seasons, all with the Dragons, and go 146-121 with 3.60 ERA, taking a career high 18 triumphs in 1977. He also won a Sawamura Award in 1974, when he went 15-9 with ten saves and a 2.87 ERA. The ten saves was tops in the league that year.
Hyodo had been a number two draft choice in 1997 after unloading a come from behind grand slam during the Koshien Baseball Tournament for Saga Commercial High School, but had been dogged by injuries since, including elbow surgery. His two bagger also terminated the Carp's five game losing streak while Hanshin went to 3-8 for June.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 and is at .276.
For Hiroshima, Lopez was 1-3 and is at .281.
IP 7.0 PC 98 H 6 HR 0 K 9 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.91
Fukuhara (L, 1-2) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.98
3-3) IP 8.0 PC 93 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 2 ER
2 ERA 4.46
Oyamada (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.96
2B: Arias, Kanemoto, Hyodo
RBI: Kanemoto, Hyodo, Machida, Imaoka, Yagi
GIDP: Lopez, K. Kimura
LOB: Hanshin 5, Hiroshima 4
Season Series: Hanshin 7, Hiroshima 4
Game Time: 2:49
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Ino (1B), Nemoto (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Daiei Slams Out 16 Hits to Beat Seibu 9-5
After being all but unbeatable to begin the month, the Seibu Lions saw Fumiya Nishiguchi get knocked around the lot by the Daiei Hawks, who finished with 16 hits and a 9-5 victory Wednesday at Seibu Dome. Daiei starter Kenichi Wakatabe looked more like the Wakatabe that lost his nunber one starter's job after last season, but managed to be just good enough to earn his third victory despite serving up five earned runs in 8.1 innings, including a three run blast by Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui, his 15th of the year, in the seventh.
The Hawks pulled to the head of the line almost immmediately in the first, centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singling to center to start the game and leftfielder Pedro Valdez doubling into the rightcenter gap to drive Shibahara with a 1-0 Daiei lead. The Hawks eventually loaded the bases with one out, but rightfielder Koji Akiyama and DH Noriyoshi Omichi both struckout to waste the opportunity for causing further damage.
In the second, the Hawks put another one on the big board when shortstop Munenori Kawasaki doubled off the rightfield wall with one down and one out later, Valdez walked. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi beat out a roller toward second and Kawasaki hustled in to make it 2-0 Daiei.
The Shibahara-Valdez combination worked again in the third, when Shibahara leadoff with an infield hit and Valdez cannonaded the second of his three doubles into the leftcenter alley to push Shibahara in and expand the Hawks advantage to 3-0.
Seibu woke up in the bottom of the fourth with a little two out uprising. Third baseman Tom Evans doubled down the leftfield line and leftfielder Susumu Otomo singled to center to make it 3-1 Hawks.
Daiei cranked out a crooked number in the top of the fifth, as Omichi racked up an infield hit with one out and catcher Koji Bonishi tripled to the track in center and then completed the circuit himself on a single to left by Kawasaki and the Hawks had a 5-1 edge.
And they just continued to pound away. In the sixth, Iguchi singled and stole second. Kokubo laced a double to rightcenter to bring in Iguchi. Matsunaka flied out to deep center and Kokubo tagged up and went to third, from where he scored on a sac fly by Akiyama and now it was 7-1 Hawks.
In the seventh, Bonishi leadoff with a single to center and was out at second when Kawasaki grounded to Lions first baseman Ken Suzuki, who went to second for the force. One out later, Valdez doubled down the leftfield line and Kawasaki was back in the dugout to make it 8-1.
Seibu made it closer in the home portion when Otomo leadoff with a single to center and two outs later second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi singled to left. Matsui, who had been picked off in the third after an infield hit. then exacted some reveneg by clobbering a pitch from Wakatabe into the rightfield bleachers to make it four consecutive games with at least one dinger and it was 8-4 Hawks.
Kokubo started the eighth with a drive into the leftcenterfield seats, though, to put his club up by five at 9-4. That was the slugging third baseman's first longball in 14 games. Seibu scored a run on two singles and a walk in the bottom of the ninth, but a double play ball from pinch hitter Toshiaki Inubushi stymied any thoughts of a comeback.
Wakatabe is 10-2 over the last three seasons against the Lions.
After the game, Daiei announced the aquisition of Nippon Ham catcher Masanori Taguchi in a trade for infielder Takaya Hayashi. Taguchi is a veteran of 455 games at the big club level with the Fighters.
For Daiei, Valdez was 3-4 with three RBIs and a walk and is at .280.
For Seibu, Evans was 1-4 and is at .400.
Wakatabe (W, 3-0)
IP 8.1 PC 119 H 10 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.70
Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
Nishiguchi (L, 7-4)
IP 4.1 PC 95 H 10 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.04
Doi IP 0.2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Goto IP 2.0 PC 40 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.54
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.81
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
E: H. Takagi
SB: Iguchi, Kawasaki
2B: P. Valdez 3, Kawasaki, Kokubo, Evans
HR: Kokubo (15), K. Matsui (15)
RBI: P. Valdez 3, Kokubo 2, Akiyama, Bonishi, Kawasaki, K. Matsui 4, Otomo
LOB: Daiei 10, Seibu 6
Season Series: Daiei 5, Seibu 6
Game Time: 3:16
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Akimura (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Nagami (3B)
Giants Pull Out Another Extra Inning Victory 5-3
The Yomiuri Giants put a little more space between themselves and second place Hanshin Wednesday with a somewhat unusual 11th inning rally at Yokohama Stadium to defeat the Yokohama Bay Stars 4-2, as Daisuke Miura, who just qualified for free agency, went unrewarded one more time for a solid seven innings of three run (two earned) ball on seven hits.
Giants starter Hisanori Takahashi should have walked away with the W in this one, having twirled seven innings of two run, seven hit ball, but closer Junichi Kawahara, as has been happening frequently lately, was lit up for the tying run in the ninth to send it into bonus time, where Hideki Okajima was credited with the win and Hector Almonte scooped up his first save in Japan.
The game was 0-0 before Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui leadoff the fifth with a double to leftcenter and then went to third on an infield hit from first baseman Takayuki Saito. But Daisuke Motoki popped out to second and then catcher Shinnosuke Abe walked to load the bases. With the infield up, second baseman Mototsugu Kawanaka hit a groundball to Takuro Ishii at short, who threw home for the force, and Hisanori Takahashi struckout to kill the uprising and keep it scoreless.
The following inning, Yomiuri was able to shake Miura down for three runs. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu commenced the attack with a single to right and went to second on a sac bunt. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to right for the RBI and a 1-0 lead. Miura then threw a pitch that catcher Takeshi Nakamura let get by him for a passed ball. So it was then decided to intentionally walk Matsui. Saito singled to right and Yoshinobu Takahashi chugged in. One out later, Abe singled to left and Matsui toed the dish and it was 3-0 Giants.
Yokohama made it a one run ballgame in the seventh, as third baseman Hirofumi Ogawa cracked a one out single to center and first baseman Takahiro Saeki singled to left. Both moved up on a wild pitch from Takahashi. Seiichi Uchikawa singled to center to drive both runners in and it was 3-2 Giants.
Kawahara was summoned from the pen and couldn't get the job done for Yomiuri. Yokohama rightfielder Boi Rodrigues leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. Saeki doubled down the rightfield line and Rodrigues scored easily for the 3-3 deadlock. Kawahara then fanned backup catcher Ryoji Aikawa and induced a groundout from substitute centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo to send it into extra innings.
Not much happened in the tenth, but in the top of the 11th, Matsui leadoff with a walk. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara, even though he still had some position players on the bench available to dispatch to the plate, sent up pitcher Masumi Kuwata instead to pinch hit. Kuwata, choking up two or three inches on the bat, squared around as if to lay a sac bunt down, but then pulled the bat back and slapped a hard groundball between second and short and into left for a knock. Motoki sacrificed both runners over. Abe was intentionally walked to set up a double play possibility. Backup second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled in Matsui. Third baseman Kenji Fukui bounced to Saeki, who threw to Nakamura for the force at the plate. Shimizu then hit a bleeder toward third and beat it out for an RBI and it was 5-3 Yomiuri.
The Stars attempted to mount a comeback in the home portion, but got bogged down against Almonte. The inning started with substitute rightfielder Kazu Tanaka walking off of Tsuyoshi Jobe, who then whiffed Ogawa. Jobe was replaced by Yukinaga Maeda, who coughed up a single to center from Saeki. Almonte was called on and he got two fly balls to stamp "finis" on this affair for his first save in 16 total appearances in Japan.
The last time a Giants pitcher was sent up to pinch hit was Kazutomo Miyamoto in June, 1997 in a game against Yakult. He struckout. Kuwata is 5-20 thus far in 2002 at the plate, a .250 clip, and is at .211 lifetime.
Yomiuri has now won their last eight faceoffs with the Stars, the first time they've pulled that feat off since 1995. Six of the victories during that time were at Yokohama.
Giants first baseman Saito had his second consecutive three hit contest as well.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-4 and is at .253. Centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-4 and is at .121.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .111.
Takahashi IP 7.0 PC 105 H
7 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.26
Jeon IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
J. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.05
Okajima (W, 4-2) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.99
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
Y. Maeda IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.33
Almonte (S, 1) IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
IP 7.0 PC 122 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.99
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.59
T. Saito IP 2.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.88
R. Kawahara (L, 1-1) IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
Azuma IP 1.0 PC 23 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.55
2B: H. Matsui, Saeki
RBI: T. Shimizu, Takayuki Saito, S. Abe, Nishi, Saeki, Uchikawa
IBB: H. Matsui, S. Abe
WP: H. Takahashi 2
PB: T. Nakamura
GIDP: Y. Takahashi
LOB: Yomiuri 9, Yokohama 9
Season Series: Yomiuri 10, Yokohama 2
Game Time: 4:19
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kasahara (1B), Kiuchi (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Bunch Outpitches Sakamoto to Retake Third Place for Dragons
20 year old rookie Yataro Sakamoto had a solid outing for Yakult against the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome Wednesday, giving up two runs on four hits in six innings of work. However, Dragons starter Melvin Bunch was even better, going eight dominant innings and permitting just one run on four hits and striking out seven while walking only one to claim his sixth victory in the Dragons 2-1 victory.
Much as he did in his start against the Giants recently, Sakamoto had a no hitter going for a while before it was broken up by the home run ball, in this case first baseman Leo Gomez' shot into the leftfield bleachers off of a hanging forkball to leadoff the fifth, lending the Dragons a 1-0 advantage. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami walked and one out later, so did catcher Motonobu Tanishige. Second baseman Masahiko Morino singled to right to load the bases and then Tatsunami came home on an infield hit by Bunch to make it 2-0.
Bunch was cruising the whole game until the eighth. Yakult third baseman Akinori Iwamura leadoff with a walk. Two outs later, centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka careened a Bunch offering into the rightcenter alley for an RBI double and it was 2-1. Second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi then hit a ball to right that looked as if it may tie the game, but rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome charged in and made a sliding catch to prevent the equalizer from scoring. Dragons closer Eddie Gaillard worked an easy ninth and the Dragons elevated themselves to serious contender status in the CL pennant race.
Bunch, in three June starts, is 1-0 with a 1.07 ERA. You can see a pick of
the finish on his delivery at:
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .287. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 and is at .321.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .222. Gomez was 2-3 with an RBI and is at .276. The homer was his 15th, the fastest he has gotten to that mark in his Japanese career.
Sakamoto (L, 1-3)
IP 6.0 PC 105 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.62
Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.75
R. Igarashi IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
6-4) IP 8.0 PC 111 H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 1
R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.05
Gaillard (S, 16) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
HR: Gomez (15)
RBI: Manaka, Gomez, Bunch
GIDP: K. Inoue
LOB: Yakult 4, Chunichi 3
Season Series: Yakult 8, Chunichi 4
Game Time: 2:41
Umpires: Honda (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Shimada (2B), Mori (3B)
Yoshioka Single Does in Orix 5-3
Thanks to a two run single in the fifth inning from first baseman Yuji Yoshioka Wednesday at Kobe Green Stadium and some solid relief work from Akira Okamoto and Koichi Misawa, the Kintetsu Buffaloes seized their fourth win in a row against the Orix Blue Wave and are now just 2.5 games back of the Seibu Lions in the battle for PL supremacy. Sean Bergman won his fourth game with a decent three runs on seven hits six inning outing while Ed Yarnell was charges with all five Buffs runs in absorbing the loss.
Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura got to Yarnell first, leading off the second by burying an 0-1 Yarnell fastball on the inner half of the plate in the leftfield bleachers for his second homer in two games and his 22nd overall, to give Kintetsu a 1-0 lead.
Orix leveled it in the home half, as third baseman Tatsuya Shindo leadoff with a walk, went to second on a wild pitch, and crossed on a single to center from catcher Takeshi Hidaka to make it 1-1.
Bergman then gave a run away in the third. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi leadoff with a single to center, but was forced at second when shortstop Shiozaki can't execute the sac bunt properly, Tetsuya Matoyama on it in a hurry to make the relay to second. In the midst of pitching to second baseman Koichi Oshima, Bergman balked, which allowed Shiozaki to move to second. Oshima whiffed, but centerfielder Koji Takamizawa singled to center and it was 2-1 Orix.
Kintetsu stole that lead right back, though, in the top of the fourth. Nakamura walked to begin it. One out later, Yoshioka singled to right. Rightfielder Koichi Isobe laced a screamer down the rightfield line to push Nakamura in and shortstop Masahiro Abe flied out to center to recall Yoshioka and Kintetsu was back on top 3-2.
That lead lasted two hitters, as first baseman Scott Sheldon went yard to dead center to gridlock it at 3-3.
Yoshioka would rectify that situation in the fifth. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura kicked it off by getting nailed by Yarnell and was then sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes moved him to third with a groundout to first. Nakamura was intentionally walked. DH Hirotoshi Kitagawa worked Yarnell for a free pass, too and now the bags were juiced. Yoshioka found some empty real estate in left and Omura and Nakamura ran in for a 5-3 Kintetsu advantage.
Bergman tossed a perfect fifth and got three of the four men he faced in the sixth before Buffs boss Masataka Nishida informed him his day was done.
Orix had the tying runs on in the eighth with nobody out, but then DH Fernando Seguignol, in his first start back from injury, grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and Shindo flied out to extinguish that little rebellion. Closer Okamoto then served up a double play ball to choke off Orix's last chance in the ninth and it was "game setto."
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-4 and is at .235. Sheldon was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .232.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-5 and is at .280.
4-1) IP 6.0 PC 94 H 7 HR
1 K 4 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.48
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.57
Yamamoto IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.13
A. Okamoto (S, 14) IP 2.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.27
4-7) IP 5.0 PC 92 H 6 HR
1 K 2 BB 4 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.86
Tokano IP 2.2 PC 44 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.08
Kase IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
K. Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
SB: N. Nakamura
2B: Kitagawa, Isobe, Hidaka
HR: N. Nakamura (22), Sheldon (7)
RBI: N. Nakamura, Yoshioka 2, Isobe, M. Abe, Takamizawa, Sheldon, Hidaka
IBB: N. Nakamura
SF: M. Abe
WP: Kase, K. Yamaguchi, Bergman
HBP: N. Omura (Yarnell)
GIDP: Shiotani, Seguignol
LOB: Kintetsu 8, Orix 5
Season Series: Kintetsu 8, Orix 3
Game Times: 3:12
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Hayashi (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Kosaka Eighth Inning RBI Double Sinks Nippon Ham
A seventh inning homer by second baseman Koichi Hori and an RBI double from shortstop Makoto Kosaka in the eighth brought the Chiba Lotte Marines back from a 1-0 deficit to carve out a 2-1 victory Wednesday at Chiba Marine Stadium. Nippon Ham starter Hayato Nakamura took the loss despite eight strong innings of two run, seven hit ball while Lotte reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi won his fifth of the year.
Lotte blew a big scoring opportunity in the fifth, when Hori beat out an infield hit with one out and went to third on a double to leftcenter by centerfielder Saburo Omura. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu ripped a shot toward third, but it was interdicted by Yukio Tanaka for the second out. Leftfielder Akira Otsuka then grounded out to end the inning.
Nippon Ham then let a chance slip through their fingers in the top of the sixth, when catcher Kazunari Sanematsu leadoff with a ping off the leftfield wall for two bases and was sacrificed to third. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara was intentionally walked. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer spanked a hard ground ball to Kazuya Fukuura at first, who started a 3-6-3 twin killing to quell that uprising.
In the seventh, though, the Fighters did get on the board. DH Sherman Obando creamed one off the leftfield fence for a double and was sacrificed to third. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto singled to left and the dual shutout was over with a 1-0 Nippon Ham lead.
Hori, however, homered to left in the home half to knot it at 1-1. Nippon Ham then squandered a chance to break the game open. Sanematsu leadoff the eighth inning with a single to left. Shortstop Makoto Kaneko legged out a tapper. Ogasawara singled to center to load the bases. But Cromer flied out to shallow center and Obando grounded into a 5-4-3 double play and they had shot all their bullets on the night.
In the bottom of the eighth, Shimizu singled to left to lead it off and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Kenji Morozumi grounded to short. Kosaka, though, lifted a fly ball double and Shimizu wheeled on in to make it 2-1 Lotte. Masahide Kobayashi dispensed with the Fighters lineup in order in the ninth to save it.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-3 and is at .225.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-4 and is at .259. Obando was 1-4 and is at .249.
H. Nakamura (L, 4-2) IP 8.0 PC 95 H 7 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.53
IP 7.0 PC 90 H 9 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.95
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.32
H. Kobayashi (W, 5-3) IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.91
M. Kobayashi (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.84
2B: Sanematsu, Obando, S.
HR: Hori (8)
RBI: Hori, Kosaka, Kimoto
IBB: M. Ogasawara
GIDP: Y. Tanaka 2, Obando, May, Fukuura
LOB: Nippon Ham 6, Lotte 4
Game Time: 2:19
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Tachibana (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Pacific League Approves Nippon Ham Move to Sapporo
They will also be known as the "Sapporo Nippon Ham Fighters." See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020619a2.htm
Timing Right for Evans
See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020620a2.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 19th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1952, the first foreigner to play in Japan in the post war era, Wally Yonamine, made his debut for the Yomiuri Giants and bunted for a hit his first time up. Yonamine, a Japanese-American from Hawaii, is in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
Also on that date in 1955, Kintetsu Pearls submarining righthander Fumio Takechi threw the first perfect game in the history of the Pacific League against the Daiei Stars (who were later merged with the Mainichi Orions), striking out six in a 1-0 victory at Osaka Stadium. It was the second perfect game overall in Japanese history at the time. Takechi was a pretty good pitcher for a bad team, going 10-16 that season despite a 2.56 ERA. He was 26-15 in 307.1 innings with a 2.16 ERA for them in 1955. Lifetime, he went 100-137 with an ERA of 2.97 and 19 shutouts.
Lotte Giants Management Screwed Up Bigtime
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200206/t2002061917164747110.htm
Lotte Giants Hire Haku as New Manager
According to Sports Nippon, the Lotte Giants of the KBO have fired their present manager and replaced him with Jinten Haku, a Korean-born centerfielder who played for 19 seasons in the Japanese leagues for the Toei Flyers/Nippon Ham Fighters and three other teams, winning a batting championship in 1975 with a .319 average. Haku will formally assume the reigns of the team on June 25th. He will reportedly be paid approximately $160,000 a season during the two year deal (including signing bonus).
Haku, whose Korean name is Paik In-chung, helped start the Korean pro baseball league in 1982 and still owns its highest ever single season batting average, .412, and SLG, .740, both accomplished that inaugural season when he was with MBC (now the LG Twins) as a player-manager. This will be the fourth club he has helmed in the Land of the Morning Calm.
The Giants are mired in last place in the KBO, their season already being pretty much over from a contention standpoint, especially after a 13 game losing streak, the worst period of futility in that squad's history.
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team Record GB
Samsung Lions 37-23-0 1.0
Doosan Bears 33-25-1 4.0
LG Twins 29-27-3 7.0
Hyundai Unicorns 28-27-4 7.5
SK Wyverns 24-31-2 11.5
Hanhwa Eagles 23-33-2 13.0
Lotte Giants 17-41-1 20.0
Kim Jae-hyun (LG) .344
Kim Dong-joo (Doosan) .344
Lee Ho-joon (SK) .341
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .339
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .329
Chae Jong-beom (SK) .325
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) .322
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) .317
Lee Jong-beom (Kia) .312
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 22
Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) 22
Shim Jeong-soo (Hyundai) 18
Lee Yeong-wu (Hanhwa) 14
Runs Batted In RBI
Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 61
Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 51
Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 50
Lee Do-hyung (Hanhwa) 42
Song Jin-wu (Hanhwa) 2.55
Mark Kiefer (Kia) 2.85
Gary Rath (Doosan) 3.16
Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 3.18
Dave McGee (Lotte) 82
Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 81
Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan 79
Gary Rath (Doosan) 76
Mark Kiefer (Kia) 8
Song Jin-wu (Kia) 8
Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 7
Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 7
Yakult Wins Battle of the Bullpens and the Game 4-3
The Yakult Swallows retook third place Tuesday when they tied the game on a Kazuyoshi Tatsunami error in the sixth and then won it with a seventh inning RBI single to center by catcher Atsuya Furuta for the go ahead run in a 4-3 victory over the Chunichi Dragons at Nagoya Dome. Swallows closer Shingo Takatsu then retired all three hitters he faced in the ninth for his 210th lifetime save and 16th of the year.
Kevin Hodges started for the Swallows and wasn't very sharp, as both of his walks and a batter he hit were cashed in for a total of three runs in just five innings. But the Yakult bullpen came to the rescue, limiting the Dragons to two hits over the following four innings (though they did walk three) to enable the Yakult offense to regroup and strike for the triumph.
Kenshin Kawakami wasn't on the beam either, though he kept the Swallows to one run on five hits and three walks in five innings before being replaced by Eiji Shotsu beginning in the sixth, who then gave up the two unearned tallies that Yakult used to even the game.
In 2001, Hodges' K/BB ratio wasn't too hot and the second inning showed what can happen when your command isn't up to par. The ex-Mariner plunked Tatsunami to leadoff the frame. Rightfielder Kazuki Inoue walked. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige mortarted a deep drive to center, the ball one hopping the fence as Tatsunami and Inoue both streaked home to make it 2-0 Dragons.Second baseman Masahiko Morino tried to sacrifice, but Furuta pounced on it and held the runner at second before throwing to Roberto Petagine at first for the out. Kawakami then executed the sac bunt and Tatsunami went to third. But shortstop Hirokazu Ibata grounded to short and that ended the stanza.
Yakult took one back in the top of the third when rightfielder Shinichi Sato cracked a one out single to center and Petagine walked. One out later, leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to right to send Sato in and it was 2-1 Dragons.
Chunichi went back up by a pair in the fifth, as Morino leadoff with a walk, was sacrificed to second, and then went to third on a groundout. Bullet hit a groundball toward second that he beat out and Morino hustled in to make it 3-1.
Tatsunami then gave that lead away in the sixth. Furuta leadoff with a single to left and went to second on a groundout. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked. Second baseman Hajime Miki grounded to short, the only play being to first and it was men on second and third with two outs. Pinch hitter Kota Soejima grounded to Tatsunami, who threw it away and both Iwamura and Furuta crossed to knot it at 3-3.
Yakult rallied in the seventh for what turned out to be the game winner. Sato singled to center with one out and Dragons reliever Makoto Kito nailed Petagine with a pitch. Furuta singled to center, Sato sprinted home, and it was 4-3 Swallows.
The Dragons had a chance to level things in the eighth, when Inoue ripped a single to right with one gone and Tanishige walked. But Hirotoshi Ishii struckout Morino and pinch hitter Junichi Jinno grounded to second and that was the last Dragons gasp, since Takatsu needed only nine pitches to dispose of the home team in the ninth.
For Yakult, Petagine was 0-2 with two walks and a hit batter and is at .294. Ramirez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .325.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-5 with an RBI and is at .231. First baseman Leo Gomez was 0-4 and is at .270.
IP 5.0 PC 70 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.57
Matsuda IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kawabata (W, 1-1) IP 0.2 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
Newman IP 1.0 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.67
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.34
Takatsu (S, 16) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.15
Kawakami IP 5.0 PC 81 H 5 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.51
Shotsu IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 0 ERA 1.84
Kito (L, 2-3) IP 0.2 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.03
Yamakita IP 1.1 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.91
Endo IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.81
2B: Iwamura, Tanishige
RBI: Furuta, Ramirez, Bullet, Tanishige 2
HBP: Petagine (Kito), Tatsunami (Hodges)
GIDP: S. Sato
LOB: Yakult 9, Chunichi 9
Season Series: Yakult 8, Chunichi 3
Game Time: 3:16
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Shimada (1B), Mori (2B), Honda (3B)
Matsui Not Looking Forward to Faceoff with Miura
According to Sports Nippon, Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Godzilla Matsui isn't looking forward to facing Yokohama Bay Stars ace Daisuke Miura. "He has great control and I'm probably not going to see any good pitches to hit. I'll settle for getting a walk off of him." Miura owns Matsui. Last season, Yomiuri's cleanup hitter managed just a .176 mark off of the righthander and this year he is 1-13 against him, an .077 clip.
In other Giants related news, Kazuhiro Kiyohara's mother in law, Suzue Kimura, passed away from kidney cancer earlier this week. She was 60 years old. Kimura is the mother of Kiyohara's wife Aki. Kiyohara issued a statement through the Giants public relations department that said, "there is nothing sadder than this. We wanted to show her her grandchild (the Kiyohara's are expecting their first child in September)." News of the death brought flowers from dozens of baseball figures, including Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori, Shigeo Nagashima. Giants owner Tsuneo Watanabe, and Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino. Singer Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi also paid his respects.
In happer news for the Yomiuri faithful, infielder Tomohiro Nioka is working out again after rehabbing a calf pull and is expected to be back in the Giants lineup on the 28th.
Cabrera Goes on DL; Matsuzaka May Not Return Until August
The Seibu Lions were hurt with two pieces of bad news today when they had to put slugger Alex Cabrera on the shelf with a problem back and ace Daisuke Matsuzaka is not only going to miss starting for the Pacific League in this year's all star series, but he may not be be back until the first week of August. Seibu's management had hoped that Matsuzaka would be ready in time for a series with second place Kintetsu in early July, but that is looking less and less likely.
Pedraza Out with Hamstring Pull
As if Daiei Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh doesn't have enough pitching problems.
closer Rodney Pedraza hurt further what had been a mild pull against the
Kintetsu Buffaloes on the 16th while fielding a bunt and was taken off the
roster. Shuji Yoshida, who is already overworked, will be inserted into Pedraza's
role while Rodney rehabs the injury.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 18th and on that date in Japanese basebal history in 1964, new Taiyo Whales pitcher Dean Stone, 34, was given the heave ho just 47 days after making his first appearance. He got into a total of six games, not figuring into any decisions over 12 total innings and sported an ERA of 3.75. Stone had been with six MLB teams, including the Senators and the Astros, and had a record of 29-39 with a 4.48 ERA in 215 lifetime games across eight seasons before leaving for Japan.
There are no games scheduled.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report would have been for June 17th and on that date in Japanese baseball
hitory in 1970, Yakult Swallows catcher Toshio Kato got into an auto accident
even though he didn't have a driver's license. As a result, the team put
him on indefinite suspension. Judging by his stats for that year and the
fact that there weren't any stats for him in 1971, it seems the suspension
lasted for nearly two years before he went to Toei (now Nippon Ham) in 1972.
Sheesh. This was a guy who had been a number one choice in the secondary
phase of the 1967 draft for the Sankei Atoms (later sold to Yakult) out of
the Japanese industrial league after attending the well known high school
baseball power Ikuei High in Sendai. He was picked for a best nine team in
1977, when he hit .270 with 11 homers and 33 RBIs and also received a Gold
Glove. Moreover, he was on four all star squads and is one of just three
players to have slugged pinch hit sayonara homers for two different teams.
. Lifetime, he hit .247 with 116 homers in 18 seasons (16.5 if you take into
account the time off). He finished his playing days with the Taiyo Whales
in 1985 after severing his Achilles tendon the year before in a game against
Hanshin, which is ironic considering that they originally drafted him in
1965 and he refused to sign. He now runs reportedly runs a snack bar.
Also on that day in 1979, in a game at Korakuen Stadium against Yakult, pitcher Sugur Egawa's nose suddenly started bleeding profusely (I'm going to pause here while those who are aware of Egawa's personal history stop snickering).....and he had to come out of the game.
Also on that date in 1980, Nippon Ham first baseman Junichi Kashiwabara received
a commendation from the Tokyo police for helping direct traffic and attending
to the injured at the scene of an accident on a local expressway. As a player,
Kashiwabara slammed 232 homers over 16 seasons while batting .268. His best
season was that year, as it turned out, connecting for 34 homers and driving
in 96, both career highs, and hitting .264. He was a four time Gold Glove
winner and was selected to three best nine teams.
June 16, 2002
Motoki Double in Tenth Gives Giants First Place
The Yomiuri Giants are now in sole possession of first place, as they blew a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the ninth at Koshien Stadium against the Hanshin Tigers Sunday and then came back to win it with a Daisuke Motoki RBI double off of Mark Valdez in the top of the tenth. Junichi Kawahara, who blew the save opportunity, got credit for his second victory to even his record at 2-2..
Both starters in this one, Keiichi Yabu for Hanshin and Koji Uehara for Yomiuri, had solid outings, with Uehara throwing a career high 155 pitches before leaving the game in the ninth with one out and men on second and third in favor of Kawahara. Yabu was victimized by his mediocre offense and relief staff, who coughed up the Giants lead and then ultimately let Yomiuri triumph.
Hanshin went out in front with a two out rally in the first. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka doubled to leftcenter and first baseman George Arias walked. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to left and Kataoka galloped around to make it 1-0 Hanshin.
Yabu then got himself in trouble in the top of the second, as centerfielder Hideki Matsui leadoff with a walk and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Motoki walked. Abe bounced into a 4-6 force play, with Matsui moving to third. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi was then intentionally walked to load the bases and bring up Uehara, who flied out to center for the final out of the inning.
It remained 1-0, when Yabu was hit around a little bit. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff with a single to right. Third baseman Koji Goto tried to sacrifice, but bunted it in the air to Yabu, who snared it and then threw to first to double off Shimizu. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to right and went to second on a wild pitch. Yabu threw a cut fastball on the inner half of the plate and Matsui rapped a jam job of a single to right, Takahashi hustling on in with the tying run and it was 1-1. First baseman Takayuki Saito singled to right to pack the sacks. But Motoki flied out to left and that's where it ended.
Shinobu Fukuhara came in to pitch the eighth and his error proved to be very
costly. Shimizu leadoff with a single to right. Goto hit one back to Yabu,
who, in trying to get the double play, booted it. Takahashi advanced both
runners with a sac bunt. Matsui was intentionally walked to set up a force
at every base. Saito, who had been working with his batting coach to shorten
his swing recently, then rammed a shot back up through the middle and both
Goto and Shimizu chugged in for a 3-1 advantage.
In the top of the ninth, leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka kept the Giants close. With two gone, Shimizu doubled off the rightfield wall. Goto singled to left and Shimizu made the turn for home. Hamanaka picked up the ball and winged it on home and Shimizu was meat for the third out.
So Hanshin then prepared for their last chance to at least catch up with their hated rival. Arias leadoff with a double off the centerfield fence. Hiyama walked. Pinch hitter Shuta Tanaka sacrificed both runners up 90 feet. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara went to the bullpen for closer Kawahara. Pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi flew out to right for one run. Catcher Akihiro Yano singled to center and Hiyama blazed in to make it 3-3. Pinch hitter Koji Hirashita singled to right and now the winning run was in scoring position. But second baseman Makoto Imaoka fouled out to Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe to terminate the uprising.
Valdez then took the hill for the top of the tenth and issued a one out walk to Matsui. Masahiro Kawai, who may soon be in Cooperstown when he breaks Eddie Collins' sacrifice bunt world record, tried to add to his total, but bunted it hard to Valdez, who threw to second for the force. Motoki stepped in and wacked a 1-1 slider on the outer half of the plate, which he got more toward the end of the bat and sliced it into the alley, the wind, which was blowing from right to left, carrying it to the centerfield wall and Kawai was able to complete the circuit for a 4-3 lead.
Kawahara, who has given up four runs in his last five appearances, worked a 1-2-3 ninth and Hanshin racked up another June defeat while the Giants are 7-1 in extra inning tilts this season. However, despite the great bonus baseball record, the Tokyo contingent is only 6-6 since May 29, when it was last in first place.
Hiyama will be eligible for free agency Wednesday and the Tigers front office is saying that they intend to re-sign him. He is currenly leading the CL in batting with a .356 average after hitting .300 in 2001. He is a .249 career hitter.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with a walk and is at .276. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .256.
IP 8.1 PC 155 H 5 HR 0 K 9 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.98
J. Kawahara (W, 2-2) IP 1.2 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
IP 7.0 PC 99 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.76
Fukuhara IP 2.0 PC 37 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 3.26
Valdez (L, 0-1) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.87
2B: Kataoka, Imaoka, Arias, T. Shimizu, Motoki
RBI: H. Matsui, Takayuki Saito 2, Motoki, Hiyama, Yagi, Yano
IBB: Nishi, H. Matsui
LOB: Yomiuri 9, Hanshin 7
Season Series: Yomiuri Hanshin
Game Time: 3:40
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Mori (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Yoshida Win and Yoshida Loses as Kintetsu Streak Ends
Katsuhiko Maekawa and two relievers allowed a 5-1 Kintetsu Buffaloes lead to disappear and the Daiei Hawks emerged on top when it was all over 6-5 at Osaka Dome Sunday. Former Dodger Mike Johnson surrendered a game tying homer to Hawks second baseman Tadahito Iguchi in the eighth and Iguchi then checked back in during the ninth and cracked an RBI single to right for the game winner and to break the Buffs winning streak at ten.
Keisaburo Tanoue started for Daiei and he stunk, being mugged for five earned runs on eight hits, two of which went bye bye, but manager Sadaharu Oh has seen his bullpen getting way too much game time and perhaps had no other option but to see how far he could push Tanoue, who made it into the seventh before Shuji Yoshida took over.
Kintetsu got off on the good foot in the first, when centerfielder Naoyuki Omura leadoff with a double down the leftfield line and second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to right. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes flew out to left and Omura sped home to make it 1-0 Buffs. One out later, Tanoue threw a slider that did little more than spin up there and DH Kenshi Kawaguchi blasted it into the rightcenterfield seats and Kintetsu had a 3-0 edge.
Daiei took one back in the second and almost took a piece of Maekawa in the bargain. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo leadoff with a single to left. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka clocked a hot shot off Maekawa's left thigh, and Maekawa recovered and threw Matsunaka out at first. Manager Masataka Nishida went out to take a look at his pitcher, but Maekawa said he was fine and Nishida left him in. DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to center and Kokubo touched home to make it 3-1 Kintetsu.
Kintetsu countered in the third when Rhodes singled to left with one out and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura put a big swing on a Tanoue offering and buried it well into the rightfield seats for a two run homer and a 5-1 lead.
In the seventh, Maekawa tired and the Hawks got back in it. The first two hitters of the inning, Matsunaka and Omichi, walked. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez, who has been in a bad slump, doubled into the rightcenter alley to deliver both runners and now it was a 5-3 ballgame. Koichi Misawa replaced Maekawa. Valdez went to third on a groundout and then scored himself when Yudai Deguchi singled to center to reduce the difference between the two sides to 5-4.
Mike Johnson mosied over to the center of the diamond to begin the top of the eighth and Iguchi worked the count to 3-2 before Johnson threw an 88mph fastball down in the zone and Iguchi tattooed it over the leftfield wall for the solo gyakuten and it was locked up at 5-5. Kokubo walked. Matsunaka beat out a ball near short. Omichi sacrificed the runners over. Valdez was intentionally walked to face the considerably less dangerous catcher Takashi Uchinokura, who bounced into a 6-4-3 double play to save Johnson's neck, but not before the game was tied.
Daiei then played some small ball to win it. With one out in the top of the ninth, pinch hitter Deguchi walked and was sacrificed to second. Kintetsu reliever Toyohiko Yoshida then threw a 2-2 forkball to Iguchi, who went with it and dispatched it safely into rightfield to drive in Deguchi with the lead tally at 6-5.
Rodney Pedraza endeavored to put it in the refrigerator and after a leadoff error from Iguchi allowed the tying run to reach, he did just that, putting down the next three men for his 11th save.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .287.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .271.
IP 6.1 PC 102 H 8 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.69
S. Yoshida (W, 4-0) IP 1.2 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.87
Pedraza (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
IP 6.0 PC 113 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.46
Misawa IP 0.2 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.79
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.13
Johnson IP 1.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
T. Yoshida (L,0-1) IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.35
Takamura IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.33
E: Iguchi, M. Abe
2B: N. Omura, P. Valdez
HR: Iguchi (8), Kawaguchi (2), N. Nakamura (21)
RBI: Deguchi, Iguchi 2, Omichi, P. Valdez 2, Rhodes, N. Nakamura 2, Kawaguchi 2
IBB: P. Valdez
LOB: Daiei 7, Kintetsu 6
Season Series: Daiei 5, Kintetsu 6
Game Time: 3:53
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Tamba (1B), Maeda (2B), Fujimoto (3B)
Iida Returns, Offense AWOL in Yakult Loss to Yokohama
Outfielder Tetsuya Iida finally returned from the ranks of the injured, but Yakult's offense continues to sputter, as the Swallows fell into fourth place with a 4-2 loss to the Yokohama Bay Stars Sunday at Fukushima Prefectural Azuma Stadium. You can see a pic of the facility at: http://www.geocities.co.jp/Athlete-Olympia/2171/newpage3237.htm (I don't know what the dimensions are). Yu Sugimoto started for Yokohama and went five innings of two run ball before the bullpen intervened and permitted only a single and a walk the rest of the way while the Stars offense put the winning runs on the board against Yakult southpaw Shugo Fujii and righthander Ryota Igarashi.
Yokohama took an initial lead in the first, as shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff the game with a single to center, was sacrificed to second, and was back in the dugout after a double into the rightfield corner from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki.
Yakult then pulled ahead in the second, when first baseman Roberto Petagine doubled to leftcenter to kick off the inning, third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked and second baseman Hajime Miki doubled down the leftfield line to convert Petagine and Iwamura and it was 2-1 Swallows.
Suzuki struck again in the sixth when he followed a leadoff single from Seiichi Uchikawa, who was then sacrificed to second, with a two out double to rightcenter to knot it at 2-2.
In the eighth, Fujii got the leadoff hitter, but then he threw a fastball on the inner half of the plate and Ishii launched a high fly ball that eventually settled into the rightfield bleachers to put the Stars in the driver's seat 3-2. Second baseman Hitoshi Taneda then drilled a shot against the rightfield fence for two bases and Fujii's day was done. Igarashi secured the last two outs, but then he was done for a leadoff Kazunori Tanaka single to center in the ninth, a sacrifice, a single to right by first baseman Takahiro Saeki and a sac fly to left from backup centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo to expand the Yokohama advantage to 4-2.
Saeki, who was playing in his 1000th lifetime game, thus becoming the 378th man to do that in Japanese annals, booted a grounder off the bat of Petagine to start the ninth, but closer Takashi Saito induced a grounder to first and fanned the two man after that to pull the curtain down on this battle.
For Yokohama, centerfielder Ernie Young was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .138. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .253.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with a walk and is at .298. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .327.
IP 5.0 PC 75 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.48
Bowers IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.97
Takeshita (W, 2-0) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Azuma IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.09
T. Saito (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.05
S. Fujii (L, 4-2)
IP 7.1 PC 97 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.25
R. Igarashi IP 1.2 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.43
E: Saeki 2
2B: T. Suzuki 2, Taneda, Petagine, Iwamura, Miki
HR: T. Ishii (3)
RBI: T. Ishii, T. Suzuki 2, Kinjo, Miki 2
GIDP: Ryoji Aikawa
LOB: Yokohama 5, Yakult 5
Season Series: Yokohama 5, Yakult 7
Game Time: 3:06
Umpires: ? (HP), Tani (1B), Nishimoto (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Shiozaki KO'd as Seibu Loses 5-3
Tetsuya Shiozaki ended the Seibu Lions nine game winning streak Sunday at Akita Yabase Stadium when he was abused for four runs on six hits in two innings by the Chiba Lotte Marines, who triumphed 5-3. Kazuo Matsui slugged a two run homer, his 14th of the year, in the third for the losers off of Lotte starter Takashi Kawai, who was gone by the end of the fourth inning. However, four Lotte relievers tossed 5.2 innings of two hit relief to preserve their early lead and pocket the W. Lotte's six game losing streak is also history.
Alex Cabrera sat the game out with an aching back and Ken Suzuki put in his place. Suzuki, though, was 0-4 with two strikeouts.
Seibu surged out to a 1-0 advantage in the first when Matsui walked and was sacrificed to second. DH Toshiaki Inubushi singled to center and Matsui scampered in with the lead.
Lotte blew a big opportunity to even it in their half, as rightfielder Kenji Morozumi leadoff with a double to leftcenter and went to third on a sacrifice. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura grounded to second, third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba, playing in his 1500th career game, walked and leftfielder Derrick May grounded out, too, to kill the chance.
But Lotte then did indeed tie it up in the second. With one down, centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to right and went to second on a groundout, from where he scored on a double off the centerfield wall by Akira Otsuka and it was 1-1.
A half inning later, Seibu second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi slapped a leadoff single to center and then Kawai hung a slider to Matsui, who gave it a thorough going over and sent a fan in the centerfield seats home with a souvenir for a 3-1 Lions lead.
Shiozaki wouldn't get anyone out in the Lotte portion and that decided the match. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka leadoff with a single to right. Fukuura singled to left. Hatsushiba slashed a double down the rightfield line to plate Kosaka and May did the same to go on top 4-3.
Tatsuya Ozeki leadoff the Seibu half of the fifth with a double to leftcenter, but they couldn't move him at all. Matsui doubled to leftcenter with one down in the seventh, but the next two men struckout and the Lions night day was effectively over, since Brian Sikorsky and closer Masahide Kobayashi fashioned perfect innings to send Seibu packing.
Frank Bolick should be back soon with Lotte, as he is working out with them now.
For Seibu, third baseman Tom Evans was 0-3 with a walk, two strikeouts and an error and is at .417.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .229.
Shiozaki (L, 5-2)
IP 2.0 PC 46 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.63
Mizuo IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.12
Aoki IP 2.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.55
Takashi Ishii IP 4.0 PC 63 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.90
IP 3.1 PC 63 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.76
H. Kobayashi (W, 4-3) IP 3.0 PC 46 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.95
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Sikorsky IP 1.1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.58
M. Kobayashi (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.98
2B: Ozeki, K. Matsyu, Morozumi 2, Otsuka, Hatsushiba, May, Hori
HR: K. Matsui (14)
RBI: K. Matsui 2, Inubushi, Hatsushiba, May 2, M. Shimizu, Otsuka
WP: H. Kobayashi
LOB: Seibu 6, Lotte 7
Season Series: Seibu 8, Lotte 3
Game Time: 2:57
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Nakamura (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Dragons Burn Carp Bullpen 8-2
Three sparkling defensive plays by Kazuki Inoue and a two run homer from first baseman Leo Gomez highlighted an 8-2 victory by the Chunichi Dragons at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium Sunday, as the Nagoya contingent ate the Carp bullpen alive to win this one going away. The Dragons are also five games over .500 for the first time all season and floated up to third place in light of the Yakult loss.
Hiroshima starter Yasushi Tsuruta was deemed the loser after going six innngs and giving up three runs on six hits while Chunichi's Daisuke Yamai permitted the same number of hits but just one run to cadge his third shiroboshi without a loss.
Hiroshima drew first blood in their part of the inital inning, as second baseman Takuya Kimura belted his third homer of the year to rightcenter for a 1-0 Carp lead. They then loaded the bases with two outs and third baseman Takahiro Arai bashed a shot down the leftfield line that had triple written all over it if it got by Inoue, but he made a diving catch and a potential disaster for Yamai and the Dragons was averted.
The Dragons sprang back in the third, as leftfielder Scott Bullet doubled to rightcenter and Gomez beat up on a 2-2 hanging slider and pounded it into the leftcenterfield seats for a 2-1 Dragons advantage.
Inoue then saved another run in the fifth. Takuya Kimura doubled off the rightfield fence with one away and that brought up centerfielder Koichi Ogata, who fisted a looper to right and Inoue charged in and made a sliding catch for the second out and basically cut the incipient Hiroshima rally off at the knees.
In the sixth, Gomez doubled down the leftfield line, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to to left and Inoue flew out to left for a sac fly and it was 3-1 Chunichi.
Two innings later, two Carp relievers had their pockets picked for three runs. With one gone, centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome doubled down the rightfield line. One out later, Tatsunami walked. Inoue then fought off an inside pitch and parachuted it near the leftfield line for a double to plate Fukudome and catcher Motonobu Tanishige singled to right to recall Tatsunami and Inoue and it was 6-1 Dragons.
Hiroshima chipped one off that deficit during their ups when Ogata leadoff with a single to left, went to second on a groundout and crossed on a single to right from rightfielder Itsuki Asai to make it 6-2.
In the top of the ninth, the Dragons got back to work off of the Carp's 2000 number one draft choice Toshikazu Yokomatsu, who was making his pro debut. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata walked with one out. Takayuki Onishi singled to center. Fukudome singled to left off of a curve ball and both Ibata and Onishi came around and it was 8-2 Dragons and that is how it ended.
Asai got the start for Hiroshima in right due to an ankle injury suffered during a pre-game workout suffered by Tomonori Maeda. An MRI exam showed some ligament damage and the oft-injured Maeda is going to be out at least until after the all star break.
For Hiroshima, first baseman Luis Lopez was 0-3 with a walk and is at .280.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 1-4 and is at .233. Gomez was 2-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .275.
3-0) IP 5.1 PC 111 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Endo IP 2.2 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.96
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.10
Tsuruta (L, 2-3)
IP 6.0 PC 96 H 6 HR 1 K 8 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.94
Beltran IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.13
Tamaki IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.05
Hiroike IP 0.1 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.27
Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.42
Yokomatsu IP 1.0 PC 16 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 18.00
2B: T. Kimura, I. Asai,
Gomez, Bullet, Morino, Tatsunami, Fukudome, Inoue
HR: Gomez (14), T. Kimura (3)
RBI: Fukudome 2, Gomez 2, Inoue 2, Tanishige 2, T. Kimura, I. Asai
WP: Tsuruta 2, Yamai
LOB: Chunichi 7, Hiroshima 9
Season Series: Chunichi 6, Hiroshima 6
Game Time: 3:19
Umpires: Shikida (HP), Suginaga (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Watada (3B)
Sheldon Solo and Shiotani Three Run Homers Decide it for Orix
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002061700389.html
For Orix, third baseman Scott Sheldon was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .231.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 1-4 and is at .249. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .264.
Kaneda (W, 2-4)
IP 6.1 PC 91 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.59
Yamaguchi IP 1.2 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.85
Okubo IP 1.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.60
Mirabal (L, 7-3) IP
8.1 PC 118 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 5 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.54
N. Takahashi IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Hidaka 2, Kaneko
HR: Shiotani (2), Sheldon (6), M. Ogasawara (18)
RBI: Shiotani 4, Sheldon, M. Ogasawara
GIDP: Shimada, Takamizawa
LOB: Orix 5, Nippon Ham 6
Season Series: Orix 4, Nippon Ham 9
Game Time: 2:38
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Nagami (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Tachibana (3B) .
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for June 16th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1946, Shosei Go of the Hanshin Tigers, a guy who both pitched (but only for five seasons as it turns out) and played outfield,. threw the first post war no hitter against the Senators at Nishinomiya Stadium, striking out five and walking an equal number in an 11-0 victory. He spent 22 seasons in pro ball and batted .272 with 21 homers and 389 RBIs. He was voted CL MVP in 1943, when he was with the Yomiuri Giants. And while he struckout once every 10.5 at bats for his career, in most years it was more like once every 15-16, making him a real pest. He won two batting crowns and a steals title. If I'm not mistaken, he is the only player EVER to have done all three of those things (toss a no hitter and win stolen base and batting titles). If anyone knows of another player who has pulled off this trifecta in either MLB, Korea or Taiwan, let me know. Note, however, that the steals title is tainted only because the 1944 season was radically shortened due to the war. Go only played in 20 games that year. He had 40 steals twice. His lifetime OPS was .730. Kind of a funky little career. For whatever reason, he was given the nickname of "human locomotive." He was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 1995. He was born in Taiwan and died of cardiac arrest at his Tokyo home in 1987 at the age of 87.
Japanese Managers Becoming Kinder, Gentler?
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002061700390.html
Wada Fans 11 in 5-1 Win in Japan Collegiate Championships
Waseda University southpaw Tsuyoshi "Dr. K" Wada, who is going to be one of the top picks in this November's pro draft, struckout 11 in beating Soka University in a quarterfinal faceoff at Meiji Jingu Stadium Sunday. Wada went all the way despite leg cramps that began to bother him in the eighth inning. He was clocked at a high of 86mph and was able to hit his spots and had good movement on his pitches. " I tried to get them out by making them hit the ball," the youngster told reporters after the game.
Nomura Son Sues Hanshin for Failure to Pay
The second son of former Hanshin Tigers manager Katsuya Nomura, Kenny Nomura, 42, has sued his father's old ballclub for failure to pay him for his introducing the team to four foreign players that they later signed. Nomura claims that between 1999 and 2000, he brought four players to the Osaka nine and was supposed to have been paid a consultant's fee tied to a percentage of whatever the players in question signed for. Moreover, if a player was picked up for additional years, Nomura was supposed to receive a fee as well for those renewals. When Greg Hansell was re-signed for the 2002 season and Nomura wasn't paid a fee he understood he had coming to him, he filed the suit, asking slightly over $100,000 in compensation.
For their part, a Tigers spokesman said that that the team plans to fight
Back to TODAY'S NEWS!
June 16 to June 30, 2002
June 1 to June 15, 2002
May 14 to May 30, 2002
May 1 to May 13, 2002
April 16 to April 30, 2002
April 7 to April 15, 2002
March 30 to April 6, 2002
2002 OPENING DAY SPECIAL ISSUE
2002 SPRING TRAINING