Gary Garland / the japanese insider
May 13, 2002
Shimizu Gets First Por Shutout Against Nippon Ham
As the hardest luck pitcher in the Pacific League, Hiroyuki Sekine perhaps resigns himself to games such as this one, since he is 2-3 now after a 3-0 loss to the Chiba Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium despite a very good for the Pacific League 3.16 ERA. Maybe he can give Yomiuri's Kimiyasu Kudoh a call and they can commiserate a while. Sekine went 7.1 innings and permitted just five hits and three earned runs, but saw his teammates in the batting order get mowed down on six hits and four double play balls in a complete game shutout from Naoyuki Shimizu. Shimizu was clocked at a high of 92mph.
Lotte second baseman Koichi Hori gave Shimizu the only tally he would really require in the third, crushing a Sekine offering over the leftcenterfield fence to make it 1-0 home team.
In the seventh, Sekine hung a slider on the inner half of the plate to third baseman Ryosuke Sawai and he drove it through the wind into the rightfield seats to put Lotte up 2-0.
Lotte then tacked on another in the eighth with a leadoff knock to left from shortstop Masato Watanabe, an infield hit from Hori and a two out single to right from DH Frank Bolick to go up by three at 3-0.
Shimizu then put down the Nippon Ham lineup in order in the ninth for his third victory and to halt a five game losing skein.
For Nippon Ham, D.T. Cromer was 2-4 and is at .279. DH Sherman Obando was 1-2 with a walk and is at .225.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .245. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-3 and is at .183.
2-3) IP 7.1 PC 108 H 5 HR 2 K 3
BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.26
Kato IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.29
Muto IP 0.1 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
N. Shimizu (W, 3-1) IP 9.0 PC 134 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.72
E: M. Watanabe
2B: Y. Tanaka
HR: Hori (5), Sawai (1)
RBI: Hori, Sawai, Bolick
GIDP: Noguchi, M. Ogasawara, Kimoto
LOB: Nippon Ham 5, Lotte 5
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Nakamura (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Nakamura's 490 Foot Shot Slays Lions
Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura slugged a two run homer in the first inning off of Seibu ace Daisuke Matsuzaka and then finished the Yokohama native off in the sixth with a tape measure upper tank job to straightaway centerfield in the sixth for all of his team's runs in a 3-1 victory over the first place Lions at Osaka Dome. Katsuhiko Maekawa racked up his second win of the season, both against the Tokorozawa nine.
But perhaps the worst thing to come out of this was that Matsuzaka left after trying to warm up for the seventh, but ended up leaving the field complaining of elbow discomfort. Right now neither he nor the club believes it's anything serious. However, those of us who saw Matsuzaka abused for his first three pro seasons by his previous manager, Osamu Higashio, wonder if Higashio's overuse of the youngster is now going to manifest itself in injury.
Anyway, Seibu catcher Tsutomu Itoh commented after the game that the movement on Matsuzaka's pitches was largely missing and though he was clocked at 95mph in the first inning,.the first time Nakamura dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 on him was on an 86mph pitch that, at least for Matsuzaka, one wouldn't call a heater, more like a "lukewarmer." The burly Buffaloes third sacker sprinkles pitches like that on his natto in the morning. Nevertheless, it should be said that in spite of not having a damned thing out there, he was still only touched for three runs on the pair of homers and struckout nine while walking one in six innings.
The Lions got off to a shortlived 1-0 advantage when shortstop Kazuo Matsui tripled down the rightfield line to open the game and scored on a one out single from DH Toshiaki Inubushi.
In the bottom of the inning, though, Matsuzaka hit Buffs centerfielder Naoyuki Omura with a pitch and saw him sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes flied out, but then Nakamura went yard to rigthcenter and it was 2-1 Kintetsu.
Maekawa threw a blinder after that first inning, not lending the Lions even the most ephemeral of sniffs at a scoring opportunity until the ninth. Maekawa owns these guys, having claimed seven wins against the last season against three losses in 2001 when he faced the Seibu squad. He has Seibu in his back pocket like Pedro Martinez does the Mariners.
Nakamura struckout in the fourth and then came up with two away in the sixth and got an 89mph fastball that was up in the zone and he atomized it, launching a moon shot into the FIFTH, yes, that's right, the fifth deck in centerfield an estimated 490 feet away. As Nakamura went into his trot after tossing his bat aside, he caught Matsuzaka's eyes and all the two could do was laugh at how far the ball traveled. Matsuzaka walked DH Kenshi Kawaguchi, but then struckout first baseman Yuji Yoshioka and he was done. Matsuzaka first felt the twinge in his elbow in the third, but kept at it since he feels the team depends on him. Nonetheless, he left behind 3-1.
In the ninth, the Lions made some noise when Inubushi clocked a two out single to center. First baseman Alex Cabrera then rammed a shot up the leftcenter gap. Kintetsu boss Masataka Nishida went to the pen for Akira Okamoto, who threw a slider and leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada bit on it for a game ending groundout to second. That was the 16th one pitch save in Pacific League history.
Nakamura came into this game hitting right around .200 for his career against Matsuzaka and he is now 11-48 with seven homers lifetime competing against the 2001 Sawamura Award recipient. That is easily the most dingers to any one player Matsuzaka has permitted. Tuffy Rhodes and Daiei first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka are tied for second with four. Nakamura is also only the second player to take Matsuzaka deep twice in one game, joining Orix centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani, who did it last year. Finally, Nakamura has at least one homer off of Daisuke in each of Matsuzaka's four seasons as a pro, the only hitter to have that distinction. Thank go out to Nikkan Sports for the nifty stats on all this.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .244.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .260.
6-1) IP 6.0 PC 91 H 4 HR
2 K 9 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.29
Aoki IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Doi IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Uchizono IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2-3) IP 8.2 PC
128 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.44
Okamoto (S, ) IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.26
2B: Cabrera, Yoshioka
3B: K. Matsui
HR: N. Nakamura 2 (12)
RBI: N. Nakamura 3, Inubushi
HBP: N. Omura (Matsuzaka)
GIDP: T. Itoh
LOB: Seibu 4, Kintetsu 9
Game Time: 2:59
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Kodera (1B), Hayashi (2B), Sugimoto (3B)
Yomiuri Wants in on Cuba
The dance between the Cubans and Japanese pro ball just got ramped up with
the Yomiuri Giants now saying that they want to get involved in the Cuban
market. Negotiations are underway for several Cuban players and coaches to
workout with Yomiuri during that team's fall camp. Morever, like the Yakult
Swallows, they are reportedly hoping to aquire Jose Ariel Contreras (30),
the Cuban National Team's number one starter and/or the young fireballer
Maels Rodriguez (22), who has been clocked as high as 101mph and throws a
90mph slider. The Chunichi Dragons will play two games in Cuba this fall
against Cuban all star teams and while they have been more circumspect in
hopes of aquiring Cuban talent, it appears that they want Contreras as well.
There had been rumors that some of Cuba's older talent such as Omar Linares
Kindelan (38) or Antionio Pacheco (37) may be allowed to play in Japan, but that is still an uncomfirmed rumor. Those three have reportedly been taken off the national team.
Japanese Players and Autographs
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002051300449.html
The Economic Impact of Japanese Players in MLB
See ESPN story at: http://msn.espn.go.com/gen/s/2002/0508/1380155.html
Giants Number One in Salary for Eighth Consecutive Year
According to a survey done by the Japanese player's association, the Yomiuri Giants are number one in total salary expenditure for the eighth year straight at 3,860,850,000 yen (at the current exchange rate of 128 yen ot one dollar, that tranlsates to slightly over $31 million. That's an almost $2 million reduction due to the retirement of long time veterans Hiromi Makihara and Masaki Saito
The average player salary is about $270,000, a growth rate of just 1.9%, the slowest inflation of player paychecks since the survey was first taken in 1986. However, minor league salaries declined by an estimated 12.9%.
Tienmu Stadium Ready for First Japanese Regular Season Game in Taiwan
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/14/story/0000136003
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 13th and on that date in Japanese baseball history
in 1979, Hanshin Tigers pitcher Shigeru Kobayashi was still angry about Yakult
players riding him the previous night about his relationship with the great
singer, Keiko Fuji. So on this date, before the game, he went over to their
bench and got into a punch up. Kobayashi ultimately got the best revenge
winning 22 games against nine losses that season to earn a Sawamura Award.
By the way, Fuji is the mother of Hikaru Utada, the New York born singer
who set a record for album sales a few years ago with her hip hop soaked
take on Japanese pop and her last single, issued while she was in hospital
for surgery to remove a tumor on her fallopian tubes, went to number one
in its first week.
Yomiuri Beats Up on Ando, Tigers, in 9-2 Victory
For the first time this season, the Hanshin Tigers relinquished first place by losing to the new kings of the 2002 Central League, the Yomiuri Giants, who attained that status by overwhelming the Tigers at Tokyo Dome Sunday 9-2. Southpaw Hisanori Takahashi went eight innings of two run ball, both of those tallies coming on a pair of solo homers from Hanshin second baseman Makoto Imaoka, to pickup his third victory without a defeat.
Yuya Ando started for Hanshin and just did not get the job done to the point where Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino said that his number one draft choice looked like an amateur at times. To further exacerbate THAT, rookie Ryo Asai began the contest behind the plate for the first Hanshin freshman battery in over a decade and he made a throwing error that resulted in a Giants run in the first. For a guy who came in with a reputation as a very good defensive player, Asai has performed very poorly on that side of the ball.
Yomiuri got out of the blocks in the first with a one out double from shortstop Tomohiro Nioka to leftcenter. One out later, centerfielder Hideki Matsui walked. First baseman Takayuki Saito then banged a single to center bring Nioka in and send Matsui to third. Saito then took off for second while third baseman Masahiro Kawai was at the plate and Asai's throw sailed into centerfield to allow Matsui to score to make it 2-0.
In the top of the third, Imaoka came up with one out and drilled a sinker from Takahashi into the leftfield bleachers to make it 2-1 Giants. Shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto singled to center and Takahashi plunked third baseman Atsushi Kataoka on the lefthand, leaving a deep bruise that eventually necessitated his being removed before the start of the fifth and his being on the help for the next two or three days. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama then rolled into a nifty 4-6-3 twin killing that was started by Yomiuri second baseman Toshihisa Nishi gloving the ball behind the second base bag and relaying it to Nioka, who gunned it to first to end the inning. That was the last time the Tigers would be heard from until the eighth.
The Giants doubled their run outpout in the bottom of the same frame, parlaying a Matsui leadoff single to left, a single to right from Saito and a hit and run single from Kawai to right and an Ando wild pitch on a slider to expand their advantage to 4-1.
Two innings later, following a double off the leftfield wall by Kawai, Nishi jackhammered a pitch from Hanshin reliever Atsunori Itoh into the leftfield seats and it was 6-1.
Hanshin put its last run on the board in the eighth with one away, when Imaoka exited to the lefthand side for the first two homer game of his career to make it 6-2.
The Giants awoke from the slumber to put this one on ice for real in the home portion. Nishi leadoff with a screamer down the leftfield line and cruised into second standing up. Hanshin reliever Takehito Kanazawa nailed catcher Shinnosuke Abe with a pitch. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu walked to load the bases. Nioka also worked a free pass and Nishi trotted in. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to right for another score and Matsui flied out to center to usher in Shimizu and it was 9-2 Giants.
Hector Almonte took the hill in the ninth for Yomiuri and surrendered a single to center from first baseman George Arias to kick it off. But Almonte then induced a groundball to Koji Goto at first from Hiyama and Goto whipped it over to Nioka and then back to Goto for the double play. Leftfielder Derrick White walked and Hamanaka stood in. Almonte, though, blew Hamanaka away with some 95mph heat and it was game setto.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .107.
For Hanshin, White was 0-2 with two walks and is at .284. Arias was 2-4 and is at .211.
2-3) IP 2.1 PC 55 H 5 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA
Date IP 1.2 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.60
Harada IP 0.2 PC 11 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.70
A. Itoh IP 1.1 PC 15 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.09
Kanazawa IP 2.0 PC 51 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.65
H. Takahashi (W,
3-0) IP 8.0 PC 113 H 4 HR 2 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.35
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Sekimoto, Asai
SB: Takayuki Saito
2B: Kawai, H. Matsui, Nishi, Nioka
HR: Imaoka 2 (7), Nishi (2)
RBI: Imaoka 2, Nishi 2, Nioka, Y. Takahashi, H. Matsui, Takayuki Saito, Kawai
SF: H. Matsui
HBP: Kataoka (H. Takahashi),. S. Abe (Kanazawa)
GIDP: Hiyama 2
LOB: Hanshin 5, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 3:09
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Watamari (1B), Watada (2B), Arizumi (3B)
Kanemoto Homer Beats Yakult
Yataro Sakamoto made his first pro start for Yakult Sunday, and the 19 year old responded beautifully, going six innings and permitting only two hits and striking out four while walking one on 87 pitches. Unfortunately, Hiroshima righthander Masayuki Hasegawa was throwing a dandy himself, scattering nine hits and keeping Yakult from scoring himself for his first pro shutout after teammate Tomoaki Kanemoto powdered a 93mph fastball from Swallows reliever Hirotoshi Ishii over the leftfield fence with Takuya Kimura at second in the top of the ninth at Nagasaki to decide it for the Carp, 2-0. See pic of Hasegawa's delivery at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/05/13/20020513005355.jpg
Sakamoto had rendered Hiroshima hitless until one out in the fifth, when both rightfielder Tomonori Maeda and third baseman Takahiro Arai singled. Sakamoto the stepped it up and tempted catcher Kazu Kimura into a flyout and got Hasegawa to groundout to exterminate the threat. He then worked a "sansha bontai (three up, three down)" sixth before calling it a night.
Yakult had its biggest threat in the seventh, when third baseman Akinori Iwamura leadoff with a single to center, but he was erased on a double play on a grounder to second from leftfielder Alex Ramirez. Second baseman Hajime Miki beat out a grounder to short and Shinichi Sato singled to right. It didn't go any further than that, though, as centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka grounded to second for the final out of the inning.
The Swallows then got two on in the following frame via a leadoff single to center from shortstop Shinya Miyamoto, who was then sacrificed to second by rightfielder Atsunori Inaba. Hiroshima manager Koji Yamamoto opted to walk first baseman Roberto Petagine. Catcher Atsuya Furuta grounded to Hasegawa and Iwamura struckout and that rally was over on Hasegawa's 131st pitch.
In the bottom of the ninth, Ramirez popped out. Miki fouled out down the rightfield line. Pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama singled to left, but was stranded when Manaka tapped it on the ground to second to secure the W for Hasegawa, who did an excellent job of mixing his high 80's fastball with his curve and forkball.
Hiroshima's regula centerfielder, Koichi Ogata, pulled a hamstring in a previous game and has been taken off the roster to rest and rehab it.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 0-4 and is at .341. Petagine was 0-3 with a walk and is at .298. The team's number one starter, Shugo Fujii, is suffering from some back soreness and will miss his scheduled appearance against Yomiuri,
Hasegawa (W, 2-1) IP 9.0 PC 152 H 9 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
IP 6.0 PC 87 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.76
Newman IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.38
Kawabata (L, 0-1) IP 1.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
H. Ishii IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.40
HR: Kanemoto (2)
RBI: Kanemoto 2
LOB: Hiroshima 3, Yakult 10
Game Time: 2:55
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Honda (1B), Shimada (2B), Mori (3B)
Valdez Ejected for Charging Mound In Daiei Pounding of Lotte
The Daiei Hawks teed off Sunday on Chiba Lotte Marines starter Kosuke Kato while also exploiting an error from the latter club's centerfielder, Saburo Omura on the way to a 12-5 triumph. However, Hawks rookie Toshiya Sugiuchi was cuffed around for four earned runs on four hits and three walks and wasn't able to stick around long enough to take the shiroboshi, so it wasn't all a picnic for daiei boss Sadaharu Oh.
The Hawks went to town on Kato as soon as they got their turn in the batter's box. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to left. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled to left, too. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez doubled to the rightfield wall to plate Shibahara. One out later, first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka, who had been two for his last 22 over a seven game period, rocketed fastball into the centerfield seats to make it 4-0. Catcher Kenji Johjima singled to center and DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to left, Johjima motoring to third. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama laced a liner destined for the rightcenter alley, only it wasn't high enough to get over the head of second baseman Koichi Hori and he snagged it and went to Kiyoshi Hatsushiba at third for the double play on Johjima trying to scramble back to the bag.
In the second, Valdez mortared a Kato offering into the rightcenterfield bleachers with shortstop Yusuke Torigoe on second and it was 6-0 Hawks.
Lotte actually closed up some of that gap in the top of the fifth. Hatsushiba walked to kick off the inning. Omura singled to right. One out later, Kenji Yoshitsuru walked to load the bases. Hori then crushed a Sugiuchi delivery into the leftfield seats for a grand slam homer and it was 6-4 Hawks. Takashi Kita beat out a groundball to third, bringing up the tying run in the form of 2001 PL batting champ Kazuya Fukuura. Oh went to the pen for the veteran Takayuki Shinohara, who got Kita to foul out to first. Kazuhiko Iijima then strode in and capped off the craziness by having DH Frank Bolick pop out to second.
Valdez came up again to leadoff the home portion of the fifth and walked. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo legged out a bleeder toward third. After Matsunaka flied out to left, Johjima lifted a routine fly ball to Omura, who geeked it. While he was chasing it down, both Kokubo and Valdez made it all the way around and Daiei was back up by four at 8-4. Omichi singled to center and Akiyama grounded out to third to get Johjima in and the inning concluded with the Hawks holding a 9-4 edge.
In the top of the seventh, Hori doubled down the leftfield line with one down. One out later, Fukuura singled to left to drive in Hori to make it 9-5.
Daiei got that back during their turn, Matsunaka drawing a one out walk and sprinting to third on a single and hit the plate while Omichi was beating out a roller toward short to resurrect the five run lead at 10-5.
The Hawks added to their lead in the eighth, but had to subtract Valdez. Torigoe commenced the stanza with a ground ball that was kicked by Lotte shortstop Taiji Maruyama. Shibahara doubled down the leftfield line and Torigoe hustled in. Iguchi fanned, bringing up Valdez. Lotte reliever Hiroshi Tobe, claiming that the ball didn't come out of his hand right, nailed Valdez in the back. Valdez stewed for a second and then went after Tobe, who fled the scene as both benches emptied. Once the PL RBI leader was brought under control, he was ejected and subsequently fined $1500 by the league Monday morning. Yudai Deguchi jogged in to pinch run. Kokubo walked to load the bases. Matsunaka flied out to center for his fourth RBI and it was 12-5.
18 year old Hayato Terahara was summoned from the pen to work the ninth and popped Maruyama up on a 92mph fastball. He then walked Hori, but Kita grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game.
For Lotte, Bolick was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .245. Leftfielder Derrick May did the same and is at .189.
For Daiei, Valdez was 2-3 with three RBIs, walked and was hit by a pitch and is now at .324.
K. Kato (L,
2-4) IP 4.1 PC 86 H 11 HR 2 K 4
BB 1 R 8 ER 6 ERA 6.88
H. Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.43
T. Tanaka IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
K. Yamasaki IP 1.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.98
Tobe IP 0.1 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 0 ERA 7.36
Kawai IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.32
IP 4.1 PC 90 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 5.76
Shinohara IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iijima (W, 3-2) IP 2.0 PC 43 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.45
Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Wakatabe IP 1.0 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Terahara IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.00
E: S. Omura, Maruyama 2,
SB: S. Omura, Shibahara
2B: Hatsushiba, Hori, Shibaharam P. Valdez
HR: Hori (4), Matsunaka (6), P. Valdez (10)
RBI: P. Valdez 3,. Hori 4, Matsunaka 4, Fukuura, Shibahara, Akiyama
HBP: P. Valdez (Tobe)
LOB: Lotte 6, Daiei 7
Game Time: 3:51
Umpires: Sato (HP), Higashi (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Nakamura Gyakuten Sayonara Blast Stews Nippon Ham
A one out two run homer by Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura in the bottom of the ninth inning was the killing blow for the Nippon Ham Fighters, as the 2001 PL champs overcame a 4-3 deficit to emerge victorious over their Tokyo rivals 5-4 at Osaka Dome Sunday. Nakamura also turned an around the horn triple play in the third to snuff a Fighters rally.
After a strong outing his last time out, Nippon Ham starter Chris Seelbach struggled with his control, walking seven, hitting a batter, and throwing two wild pitches while being touched for five hits, two of those doubles, in seven innings on a personal Japan record 143 pitches. Despite the wildness, Seelbach also displayed his trademark doggedness and he was never completely toppled, the Buffs unable to pickup more than three runs despite 13 baserunners.
Sean Bergman made the start for Kintetsu after being out with shoulder discomfort the last few weeks and he would tell you that he could have done better, as he had ten baserunners on in his six innings, three of those crossing the plate.
Kintetsu drew blood in the first, centerfielder Naoyuki Omura leading off with a shot into leftcenter alley for a standup double and going to third on a sac bunt. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes flied out to left and Omura dashed in and it was 1-0 Buffs.
The Buffaloes got a double from rightfielder Koichi Isobe and an RBI single to center from catcher Kenji Furukubo to up that lead to 2-0.
The Fighters came back to knot it with a leadoff pop fly double that was made possible by the hustle of their centerfielder, Tatsuya Ide, who then went to third on a single from Makoto Kaneko. Kuniyuki Kimoto seared a double down the rightfield line to get Ide in. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara walked to load the bases. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka singled to left to push Kaneko across to make it 2-2. DH Sherman Obando then sizzled one across the third base bag that Nakamura snagged and, ignoring cries from Furukobo to go home with the ball, he stepped on the base and snapped it over to Yosuke Takasu, who rifled it to Yuji Yoshioka at first for a triple play. According to one of the Japanese sports dailies, Nippon Ham hadn't been the victim of a triple play since July 11, 1979 against Lotte at Korakuen Stadium. That doesn't seem right to me, but I guess it's possible. Kintetsu hadn't turned one in three years.
The Fighters then moved out to their first lead in the sixth, as Ogasawara homered to center and it was 3-2 visitors.
Nippon Ham then blew a good scoring opportunity in the seventh. Toshihiro Noguchi singled to center and Ide singled to left and both were moved over on a sac bunt. But with the infield up, Nakamura grounded to Buffs shortstop Masahiro Abe, who held the runner and threw to first for the second out. Ogasawara walked to load the bases. However, Tanaka popped out to second to throw cold water on the revolt.
Kintetsu countered to even it in the home portion with some help from Seelbach. With one out, Rhodes singled to right. After Nakamura struckout, Seelbach walked the next two men to pack the sacks. He then threw one by catcher and Rhodes ran in to make it 3-3.
In the top of the eighth, Nippon Ham went out in front again when Ide homered to center, his seventh of the year, and it was 4-3 Fighters.
Nippon Ham manager Yasunori Oshima dispatched his closer, Tomokazu Iba, to the center of the diamond and he walked the first man he encountered, Fumitoshi Takano. He struckout Rhodes and Nakamura entered the batter's box vowing to jump on the first fastball he saw. As his mom Sumiko watched at her home in Osaka's Yodogawa Ward, Nakamura made contact and knew it was gone as soon as he struck it, the ball landing deep in the centerfield bleachers.
For Nippon Ham, leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 1-3 with a walk and is at .273. Obando grounded into a sixth inning double play to accompany the TP, though he did get his first steal of the season, as parft of a 1-4 day and is at .220.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with an RBI, a walk, and a steal and is at .252.
IP 7.0 PC 143 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 7 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.62
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.54
Iba (L, 1-2) IP 0.1 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.75
IP 6.0 PC 76 H 8 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.75
Aikyo IP 0.1 PC 10 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.79
Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
D. Miyamoto IP 2.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.76
Yamamoto (W, 2-0) IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
SB: Obando, Rhodes
2B: Ide, Kimoto, Cromer, N. Omura, Isobe
HR: M. Ogasawara (13), Ide (7), N. Nakamura (10)
RBI: M. Ogasawara, Ide, N. Nakamura 2, Rhodes, Furukubo, Kimoto, Y. Tanaka
WP: Seelbach 2
HBP: Takasu (Seelbach)
LOB: Nippon Ham 8, Kintetsu 10
Game Time: 3:27
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Maeda (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Kodera (3B)
Shiozaki Effective Again in 9-0 Seibu Whitewash Over Orix
Tetsuya Shiozaki, one of the last holdovers from the Seibu Lions glory days of the late 80's-early 90's, has been a bonus as a starter this season after being originally slotted for a bullpen job and he went seven innings of scoreless two hit ball in this one to get credit for a 9-0 victory over the Orix Blue Wave Sunday at Seibu Dome. Since it was Mother's Day, Seibu first baseman Alex Cabrera dedicated the 450 foot three run bomb he cannonaded into the leftfield seats in the second inning to his mom back in Venezuela.
A piece of timely hitting in the first by leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada supplied the Lions with their initial run. With two out, DH Katsuhiko Miyaji beat out a tapper toward first. Hidetaka Kawagoe hit Cabrera with a pitch. After staring at Kawagoe for a few seconds, the big ex-Diamondback scowled off to first. Wada then laced one down the leftfield line for a double to send Miyaji in and it was 1-0 Seibu.
The very next inning, second baseman Hiroaki Ueda cracked a two out single to center. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to right. Both men advanced on a passed ball by Orix catcher Takeshi Hidaka. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki singled to center to drive them in and it was now 3-0 Seibu. Miyaji singled to left and then Cabu-chan, as the Japanese affectionately call him, did the yard work off a hanging slider to widen that lead to 6-0. Wada followed by going downtown himself throught leftcenter stands and it was now 7-0. Here's an object lesson for you youngsters out there: leave a lot of fastballs and sliders up and you're going to get punished.
Seibu got two more hits in the third but didn't score anyone, so moving on to the fourth and Kazuo Yamaguchi now pitching, Wada leadoff with a single to right. One out later, centerfielder Susumu Otomo grounded to third and third baseman Mitsutaka Goto kicked it. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh singled to left and Wada was, I'm guessing, was thrown out at the plate. Ueda singled to right for an RBI and Matsui doubled down the rightfield line for another and it was 9-0.
Orix couldn't buy a hit the last three innings and Seibu finished with a total of 19 safeties to earn an easy victory.
For Seibu, Alex Cabrera was 1-4 with three RBIs, was hit by a pitch and struckout three times and is at .260.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 0-3 with a walk and is at .267.
3-4) IP 3.0 PC 97 H 12 HR 2 K 2 BB 0 R 7 ER
6 ERA 4.29
Yamaguchi IP 3.0 PC 45 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 0 ERA 3.31
Tokumoto IP 2.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.70
3-0) IP 7.0 PC 88 H 2 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Onuma IP 1.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.00
Uchizono IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
E: M. Goto
2B: Shiotani, Wada, K. Matsui, K. Suzuki, H. Takagi
HR: Cabrera (11), Wada (7)
RBI: Cabrera 3, Wada 2, K. Matsui, Ozeki 2, Ueda
HBP: Cabrera (Kawagoe)
LOB: Orix 4, Seibu 11
Game Time: 2:52
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Kawakami Pitches, Bats Chunichi to Triumph Over Yokohama
Kenshin Kawakami has been the Chunichi Dragons most consistent pitcher this season and Sunday at Yokohama Stadium, he maintained that status, going 6.1 innings of six hit, two run ball, striking out four and walking two before being pulled in the seventh. Moreover, he had another RBI, his third of 2002, to further his cause and win his third game of the year, this time against the Yokohama Bay Stars, by a 4-2 margin.
The Dragons took the inital lead of the night with a first inning leadoff single to center from shortstop Hirokazu Ibata, a sacrifice, and a double into the leftfield corner from rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome to make it 1-0.
Chunichi leftfielder Jun Inoue hammered a slider from Yokohama starter Daisuke Miura in the second and deposited it in the rightcenterfield seats to expand that lead to 2-0.
Yokohama cut that disparity in half in their half thanks to a leadoff single to center from first baseman Boi Rodrigues, Kawakami plunking second baseman Hitoshi Taneda with a delivery and a one out single to center from catcher Takeshi Nakamura, 2-1 Dragons after two complete.
During Yokohama's half of the third, there was what will surely go down as one of the stranger plays of the year. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki started it with a single to left. Third baseman Mike Gulan ripped a shot off of Kawakami's foot, which went right to first baseman Leo Gomez, who threw to second and then ball was flipped to first, the runner being declared safe. But then the umpires had a conference and ruled that the ball never touched the ground and thus Suzuki was out at first for failing to tag up and Gulan was out when Gomez caught the ball, a wacky twin killing. Kawakami struckout Rodrigues to put this bizarre inning in the books.
Some timely hits and a productive out then allowed the Dragons to go up by three in the fourth. With one away, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled into the leftfield corner. Inoue singled to right. Second baseman Masahiko Morino then hit a groundball to Taneda , who tried to get Tatsunami at the plate, but Tatsunami was in ahead of the tag. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige then grounded to third for what should have been the final out of the inning, but Morino was then cashed in by Kawakami with a knock to right and it was 4-1 visitors.
Yokohama played some little ball in the fifth to cut their opponent's lead to two. Pinch hitter Seiichi Uchikawa leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a groundout to first. Rightfielder Kazunori Tanaka legged out a tapper toward first and Uchikawa hit the dish to make it a 4-2 game.
In the sixth, the Stars had a chance to cut it even closer, but failed to convert. With a man down, Pinchi hitter Hirofumi Ogawa scalded a triple off the rightfield wall. However, centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo popped to short and pinch hitter Yoshihito Ishii grounded to third to put the kabosh on that threat.
The Dragons loaded the bases in the seventh on a single to Ibata and one
out walks to Fukudome and Gomez, but Tatsunami grounded to second and this
time the throw to the plate nipped the speedy Ibata and Inoue flied out to
score where it was.
Eddie Gaillard came on in the ninth to try to save it, but ended up putting the tying run via two one out walks. He turned himself around, though, and induced a flyout to center from backup catcher Ryoji Aikawa and a pop out from shortstop Takuro Ishii for his eighth save.
3-0) IP 6.1 PC 96 H
6 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.55
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.93
Gaillard (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.64
IP 5.0 PC 94 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.91
Takeshita IP 0.1 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.91
Sugimoto IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
Kizuka IP 2.0 PC 38 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.45
T. Saito IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.13
E: Gomez, Nakamura
2B: Fukudome, Tatsunami, Uchikawa
HR: Inoue (2)
RBI: Inoue, Fukudome, Morino, Kawakami, K. Tanaka, Nakamura,
HBP: Taneda (Kawakami)
LOB: Chunichi 8, Yokohama 8
Game Time: 3:29
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Fukatani (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 12 and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1977, it was decided that in the wake of the Sano incident that all outfield walls in the various Japanese ballparks would use rubber padding.
Here is wahat caused that decision: on April 29, 1977, in a day game between the Hanshin Tigers and Taiyo Whales (now the Yokohama Bay Stars) at Kawasaki Stadium, it went into the bottom of the ninth with the Tigers leading 7-6. With speedy Whales outfielder Yoshio Noguchi on first and one away, an infielder named Shimizu was sent up to pinch hit. He unloaded a deep drive into the leftcenter alley. Hanshin centerfielder Noriyoshi Sano got on his horse and made a highlight play getting to and catching the ball before smashing headfirst into the concrete outfield wall. Amazingly, while Sano was knocked unconscious from what was later diagnosed as a skull fracture, he held on to the ball while laying motionless on the warning track with spit foaming up in his mouth.
The other outfielders ran over to Sano and signaled that something was wrong with him. The Hanshin infielders sprinted out to help their fallen comrade. Noguchi, seeing that the ball was unlikely to be thrown in anytime soon, tagged up and made like a bat out of hell around the bases. As he rounded third, Tigers catcher Koichi Tabuchi called for the ball, but the throw was ultimately too late.
A rhubarb then ensued, as Hanshin Tigers manager Yoshio Yoshida vehemently protested that due to this emergency situation, time out should have been called and Noguchi sent back to first, something that Yoshida believed was specified in the rule book. His proteststations went for nought, though, has the umpiring crew ruled the ball was in play and therefore no time could be called.
Moreover, the last time before that in Japanese basebal history that a runner had scored for first on a fly out to the outfield was on August 22, 1963 at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium in a faceoff between the Yomiuri Giants and Hirosima Carp. In that case, the centerfielder had also collided with the wall and been knocked unconcious for what was ruled as a two RBI sac fly (there was a runner on second as well).
Aside from there now being padding stipulated by the rule book, they also revised the rules so that in situations similar to the above the umpire could indeed call time if he believes the player may have suffered a harmful or life threatening injury. Too, the play had been ruled an error on the centerfielder for not returning the ball to the infield by the official scorer (who must have had too much sake to drink) but was later changed to a fielder's choice several days later when the players objected to what they thought was an unkind ruling.
Also on that date in 1973, the longest ever nine inning game was played, a tilt between the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Taiheiyo Club Lions (now Seibu), which went 4 hours and 36 minutes.
Matsui Says Sayonara for Second Time in Two Days Against Orix
Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui became only the seventh man in Japanese baseball history Saturday to crack a sayonara hit in two consecutive games when he rocked Orix reliever Imamura with a homer to center in the bottom of the tenth inning at Seibu Dome with a man on to carve out a 4-2 Lions victory.
Matsui had been in a funk until this weekend, someting he attributed to wanting to be too much like Ichiro. "I want to be someone pitchers really hate facing," said the speedy infielder. He had been watching what Ichiro had been doing with the Mariners this season and he subconsciously began to shorten his swing, but not in a way that was entirely comfortable. Getting his old stroke back took a few days of work in the batting cage, but now he is back in a groove, going 2-5 in this one with a steal to raise his average to .293 and get setup man Shinji Mori his second win in two days.
Ed Yarnell started for Orix and he got behind right away, as Matsui leadoff with a single to left and stole second. Centerfielder Masaji Shimizu sacrificed him to third, from where he scored on a single to right by DH Toshiaki Inubushi to make it 1-0. First baseman Alex Cabrera doubled down the leftfield line to move Inubushi to third, from where he scored on a balk by Yarnell and it was 2-0 Lions after one complete.
Orix put together a little two out rally in the second, but a baserunning blunder by first baseman Scott Sheldon killed it. Shortstop Tatsuya Shindo singled to left and Sheldon beat out a tapper near second. Rightfielder Hayakawa singled to left and Sheldon made a wide turn for home and then put on the brakes, but it was too late, as he got caught in a rundown and was tagged out to end the uprising.
Orix finally got on the board in the fifth, as Daisuke Hayakawa leadoff by beating out a bleeder toward first and then stole second. One out later, third baseman Mitsutaka Goto hit a grounder to Matsui, who threw wildly to first and Hayakawa crossed the plate to reduce the Seibu advantage to 2-1. Goto then advanced on a grounder to first and scored on a single to center by centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani to tie the game.
From there, both Yarnell and Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi did a fine job of keeping their opposition from really getting very much going, Yarnell throwing 8.2 innings while Nishiguchi departed with two outs in the eighth before Seibu manager Haruki Ihara replaced him with Doi.
Orix had a chance to do something in the tenth against Yoshitaka Mizuo, however. Pinch hitter Hiroki Fukutome leadoff with a single to left and Goto legged out an infield roller. One out later, Ihara ordered that Tani be intentionally walked to load the bases. Ihara then got on the horn and brought Mori in and he struckout both DH Fernando Seguignol and Ryota Aikawa, now in right after an earlier pinch hitting appearance, to terminate the revolt.
In the home portion, third baseman Hiroaki Ueda leadoff with a single to left and then Matsui touched them all on a seventh pitch full count slider and the fans at the stadium went home happy after a 4-2 triumph.
The last time any player had back to back sayonaras was Orix catcher/DH Hiromitsu Kadota in September of 1990. Kadota finished his career with 567 homers over 23 seasons, most of them with the Nankai (now Daiei) Hawks. And Matsui is only the third player in Japanese history to have a second sayonara the night following getting his first lifetime last inning game winner, joining and odd couple, Shigeo Nagashima and ex-Angel and Oriole Doug DeCinces. He was also so excited by his first sayonara Friday that he went and bought copies of all the sports papers the next morning and he said that after this game he would do it again.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-4 with a walk and is now at .275. Sheldon was 2-4 and is at .221.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with three strikeouts and is at .261.
IP 8.2 PC 138 H 6 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.13
Imamura (L, 1-3) IP 0.1 PC 14 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.14
IP 7.2 PC 120 H 8 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 2 ER 0 ERA 3.21
Doi IP 1.1 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
Mizuo IP 0.1 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
Mori (W, 2-2) IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.20
E: Nishiguchi, K. Matsui
SB: Oshima, Hayakawa, K. Matsui
HR: K. Matsui (6)
RBI: K. Matsui 2, Inubushi, Tani
Balk: Nishiguchi, Yarnell
LOB: Orix 9, Seibu 6
Game Time: 3:14
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Yanagida (2B), Tsugawa (3B)
Two Sixth Inning Errors Cost Hanshin Big
A catcher's interference call on Hanshin rookie catcher Ryo Asai and a bad throw by shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto opened the floodgates in the sixth inning to allow the Yomiuri Giants to collect four runs, all unearned, for what became the margin of victory 10-6. over the Tigers at Tokyo Dome Saturday. Giants starter Koji Uehara claimed his fifth win of the season despite being taken deep three times in a four at bat sequence in the fourth and surrendering a total of four runs on five hits in six innings of work.
Yomiuri took a 3-0 lead in the third when catcher Shinnosuke Abe walked to lead it off and was sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, who supposedly doesn't hit southpaws well, then tripled off of lefthanded Hanshin starter Trey Moore to make it 1-0. Shortstop Toimohiro Nioka and absolutely demolished the first offering he saw from Moore, powering it off the facade of the balcony above the leftfield seats, a 450 foot shot, for a two run homer and a 3-0 Giants advantage.
Hanshin answered with a sock show of their own a half inning later. Fujimoto singled to center to0 kick it off. One out later, first baseman George Arias obliterated an 89mph fastball on the outer half of the plate and drove it just under roof height to the back wall of the leftfield bleachers to get his side within 3-2. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama then got an 89mph fastball up in the strike zone and special delivered it into the rightfield seats to knot it at 3-3. Leftfielder Derrick White struckout, but then centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka golfed a forkball that was middle out and rocketed it center backscreen style to put Hanshin in front 4-3.
It would stay that way until disaster struck in the sixth for both Moore and the Tigers as a whole. With one out and first baseman Kenji Fukui up at the plate, Asai was called for interfering with Fukui's swing and Fukui was given first base. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi then hit a routine grounder to Fujimoto, who made an inaccurate throw and everybody was safe. Third baseman Masahiro Kawai singled in Fukui and and Abe doubled to right for another. Murata was sent up to pinch hit for Uehara and he wacked a two run single to right to send Moore packing and give the Giants a 7-4 lead.
The Giants then expanded the gap with Hanshin to four with back to back doubles to rightcenter and leftcenter respectively in the seventh off of Nobuyuki Hoshino from Nioka and rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi and it was 8-4 Yomiuri.
Hanshin attempted a comeback in the eighth, but it fell short. With one away and Hideki Okajima now on the hill for Yomiuri, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka walked. Arias whiffed, but Hiyama singled to center. White picked them both up with a screamer into the rightcenter alley to shorten the deficit to 8-6. The rally fizzled, though, when Hamanaka grounded out.
The Giants got both runs back in their half with a single from Abe and Shimizu leaving the yard to right and that is where it ended, 10-6 Yomiuri, as Junichi Kawahara, who still has yet to be scored upon this season in 12 appearances, dispatced the Tigers lineup in order in the ninth. The Giants and Tigers are once again tied at the top of the Central League.
This was the first time Hanshin had three homers in an inning and brought comparisons in the press with a game in April of 1985, the year Hanshin won it all, when first baseman Randy Bass, third baseman Masayuki Kakefu and outfielder Akinobu Okada (now managing for the team in the minors) went back to back to back over the centerfield wall at Koshien Stadium against their chief rivals. They won that game, but not this one.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-3 with two RBIs, a walk and two strikeouts and is
at .202. This also ended the consecutive game streak where Arias has homered
and Hanshin has won at nine. White was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .290.
struckout about 20% of the time this season, but he also walks some, so his OBP of around .390 is pretty good. His OPS is just a shade over .900, also not too shabby.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance to drop to .111.
4-2) IP 5.1 PC
109 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 4 R 7 ER 3 ERA 2.42
Harada IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
N. Hoshino IP 1.0 PC 33 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.72
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.38
5-2) IP 6.0 PC 98 H
5 HR 3 K 5 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.35
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.80
Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: White 2, S. Abe, Nioka, Y. Takahashi
3B: T. Shimizu
HR: Nioka (4), Arias (12), Hiyama (8), Hamanaka (4), T. Shimizu (4)
RBI: Arias 2, Hiyama, White 2, Hamanaka, T. Shimizu 3, Nioka 2, Y. Takahashi, Kawai, S. Abe, Murata 2
Catcher's Interference: R. Asai
LOB: Hanshin 4, Yomiuri 5
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Watada (1B), Arizumi (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Swallows Fly with Hamana Sayonara Single
The Yakult Swallows, down 1-0 in the bottom of the ninth at Nagasaki Prefectural Stadium against Hiroshima Saturday, overcame a 1-0 Hiroshima Carp lead to win it on a single to right by pinch hitter Chihiro Hamana off of closer Yasuhiro Oyamada to sieze the day 2-1.
Kevin Hodges started for the birds and was superb, going seven innings and
giving up just a run on eighth hits while striking out six and walking none,
though he ultimately didn't figure in the decision. That was because Carp
starter Ken Takahashi was also outstanding, though being touched for singles
by the first two hitters he faced in the ninth caused him to get hung with
The game was a scoreless deadlock until the fourth, when Carp rightfielder Tomonori Maeda picked on a Hodges delivery and rifled it over the rightfield fence. The dimensions of the facility are 325 feet down the lines and 400 feet to straightaway center. You can see a pic of it at: http://www1.odn.ne.jp/nsfinder/yakyu/ya_main.html
Hiroshima had another opportunity to put runs up in the eighth, but let it slip through their fingers. Takahashi leadoff with a single to right. Takuya Kimura did the same and both were sacrificed along to setup a men on second and third, one out situation. Hodges had been replaced after the Kimura at bat in favor of Hirotoshi Ishii, who then induced a ground ball to third and a strikeout to quell the disturbance.
In the ninth, Yakult finally awakened, first baseman Roberto Petagine singling to right to lead it off. Takenori Daita pinch ran for him. Catcher Atsuya Furuta singled to left. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura grounded to Takahashi, who went to third for the force. Hiroshima manager Koji Yamamoto went to the bullpen and brought in Oyamada, who lured leftfielder Alex Ramirez into grounding out into a 6-5 force play on Furuta. Kota Soejima walked up to pinch hit and drilled a double into the rightfield corner and Iwamura motored around to tie it at 1-1. Now it was the pitcher's spot in the batting order and Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu chose Hamana to pinch hit. He lined a single to right and Soejima sprinted in for the sayonara Swallows 2-1 triumph.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-4 and is at .305. Ramirez was also 1-5 and is at .353.
K. Takahashi (L,
2-4) IP 8.1 PC 117 H 7 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Oyamada IP 0.1 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.71
IP 7.0 PC 95 H 8 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.12
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.95
Ryo. Igarashi (W, 3-0) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
2B: Ogata, K. Kimura, Ramirez,
HR: T. Maeda (6)
RBI: Maeda, Soejima, Hamana
HBP: Miki (K. Takahashi)
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Yakult 8
Game Time: 2:45
Umpires: Ino (HP), Shimada (1B), Mori (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Asakura Throws Second Consecutive Complete Game Against Yokohama
Chunichi Dragons starter Kenta Asakura twirled his second complete game victory in a row, this time a six hitter, as the Nagoya bunch did in the Yokohama Bay Stars at the latter's homeground Saturday 8-2. As he got further into the contest, the 20 year old righthander got tougher, as the Stars managed only one hit off of him in the last four innings.
Spearheading the Chunichi offensive thrust was centerfielder Koichi Sekikawa, who went 2-2 and drove in three runs with a bases clearing double while also walking and stealing a bag before being replaced late in the match by Toshio Haru, and first baseman Leo Gomez, who launched a 420 foot solo homer to center off a hanging breaking ball from Shigeo Inamine in the third, his first circuit clout in five games.
Hiroshi Yamada, who had a couple of impressive outings to begin the season, displayed the wildness he was notorious for in previous years and it lead to his downfall. Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leadoff the game with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a sacrifice. On the way to striking out rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome, he unleashed a wild pitch and Ibata hustled in to make it 1-0 Dragons.
Asakura then had a touch of the same disease in the home half. Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii began the inning with a walk, stole second and went to third on a sac bunt. In the course of pitching to leftfielder Takanori Suzuki, Asakura uncorked an uncontrolled delivery of his own and Ishii touched home to knot the game at one all.
Asakura would straighten himself out, but Yamada didn't. In the second and with two away, Chunichi second baseman Masahiko Morino singled to right. While pitching to catcher Motonobu Tanishige, he threw another wild pitch. It was then decided by Stars manager Masaaki Mori to put Tanishige on, since Tanishige has eaten Yokohama alive so far this season. Asakura then checked in, having gone nip for his last 13 with 12 strikeouts, and Yamada walked him to load the bases. Ibata singled to center to plate Morino and Sekikawa cleared the decks by scalding a Yamada pitch over the head of Yokohama centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka and it was 5-1 Dragons and Yamada was going for a shower when he was replaced by Inamine.
That move didn't workout in the third, when Gomez started it with his longball to make it 6-1. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to center and advanced on a grounder to first. Morino singled to left and Tatsunami chugged around and the Dragons were six ahead at 7-1 and Kazushi Hosomi had to be called in to rescue Inamine.
Yokohama added a run in the bottom of the inning thanks to another mistake by Asakura and then they would pretty much sleepwalk through the rest of the battle. With two down, Tanaka singled to center. Suzuki then laced a double down the leftfield line. While pitching to third baseman Mike Gulan, Asakura balked and now it was 7-2 Dragons as Tanaka trotted in.
Chunichi went back up by six, however, in the fourth. Ibata singled to center. Sekikawa singled to left and Ibata hotfooted it for third and made it safely. Fukudome flew out to right and Ibata tagged and hit home for an 8-2 lead. And with the way the Stars have just been plain sucking, this one was already in the fridge as Asakura coasted from there on out.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .221. First baseman Boi Rodrigues was 1-4 with an error and is at .238.
For Chunichi, Scott Bullet was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .000. Gomez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .246.
Asakura (W, 4-1) IP 9.0 PC 127 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.06
H. Yamada (L,
2-3) IP 1.2 PC 50 H 4 HR 0 K 1
BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.58
Inamine IP 0.2 PC 11 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 7.04
Hosomi IP 1.2 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Yoshimi IP 3.0 PC 57 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.61
Turman IP 2.0 PC 39 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.35
SB: Sekikawa, T. Ishii
2B: Ibata, Sekikawa, T. Suzuki
HR: Gomez (6)
RBI: Gomez, Ibata, Sekikawa 3, Fukudome, Morino
WP: Yamada 2, Asakura
HBP: Tanishige (Yoshimi)
LOB: Chunichi 10, Yokohama 5
Game Time: 2:59
Umpires: Manabe (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Fukatani (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Nippon Ham Overcomes a Pair of Two Run Homers by Rhodes to Win It
Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes crushed two more homers, his 14th and 15th of the season, to stay atop the PL longball race, but it wasn't a good enough effort to deal with the Nippon Ham Fighters Saturday at Osaka Dome, as Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara went on a rampage, coming up only a single short of the cycle, to spur his side on to a 9-7 victory.
Carlos Mirabel had one of his worst outings of the season, lasting just five innings while being bombarded for seven hits, two of them ending up as souvenirs, and six earned runs. But the eight arms Buffaloes manager Masataka Nishida sent out there were even less resilient and Mirabal was bestowed with the W.
Hideo Koike started for Kintetsu and the first inning was a harbinger of bad things for him. Hiroshi Narahara tattooed a one out double into the leftcenter alley and that was succeeded by Ogasawara gapping a triple to the same area for a quick 1-0 Fighters lead. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka then got around on a Koike delivery and smacked it on the sweet part of the bathead, but Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura was there to flag it down. Koike then walked the next two men unintentionally to load the bases, but he escaped the predicament when leftfielder D.T. Cromer fanned.
In the second, though, the Fighters wouldn't be so charitable. With one out, centerfielder Tatsuya Ide lasered a two bagger into the leftcenter gap. Makoto Kaneko ripped one down the rightfield line for a triple and an RBI. One out later, Ogasawara went yard to right to make it 4-0 Fighters. Koike then got Tanaka to come up empty, but that was the last anyone saw of him that afternoon.
In the third,. Nippon Ham went right back on the offensive, as Cromer dented the outfield wall in right for a double with two out off of Kadokura. Toshihiro Noguchi then tripled up the rightcenter alley for the fifth run. Ide walked. Kaneko boomed a double to rightcenter for a 7-0 advantage before Narahara flew out to signal a respite.
The Buffaloes then got to Mirabal. After he had struckout both DH Nigel Wilson and Akihito Fujii, centerfielder Naoyuki Omura clobbered a shot off the leftfield wall for a double. Second baseman Yosuke Takasu singled in Omura. Rhodes unloaded a nine iron on a line into the leftfield bleachers and it was now 7-3. Nakamura walked, but the inning ended when rightfielder Koichi Isobe bounced out to Mirabal.
Kintetsu drew even closer in the fifth when Takasu tripled (that makes four for the game, the most this season, iirc) to right and came home on a bomb to right from Rhodes, making this his third two homer game of the year and the score 7-5 Fighters.
And the extra base hits just kept on coming. In the sixth, first baseman Yuji Yoshioka and Kenshi Kawaguchi each doubled to make it a one run game at 7-6 and disposing of Mirabal.
Nippon Ham gave themselves some breathing space, though, in the eighth, with a leadoff single to center form Kaneko, a sacrifice from Narahara, an intentional walk to Ogasawara, an RBI single to right by Tanaka and an RBI knock from DH Sherman Obando to make it 9-6 Fighters.
Yoshioka homered with one out in the bottom of the inning off of Hiroshi Shibakusa and this muscle flexing exhibition was over. By the way, Ogasawara did get a chance to hit in the ninth and he grounded out, so he didn't get the single necessary to complete the cycle. There were a total of 16 extra base hits in this one between the two sides, an incredible number to be sure.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-4 with four RBIs and a walk and is at .250. Wilson was 1-4 and is at .225.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 with a walk, an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .220. Cromer was 3-5 and is at .271. Ogasawara is now hitting .406 with his 3-4 day.
Mirabal (W, 5-0
) IP 5.1 PC 119 H 7 HR 2
K 4 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 4.00
Sasaki IP 1.1 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.00
Iba (S, 6) IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
2.0 PC 62 H 5 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 5.55
Kadokura IP 2.0 PC 50 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.56
Takagi IP 1.2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
Aikyo IP 1.1 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.82
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.12
Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
Misawa IP 0.2 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.39
Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2B: M. Ogasawara, Narahara, Ide, Cromer, Kaneko 2, N. Omura, Yoshioka, Kawaguchi
3B: M. Ogasawara, Kaneko, Noguchi, Takasu
HR: Rhodes 2 (15), M. Ogasawara (12), Yoshioka (6)
RBI: Kaneko 3, M. Ogasawara 3, Y. Tanaka, Obando, Noguchi, Takasu, Rhodes 4, Yoshioka, Kawaguchi
LOB: Nippon Ham 12, Kintetsu 5
Game Time: 4:03
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Yoshikawa (1B), Kodera (2B), Maeda (3B)
Minchey Can't Get Anyone Out in Ninth and He Loses 1-0 to Daiei
Daiei Hawks number one starter Keisaburo Tanoue and Lotte's Nathan Minchey hooked up in a classic pitcher's duel Saturday at Fukuoka Dome, Minchey perhaps being a little better since he had not only stayed in the game to the end, but finished having made just 95 deliveries to the plate. Unfortunately for Minchey, though, he got beat with a couple of infield hits, a bad feilding decision on his part and then a shot to right that resulted in his defeat.
Lotte had a couple of faint whiffs at scoring in this game, but that was all. For example, in the first, first baseman Kazuya Fukuura walked and DH Frank Bolick singled to right. But Tanoue buckled down and fanned third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba to make it all for nought,
In the seventh and with one out, Tanoue hit Bolick with a pitch. Hatsushiba rolled into a force play for the second out and then second baseman Koichi Hori legged out a tapper toward second. Again, Tanoue was up to the task, such as it was, and got pinch hitter Derrick May to fly out to his opposite number and that was that.
Daiei, meanwhile, might as well have just had a picnic until the ninth for all the good trying to figure out Minchey did them for the initial eight innings, managing just three singles off of him up to that point. But then the speed end of their order made things happen in the final frame. Pinch hitter Mitsuru Honma beat out a bleeder toward third to lead it off. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara then attempted to sacrifice. Minchey pounced on the ball and winged to second, where Honma just barely beat the throw. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi then bunted and beat it out to laod the bases. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez, the PL RBI king right now, wasn't about to pass this opportunity by and cracked a drive to right that Takashi Kita dove for but missed for the game winner to say "sayonara" to Lotte and add to the latter's misery.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-3 and was hit by a pitch and is at .256. Boy, has he come a long way since that dismal start! May was 0-1 and is at .196.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .317. First baseman Morgan Burkhart was 0-3 and is at .202.
Minchey (L, 1-6) IP 8.0 PC 95 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.65
IP 7.2 PC 107 H 4 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.16
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.61
Okamoto (W, 1-0) IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
HBP: Bolick (Tanoue)
LOB: Lotte 5, Daiei 5
Game Time: 2:27
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Yamamura (1B), Higashi (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Sasaki Reups for Two More Years with Seattle
Kazuhiro Sasaki will be with the Seattle Mariners for two, and maybe three, more seasons, inking a new deal this weekend reportedly worth $8 million a year plus another $500,000 in incentives. "I like the city of Seattle and my teammates," the Daimajin said. The third year is an option that is at the team's discretion. Sasaki had talked in the past about retiring after the 2003 season, but obviously that has changed.
Ichiro's Long At Bat
Friday night against the Boston Red Sox, Ichiro had a 13 pitch at bat, the fourth time already this season that he has made the opposition pitcher endure a ten or more pitch duel whereas in 2001 he had done that just once. That 13 delivery faceoff was the most he has seen in one at bat since coming to MLB. Thank you to Nikkan Sports for another nifty piece of trivia.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 11th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1975, the Hankyu Braves (now the Orix Blue Wave) scored a run in every inning against the Nankai (now Daiei) Hawks.
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team W L T PCT GB
2. Kia Tigers 18 12 2 .600 0.5
3. Hanwha Eagles 17 14 2 548 2.0
4. Hyundai Unicorns 16 14 3 .533 2.5
5. Doosan Bears 14 18 1 .438 5.5
6. LG Twins 14 18 1 .438 5.5
7. SK Wyvers 14 18 1 . 438 5.5
8. Lotte Giants 13 19 1 .406 6.5
Player: AVG: Player HR
01. Lee Yeong-wu
01. Song Ji-man
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) .357 02. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) 14
03. Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) .354 03. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) 10
04. Lee Ho-joon (SK) .348 04. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) 9
05. Kim Dae-ik (Lotte) .337 05. Ma Hae-yong (Samsung) 9
06. Kim Jae-hyun (LG) .333
07. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .331 Player: RBI
08. Chae Jong-beom (SK) .328
09. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .318 01. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) 38
10. Jeon Joon-ho (Hyundai) . 315 02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) 37
01. Cho Yong-joon
02. Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 1.80
03. Kim Min-gi (LG) 2.13
04. Kiefer (Kia) 2.63
05. Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 2.70
01. Song Jin-wu
02. Kiefer (Kia) 46
03. Arantes (SK) 45
04. Kim Soo-kyung (Hyundai) 45
05. McGee (Lotte) 43
01. Choi Sang-deok
02. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 5
03. Bae Yeong-soo (Samsung) 4
04. Gary Rath (Doosan) 4
05. Six others tied with 4
Arias Homer Starts Collapse of Giants in 7-2 Hanshin Victory
Yomiuri Giants starter Masumi Kuwata couldn't get a good rhythm going and allowed 14 baserunners in his five innings of work, seven on hits and an equal number on walks, but permitted just two Hanshin Tigers runners to cross the plate at Tokyo Dome Friday. And this was with having fouled a ball of the front of his left foot during an at bat in the second inning. So he left the ballgame after 121 deliveries with it tied up 2-2 in favor of Junya Sakai, who hung a 1-2 slider to Hanshin first baseman George Arias with Shuta Tanaka aboard and the former Padre rocketed it off the back wall of the second deck in left to put the Tigers in front to stay at 4-2 on the way to what became a 7-2 triumph for the Osaka nine.
This was the first time in 17 years that the Giants and the Tigers had played a game with first place at stake and Hanshin's number one starter, Kei Igawa, proved up to the responsibility,.going six innings of two run ball on three hits, one of those being a solo homer to right in the fourth by Yomiuri utility man Kenji Fukui, making a start at third base. Fukui seems to have Igawa's number, since he had taken the southpaw deep in an extra inning scoreless game earlier the schedule to give the Giants their only victory so far against Hanshin this season in five tries. In addition to the dinger, Fukui also had a walk and a stolen base before being inexplicably replaced by Koji Goto in the seventh. Goto struckout.
The Giants got in front in the first with a leadoff walk from leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, a sac bunt, and a double to leftcenter by centerfielder Hideki Matsui that plated Shimizu, 1-0 Yomiuri after one complete.
Hanshin leveled things in the third thanks to a leadoff double to the centerfield wall from second baseman Makoto Imaoka, who advanced to third on a sacrifice and hit the dish on a single to center from rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama to make it 1-1.
After Fukui went yard, the Tigers clawed back to knot it again in the fifth. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka walked to begin the inning. Arias singled to left. One out later, leftfielder Derrick White doubled to leftcenter to get Kataoka in. Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara then chose to have Kuwata intentionally walk centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka and pinch hitter Tomochika Tsuboi to cries of "wimp!" from Hanshin fans in the leftfield bleachers in order to face Igawa, who whiffed to end the inning.
Then in the top of the sixth, Imaoka leadoff with a single to left. Shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto attempted to sacrifice again, but hit the ball back sharply at Sakai, who threw to second for the force on Imaoka. Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino replaced Sekimoto with Tanaka. One out later, Arias, who hadn't had an RBI in six games and who came into this faceoff 0-11 with six strikeouts, then went midieval on a Sakai pitch and the Hanshin faithul celebrated their club's 4-2 advantage loudly. See pic of Arias' blast at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200205/image/0511ariasOS167510_b.jpg Before his heroics, Arias had waited near the net behind the plate "to be closer to my wife and kids," he said. His wife Rachel and their children were in attendance at the game.
Yukinaga Maeda came on to pitch the seventh for Yomiuri and was mugged for a screaming double down the leftfield line with one out by rooki catcher Ryo Asai. Asai tagged up and went to third on a long fly to center by pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi and then scored when Maeda bounced on by his catcher, Shinnosuke Abe and it was 5-2 Tigers.
Hanshin then staged a two out rally against rookie lefthander Masami Ishikawa in the eighth with a double into the leftfield corner from Hiyama, a walk to White, and a liner into the leftcenter gap from Hamanaka for a two RBI standup double and now the Tigers were up by five at 7-2.
The Giants got a couple of men on the ninth, but the next three men grounded out and that's where it ended.
With their 20th shiroboshi of the season in their 32nd game, Hanshin did something that they hadn't accomplished since 1974, according to Sankei Sports, Moreover, Sankei points out, Hanshin has been at the summit of the CL at their 20th victory six times and won the pennant in four of those campaigns. In 1985, when Hanshin claimed the sole Japan Series crown in their history, they were 20-13-1 when they reached 20 wins. So they are a tad ahead of that pace.
For Hanshin, White was 1-3 with an RBI and two walks and is at .281. Arias was 2-5 with two RBIs and is at .198. Hiyama, with his 4-5 night, leapfrogged over both Matsui and Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi to take the CL batting lead with a .374 mark.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .115.
6-1) IP 6.0 PC 99 H
3 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.00
Fukuhara IP 2.0 PC 34 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Harada IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.72
A. Itoh IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.72
IP 5.0 PC 121 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 7 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.87
J. Sakai (L, 1-1) IP 0.2 PC 13 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.00
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Masami Ishikawa IP 1.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 18.00
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Hamanaka 2, Imaoka, White, R. Asai, Hiyama, H. Matsui
HR: Arias (11), Fukui (2)
RBI: Arias 2, Hiyama, White, Hamanaka 2, Fukui, H. Matsui
IBB: Hamanaka, Tsuboi, Imaoka
WP: Y. Maeda
LOB: Hanshin 13, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 3:59
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Arizumi (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Kazuo Matsui Slugs First Career Sayonara Homer to Beat Orix 2-1
Kazuo Matsui, as great a player as he has been at every level he's ever been at, has never ever, even in little league, hit a game winning homer in the bottom of the final inning of a game. Until now. Friday at Seibu Dome, Matsui tattooed a 2-2 changeup from Orix Blue Wave reliever Jun Hagiwara with one out in the home portion of the ninth into the leftfield seats for a 2-1 Lions victory to keep his club at the top of the PL race.
Koo Dae-sung started for Orix and had another frustrating outing, allowing just one run on eight hits while striking out eight and walking two over seven innings and got a no decision. He has won just two games despite a steallar 2.08 ERA.
Koji Mitsui hasn't been saddled with quite the same wan offense that Orix has, but the Seibu southpaw was even better than Koo, also throwing seven innings of one run ball, but on four hits, though he did walk four while striking out three.
The Lions blew a good chance to score in the first, when centerfielder Masaji Shimizu tripled down the rightfield line with one out. However, DH Toshiaki Inubushi whiffed and first baseman Alex Cabrera grounded to short.
The game remained scoreless until the fifth, when Orix pulled through with a tally. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka beat out a roller toward first for a hit to commence the inning. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki sacrificed him to third and second baseman Koichi Oshima walked. One out later, Mitsui tried to spot a fastball on the outside corner, but it drifted back over the heart of the plate and DH Fernando Seguignol ripped it down the leftfield line for an RBI double and it was 1-0 visitors.
That's where it stayed until the eighth when Seibu reliever Shinji Mori came in and struckout the side and then waited to see if the Lions order would be able to amass a counterattack. Inubushi, who played with the Wakae Giants, the same little league team that Matsui was on (except a few years later) in east Osaka, then leadoff the Lions half with a shot into the leftfield seats off of a 2-2 fastball from Koo to tie it at 1-1. Cabrera doubled down the leftfield line and Orix manager Hiromichi Ishige, figuring that Koo was out of gas, yanked him and waved in Hagiwara,, who walked leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada. Hagiwara extricated himself, though, by inducin a groundout and two strikeouts.
Mori then got into hot water in the top of the ninth when third baseman Tatsuya Shindo leadoff with a single to right. Ishige then gave first baseman Scott Sheldon the sign for a sac bunt and Sheldon attempted to do so, but got under the ball and lifted a little fly ball in foul territory that was snagged by Cabrera. Rightfielder Manabu Satake then endeavored to sacrifice and Cabrera mishandled it to allow Satake to reach. But Hidaka struckout and pinch hitter Mitsutaka Goto popped out and that little uprising was history.
That set the stage for Matsui's homer and enabled the Lions to maintain a hold on first place.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-3 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .286. Sheldon was 0-4 and is at .211.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-4 with an error and is at .261. Inubushi is eating lefthanders alive thus far, boasting a .429 average against them.
IP 7.0 PC 127 H 8 HR 1 K 8 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.08
Hagiwara (L, 0-1) IP 1.1 PC 29 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.15
IP 7.0 PC 109 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
Mori (W, 1-2) IP 2.0 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.30
2B: Seguignol, Cabrera
HR: Matsui (5), Inubushi (1)
RBI: Matsui, Inubushi, Seguignol
LOB: Orix 9, Seibu 10
Game Time: 3:03
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Akimura (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Omura's Four RBIs and Yoshioka's Three Take Fight Out of Nippon Ham
The Kintetsu Buffaloes racked up a season high 16 hits to batter the Nippon Ham Fighters Friday at Osaka Dome 10-2 to halt a three game losing skid behind another good outing from Jeremy Powell. Powell is now 2-3 on the year.
Nippon Ham pushed to the head of the line in the third, when third baseman Yukio Tanaka lashed a hanging slider from Powell into the leftfield bleachers to make it 1-0 Fighters. Two outs later, shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to center and stole second. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto singled to left and Kaneko sprinted home and it was 2-0 Nippon Ham.
Kintetsu battled part of the way back in the bottom of the inning, catcher Kenji Furukubo steaming a double down the rightfield line and then coming in on a single to center from centerfielder Naoyuki Omura to reduce their deficit with the Fighters to 2-1.
They then scrambled for another run in the fifth to even it up, DH Kenshi Kawaguchi spanking a leadoff single to center and going to second on a sacrifice. One out later, Omura singled to left and Kawaguchi chugged home with the tying run, 2-2 after five complete.
An inning later, Kintetsu took the driver's seat. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes doubled to leftcenter to kick off the stanza. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura lined one off the bicep of Fighters starter Itsuki Shoda and into centerfield and Shoda was removed as a precaution. Rightfielder Koichi Isobe flew out to center and Rhodes scored with the lead run. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka then doubled in Nakamura and it was 4-2 Buffs.
In the eighth, Nakamura leadoff with a walk and went to second on an infield hit by Isobe. Yoshioka doubled into the leftcenter alley to see in both Nakamura and Isobe and Kawaguchi rammed one over the head of Fighters leftfielder D.T. Cromer to send in Yoshioka. Second baseman Fumitoshi Takano was nailed by a pitch and one out later Omura collected two more RBIs with a triple into the leftcenter gap. Nigel Wilson, who wasn't in the starting lineup for the first time all season, was dispatched to the plate on a pinch hitting assignment and he wacked a curve ball to center to drive in Omura and it was 10-2 Kintetsu and the Fighters were whipped.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .218. Cromer was 0-3 and is at .258.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .242. Wilson was 1-1 with an RBI and is at .224.
1-1) IP 5.0 PC 85 H 9 HR
0 K 3 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.21
Sasaki IP 0.1 PC 6 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Muto IP 1.2 PC 28 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.40
T. Kato IP 0.0 PC 14 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.38
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.59
2-3) IP 8.0 PC 115 H 4 HR 1 K 10
BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.05
D. Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.80
SB: Muto, Kaneko
2B: Ide, M. Ogasawara, Takasu, Furukubo, Rhodes, Yoshioka 2, Kawaguchi
3B: N. Omura
HR: Y. Tanaka (5)
RBI: Y. Tanaka, Kimoto, Omura 4, Wilson, Isobe, Yoshioka 3, Kawaguchi
HBP: Takano (Kato)
LOB: Nippon Ham 3, Kintetsu 7
Game Time: 3:28
Umpires: Kakigozono (HP), Fujimoto (1B), Maeda (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Song Ji-man Adds Another Two Homers in KBO Action
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200205/t2002051017141447110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 10th and on that day in Japanese baseball history
in 1966, in a game at Kawasaki Stadium, Kazuhiko Kondo of the Taiyo Whales
(now the Yokohama Bay Stars) homered in the bottom of the ninth of a tie
ballgame with Hanshin, but time had been called just before the pitch and
the sayonara dinger was nullified. That's too bad, since Kondo, a six time
.300 hitter (.285 lifetime), only went yard 109 times in his 16 season career,
so he could use all the homers he could get.
Wasdin Loses Another Low Scoring Game
Daisuke Yamai made his debut pro start Wednesday at Nagoya Dome, allowing just a third inning infield hit to Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe to seize his first lifetime victory in the Dragons 2-0 triumph. John Wasdin was on the mound for Yomiuri and was hung with his third loss despite permitting two runs on four hits in seven innings.
Yamai, who pitched out of the set position for most of the contest, was clocked at a high of 90mph and mixed in a big slow curve and even dropped down to the side occasionally to disrupt the timing of the Giants order. Four Dragons relievers then held Yomiuri hitters to a single after Yamai was pulled with one out in the sixth to finish off the whitewash.
The Chunichi offense got three of the four hits it managed against Wasdin in the first to score the only runs it needed. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leadoff with a single to center and one out later rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome also had a knock to center and first baseman Leo Gomez doubled both of them in by playing ping pong with the leftfield fence and it was 2-0 Dragons.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo started at third and went 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .120.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .246.
1-3) IP 7.0 PC 119
H 4 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
1-0) IP 5.1 PC
81 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Yamakita IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
Endo IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Iwase IP 2.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.02
Gaillard (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
RBI: Gomez 2
GIDP: Kawai, Nishi
LOB: Yomiuri 2, Chunichi 6
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Kittaka (1B), Manabe (2B), ? (3B)
Yakult Rallies in Late Innings to Beat Hanshin
Yakult Swallows first baseman Roberto Petagine went to the top of the Central League homer heap Wednesday when he took a forkball from Hanshin Tigers starter Keiichi Yabu in the top of the ninth and belted it on a low line over the centerfield fence to break a 3-3 tie and help pull his club to within three games of first place in the pennant race in a 4-3 triumph at Koshien Stadium.
It was a little
puzzling that Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino allowed things to get to that
point despite the fact that Yabu's pitch count wasn't particularly high,
but he had already let a 2-0 lead get away from him and given up a third
one on Yakult centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka's circuit clout into the rightfield
seats to give Yakult a shortlived 3-2 edge. Once the match
knotted or the Swallows surged in front, Hoshino could have gone to the bullpen for Shinobu Fukuhara, who has been the only effective arm in that bullpen recently outside of closer Mark Valdez. He stuck with Yabu, though, and it cost him the ballgame.
Shugo Fujii started for Yakult and kept the Hanshin order quiet until the fourth, when third baseman Atsushi Kataoka doubled to center and greeted rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama at the plate on the front end of a two run homer to rightcenter for a 2-0 Tigers lead.
In the top of the sixth, the Swallows put across their first tally with a leadoff single to left from second baseman Hajime Miki, a sac bunt and a single to right from Manaka that ushered Miki in to halve the deficit with Hanshin to 2-1.
An inning later, Petagine started the rally that would level the score with a single to right. Catcher Atsuya Furuta singled to left. One out later, leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to left and it was deadlocked at 2-2.
Hanshin fought back in the aftermath of Manaka's "kachikoshi (go ahead)" dinger in the bottom of the eighth with a one out triple from the recently called up shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto to rightcenter and a sacrifice fly from Kataoka, 3-3 after eight complete.
But when Petagine went yard, Hanshin came up for the last time in the ninth against Hirotoshi Ishii, who was touched for a single to left by Hiyama to kick things off. Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu went to the bullpen for closer Shingo Takatsu and his sinkerball, and the righthander sunk one to leftfielder Derrick White, who bounced it over to Akinori Iwamura at third, who then whipped it around the horn for a 5-4-3 twin killing. Takatsu then induced a grounder to second from centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to turn out the lights. The Swallows have won their last four faceoffs with Hanshin.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .357. Petagine was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .307.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-4 with an error and is at .189. White was 1-4 and is at .280.
IP 7.1 PC 108 H 7 HR 1 K 9 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA
H. Ishii IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Takatsu (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
Yabu (L, 4-1) IP 9.0 PC 104 H 7 HR 2 K 7 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.01
2B: Kataoka, Imaoka
HR: Manaka (3), Petagine (11) Hiyama (7), Kataoka
RBI: Manaka 2, Petagine, Hiyama 2, Ramirez
GIDP: S. Miyamoto, White
LOB: Yakult 3, Hanshin 4
Umpires: Honda (HP), Mori (1B), Tani (2B), Ino (3B)
Kanemura, Kimoto Team Up to Keep Seibu Down 6-0
The Seibu Lions dropped back into a tie for first in the Pacific League Wednesday when they were shutout 6-0 by Satoru Kanemura at Tokyo Dome. Kanemura, who won an ERA title in 1998 and has been nagged by injuries since, lost his spot in the starting rotation after a 2001 that saw him go 7-13 with a 4.89 ERA. Fighters manager Yasunori Oshima thus decided to put him in a long relief and spot starter role this spring. He went seven excellent innings of five hit, one walk ball while striking out eight to reduce his season ERA 2.91. Three of those whiffs were at the expense of Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera.
Nippon Ham went in front in the bottom of the first with some longball lightning. Shortstop Makoto Kaneko walked to open the frame and second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto rocked Seibu starter Koji Onuma with a shot into the leftfield bleachers and it was 2-0 Fighters.
They then doubled that gap with Seibu in the second with some help from Cabrera. With one out, leftfielder D.T. Cromer rolled one by first that Cabrera booted. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi follwed by peppering a single to left and centerfielder Tatsuya Ide walked to load the bases. Kaneko struckout, but then Kimoto singled to right to plate both Cromer and Noguchi and it was 4-0 Nippon Ham.
Then in the fourth, Cromer leadoff by searing a pitch from reliever Naoki Uchizono into the rightcenter alley for a double. Noguchi then laid down a sac bunt, but Uchizono chose to try to nail Cromer at third, but the ex-Red was called safe. Ide then grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Cromer crossed to make it 5-0.
In the seventh,
Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to left off of Yoshihiro
Doi (note: in past reports, I had transliterated his name at "Tsuchigoe,"
but that was incorrect) and, one out later, DH Sherman Obando singled to
center. After rightfielder Seigo Fujishima struckout for the second out,
Cromer singled to center to drive in Ogasawara for the final margin
0-1) IP 2.0 PC
59 H 3 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 2 ERA
Uchizono IP 2.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Mizuo IP 2.0 PC 33 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Doi IP 1.0 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.69
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-0) IP 7.0 PC 95 H 5 HR 0 K 8
BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.73
Iba IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.10
2B: Wada, Cromer
HR: Kimoto (2)
RBI: Kimoto 4, Cromer
GIDP: K. Suzuki, Ide
LOB: Seibu 7, Nippon Ham 8
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Yanagida (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Yokohama Gets Five Homers---and Loses to Hiroshima
In what is sure to one of the statistical oddities of the year, the Yokohama Bay Stars had five of their first six hits leave the yard Wednesday against the Hiroshima Carp at the latter's homeground, with Carp starter Ryuji Yokoyama being responsible for each of those gopher balls. Fortunately, nobody was on when those longballs were struck and Hiroshima raked Stars starter Shane Bowers and three of the five Yokohama relievers for a total of seven earned runs to come out on top 7-5.
And to add to all the offensive fireworks,.Atsushi Kizuka beaned centerfielder Koichi Ogata in the eighth, causing both benches to clear and Kizuka to be ejected for making a dangerous pitch.
Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff the game by taking Yokoyama on an involuntary tour of the centerfield bleachers for an instant 1-0 Stars lead. Two outs later, third baseman Mike Gulan drilled the first of his two dingers on the night to rightcenter to make it 2-0 after a half inning.
Bowers, coming back
off of a heel injury, ascended the hill and received a thorough hiding from
the home team. Ogata cracked a leadoff single to right and shortstop Akihiro
Higashide went to right safely as well and Ogata sprinted to third. Higashide
stole second. Second baseman Eddie Diaz flew out to deep center to plate
Higashide. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto singled to center and one out later
rightfielder Tomonori Maeda connected for the first of his pair of fencebusters
in this one, the ball nestling into the rightfield bleachers to make it 4-2
Carp. Yokohama boss Masaaki Mori posited that
Bowers didn't have much and that was all for him.
Yokoyama came back to strikeout the side in the second and then wriggle out of a minor pinch in the third when the Stars got a man to second with one out.
In the bottom of the third, Carp first baseman Luis Lopez wacked a two out single to left. Maeda walked. Third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to left to usher in Lopez and it was 5-2 Hiroshima.
The Stars lit up the sky again in the fourth, with Gulan mortaring one into the leftcenterfield stands and Boi Rodrigues, at first since Tomohiro Saeki, Hitoshi Nakane and Hiroo Ishii are all out bursing injuries, checked in and went midieval to center to put their side within a run at 5-4.
Yokohama then got some power from a very unexpected source, 5'5" rightfielder Kazunori Tanaka, to tie it at 5-5 in the fifth,
However, in the bottom of the inning, Maeda dialed long distance to right again to put Hiroshima back up 6-5.
Hiroshima then got doubles from Takuya Kimura and Kanemoto for an insurance run ("dame oshi") and that is how it ended, as Yasuhiro Oyamada put Yokohama down in order to preserve the victory.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .238. Gulan was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .233. The Stars are now 7-22 and their season is pretty much over already.
IP 0.2 PC 24 H 5 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Hosomi IP 3.0 PC 59 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Inamine (L, 0-2) IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Sugimoto IP 1.2 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Kizuka IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.62
T. Saito IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
IP 4.0 PC 62 H 6 HR 5 K 3 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA
Tomabechi (W, 1-2) IP 4.0 PC 64 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.59
Oyamada (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.73
2B: T. Kimura, Kanemoto
HR: T. Ishii (2), Gulan 2 (4), Rodrigues (8), K. Tanaka (1), T. Maeda 2 (5)
RBI: Diaz, Kanemoto 2, T. Maeda 3, Arai, T. Ishii, Gulan 2, Rodrigues, K. Tanaka
HBP: Diaz (Hosomi), Ogata (Kizuka)
LOB: Yokohama 2, Hiroshima 10
Umpires: Watada (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kasahara (2B), Watamari (3B)
Yamada Grabs Fourth Win Against Kintetsu
Despite his slider being missing in action, forcing him to rely solely on his forkball and his fastball, Daiei Hawks starter Akichika Yamada limited the Kintetsu Buffaloes to a run on six hits and four walks while striking out seven for seven innings before ceding the ball to Yoshida and closer Rodney Pedraza, who needed a total of only 18 pitches to put a 4-1 win on ice at Fukuoka Dome Wednesday.
The Hawks went out to a 1-0 first inning lead when centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara doubled into the leftcenter alley and went to third on a sacrifice. One out later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to right to bring in Shibahara.
Kintetsu first baseman Yuji Yoshioka lead off the second, however, with a shot into the leftfield seats to knot it at one all.
Daiei responded immediately, rightfielder Koji Akiyama hammering a one out double to leftcenter and coming home one out later on a two bagger to the centerfield fence from shortstop Yusuke Torigoe and it was 2-1 Hawks.
In the fourth, Daiei catcher Kenji Johjima cleaned and jerked a screamer into the leftfield stands to make it 3-1.They then added another in the eighth on a couple of singles and a sacrifice, Pedraza did his thing and the Buffs struggles continue.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-2 with two walks and is at .241. DH Nigel Wilson was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .217.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .319. First baseman Morgan Burkhart struckout all three times he came up and is at .208.
1-2) IP 7.2 PC 113 H 7 HR 1 K 10
BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Yoshida IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
D. Miyamoto IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.14
(4-0) IP 7.0 PC 128 H 6 HR
1 K 7 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.97
Pedraza (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.66
2B: Shibahara, Torigoe,
HR: Yoshioka (5), Johjima (9)
RBI:: Johjima, Yoshioka, P. Valdez, Kokubo, Torigoe
LOB: Kintetsu 8, Daiei 3
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Nagami (1B), Sato (2B), Higashi (3B)
Now that the Yokohama
Bay Stars are 7-22, the vultures are already circling over manager Masaaki
Mori. But both club management and Mori himself are reportedly denying that
there is any departure by the ex-Seibu Lions boss in the immediate
future....Meanwhile, one of Yokohama's hurlers, Nomura, just had elbow surgery
and won't be back until after the all star break at the earliest....Seibu
Lions third baseman Scott McClain just had surgery in New York to repair
a wrist ligament and may not be back until August....In other Lions news,
new aquisition Chang Chieh-chiah will make his first Pacific League
June first....19 year old Yakult Swallows rookie Sakamoto, after a string of impressive relief performances, is going to get his first pro start on March 12....The NBP Rules Committee, in the wake of Alex Cabrera's 550 foot single at Tokyo Dome a few days back, is considering changes to ground rules at the various Japanese parks to give them more uniformity. One good thing they have already decided, though, is to ditch the insane "rental isseki' (loaning of players) idea....Kintetsu Buffaloes Kitagawa, who had wrist surgery, too, will be back in a Buffs uniform the middle of June....Chunichi Dragons are trying to aquire the big Cuban righthander Jose Ariel Contreras, that country's national team's number one starter....The Kintetus Buffaloes are trying to get utility man Akihito Igarashi into the Guinness Book of Word Records for have both played all nine positions in his career and have homered in every spot in the batting order....
All Star Voting Results Announced
The first results
of the ongoing all star voting are out and eight Hanshin Tigers, including
injured catcher Akihiro Yano and the equally hurting centerfielder Norihiro
Akahoshi, are occupying the top spot in their respective categories. To his
credit, Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino is urging fans to look at the
stats cooly and choose the best players in the Central league
that basis alone or otherwise there is no meaning to an all star game.
In Pacific League
balloting, as perhaps was expected, Seibu Lions righthander Daisuke Matsuzaka
is leading all other pitchers handily, but the number one overal vote getter
is Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes. Daiei catcher Kenji Johjima
is looking like a shoo in as the starting PL backstop while Alex Cabrera
is currently tops in the DH slot.
Rodney Pedraza is leading in the closer category.
How's Hara Doing?
The Yomiuri Shimbun's Jim Allen assesses the good and bad of Giants manager Tatsunori Hara so far at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020509wo51.htm
Song Ji-man Takes Over KBO Homer Lead
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200205/t2002050917125147110.htm
Taiwan Baseball Gambling Figure Resurfaces in China Pro League
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/09/story/0000135326
Expat Softball Team Carries on in Taiwan
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/09/story/0000135326
The Dodgers OTHER Japanese Player
See Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020509a2.htm
So Taguchi Not Turning Dividends for St. Louis
See Baseball America article at: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/minors/taguchi050902.html
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for
May 8th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1963, during a game
at Tokyo Stadium between the Daimai Orions (now the Chiba Lotte Marines)
and the Toei Flyers (now the Nippon Ham Fighters), a 3.0 magnitude (doesn't
say if that's on the Japanese scale or the Richter scale) earthquake hit
and delayed the game for one
Takeda Gets Win in First Giants Stars 6-2
Released by the Chunichi Dragons after last season and now on his fourth ballclub, righthander Kazuhiro Takeda, 36, became only the third man in Japanese baseball history to beat all 12 teams Tuesday at Nagoya Dome, as he went six innings of two run, four hit ball for the Yomiuri Giants to stick it to his former team 6-2. Takeda also went over the 1500 innings mark for his career.
The Giants got an
early edge, when shortstop Tomohiro Nioka doubled to the centerfield wall
and came around on a two out single to center from centerfielder Hideki Matsui
and it was 1-0 Yomiuri. Here is a pic of the
The Dragons equalized it, however, in their portion, when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata leadoff with a single to right, was sacrificed to second, and touched the plate in the wake of a knock from first baseman Leo Gomez, 1-1 after one complete.
In the Giants third, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu started it with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. One out later, Matsui singled to center and it was 2-1 Yomiuri.
Yomiuri then broke it open in the fifth. Shimizu leadoff with a triple off the centerfield wall. Two outs later, Matsui was intentionally walked. First baseman Takayuki Saito singled to right to drive Shimizu in and third baseman Daisuke Motoki doubled to leftcenter to see in both Matsui and Saito. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to left and it was 6-1 Giants.
Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome homered to rightcenter to make it 6-2. The Dragons only got two hits the remainder of the game, though, and Hideki Okajima put it in the refrigerator in the ninth.
Matsui's good night belied the fact that he isn't feeling well, having caught a bad cold that he is currently taking antibiotics for.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .136.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .235.
1-0) IP 6.0 PC 81 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R
2 ER 2 ERA 3.00
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Okajima IP 2.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.64
1-2) IP 4.2 PC 94 H 10 HR
0 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 6 ERA
Koyama IP 0.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.35
Yamakita IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Endo IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
2B: Nioka, Nishi, Motoki, Tanishige,
3B: T. Shimizu
HR: Fukudome (5)
RBI: Fukudome, H. Matsui 2, Takayuki Saito, Motoki 2, Nishi, Gomez
IBB: H. Matsui
LOB: Yomiuri 8, Chunichi 5
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Manabe (1B), ? (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Hsu Throws Shutout Against Nippon Ham
Saving his job in the Seibu Lions starting rotation Tuesday, Hsu Ming-chieh tossed a six hit 7-0 shutout against Nippon Ham at Tokyo Dome, striking out six and walking two to get his second win. Hsu had gotten lit up bigtime in his last two starts and he was warned by Lions coaches that this might be the last time he starts if he didn't get it done in this one.
Hayato Nakamura, who had taken his first two starts in 2002, was merely decent here, going six innings and being shaken down for three runs, all earned, on seven hits while walking three and striking out five.
The Lions got their first two runs in the third, as second baseman Hiro Takagi leadoff with a single to center. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui hammered a shot up the leftcenter alley and Takagi galloped all the way around for a 1-0 lead. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki sacrificed Matsui to third. DH Takayama walked. First baseman Alex Cabrera went to left for an RBI single and it was 2-0 Seibu.
In the sixth, third baseman Ken Suzuki homered to right to expand his team's advantage to 3-0.
An inning later, Seibu got a big hit from an unexpected source. With two down, Cabrera walked. Leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada doubled down the leftfield line. Suzuki was intentionally walked to get to centerfielder Katsuhiko Miyaji, a former pitcher converted to an outfielder. In 12 years, he had a total of three homers and 14 RBIs at the big club level with Seibu. Before he entered the batter's box, Lions manager Haruki Ihara had told Miyaji to expect something in. So with this build up, I'm sure you know what's coming next. Miyaji took a pitch from reliever Muto into the rightfield bleachers for a grand slam homer, his first career granny and his fourth dinger lifetime to make it 7-0.
Before the game, Miyaji had reportedly gotten an email from his wife Shinobu saying that she and their kids had gone to a local temple to pray that he would do well in this game. No doubt she enjoyed the news when it was all over.
Nippon Ham had no chance after that and Hsu cruised to a complete game shutout.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with a walk and an RBI and is at .262.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-4 and is at .223. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 1-4 and is at .256.
Hsu (W, 2-3) IP 9.0 PC 126 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.75
H. Nakamura (L, 2-1) IP 6.0 PC 106 H 7 HR
1 K 5 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Muto IP 1.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.26
Shibakusa IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.30
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.87
2B: Wada 2, K. Matsui, Takayama,
HR: Miyaji (1), K. Suzuki (3)
RBI: Miyaji 4, K. Suzuki, K. Matsui, Cabrera
IBB: K. Suzuki
HBP: Ozeki (Shibakusa)
LOB: Seibu 10, Nippon Ham 8
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Ishii No Fernando
See Marty Kuehnert article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sp20020508mk.htm
April Players of the Month Announced
Daisuke Matsuzaka, who is 6-0 for the Seibu Lions, and Michihiro Ogasawara, who hit .412 in April, were named the Pacific League players of the month. Receiving honros for the Central League were Hanshin Tigers lefty Kei Igawa and his teammate, second baseman Makoto Imaoka, who put up a .343 average for the fourth month of the year.
Ogasawara's Big Swings Produce Great Results
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002050800629.html
All Star Balloting Begins for Taiwan League
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/08/story/0000135176
Softball is King in Taiwan
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/08/story/0000135169
Seung-yeop Lee Slugs 12th Homer in 15-3 Trouncing of SK Wyverns
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200205/t2002050817325947110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for
May 7th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1961, the Nankai
(now Daiei) Hawks set a Pacific League record by scoring 12 runs in one inning
against the Nishitetsu (now Seibu)
Seguignol Makes History with Two More Switch Hit Homers to Help Orix Down Lotte
Orix Blue Wave designated hitter Fernando Seguignol did something Monday that nobody else in Japanese baseball history has, homering from each side of the plate in his second consecutive game, to rack up five RBIs and power his team to a 7-6 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines at Kobe Green Stadium.
Masahiko Kaneda started for Orix and was hit around, surrendering four runs on eight hits while walking four over five innings. Fortunately for him, Lotte starter Shingo Ono was even worse, as he was sent down to the minors after the game in the wake of his one inning stint in which he was hammered for three runs on two hits and one walk, one of those safeties being the first of Seguignol's two longballs.
But it was Lotte that was able to get ahead of Orix for a few minutes in the first inning, when second baseman Koichi Hori leadoff the contest with a knock to left and was sacrificed to second. Kaneda then nailed first baseman Kazuya Fukuura and DH Frank Bolick brought in Hori with a single to left. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba poked a hit to right to load the bases. Leftfielder Kenji Yoshitsuru then lifted a fly to right and Fukuura tagged up and ran in for a 2-0 Lotte lead.
In the bottom of the inning, Orix ambushed Ono with a leadoff walk from shortstop Mitsutaka Goto, a sac bunt, a single to left from centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani and a "gyakuten (come from behind)" three run lefthanded shot into the centerfield seats by Seguignol for a 3-2 Orix advantage.
Lotte scratched back to even it in the second, however. Catcher Tasuku Hashimoto leadoff with a walk. One out later, Hori singled to left. Another out later, Fukuura drilled a shot off the rightfield wall for an RBI and it was 3-3.
In the third, Seguignol made an impact again, as he followed up a single to left from Tani with a drive into the leftfield bleachers off of the lefthander Takashi Kawai to put himself into the history books and rack up his fourth and fifth RBIs and a 5-3 Orix advantage.
Kaneda allowed Lotte to chip one off of that disparity in the fifth when Bolick worked a one out walk and advanced on a single to left from Hatsushiba. Yoshitsuru walked to pack the sacks. Centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to left and Bolick came across to make it 5-4.
Orix took it back, though, in the sixth with a two out single to center from catcher Takeshi Hidaka and a triple to the centerfield wall from Goto to go back in front by two at 6-4.
Nobuyuki Ebisu attempted to close it out for the Blue Wave in the ninth and earned himself both a blown save and a win at the same time, as things turned out. Fukuura leadoff with a single to right and Bolick did the same thing to the left side. Hatsushiba singled to center for an RBI and one out later Omura spanked a single to left to knot it at 6-6. Masaumi Shimizu, spelling Hashimoto at catcher, singled to left to load the bases. But Ebisu then struckout Imae and Hori grounded out to first to finally end the inning.
In the bottom half, Tani found a hole on the right side with one out against Lotte closer Masahide Kobayashi to get on. Seguignol walked. One out later, Tatsuya Shindo cracked a single to left and the speedy Tani wheeled on home for the sayonara triumph.
Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto told reporters that he believed what was hampering Ono was overthinking out on the mound. "I just want him to go down [to the minors] and just throw the ball," Yamamoto said. Ono had hit double figures in wins each of the last two seasons and was being counted, on along with Nate Minchey, to be an anchor of the club's staff.
For Lotte, Bolick was 2-3 with two walks and and an RBI and is at .253.
For Orix, Seguignol was 2-3 with five RBIs and two walks and is at .284. Scott Sheldon was 0-1 in a pinch hit appearance and is at .219.
IP 1.0 PC 27 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Kawai IP 2.2 PC 40 H 4 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
K. Yamasaki IP 2.1 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.13
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
T. Tanaka IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
M. Kobayashi (L, 1-1) IP 0.2 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.12
IP 5.0 PC 97 H 8 HR 0 K 2 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Ebisu (W, 1-1) IP 4.0 PC 51 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.52
E: M. Watanabe,
3B: M. Goto
HR: Seguignol 2 (13)
RBI: Seguignol 5, Fukuura, Bolick, Hatsushiba, Yoshitsuru, S. Omura 2, M. Goto, Shindo
HBP: Fukuura (Kaneda),
LOB: Lotte 13, Orix 9
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Hayashi (2B), Kodera (3B)
Cabrera Smashes 550 Foot Single in 2-1 Seibu Win
I'm sure that there
more than a few of you who looked at that headline and muttered to yourself,
"what the.....?" Well, let me explain: this occurred in a game at Tokyo Dome
in a game between the Seibu Lions and the Nippon Ham Fighters Monday. Lions
first baseman Alex Cabrera got all of Chris Seelbach first pitch fastball
on the inner half of the plate and rocketed it toward the farthest reaches
of the leftfield seats. Unfortunately, the ball struck the roof above the
bleachers and richocheted back on the field of play. According to the dome's
ground rules, the roof and anything hanging from it is in play, so
who was standing there admiring what he called "the hardest hit ball of my professional career," only got a single out of it.
Seibu manager Haruki Ihara ran out to home plate and loudly proclaimed his belief that the ball was gone, but to no avail. Cabrera was eventually sacrificed to second and then erased trying to go to third on a ground ball to short from Kazuhiro Wada, but Wada then came around to score the winning run when Toshiaki Inubushi ripped a two out double up the leftcenterfield gap from Fighters reliever Kiyoshi Sasaki.
This was perhaps the best game Seelbach had thrown this season, as he went 8.1 innings of seven hit, two run ball without walking anyone only to lose it.
Seibu took a second
inning 1-0 lead when Wada homered to leftcenter. But Lions starter Daisuke
Matsuzaka, who otherwise dominated the opposition on three hits, saw one
of his pitches tattoed over the leftfield fence by Fighters
baseman Yukio Tanaka to knot it at 1-1.
Matsuzaka didn't allow a hit the rest of the way and after the toing and froing in the Seibu half of the ninth, Lions closer Toyoda came on and struckout two in a 1-2-3 inning and it was "game setto."
The Cabrera blast was estimated at more than 550 feet had it continued on its way. A decade ago, Ralph Bryant, who was then with the Kintetsu Bufflaloes, killed a pitch from a Nippon Ham hurler and went into his home run trot as the horsehide sphere made a bee line for the centerfield bleachers, only to have the flight of the interrupted by a set of speakers. The ball dropped back toward the field, where the Fighters centerfielder caught it for an out. At least Cabrera got a knock out of it.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 1-4 and is at .231. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .257.
For Seibu, Cabrera finished 1-4 and is at .262.
6-0) IP 8.0 PC 128 H 3 HR 1 K 6 BB 4
R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.02
Toyoda (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
3-2) IP 8.1 PC 117 H 7 HR 1 K 2
BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Sasaki IP 0.2 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
2B: K. Suzuki, Inubushi
HR: Wada (6), Y. Tanaka (4)
RBI: Wada, Y. Tanaka, Inubushi
IBB: M. Ogasawara
HBP: Ide (Matsuzaka)
LOB: Seibu 7, Nippon Ham 6
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Akimura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Sakaeumura (3B)
Ogasawara Outpitches Kudoh in 2-1 Chunichi Victory
Lefthander Takashi Ogasawara scattered four hits over 7.1 innings to spearhead a Chunichi Dragons victory over Kimiyasu Kudoh and the Yomiuri Giants 2-1. Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui homered to rightcenter off of closer Eddie Gaillard in the ninth for the lone Yomiuri tally.
Despite the brawniness of the Giants lineup even with regular first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara out with an oblique muscle injury, Kudoh has pitched in a lot of tough luck this season, as he is 2-3 even though he is sporting a 2.68 ERA. But when your club goes hitless for four straight innings, as Yomiuri did between one out in the third and one gone in the seventh, it's tough to put anything on the big board.
The Dragons jumped in front 1-0 on a lightning bolt from Masahiko Morino into the leftfield bleachers in the second inning.
Two innings later, Jiro Fujitate slapped a one out single to center and Morino did the same. After catcher Motonobu Tanishige struckout, Ogasawara went back through the middle to plate Fujitate and make it 2-0.
The Giants had their
biggest offensive uprising of the night in the eighth, when third baseman
Masahiro Kawai did Ogasawara for a one out single. Dragons manager Hisashi
Yamada went to the pen and waved in the southpaw Hitoki
who struckout Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe but was then touched for a hit to center by pinch hitter Kenji Fukui. However, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, who doesn't hit lefthanders too well, then whiffed to snuff the rally.
Gaillard then got three of the four men he faced and that was the ballgame.
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 0-4 and is at .225.
2-3) IP 7.0 PC
126 H 6 HR 1 K 8 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.27
4-1) IP 7.1 PC 110 H 4 HR 0 K 10 BB 1
R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.72
Iwase IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.15
Gaillard (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.00
HR: Morino (2), H. Matsui (7)
RBI: H. Matsui, Morino, Ogasawara
GIDP: Motoki, Kudoh
LOB : Yomiuri 4, Chunichi 8
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), ? (1B), T. Kobayashi (2), Kamimoto (3B)
Ishikawa Wins Battle of Top Rookies for Yakult 3-1
This faceoff between the Hanshin Tigers and the Yakult Swallows at Koshien Stadium Monday pitted each of the two teams' number one draft choices, the little screwballer Masanori Ishikawa for Yakult and Yuya Ando for Hanshin. Ishikawa was on in this one, going 7.2 innings and allowing just five hits and a run while striking out three and walking one. Ando wasn't bad either, throwing eight innings of three run ball, but some wildness in the sixth cost him and at the end of the day he was the loser.
The game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth, when the Tigers moved the runners around and got a timely hit for the game's first run. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama legged out a little roller by the mound and toward short for a leadoff hit. He went to second on a groundball to first and, following a walk to first baseman Derrick White, was sacrificed to third. Ando then came up with a single to left and it was 1-0 Tigers.
The succeeding half inning, the Swallows got a leadoff walk to centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka, who was moved along on a sac bunt and went to third on a groundout to first. First baseman Roberto Petagine walked, but in the course of that at bat, Ando threw one past his catcher, Ryo Yoshimoto, and Manaka hustled in with the tying run.
In the eighth, Yakult finally managed to hit Ando up a little bit. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto leadoff with a single center and one out later Petagine walked. Catcher Atsuya Furuta singled to right to load the bases. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura flew out to right to usher in Miyamoto. Sato then seared a liner over the head of Hanshin centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to chase in Petagine and it was 3-1 Swallows. Hanshin didn't get more hit in any of their last two times up, Shingo Takatsu picking up his seventh save.
For Hanshin, third baseman George Arias was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .196. White was 0-2 with a walk and is at .281.
For Yakult, Petagine was 0-2 with three walks and is at .300.
2-2) IP 7.2 PC 100
H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Ryo. Igarashi IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.06
Takatsu (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
IP 8.0 PC 133 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Kanazawa IP 0.2 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Harada IP 0.1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: S. Miyamoto, Sato, Okihara,
RBI: Yoshimoto, Iwamura, Sato
WP: Ando 2, Ishikawa
LOB: Yakult 10, Hanshin 5
Umpires: Mori (HP), Ino (1B), Honda (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Pedraza Bails Out Hoshino to Edge Kintetsu 4-3
For most of the
ballgame, Daiei Hawks starter Junji Hoshino was humming along. He had escaped
the only credible threat the Kintetsu Buffaloes had in the third, a one out,
bases loaded jam, and the only run he allowed later in the game was because
of a dropped fly ball by Daiei centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara. However,
come the ninth and both of the first two hitters,
baseman Yuji Yoshioka and DH Nigel Wilson singled. so Hawks boss Sadaharu Oh called to the bullpen for Hirokazu Watanabe, who was taken to rightfield for an RBI hit by Kenshi Kawaguchi. So out goes Watanabe and in came Rodney Pedraza, who induced a grounder back to him for a scoring double play ball and then had centerfielder Naoyuki Omura grounded to second to put the Buffs away for a tense 4-3 Daiei win at Fukuoka Dome Monday.
Kintetsu starter Katsuhiko Maekawa held the Hawks lineup in check until the fifth, when rightfielder Koji Akiyama singled to left to lead it off. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe sacrificed him down to second. One out later, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi doubled to leftcenter to send Akiyama in and it was 1-0 Daiei.
Then in the sixth, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo went yard to left to begin the inning. DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to right. Catcher Kenji Johjima then got lost to left as well and it was 4-0 Hawks.
In the top of the seventh, Kintetsu third baseman Norihiro Nakamura leadoff with a drive to center that the usually reliable Shibahara just dropped. One out later, Yoshioka singled to left. After Wilson fouled out, pinch hitter Kawaguchi singled to right and the Buffs had their first tally.
Considering that Pedraza hasn't been throwing that well this season so far, as demonstrated by his well over 5.00 ERA, Oh had to be pretty darn nervous until the last out was finally recorded. He can only hope that Pedraza's so decisively shutting the door signals a period when the closer's performances won't be fraught with so much drama.
For Kintetsu, Tuffy Rhodes fanned three times in four chances and is now at .246. Wilson was 1-4 and is at .225.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 2-4 and is at .321. Morgan Burkhart was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .215.
1-3) IP 5.0 PC
92 H 7 HR 2 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Aikyo IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.93
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
J. Hoshino (W,
4-0) IP 8.0 PC 121 H 9 HR 0 K 5
BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Pedraza (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.19
2B: Iguchi, Kokubo (10), Johjima (8)
RBI: Kokubo, Johjima 2, Kawaguchi 2, Iguchi
GIDP: M. Abe
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Daiei 7
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Iizuka (1B), Yamamura (2B), Nagami (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 6th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1970, Chunichi Dragons ace righthander Kentaro Ogawa was arrested for trying to fix an auto race, which ended his career. Ogawa had won 93 games over the previous five seasons, including 29 in 1967, and he was 2-1 with a 1.69 ERA in five starts in 1970 before he was banned in a scandal that widened to become known as the "black mist incident."
Ogawa was kind of an odd bird both characterwise and the path he took to pro baseball. He went to Nippon Ham right out of high school, but quit in his third season and worked in the private sector for nine years before being signed to the Dragons at the age of 29.
Apparently not the type to just give the usual cliche answers Japanese ballplayers give to reporters, he developed a reputation as something of a misanthrope to go along with his funky submarine delivery to make it confusing for hitters. He was just a little guy, 5'9" 140 pounds. His repetoire consisted of a sinker, a knuckle ball, and a good running fastball. He died in 1995 of liver cancer.
Yakult Gets Runs in Bunches in 15-4 Smearing of Dragons
Neither starter in this faceoff Sunday between the Chunichi Dragons and the Yakult Swallows lastedmore than four innings, but the Swallows middle relief got hitters out and the Dragons corps did not and that was the difference as the birds picked Chunichi apart 15-4 at Meiji Jingu Stadium.
The Dragons went out to a lead that lasted about ten minutes thanks to an error by Yakult second baseman Hajime Miki in the top of the first. Chunichi shortstop Hirokazu Ibata hit a groundball to Miki, who booted it. Toshio Haru sacrificed him to second and rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left to convert him and it was 1-0 Dragons.
The Swallows then pinged Melvin Bunch to death in their half. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to right and rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to center. First baseman Roberto Petagine walked to load the bases. Catcher Atsuya Furuta singled in both Miyamoto and Inaba and third baseman Akinori Iwamura plated two more with a double to leftcenter and it was 4-1 Yakult.
The Dragons tightened things back up in the top of the second when Swallows starter Hirotsugu Maeda walked Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige. One out later, Jiro Fujitate whistled one over Inaba's head for a triple. Bunch then helped himself with a two bagger to leftcenter that pushed in both Fujitate and Tanishige and it was 4-3 Swallows.
In the bottom of the fourth, Iwamura leadoff with a single to right. One out later, Miki singled to right. They then both advanced on a Bunch wild pitch. Manaka then hit a shot off the glove of Dragons second baseman Masahiko Morino for a hit and both Iwamura and Miki flew home to make it 6-3.
The Swallows then got some gaijin power in the fifth. With one down, Petagine transgressed the centerfield fence. Furuta singled to left. One out later, leftfielder Alex Ramirez sent out a souvenir to some lucky fan in the leftfield stands and it was 9-3 Yakult.
In the seventh, Ramirez didn't feel like sticking around and left the building with Furuta on first to widen the team's advantage to 11-3. And the hits justkep on coming, as the Swallows amassed three singles and two doubles for four more runs and it was 15-3.
Shingo Takatsu came in for the ninth just to get some work in and gave up a run on a walk and two hits before getting the last out of the game, the final 15-4.
For Chunichi, first baseman Leo Gomez was 0-4 and is at .234.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with a walk, an RBI and two strikeouts and is now at .306. Ramirez was 2-4 with four RBIs and is at .360.
IP 4.0 PC 92 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 4.62
Hisamoto IP 1.0 PC 23 H 3 HR 2 K 1 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.75
Okamoto IP 3.0 PC 68 H 8 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 6 ER 6 ERA 9.28
IP 3.1 PC 76 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.79
Kawabata IP 0.2 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
H. Ishii (W, 2-0) IP 2.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Ryo. Igarashi IP 2.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Takatsu IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
SB: Manaka, Iwamura, Miki
2B: Fujitate, Bunch, Fukudome, Morino, Iwamura 2, Miyamoto
HR: Petagine (10), Ramirez 2 (5)
RBI: Petagine, Ramirez 4, Onishi, Fukudome, Bunch 2, Manaka 2, Inaba 2, Furuta 2, Iwamura 4
LOB: Chunichi 8, Yakult 4
Game Time: 3:35
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Watada (1B), Arisumi (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Two Tally Tanaka Tater Topples Terahara
This game is a classic case of what happens when a power pitcher can't get his breaking stuff over and has to rely almost exclusively on his fastball. Even Randy Johnson needs a slider to complement his fastball. 18 year old rookie Hayato Terahara is going to learn a lot everytime he takes the mound in the pros and Nippon Ham delivered that message to him loud and clear Sunday, as they knocked him around for four runs in six innings on seven hits, four of those for extra bases, while he struckout three and walked two at Tokyo Dome in front of what was easily the Fighters biggest crowd of the season, 50,000. Those were the only runs that Nippon Ham required, since Hiroyuki Sekine threw a five hit 4-0 shutout to earn his second victory.
The loss also had implications for the team beyond their number one draft choice not getting the job done, as they lost their fourth game in a row and fell to second place in the Pacific League behind the Seibu Lions.
Nippon Ham grabbed a one nothing lead with two outs in the second, as third baseman Yukio Tanaka seared a double down the leftfield line and came in on a subsequent single from Toshihiro Noguchi to make it 1-0 Nippon Ham.
They then got busy again in the third, when Makoto Kaneko leadoff with a double into the leftfield corner, went to third on a groundout and tagged up on a fly ball to right by rightfielder Seigo Fujishima to double the advantage to 2-0.
Terahara's problems culminated in the sixth, when leftfielder D.T. Cromer singled to left and Tanaka parked an 85mph fastball that was right down broadway into the leftfield seats and now it was 4-0 Fighters.
Sekine had Daiei under control all the way. Even when he would allow a hit, he would then get everyone else. For example, in the he gave up a single to left from Daiei catcher Kenji Johjima and then struckout the side. In the seventh, he allowed a couple of singles with one down and then whiffed the next two hitters. Definitely a high quality performance.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez went 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .315. First baseman Morgan Burkhart struckout all three times up and is now at .217.
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 with a walk and is at .231. Cromer was 1-4 and is at .264.
Terahara (L, 1-1)
IP 6.0 PC 90 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.24
Shinohara IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Sekine (W, 2-2) IP 9.0 PC 130 H 5 HR 0 K 10 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.16
2B: Shibahara, Kaneko 2, Y. Tanaka
HR: Y. Tanaka (3)
RBI: Y. Tanaka 2, Fujishima, Noguchi
WP: Sekine, Terahara
LOB: Daiei 7, Nippon Ham 5
Game Time: 2:44
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Nakamura (1B), Tachibana (2B), Tamba (3B)
Moore Victorious Again in Hanshin Comeback Win
Thanks partially to a two run homer from Hiroshima Carp first baseman Luis Lopez, Hanshin Tigers lefthander Trey Moore got behind 3-0 in the first inning, but held the line from there on in despite being shaken down for 11 hits and even played a role in the comeback that helped the Osaka nine prevail at the end of the day 4-3 at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium Sunday. Moore is now 4-1.
In that first inning, Carp centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to left. Shortstop Akihiro Higashide laid down what was supposed to be a sacrifice bunt, but neither Moore nor third baseman George Arias could decide who was going to handle it and Higashide beat it out. Moore then threw a wild pitch to get Ogata over to third, from where he came in on a sacrifice fly to right form second baseman Eddie Diaz to make it 1-0 Hiroshima. One out later, Lopez connected for a dinger into the rightcenterfield seats and it was 3-0 Carp.
Lopez giveth and he taketh away, though and his mishandling of a ground ball opened the door for Hanshin to get on the board. With one out, Hanshin rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama tapped a grounder to Lopez, who booted it. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to right. First baseman Derrick White singled to center to load the bases. Carp starter Ken Takahashi then hit catcher Ryo Yoshimoto to force in a run and it was 3-1 Hiroshima. Hanshin didn't do anything else, though, as Takahashi induced two groundball outs to snuff the rally.
In the sixth, leftfielder Tomochika Tsuboi slammed a one out solo homer to right to shorten the distance between the two sides to 3-2.
An inning later, Hanshin put together enough hits to pull out the win. With one out, Yoshimoto singled to left and Moore singled to right and second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to right to plate Yoshimoto with the tying run. Pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi struckout, but Tsuboi singled to right and Moore crossed with the lead run, Hanshin now ahead 4-3.
Tigers reliever Shinobu Fukuhara the worked a scoreless eighth and now the ball was turned over to closer Mark Valdez. Pinch hitter Itsuki Asai leadoff with a single to left and was balked to second. Ogata rolled out to short to keep Asai from advancing. Higashide flied out to center. But Valdez let go a wild pitch and Asai moved to third. Valdez then whiffed the pesky Diaz to save it.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-5 with three strikeouts and is at .204. White was 1-3 with a walk and is at .287. Moore, who said of his performance, "I sucked today," is now hitting .375 with his 1-3 day.
7.0 PC 94 H 11 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.09
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
M. Valdez (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takahashi (L, 2-3)
IP 7.2 PC 132 H 10 HR 1 K 8 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.31
Tamaki IP 1.1 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
SB: Fukuchi, Diaz
2B: Hiyama, K. Kimura
HR: Tsuboi (1), Lopez (3),
RBI: Tsuboi 2, Lopez 2, Imaoka, Yoshimoto, Diaz
WP: Moore, M. Valdez
HBP: Yoshimoto (Takahashi)
Balk: M. Valdez
GIDP: K. Kimura
LOB: Hanshin 9, Hiroshima 9
Game Time: 3:01
Umpires: Manabe (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Minchey Minced as Lions Roar 6-1
How do you use a pitcher's good control against him? Sunday, the Seibu Lions did it by putting runners in motion and emerged with a 6-1 victory at Chiba Marine Stadium. Moreover, old man Tetsuya Shiozaki had his second consecutive strong start in a row for the Lions to earn the W against zero losses.
In the second, Seibu leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada singled to right with one out. With a 2-0 count and third baseman Ken Suzuki up at the plate, manager Haruki Ihara ordered up a hit and run and Suzuki scalded a Minchey delivery down into the leftfield corner and Wada wheeled all the way around for a 1-0 lead. One out later, catcher Tsutomu Itoh singled to center to push Suzuki across and it was 2-0 Seibu after two.
Then in the fifth, Seibu ran itself into another tally. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui singled to center with one away. One out later, Ihara sent Matsui and DH Hisashi Takayama laced a double into the rightcenter gap to drive the fleet footed Matsui in. First baseman Alex Cabrera piggybacked on that with a single to right to bring in Takayama and it was 4-0 Lions.
Two innings down the line, Seibu second baseman Hiro Takagi leadoff with a single and was sacrificed to second. Pinch hitter Tetsuya Kakiuchi doubled to rightcenter for a fifth run. Cabrera and Lotte second baseman Koichi Hori then exchanged longballs to make it 6-1 and that's how it ended.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick was 1-4 and is at .238. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .198.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-5 with two RBIs and is at .263.
Shiozaki (W, 2-0) IP 5.2
PC 62 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.72
Mizuo IP 1.1 PC 23 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.45
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mori IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.63
Minchey (L, 1-5)
IP 6.1 PC 111 H 9 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.07
K. Yamasaki IP 0.2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
Takagi IP 0.2 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.82
Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 22 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
E: K. Matsui
2B: K. Suzuki, Takayama, Kakiuchi
HR: Cabrera (10), Hori (3)
RBI: Cabrera 2, Hori, Takayama, Kakiuchi, K. Suzuki, T. Itoh
HBP: S. Omura
LOB: Seibu 8, Lotte 5
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Yanagida (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Seguignol Homers from Both Sides of the Plate in 8-4 Orix Win
Orix Blue Wave designated hitter Fernando
Seguignol homered from both sides of the plate to drive in three runs as
his club went on to whip the Kintetsu Buffaloes 8-4 Sunday at Kobe Green
Stadium. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura went
yard as well and the Buffs had won the last eleven games, seven of those this season, in which the burly infielder had done so, but this defeat breaks up that streak.
Hidetaka Kawagoe started for Orix and went 6.2 solid innings of three run ball on six hits to grab the victory.
The home nine went out in front in the second, when third baseman Tatsuya Shindo cracked a single to right and ont out later rightfielder Manabu Satake legged out a hit toward short. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka then singled to left to sent in Shindo and it was 1-0 Orix.
In the third, second baseman Koichi Oshima leadoff with a single to center and Fernando Seguignol, hitting righthanded, drilled a curve ball from Kintetsu starter Hideo Koike into the seats in left to widen the Orix advantage to 3-0.
Kintetsu reacted to that in the fourth with a leadoff single to left by leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and a homer off of a Kawagoe fastball by Nakamura backscreen stylee to close it back up to 3-2. Rightfielder Koichi Isobe walked and one out later DH Nigel Wilson singled to right. Buffs manager Masataka Nishida called for the squeeze and shortstop Masahiro Abe did the deed to knot it at three apeice after four.
Two innings later and now with Ken Kadokura on the mound for Kintetsu, Seguignol, hitting lefthanded, lambasted a slider into the rightfield bleachers for a 4-3 Orix lead.
Then in the seventh, Hidaka worked a leadoff walk and was sacrificed to second. Oshima walked. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani then tapped to Nakamura, who threw it away to allow Hidaka to score. One out later, Kazuhiko Shiotani, who moved over from left to first during the contest, singled to right to bring in Oshima and it was 6-3 Blue Wave.
Jun Hagiwara came out to pitch the eighth for Orix and he had some control problems. Isobe beat out an infield hit toward short. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka and Wilson both walked to load the bases. Kenshi Kawaguchi singled to left for an RBI, but Akihito Igarashi struckout and centerfielder Omura flew out to bog down the uprising, Orix still in front 6-4.
In the eighth, Orix combined a one out singled to right from Satake, a triple to rightcenter from Hidaka and an infield hit by Makoto Shiozaki for two runs to go back up by four at 8-4.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-4 with a walk and is at .255. Wilson was 1-2 with two walks and is at .224.
For Orix, Seguignol was 2-4 with three RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .272. His feat was the 27th time in Japanese history somebody homered from both sides of the plate in the same game. First baseman Scott Sheldon struckout both times he batted and is at .221.
IP 5.0 PC 101 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.81
Kadokura (L, 0-2) IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Sekiguchi IP 0.1 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 2 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Misawa IP 0.2 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.36
D. Miyamoto IP 0.1 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.27
Takagi IP 0.2 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Kawagoe (W, 3-3) IP 6.2 PC 118
H 6 HR 1 K 2 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.23
Kase IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 34 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Okubo IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
E: N. Nakamura
2B: K. Oshima
HR: N. Nakamura (9), Seguignol 2 (11)
RBI: Seguignol 3, N. Nakamura 2, M. Abe, Kawaguchi, Shiozaki, Shiotani, Hidaka 2
LOB: Kintetsu 10, Orix 7
Game Time: 3:40
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Kodera (1B), Maeda (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Hisanori Takahashi Four Hits Yokohama 4-1
Yomiuri Giants lefthander Hisanori Takahashi had a perfect game for six innings Sunday, but that was foiled by a clean single to right from Yokohama Bay Stars shortstop Takuro Ishii to leadoff the seventh, so Takahashi will have to content himself with the victory, his second of the year, as he was backed by two run doubles from catcher Shinnosuke Abe and leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu to extend the Giants winning streak to eight, the first time in eight seasons they have done that.
Takahashi told reporters after the game that he didn't think he had anything while warming up in the bullpen before the game, that "they had better prepare to bring in a new pitcher." This is an old story in baseball, however, and Takahashi went out and threw his best game of the year, getting a string of infield popups, groundouts and strikeouts for those first six innings before Yokohama finally scored a run in the seventh.
For Daisuke Miura, Yokohama's starter, this is another heartbreaking loss. Here is a guy who has a 2.66 ERA and yet is 2-5. Sunday, he permitted only two runs on six hits in eight innings, but his club's batting order were ineffectual against Takahashi.
The game was scoreless until the top of the fifth, when third baseman Daisuke Motoki singled to lead it off. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to center and Abe zipped a Miura offering over the head of Stars rightfielder Boi Rodrigues to plate both runners and it was 2-0 Yomiuri.
In the seventh, Yokohama chipped a run off the disparity with a leadoff single from Ishii, a one out single to left from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki that sent Ishii to third and a groundout to short by third baseman Mike Gulan, 2-1 Giants after seven complete.
The Giants added some insurance in the ninth with another Motoki leadoff knock, (Motoki was then pinch run for by Suzuki) a one out intentional walk to Abe, an error from Ishii and a screamer into the leftcenter gap by Shimizu to make it 4-1.
Takahashi has made a habit of doing in Yokohama, as half of his 20 pro wins are against them.
Junichi Kawahara came on in the ninth and induced two groundouts and a strikeout to bring down the curtain.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 0-3 with an RBI and is now at .217. Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .234.
H. Takahashi (W, 2-0) IP 8.0 PC 102 H 4 HR
0 K 8 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.64
Kawahara (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
D. Miura (L, 2-5)
IP 8.0 PC 132 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.66
T. Saito IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.53
E: T. Ishii
2B: S. Abe, Nishi, T. Shimizu
RBI: Gulan, T. Shimizu 2, S. Abe 2 \
IBB: S. Abe
LOB: Yomiuri 8, Yokohama 2
Taiwan Pros Descend on Hualien
This is a fascinating story from the Taipei Times: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/06/story/0000134873
Hara a Welcome Change from Nagashima?
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002050600133.html
New Strike Zone Still a Point of Contention
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002050600131.html
Quinlan Released by KBO Team
See Korea Times story at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200205/t2002050717304047110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 5th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1964, in an attempt to stop Sadaharu Oh, the Hiroshima Carp initiated what became known as "the Oh shift." Oh went 0-4 that day, leading to other teams using the same tactic. Obviously, it didn't work over the long term.
01. Park Jae-hong
02. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) .366
03. Kim Jae-hyun (LG) .364
04. Chang Sung-ho (Kia) .346
05. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) .340
06. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .327
07. Chae Jong-beom (SK) .321
08. Lee Ho-joon (SK) .312
09. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .309
10. Corey Paul (Hyundai) .309
01. Lee Seung-yeop
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) 12
03. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) 10
04. Ma Hae-yong (Samsung) 8
05. Four tied with 7
02. Song Ji-Men (Hanwha) 30
03. Ma Hae-yong (Samsung) 26
04. Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 25
05. Park Jae-hong 24
01. Cho Yong-joon
02. M. Torres (Hyundai) 1.95
03. Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 2.08
04. Kim Min-gi (LG) 2.13
05. Yeom Jong-seok (Lotte) 2.64
02. Kiefer (Kia) 42
03. Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 38
04. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 38
05. Cole (Doosan) 36
01. Gary Rath
02. Kiefer (Kia) 4
03. Chang Moon-seok (LG) 4
04. Choi Sang-deok (Kia) 4
05. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 4
Eight tied with 3
May 4, 2002
Mirabal Too Much for Slumping Hawks 8-2
The Daiei Hawks got a two run first inning homer to left by second baseman Tadahito Iguchi Saturday and then Nippon Ham starter Carlos Mirabal scattered two hits for the next 7.2 innings while Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara mortared a fastball from Hawks starter Brady Raggio into the centerfield seats in the third at Tokyo Dome for three runs on the way to an 8-2 Fighters victory. The loss was Daiei's third in a row, the first time they had dropped that many consecutively this year.
Behind 2-0, Nippon Ham went to work on Raggio in the second, as third baseman Yukio Tanaka lined a double up the rightcenter alley and came home on a single from Toshihiro Noguchi. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide singled to left. One out later, Makoto Kaneko beat out a swinging bunt toward first to tie the game. Ogasawara then got a 1-1 pitch he said didn't have anything on it that was up and he buried it over the fence to make it 5-2 home team.
The Fighters order rested and then went back on the chain gang in the sixth against reliever Suzuki. Rightfielder Seigo Fujishima singled to center and leftfielder D.T. Cromer singled to right. Tanaka sacrificed both men along and Noguchi ushered in Fujishima with a knock to left. Suzuki plunked Ide to load them up. Tanaka ripped a single to center and Cromer and Noguchi toed the dish to make it 8-2. Daiei found resistance futile against Mirabal and Tatsuhito Kato and the visitors went back to the hotel vanquished.
How in the zone is Ogasawara right now? Aside from leading the PL in batting average and being second in homers and RBIs, his teammates say that he is getting everything on the fat part of the bat. Hitting .400 is not easy, but Ogasawara is certainly a smart enough and talented enough to do it.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was1-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .317. First baseman Morgan Burkhart was 0-3 and is at .225.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 2-4 and is at .264. DH Sherman Obando was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .238.
2-3) IP 5.1 PC 81 H
9 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 7 ER 7 ERA 5.97
Suzuki IP 2.2 PC 48 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.25
4-0) IP 7.2 PC 122 H 4 HR
1 K 5 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.18
Kato IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.68
E: M. Ogasawara, Kokubo
SB: K. Tanaka, Noguchi
2B: P. Valdez, Y. Tanaka
HR: Iguchi (5), M. Ogasawara (11)
RBI: Iguchi 2, M. Ogasawara 3, K. Tanaka 2, Noguchi 2
HBP: Iguchi (Suzuki)
GIDP: Y. Tanaka, M. Ogasawara
LOB: Daiei 4, Nippon Ham 6
Game Time: 2:44
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Tamba (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Pair of Takahashi Two Run Homers Trump Yokohama 5-3
Yomiuri Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi raised his average to .402 by homering in the first and third innings with a man aboard each time to power the Tokyo nine to a 5-3 win at Yokohama Stadium Saturday against the Bay Stars. Koji Uehara was the beneficiary of Takahashi's offensive exhibition, to improve his record to 4-2.
Giants leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu
leadoff the game with a single to center. One out later, Takahashi got a
1-1 hanging slider from Stars starter Yuji Yoshimi and ditched it in the
rightfield seats to make it 2-0 Yomiuri. Takahashi had been looking for a
fastball, but he kept his weight back once he recognized the rotation of
the slider and exploded on it. See pic at:
The Giants then takced another one on the second, combining a double down the leftfield line from Masahiro Kawai and a two out shot into the rightfield corner for an RBI two bagger and it was 3-0 visitors.
Yokohama then got that one back thanks to a miscue from Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui and some wildness on Uehara's part. Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff the home half of the second with a fly ball to center that Matsui just flat out dropped. One out later, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to center and second baseman Hitoshi Taneda walked to load the bases. One out later, Uehara walked his opposite number to force in Ishii to make it 3-1.
The Giants then had their next turn at bat and shortstop Tomohiro Nioka walked to start it. Takahashi got another slider from Yoshimi and he hit a high fly ball that just barely left the field in right and it was 5-1 Giants. This was the 12th time that Takahashi has had two homers in a game and the sixt occasion in which he has done it in consecutve at bats.
In the bottom of the fifth, Yokohama's
Mitsuru Tanaka leadoff with a pinch hit single to right. He was erased on
a force play, but Kazu Tanaka singled to center. Takuro Ishii grounded to
Motoki at first and he quckly winged it to third for the force. Uehara then
hit first baseman Hiroo Ishii to pack the sacks. Third baseman Mike Gulan
got something he could handle and rifled it down the rightfield line to plate
both Tanaka and Takuro Ishii and it was getting close at 5-3. Yokohama could
only manage one hit during the remaining portion of the game, though and
Junichi Kawahara came on in the ninth to toss his tenth
consecutve scoreless appearance and to glean his seventh save.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .143. Tomohisa Nishi came off the injured list after rehabbing an oblique muscle strain and went 1-4. But Akira Etoh is now out with a wrist problem.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .227. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .230.
4-2) IP 8.0 PC 120
H 7 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.00
Kawahara (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-1) IP 2.0 PC 57 H 7 HR
2 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.91
Sugimoto IP 3.0 PC 44 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Kizuka IP 3.0 PC 41 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.15
T. Saito IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
E: H. Matsui
2B: Nioka, Kawai, S. Abe, Gulan
HR: Y. Takahashi 2 (6)
RBI: Y. Takahashi 4, S. Abe, Gulan 2, Yoshimi
HBP: H. Ishii (Uehara)
LOB: Yomiuri 6, Yokohama 7
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: Ino (HP), Suginaga (1B), Mori (2B), Watamari (3B)
Gomez, Dragons Rough Up Iriki and the Swallows 8-2
Pitching on a rainy night and still not completely healed from the liner he took in the knee from Hiroshima's Takuya Kimura, Chunichi Dragons starter Kenta Asakura tossed a four hit one run ballgame at the Yakult Swallows for his first career complete game.The 20 year old struckout five and walked one, using a mixture of sliders and forkballs to get the job done.
Yakult starter Satoshi Iriki lasted only a bit over four innings, but was done in by a three run homer to left from Dragons first baseman Leo Gomez in the third to receive the blame for the loss.
Yakult had a little lead in the first, as centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka leadoff with a double to leftcenter, moved to third on a groundball to the right side, and came in on a single to left from first baseman Roberto Petagine.
The Dragons bumrushed Iriki for four runs in the third, however. Leftfielder Jun Inoue leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. One out later,. Koichi Sekikawa beat out a tapper toward second. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome punched a single to to right for the tying run and Gomez did the yardwork to make it 4-1 Dragons.
Chunichi gave one of those way in the bottom of the inning when shortstop Ibata dropped a looper off the bat of Iriki. Manaka singled to right and both were sacrificed up 90 feet. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba flied out to right to plate Iriki and make it 4-2.
Iriki was then knocked out in the
fifth when Sekikawa leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third
on a groundout. Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu brought in Alan Newman and
Gomez singled to chase in Sekikawa and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled into the
leftcenter alley and Gomez huffed and puffed all the way around to expand
his team's advantage to
That's the way it stayed until the ninth, when Fukudome homered to right off of a curve ball from Hanada amd then his teammates tacked on one more for the final margin of victory, 8-2 Dragons.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .305. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 and is at .355.
For Chunichi, Gomez was 2-5 with four RBIs and is at .243.
Asakura (W, 3-1) IP 9.0 PC 108 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 4 2 ER 1 ERA 2.80
S. Iriki (L, 1-2)
IP 4.1 PC 69 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.81
Newman IP .2 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.56
Sakamoto IP 2.0 PC 40 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.02
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.00
Hanada IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.88
E: Ibata, S. Miyamoto
SB: Sekikawa, Araki
2B: Morino, Sekikawa, Tatsunami, Inoue, Manaka
HR: Gomez (5), Fukudome (4)
RBI: Fukudome 2, Gomez 4, Tatsunami, Morino, Inaba, Petagine
HBP: Ibata (Kawabata)
LOB: Chunichi 8, Yakult 4
Game Time: 2:43
Umpires: Shikida? (HP), Arisumi (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Cabrera Homers After Nearly Being Ejected in First in Seibu Triumph
The high strike zone is still giving some hitters fits and when umpire Akimura called a pitch up a strike, Cabrera tossed his bat and turned to Akimura and began to question the call. Why Akimura didn't eject him right then and there is beyond me, but Seibu manager Haruki Ihara and a coach ran out and intervened to both calm Cabrera down and to talk to Akimura on their first baseman's behalf. Once the rhubarb was over, Cabrera stepped back into the batter's box and took Chiba Lotte Marines starter Brian Sikorsky over the leftfield fence for a two run homer, his ninth circuit clout of the year, as the Lions beat Lotte 5-1 at Chiba Marine Stadium Saturday.
Seibu starter Fumiya Nishiguchi attained his 1000th lifetime strikeout in the second by fanning Kiyoshi Hatsushiba on an 89mph 2-2 fastball. He is the 107th player to hit that mark and the seventh fastest to it in history, hitting it in 1169.1 innings (7.7 K/9).
The lone Lotte run came in the second, when DH Frank Bolick homered to right to make it 2-1 Seibu. But the Tokorozawa nine went back on the attack in the fourth when leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada walked and third baseman Ken Suzuki singled to right. One out later, catcher Tsutomu Itoh sacrificed both men along and Wada scored on a single by second baseman Hiro Takagi to make it 3-1 Lions.
Seibu then capped off its scoring in the sixth when Suzuki walked to commence things and was sacrificed to second. Itoh singled to left and then Takagi collected his second RBI with a knock to center and shortstop Kazuo Matsui rammed a shot down the leftfield line to plate Itoh for a 5-1 lead and Lotte did zero afterward.
Nishiguchi got his first win in nearly four years at Chiba Marine Stadium.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-5 with two RBIs and is at .255.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .238. Leftfielder Derrick May was 2-4 and is at .206.
3-3) IP 7.0 PC 119 H 4 HR 1 K 9
BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.83
Tsuchigoe IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Toyoda IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.82
1-4) IP 5.0 PC 110
H 6 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.41
Kawai IP .2 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.05
K. Yamasaki IP 2.1 PC 39 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
2B: K. Matsui
HR: Cabrera (9), Bolick (3)
RBI: Cabrera 2, Bolick, K. Matsui, T. Itoh, H. Takagi
HBP: Takayama (Sikorsky)
LOB: Seibu 10, Lotte 7
Game Time: 3:28
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Ninth Inning Nakamura Bomb Clinches it for Kintetsu
Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura takes it personally when the opposition walks or pitches around leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes to get to him, especially after Nakamura put up career highs in batting average, homers and RBIs in 2001. The last time someone was careful with Rhodes, Nakamura hit the ball from here to Hakodate.
Orix Blue Wave manager Hiromichi Ishige must not have seen that footage on Fuji-Tv's Pro Yakyu News, since he ordered Rhodes intentionally walked Saturday at Kobe Green Stadium in the top of the ninth and with the score tied at 4-4. After that was accomplished, Ishige went to his bullpen and called on his closer, Masanobu Okubo, to handle Nakamura. Okubo tried to fool the burly Nakamura with a forkball, but Nakamura saw it all the way and obliterated it, sending it at warp speed on a low line into the first few rows of the rightfield bleachers for a three run homer and what would be the winning runs in a 7-4 Kintetsu triumph. See pic of Rhodes and Nakamura at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020505-2.jpg
Both starters did a rather mediocre job and that's what helped set up the late inning Nakamura heroics. Orix went ahead in the first inning off of Hiroshi Takamura, as shortstop Mitsutaka Goto doubled to rightcenter to lead it off. One out later, centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled to left and Goto steamed around for a 1-0 Blue Wave lead.
Kintetsu wasted an opportunity in the next half inning, as Nakamura, built more like a longshoreman and not a speedster, tripled to the rightfield fence, where it probably took an odd hop to allow Nakamura to rumble around to third. But then first baseman Yuji Yoshioka grounded to third, rightfielder Koichi Isobe struckout, DH Nigel Wilson walked and shortstop Masahiro Abe struckout. What a joke.
Then it was Orix' turn to screw up. In their half, Tatsuya Shindo singled to right to kick off the frame. First baseman Scott Sheldon sacrificed him along to second. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka singled to right to creat a men on first and third, one out situation. But then Manabu Satake hit a comebacker to Takamura and, after Goto walked to load the bases,. Koichi Oshima grounded out weakly to first to snuff the rally.
In the third, though, Orix did exploit its chance. Tani leadoff with a single to center. One out later, Kazuhiko Shiotani laced a double into the rightcenter gap and the speedy Tani sprinted around to make it 2-0 Orix.
Nakamura then brought out the yard implements, drilling a one out "center backscreen" to make it 2-1.
Orix retorted with a leadoff walk to Hidaka in the bottom of the inning. Satake beat out a bleeder near short. Goto sacrificed both men along. Oshima then played jai lai with the rightfield wall and both Hidaka and Satake crossed and it was 4-1 home folks.
Kintetsu lopped a run off that disparity with some small ball in the fifth. Wilson commenced things by beating out a ball near second. Abe walked. Catcher Kenji Furukubo sacrificed them along. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura then flied out to center to bring in Wilson and make it 4-2.
Nobuyuki Ebisu came out for the sixth and trike to get a fastball in on Rhodes, which is like trying to get sunrise past a rooster, and he cracked his bat, but still ended up watching the ball bang loudly off the rightcenterfield bleacher seats as he went into his home run trot to get the Buffs within 4-3.
Fumiaki Imamura was called in from the bullpen by Ishige with one out in the eighth to face Nakamura, who singled to left. Yoshioka then headed off to first after he was hit by an Imamura offering. Isobe dropped in a single to center and Nakamura managed to chug home with the tying run to make it 4-4.
Imamura then ran into trouble in the
ninth, hitting the leadoffman, Kenshi Kawaguchi, who was then sacrificed
to second. Second baseman Yosuke Takasu flied out, but with first base open,
Ishige decided to walk Rhodes. Nakamura needed a
double for the cycle and would have had his second "cycle hit" (which is what the Japanese call pulling off the cycle) if the liner he hit had been a foot or so lower, but he was more than pleased with the homer, raising his hands in "banzai" style as he rounded first.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is now at .261. Sheldon had two strikeouts and a walk in four plate appearances and is at .225.
For Kintetsu, Wilson was 1-3 with a walk and is at .219. Rhodes was 1-4 with a walk and an RBI and is at .245.
IP 3.0 PC 68 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.27
Kadokura IP 2.1 PC 35 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
Takagi IP .2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Aikyo IP .2 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Yamamoto (W, 1-0) IP 1.1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA1.08
Okamoto (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
IP 5.0 PC 94 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
Ebisu IP 1.1 PC 20 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.18
Kase IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Imamura (L, 1-2) IP 1.1 PC 34 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.02
Okubo IP .1 PC 9 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.05
2B: M. Goto, Shiotani, K. Oshima
3B: N. Nakamura
HR: N. Nakamura 2 (8), Rhodes (13)
RBI: N. Nakamura 4, Rhodes, Omura, Isobe, K. Oshima 2, Tani,.Shiotani
HBP: A. Igarashi (Ebisu), Yoshioka (Imamura), Kawaguchi (Imamura)
PB: Furukubo 2
LOB: Kintetsu 7, Orix 10
Game Time: 3:46
Umpires: Shirai (HP), Nagami (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Maeda (3B)
Yankees Media Goes Nuts for Ichiro
According to Sports Nippon, the Yankees media arm, YES, "is trying to show Ichiro from every angle we can," they quote one of the outlet's directors, a gentleman named Will. "We know how great he is and out audience is looking for anything they can on him. It's our mission to show them that." They've also reportedly preapred a package comparing Ichiro with Joe DiMaggio in terms of how the two handled different phases of the game (defense, baserunning, hitting, etc). So Baseball Guru readers in the New York area may want to look out for that.
Seven Giants on Japanese Olympic Team?
According to Nikkan Sports, on a Fuji-tv program called Kando Factory Sport, the coordinator of Japan's olympic baseball effort, Shigeo Nagashima, in a segment hosted by comedian Akaishiya Sanma, named some of the players he is looking to put on the club that will compete at Athens in the 2004 Olympic Games. On the mound for the Japanese team, if he has his way, will be starters Daisuke Matsuzaka (Seibu), Koji Uehara (Yomiuri), Shugo Fujii (Yakult), Kei Igawa (Hanshin), Kimiyasu Kudoh (Yomiuri) and closer Junichi Kawahara (Yomiuri). This year's rookie phenom Hayato Terahara (Daiei) may also be on it.
Position players will include first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara (Yomiuri), second baseman Makoto Imaoka (Hanshin), third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, shortstop Kazuo Matsui (Seibu), and catcher Atsuya Furuta (Yakult). In the outfield, Nagashima wants to pencil in Takyauki Shimizu (Yomiuri), Hideki Matsui (Yomiuri), and Yoshinobu Takahashi (Yomiuri). "Of course," it says, "Godzilla will bat fourth."
I have some problems with three of
those selections. First, Yoshitomo Tani (Orix) would be better both from
a defensive standpoint and is more of a true leadoff hitter than Shimizu.
Tani can also hit lefthanders, which Shimizu can't. It will also allow Godzilla,
who is not a very good outfielder, to be moved to left, where he belongs.
Secondly, Tomohiro Kuroki (Lotte), Shinji Sasaoka (Hiroshima) or Daisuke
Miura (Yokohama) would be better in the rotation than the erratic Uehara,
who is still living off his one good rookie season. Finally, at first, you
have to put Michihiro Ogasawara (Nippon Ham) there. He is Japan's
George Brett. Flashing the first class leather, he's a smart baserunner with some speed and he will hit the ball to all fields with occasional power. Kiyohara has more pop, but he is slow and defensively suspect and hasn't hit AT ALL against MLB all star teams despite his compact swing.
There is also one other problem: if Godzilla Matsui goes to MLB, he will not be able to play in the Olympics since it will be in the middle of the MLB season unless he manages to cajole his new team into a contract provision that would permit him to do so. The same will hold true of Kazuo Matsui as well as possible Matsuzaka if both of the latter ask to be posted after this season is over. Spelling each of those men, I think, would be Tani in center, Shinya Miyamoto (Yakult) at short and Miura on the hill. Among the reserves I expect to see would be catcher Kenji Johjima (Daiei), third baseman Hiroki Kokubo (Daiei, and only if he doesn't go to MLB as a free agent after this season is over), Ogasawara, outfielder Kosuke Fukudome (Chunichi), outfielder Takanori Suzuki (Yokohama), second baseman/shortstop Tadahito Iguchi (Daiei), closer Shingo Takatsu (Yakult---if his elbow doesn't blow), setup man Shinji Mori (Seibu) and/or lefthand specialist Takehiro Hashimoto (Seibu) and perhaps middle reliever Ryota Igarashi (Yakult).
It seems to me that part of what Nagashima, known as "Mr. Giants, is doing is oriented to promoting the Giants at the expense of putting the actual best squad out there. Mind you, the one he named is going to do a lot of damage, but Uehara and Kiyohara do not belong there. And even off the bench as a pinch hitter I like Takahairo Arai (Hiroshima) or Nobuhiko Matsunaka better. Arai would get the nod since he can also play third. Defensively, Kokubo would be better starting at third and maybe Nakamura could be moved to first, though again I would prefer Ogasawara at that spot. But Kokubo also has experience at second and first shouldn't be a problem for him. So Nagashima should think in terms of that versatility rather than sticking with Kiyohara, who is limited to first. Daisuke Motoki, I hate to say since he is also a Giant, would be a good utility choice.
Incidentally, for those who haven't heard, Ichiro is not interested in playing in the Olympics since he feels he already plays against the best players in the world everyday in MLB. However, to him, it is a different question if there is a true Baseball World Cup, which is still in the works. Now THAT would be fun!
Seung-yeop Lee Slugs Game Tying Homer in KBO Action
See Korea Times article at:
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 4th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1936, Osaka Tigers infielder/outfielder Isamu Fujii hit what was described as a "longball" off of Taiyo hurler Noguchi and came all the way around for the first homer in Japanese pro league history.
Powell Throws Seven Shutout Innings in 3-0 Kintetsu Victory
Jeremy Powell had arguably the best outing of his two year Japanese career Friday at Kobe Green Stadium, as he and two relievers shutout the Kintetsu Buffaloes 3-0 on five hits. Powell himself went seven innings, making great use of his curve ball, and surrendered all the safeties while walking none and striking out a personal Japan best nine.
On the mound for Orix was Koo Dae-sung and he was also solid, going seven innings and permitting three runs to cross on five hits, including Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura's fifth longball of the campaign, but he ultimately lost out to Powell's superior effort, where not one Orix runner reached third.
The game was actually scoreless until the seventh, when Kintetsu rightfielder Koichi Isobe doubled to rightcenter to lead it off and was brought home on a two out single to center from catcher Kenji Furukubo. Omura then went yard and all of a sudden it was 3-0.
In the bottom of the inning, though, with two gone, Kazuhiko Shiotani lined a ball off of Powell's left thigh for a single. After striking out Yasuo Fujii for the third out, Buffs boss Masataka Nishida retired Powell for the evening, not wanting to take any chances. Fortunately, Jeremy is fine and will make his next start. Good on Nishida for being conservative here, though.
Daisuke Miyamoto and Akira Okamoto took it from there, seeing just one runner reach base between them until Okamoto turned out the lights.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol struckout three times and walked in his four trips up and is now at .277. First baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is now at .230.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-3 with two strikeouts and a walk and is at .245. DH Nigel Wilson was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .215.
Powell (W, 1-3) IP
7.0 PC 103 H 5 HR 0 K 9 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.42
D. Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
Okamoto (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.46
7.0 PC 122 H 5 HR 1 K 6 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.21
Hagiwara IP 2.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Yoshioka, N. Nakamura, Isobe
HR: Omura (5)
RBI: Omura 2, Furukubo,
LOB: Kintetsu 6, Orix 6
Game Time: 2:36
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Higashi (1B), Shirai (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Kita Does it AGAIN in Extra Inning Lotte Victory
For the first time in Pacific League
history, a rookie has two walk off basehits in his first two starts, as Chiba
Lotte Marines rightfielder Takashi Kita spanked a 93mph fastball with the
bases loaded over the head of Seibu Lions leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada in the
bottom of the tenth inning Fridayoff of reliever Shinji Mori to drive in
Saburo Omura with the winning run in a 4-3
Lotte victory at Chiba Marine Stadium.
Naoyuki Shimizu started for Lotte and wasn't sharp, allowing seven hits, walking three, throwing a wild pitch and committing a balk in five innings, so manager Koji Yamamoto yanked him and waved in Hiroyuki Kobayashi, who spun 4.2 innings of one hit, two walk relief to win it.
Koji Mitsui started for Seibu and pitched well enough to win, going seven innings and being touched for three runs on six hits while walking three, but wasn't around when it was decided.
Lotte blew a chance in the third to get something going, when catcher Masaumi Shimizu doubled to rightcenter to lead it off and was sacrificed to third. But Kita fanned and second baseman Koichi Hori rolled out to third and Mitsui dodged a bullet.
Seibu wasn't about to allow that to go unpunished, so in the fourth, Wada drew a two out walk and third baseman Ken Suzuki took a trip to central downtown for a 2-0 Lions lead.
But the home team fought back in the fifth to raise the Lions one. Omura singled to left with one out and Shimizu walked. Shortstop Masato Watanabe then picked a good time to smack his first pro homer, a three run jack to into the the leftfield seats and it was 3-2 Lotte.
Seibu equalized it, though, in the sixth and disposed of Shimizu in the process. First baseman Alex Cabrera kicked it off with a single to center. Wada singled to left. Shimizu balked to move the runners up and Suzuki cashed Cabrera in for the tie at 3-3 with a knock to left. Shimizu then induced a shallow fly out for the first out and that is when Yamamoto made the call for Kobayashi, who then struckout catcher Tsutomu Itoh and, after walking second baseman Hiro Takagai, got shortstop Kazuo Matsui to ground to first.
In the tenth, Omura leadoff with a drive to the centerfield wall for a double. Masaumi Shimizu was then intentionally walked and Watanabe worked a free pass to juice the bags. Kita came up and wacked his second hit of the game and Lotte fans cheered the historic moment as Omura touched home.
The last time any player had back to back sayonara hits was by the great Shinichi Etoh in 1971 for Lotte. Etoh won the PL batting championship that season with a .337 average, 25 homers and 91 RBIs.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-3 with two walks and is at .247.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick was 1-3 with a walk and is at .234. Leftfielder Derrick May was was 0-4 and is now at .094.
IP 7.0 PC 105 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.95
Aoki IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Tsuchigoe IP 1.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mori (L, 0-2) IP 0.1 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.84
IP 5.1 PC 96 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.28
H. Kobayashi (W, 2-1) IP 4.2 PC 57 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.54
2B: S. Omura, M. Shimizu
HR: K. Suzuki (2), M. Watanabe (1)
RBI: K. Suzuki 3, M. Watanabe 3, Kita
IBB: M. Shimizu, Cabrera
WP: N. Shimizu
Balk: N. Shimizu
GIDP: Wada, Fukuura
LOB: Seibu 8, Lotte 6
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Yanagida (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Akimura (3B)
Kawakami Shuts Out Yakult 5-0
Kenshin Kawakami halted the Chunichi Dragons ten game losing streak against the Yakult Swallows Friday at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo with a 5-0 six hit shutout to reduce his ERA to 2.50.
Kevin Hodges started for Yakult and was victimized by a four run Dragons uprising in the fourth. With one out, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left and went to second on an infield hit from Leo Gomez, bad knees and all. Kazuyoshi Tatsunami then careened a shot to the warning track in left for a "timely two base" in Japanese parlance to chase in Fukudome.Catcher Motonobu Tanishged walked. Now somehow, Tatsunami was out during this sequence, so he may have been picked off, but the log doesn't say how. Little that it mattered, as Masahiko Morino guided a Hodges delivery over the rightfield fence and it was 4-0 Dragons.
The 19 year old Swallows rookie Sakamoto continues to shine, striking out the side in his one inning of work to provide the lone bright spot for the club.
The Dragons added another tally in the eighth off of Alan Newman to make it 5-0 while Yakul was getting a whole bunch of nothing off of Kawakami, who literally breezed through the Swallows batting order to notch his second win.
For Yakult, leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .365. First baseman Roberto Petagine was 1-3 with a walk and is at .297.
Kawakami (W, 2-0) IP 9.0 PC 138 H 6 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.50
3-2) IP 7.0 PC
98 H 8 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.47
Newman IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 4.30
Sakamoto IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.15
E: Morino, Newman
HR: Morino (1)
RBI: Morino 3, Tatsunami
LOB: Chunichi 5, Yakult 7
Game Time: 2:42
Umpires: Watada (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kasahara (2B), Shikida? (3B)
Igawa Gets Thumped But Wins Anyway for Hanshin
Hanshin Tigers southpaw Kei Igawa is now in a bit of a funk, as he was pretty much indomitable earlier in this still young season, but last time out he was shaken down for four runs and he was hammered for six in this one. However, the Hanshin offense went to town on Hiroshima starter Shinji Sasaoka and three others so that Igawa was able to cadge a shiroboshi in the craziest game played thus far in 2002, an 18-11 slugfest at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium Friday.
Sasaoka had won seven in a row without a loss in a row against the Tigers, a streak that dates back to July of 1999. Early on, it appeared that the veteran Carp hurler was settling into his familiar routine of frustrating the Osaka nine, going three scoreless innings while teammate Koichi Ogata had drilled an Igawa offering over the centerfield fence to put the home team up 1-0.
In the fourth, though, the Tigers firehosed Sasaoka with a six run burst. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama leadoff with a single to center and centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka followed with a carbon copy. Leftfielder Derrick White singled to left to plate Hiyama and move Hamanaka to third. Catcher Ryo Yoshimoto then hit what appeared to be a double play ball to Carp second baseman Eddie Diaz, who tried to get Hamanaka at home unsuccessfully and it was 2-1 Tigers. Igawa singled to load the bases. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka cracked a single back through the middle of the diamond and White and Yoshimoto scored. Two outs later, Sasaoka walked first baseman George Arias to pack the sacks again. Hiyama ten singled to center for another pair and it was 6-1 Hanshin.
In the bottom of the inning, Diaz leadoff with a shot into the leftcenterfield bleachers. One out later, first baseman Luis Lopez singled to center. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda then crushed a hanging breaking ball into the rightcenterfield stands and it was 6-4 Hanshin. This was the first time in his career that Igawa had been clobbered for three homers in a single contest.
In the top of the fifth, though, White answered by unloading on a slider on the outer half of the plate from Kawano and lining it into the rightfield seats to make it 7-4.
In the home portion, though, Ogata walked with one out. Shortstop Akihiro Higashide singled to center and Diaz walked to juice the bags. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto then drove in two with a single to center and it was now a one run ballgame at 7-6.
Hanshin countered with aone out walk by Hiyama, a single to right from Hamanaka, an RBI single to center from White, before Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino sent up Hiroshi Yagi to pinch hit for Igawa. Masato Kawano threw Yagi a slider on the outer half of the plate and Yagi lifted it over the rightfield fence for his 12 lifetime pinch homer, good for three runs, to surpass Kozo Kawafuji's club record for impromptu dingers and give the Tigers an 11-6 edge.
The Carp weren't intimadated, though and third baseman Takahiro Arai violated the cozy confines with a clout into the leftfield seats off of Atsunori Itoh. One out later, catcher Kazu Kimura followed suit and it was 11-8 Hanshin.
In the seventh, Hanshin was finally able to put the Carp away. With Yano now on the mound,. Shuta Tanaka leadoff with an infield hit. Tomochika Tsuboi singled to center and the ball got through Ogata, allowing Tanaka to chug all the way around. Arias walked. Hiyama clocked an RBI single to center and White walked one out later to load the bases. After Yoshimoto popped out, Atsushi Kataoka was asked to pinch hit for Itoh. Kataoka was being rested due to some minor back pain, but that hurt went away when he rocketed a Yano pitch into the leftcenterfield seats for a grand slam to make it 17-8.
Hanshin then got an RBI double to center from Hamanaka in the eighth to make it 18-8. Hiroshima came back with a three spot in the home half off of Shinichi Nishikawa, but those were the last bullets they had and they went quietly in the ninth to allow Hanshin to wrap up the 18-11 victory.
The 22 hits that Hanshin generated
were the most the team had since exactly 17 years ago. The club record is
24, which was set at a game on April 18, 1976 at Kanazawa against the Taiyo
Whales (now the Yokohama Bay Stars). The most runs
the Tigers ever put on the board was 20 July 7, 1937 against the Nagoya Club, a predecessor of the Chunichi Dragons.
Igawa, for some reason, has had difficulty getting anything done in day games, and his ERA is now 11.00 when the sun is out.
Hiroshima pitching has now given up 46 runs in its last four games. Yikes!
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-2 with four walks and a stolen base and is at .204. White was 4-5 with a walk and three RBIs and is at .286.
5-1) IP 5.0 PC 98 H 6 HR
3 K 5 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 1.88
Harada IP .1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Itoh IP .2 PC 20 H 2 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.15
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Nishikawa IP .2 PC 27 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 14.73
Date IP 1.1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.19
Sasaoka (L, 2-1) IP 4.0
PC 113 H 9 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.07
Kawano IP 2.0 PC 48 H 6 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 22.50
Yano IP 1.0 PC 45 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 6 ER 4 ERA 36.00
Stanifer IP 2.0 PC 35 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.11
E: Imaoka, Ogata
SB: Arias, Hiyama
2B: White, Hamanaka, I. Asai
HR: White (6), Yagi (1), Kataoka (4), Ogata (6), Diaz (10), T. Maeda (3), Arai (8), K. Kimura (2)
RBI: Imaoka 2, Hiyama 3, Hamanaka, White 3, Yoshimoto, Yagi 3, Kataoka 4, Ogata, I. Asai, Higashide 2, Diaz,
Kanemoto 2, T. Maeda 2, Arai, K. Kimura
PB: K. Kimura
LOB: Hanshin 12, Hiroshima 4
Game Time: 4:12
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Manabe (2B), Tani (3B)
Kuwata, Two Others, Shutout Yokohama 6-0
Yomiuri Giants righthander Masumi Kuwata is keeping his comeback going after nearly being put out to pasture last season by the team, as he befuddled the Yokohama Bay Stars batting order for seven innings, limiting them to two seeing eye groundball hits in a 6-0 triumph and striking out six and walking none at Yokohama Stadium Friday. He was removed only because a blister popped on his pitching hand.
Hiroshi Yamada was lit up for nine hits, though only three of the 11 runners he had on during his five innings at the center of the diamond were pushed across. Jason Turman was then mugged for three more in the seventh.
Giants first baseman Takayuki Saito is still enhancing his value to the team, as in the third, he lambasted a Yamada pitch into the leftcenter alley for a double and went on to third when Stars centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo bobbled the ball. He then trotted in on a single to right by second baseman Daisuke Motoki, 1-0 Giants.
In the fifth and one away, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu legged out a roller toward third and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi singled to right to plate Shimizu. Yamada intentionally walked Godzilla Matsui and third baseman Akira Etoh singled to load the bases, but Saito grounded to second to kill the rally.
In the top of the sixth, Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe doubled down the rightfield line with one out. Kuwata then stepped up and creamed a shot to the centerfield wall for an RBI triple, his first three bagger in eighth years, and it was 3-0 Yomiuri.
Turman came in the game in the seventh and nailed the leadoff hitter, Takahashi, on the arm.Matsui singled to center. One out later, Saito cannonaded a shot down the leftfield line for a double and Takahashi was back in the dugout with his team's fourth run. One out later, Abe was intentionally walked to set up a force at every base and to bring up Kuwata. Kuwata, though, spoiled things with a knock to center for his second and third RBIs of the night and it was now 6-0. And for all practical purposes, this one was in the refrigerator.
Takahashi was hit again in the eighth, this time by Takeshita, so to retaliate, Hideki Okajima plunked Yokohama leftfielder Takanori Suzuki in the ninth before he got the side out.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-4 and is at .226. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-2 with a walk and is at .225. The team's unsettled pitching situation got worse with word that Nomura is going to have surgery to remove floating cartilege from his elbow.
For Yomiuri, backup third baseman Felipe Crespo was 0-1 and is at .150.
2-2) IP 7.0 PC 87 H
2 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.57
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
H. Yamada (L, 2-2) IP 5.1
PC 92 H 9 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.32
Inamine IP .2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.43
Turman IP 1.0 PC 25 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.20
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.10
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
2B: Takayuki Saito 2, S. Abe
RBI: Kuwata 3, Y. Takahashi, Takayuki Saito, Motoki
IBB: H. Matsui, S. Abe
HBP: Y. Takahashi 2 (Turman and Takeshita), T. Suzuki (Okajima)
LOB: Yomiuri 14, Yokohama 6
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Mori (1B), Watamari (2B), Ino (3B)
Shoda Handcuffs Daiei 2-1 for First Pro Win
Third year southpaw Itsuki Shoda, who had suffered from control problems after being drafted by that Nippon Ham Fighters in 1999, displayed none of those problems Friday at Tokyo Dome in front of a surprisingly robust crows of 33,000, as he threw a complete game four hitter and walked none to beat the Daiei Hawks 2-1. Shoda's outstanding performance also ended a six game losing skein against the Kyushu nine for the Fighters.
Shoda's Gumma Prefecture-based high school had won a Koshien baseball tournament title three years ago behind six complete game outings from Shoda, but he got knocked around in his pro starting debut last summer against Kintetsu, so this time out was an eye opener for the youngster. With his parents in attendance, his fastball topped out at 88mph and he was able to consistently get the ball in on the hitters. His heater reportedly has good natural running movement on it.
Nippon Ham got off to a 2-0 lead in the second inning off when leftfielder D.T. Cromer singled to center and one out later third baseman Yukio Tanaka blasted a delivery from Hawks starter Keisaburo Tanoue into the leftfield seats.
In the top of the fifth, Daiei DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka lashed the 100th homer of his career to leftcenter to halve his club's deficit to 2-1.
Shoda gave up just two singles and hit a batter in the ensuing four innings to seal the victory.
For Daiei, first baseman Morgan Burkhart was 0-3 and is at .233.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 1-4 and is at .255. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara was 3-4 and is at .427.
1-3) IP 4.1 PC
82 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.55
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Wakatabe IP 2.2 PC 38 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Shoda (W, 1-0) IP 9.0 PC 87 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.00
2B: Iguchi, Kimoto, K. Tanaka
HR: Matsunaka (5), Y. Tanaka (2)
RBI: Matsunaka, Y. Tanaka 2
HBP: Matsunaka (Shoda)
GIDP: Omichi, Fujishima
LOB: Daiei 3, Nippon Ham 8
Game Time: 2:36
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Tamba (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Since Hanshin scored runs a plenty, what is the pro yakyu record for hits in a single game and what are the greatest number of runs one team has produced in one contest? Answer at end of this section of the article.
Wada Throws 18K Shutout
Waseda University southpaw Tsuyoshi Wada continues to pile up the empties and will soon cash them in for a nice fat pro contract in November. But the first order of business is surpassing the all time Tokyo Big Six University record for strikeouts held by now ex-Yomiuri Giants great Suguru Egawa, 443. With the 18 he rang up Saturday against Tokyo University, including seven in a row at one point, in a 4-0 victory, Wada is now just 77 away from topping a list that includes at least two of the best pitchers the country has ever produced. He walked none and racked up his 20th career win.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 3rd and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1964, Sadaharu Oh became the first man to crack four homers in consecutive at bats in one game at Korakuen Stadium in Tokyo against the Hiroshima Carp.
Also on that day in 1971, in a game at Tokyo Stadium between the Toei Flyers (now Nippon Ham) and the Lotte Orions (now the Chiba Lotte Marines), five consecutive Toei hitters homered in one inning to set a record.
The pro yakyu record for hits in a single game is 29 by the Seibu Lions on May 7, 1997 against the Daiei Hawks.
The most runs scored in one game was 32 by the Hankyu Braves (now the Orix Blue Wave) against the Nankai (now Daiei) Hawks on April 6, 1940.
May 1, 2002
Wasdin Gets First Japan Win
Well, he's certainly pitched better this season; nevertheless, John Wasdin still gleaned his first win in a Yomiuri Giants uniform Wednesday when he went six innings in what became a 12-6 Giants victory at Tokyo Dome. The ex-Phillie was taken out of the yard three times and gave up five runs, but Carp starter Ryuji Yokoyama lasted only 2.1 innings and saw his ERA balloon to over 8.00 when eight Giants runners crossed the plate during his time on the mound.
Giants owner Tsuneo Watanabe was at the game for the first time this year with former Japanese Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone and Japan's Mr. Baseball, Shigeo Nagashima, in tow and they at got to see some offensive fireworks. In the top of the first and one away, shortstop Akihiro Higashide homered to rightcenter and second baseman Eddie Diaz piggybacked on that with his eighth circuit clout of the season for a 2-0 Carp lead.
When the Giants came up for their ups in the same inning, shortstop Tomohiro Nioka walked with one down. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi then hit one to Roppongi through the righthand side to equalize it at 2-2.
A full inning down the line, Takayuki Saito leadoff with a bullet down the leftfield line and came around on a single to center from second baseman Daisuke Motoki. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe went throught the middle as well. Wasdin bounced out to Yokoyama, but leftfielder Takayuki Shimuzu singled to center for an RBI and the inning concluded with Yomiuri in front 4-2.
In the third, the heavens came crashing down on Yokoyama. Third baseman Felipe Crespo leadoff with a walk. Saito doubled to center. Motoki walked to juice the bags. Abe flied out for one run and Wasdin was hit by a pitch to reload the bases. Shimizu let go a screamer up the leftcenter gap to send Saito and Motoki in and result in Yokoyama's ouster. Rob Stanifer ascended the hill and Nioka slapped a single to center to make it 9-2 Giants.
The Carp weren't going to go quietly, it must be said. In the top of the fourth, centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to right and first baseman Luis Lopez absolutely destroyed a Wasdin delivery and put it out into the back end of the leftfield bleachers to shrink the difference with Yomiuri to 9-4. One out later, Terunobu Seto singled to right and Stanifer singled to center for his first Japanese hit in his debut at bat. Rightfielder Takuya Kimura then rifled a shot down the rightfield line and it was 9-5.
But Saito retorted with a jack into the rightcenterfield seats to begin the Yomiuri fourth. One out later, Abe singled to center and Wasdin sacrificed him (with a five run lead?!!) along. Shimizu then delivered Abe home with a two bagger to rightcenter and it was 11-5.
In the seventh and with Taka Miura on the mound for Yomiuri, Diaz belted one into the leftcenterfield seats for his ninth homer and it was 11-6.
The Giants returned the favor in their half with a one out single to right from Nioka and a double to rightcenter from Takahashi and that was the end of all the scoring, 12-6 Yomiuri.
Hector Almonte wasn't sharp, but he also had good stuff and Hiroshima couldn't do much to him even with a couple men on thanks to an infield hit and a hit batsman. Tsuyoshi Jobe then closed it out in the ninth.
Wasdin's wife and kids were at the game. I'm sure his performance didn't exactly make them comfortable, but then again it makes up for a couple of very good outings he had in April for which he wasn't rewarded.
Out of this series for Hiroshima, though, they have to do something about their pitching. 28 runs in a three game series is not going to get it.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 0-4 with a walk and three strikeouts and is at .158.
Yokoyama (L, 1-4) IP
2.1 PC 78 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 4 R 9 ER 9 ERA 8.20
Stanifer IP 1.2 PC 33 H 5 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.23
Satake IP 2.0 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Sakai IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.96
6.0 PC 121 H 10 HR 3 K 6 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.42
T. Miura IP 1.0 PC 11 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.75
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
SB: Y. Takahashi
2B: T. Kimura, Kanemoto 2, Takayuki Saito 2, T. Shimizu 2, Y. Takahashi
HR: Higashide (1), Diaz 2 (9), Lopex (2), Takayuki Saito (2), Y. Takahashi (4)
RBI: T. Kimura, Higashide, Diaz 2, Lopez 2, T. Shimizu 4, Nioka 2, Y. Takahashi 3, Takayuki Saito, S. Abe
SF: S. Abe
HBP: Arai (Almonte), Yokoyama (Wasdin)
LOB: Hiroshima 9, Yomiuri 9
Game Time: 3:46
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Manabe (1B), Tani (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Kito, in Rare Start, Victorious Over Hanshin 5-0
With Chunichi's pitching either not being very effective (Masahiro Yamamoto) or injured (Shigeki Noguchi), it was perhaps natural for them to give one of the relievers a try in a starting role and the veteran Makoto Kito made a case for staying in the top five with a strong five innings as he and four relievers shutout the Hanshin Tigers 5-0 Wednesday at Koshien Stadium.
The best thing Kito did was that he made the Hanshin lineup hit its way aboard, not walking anyone and striking out seven while being done up for seven hits but no runs. Hanshin still does not hit well with men in scoring position (though they have improved recently), so limiting the free passes vastly slows the Tigers scoring ability down.
Two good cases that demonstrate that were the first and second innings. In the initial stanza, leftfielder Tomochika Tsuboi leadoff with a single to center, but was wiped when second baseman Makoto Imaoka didn't get a sac bunt down correctly and Motonobu Tanishige pounced on it and threw a bazooka shell over to second and then the ball was winged over to first for an unconventional double play. Nevertheless, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka singled to left and first baseman George Arias singled to center, but rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama struckout and despite three hits Hanshin had nada to show for it.
Then in the second, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka leadoff with a liner down the leftfield line that went for a double. He was sacrificed along, but the next two hitters, catcher Ryo Yoshimoto and pitcher Shinji Taninaka struckout.
In the top of the third, the Dragons scored the only run they would really need, as second baseman Masahiro Araki leadoff with a single to right, but Kito then failed to lay down the sacrifice, instead bunting it back hard at Taninaka, who spun and started the 1-6-3 double play. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to center and scored on a triple over the head of Tsuboi to make it 1-0 visitors.
In the fourth, Hanshin displayed its inability to hit with RISP. Hiyama leadoff with a single to right and Hamanaka singled to left. Both men were then sacrificed along by shortstop Shuta Tanaka. So its men on second and third and one down. Yoshimoto and pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi both fan and another opportunity disintegrated for Hanshin.
The Dragons then proceded to show Hanshin what timely
hitting was in the fifth. With two down and Takehito Kanazawa now on the
mound, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to right. Kanazawa then plunked
first baseman Takahashi with a
pitch. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami then lashed a two run double to the rightfield fence and it was 3-0 Dragons.
In the ninth, the Dragons capped off the scoring with a walk to substitute first baseman Hiroyuki Watanabe, a run scoring double to rightcenter from Tatsunami and a triple polaxed to the rightfield wall by Takayuki Onishi and it was 5-0. Eddie Gaillard then closed the deal.
Hanshin rookie catcher Ryo Asai, just called up after Katsuhiko Yamada was demoted, got his first pro hit in the ninth, a single, for Hanshin. This guy is supposed to have a gun, so we'll see if his defense lives up to the hype.
Leo Gomez sat this one out for the Dragons, since both of his knees were bothering him.
For Hanshin, Derrick White was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .253. Arias was 1-4 and is at .208.
Kito (W, 1-1) IP 5.1 PC 69 H 7 HR 0 K
7 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
Yamakita IP .1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Endo IP 1.1 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.20
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Taninaka (L, 2-2) IP 4.0 PC 62 H 6 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER
1 ERA 2.89
Kanazawa IP 1.2 PC 41 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.72
Harada IP 1.1 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Date IP 2.0 PC 33 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.75
E: Ibata, Fukudome, Araki
2B: Tatsunami 2, Hamanaka
3B: Sekikawa, Onishi
RBI: Sekikawa, Tatsunami 3, Onishi
HBP: Fukudome (Taninaka), Hi. Takahashi (Kanazawa), Matsuda (Gaillard)
GIDP: Tanishige, Kito, Imaoka, Tsuboi
LOB: Chunichi 12, Hanshin 10
Game Time: 3:31
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Kasahara (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Shimda (3B)
Fujii Dominates Yokohama 7-1
The Yokohama offense Wednesday can be summed up in one word: Rodrigues. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues broke up what had been a perfect game up through the fifth with two outs when he jerked a delivery from Yakult lefty Shugo Fujii over the rightfield fence for a solo homer. But other than that, the story of this game was both Fujii's phenomenal outing and Yakult's offense lighting up the Stars relief staff, who wasted a commendable performance from Domingo Guzman, who was promoted from the bullpen to make his first start of the season.
Fujii threw a four hitter against the very disappointing Yokohama squad, striking out eighth and walking none in his first walkless shutout of his career on an economical 108 pitches.
Guzman hummed along for four innings, but tired in the fifth. With one out and game scoreless, Fujii singled to left. Centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka walked. Shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singled to center to plate Fujii for a 1-0 lead. Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori went and got Guzman and inserted Shigeo Inamine in his place. That move backfired, though, when rightfielder Atsunori Inaba tripled down the rightfield line to score two and open a 3-0 Swallows advantage.
After Rodrigues' longball made it 3-1, Yakult put the game away in the seventh with two out against Yu Sugimoto. Inaba singled to right. First baseman Roberto Petagine walked. Sugimoto then nailed catcher Atsuya Furuta to load the bases. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to right to convert Inaba and Petagine and leftfielder Alex Ramirez singled to left to get Furuta and Iwamura in and it was now 7-1.
Yokohama loaded the bases with nobody out on two singles and an error by second baseman Hajime Miki, in the bottom of the inning, but Fujii whiffed both Hirofumi Ogawa and Rodrigues and had Koike groundout to preserve the shutout and that was basically the last the Stars had in their offensive tank.
If there is one bit of good news in this game for Mori it is that he has his starting third baseman, Mike Gulan, back now that Gulan and his wife have welcomed a new addition to their family. He pinch hit and grounded out to end the game.
Rodrigues struckout in his two other at bats to finish 1-3 and is at .232. Gulan is at .241.
For Yakult, Petagine was 0-4 with a walk and is at .296. Ramirez was 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .370.
S. Fujii (W, 3-1) IP 9.0 PC 108 H 4 HR 1 K 8 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.18
Guzman (L, 0-2) IP
4.1 PC 69 H 5 HR 0 K 2 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.59
Inamine IP 1.2 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Sugimoto IP 2.0 PC 37 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 9.00
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
E: Miki, Rodrigues
HR: Rodrigues (7)
RBI: Rodrigues, S. Miyamoto, Inaba 2, Iwamura 2, Ramirez 2
HBP: Furuta (Sugimoto)
GIDP: Dobashi, Ramirez
LOB: Yakult 7, Yokohama 4
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Ino (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Fukatani (3B)
Rookie Kita's Sayonara Knock a Winner for Lotte 3-2
Last fall, Chiba Lotte Marines rookie Takashi Kita was completing his college career at Keio University by registering the highest batting average for a season in Tokyo Big Six University League play, a .535 mark. Now after being made Lotte's number one draft choice, he is going to be watched to see if he can translate that collegiate prowess to the pro ranks. Wednesday at Chiba Marine Stadium, he got his first pro hit, a game winner, in the bottom of the ninth in a 3-2 Lotte sayonara victory over PL leaders the Daiei Hawks.
Kosuke Kato, another youngster, started for Lotte and went eight excellent innings, giving up just four hits and two runs, one earned, while striking out seven and walking one.
Akichika Yamada had another swell outing for Daiei, as he went 7.2 innings of two run ball on five hits, struckout eight and walked two. Despite the fine hurling, however, neither starter figured in the decision.
The game was a 0-0 deadlock until the fifth, when Lotte leftfielder Kenji Morozumi went all the way to the centerfield wall for a triple with one away. One out later, shortstop Masato Watanabe clocked a triple over the head of Daiei rightfielder Koji Akiyama to make it 1-0 Lotte.
A miscue from Lotte third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba opened the door for Daiei to knot it up at 1-1 in the top of the sixth, though. With two outs, Hawks shortstop Yusuke Torigoe doubled down the leftfield line. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara then tapped a grounder to Hatsushiba for what should have been the third out of the inning, but the veteran infielder booted it to extend the inning. Kato balked and Torigoe trotted in with the tying run.
In the seventh, Daiei third baseman Hiroki Kokubo homered to left and it was 2-1 Hawks.
Lotte staged a two out rally in the eighth to get even, however. Yamada hit pinch hitter SRyosuke awai with a pitch. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to right. DH Derrick May also went to right and it was 2-2.
Then in the ninth with the sinkerballer Iijima on the hill, second baseman Koichi Hori walked to start the inning. Morozumi was plunked. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu beat out a roller toward third to load the bases. Pinch hitter Kenji Yoshitsuru grounded into a third to home force play, but then Kita took a sinker back through the middle and Lotte was a winner for the first time in six tries this season.
The last time a Lotte rookie had a sayonara hit was in June of 1997, when infielder Makoto Kosaka did it. The last time a player's first pro hit was a bottom of the last inning game winner was Timo Perez of the Hiroshima Carp back in April of 1996 against the Chunichi Dragons. For a Japanese, it was Kaoru Nihei, an infielder with the Carp in 1994, who beat Yakult with an infield hit in the 12th inning. Nihei is now retired.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 and is now at .328.
For Lotte, May was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .202. Frank Bolick struckout in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .230.
IP 7.2 PC 121 H 5 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.52
Yoshida IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Iijima (L, 2-2) IP .2 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
IP 8.0 PC 100 H 4 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 6.07
H. Kobayashi (W, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.60
3B: Morozumi, M. Watanabe
HR: Kokubo (9)
RBI: Kokubo, Kita, May, M. Watanabe
HBP: Sawai (Yamada), Morozumi (Iijima)
WP: K. Kato
Balk: K. Kato
GIDP: Shibahara, Akiyama, Hatsushiba
LOB: Daiei 4, Lotte 9
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Tani Sayonara Jack Upends Nippon Ham 5-4
Orix Blue Wave centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani started in this game despite being hobbled by a bad hamstring and it was he who delivered the big blow, as he went up in the bottom of the ninth looking to drive the ball out and got a first pitch fastball up and over the outer half of the plate to do just that for the sayonara (walk off) homer at Kobe Green Stadium Wednesday against Nippon Ham in a 5-4 Orix victory.
Chris Seelbach, as he often seems to do, fought himself and put runners on base, but battled and battled and at the end of his five inning stint surrendered merely one run on five hits and four walks to give his club a chance to win the game, but that proved futile when it was all said and done.
Hisashi Tokano started for Orix and was his typically mediocre self, being shaken down for three runs in six innings, but Nippon Ham reliever Satoru Kanemura had trouble getting hitters out in the sixth and that cost the Fighters the game.
Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara put his side up early with a blast into the rightcenterfield seats, the 99th roundtripper of his career and his 10th of 2002.
Seelbach's control, however, allowed Orix to even it in the home half of the same inning. With one out, third baseman Mitsutaka Goto walked. Tani then legged out an infield hit while trying to make sure he didn't do anything to blow out the hammy completely. DH Fernando Seguignol walked to load them up. First baseman Scott Sheldon then flew out to usher in Goto and knot it at one all.
In the third, Goto singed a triple into the rightcenter gap with one out. Now with theinfield up, Tani grounded out to second and Goto had to hold. Seguignol flied out to end what was a golden opportunity to score.
Then an inning later, Seelbach got into hot water again and made like Houdini in getting out of it. Sheldon leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a groundout to second. Leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani walked. One out later, so did second baseman Tatsuya Shindo and now the bases were loaded. But Makoto Shiozaki flew out and it all turned to dust.
In the top of the fifth, DH Kimoto singled to left to kick things off for Nippon Ham and went to second on a sac bunt. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide smoked a Tokano delivery into the leftfield bleachers and it was 3-1 Fighters.
Orix then let another chance to rake slip through their fingers in the home portion. With one away, Tani careened a double through the rightcenterfield gap. Seguignol singled to center. Again, Seelbach buckled down and struckout Sheldon and lured Hidaka into flying out to preserve the status quo.
Kanemura came in for Nippon Ham in the sixth and he was tonight's goat. Shiotani leadoff with a walk and was forced out at second by backup rightfielder Kenichiro Hayakawa. Shindo doubled to rightcenter to score Hayakawa. Goto had a fly ball double to left to level the score and see Kanemura off the mound in favor of Junichiro Muto. Tani chased Goto in with a single to right and Orix popped into the lead 4-3.
Nippon Ham came back to deadlock it in the top of the seventh with one out walks to second baseman Makoto Kaneko and Ogasawara and a single to left from rightfielder Seigo Fujishima to make it 4-4. Imamura worked three excellent innings after that knock, though so that eventually Tani could perform his heroics.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .255.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-2 with two walks and is at .288. Sheldon was 1-3 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .240.
IP 5.0 PC 106 H 5 HR 0 K 4 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.93
Kanemura IP .2 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.30
Muto (L, 0-1) IP 2.1 PC 39 H 2 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.54
IP 6.0 PC 118 H 7 HR 2 K 7 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.50
Iwashita IP .1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.11
Imamura (L, 1-1) IP 2.2 PC 44 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.46
2B: Kaneko, Y. Tanaka, Sheldon, Tani, Shindo, M. Goto
3B: M. Goto
HR: M. Ogasawara (10), Ide (6), Tani (1)
RBI: M. Ogasawara, Fujishima, Ide 2, M. Goto, Tani 2, Sheldon, Shindo
IBB: M. Ogasawara
LOB: Nippon Ham 11, Orix 10
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Maeda (1B), Kodera (2B), Nagami (3B)
Rhodes Fined $1500
The Pacific League office reprimanded Kintetsu Buffaloes
leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and fined him approximately $1500 for using bad
language toward an umpire April 30th against Seibu. In addition, Kintetsu
manager Masataka Nishida was
reprimanded as well, probably for his strong criticism in the press about the umpire's strike zone.
One thing that lead to the especially strict attention to Rhodes was that he hid himself in a camera well during the game until the third base umpire spotted him. Rhodes then got into it with the arbiter and was asked to leave a second time.
Buzz building Over Ishii
See article from the Gannet Newspaper web at:
Mariners Take Steps to Protect Ichiro After Injury
Ji Yeon-kyu Gets First Victory in Seven Years for Hanwha in KBO Action
After a string of shoulder and elbow injuries, Ji
retired and was coaching at a Taejon (a great town, btw) high school before
returning to pro ball last year. Story at:
Tienmu Stadium to be Used for Pro Games
See Taipei Times story at:
Announcement About New Feature
In an attempt to provide the fullest information on what is going on in the Far East pro baseball scene, I will now begin listing leaders by category for the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Baseball Guru is the only site on the World Wide web now providing these stats in english, so keep coming back to check up on what's happening in Korea in addition to our usual fare about Japanese baseball.
Team W L T PCT. GB
Hyundai Unicorns 13 8 3 .619 0.5
Samsung Lions 13 11 0 .542 2.0
Hanwha Eagles 11 11 2 .500 3.0
LG Twins 12 12 0 .500 3.0
Doosan Bears 11 12 1 .478 3.5
SK Wyverns 9 14 1 .391 5.5
Lotte Giants 8 15 1 .348 6.0
Player: AVG. Player: ERA
01. Kim Jae-hyun
.370 01. Cho
Yong-joon (Hyundai) 0.00
02. Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) .365 02. Roh Chang-jin (Samsung) 1.88
03. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) 364 03. M. Torres (Hyundai) 1.95
04. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) .344 04. Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 2.08
05. Jung Seong-hoon (Kia) .333 05. Kim Min-gi (LG) 2.18
06. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .330
07. Chae Jong-beom (SK) .323 Player: Wins
08. Jang Seong-ho (Kia) .323
09. Jin Gap-yong (Samsung) .318 01. Choi Sang-deok (Kia) 4
10. Lee Dae-ho (Lotte) .317 Ten tied with 3
Player: HR Player: Strikeouts
01. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung)
10 01. Arantes?
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) 10 02. Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 38
03. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) 8 03. Mae Gi? (Lotte) 36
04. Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 8 04. Kiefer (Kia) 36
Six tied with 6 05. Lee Seung-ho (SK) 34
01. Lee Seung-yeop
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) 27
03. Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 22
04. Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) 21
05. Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 20
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