Gary Garland / the japanese insider
May 30, 2002
Arias Sayonara Single Edges Out Yokohama 3-2
The Hanshin Tigers kept their tenous hold on first place Thursday thanks to a sayonara single to left with the bases loaded and two outs in the bottom of the tenth inning by George Arias to sneak by the Yokohama Bay Stars Koshien Stadium 3-2. Yokohama starter Daisuke Miura continues to rack up frustrating defeats and no decisions, as he threw a stellar nine innings, allowing a measly two runs on four hits while whiffing 11 and walking three in a gritty 145 pitch outing.
Hanshin starter Shinji Taninaka lasted for only five innings despite a pretty decent showing where he allowed five hits and a run while striking out six and walking none. However, he had thrown 84 pitches and perhaps Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino had figured that Taninaka would tire and perhaps cost the team the game, so he called on his unsteady relief corps and they allowed the Stars to tie the game in the eighth before Hanshin ultimately won it.
Hanshin scored both of their runs in regulation in the bottom of the first, as centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka waylaid a fastball down and in and rocketed it out to left to make it 1-0 Tigers. Arias then got a slider on the outer half of the plate and drilled it into the leftcenterfield stands to go up 2-0.
Yokohama had managed just an infield hit off of Taninaka until the fourth, when they put up their first run. Takahiro Saeki singled to center with one out and, one out later, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to left and rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled in Saeki to make it 2-1 Hanshin.
Shinobu Fukuhara came on in the eight with the intention of setting up a save situation for Mark Valdez, only to be stymied by some small ball from Yokohama. Shortstop Takuro Ishii leadoff with a double down the leftfield line. Fukuhara hit centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo. Both runners were bunted along by Saeki and third baseman Mike Gulan converted Ishii with a fly ball to center to knot it at two apiece.
Yokohama then had two men on and one out in the top of the tenth against Hanshin reliever Takehito Kanazawa, but Kanazawa fanned Gulan and it appears that somebody made a baserunning mistake to end the inning.
So having dodged that bullet, Hanshin saw its first two batters in the home portion go down easily on a strikeout and a ground ball against reliever Atsushi Kizuka, but second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to left and shortstop Hidemitsu Saito singled to right. Imaoka made for third and Rodrigues throw was right on the money, but Imaoka was in under the tag according to umpire Shimada, resulting in a demonstrative objection from both Gulan and Stars boss Masaaki Mori. Hamanaka finagled a walk to put a runner on every base. Arias stepped up and battled Kizuka for eight pitches before lining a 2-2 87mph fastball down the leftfield line just inside the chalk and Imaoka strolled in as the team went out to mob Arias at first. Hanshin is 11-10 for May. You can see a pic of the Arias knock at:http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020530-3.jpg
Aside from suffering the loss, Yokohama also lost its star leftfielder Takanori Suzuki, when he hurt his shoulder attempting a diving catch in the first inning and was taken out in the sixth. It appears that he did sustain damage to shoulder and is going to be out for a while. I have no idea what the injury is since I'm not familiar with Japanese medical terminology, but it sounds like it may be a labrum. If so, he is done for the season. No timetable has been given as to when he is expected to be back.
Takehiro Hashimoto made his debut in a Hanshin uniform and gave up a single to Saeki before then being pulled in favor of Atsunori Itoh.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 1-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .236. Rodrigues was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .244.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-5 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .269. Derrick White struckout in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .287.
IP 9.0 PC 145 H 4 HR 2 K 11 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.75
Kizuka (L, 1-1) IP 0.2 PC 33 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.24
IP 5.0 PC 84 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.66
Hashimoto IP 0.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
A. Itoh IP 2.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.00
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
Kanazawa (W, 3-0) IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.98
2B: T. Ishii
HR: Hamanaka (8), Arias (16)
RBI: Hamanaka, Arias 2, Gulan, Rodrigues
HBP: Kinjo (Fukuhara)
LOB: Yokohama 8, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 3:43
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Tani (1B), Watada (2B), Shimada (3B)
Giants Batter Rookie Ishikawa in 7-5 Victory
The Yomiuri Giants have Yakult Swallows starter Masanori Ishikawa ha righteous hiding Thursday at Meiji Jingu Stadium, mugging him for six earned runs on eight hits, two of which became souvenirs, as the Giants went on to stave off a concerted Yakult counterattack that shook the veteran Kazuhiro Takeda and triumphed 7-5. Cho Sung-min earned his second win with a scoreless inning plus of one hit ball when Takeda couldn't hang on long enough to be credited for it.
The Giants went pretty peacefully in the first, but went into action in the second. Godzilla Matsui leadoff with a walk. first baseman Daisuke Motoki homered to left to make it 2-0 Yomiuri. Shortstop Masahiro Kawai singled to center and one out later catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to left. However, Ishikawa struckout Takeda and leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu rolled out to second to minimize the damage.
Yakult leftfielder Alex Ramirez then checked in with one away in the home half and belted a hanging slider over the leftfield fence to halve the deficit to 2-1.
Yakult leveled it at 2-2 in the third with a leadoff single to left by Brazilian rightfielder Yuichi Matsumoto his first as a pro, a sac bunt that got Matsumoto to second, a single by second baseman Chihiro Hamana and a groundout to second from shortstop Shinya Miyamoto that permitted Matsumoto to run home and it was a brand new ballgame.
Unfortunately, Ishikawa was still on the mound for Yakult and the Giants went one up in the fourth on a leadoff walk to Motoki, a single to right by Kawai that enabled Motoki to sprint to third and a double play ball tapped by Yasuo Nagaike that got Motoki in, though no RBI for Nagaike.
Yakult came clawing back in their at bats, as third baseman Akinori Iwamura singled to center with two outs and came home on a double into the leftfield corner by first baseman Hirobumi Watarai to deadlock it at 3-3.
The Giants, though, tired of the Swallows nipping at their heels, applied the death blow in the fifth. With one down, Shimizu singled to right and Akira Etoh was sent up to pinch hit for second baseman Toshihisa Nishi. Etoh was being rested because he had a five game hitless streak and was 0-8 in his career vs. Ishikawa. When somebody is going that bad they can be scary since one wonders who they will make pay and when the ax will fall. You know what's coming next: Ishikawa left something in Etoh's wheelhouse and he dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 on it to make it 5-3 Giants. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi doubled to leftcenter and went to third on a wild pitch. Matsui bounced to short and Takahashi hustled in and the Giants were looking down on the Swallows with a 6-3 lead.
Takeda, though, and the Giants were lucky the Swallows didn't come all the way back from that predicament. In the bottom of the fifth, Hamana singled to center, and Shinichi Sato followed suit one out later. Catcher Atsuya Furuta banged a single to right and Hamana made the turn and chugged for home. Takahashi came up with the ball and put it right in Abe's mit, and the umpire rang Hamana up. However, Hamana sprang up and started protesting the call, and Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu did as well, asserting that Hamana was in just under the tag. But umpire Arisumi was unyielding and the call stood. While Wakamatsu, who is normally pretty self-controlled, was venting his spleen, Giants manager Tatsunori Hara waved in Cho Sung-min, who promptly induced a grounder to Nagaike at third and he threw it to Setagaya, Sato and Furuta both scoring on the play and the Yomiuri margin was reduced to 6-5.
Each side wasted a sixth inning two out threat and now on to the seventh with two gone and Ryota Igarashi on the hill for Yakult. Matsui had been 1-10 in his career against the fireballer and, well, you've already guessed it, as Godzilla sent back the 94mph high cheese with some mustard on it over the rightfield wall and it was 7-5 Yomiuri. More on the significance of that dinger later.
Tsuyoshi Jobe and Hideki Okajima kept the bases clean of any Swallows for Yomiuri and now on to the ninth and Junichi Kawahara, who had given up Ramirez sayonara homer the previous night. Pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama flew out to center to start the ninth. Hamana walked, which brought up the tying run in the form of Miyamoto. However, Miyamoto grounded to Kawai, who went to Motoki, who whipped it on to Koji Goto at first for a game ending twin killing.
The homer by Godzilla was his 100th lifetime out of the cleanup spot in the batting order, becoming only the fifth of 67 who have inhabited the Giants number four hole at one time or another to have attained that number. Here's how his 294 career longballs break down by position in the lineup: three, 182; four, 100; five, 2; six, 5; seven, 5. His now manager, Hara, slugged 255 in that role. Others breaking the century mark: Sadaharu Oh, Tetsuharu Kawakami, and Shigeo Nagashima, who are all in the Hall of Fame. Hara doesn't have the numbers to be voted to the Hall, though Godzilla will if he stays in Japan.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .311. Matsumoto was 1-2 and is at .500.
IP 4.2 PC 69 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 5 ER 3 ERA 3.24
Cho (W, 2-0) IP 1.1 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.49
J. Kawahara (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Masanori Ishikawa (L, 3-3) IP 4.2 PC 77 H 8 HR 2 K 4 BB 2 R 6 ER 6
Kawabata IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.48
Newman IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.60
R. Igarashi IP 2.0 PC 35 H 2 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.00
E: Nagaike, Sato
2B: Y. Takahashi, S. Abe, Watarai, Hongo
HR: Motoki (2), Etoh (5), H. Matsui (12), Ramirez (10)
RBI: Etoh 2, H. Matsui 2, Motoki 2, S. Miyamoto, Ramirez, Watarai
GIDP: Nishi, Nagaike, S. Miyamoto
LOB: Yomiuri 5, Yakult 6
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Watamari (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 30th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1975, Taiheiyo Club Lions infielder Yoshinori Yamamura homered in his first two at bats ever at the big club level in a game against the Lotte Orions, thus becoming the only rookie in Japanese annals to accomplish that feat. What makes that even more remarkable is that Yamamura only got 29 at bats the whole season and homered three times, driving in five runs and batting .276. He did stick around for 15 seasons, playing with the Lions and the Hawks, batting .256 with 70 homers and 318 RBIs, finishing with a career OPS of .674.
May 31, 2002
It's All Moore No Less in 3-1 Hanshin Victory
Short of throwing a no hitter or a perfect game, a battle like this is a pitcher's dream, especially if your name is Trey Moore. The ex-Braves farmhand threw eight strong innings of one run ball on four hits while striking out four and walking four and knocked in all of his team's runs with a fifth inning bases loaded triple in a 3-1 victory Friday over the Yakult Swallows at Chiba Marine Stadium. Moore is now 6-3 on the season with an outstanding 1.99 ERA.
20 year old rookie sensation Yataro Sakamoto started for Yakult and was excellent for the most part save for the hit by Moore, as he went six innings and permitted just four hits while striking out 12 and walking four (one intentional). Three of the four knocks he gave up as well as half of the free passes he handed out came in that fateful fifth. Otherwise, he dominated. But it's nine inning game, so he dropped his second decision of the year.
Sakamoto begam the game by whiffing the first two batters he saw and then fanned another pair in the second, struckout the side in the third. I'm sure the fans at the game thought that they were going to see a no no the way Sakamoto kicked the first third of the game off. Sakamoto had just one K in the fourth, maybe a sign he was losing steam (yes, that's a joke).
In any event, Sakamoto had a perfect game going into the fifth and then things kinda fell apart. With one out, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama beat out a bunt for a hit. One out later, third baseman Kentaro Sekimoto scalded a double down the leftfield line. Catcher Akihiro Yano was intentionally walked to load the bases and to get to Moore. Now maybe Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu doesn't know that Moore was a first baseman at Texas A&M on days he wasn't pitching and maybe he also didn't realize that Moore hit fairly well in MLB by a hulrer's standards. So Sakamoto threw Moore an 0-1 88mph fastball and Moore murdered it, cannonading it into the rightcenter alley all the way to the wall and everybody came home except Lassie to make it 3-0 Tigers. Sakamoto struckout shortstop Hidemitsu Saito to end the inning, but the damage was done. He then got in trouble in the sixth, too, but rang up three more strikeouts amid the one hit and the two walks to escape unscathed. Wakamatsu wisely determined that his youngster had reached the edge of his endurance and so got on the horn and ordered himself something from the bullpen.
Moore had runners in scoring position in both the first and second before wriggling out of the difficulties and then was cruising until the seventh, when he issued a pair of one out walks. One of them tried to steal, it appears, and was meat. Moore then struckout pinch hitter Takahiro Ikeyama to disperse the revolt.
In the eighth, Yakult finally had something to show thanks to the legs of second baseman Hajime Miki. Miki beat out a bleeder near the hole and then stole second. One out later, Shinichi Sato singled to right to plate Miki and bring the tying run to the plate, the future Hall of Famer Atsuya Furuta. Moore again did what he needed to and induced a grounder to third to turn it over to closer Mark Valdez, who nearly gave the game away in the ninth.
In that final Yakult at bat, leftfielder Alex Ramirez leadoff by jackhammering a Valdez delivery into the rightcenter alley for a double. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked and Roberto Petagine's understudy, Hirobumi Watarai, a guy who tore it up during spring training, dug in. Valdez got Watarai to go after something he shouldn't have and beat into the ground in front of the plate. Yano was all over it, firing a strike to Sekimoto at third for the first out. Centerfielder Yuichi Matsumoto then singled to center to load the bases. Kota Soejima pinch hit for backup second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi and flied out to shallow left for the second out. Now Hiroki Hongo was up to pinch hit for the pitcher and he was soon down, as Valdez struck him out to end the ballgame. Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino is going to need alot of Maalox if Valdez keeps this up.
Nikkan Sports, as usual, unearthed some nifty data about Hanshin pitchers and bases loaded situations. Hanshin's position players are 10-42 in that situation this season, a .238 clip. But the pitching staff is 3-8, one each by Moore, Kei Igawa and Keiichi Yabu, for a .375 mark.
Moore said after the game that he was bothered a little by the notorious wind that blows off the ocean into Chiba Marine Stadium since it was blowing in his face. He also remarked that due to the movement he was getting on his pitches, he had trouble hitting the outside corner consistently. Obviously, it didn't really matter in the end.
Moreover, winning this game ensured that Hanshin would finish May in first, only the fifth time in the club's storied history that has happened. And it is only the second time in which they lead in both April and May, the last time being the Japan Series championship year of 1985.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 1-4 and is at .324. Matsumoto was 1-1 and is at .667.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 1-3 with a walk and is at .270. White was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .279. Moore was 1-3 with three RBIs and is at .259. For the Trey Moore marching and chowder society, you can see a pic of him at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020601-6.jpg
Moore (W, 6-3) IP 8.0 PC 122 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 4 R
1 ER 1 ERA 1.99
M. Valdez (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.51
Sakamoto (L, 1-2) IP 6.0 PC 114 H 4 HR 0 K 12 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.01
Teramura IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.95
Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
SB: Miki 2
2B: Sekimoto, Arias, Yano, Watarai, Ramirez
RBI: Moore 3, H. Sato
LOB: Hanshin 7, Yakult 9
Game Time: 2:59
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), ? (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Watada (3B)
Kiyohara Pinch Hit Sayonara Single Ends Extra Inning Battle with Hiroshima
Kazuhiro Kiyohara has for now lost his starting
first base as long as his leg continues to bother him and he has become the
Yomiuri Giants chief pinch hitter off the bench. Friday, he pinged a shot
off the leftfield wall with the bases full in the bottom of the tenth off
of Hiroshima Carp starter Kuroda to win it for Yomiuri 3-2. Hideki Okajima
won his third in relief while Hiroki
Kuroda took his second defeat.
Masumi Kuwata started for the Giants and was quite good, going seven innings and permitting two runs on four hits while striking out four and walking none in getting the no decision.
The Gianst had trouble just getting the ball out
of the infield until the fifth, when they produced a pair of runs. Shortstop
Masahiro Kawai leadoff by beating out a ground ball toward second. Rightfielder
Yoshinobu Takahashi parachuted a fly ball into a vactant space in right for
a double. Two outs later, third baseman Akira Etoh walked to juice the bags.
Daisuke Motoki singled to left to bring both runners in and it was 2-0 Yomiuri.
Hiroshima was flailing away doing absolutely nada against Kuwata, The runners from their two hits had both been erased on double plays and those were their only baserunners until two outs in the seventh, when Carp second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to center and leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto, who seems to be warming up with the bat, played some hammertime with a Kuwata pitch and left it in the rightfield seats for a game tying two run homer.
Both offenses were at a standstill until the bottom of the tenth, when catcher Shinnosuke Abe spanked a one out single to right. Toshihisa Nishi, pinch hitting for Kuwata, hit a comebacker to Kuroda, who attempted to get the double play, but threw wildly and now it was men on second and third with one out. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu was intentionally walked. Kiyohara then was sent up to hit for Kawai and crushed a first pitch 88mph fastball that was up and over the outer half of the plate off the centerfield wall to welcome Abe and to win their sixth consecutive extra inning game.
According to Nikkan Sports, that was Kiyohara's 18th lifetime sayonara hit, 11 while he was with Seibu and seven with the Giants, but this is the first time he has done it as a pinch hitter. He is just one more walkoff form tying Katsuya Nomura's all time record of 19. Sadaharu Oh is third with 15 (boy, that's hard to believe). Giants pinch hitters have been 10-20 in the last ten games.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-4 and is at .327.
Kuroda (L, 2-2) IP 9.1 PC 113 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.77
IP 7.0 PC 82 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.81
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Jobe IP 1.1 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
Okajima (W, 3-1) IP 1.1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
2B: Y. Takahashi
HR: Kanemoto (6)
RBI: Kanemoto 2, Motoki 2, Kiyohara
GIDP: T. Maeda, K. Kimura
LOB: Hiroshima 2, Yomiuri 7
Game Time: 3:19
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Ino (1B), Tani (2B), Honda (3B)
Nippon Ham Limited to Three in 5-1 Loss
Nippon Ham Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara slugged his 16th homer into the rightfield bleachers Friday at Seibu Dome to give his team a 1-0 first inning lead off of Seibu Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi. Nishiguchi then had two more fall where they weren't, both singles, before rendering the Nippon Ham offense hitless in Tokorozawa over his last four innings of work. Shinji Mori and Kiyoshi Toyoda then extended the hitless skein while the Lions ralled for three in the fifth and two in the seventh to win it 5-1.
Fighters starter Itsuki Shoda was perfect through four and then saw a combination of two hits, his own wildness and the right kind of outs result in him emerging behind 3-1 when the fifth was completed. Seibu first baseman Alex Cabrera walked to lead it off. Tom Evans singled to left. Masaji Shimizu singled in Cabrera .Shoda then hit Tetsuya Kakiuchi to load the bases. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh flied to left to plate Evans with the lead run. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi grounded to short and Shimizu, who had alertly tagged and gone to third on the throw home on the Itoh fly ball, crossed to make it 3-1 Lions.
In the seventh, Shimizu commenced the inning with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Tomokazu Iba was summoned in from the bullpen by Fighters boss Yasunori Oshima. Itoh was next and he made for the leftfield bleacher exit and it was 5-1 Lions.
Mori struckout the side in the eighth and Toyoda induced a couple of groundballs and a whiff to turn out the lights.
Evans impressed his teammates with two fine plays. In the third with a man on first and nobody out, Hiroshi Narahara tried to sacrifice. Evans anticipated it well and got to the ball quickly and winged it to first to nail Narahara. Cabrera then sent it on to second, where the runner was caught in a run down and tagged out for a relatively unusual double play.
Then in the fourth, Fighters DH Sherman Obando really tagged one and sent it toward left, but before it could get there, Evans intervened with a diving catch for the out. Before he left Hanshin, George Arias offered to tell Evans what he knew about pitchers in the Pacific League, which should aid Evans in quickening his adjustment period.
For Nippon Ham, 0-3 Obando was 0-3 and is at .261. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-2 with a walk and is at .272.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .245. Evans was 1-4 and is at .250.
Shoda (L, 1-2) IP 6.1 PC 109 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 4
Iba IP 0.0 PC 9 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.87
Tateishi IP 1.2 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Nishiguchi (W, 5-3) IP 7.0 PC 86 H 3 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.11
Mori IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.82
Toyoda IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.06
HR: M. Ogasawara (16), T. Itoh (4)
RBI: M. Ogasawara, T. Itoh 3, Masaji Shimizu, H. Takagi
SF: T. Itoh
HBP: Kakiuchi (Shoda)
LOB: Nippon Ham 2, Seibu 3
Game Time: 2:37
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Nakamura (1B), Yanagida (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Dragons Bunch Together 12 Runs in Trouncing Yokohama
Chunichi Dragons first baseman Leo Gomez pulverised a forkball from Yokohama Bay Stars starter Hiroshi Yamada and lashed it into the fifth deck more than 450 feet away at Nagoya Dome with a man on Friday, as the Dragons offense generated 12 hits and twelve runs against Yamada and five other pitchers while also being helped out by a big error from Stars third baseman Mike Gulan that lead to four unearned runs in the home team's 12-3 stomping of their last place opponents.
Melvin Bunch started for the Dragons and he didn't have his "A list" stuff, but with the kind of wood his side was putting on Yamada and the rest, he had ample room to work with. He ended up going six innings and gave up three runs on seven hits while striking out six and walking two to receive his fifth victory against four losses.
It was 0-0 until the bottom of the third, as shortstop Hirokazu Ibata conned a one out walk out of Yamada and stole second. One out later, centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome zipped one into the leftcenter gap for a double to drive in Ibata. Gomez then became the first Dragons player since Alonzo Powell in 1997 to hit one in the upper reaches, though Powell's shot was estimated at 520 feet, and it was 3-0 Chunichi. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to center and Jun Inoue went yard to right to make it 5-0 Dragons and the rout was on.
In the top of the fourth, Yokohama got as close as it ever would in this game when first baseman Takahiro Saeki singled with one out and Gulan shredded a Bunch ball into the rightcenterfield bleachers to cut it to 5-2.
The Dragons then proceeded to pull away in the home portion, as Yokohama reliever Kazuyuki Maeda hit catcher Motonobu Tanishige with a pitch. He went to second on a Bunch roller by the mound where Maeda's only play was to first. Ibata singled to right. Maeda was replaced by Ryuichi Kawahara and he got pinchi hitter Jinno to ground to Gulan, who threw it away and Tanishige scored to make it 6-2. Then in the course of pitching to Fukudome, Kawahara balked in Ibata. Fukudome lined out. Gomez was intentionally walked. Tatsunami walked to load the bases. Inoue singled to right to usher in another pair and it was 9-2 Dragons.
Bunch escaped a two out bases loaded jam in the fifth, but had more problems in the sixth. Gulan leadoff with a double to rightcenter. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues walked. One out later, leftfielder Hitoshi Tamura singled to pack the sacks. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura flied out to drive in Gulan and make it 9-3.. Pinch hitter Hirofumi Ogawa whiffed for the third out.
Shintaro Takeshita tossed two perfect innings, but then Stars manager Masaaki Mori went to the pen again and gave the ball to Shinya Goto, a bad mistake. Backup first baseman Hiroyuki Watanabe walked to lead off the eighth. Ibata singled to right. Substitute outfielder Takayuki Onishi walked to fill the bases again. Fukudome flied out to get Watanabe in. Reliever Makoto Kito sacrificed (!!! somebody is going to get a horsehide ear wax remover for that) and Tatsunami singled to right for two RBIs and that was it for the carnage, a 12-3 Dragons cakewalk.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .244. Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .246.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-2 and is at .205. Gomez was 1-2 with two walks and is at .266.
H. Yamada (L, 2-4) IP 3.0 PC 61 H 6 HR 2 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA
K. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 0 ERA 11.12
R. Kawahara IP 0.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 2 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.27
Takeshita IP 2.0 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
Goto IP 1.0 PC 46 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.15
Bunch (W, 5-4) IP 6.0 PC 96 H 7 HR 1
K 6 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.77
Kito (S, 1) IP 3.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
E: Gulan, J. Inoue
SB: Ibata, Tatsunami
2B: Fukudome, Onishi, Kuramoto, Rodrigues, Gulan
HR: Gulan (7), Gomez (11), J. Inoue (4)
RBI: Gulan 2, Gomez 2, J. Inoue 4, Fukudome 2, T. Nakamura
SF: T. Nakamura, Fukudome
HBP: Tanishige (Maeda)
Balk: R. Kawahara
LOB: Yokohama 6, Chunichi 7
Game Time: 3:16
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Mori (1B), Watamari (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Red Hot Nakamura Slugs 20th in 5-4 Kintetsu Sayonara Victory
Kintetsu Buffaloes shortstop Masahiro Abe singled to left in the bottom of the ninth at Osaka Dome Friday against the Orix Blue Wave to drive in Kenshi Kawaguchi from second with the winning run in a 5-4 Buffs victory. The game was also highlighted by third baseman Norihiro Nakamura's 14 homer of the month, a new personal high and one that put him atop the Pacific League RBI race as well as elevating his team to second place in the PL standings.
Orix got out to a 1-0 lead in the second when leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani leadoff with a double down the leftfield line and two outs later came around on a double into the rightfield corner from catcher Takeshi Miwa.
The Kobe crew then added another in the third thanks to a miscue from Kintetsu second baseman Takashi Muto. Second baseman Koichi Oshma leadoff with a single to right and centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani walked. DH Fernando Seguignol rolled one to Muto, who threw it away trying to get a double play and Oshima crossed to make it 2-0 Blue Wave.
But Nakamura brought his club back to even it in the fourth. Muto leadoff with a single to right. One out later, Orix starter Hisashi Tokano threw an 87mph fastball on the inner half of the plate to Nakamura and he unloaded a majestic, towering drive deep into the leftfield seats and it was 2-2.
Two innings later, Kintetsu went ahead when Nakamura beat out a bleeder and jogged home on rightfielder Koichi Isobe's tater into the rightfield bleachers to make it 4-2 Buffs.
Kintetsu starter Katsuhiko Maekawa and the bullpen wouldn't be able to hold it, however. In the seventh, Tani singled to center with two away. Seguignol plastered one against the leftfield wall, but it was hit so hard that it only went as a single. Tatsuya Shindo singled to left and Tani motored home to shrink the gap with the Buffaloes to 4-3.
Orix then evened it with two outs in the eighth, as reliever Koichi Misawa was taken over the leftfield fence for the gyakuten solo and a 4-4 tie.
In the bottom of the ninth, Kawaguchi used what wheels he has to get on and he was then bunted to second. Abe came up and stroked a slider into left for the RBI and it was decided for Kintetsu 5-4. That was the second sayonara hit of Abe's young career.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-4 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .245. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .219.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .253. Aside from the barrage of homers he has unleashed, Nakamura is now at .305.
IP 6.0 PC 91 H 5 HR 2 K 4 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.43
Imamura IP 0.1 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.49
Kase IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
Yamaguchi IP 1.1 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.42
Okubo (L, 1-2) IP 0.1 PC 5 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.92
IP 6.2 PC 132 H 7 HR 0 K 11 BB 4 R 3 ER 2 ERA 4.80
Aikyo IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.65
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
Misawa (W, 1-1) IP 2.0 PC 45 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.29
E: Sheldon, Muto
SB: Oshima, Miwa
2B: Shiotani, Miwa
HR: Hidaka (3), N. Nakamura (20), Isobe (1)
RBI: Hidaka, Isobe 2, N. Nakamura 2, Shindo, Miwa, M. Abe
HBP: Isobe (Tokano)
LOB: Orix 10, Kintetsu 5
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Nagami (1B), Higashi (2B), Yamamura (3B)
What is the record for most homers by one team in a single game? Answer at end of article.
Yokohama to Audition Ernie Young
Reports from the Japanese press indicate that the Yokohama Bay Stars are mulling the aquisition of Ernie Young, a journeyman major leaguer who was the cleanup hitter of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Baseball team. He is currently playing in the Diamondbacks system at Tuscon and may be flown to Japan to tryout. Yokohama is last in all of Japanese baseball in homers and on pace to break the all time record for losses in a season (103 by Kintetsu), so they want to bolster their power profile. They were hoping to get that from Boi Rodrigues, but it hasn't happened and Rodrigues is a liability in the outfield. If they add young, it will be interesting to see who goes to the minors or is released. My guess is that they will demote or unload Jason Turman.
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team: Record GB
2. Kia Tigers 26-17-2 1.0
3. Doosan Bears 24-21-1 4.0
4. Hanwha Eagles 21-22-0 6.0
5. SK Wyverns 21-22-1 6.0
6. Hyundai Unicorns 20-22-4 6.5
7. LG Twins 19-25-1 8.5
8. Lotte Giants 16-29-1 12.0
01. Lee Yeong-wu
02. Lee Ho-joon (SK) .355
03. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) .335
04. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .330
05. Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) .330
06. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .322
07. Chae Jong-beom (SK) .318
08. Hong Seong-heun (Doosan) .317
09. Jeon Joon-ho (Hyundai) .316
10. Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .315
01. Song Ji-man
02. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) 17
03. Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 17
04. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanhwa) 14
05. Jin Gap-yong (Samsung) 12
Three tied with 11
Runs Batted In RBI
01. Lee Seung-yeop
02: Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 47
03. Song Ji-man (Hanhwa) 42
04. Jin Gap-yong (Samsung) 35
05. Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 34
01. Cho Yong-joon
02. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 2.14
03. Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 2.33
04. Kiefer (Kia) 2.81
05. Allantes (SK) 2.82
01. Kim Jin-wu
02. Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 63
03. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 63
04. Lee Seung-ho (SK) 61
05. Kim Soo-kyung (Hyundai) 59
01. Song Jin-wu
02. Gary Rath (Doosan) 7
03. Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 6
04. Kiefer (Kia) 6
05. Choi Sang-deok (Kia) 6
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 31st and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1956, Yomiuri Giants first baseman Tetsuharu Kawakami became the first pro yakyu player ever to attain 2,000 lifetime hits.
The record for most homers in a single game by one team is nine and is held by four clubs:
Shochiku Robins, August 1, 1951 against Hanshin.
Hanshin Tigers September 19, 1976 against Hiroshima.
Hankyu Braves August 9, 1980 against Kintetsu.
Lotte Orions October 3, 1980 against Kintetsu.
May 29, 2002
Hanshin Seizes First Place with 3-2 Victory
The Hanshin Tigers got behind 2-0 in the second to the Yokohama Bay Stars, but struck for single runs in the third, sixth and seventh innings to pull out a 3-2 victory at Koshien Stadium Wednesday. Shinobu Fukuhara was credited with his first win after two perfect innings to set it up for Mark Valdez to earn his 11th save and to put the Osaka nine at the summit of the CL pennant race.
Goto started for Yokohama and struggled, giving up a run on five hits and walking two while striking out none, so Stars manager Masaaki Mori, playing it safe, pulled him before the Tigers could really filet him. However, Kazushi Hosomi, who otherwise threw very competently for three innings, was touched for a tally, as was his successor, Maeda, and that was the ballgame.
Yokohama got to Hanshin starter Kei Igawa in the second, as first baseman Hirofumi Ogawa singled to left to lead it off and second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to right. Both were sacrificed along by centerfielder Hitoshi Tamura and rightfielder Masaaki Koike cashed them in by cracking a fastball that was up and in the middle of the plate safely to right and it was 2-0 Stars.
Hanshin was able to load the basese in the bottom of the inning, when third baseman Kentaro Sekimoto doubled down the leftfield line with two outs, catcher Akihiro Yano was intentionally walked and Igawa singled to left to pack the sacks. But second baseman Makoto Imaoka grounded to short to end the threat.
However, in the third, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka homered to center with one out to make it 2-1. First baseman George Arias singled to left and rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to right. Mori brought in Hosomi and Hanshin leftfielder Derrick White struckout and Sekimoto bounced to third to kill any further scoring.
In the sixth, Hanshin managed to tie it against Hosomi when Hiyama doubled to right center to begin the inning, Sekimoto singled to left after an out and Yano walked to load the bases. Koji Hirashita was sent up to hit for Igawa, but Mori countered by waving in Ryuichi Kawahara. Hiroshi Yagi was then nominated to pinch hit for Hirashita and he wacked a first pitch slider to left to chase Hiyama in and knot it at two all. Hanshin wasn't able to extend it, though, since Imaoka popped out and Hidemitsu Saito struckout.
Another inning down the line, Hanshin finally surfaced on top with a leadoff single to left from Hamanaka, Arias singled to center and Hiyama picked on a first pitch slider and rammed it up through the middle for what proved to be the game winner, and Hanshin fans treated themselves to a raucous rendition of the team theme song, "Rokko Oroshi" to celebrate the 3-2 triumph.
When the game ended, Igawa, though the pitching line would tell yo he had a pretty solid outing, was not impressed with his performance and was particularly angry with himself for the pitch to Koike.
For Yokohama, Boi Rodrigues was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .244.
For Hanshin, White was 0-3 and is at .289. Arias was 2-4 and is at .265.
IP 2.1 PC 41 H 5 HR 1 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.23
Hosomi IP 3.0 PC 41 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.43
R. Kawahara IP 0.0 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Maeda (L, 0-3) IP 0.2 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 11.81
Takeshita IP 0.1 PC 1 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.57
Higashi IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Morinaka IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.23
IP 6.0 PC 78 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.89
Fukuhara (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.29
M. Valdez (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.54
2B: Sekimoto, Hiyama
HR: Hamanaka (7)
RBI: Hamanaka, Hiyama, Yagi, Koike 2
LOB: Yokohama 4, Hanshin 10
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Watada (1B), Shimada (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Arai Sayonara Jack Finishes Off 10-9 Slugfest
Hiroshima Carp third baseman Takahiro Arai took the fourth pitch he saw from Chunichi Dragons reliever Eiji Ochiai and bashed it on to the grassy section of the leftfield stands with one out in the bottom of the ninth at Miyagi Stadium in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, to put an end to what had been a 9-9 track meet and give the Carp a 10-9 victory. The sayonara clout was the first such walkoff dinger of Arai's four year career. Moreover, out of Hiroshima's 20 wins, six have been won in the bottom of the final inning.
The fireworks started in the first inning, as Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto followed a leadoff walk by centerfielder Kojiro Machida and a free pass to second baseman Eddie Diaz with one away by going midieval on a pitch from Dragons starter Takashi Ogasawara and depositing it in the rightfield seats for a three run homer and a 3-0 Hiroshima lead.
The Dragons surged back, though, in the top of the second, as first baseman Leo Gomez spanked a leadoff single to left and third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami got all over a fat one from Hiroshima starter Yasushi Tsuruta and lobbed it in the rightfield stands to make it 3-2.
Hiroshima improved on their advantage in their half when catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura began the frame with a walk and was sacrificed to second, Machida walked, and Diaz singled to centert to plate Kimura and it was 4-2 Carp.
In the fourth, Kimura walked again and Machida clocked a shot down the leftfield line to get Kimura in and lend his side a 5-2 lead.
The Dragons responded with one in the fifth on a one out singled to right from pinch hitter Jiro Fujitate, a two out walk to leftfielder Scott Bullet and centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to left to plate Fujitate and the score was 5-3.
They then went to the head of the line in the sixth, when Tatsunami leadoff with a walk and second baseman Masahiko Morino doubled him in. Pinch hitter Junichi Jinno was plunked by Carp reliever Daisuke Sakai with two out and shortstop Hirokazu Ibata dialed long distance on Sakai for a three run homer and now the Nagoya crew was in front 7-5.
The Carp made that deficit up in the bottom portion, as Kazu Kimura tripled to rightcenter, pinch hitter Itsuki Asai and Machida walked to juice the bags and Kanemoto collected his fourth and fifth RBIs of the night on a single to right and it was gridlocked at 7-7.
Tatsunami, though, homered to right in the seventh and Chunichi was ahead again 8-7. Rightfielder Jun Inoue doubled down the rightfield line and Morino was intentionally walked. Catcher Fumihiro Suzuki singled to center and Inoue came home for a 9-7 Dragons advantage.
Once more, though, Hiroshima fought their way back when they had their turn in the batter's box. Rigthtfielder Tomonori Maeda leadoff with a single to center and Arai went up the center of the diamond, too. Both men advanced on a little groundball to third and then hit the dish when pinch hitter Koichi Ogata flamed a double to rightcenter and it was now 9-9.
I don't know if it was exhaustion or what, but neither team did much until Arai steered the victory his team's way with the homer off of Ochiai.
Hiroshima have aquired a new foreign pitcher, Ramon Ramirez, a hard throwing righthander from their academy in the Dominican Republic. He will make $35,000 and will be used mainly in middle relief. His fastball reportedly tops out at 93mph to go along with a curve, slider and changeup. You can see a pic of his delivery at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200205/image/0531rami_OS047530_b.jpg
Ramirez, 5'10" and 170 pounds, has been playing baseball since age ten and was mostly an outfielder until being converted to a pitcher three years ago.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 0-4 with a walk and three strikeouts and is at .214. Gomez was 2-5 with three strikeouts and is at .263.
For Hiroshima, Diaz was 1-4 with a walk and an RBI and is at .329. Lopez was 2-5 and is at .287.
T. Ogasawara IP 1.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 4 R 4 ER
4 ERA 2.77
Yamai IP 3.0 PC 42 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.61
Shotsu IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Endo IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.35
Iwase IP 2.1 PC 37 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.37
Ochiai (L,) IP 0.0 PC 4 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.69
IP 3.0 PC 57 H 5 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.26
Hiroike IP 1.2 PC 38 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.13
Sakai IP 1.1 PC 33 H 2 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 8.05
Tomabechi IP 1.0 PC 22 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 7.06
Kobayashi (W, 1-1) IP 2.0 PC 43 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.59
2B: Morino, Inoue, Machida, Ogata
3B: K. Kimura
HR: Tatsunami 2 (5), Ibata (2), Kanemoto (5), Arai (9)
RBI: Tatsunami 3, Ibata 3, Kanemoto 5, Arai, Fukudome, Morino, Suzuki, Diaz, Ogata 2
HBP: Jinno (Sakai)
LOB: Chunichi 8, Hiroshima 8
Game Time: 4:01
Umpires: Manabe (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Honda (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Kawahara Blows First Save in 2-1 Loss to Yakult
A two run homer to rightcenter off of a hanging 2-1 forkball by Yakult Swallows leftfielder Alex Ramirez not only wasted eight shutout innings by Yomiuri Giants starter Yusaku Iriki and gave the Swallows the victory, but it was also the first time that the Giants closer, Junichi Kawahara, had been scored upon in his 16 innings of work this season in the 2-1 Yakult triumph. Shugo Fujii went all the way for the birds to grab his fourth win of the year.
Ramirez said after the game that the walkoff blast was the first of his baseball life. Ramirez had been 1-10 lifetime against Iriki before he connected.
Fujii held the Giants to six hits, though it appeared that he was going to lose it when centerfielder Hideki Matsui took him over the rightfield fence at Meiji Jingu Stadium in the top of the ninth to give Yomiuri a temporary 1-0 lead. Giants manager Tatsunori Hara, with the way that Kawahara has pitched this season, had to feel thast this one was pretty much over until Kawahara was touched for a one out single to center from catcher Atsuya Furuta and then Ramirez hit the big fly. The loss also dropped the Giants into second, one half game behind the Hanshin Tigers.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .327.
IP 8.0 PC 102 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.17
J. Kawahara (L, 1-1) IP 0.1 PC 8 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.10
Fujii (W, 4-1) IP 9.0 PC 121 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.10
E: S. Miyamoto
2B: S. Miyamoto
HR: H. Matsui (11), Ramirez (9)
RBI: Ramirez 2, H. Matsui
GIDP: Nishi, Iwamura
LOB: Yomiuri 5, Yakult 5
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Mori (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kittaka (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Two Run Valdez Homer Enables Terahara, Daiei to Defeat Seibu 3-2
With the Hawks starting pitching being decimated by a string of bad performances, Daiei needed the young phenom, Hayato Terahara, to give them a boost against the frontrunning Seibu Lions and their ace, Daisuke Matsuzaka, especially since the Hawks were just 3-6 against the Lions in 2002. Terahara didn't let the fact that he was pitching before a 48,000 capacity crowd, running his fastball up to the plate at a clocked season high of 94mph and exhibiting very good control of of his slider and sharp curve ball to hold Seibu to four hits and two runs over six innings, striking out a career best eight and walking three to take home a 3-2 victory.
Matsuzaka's elbow isn't in the best of shape right now and during his four innings on the hill he was victimized by homers from Hawks first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka and leftfielder Pedro Valdez, the latter a two run shot that was the decisive stroke of the contest. More ominously, Matsuzaka's elbow felt worse that it did originally and he was taken off the roster indefinitely until his elbow heals after the game.
The Lions had an opportunity to go out in front in the first but let that chance go by, when shortstop Kazuo Matsui doubled down the rightfield line to open the game and went to third on a sacrifice. Kazuhiko Miyaji then hit the ball sharply to second, too sharply to allow Matsui to score and he held at third. First baseman Alex Cabrera then struckout to end the inning.
Matsunaka leadoff the second with a drive into the centerfield bleachers and it was 1-0 Hawks.
Then in the third, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi laced a one out single to center and stole second. Valdez then transported a Matsuzaka offering center backscreen style and it was 3-0 Daiei.
Seibu made it tense in the fourth, when Ken Suzuki singled to center and one out later so did Hiroaki Ueda. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh then howitzered a double into rightcenter to make it 3-2. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi walked. But Terahara induced Matsui to fly out to right and, after a perfect fifth, struckout the side in the sixth to put an exclamation point on his night. Reliever Shuji Yoshida held the Lions to a hit and a walk over two innings and Rodney Pedraza pulled the curtain down on the game in the ninth by retiring each of the three men that stood in against him for his eighth save.
To compensate for the loss of Matsuzaka, new signing Chang Chieh-chiah has been called up from the minors. Also, another Lions hurler, Tomioka, has come down with a leg problem and Takashi Ishii has been promoted in his stead. Another recent addition, former Texas Ranger Tom Evans, will start Friday for his first action at the big club level in 2002.
For Seibu, Cabrera won a prize for trying to hit Terahara, a golden sombrero (four up, four whiffs) and is now at .250.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .282.
Matsuzaka (L, 6-2) IP 4.0 PC 75 H 8 HR 2 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Aoki IP 2.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Doi IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Mori IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.90
Terahara (W, 3-1) IP 6.0 PC 108 H 4 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R 2 ER
2 ERA 3.72
Yoshida IP 2.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Pedraza (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.38
2B: K. Matsui, T. Itoh, Iguchi
HR: Matsunaka (9), P. Valdez (11)
RBI: Matsunaka, P. Valdez 2, T. Itoh 2
HBP: Matsunaka (Matsuzaka)
LOB: Seibu 6, Daiei 8
Game Time: 3:01
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Hayashi (1B), Maeda (2B), Fujimoto (3B)
Nakamura Three Run Homer Fatal to Minchey, Lotte
Boy, what a way to get your 1000th pro hit: take a slow curve ball and unleash a majestic three run homer to centerfield in the fifth inning at Osaka Dome to lock up a ballgame 5-1 against the Chiba Lotte Marines. The man in question is Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura and just to add to the fun, this was his seventh homer in the last seven games and it put him in a tie with Tuffy Rhodes for supremacy in RBIs with 44. The Buffs have been 15-1 when he has unloaded a roundtripper in a game this season.
Ironically, Nakamura's first ever pro hit was also a three run blast, against Nippon Ham on June 18, 1992 at Fujiidera Stadium off of a pitcher named Kawano in the....wait for it....fifth inning! God, I love baseball! Anyway, Nakamura is the 209th player in Japanese history to have reached the 1000 hit plateau. His 13 homers this month also ties a personal best, set last May.
Kintetsu jumped ahead 1-0 in the second when Nakamura singled to left and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka singled to center one out later. Kenshi Kawaguchi singled to center to load the bases and shortstop Masahiro Abe flew out to right to plate Nakamura.
Lotte evened it in the fourth when leftfielder Derrick May doubled down the leftfield line, third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba walked and Kenji Morozumi threw the ball away trying for the double play and May crossed to make it 1-1.
In the fifth, Kintetsu was able to put it in cruise control, as centerfielder Naoyuki Omura doubled to rightcenter with two away, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi thwacked one off the rightfield wall for another double, leftfielder Rhodes walked, and Nakamura electrified the crowd with his "arch" into the deepest part of the yard to make it 5-1.
From there on in, Lotte could only amass a hit and a single over the final four innings from four Buffaloes relievers to help starter Takamura to his fifth victory. Special thanks to Nikkan Sports for all the nifty stats they tossed out about Nakamura.
Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto has told the press that he is demoting starter Kosuke Kato to middle relief after Kato has gotten pounded this season so far.
Hirotoshi Kitagawa was also brought back up with Kintetsu after rehabbing an injury to a thumb ligament and he will be the team's primary pinch hitting specialist.
Mike Johnson, who Kintetsu just aquired from L.A., will make his debut June 7th once immigration requirements are satisfied.
Minchey (L, 3-7) IP 5.0 PC 103 H 8 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.59
Yoshida IP 2.0 PC 35 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.44
K. Yamasaki IP 1.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Takamura (W, 5-2) IP 5.0 PC 96 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.35
Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Misawa IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.38
D. Miyamoto IP 1.0 CP 17 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.71
E: M. Abe
2B: M. Watanabe, May, Mizuguchi, N. Omura
HR: N. Nakamura (19)
RBI: Mizuguchi, M. Abe, N. Nakamura 3, Morozumi
SF: M. Abe
LOB: Lotte 7, Kintetsu 7
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Sato (1B), Kodera (2B), Higashi (3B)
Yarnell Perfect Through Four Before Home Run Ball Kills Him
Ed Yarnell through a nice little five hit ballgame Wednesday at Tokyo Dome in what should have been a winning effort, but three of those left the building and Nippon Ham starter Hayato Nakamura and reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa, despite allowing a hit in every inning except the first and second, were able to prevent the Orix Blue Wave from scoring more than two runs and Yarnell and his Kobe compatriots absorbed a 3-2 loss. Nippon Ham has now won a season high five in a row.
Orix put up both of their runs in the third, when third baseman Scott Sheldon leadoff with a walk and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi doubled into the rightfield corner to make it 1-0. He was then sent in on a single to center from centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani for a 2-0 edge.
With one away in Nippon Ham's half of the fifth, third baseman Yukio Tanaka ruined both the no hitter and the shutout when he ditched a Yarnell delivery into the leftfield seats. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer then boomed one into the rightcenterfield standa and it was a tie ballgame at 2-2.
An inning later and with one out, shortstop Makoto Kaneko came up looking for something on the inner half of the plate and he got good wood, lifting it into the leftfield bleachers for the "kachikoshi" (go ahead) solo homer and it was 3-2 Fighters.
The Fighters then knocked Yarnell out in the eighth, but also blew a primo scoring chance. Rightfielder Toshihiro Noguchi leadoff with a double down the leftfield line and he was sacrificed to third. Orix manager Hiromichi Ishige went to the pen for Kazuo Yamaguchi, who struckout centerfielder Tatsuya Ide and got Kaneko to fly out to right to terminate the uprising.
Orix were able to get the tying run on with two outs in the ninth, but pinch hitter Koji Takamizawa flew to left and it was "game setto."
For Nippon Ham, DH Sherman Obando was 0-3 and is at .266. Cromer was 2-3 woith an RBI and is at .275.
For Orix, first baseman Fernando Seguignol was 0-4 and is at .245. Sheldon was 0-2 with a walk and is at .225.
Yarnell (L, 3-5) IP 7.1 PC 101 H 5 HR 3 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER
3 ERA 3.55
Yamaguchi IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.55
H. Nakamura (W,4-1) IP 7.2 PC 124 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.58
Shibakusa (S, 6) IP 1.1 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
2B: Katsuragi, Shiotani, Noguchi
HR: Y. Tanaka (8), Cromer (9), Kaneko (2)
RBI: Y. Tanaka, Cromer, Kaneko, Katsuragi, Tani
LOB: Orix 7, Nippon Ham 1
Game Time: 2:33
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Akimura (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 29th and on that date in
Japanese baseball history in 1948 at Ujiyamada Stadium in Mie Prefecture,
Yomiuri Giants pitcher Tokuji Kawasaki threw one pitch to Chunichi Dragons
rookie leftfielder Satoru Sugiyama and saw it leave the ballpark for a walk
off homer to get hung with the loss. Sugiyama went on to play a total of
13 years with the Dragons, the Kokutetsu Swallows and the Kintetsu Buffaloes,
batting .249 with 209 homers and 698 RBIs. His lifetime OPS was
May 28, 2000
Hodges Outstanding in 3-1 Triumph Over Giants
The Seattle Mariners are the most popular MLB team in Japan right now thanks to Ichiro, but fans of the Yomiuri Giants may be cursing that club for allowing Kevin Hodges to go to the Yakult Swallows, as the big righthander used his changeup and mixed in his high 80's fastball effectively to go seven more strong innings against Godzilla Matsui and company to take home a 3-1 victory Tuesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium. Overall this season, Hodges is 3-0 with a microscopic 0.95 ERA against Yakult's crosstown rivals.
Kimiyasu Kudoh started for the Giants and had another frustrating outing, as he permitted three runs in 6.2 innings on eight hits and struckout eight while walking three to lose for the fifth time this year against three wins despite his stelllar 2.89 ERA. In his last seven games, he has gotten a pathetic average of 1.5 runs per tilt in back of him.
The game was scoreless until the sixth, when Yakult staged a one out rally. Rightfielder Shinichi Sato walked. Catcher Atsuya Furuta singled to center. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez doubled down the leftfield line on a slider to plate Sato. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura walked to load the bases. First baseman Hirobumi Watarai grounded out to short to usher in Furuta to make it 2-0 Swallows.
The Giants got half of that back in the top of the seventh, when Matsui leadoff with an infield hit and went to third on a single to right from rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi. Takayuki Saito flied out to right and Matsui tagged and hustled in to cut Yomiuri's deficit to 2-1 and to end Giants 17 inning scoreless streak against Hodges.
Yakult went back up by a pair, though in their half, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto singling to center and galloping home when Furuta ripped a fastball up and out over the plate to the centerfield wall for an RBI double and it was 3-1 Swallows.
Hirotoshi Ishii and Shingo Takatsu took it from there, putting down the last six Giants hitters in order to close it out.
Hodges has permitted just nine hits against Yomiuri in 19 innings and is now tied with Shugo Fujii for the team lead in wins with five. The team record for wins by a foreigner against the Giants was five, set by Terry Bross in 1995, when he went 5-0 in those faceoffs.
The Giants foreign hurler, John Wasdin, who was taken off the roster with pain in his upper arm, is unlikely to return to the team until after the all star break because of a recent string of solid performances by the likes of Kazuhiro Takeda, Hisanori Takahashi and others. Wasdin says his arm feels fine now and is ready for whenever they need him.
For Yakult, Ramirez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .323. Hodges, who had a couple of homers earlier this season, fanned all three times he went to the plate and is at .136. Rookie Muneo Shida made his first start of the season in centerfield and he whiffed thrice in four chances.
Kudoh (L, 3-5) IP 6.2 PC 109 H 8 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R
3 ER 3 ERA 2.89
Minami IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.76
Cho IP 0.2 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
Hodges (W, 5-2) IP 7.0 PC 98 H 4 HR 0
K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.77
H. Ishii IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.78
Takatsu (S, 13) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
2B: Ramirez, Furuta
RBI: Takayuki Saito, Furuta, Ramirez, Watarai
SF: Takayuki Saito
HBP: Iwamura (Kudoh)
GIDP: Motoki, Watarai
LOB: Yomiuri 3, Yakult 8
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Kittaka (1B), Arisumi (2B), Mori (3B)
Yokohama Keeps Hanshin Out of First with Win
The Yokohama Bay Stars threw up a three spot in the seventh inning Tuesday at Muskat Stadium in Kurashiki, Okayama Prefecture to pull away from the Hanshin Tigers and win only their second game of the season against the Osaka contingent 6-4. Second year reliever Kazumasa Azuma (note: I had been writing his last name previously as "Higashi," which is another way to read the character for his last name. Oops!) grabbed his first pro win despite having four baserunners reach during his two inning stint.
Keiichi Yabu started for Hanshin and did okay, going six innings and allowing three earned runs on nine hits to take his third loss and keep the Tigers out of first place in the Central League race.
Hanshin took a 2-0 lead in the first inning when shortstop Hidemitsu Saito cracked a single to center and first baseman George Arias went yard to left, the former Angel's 15th dinger of the 2002 campaign.
The Stars chipped one off that advantage in the third, as shortstop Takuro Ishii tripled to rightcenter and one out later was cashed in on a single to center from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki. Yabu then got his revenge by picking Suzuki off first base. The normally quiet former batting champ argued the umpire's call vociferously, but his protestations fell on deaf ears.
Yokohama then blew a chance to even it in the fourth, when third baseman Mike Gulan roasted a double down the rightfield line and went to third on an infield hit by Tamura. Boi Rodrigues flied out to left and Hanshin leftfielder Derrick White nailed Gulan at the plate. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura singled to left, but both runners were stranded when centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo grounded out.
But it didn't matter, since in the fifth, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to center with one down and jogged home on a tour of the centerfield bleachers by Suzuki to make it 3-2 Yokohama.
The Stars were able to feel even more comfortable once the results of the seventh were tabulated. With one away, Takuro Ishii singled to center off of Tigers reliever Atsunori Itoh and was sacrificed to second. Suzuki was intentionally walked. Shoji Toyama came in to face Hirofumi Ogawa, who had just been recalled after being demoted a couple of weeks back for not hitting and was mugged for a triple over the head of Hanshin rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama to drive in two. Ogawa then toed the dish himself when Gulan seared another one down the rightfield line to expand his side's advantage to 6-2.
Hanshin combined singles from catcher Akihiro Yano, Saito and centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to shrink the difference to 6-3 and then used a double to leftcenter from Yano and a single to center from second baseman Makoto Imaoka to tighten it to 6-4, but Stars closer Takashi Saito fanned the final two men of the game to save it.
The season has already taken a little bit of a toll on Suzuki, as he has dropped eight pounds since opening day after beefing up with a weight training program last winter.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .236. Rodrigues was 0-3 and is at .246.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .259. White was 0-3 with a walk and is at .295.
IP 3.0 PC 47 H 3 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
Azuma (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 43 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Takeshita IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.63
Kizuka IP 1.2 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.96
R. Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
Takashi Saito (S, 7) IP 1.2 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.08
Yabu (L, 5-3) IP 5.0 PC 68 H 9 HR 1 K 2 BB
1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.67
A. Itoh IP 1.2 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Toyama IP 0.1 PC 11 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 15.75
Ando IP 2.0 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.92
2B: Gulan 2, Hiyama, Yano
3B: T. Ishii, Ogawa
HR: Arias (15), T. Suzuki (3)
RBI: Arias 2, T. Suzuki 3, Ogawa 2, Gulan, Imaoka, Hamanaka
IBB: T. Suzuki
HBP: Gulan (Yabu)
LOB: Yokohama 7, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Tani (HP), Shimada (1B), Kasahara (2B), Sugianaga (3B)
Daiei Lights Up Shiozaki in Rain Shortened Victory
Seibu Lions sidearner Tetsuya Shiozaki had been brilliant in his first four outings, so maybe he was due to get hit around a little bit. Well, okay, a lot, as he was hammered for eight runs, six earned, on ten hits, one of them a mighty clout from Daiei Hawks catcher Kenji Johjima into the leftfield bleachers with two men aboard at Kita Kyushu Municipal Stadium, in four innings. Mercifully for all concerned, the weather intervened and it was called after five to lend the birds of prey a quick and dirty 8-1 victory over their chief Pacific League rivals.
Kenichi Wakatabe was put back into the rotation and responded with five innings of five hit, one run ball to snatch his first win of the year.
The Hawks went to work on Shiozaki immediately, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singling to center and leftfielder Pedro Valdez finding an unoccupied piece of ground in left. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo juiced the bags with a walk and first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka pushed two across with a knock to center and DH Noriyoshi Omichi went back up through the middle for another before Johjima stepped in and crushed a Shiozaki offering to make it 6-0 Daiei. The Omichi RBI was his first in eight games.
Seibu avoided a shutout in the third when Tatsuya Ozeki doubled to rightcenter and was converted on a single to left from Kazuhiko Miyaji to put it at 6-1.
The Hawks reclained that one and raised the Lions one in their ups when Lions third baseman Hiroaki Ueda booted a ground ball by Omichi and Johjima drilled one up the rightcenter ally for an RBI standup double and centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara delivered Johjima with a trip to the leftfield wall for two bags and it was now an 8-1 blowout. Even worse for Seibu on that play, however, was that leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada, who was batting .317 with eight homers and 24 RBIs, ran into the wall while chasing it down and suffered a hairline knee fracture and he is going to be out a couple of months. Wakatabe retired three of four in the fifth and after the Hawks had one more turn at bat, the rain was so bad that the umpires declared this one to be in the books.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera was 0-2 and is at .256.
For Daiei Valdez was 2-3 and is at .283.
Shiozaki (L, 4-1) IP 4.0 PC 84 H 10 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 8 ER 6 ERA
Uchizono IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Wakatabe (W, 1-0) IP 5.0 PC 77 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
E: Miyaji, Ueda
2B: Ozeki, Johjima, Shinahara
HR: Johjima (11)
RBI: Johjima 4, Shibahara, Matsunaka 2, Omichi, Miyaji,
HBP: Ueda (Wakatabe), Ozeki (Wakatabe)
LOB: Seibu 5, Daiei 5
Game Time: 1:59
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Maeda (1B), Fujimoto (2B), Tamba (3B)
Ogasawara Clout Decides it for Nippon Ham
A monster two out fifth inning jack into the third deck in right by Nippon Ham first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara off of a hanging slider from Orix Blue Wave starter Hisashi Ogura put the Fighters up to stay in a 3-2 triumph Tuesday at Tokyo Dome. The shot travelled an estimated 455 feet. Nippon Ham starter Hiroyuki Sekine and three relievers then shutout Orix on two hits the rest of the way to preserve the win.
The Fighters got the inital blow in during their turn in the first, as shortstop Makoto Kaneko leadoff with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. One out later, DH Sherman Obando singled to right to plate Kaneko for a 1-0 lead. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer slammed a double to rightcenter, but third baseman Yukio Tanaka grounded out to stave off any further plateward incursions.
Orix restored equilibrium in the third when third baseman Scott Sheldon leadoff with a single to left and moved to second on a one out groundout. Second baseman Koichi Oshama banged a single to center and Sheldon was back in the dugout with the tying run to make it1-1. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled to center and first baseman Fernando Seguignol walked to load the bases, but Sekine blew away shortstop Tatsuya Shindo to keep it even.
An inning later,. Sheldon cranked his fourth homer of the season, a solo job to right and it was 2-1 Blue Wave.
Nippon Ham balanced it in the bottom of the frame with a two out single by Tanaka, a single to center from Kuniyuki Kimoto, and an RBI double down the leftfield line by catcher Toshihiro Noguchi to deadlock it at 2-2.
In the fifth, Ogasawara went deep and the Fighters staff managed to hold on to put it in the refrigerator.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .252. Sheldon was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .228. Tani was 3-4 to raise his average to .321.
For Nippon Ham,.Obando was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .271. Cromer was 1-3 with a walk and is at .269.
Ogura (L, 0-1) IP 6.0 PC 72 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB
0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.50
Yamaguchi IP 2.0 PC 43 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 2 ERA 2.63
Sekine (W, 3-3) IP 5.2 PC 122 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R
2 ER 2 ERA 3.58
Kato IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
Iba IP 1.2 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.28
Shibakusa (S, 5) IP 1.0 0C 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
SB: Y. Nakamura
2B: Shindo, Cromer, Noguchi
HR: Sheldon (4), M. Ogasawara (15)
RBI: Sheldon, Oshima, M. Ogasawara, Obando, Noguchi
WP: Sekine 2
HBP: Sheldon (Shibakusa), Y. Tanaka (Kokura)
LOB: Orix 9, Nippon Ham 7
Game Time: 3:11
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Gomez Two Run Single in Tenth Defeats Hiroshima 4-2
A bases loaded single in the top of the tenth by Chunichi Dragons first baseman Leo Gomez off of reliever Tetsuto Tomabechi was the deciding factor in that team's 4-2 triumph over the Hiroshima Carp at Miyagi Stadium in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture Tuesday. Both Carp starter Shinji Sasaoka and Dragons moundsman Kenshin Kawakami threw solid ballgames, but it was the latter who surrendered a two run double to rightcenter by Itsuki Asai in the seventh to allow Hiroshima to tie it and ultimately send it into extra innings.
Chunichi leftfielder Scott Bullet put his nine on top in the first when he took Sasaoka over the rightfield wall to make it 1-0 Dragons. Dragons second baseman Masahiko Morino then exited to the right himself in the second and it was 2-0 for the party from Nagoya.
Hiroshima had a good opportunity in the fourth but couldn't bring it to fruition. Second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to left to lead it off. One out later, first baseman Luis Lopez singled to center and rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to left to load the bases. But third baseman Takahiro Arai flied out to shallow right, as did Shinjiro Nomura and that was that.
After a long lull, Hiroshima finally made something happen in the seventh. Arai ripped a one out single to right. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura laced one down the leftfield line to put runners on second and third. Asai found the gap in rightcenter and both runners crossed the plate to make it 2-2. Shortstop Takuya Kimura then lined a pitch from Kawakami, but it was right at Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata, who doubled Asai off to terminate the inning.
Nobody even put a baserunner on until the tenth, when Chunichi found the winning combination. Ibata walked with one away and Onishi came up to pinch hit for Bullet. Onishi pushed a bunt up the first base line and Lopez went to field it and found that nobody bothered to cover first, so it went for a gift single. Carp reliever Rigo Beltran plunked rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome to pack the sacks. Gomez jumped all over a slider that got too much of the plate and wacked it to left to get Ibata and Onishi in and make it 4-2.
Eddie Gaillard, Chunichi.s closer, strolled in and was shaken down for a leadoff single to left by Kazu Kimura. Gaillard, though, got Kojiro Machida to bite on something he should have left alone and the result was a 1-4-3 double play. Takuya Kimura rolled out to second and Gaillard had his tenth save.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 2-4 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .237. Gomez was 1-5 with two RBIs and is at .259.
IP 8.1 PC 133 H 8 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.72
Iwase (L, 1-2) IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
Gaillard (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.40
IP 7.0 PC 103 H 6 HR 2 K 7 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.17
Kobayashi (L, 0-1) IP 2.1 PC 38 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.68
Beltran IP 0.1 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.87
Tomabechi IP 0.2 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.53
E: Arai, Diaz
2B: K. Kimura, I. Asai, J. Inoue
HR: Bullet (4), Morino (4)
RBI: Bullet, Morino, Gomez 2, I. Asai 2
HBP: Fukudome (Beltran)
GIDP: Gomez, Machida
LOB: Chunichi 9, Hiroshima 5
Game Time: 3:25
Umpires: Kiuchi (HP), Honda (1B), Nishimoto (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Homers by Nakamura and Rhodes Beats Lotte 4-3
For the ninth time this season, Tuffy Rhodes and Norihiro Nakamura of the Kintetsu Buffaloes homered in the same game to win for the 12th straight time when that has occured since last September Tuesday at Osaka Dome, as all of the Buffs tallies came via the longball in a 4-3 victory over the Chiba Lotte Marines. Shingo Ono had his best outing in a while, twirling five innings of two run, six hit ball but didn't figure in the decision.
Kintetsu starter Hisashi Iwakuma was even better, lasting through seven innings of two run, five hit ball, both scores coming on a two run homer to right in the sixth and he likewise wasn't involved in the decision. Instead, Shogo Yamamoto ended up with his third lifetime win when Nakamura's eighth inning two run homer came along to decide it.
It was 0-0 until the sixth, when centerfielder Saburo Omura leadoff with a single to center and one out later May gave Lotte a shortlived lead by riding an Iwakuma offering out to right to make it 2-0.
Ono, though, couldn't hold it. Leftfielder Rhodes, who had struckout his previous five at bats, slugged a first pitch forkball over the leftfield wall to commence the bottom of the frame. Nakamura powdered an 85mph running fastball to leftcenter to tie it at 2-2 and oust Ono from the game.
In the bottom of the eighth, Rhodes kicked it off with a walk and then Nakamura unloaded a cruise missile into the centerfield seats off of an 86mph heater to put his team in front 4-2.
Akira Okamoto then attempted to bring this one to a conclusion and gave Buffs manager Masataka Nishida a few more grey hairs in doing it. With one out, Lotte third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to left. Kenji Morozumi mashed an Okamoto delivery to deep rightcenter for an RBI double to make it a 4-3 ballgame and put the tying run in scoring position. Ryosuke Sawai grounded to third for the second out and Tasuku Hashimoto tapped to second and it was over.
Rhodes has now struck at least 20 homers for seven consecutive years and is 16 games ahead of his record tying 2001 pace, slugging 20 in 44 matches this season and in 60 last year.
Yamamoto was celebrating his 24th birthday when he was awarded the victory.
New Kintetsu signing Mike Johnson, who came over from the Dodgers organization, will make $300,000 this season and will be given a rotation shot. Tommy Lasorda has reportedly guarenteed that Johnson will deliver for the Buffaloes.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .230. Bolick was 0-4 and is at .217.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .263. Nakamura, after a slow start, now has 18 homers, 46 RBIs and has elevated his average to .288. He is on pace for another huge season.
IP 5.0 PC 72 H 6 HR 2 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.37
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
H. Kobayashi (L, 3-2) IP 1.2 PC 28 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.86
Tak. Tanaka IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
IP 7.0 PC 106 H 5 HR 1 K 5 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.32
D. Miyamoto IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.95
Yamamoto (W, 3-0) IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.53
A. Okamoto (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.59
SB: S. Omura
2B: Isobe, N. Omura, Morozumi
HR: May (4), Rhodes (20), N. Nakamura 2 (18)
RBI: Rhodes, Nakamura 3, May 2, Sawai
Balk: H. Kobayashi
LOB: Lotte 6, Kintetsu 7
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Kodera (1B), Yamamura (2B), Sato (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 28th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1980, Lotte Orions outfielder Isao Harimoto became the second man ever to attain 3,000 career hits with a homer at Kawasaki Stadium against the Hankyu Braves.
Seelbach Throws Complete Game Six Hitter in Nippon Ham Victory
Chris Seelbach threw his best regular season game since coming to Japan Monday at Tokyo Dome, as he went all the way while limiting the Orix Blue Wave to six hits and two runs to get his first victory since April 14th, his fourth overall. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi made the win possible with his second career grandslam in the bottom of the eighth, his first bases loaded longball in seven years.
The Fighters were able to scratch out a run in the bottom of the first, as shortstop Makoto Kaneko beat out a roller toward short to lead it off and advanced on a bunt basehit from second baseman Hiroshi Narahara. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara walked to juice the bags. DH Sherman Obando grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and Kaneko crossed to make it 1-0 Nippon Ham.
Seelbach then had his only rough inning of the night in the top of the second when Orix DH Fernando Seguignol beat out a bleeder toward first, shortstop Tatsuya Shindo tattooed a double to rightcenter, first baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani ripped a one out RBI single to center and leftfielder Koji Takamizawa flew out to right to deliver Shindo and make it 2-1 Orix. Seelbach only gave up three hits, one of the infield variety, and a walk the rest of the way to give his side's offense time to coalesce and attack.
In the bottom of the third, Fighters centerfielder Tatsuya Ide took Orix starter Masahiko Kaneda on a rocket ride to leftcenter to level it at 2-2. An inning later, Obando grabbed the lead for Nippon Ham when he cooked up a souvenir for the folks in the leftfield stands and it was 3-2 Fighters.
It remained that way until the eighth, when Nippon Ham was able to turn a tight game into an easy win. Narahara leadoff with a single to center and was thrown out trying to steal. Ogasawara singled to left. Obando was intentionally walked. One out later, Cromer was hit by a pitch to pack the sacks. He was pinch run for by Hichori Morimoto. That brought up Noguchi, who got a hanging curve ball from Orix reliever Yuuki Tanaka and he killed it, air mailing it into the leftfield bleachers for the grand salami and a 7-2 Nippon Ham advantage.
Now in a situation where he could just air it out with a five run lead, Seelbach got Orix centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani on a grounder to second, Seguignol on a harmless fly ball to left and Shindo on a flyout to right and it was "game setto." This was Seelbach's first complete game game in Japan as well. "I just concentrated on throwing strikes," he told reporters. "Our defense was also good and Noguchi's granny was huge.I was able to get ahead of the hitters and my walks had been an issue, but tonight I only had one and that was a big factor."
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .269. Cromer was 1-3 with an HBP and is at .267.
For Orix, Seguignol was 1-4 and is at .257. First baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-3 and is at .219.
Kaneda (L, 1-3) IP 4.0 PC 56 H 5 HR 2 K 1 BB 1 R
3 ER 3 ERA 2.50
Tokumoto IP 2.2 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Kase IP 0.0 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Yuuki Tanaka IP 1.1 PC 50 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 15.43
Seelbach (W, 4-3) IP 9.0 PC 134 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.88
HR: Ide (8), Obando (12), Noguchi (4)
RBI: Shiotani, Takamizawa, Noguchi 4, Obando, Ide
WP: Yuuki 2
HBP: Cromer (Yuuki)
GIDP: Sheldon, Obando, Noguchi
LOB: Orix 3, Nippon Ham 4
Game Time: 2:44
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Yanagida (2B), Tsugawa (3B)
Sikorsky Picks Up a Win with Shutout Relief in 4-1 Lotte Win
Some sloppy defensive play by the Kintetsu Buffaloes and Chiba Lotte Marines manager Koji Yamamoto's decision to pull starter Takashi Kawai with one out in the fourth got Brian Sikorsky his second win of the season Monday at Osaka Dome in a 4-1 Lotte victory. The 27 year old righthander went 3.2 innings of hitless relief, walking one and striking out three.
Lotte went out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, when second baseman Koichi Hori leadoff with single to left and went to second on centerfielder Saburo Omura's sacrifice. Kintetsu starter Sean Bergman, when he picked up the bunt, chose to try to obtain the force at second, but Hori was in ahead of the peg, so now runners were on first and second with nobody out. One out later, DH Frank Bolick rolled a double play grounder to shortstop Masahiro Abe, who threw it away and both Hori and Omura blazed around to score to makie it 2-0 Lotte. Leftfielder Derrick May rammed a shot down the leftfield line for standup double and an RBI and Lotte was up 3-0.
Bergman was victimized by more defense as well as his own control problems in the second, but managed to wriggle out of it with no damage. Lotte catcher Masaumi Shimizu hit one out in front of the plate that Kintetsu catcher Kenji Furukubo treated like a hot potato for an error. Shortstop Masato Watanabe sacrificed Shimizu to second. Bergman then walked both Hori and Omura to load the bases. But he struckout first baseman Kazuya Furukubo and lured Bolick into a groundout to second to neutralize the predicament.
In the bottom of the third, Buffaloes centerfielder Naoyuki Omura homered to right to make it 3-1 Lotte.
Kawai fanned Kintetsu second baseman Yuji Yoshioka to open the fourth, but a single to left by DH Fumitoshi Takano and a single to right from rightfielder Koichi Isobe inspired Yamamoto to dial local and order himself up a Sikorsky. Brian whiffed the next two men and that was that. You can see a pic of Sikorsky's delivery at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200205/image/0528siko_OS153527_b.jpg
In the top of the sixth, third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba took the long way home via the leftfield bleachers and it was 4-1 Lotte.
Watanabe doubled to leftcenter to start the seventh and was sacrificed to third, but Bergman again gutted it out by striking out Omura and Fukuura and Bergman's night was over. Only one of the runs he was responsible for were earned.
Masahide Kobayashi wrapped it up in the ninth with two strikeouts and a ground ball for his seventh save.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 1-4 with three strikeouts and is at .262.
For Lotte, Bolick was 0-4 and is at .224. May was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .229.
IP 3.1 PC 69 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.60
Sikorsky (W, 2-5) IP 3.2 PC 46 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
M. Kobayashi (S, 7) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.31
Bergman (L, 1-1) IP 7.0 PC 109 H 7 HR
1 K 8 BB 2 R 4 ER 1 ERA 4.13
Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
D. Miyamoto IP 0.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.03
Ishige IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
E: M. Abe, Furukubo
2B: May, M. Watanabe
HR: N. Omura (7), Hatsushiba (5)
RBI: N. Omura, Hatsushiba, May
GIDP: Hatsushiba, Fukuura, Sato, Takano
LOB: Lotte 7, Kintetsu 7
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Yoshikawa (1B), Nagami (2B), Kodera (3B)
Daiei Drops Another One to Seibu 5-3
The Daiei Hawks had runners on in seven of the nine innings, but could only score in two of them, so despite outhitting the Seibu Lions 11-8, they were vanquished 5-3 Monday at Fukuoka Dome to fall further behind the Pacific League top dogs. Koji Mitsui threw 6.2 innings and allowed two runs on seven hits to rack up win number four on the season.
Yet another Daiei starter couldn't even go five innings, the case in point this time around being Akichika Yamada, who has just fallen apart after several brilliant early outings. Yamada lasted a mere four innings and was mugged for two homers and three earned runs on 75 pitches before manager Sadaharu Oh lost his patience and yanked him.
Seibu was able to get on top first, shortstop Kazuo Matsui leading off with a shot into the leftcenter alley. He went to third on a fly ball to right and, with first baseman Alex Cabrera up at the plate, took off for home when Yamada threw a pitch by catcher Kenji Johjima to make it 1-0 Lions.
In the bottom of the inning, Daiei second baseman Tadahito Iguchi scorched a leadoff double to rightcenter and went to third on a sacrifice. But that's where he stayed, as leftfielder Pedro Valdez flied out to shallow right and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo struckout to frustrate themselves.
Matsui homered to rightcenter off of a hanging breaking ball in the third to double the advantage to 2-0 for Seibu.
Cabrera came up again to lead off the fourth and he put a whippin' on a 91mph fastball from Yamada and nine ironing it up into the upper reaches of the leftcenterfield bleachers and the Lions were in the catbird seat at 3-0.
Kazuhiko Iijima came out to pitch the sixth after getting the final two outs of the fifth and Kazuhiko Miayji lined a leadoff double to leftcenter. Cabrera was intentionally walked and Kazuhiro Wada sacrificed both men up 90 feet. Suzuki doubled down the rightfield line to plate two and it was 5-0 Lions.
Daiei got organized for the first time in the contest in the home portion, as Iguchi drew a one out walk and Shibahara singled to center. One out later, Kokubo doubled to rightcenter to plate both of those speedsters and partially close the gap to 5-2.
The next time the Hawks managed to make a dent was in the ninth, though that proved insufficient. Matsunaka leadoff with an infield hit. DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to left, as did Johjima to drive in Matsunaka. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama, though, lined into a 6-4 double play and Bonichi struckout to say goodnight.
The Lions are now 4.5 games up and have yet to lose three in a row. Moreover, they are 12-1 this season when Matsui scored the first inning.
For Daiei, Valdez was 0-4 and is at .276.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-1 with an RBI and three walks and a steal (!) and is at .260. He was still upset about an earlier against Daiei where he got hit on the elbow and was looking to hit the daylights out of the ball. See his swing and make your judgement as to whether he accomplished that: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/05/28/20020528013129.jpg
Mitsui (W, 4-1) IP 6.2 PC 104 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER
2 ERA 2.49
Aoki IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mizuo IP 0.1 PC 4 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.40
Mori IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.99
Toyoda (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 27 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.13
A. Yamada (L, 4-3) IP 4.0 PC 75 H 5 HR 2 K 5 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.61
Ijima IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.81
Yoshida IP 2.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.76
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.75
SB: Cabrera, Johjima
2B: K. Matsui, Takayama, H. Takagi, K. Suzuki, Miyaji, Iguchi, Kokubo
HR: K. Matsui (9), Cabrera (14)
RBI: Cabrera, K. Matsui, Kokubo 2, Johjima, K. Suzuki
GIDP: T. Itoh, Johjima
LOB: Seibu 6, Daiei 6
Game Time: 3:32
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Fujimoto (1B), Tamba (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 27 and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1958, Kokutetsu Swallows great Masaichi Kaneda achieved 64.1 consecutive innings without allowing a run to set a record. He went 31-14 with 11 shutouts and a 1.30 ERA in 332.1 innings, striking out 311 and walking only 60. Kaneda was 400-298 2.34 for his 20 season career. He had 14 consecutive seasons of 20 or more wins. Not only the greatest pitcher in Japanese history, but also the greatest hurler in Korean annals (since he was Korean).
Also, on this day in 1979, Yakult Swallows outfielder John Scott ripped a grand slam, a three run homer, a two run homer and a solo homer during a double header with Hanshin at Koshien Stadium to do the cycle in homers.Scott spent three seasons with Yakult, batting .262 with 48 homers and 159 RBIs in 279 games. He was also a two time Gold Glove winner. He played with the Padres and Blue Jays before going to Japan.
Godzilla Meets Godzilla
As part of a promotional stunt to promote the new Godzilla movie, Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui will make a cameo in the film playing himself. The folks at Toho Studios got this little brainstorm after Matsui made a joke about starring in the next installment of the cinematic franchise during a preview screening last year at the Tokyo International Film Festival for the previous chapter of the celluloid monster epic.
In Case You're Wondering....
The reason you aren't seeing me post as many links to Japanese, Korean, and Taiwanese pro baseball articles here recently is because the papers that usually do them are focusing their energies on the Soccer World Cup. Things should pick up again once the soccer tournament ends.
May 26, 2002
Hanshin Stays in the Chase with 6-0 Shutout of Dragons
Veteran Nobuyuki Hoshino bounced back from some not so great recent appearances to toss six innings of shutout baseball and then four relievers took it from there, as first baseman George Arias slugged a three run homer to power the Hanshin Tigers to a 6-0 victory over the Chunichi Dragons Sunday at Nagoya Dome. The youngster Kenta Asakura was hung with his second loss against five wins for the Dragons.
The game was marred by an incident in the ninth inning and then an even more bizarre occurrence after it was over. With a 5-0 advantage, Tigers catcher Akihiro Yano faked a bunt, causing Chunichi backstop Yuichi Yanagisawa to grumble about Yano doing that with a five run lead. Yano shot back that it wasn't up to Yanagisawa to determine his team's strategy. Yanagisawa backed down, but Leo Gomez charged over from first base and pushed Yano, causing both benches to clear. Home plate umpire Tomoyori told both sides that if they didn't knock it off he was going to start handing out ejections, which cooled things off immediately and the inning resumed.
However, once the Tigers closed the game out and went to board the team bus, a Dragons employee, Tetsuya Yamamoto, got on and started arguing with Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino. The club's brawny batting coach, Koichi Tabuchi, intervened and kept it from getting out of hand. A Hanshin team official then called an executive of the Dragons to complain and received an apology, saying that Yamamoto would be severely reprimanded. Once things cooled off and Hoshino was back at the hotel, he shrugged the whole thing off. As to whether this will be the root of any enmity between the two teams in the future remains to be seen.
The contest was scoreless until the top of the third,
when Kentaro Sekimoto got an 0-2 hanging forkball and lined it toward the
leftfield wall. Sekimoto, running full out since he thought it would hit
the wall, was almost suprised when the ball went into the crowd and, making
sure that leftfielder Scott Bullet wasn't playing the ball, slowed down and
completed his first homer trot
around the bases of his career to make it 1-0 Hanshin.
Both pitchers were throwing extremely well, but the Tigers order was able to slap Asakura around in the fifth. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka slammed a shot off the leftfield wall that Bullet played perfectly and gunned it into second to keep Imaoka at first. After Imaoka was sacrificed along, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to left. Again, Bullet was there to keep Imaoka from taking an extra base. That all became academic, though, as Arias drilled an 89mph fastball into the leftfield stands for a three run homer and a 4-0 Hanshin edge.
Sekimoto then played a central role in Hanshin getting to reliever Shinichiro Koyama in the seventh, when he seared a double to rightcenter to lead it off and came around on a two out knock to center from Imaoka and it was 5-0 Hanshin.
Hanshin then made the best of a couple of singles in the ninth when Sekimoto started it with a basehit to left. Yano struckout in the aftermath of the controversy, but Sekimoto then moved to second on a groundout to first and was converted on a single to right from Imaoka to finish the night's scoring at 6-0.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 0-4 and is at .206. Gomez was 0-3 with a walk and is at .261.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-3 with three RBIs and is over .250 for the first time this season at .253. Leftfielder Derrick White was 0-4 and is at .301.
N. Hoshino (W, 1-1) IP 6.0 PC 89 H 3 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA
A. Itoh IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.77
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Toyama IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 14.73
Date IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.12
Asakura (L, 5-2) IP 6.0 PC 83 H 5 HR 2 K 2
BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.43
Koyama IP 2.0 PC 43 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Endo IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.66
SB: Hamanaka, Yoshida
2B: Sekimoto, Hamanaka
HR: Sekimoto (1), Arias (14)
RBI: Sekimoto, Arias 3, Imaoka 2,
HBP: Hamanaka (Asakura)
LOB: Hanshin 5, Chunichi 5
Game Time: 2:49
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Arisumi (1B), Mori (2B), Watamari (3B)
Koo, Okubo Combine for Four Hit Shutout Over Lotte
A three run rally in the sixth by the Orix Blue Wave backed another stellar performance by Koo Dae-sung, who went eight scoreless innings before giving away to a perfect frame from Okubo as the Kobe nine beat the Chiba Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium Sunday 4-0. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani had a two run double off the leftfield wall to key the aforementioned uprising.
Naoyuki Shimizu started for Lotte and was solid, going seven innings of three run abll on five hits and striking out five while walking three to drop his second of the year against four wins.
Neither hurler was giving the opposition much of an opening until the fifth, when Orix Kazuhiko Shiotani tripled into the rightcenter gap with two outs. However, he was stranded when Daisuke Hayakawa struckout.
In the top of the sixth, though, Orix was finally able to sustain something against Shimizu. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka leadoff with a walk. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi singled to right and both men advanced on a sacrifice. Tani then played jai lai with a Shimizu delivery and the Blue Wave were up 2-0. One out later, Tatsuya Shindo singled to right to usher in Tani to make it 3-0 Orix.
Orix then expanded on that lead in the ninth with a walk to DH Fernando Seguignol, who was pinch run for by Tomotaka Tamaki, who was subsequently forced out on a grounder to ffirst by Shindo, a two out single to center by Shiotani and a pair of walks off of Lotte reliever Takao Inoue to force Seguignol in to widen it to 4-0.
For Lotte, Frank Bolick was 0-3 with a walk and is at .231. Leftfielder Derrick May was 0-3 and is at .221.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-3 with a walk and is at .257. First baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-4 with an error and is at .224.
Koo (W, 3-2) IP 8.0 PC 125 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB
1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.55
Okubo IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
N. Shimizu (L, 4-2) IP 7.0 PC 94 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
K. Yamasaki IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Inoue IP 0.2 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
RBI: Tani 2, Shindo, Hidaka
GIDP: Seguignol, M. Shimizu, Hori
LOB: Orix 6, Lotte 4
Game Time: 2:43
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Nakamura (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Yomiuri Holds on to Beat Hiroshima 6-3
The Yomiuri Giants went out to a 5-0 lead and then held on, as the Hiroshima Carp attempted to mount what was ultimately a futile comeback effort and Yomiuri took it 6-3. The victory allowed the Tokyo nine to maintain their thin one-half game Central League lead.
Hisanori Takahashi started for Yomiuri and had another nice outing, going 6.2 innings of three run ball before being hit around a bit and being pulled by Giants manager Tatsunori Hara in favor of Tsuyoshi Jobe.
The Giants got on the board in the top of the second when rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi jacked a pitch from Hiroshima starter Masayuki Hasegawa into the lefttcenterfield seats for the 21st dinger of his career at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, easily the most he's unloaded in any road park, for a 1-0 lead. First baseman Takayuki Saito followed that by walking, stealing second and going to third when Carp catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura threw the ball into centerfield. Shortstop Daisuke Motoki then lifted a fly ball to right and Saito hustled in to make it 2-0 visitors.
Then in the fourth, Takahashi cracked a one out single to left and sprinted home when Saito ping ponged one off the centerfield wall to put the Giants up 3-0.
Two innings later, third baseman Akira Etoh drew a one out walk and centerfielder Hideki Matsui obliterated an 89mph fastball from Hasegawa and buried it in the centerfield seats 420 feet away to make it 5-0 Yomiuri.
In the Hiroshima half, shortstop Takuya Kimura hammered a one out drive into the leftcenterfield seats for his side's initial tally, 5-1 Giants after six complete.
The Giants played some little ball in the seventh to go back up by five, as catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to left (a lot of going to the opposite field in this game by the Yomiuri order), went to second on a sacrifice bunt, motored another 90 feet on an infield hit by leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu and scored on a groundout to short to open a 6-1 gap between the Giants and the Carp.
Takahashi tired in the seventh, however, and had to be rescued. First baseman Luis Lopez leadoff with a single to center. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to right. Two fly ball outs later, pinch hitter Koichi Ogata singled to center to plate Lopez and Takuya Kimura doubled down the leftfield line to send in Maeda. Takahashi walked centerfielder Kazuki Fukuchi to load the bases and Hara went to the pen, Jobe inducing a fly ball to left from second baseman Eddie Diaz to end the inning.
From there, Hideki Okajima kept the Carp on the infield during his scoreless eighth and closer Junichi Kawahara struckout the side to seal it in the ninth.
H. Takahashi (W, 5-0) IP 6.2 PC 109 H 8 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R
3 ER 3 ERA 3.22
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.20
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
J. Kawahara (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Hasegawa (L, 3-2) IP 5.1 PC 83 H 5 HR
2 K 3 BB 2 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.38
Hiroike IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Beltran IP 0.1 PC 10 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.28
Sakai IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.62
Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: K. Kimura, Takayuki Saito
SB: Takayuki Saito, Nishi
2B: Takayuki Saito, T. Kimura, Nishi
HR: T. Kimura (2), H. Matsui (10), Y. Takahashi (8)
RBI: T. Kimura 2, H. Matsui 2, Y. Takahashi, Nishi, Takayuki Saito, Motoki, Ogata
LOB: Yomiuri 3, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kasahara (1B), Suginaga (2B), Tani (3B)
Nakamura Goes Yard for Fourth Straight Game to Win It
Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura is on a homer tear right now, going yard off of a hanging forkball from Seibu Lions reliever Shinji Mori Sunday in the top of the tenth for what would prove to be the game winner in a 4-3 Kintetsu victory at Seibu Dome. Nakamura now has ten dingers for the month, the second time he has done that in his years in the Pacific League.
Kintetsu blew a big opportunity in the first to perhaps put this one away early, as Lions starter Hisaya Tomioka walked centerfielder Naoyuki Omura, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes to load the bases with nobody out. But Nakamura flied out to shallow left, rightfielder Koichi Isobe grounded to first for the force at the plate and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka grounded to short to snuff the fire.
Tomioka's control abandoned him again in the fourth when shortstop Masahiro Abe was plunked and was pinch run for by Maeda. Catcher Tetsuya Matoyama walked and Omura singled to right to put Maeda across for a 1-0 Buffs lead.
In the fifth, Isobe walked with one out and Yoshioka singled to left. Kenshi Kawaguchi rolled to Alex Cabrera at first and he misplayed it to enable Isobe to score. Seibu manager Haruki Ihara went to the bullpen for Naoki Uchizono, who surrendered a fly ball RBI double to center by Maeda and Kintetsu was in the driver's seat at 3-0.
Buffs starter Jeremy Powell was humming along until he became mired in difficulty in the sixth. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi leadoff with a walk. One out later, Tatsuya Ozeki singled to right and centerfielder Katsuhiko Miyaji doubled down the leftfield line and Takagi crossed. Cabrera beat out a roller near second and Ozeki chugged in to make it 3-2 Kintetsu.
Kintetsu then wasted another chance in the top of the ninth. Isobe singled to center and Yoshioka singled to left. One out later, Maeda walked to pack the sacks. But then Matoyama flew out to shallow center and Omura popped out to the catcher for the third out.
In the bottom of the ninth and with one out, Kintetsu closer Akira Okamoto ran nice fat one up to the plate and Ken Suzuki cleaned and jerked it over the rightcenterfield fence to knot it at 3-3.
Fortunately for the Osaka contingent, Mori made a mistake and Nakamura didn't miss it to make it 4-3 Kintetsu. Okamoto put Seibu down in order and he vultured the win. For another report on Nakamura and this game, go to: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002052700324.html
This is the fourth time in Nakamura's career that he has gone deep in four consecutive games. His personal high for one month was 13. which he did in May of 2001. Of the ten hs he has hit this month, two have gotten Kintetsu off to 1-0 leads, one tied a game up, two put his team in the lead and three were come from behind homers that put the Buffs in front. That's the profile of an MVP and certainly Nakamura is in contention for Player of the Month with those numbers. His team is 13-1 when he has a circuit clout in a tilt.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .255.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with two walks and is at .262.
IP 6.0 PC 92 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.95
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.93
Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
A. Okamoto (W, 3-0) IP 2.1 PC 33 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.25
IP 4.2 PC 96 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 7 R 3 ER 2 ERA 4.91
Uchizono IP 0.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Mizuo IP 1.1 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Doi IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mori (l, 2-4) IP 2.0 PC 34 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.01
E: K. Suzuki
2B: Miyaji, Rhodes, Maeda
HR: N. Nakamura (16), K. Suzuki (4)
RBI: N. Nakamura, K. Suzuki, N. Omura, Miyaji, Cabrera
WP: Tomioka, Uchizono
HBP: Furuya (Powell)
GIDP: M. Abe (Tomioka)
LOB: Kintetsu 16, Seibu 5
Game Time: 3:35
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Yanagida (1B), Akimura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Cromer Homer Gives Nippon Ham 3-2 Victory Over Daiei
Nippon Ham leftfielder D.T. Cromer crushed a delivery from Daiei Hawks reliever and mortared it into the rightfield stands at Fukuoka Dome Sunday to break a 2-2 tie and give the Fighters the 3-2 win. Carlos Mirabal effectively scattered eight hits over eight innings to claim his sixth victory against one defeat to keep the Hawks from taking advantage of the loss by PL pacesetters Seibu.
Junji Hoshino began the contest for Daiei on the hill and gave Sadaharu Oh's overworked bullpen a little bit of a respite, going 7.2 innings of five hit, two run ball, striking out six, hitting two, and walking just one, though he didn't figure in the decision. He permitted one of those tallies to score in the first, when Nippon Ham shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to right to lead the game off and went to second on a sacrifice bunt. He then galloped all the way around on a single to center from DH Sherman Obando for a 1-0 Fighters edge.
In the third, second baseman Shigeyuki Furuki singled to center with one out and went to second on a groundout. Obando then spanked another safety to center and it was 2-0 Nippon Ham.
In the home half, Mirabal't throwing error allowed Daiei to catch up. DH Noriyoshi Omichi singled to right to lead it off. Rightfielder Arihito Muramatsui bounced into a force play, but then shortstop Takeshi Nonogaki singled to right and Muramatsu hotfooted it to third. Centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara flew out to right and Muramatsu tagged and scored. Mirabal then tried to pick Nonogaki off and threw it away, as he managed to get to third before the ball was relayed back to the infield. Second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled to center to plate Nonogaki to even it at 2-2.
Hoshino then got 15 of the next 17 hitters and handed it off to Okamoto in the ninth. The first hitter was Cromer and after he got through now it would be up to the Fighters newly minted closer, Hiroshi Shibakusa, who did what he is being paid for to earn his fourth save of the season to get Nippon Ham back to the hotel with the W.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez, who is mired in a slump, went 0-4 and is at .282. Morgan Burkhart was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .205.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 2-3 with a walk and two RBIs and is at .268. Cromer was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .266.
Mirabal (W, 6-1) IP 8.0 PC 117 H 8 HR 0 K 0 BB 2
R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.36
Shibakusa (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.08
IP 7.2 PC 100 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.34
Okamoto (L, 1-1) IP 1.1 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.23
2B: M. Ogasawara, Kokubo
HR: Cromer (8)
RBI: Cromer, Obando 2, Shibahara, Iguchi
HBP: Y. Tanaka (J. Hoshino), Obando (J. Hoshino)
LOB: Nippon Ham 5, Daiei 8
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kaneko (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Hayashi (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 26th and on that day in Japanese baseball history, Nankai Hawks outfielder Willie Smith just flat out didn't show up for games on the 22nd and 25th and was suspended indefinitely. He batted .259 with 29 homers and 90 RBIs in 170 total games across two seasons (1972-73) with the Hawks. In 1973, he batted .275 with five homers and 24 RBIs after hitting .255 with 24 homers and 66 RBIs in 1972. Smith played with the Angels, Dodgers, Cubs, Reds and Tigers before coming to Japan.
May 25, 2002
Questionable Pitching Change by Hara Costs Giants the Game
Yomiuri Giants starter Koji Uehara had only thrown to the plate 86 times by the end of the seventh inning and may have been able to go all the way if he could maintain that pitch per inning pace. However, for whatever reason, manager Tatsunori Hara decided to remove the ex-20 game winner and he paid for that change with a 4-3 loss, as the Hiroshima Carp wacked reliever Hideki Okajima for three runs in less than an inning to prevail at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium Saturday. This was the first time the Tokyo club had been defeated after taking a three run lead this season.
The Giants used the longball to get them off to a 3-0 advantage in the first. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff the game by spanking a single to right and was sacrificed to second. First baseman Akira Etoh walked. One out later, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi drilled an offering from Carp starter Ken Takahashi into the rightcenterfield seats.
Uehara had permitted just two hits over the first four innings, but Hiroshima rightfielder Tomonori Maeda stepped up to lead off the fifth and belted a curve ball on the outer half of the plate into the rightfield stands and it was 3-1 Giants.
Uehara was pulled after getting the Carp order out 1-2-3 in the seventh and Okajima came on for the eighth. Shortstop Takuya Kimura doubled to left and was sacrificed to third. Okajima threw a wild pitch and Kimura sped in to make it a 3-2 contest. Second baseman Eddie Diaz walked. Okajima then plunked leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto. One out later, Maeda singled to left to plate Diaz with the tying run and Hara sent Okajima to the showers in favor of Tsuyoshi Jobe. Jobe threw a seventh pitch forkball to third baseman Takahiro Arai and he laced it to left to usher in the speedy Kanemoto and now the home team had a 4-3 edge. Would closer Yasuhiro Oyamada be able to preserve it?
Etoh was the first batter of the top of the ninth and he jumped on an Oyamada pitch and ripped it toward right, However, Diaz cut it off at the pass for the first out. Next was Godzilla Matsui and Oyamada fanned him. Takahashi, who had two hits in his previous three at bats, including the homer was now up. But Oyamada kept the ball down and induced a weak grounder to first and the Carp had a come from behind victory and the Central League race tightened up a notch.
Maeda is now hitting .350 with an OPS of .992. Now the question is, how long is he going to be healthy? Eddie Diaz is one of the league leaders in both homers with 13 and average at .336 with an OPS of 1.041. But his compatriot across the diamond, Luis Lopez, has dropped off to .284 and has homered only four times. His OBP is a measly .298. One has to think that perhaps that incident with Maeda has affected Lopez mentally, although Maeda doesn't seems to have been shaken by it at all.With Hiroshima's inconsistent pitching, they have to have their big guns firing on all six to have a chance to be more than just a .500 ballclub. Certainly, they have to get more out of star outfielder Kanemoto than the .235 average he has posted so far. Right now, though, they are looking more like a spoiler than a contender.
IP 7.0 PC 86 H 6 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.82
Okajima (L, 2-1) IP 0.2 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.75
Jobe IP 0.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
IP 7.0 PC 105 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.02
Tomabechi (W, 2-3) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Oyamada (S, 11) IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
2B: Uehara, Arai, T. Kimura
HR: Y. Takahashi (7), T. Maeda (8)
RBI: Y. Takahashi 3, T. Maeda 2, Arai
HBP: Kanemoto (Okajima)
GIDP: Motoki, T. Shimizu
LOB: Yomiuri 2, Hiroshima 7
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Suginaga (1B), Tani (2B), Watada (3B)
Moore Gets Hanshin Within Half a Game with One Hit Shutout
Former Atlanta Brave lefthander Trey Moore almost no hit the Chunichi Dragons Saturday at Nagoya Dome, but that bid was foiled by his opposite number, former Mariner Melvin Bunch, who guided a Moore 87mph fastball safely to right in the bottom of the sixth for the only Dragons hit to raise his season average to .316. Bunch, who has tossed a no-no in Japan, went all the way in a 3-0 loss to the Osaka club.
Hanshin got on the big board in the second, when first baseman George Arias destroyed a Bunch delivery, launching it up into the third deck in left 490 feet away to make it 1-0 Tigers. That was his first dinger in ten games.
A bit of little ball enabled Hanshin to score again, as leftfielder Derrick White leadoff the fifth with a double into the rightcenter alley and went ot third on a sacrifice. Catcher Akihiro Yano walked. Saito beat out a tapper and White hustled in for a 2-0 Tigers advantage.
The Tigers then used some patience to get to Bunch again in the eighth. Hidemitsu Saito legged out a bleeder toward third. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka and Arias walked to pack the sacks. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama flied out to right to recall Saito and it was 3-0 Hanshin.
After Bunch's knock, Moore got the next eleven men in order to finish the Dragons off in high style and earn his fifth win.Moore had never even pitched a complete game shutout in his entire stateside pro career, which makes this feat even more special for him.
The last time a pitcher had broken up a no hit, no run game was in 1969, when Hall of Famer Keishi Suzuki of the Kintetsu Buffaloes did it. Souhachi Aniya of the Hiroshima Carp did the same thing that year as well.
The Dragons have now racked up three consecutive defeats in the wake of their eight game winning streak.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-2 with an RBI and two walks and is at .247. White was 1-4 and is at .309.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 and is at .233.
Moore (W, 5-3) IP 9.0 PC 115 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.10
Bunch (L, 4-4) IP 9.0 PC 124 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.69
2B: White, Yano
HR: Arias (13)
RBI: Arias, H. Saito, Hiyama
HBP: Ibata (Moore)
LOB: Hanshin 6, Chunichi 2
Game Time: 2:27
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Mori (1B), Watamari (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Yoshimi Rebounds with First Ever Complete Game Shutout Against Yakult
Yokohama Bay Stars starter Yuji Yoshimi was tremendous in his first outing for the team in a winning effort, but had gotten cuffed around in subsequent performances. Fortunately, he may have saved his job in the rotation Saturday with a complete game tour de force, scattering four hits, all singles, and striking out ten while walking none in a 5-0 Stars victory at Meiji Jingu Stadium. He was so dominating that no runner went further than first base and his command so phenomenal that he went to a three ball count just twice. He went into the sixth with a no hitter before second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi singled cleanly to center to ruin it.
Yakult's defense let them down in this one, as a miscue by third baseman Akinori Iwamura lead to two unearned runs in the second. Yokohama third baseman Mike Gulan leadoff by grounding one to Iwamura, who fumbled it to allow Gulan to reach. Takahiro Saeki singled to right. One out later, catcher Takeshi Nakamura walked to load the bases. Yoshimi singled to right to drive in Gulan and shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to center to see Saeki in and it was 2-0 Stars.
Yokohama then lit up Takahiko Hagiwara, a rookie making his first pro start, in the fourth for another pair. With two gone, Nakamura singled to center. Yoshimi singled to left. Ishii rammed shot into therightcenter gap to get both runners in to make it 4-0 Stars.
An inning later, Nakamura creamed a pitch from Hagiwara and deposited it in the leftfield seats to conclude the night's scoring.
The Swallows are really hurting now, as in the aftermath of Atsunori Inaba going out with a rib injury, regular centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka is nursing an oblique muscle strain. Consequently, Takenori Daita got his first start of the year in center.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-4 and is at .252. Gulan was 0-4 and is at .225.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine had a bunt basehit in three chances and is at .296. Unfortunately, he also pulled a quadracep muscle and will be out of action for a while. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-3 and is at .325.
Yoshimi (W, 2-2) IP 9.0 PC 122 H 4 HR 0 K 10 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.67
Hagiwara (L, 0-2) IP 6.0 PC 117 H 9 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 5 ER 3 ERA 5.63
Teramaura IP 3.0 PC 38 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.63
2B: T. Ishii, T. Suzuki
HR: T. Nakamura (2)
RBI: T. Nakamura, T. Ishii 3, Yoshimi
LOB: Yokohama 5, Yakult 3
Game Time: 2:38
Umpires: Honda (HP), Shikida? (1B), Manabe (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Rhodes Grand Slam Downs Seibu 8-4
Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes struck the decisive blow in what had been a 4-4 ballgame Saturday at Seibu Dome against the Lions, as he picked on a first pitch slider in the top of the ninth with the bases loaded from nemesis Yoshihiro Doi and parked it in the rightfield seats to put this one in the win column for the Buffs 8-4.
Seibu jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning against Kintetsu starter Katsuhiko Maekawa, as DH Toshiaki Inubushi singled to left with two outs, leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada slapped a knock to right and rightfielder Hisashi Takayama went yard to left.
Kintetsu drew within a run in the third when DH Kenshi Kawaguchi lead off with a single to right and catcher Tetsuya Matoyama dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 to leftcenter to make it 3-2. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura tripled to rightcenter, but was stranded when second baseman Eiji Muzuguchi struckout and Rhodes popped out to short.
Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura was the first hitter in the top of the fourth and he cleaned and jerked a first pitch fastball from Lions starter Fumiya Nishiguchi and gave someone in the leftfield seats a souvenir while also knotting it at 3-3.
Kintetsu then went to the front of the line in the fifth when shortstop Masahiro Abe commenced the stanza by homering to left for a 4-3 lead. The Buffs then proceeded to load the bases with a single to center from Matoyama, a single to right from Omura and a one out walk to Rhodes, but Nakamura fouled out to first and rightfielder Koichi Isobe flied out to left to blow the scoring opportunity.
The Lions then wasted a great chance in the sixth, when Inubushi and Wada singled with nobody out and were wild pitched along. Unfortunately for the home folks, though, Takayama struckout, first baseman Hiroaki Ueda grounded to third and pinch hitter Tetsuya Kakiuchi popped out and that was that.
In the eighth, Seibu evened it up 4-4 with a tour of the leftfield bleachers by Wada.
In the Kintetsu half of the ninth, Matoyama seared a two out double to left off of Shinji Mori and Omura walked. Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui then made the Buffs win possible when he booted a grounder. Rhodes checked in Seibu manager Haruki Ihara came out to make a unique double switch. He put Mori at first base and waved in Doi with the intention to have Mori take the mound again after Doi got through with him. Rhodes had been 2-25 with 11 strikeouts lifetime against Doi and 0-13 last season and 0-2 in 2002. But Rhodes ruined Ihara's plan and Mori was saddled with the loss.
Rhodes and Nakamura have homered in each of the last three games and are 11-11 when they have gone yard in the same contest this season.
For Seibu, first baseman Alex Cabrera sat this one out.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with a walk and four RBIs and is at .263.
IP 7.0 PC 103 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.03
Takamura (W, 4-2) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.41
A. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.93
Nishiguchi IP 6.0 PC 93 H
7 HR 3 K 4 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.32
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mori (L, 2-3) IP 0.2 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 0 ERA 1.77
Doi IP 0.1 PC 11 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
E: K. Matsui
HR: Matoyama (2), N. Nakamura (15), M. Abe (2), Rhodes (19), Takayama (1), Wada (8)
RBI: Matoyama 2, N. Nakamura, M. Abe, Rhodes 4, Takayama 3, Wada
WP: Maekawa 2
LOB: Kintetsu 6, Seibu 5
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Akimura (1B), Tachibana (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Tokano Sets Record for Non-Complete Starts in Victory Over Lotte
Orix Blue Wave starter Hisashi Tokano isn't having all that wonderful a 2002, but he wrote his name in Japanese baseball annals Saturday at Chiba Marine Stadium when he went his 67th start without finishing the game, something that had never happened before in the 67 seasons of pro play in Japan. He went six innings of one unearned run ball on two hits before Orix manager Hiromichi Ishige called on the reinforcements to finish the final three innings.
Blue Wave first baseman Scott Sheldon homered to left in the second to get his club a 1-0 lead. That was supplemented by a circuit clout to left in the fourth from DH Fernando Seguignol, the first time this season that the club's two foreign position players had done so in the same game, to make it 2-0. Shortstop Tatsuya Shindo was up after Seguignol and walked, as did Sheldon. First baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani singled to left and Shindo galloped in and it was 3-0 Orix after four.
Lotte finally responded in the sixth, as centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to center with two away and first baseman Kazuya Fukuura doubled off the rightfield wall to make it 3-1.
Orix added an insurance run in the top of the seventh when leftfielder Daisuke Hayakawa singled to center and went to second on a groundout. Rightfielder Manabu Satake singled to center and Hayakawa toed the dish for a 4-1 Blue Wave edge.
Lotte leftfielder Derrick May leadoff the bottom of the seventh with a two bagger into the rightfield corner and was pushed across on a single to center by rightfielder Kenji Morozumi to narrow the Orix advantage to 4-2. Fukuura had a two out double in the eighth, but then the Lotte order went away quietly in the ninth to wrap up the defeat.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .230. Seguignol was 1-4 and is at .263.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .236. May was 1-4
Tokano (W, 3-2) IP 6.0 PC 86 H 2 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 4.17
Imamura IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.59
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.86
Okubo (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
K. Kato (L, 2-6) IP 7.0 PC 116 H 6 HR 2 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.51
Sikorsky IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.47
SB: Shindo, Morozumi
2B: Fukuura 2, May
HR: Sheldon (3), Seguignol (16)
RBI: Sheldon, Seguignol, Satake, Shiotani, Morozumi
LOB: Orix 3, Lotte 5
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Daiei Starter Gets Hammered Again in Loss to Nippon Ham
Another Daiei starter got his clocked cleaned Saturday and Nippon Ham moundsman Kanemura took advantage by picking up the victory after going seven innings of three run (one earned) ball in a 6-3 Fighters win at Fukuoka Dome. The Hawks loss also broke a 15 game winning streak when first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo had homered in the same game.
Nippon Ham went out to an early 3-0 lead in the second when leftfielder D.T. Cromer went long to right with one out. Rightfielder Yukio Tanaka singled to left and third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto then waxed Hawks starter Tomohiro Nagai with a shot into the rightfield bleachers.
The next inning, Fighters shortstop Makoto Kaneko leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed along. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara, batting .388 on the season, carromed a Nagai pitch off the leftfield wall to bring in Kaneko with a fourth run and oust Nagai.
Three singles off of Hawks reliever Masahito Higasa
resulted in two more runs for Nippon Ham, as Kimoto and catcher Toshihiro
Noguchi had one out knocks and Kaneko brought them in by going back up the
middle with two outs for a 6-0
Daiei got one back in their at bat in that inning, as Kokubo jacked one out to leftcenter to make it 6-1.
The Hawks then did their final scoring in the sixth, when Kokubo grounded to Kimoto, who misplayed it, and Matsunaka went to the biggest part of the yard for a two run homer, his first in seven games, to reduce the gap with the Fighters to 6-3.
In the seventh, the Hawks got the tying run to the plate with nobody out, but pinch hitter Koji Bonishi and centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara struckout and second baseman Tadahito Iguchi flied out to left and for all intents and purposes, the game was over, since Daiei went six up and six down over the last two innings.
For Nippon Ham, leftfielder Sherman Obando was 0-4 and is at .261. DH D.T. Cromer was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .267.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-4 with
two strikeouts and is at .289. DH Morgan Burkhart was 1-4 and is at
Kanemura (W, 2-0) IP 7.0 PC 122 H 6 HR 2 K 7 BB 1 R 3 ER 1 ERA
Iba IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.93
Shibakusa (S, 3) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.32
Nagai (L, 0-1) IP 2.2
PC 42 H 5 HR 2 K 2 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 9.64
Higasa IP 2.0 PC 42 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Iijima IP 1.1 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.28
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.2 PC 38 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.82
Okamoto IP 1.1 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: M. Ogasawara 2, Shibahara
HR: Cromer (7), Kimoto (3), Kokubo (14), Matsunaka (8)
RBI: Kaneko 2, Kimoto 2, M. Ogasawara, Cromer, Kokubo, Matsunaka 2
LOB: Nippon Ham 5, Daiei 5
Game Time: 3:29
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Hayashi (2B), Maeda (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 25th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1970, Akio Masuda, Masaaki Ikenaga, and Yorinobu Yoda, all pitchers with the Nishitetsu Lions, were all banned for life for participating in the "black mist incident" that revolved around fixing auto races and baseball games. May baseball writers and fans, as well as Ikenaga himself, believe that Ikenaga, who was then arguably on his way to a Hall of Fame career, had almost nothing to do with the scandal and shouldn't have been kept away from the game. He's Japan's answer to Shoeless Joe Jackson in that regard.
The same year, an umpire named Motoya Kirisaki filed a complaint with local prosecutors over a "violent incident" with Toei Flyers centerfielder Jinten Haku. Ultimately, a settlement was reached and no prosecution went forward.
Haku is kind of an interesting character. He went to high school in Kyoto and then worked at Korea Agricultural Bank before joining the Flyers in 1963. He became a regular in 1965 and lead the Pacific League in triples with nine in 1969, when he batted .291 after hitting a then career high .296 the previous season. As a member of the Taiheiyo Club Lions in 1975, he won his only batting title with a .319 average, getting just enough at bats to qualify. His best all around season was in 1979 with Lotte, when he hit .340 (third in the league) with 18 homers and 781 RBIs at the age of 36. He was also a two time league doubles champ (1970 and 1972). Lifetime, he batted .278 with 209 homers and an OPS of .746 in 19 seasons and was named to the all star team four times.
He then went to Korea and was instrumental in forming the pro league there as a player-manager, winning a batting championship in the first season of the KBO in 1982 with an average of .412 in 72 games for MBC. The following season, he went to another ballclub (Sami---I'm not sure how the characters are read in Korean) and was arrested for adultery. He later went on to manage the LG Twins and the Samsung Lions. He is now a tv commentator for SBS in Korea.
Furuta, Ramirez Homers Back Brilliant Sakamoto Outing in 5-1 Yakult Victory
In a game that was marred by a freak collision between Yokohama Bay Stars ace Daisuke Miura and Yakult Swallows rightfielder Atsunori Inaba, Yakult rookie Yataro Sakamoto went 7.2 stellar innings of four hit, one run ball to grab his first pro victory Friday at Meiji Jingu Stadium 5-1. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez spearheaded the triumph with a homer and three RBIs to help his team stay within close proximity to the Hanshin Tigers and the Yomiuri Giants in the CL standings.
The Swallows got some timely hitting in the bottom of the third, as second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi leadoff by legging out a dribbler and was sacrificed to second. One out later, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto zapped one back up through the middle of the diamond to plate Dobashi. Miura ran to back up behind home plate and had a violent collision with Inaba, bumping his head on Inaba's helmet as the latter went to retrieve Miyamoto's bat and the veteran righthanded Stars hurler had to come out of the game with a gash over one eye. Inaba then went up and, despite hurtin his ribs in the incident, cracked a basehit to center off of Yokohama reliever Ryuichi Kawahara to keep the inning going, though Miyamoto was thrown out at the plate to end the inning with Yakult up 1-0.
Sakamoto struckout the side in the fourth and his catcher, Atsuya Furuta, rewarded him for the feat by mincing a meat ball run up to the plate by Kawahara and leaving it in the leftfield bleachers to make it 2-0 Swallows.
Yakult got some breathing room in the sixth when first baseman Roberto Petagine leadoff with a single to left, Furuta beat out a bunt and Ramirez cleared one for takeoff from Shane Bowers, landing it deep into the leftcenterfield seats for a three run homer as the Swallows famous umbrella oendan did its thing in what was now a 5-0 ballgame.
Sakamoto, who was celebrating his 20th birthday, did a fine job of mixing up his 88mph fastball, curve, slider and splitter to frustrate the opposition, but he got a cookie up in rightfielder Boi Rodrigues wheelhouse in the seventh and the former Mexican League homer king crunched it over the leftfield wall to shrink the disparity to 5-1. Sakamoto regrouped and got the next four hitters he faced until pinch hitter Tatsuhiko Kinjo zipped a double down the rightfield line with two out in the eighth. At 108 pitches, this was the furthest into a game Sakamoto had gone and Swallows manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu thought he might be tiring, so he rang Hirotoshi Ishii's chimes and the veteran retired four of the last five Stars hitters of the game to secure it for the youngster.
Sakamoto's mother, Kazuko, died five years ago of stomach cancer, so he said that he would leave the game ball on the family butsudan for her when he got home. He had known some glory at Koshien as a senior at Urawa Gakuin High School, striking out 19 in a game against Hachiman Commercial High School to tie a record. He was then drafted on the fourth round by the Swallows in 2000.
Miura's fine, though it took seven stitches to close the wound over his eye. Inaba was removed from the game and taken off the roster with the rib ailment, something that a Yakult roster that is already missing Tetsuya Iida can't afford. So somebody is going to have to step it up in his absence.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan wore a golden sombrero (four at bats, four whiffs) and is at .233. Rodrigues was 2-3 with an RBI and a walk and is at .261.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 and an HBP and is at .295. Ramirez was 1-4 with
three RBIs and is at .325.
2-8) IP 2.2 PC 40 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA
Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.23
Higashi IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Bowers IP 2.0 PC 39 H 4 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.00
Hosomi IP 2.0 PC 30 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.50
Sakamoto (W, 1-1)
IP 7.2 PC 108 H 4 HR 1 K 10 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.57
H. Ishii IP 1.1 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.85
SB: S. Miyamoto
HR: Rodrigues (10), Furuta (2), Ramirez (8)
RBI: Furuta, Ramirez 3, Rodrigues, S. Miyamoto
HBP: Petagine (Hosomi), Furuta (Hosomi)
LOB: Yokohama 6, Yakult 6
Game Time: 2:45
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Manabe (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Honda (3B)
Kuroda Three Hits Giants 1-0
The Hiroshima Carp received an excellent complete game performance from Hiroki Kuroda Friday, as he limited the Yomiuri Giants to three measly singles and fanned 13 in a 1-0 shutout at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. To add to the specialness of his stint, Kuroda had been out a month with a back complaint. Often times, pitchers who have missed so much time come back with their command a little off, but not Kuroda.
The Carp got the only run it required in the third inning, when they combined a two out double from shortstop Akihiro Higashide and an RBI single from Takuya Kimura to make it 1-0.
Kuroda just put it into cruise control from there, striking out the side in the second and the fifth, each time the batters in those frames being centerfielder Godzilla Matsui, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi and first baseman Takayuki Saito. One of the three hits was an infield roller and aside from the other two singles, no other ball reached the outfield, a remarkable achievement against the heavy hitting Giants order. His fastball was clocked at 92mph and his forkball at 87mph to get his first ever shutout against Yomiuri.
Yomiuri starter Masumi Kuwata took over the Central League ERA lead with his strong seven innings of one run, eight hit ball, striking out five and walking two to get hung with the loss. Along with the resurrection of the careers of Keiichi Yabu and Tetsuya Shiozaki, Kuwata's 2002 campaign is one of the stories of the year since he is a guy who was almost released last season. God knows, Kuwata needs the money after losing a ton of cash during the bubble days in bad real estate deals. A former ERA champ, this is the first time he has lead the league in that department since June of 1997.
2-4) IP 7.0 PC 132 H 8 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.70
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 27 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Kuroda (W, 2-1) IP 9.0 PC 124 H 3 HR 0 K 13 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.66
RBI: T. Kimura
LOB: Yomiuri 4, Hiroshima 10
Game Time: 3:32
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Tani (1B), Watada (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Minchey Shuts Out Orix 5-0
Big Chiba Lotte Marines righthander Natahan Minchey twirled a beauty Friday at Chiba Marine Stadium, as, backed by five first inning runs, he scattered three hits and walked only one while striking out three to become only the second foreigner to weave a whitewash in both leagues in beating Orix 5-0.
Ed Yarnell started for the Blue Wave and after getting hammered for five hits and hitting a man in the first, settled down to allow only two hits over the following four innings so that manager Hiromichi Ishige didn't have to burn up his bullpen. A very professional outing by the ex-Red even if the results weren't what he had wished.
In that initial stanza, second baseman Koichi Hori kicked it off with a single to center. Yarnell then nailed centerfielder Saburo Omura. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura peppered a double down the rightfield line to score Hori. DH Frank Bolick found a hole on the leftside for an RBI and leftfielder Derrick May flied out to left to get Fukuura in and it was 3-0 Lotte. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to left and rightfielder Yukihiko Sato singled to center to plate Bolick and catcher Masaumi Shimizu flied to right to bring in Hatsushiba and it was 5-0 for the Chiba denizens after one complete.
After Orix second baseman Koichi Oshima singled to leadoff the fourth, the Kobe contingent didn't have another safety until centerfielder Daisuke Hayakawa leadoff the ninth with a double down the leftfield line. Minchey then shut the door with a couple of weak groundballs and a pop out and it was "game setto."
The last foreign hurler to throw shutouts in the both the CL and PL was Tooru "Bill" Nishida, who did it by spinning a whitewash for Yomiuri in 1955 and for the Toei Flyers (now Nippon Ham) in 1958. He pitched in Japan for a total of six seasons between 1952-1963 (there was one three year break and another for a year) and he went 31-34 with a 2.66 ERA in 150 total appearances (621.2 lifetime innings). He amassed six shutouts during that time. This was Minchey's first in four years, since he was with Hiroshima.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .242. May was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .226.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 0-3 and is at .264. Third baseman Scott
Sheldon was 0-3 and is at .228.
3-4) IP 5.0 PC 79 H 7 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.53
Hagiwara IP 2.0 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.97
Yuuki IP 1.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Minchey (W, 3-6) IP 9.0 PC 112 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA3.22
2B: Hayakawa, Fukuura, Hori
RBI: Fukuura, Bolick, May, Sato, M. Shimizu
SF: May, M. Shimizu
HBP: S. Omura (Yarnell)
GIDP: Tani, Seguignol
LOB: Orix 2, Lotte 7
Game Time: 2:17
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Nakamura (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Sasaki Wild Pitch Gives Terahara Second Win
Daiei Hawks rookie righthander Hayato Terahara had another go at Nippon Ham Friday and dazzled them with eight innings of two run baseball on six hits while striking out seven and walking none to scoop up his second win against a loss at Fukuoka Dome thanks to a wild pitch from Fighters reliever Kiyoshi Sasaki that enabled the birds of prey to take it 3-2.
The Daiei rotation has been awful in the team's last five contests, posting an unsightly 17.08 ERA, so the brilliant Terahara outing gave Hawks shot caller Sadaharu Oh a much needed respite from the bombardment. The Miyazaki phenom had worked with Daiei coaches on changing his motion so that he could hide the ball a little better, and it worked here, as he was clocked at 92mph and got his changeup and slider over consistently for strikes. The seven K's matched a career high.
Itsuki Shoda started for Nippon Ham and excelled, also allowing two runs, but on five hits and walking one while striking out four in seven innings for a no decision.
Terahara had a rough beginning, as the Fighters bruised him in the first when shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to right with one out, first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to left and DH Sherman Obando followed suit to pack the sacks. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer flied out to right to plate Kaneko and third baseman Yukio Tanaka singled to center to deliver Ogasawara for a 2-0 Nippon Ham edge.
Hawks rightfielder Koji Akiyama got his side off the shnide with a homer to left in the third to make it 2-1 Fighters. Two outs later, centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara legged out a tapper near short and leftfielder Pedro Valdez lined a shot into the leftcenter alley. Shibahara, running on contact, made it all the way in and it was tied at 2-2.
Terahara permitted only two more hits over the ensuing seven innings after that rocky first and Daiei played some small ball for the deciding run. In the bottom of the eighth, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi walked to lead it off. Shibahara sacrificed and somehow Iguchi made it to third.With leftfielder Pedro Valdez up at the plate, Sasaki unleashed an errant pitch and Iguchi hustled in with the lead run to make it 3-2 Hawks.
After Hirokazu Watanabe got the first man in the ninth, closer Rodney Pedraza was summoned and he struckout Obando for the second out. Cromer bashed a double to leftcenter to put the tying run in scoring position. Tanaka, though, grounded out and the Hawks went home with a victory in the books.
The last time a Hawks rookie had won two games fresh out of high school was Shinichi Kato in 1984, who went 5-4 with a 2.76 ERA that season. His first two victories were in relief, however. The only one to win his first two as a starter was Goro Tomishima, who went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 1956.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .268. Cromer was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .265.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .296.
IP 7.0 PC 114 H 5 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.00
Sasaki (L, 2-3) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Terahara (W, 2-1)
IP 8.0 PC 120 H 6 HR 0 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.86
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.96
Pedraza (S, 7) IP 0.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.76
2B: Ide, P. Valdez, Cromer
HR: Akiyama (3)
RBI: Akiyama, P. Valdez, Cromer, Y. Tanaka
Balk: Shoda 2
LOB: Nippon Ham 4, Daiei 4
Game Time: 2:55
Umpires: Kaneko (HP), Hayashi (1B), Maeda (2B), Fujimoto (3B)
Gaillard: You Know What's Coming, Now Just Try to Hit It
Interesting profile of Chunichi Dragons closer Eddie Gaillard by the Asahi Shimbun at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002052301190.html
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 24th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1942, the longest ever game was played between the Nagoya Club (a predecessor of the Chunichi Dragons) and Taiyo at Korakuen Stadium that ended in a tie after 28 innings. Amazingly, both team's starters, the great Jiro Noguchi for Taiyo and Michio Nishizawa for Nagoya, went all the way. Noguchi threw 527.1 innings that season, finishing with a 40-17 (19 shutouts) record and a 1.19 ERA. He then went to Nishitetsu the following season (a predecessor of the Nishitetsu Lions) and 25-12 in 385 innings with a 1.45 ERA. After the war, he joined the Hankyu Braves and went 24-17 with a 2.26 ERA in 382 innings and then went steadily down hill from there, washed up by 1952. Overall, he was 237-139 with a 1.96 ERA in 12 seasons.
Nishizawa went 7-11 with a 1.75 ERA in 211 innings, but he made most of his
living as a hard hitting first baseman, cracking 46 homers in 1950 for the
Chunichi Dragons. He also won a batting crown with a .353 mark in 1952. He
had a 20-9 season for Nagoya on the mound in 1940, but never registered double
figures in wins before or after that. He did toss a no hitter in 1942, though,
on July 18.
May 23, 2002
Hanshin Explodes on Giants 11-4
Way Back Wasdin was on the mound for Yomiuri Thursday Night at Koshien Stadium and indeed he lived up to his nickname when he was taken deep by both shortstop Hidemitsu Saito and catcher Akihiro Yano and ended up permitting six runs, four earned, in two innings in an 11-4 buttkicking by the Hanshin Tigers. The victory also ended Hanshin's seven game losing skein at their homeground.
Shinji Taninaka started for Hanshin and while he wasn't exactly wonderful out there, he was good enough to cadge a win, his fourth against two defeats.
Hanshin toasted Wasdin for two in the first, as Saito walked with one out and centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to center. First baseman George Arias singled to left and both Saito and Hamanaka dashed in to make it 2-0. How Hamanaka did it is a mystery to me since there weren't any wild pitches or steals in the sequence. In any event, Hanshin had the upper hand.
In the second, Yano leadoff by burying a Wasdin delivery in the centerfield bleachers. Taninaka grounded to Giants shortstop Masahiro Kawai, who booted it. Saito then lit up Wasdin for his first pro jack and it was 5-0 Hanshin. Hamanaka doubled down the leftfield line. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to center to push Hamanaka across for a 6-0 advantage.
Saito got a mini rally started for the Tigers in the fourth off of Cho Sung-min when he walked and went to second on an infield hit by Hamanaka. Arias grounded into a double play, but on the play Saito moved to third. Hiyama singled to right and it was now 7-0 Hanshin.
Yomiuri countered in the fifth when third baseman Akira Etoh leadoff with a single to center and first baseman Takayuki Saito mortared one into the rightfield bleachers to reduce the gap with Hanshin to 7-2.
Hanshin didn't quit, though and in the home half got a leadoff single from third baseman Kentaro Sekimoto and a two out run scoring double from Imaoka to make it 8-2.
Yomiuri took that one back when leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu began the sixth with a single to center and pinch hitter Koji Goto doubled off the centerfield wall to send Shimizu to third. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi lifted a sac fly to left and it was 8-3.
Hector Almonte came on in the bottom of the inning for Yomiuri and allowed his first earned run of the year. Hamanaka got it going with a single to left. Arias also went left for a hit. Hiyama grounded into a 4-6-3 double play and leftfielder Derrick White singled in Hamanaka for a 9-3 lead.
In the eighth, a miscue by Yomiuri second baseman Toshihisa Nishi gave the Tigers their final tallies of the game. With one out, pinch hitter Hiroshi Yagi singled to left. One out later, Nishi threw the ball away on a grounder from backup third baseman Shuta Tanaka and both runners scored to make it 11-3.
In the ninth, Yomiuri centerfielder Hideki Matsui leadoff with a double down the leftfield line off of closer Mark Valdez. Etoh grounded to Tanaka and he booted it. Saito grounded into a 6-4-3 twin killing, but Matsui came in on the play and it was 11-4. Valdez walked Nishi and Daisuke Motoki singled to center. Second string shortstop Kenji Fukui grounded to third and it was finally over.
After the game, Hanshin announced the aquisition of the little (5'6" 160 pounds) sidearming lefty Takehiro Hashimoto from Seibu in exchange for Tom Evans, who had been toiling on Hanshin's farm team. Why Seibu made this deal is anyone's guess, though the ostensible justification is that they wanted to shore up their offense with Evans, something that makes little sense in light of the ex-Ranger and Tiger's .242 with two homers in 39 games stats from last season. This is a big winner for Hanshin and it shores up a glaring weakness in their bullpen, lefthanded relief. Hashimoto holds the Japanese record for most consecutive appearances without a start, 488 and counting.
For Yomiuri,. Felipe Crespo was 0-1 in a pinch hitting appearance and is at .118.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-5 with two RBIs and is at .244. White was 2-5 and is at .311.
Wasdin (L, 1-4
) IP 2.0 PC 67 H 8 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 6
ER 4 ERA 4.08
Cho IP 3.0 PC 41 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.00
Almonte IP 2.0 PC 39 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.13
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 0 ERA 2.87
Taninaka (W, 4-2
) IP 5.2 PC 98 H 6 HR 1 K 5 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Fukuhara IP 1.1 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.64
M. Valdez IP 2.0 PC 35 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.57
E: M. Kawai, Nishi, Y. Takahashi, H. Saito, S. Tanaka
2B: K. Goto, H. Matsui, Hamanaka, Imaoka, Yano
HR: Takayuki Saito (4), Yano (3), H. Saito (1)
RBI: Takayuki Saito 2, Y. Takahashi, Yano, Saito 2, Imaoka, Arias 2, Hiyama 2
SF: Y. Takahashi
GIDP: T. Shimizu, Y. Takahashi, Takayuki Saito, Arias, Hiyama
LOB: Yomiuri 5, Hanshin 10
Game Time: 3:40
Umpires: Ino (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Ramirez Two Run Homer a Winner for Yakult
A dinger into the leftfield bleachers by Yakult Swallows leftfielder Alex Ramirez in the top of the 11th inning with third baseman Akinori Iwamaura was the difference in this ballgame with the Chunichi Dragons Thursday, as the bird beat the Nagoya nine 7-6. Righthanded fireballer Ryota Igarashi scooped up his fifth victory already this season, all in relief.
Rookie Masanori Ishikawa started for Yakult and was knocked around pretty good by the Dragons batting order, giving up four runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. But on the other side of the field, Dragons starter Daisuke Yamai was in "hitorizumo (fighting yourself)" mode, walking six and seeing seven of his offerings fall safely in 4.1 innings, though only two Swallows baserunners made it to the plate during his tenure on the hill. Eventually, Chunichi got out to a 5-2 lead, but an RBI single from Swallows third baseman Akinori Iwamura in the eighth tied it up and then leftfielder Alex Ramirez homered to left with Iwamura on in the 11th to emerge on top 7-6.
The Dragons took a second inning 1-0 lead when Junichi Jinno jerked an Ishikawa pitch over the leftfield wall with one away. Rightfielder Jun Inoue singled to center and went to second on a groundout. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige singled up the middle and Inoue wheeled on in to make it 2-0.
Yakult halved that deficit in the third when shortstop Shinya Miyamoto beat out a little roller near second. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to left and first baseman Roberto Petagine doubled down the leftfield line to plate Miyamoto and it was 2-1 Dragons.
The Swallows deadlocked it in the fifth, as Petagine leadoff with a knock to center and catcher Atsuya Furuta singled to right. Both men moved up on a groundball to first. Yamai intentionally walked Ramirez to load the bases and second baseman Chihiro Hamana battled for a free pass to force in Peta-chan with the tying run and compel Dragons boss Hisashi Yamada to go to the pen for Masahiro Yamamoto, who struckout Ishikawa and induced a ground ball to short from pinch hitter Shinichi Sato to end the inning.
Chunichi returned to the top of the heap in the bottom half of the inning when Yamamoto legged out an infield hit, shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to left and, one out later, centerfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled in Yamamoto to give the home team a 3-2 advantage.
The next inning, Inoue leadoff with a double into the leftfield corner and went to third on a sac bunt. Ishikawa was replaced by Tomokazu Teramaura. Tanishige walked. Pinch hitter Kazuyoshi Tatsunami flied to left and Inoue sped in and Ibata singled to center to send Tanishige in to put the Dragons in control 5-2.
The score stayed that way until the eighth, when Yakult put a whipping on Dragons reliever Masataka Endo. Sato, now in center, leadoff with a single and Miyamoto flogged one over the leftfield fence to pull up to 5-4. Two outs later, Furuta singled to left and backup leftfielder Takayuki Onishi misplayed it to get Furuta into scoring position. Iwamura then exploited it with an RBI single to right to level it at 5-5.
The Dragons loaded the bases in their portion with a leadoff single by Jiro Fujitate, a walk to Fukudome and an intentional walk to Hiroyuki Watanabe. The infield came up and backup centerfielder Toshio Haru grounded to second, Hajime Miki going to the plate for the force. Second baseman Morino then whiffed to blow what could have been a chance to wrap this one up in regulation.
Fastforwarding to the top of the 11th, Iwamura walked and Ramirez launched his rocket to put the Swallows ahead 7-5.
However, the Dragons wouldn't go easily against Yakult closer Shingo Takatsu. With a man down, Gomez beat out a dribbler near the mound. Third baseman Watanabe singled to center. Haru singled to left to load the bases. Pinch hitter Sekikawa flied out to center to usher in Gomez, but Tanishige came up empty and Takatsu had save number 206.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-5 with a walk and an RBI and is at .295. Ramirez was 2-4 with two walks and two RBIs and is at .327.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 1-4 and is at .259. Gomez was 1-5 with a walk and is at .270.
Ishikawa IP 5.1 PC 84 H 9
HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.31
Teramura IP 0.2 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.23
Newman IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.65
Kawabata IP 2.0 PC 45 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
R. Igarashi (W, 5-1) IP 1.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.53
Takatsu (S, 12) IP 1.0 PC 24 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.40
IP 4.1 PC 97 H 7 HR 0 K 7 BB 6 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.55
M. Yamamoto IP 1.2 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.49
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Endo IP 2.0 PC 47 H 4 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.38
Gaillard (L, 0-1) IP 2.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.57
2B: Ramirez, Inaba, Petagine, Inoue
HR: S. Miyamoto (3), Ramirez (7), Jinno (2)
RBI: S. Miyamoto 2, Petagine, Iwamura, Ramirez 2, Hamana, Jinno, Ibata, Fukudome, Sekikawa, Tanishige, Tatsunami
IBB: Ramirez, Watanabe
HBP: Inaba (Yamai)
LOB: Yakult 15, Chunichi 14
Game Time: 4:42
Umpires: Suginada (HP), Watada (1B), Kamimoto (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Yokohama Wins Second in a Row
The Yokohama Bay Stars were able to render just enough damage unto Hiroshima Carp starter Yasushi Tsuruta Thursday to take a 3-1 lead and then got 5.1 innings of two hit scoreless relief to do something they hadn't done this month so far, win two in a row. The final score was 4-1.
Shinya Goto started for the Stars and labored, giving up a run on four hits and walking three on 77 pitches in just 3.2 innings, so Yokohama head man Masaaki Mori got rid of him early before he could cave in completely and was rewarded with the fine relief effort.
Hiroshima took it's only lead of the game in the second, when first baseman Luis Lopez got real gone to left to make it 1-0 Carp.
Yokohama neutralized that with a tally of their own in the bottom segment, as third baseman Mike Gulan leadoff with a single to center and rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to right. Two outs later, shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to right and Gulan humped it for home and it was 1-1.
The Stars slapped a deuce on the big board in the fifth due to an infield hit from Seiichi Uchikawa, who was then sacrificed to second, an RBI single to left from second baseman Hitoshi Taneda, and a two out basehit by Takahiro Saeki that converted Taneda. Koike then hammered one into the leftfield bleachers in the eighth to cap the scoring, 4-1 Hiroshima.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 3-4 and is at .241. Rodrigues was 1-3 and is at .250.
2-2) IP 4.1 PC 67 H 8 HR 0 K 3
BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.29
Hiroike IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Stanifer IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
Tomabechi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.11
Beltran IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.88
IP 3.2 PC 77 H 4 HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.63
Takeshita (W, 1-0) IP 1.1 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.71
Higashi IP 1.2 PC 31 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.79
Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kizuka IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.78
Takashi Saito (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.72
SB: T. Kimura
HR: Lopez (4), Koike (1)
RBI: Koike, Lopez, T. Ishii, Taneda, Saeki
GIDP: Ryoji Aikawa
LOB: Hiroshima 10, Yokohama 6
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 23rd and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1973, the then Chunichi Dragons home ballpark, Chunichi Stadium, went bankrupt due to bad management, apparently. President Hiraiwa took responsibility for it by killing himself.
Also on that day in 1974, a mob surrounded Lotte Orions players after a game with the Taiheiyo Lions at Heiwadai Stadium and they had to be saved by riot police using an armored vehicle. Apparently, this followed a series of games in which batters from both sides were being hit with pitches. The folks at Heiwadai Stadium, as a way to promote the next series with Lotte, printed a poster showing Lions outfielder Don Buford and Lotte manager Masaichi Kaneda in poses that made them appear to be beating on each other. The Fukuoka Prefectural police were not amused and reprimanded the Stadium authority for creating something that could incite a riot.
May 22, 2002
Matsui Two Run Homer Wins it for Giants
For the second time this season, the Yomiuri Giants have beaten Kei Igawa of the Hanshin Tigers on a timely home run, this one coming off the bat of centerfielder Hideki Matsui in the top of the seventh Wednesday at Koshien Stadium, the final score being 2-1. Both of Igawa's defeats this year have come at the hand of Hanshin's Tokyo rivals.
Takeda started for the Giants and was able to match Igawa scoreless inning for scoreless inning until the sixth, when Hanshin put up a run. With two gone, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to right and first baseman George Arias singled to left. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to right to plate Hamanaka with the 1-0 lead.
The Giants answered immediately, though, when second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to right with his team's second hit of the game. One out later, Igawa threw a 1-2 88mph fastball that he was trying to get up and in on Matsui and he missed, the ball biting too much of the strike zone and Godzilla drilled it into the rightfield seats to make it 2-1 Giants.
The Tigers had a slight chance to tie it in their half when shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto doubled down the leftfield line to lead it off. Catcher Akihiro Yano then tried to lay down a sac bunt, but hit back too hard at Yomiuri reliever Tsuyoshi Jobe and Sekimoto was a dead duck at third.
In the bottom of the ninth and with the Hanshin faithful going out of their minds, Hiyama singled to left off of Yomiuri closer Junichi Kawahara to commence things. Leftfielder Derrick White cracked a knock to left as well and now the winning run was on first. Sekimoto attempted to sacrifice the runners along, but tapped it right to Kawahara, who got the force. Kawahara then whiffed the next two batters and he had his tenth save and the Tigers registered their seventh straight loss at home.
Sekimoto also made a bad baserunning error in the fifth when he doubled down the leftfield line with Hiyama aboard, but then forgot that Hiyama was ahead of him and when he finally put on the brakes he was caught in a rundown and tagged out. So instead of men on second and third and one out, there was a man on third with two outs and after Yano was intentionally walked, Igawa bounced out to end the inning.
The thing is, a club that doesn't score much and blows a lot of sac bunt attempts, as Hanshin has done over the last couple of weeks, just does not have the earmarks of a contender that will stick around long into the summer unless they tighten things up.
Takeda racked up his 1000th career strikeout in this one and nothced his second victory of the campaign.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 and is at .238. White was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .308.
2-0) IP 6.0 PC 81 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R
1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.32
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
J. Kawahara (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
7-2) IP 7.0 PC 86 H 3 HR 1 K 5
BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.80
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.42
Toyama IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 16.20
A. Itoh IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.05
2B: Sekimoto 2
HR: H. Matsui (9)
RBI: H. Matsui 2, Hiyama
LOB: Giants 3, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 2:59
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Kasahara (2B), Ino (3B)
Yokohama Ends 13 Game Losing Streak by Beating Hiroshima 3-1
Well, Yokohama's long athletic nighthmare, as well as TBS', who bought the Bay Stars this winter, is finally over, as four pitchers combined to limit the Hiroshima Carp to one run on nine hits to finish on top 3-1 Wednesday at Yokohama Stadium. That ended a 13 game Stars losing streak.
Yokohama took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Takuro Ishii walked and went to third on a hit and run single to left by second baseman Hitoshi Taneda. Ishii then tagged and touched the plate on leftfielder Takanori Suzuki's flyout to center.
Hiroshima charged back, however when Carp starter Shinji Sasaoka carromed a pitch from Yokohama starter Yu Sugimoto off the centerfield wall for a standup double, was sacrificed to third and was cashed in on a single to center from shortstop Akihiro Higashide to make it 1-1.
The Stars surged again in the third, when Ishii singled to center, stole second and was delivered plateward by Suzuki for a 2-1 edge.
In the sixth, Stars rightfielder Boi Rodrigues hit one to Chinatown through the righthand exit and it was 3-1 home team.
Hiroshima had a chance to knot it up in the eighth, when rightfielder Tomonori Maeda leadoff with a single. After leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto grounded into a force, closer Takashi Saito hit second baseman Eddie Diaz. First baseman Luis Lopez singled to right and Maeda was thrown out at the plate. Third baseman Takahiro Arai struckout and that was their last gasp, as Saito got three of the four men he faced in the ninth for his fifth save.
How bad is Yokohama hitting? When you take Suzuki's .307 average out of the equation, the rest of the starting lineup in this game had nobody hitting even .250. Now THAT is pathetic.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-4 and is at .222. Rodrigues was 2-3 with an RBI and is at .248.
2-2) IP 6.0 PC 89 H 8 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Beltran IP 1.1 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Kobayashi IP 0.2 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 4.0 PC 60 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.87
Kawahara (W, 1-0) IP 1.1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kizuka IP 1.2 PC 27 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.82
T. Saito (S, 5) IP 2.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.84
SB: Higashide, T. Ishii, Taneda
2B: Sasaoka 2, T. Suzuki
HR: Rodrigues (9)
RBI: Rodrigues, T. Suzuki 2, Higashide
SF: T. Suzuki
HBP: Diaz (T. Saito), T. Kimura (T. Saito)
LOB: Hiroshima 10, Yokohama 7
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Mori (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kittaka (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Matsui Leadoff Homer, Two Run Single Catalyzes 9-2 Seibu Victory
Seibu Lions DH Kazuo Matsui leadoff the game against the Orix Blue Wave Wednesday at Yonago, Tottori Prefecture with a blast into the rightfield seats off of Orix starter Hidetaka Kawagoe and him and his teammates tacked on treys in the fourth and the sixth to pull away from the Blue Wave in what ultimately was a 9-2 rout. Rookie Mitsutaka Goto (not to be confused with the Orix infielder of the same name) was credited with his first pro win thanks to six strong innings of six hit, one run ball, striking out five and walking three.
After Matsui staked the Lions to a 1-0 advantage, Orix evened it in the second, when shortstop Tatsuya Shindo leadoff with an infield hit and stole second and then went to third on a deep fly ball to right. Leftfielder Koji Takamizawa walked and first baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani grounded out to second to permit Shindo to run in with the equalizer.
Seibu took advantage of some wildness by Kawagoe in the fourth, as both shortstop Hiroaki Ueda and third baseman Ken Suzuki worked one out walks and catcher Tsutomu Itoh loaded the bases with a single to right. Matsui lined a shot to center to score two and on the relay Shindo misplayed the ball and another run scored to make it 4-1 Lions.
In the sixth, Kawagoe lasted just three hitters before he was asked to have a seat. With one away, Suzuki singled to center, as did Itoh. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi seared a hot down the leftfield line to send in both runners and came around himself when Takamizawa dropped a fly ball from rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki, 7-1 Seibu after six complete.
In the bottom of the seventh, Orix reliever Fumiaki Imamura hit first baseman Alex Cabrera in the knee and both benches cleared when Cabrera started to walk out toward the mound. Fortunately, nothing more than some pushing and shoving was done before the game continued. Lions reliever Yoshihiro Doi then plunked second baseman Tomotaka Tamaki in the bottom of the seventh and bot benches were warned by the umpires. Manabu Satake laced a double off the leftfield wall and Tamaki scored to make it 7-2.
Seibu compensated for that in the top of the eighth when Itoh finagled a one out walk and Takagi singled to center to send Itoh to third. Takagi stole second. Ozeki singled to center and both Itoh and Takagi chugged in and Seibu was now in the driver's seat at 9-2. Orix then got men on during their ups in the eighth and ninth, but couldn't make anyting happen and Lions reliever Aoki induced a 4-6-3 double play to terminate the match.
Matsui now has seven career leadoff homers.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and the HBP and is now at .255.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 2-4 and is at .270. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 1-4 and is at .233.
1-1) IP 6.0 PC 92 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 3 R
1 ER 1 ERA 2.08
Doi IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.86
Aoki IP 2.0 PC 35 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
3-5) IP 5.1 PC 102 H 7 HR 1 K 0 BB 4 R 6 ER 5 ERA 4.75
Kase IP 0.1 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Imamura IP 1.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 8.64
Tokumoto IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
E: Shindo, Takamizawa
SB: H. Takagi, Shindo
2B: K. Suzuki, H. Takagi, Satake, Sheldon
HR: K. Matsui (8)
RBI: Matsui 3, Ozeki 2, H. Takagi, Satake, Shiotani
HBP: Cabrera (Imamura), Tamaki (Doi)
GIDP: Wada 2, Seguignol, Sheldon, Hidaka
LOB: Seibu 7, Orix 9
Game Time: 3:16
Umpires: Sato (HP), Tamba (1B), Higashi (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Kaneko Sayonara Single Wins it for Nippon Ham
A shot over the head of Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura in the bottom of the ninth at Tokyo Dome Wednesday from shortstop Makoto Kaneko with two on was the big hit in a 4-3 Nippon Ham victory. Yoshinori Tateyama earned his first win of the season with three innings of one hit shutout ball on the heels of starter Hayato Nakamura's six inning, three runs on eight hits effort.
Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto still hasn't gotten the message that Shunsuke Watanabe is more suited to relief than starting, as he sent the submariner to the center of the diamond yet again to begin the contest and saw him last just two outs before Yamamoto pulled him when he got behind 2-1. Watanabe was replaced by Takashi Kawai, who did a solid job over 4.1 innings, giving up a run on three hits while striking out three and walking one.
In that first inning, Lotte got on top when Omura ripped a one out single to right and went to second on a groundout. DH Frank Bolick singled to right and Omura galloped in and it was 1-0 Lotte.
But Fighters second baseman Ken Tanaka leadoff his club's turn with a walk and went to second when Watanabe plunked Kaneko. One out later, DH Sherman Obando singled to right for one run and leftfielder D.T. Cromer did the same for another and it was 2-1 Nippon Ham.
In the fourth, Lotte evened it when Omura leadoff with a double down the leftfield line, advanced to third on a subsequent single by Bolick and scored when leftfielder Derrick May beat out a dribbler near short and it was 2-2.
Nippon Ham pulled ahead in the fifth when Tanaka spanked a double into the leftfield corner, moved to third on Kaneko's infield hit, and crossed when first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara grounded to short to make it 3-2 Fighters.
Lotte struggled back in the sixth thanks to a single to left from first baseman Kazuya Fukuura, a single to right by Bolick and a double off the rightfield wall by May and it was deadlocked again at 3-3.
After Tateyama struckout the side in the top of the ninth, Kosuke Kato came out to begin his second inning of work. He fanned catcher Kazunari Sanematsu, but centerfielder Tatsuya Ide singled to center. Backup second baseman Hiroshi Narahara endeavored to lay down a sacrifice. Kato grabbed it and hoping to get the runner at second, threw wild and everyone was safe. Kato then left a nice fat one for Kaneko over the plate and Nippon Ham vanquished their Chiba-based opponents 4-3.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .268. Cromer was 1-4 with an RBI and three strikeouts and is at .264.
For Lotte, Bolick was 3-4 with an RBI and is at .242. May was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .223.
IP 0.2 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.00
Kawai IP 4.1 PC 62 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.74
H. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.53
K. Kato (L, 2-5) IP 1.1 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 6.75
IP 6.0 PC 106 H 8 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.63
Tateyama (W, 1-0) IP 3.0 PC 32 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.17
E: Kawai, K. Kato, Hatsushiba
2B: S. Omura, May, K. Tanaka
RBI: Bolick, May 2, Kaneko, M. Ogasawara, Cromer, Obando
HBP: Kaneko (S. Watanabe)
GIDP: Kaneko (S. Watanabe)
LOB: Lotte 3, Nippon Ham 9
Game Time: 3:28
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Petagine Homer Ends Dragons Winning Streak
Chunichi Dragons starter Takashi Ogasawara has been one of the Central League leaders in ERA this season, but he got knocked down a couple of notches in the rankings when the Yakult Swallows touched him for three runs in five innings and then used a tenth inning homer to center from Roberto Petagine off of Shinichiro Koyama to scoop up the 4-3 victory at Nagoya Dome Wednesday.
Kevin Hodges started for Yakult and he struggled, giving up three runs on eight hits, including two that went bye bye, in 5.1 innings to inflate his ERA to 2.96.
Yakult seized a first inning 1-0 lead on a single to center from shortstop Shinya Miyamoto, Ogasawara plunking Petagine, with two outs and a single near the line in left from catcher Atsuya Furuta.
The Swallows went after Ogasawara again in the second, second baseman Hajime Miki walking and then jogging home when centerfielder Shinichi Sato dialed long distance to center to put Yakult up 3-0.
However, Hodges got off to a bad beginning in the fourth when Dragons
rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome leadoff with a belt on a low line into the
rightfield bleachers and first baseman Leo Gomez piggybacked on that with
a big fly into the leftfield stands to make it a one run game at 3-2.
In the top of the fifth, the Swallows had a man on first when Petagine laced a double down the leftfield line to put men at second and third with two out. Furuta, though, grounded out to kill the opportunity.
Hodges fanned the first two men he saw in the Dragons portion, but leftfielder Scott Bullet doubled to left and Fukudome sent him home on a single to right to knot it at 3-3.
Yakult reliever Alan Newman then wriggled out of a couple of tight situations without anyone scoring and neither team really moved very much from there on in until Petagine stepped in with two gone in the top of the tenth and unloaded on Koyama to put the Swallows in front by a 4-3 margin.
Now it was up to closer Shingo Takatsu and Fukudome hit him up for a single to center. But the sinkerballer then whiffed both Gomez and second baseman Jinno and lured Jun Inoue into grounding out for his 205th lifetime save, just 25 away from surpassing Kazuhiro Sasaki's all time record of 229.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-3 and is at .261.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-4 with an RBI and an HBP and is at .291. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 and is at .322.
IP 5.1 PC 97 H 8 HR 2 K 6 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.96
Newman IP 1.1 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.80
Kawabata IP 1.1 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
R. Igarashi (W, 4-1) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.66
H. Ishii IP 0.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.96
Takatsu IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Ogasawara IP 5.0 PC 80 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R
3 ER 3 ERA 2.08
Ochiai IP 2.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kito IP 2.0 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.28
Koyama (L, 0-2) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.66
2B: Iwamura, Petagine, Furuta,
HR: Sato (1), Petagine (12), Fukudome (8), Gomez (10)
RBI: Sato 2, Petagine, Furuta, Fukudome 2, Gomez
HBP: Petagine (T. Ogasawara), Tatsunami (Hodges)
LOB: Yakult 7, Chunichi 9
Game Time: 3:46
Umpires: Tani (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Kiuchi (2B), Suginaga (3B)
See KBO Standings and Leaders at the bottom todays summary.
Six Run Giants Eighth Kills Tigers
Keiichi Yabu went into the eighth inning pitching comfortably with a 3-0 lead, having up to then held the Yomiuri Giants lineup to four hits and was economizing well on his pitch count. But three big pinch hits in that penultimate frame sent him to the showers and the Tigers firmly into second place in the Central League standings. Moreover, it lengthened Hanshin's futility streak at Koshien Stadium to six.
The Tigers drew first blood off of Giants starter Kimiyasu Kudoh in the bottom of the second when leftfielder Derrick White leadoff with a single to left. Third baseman Kentaro Sekimoto singled to right. Two outs later, second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to right to plate White and shortstop Hidemitsu Saito spanked a curve ball safely to right to usher in Sekimoto and it was 2-0 Hanshin.
Then in the third, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka homered into the leftfield bleachers and Hanshin was three up at 3-0. That was all Hanshin tould get, though, as Kudoh settled in to keep his team within striking distance.
Yabu had just retired the last 11 hitters in a row when he came out for the eighth, but then couldn't put anyone away. Takayuki Saito, pinch hitting for second baseman Toshihisa Nishi, leadoff with a single to right. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe cracked a knock to left. Koji Goto, hitting for Kudoh, singled to center and Saito was home to make it 3-1. Leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu walked to load the bases. Daisuke Motoki, spelling shortstop Masahiro Kawai at the plate, doubled to left to chase in both Abe and Goto to knot it at 3-3 and send Yabu packing in favor of Shinobu Fukuhara, who has pitched well so far this season. Rightfielder Yoshinbu Takahashi flied out to center to get the lead run in. Centerfielder Godzilla Matsui walked. One out later, Kazuhiro Kiyohara stood in for third baseman Felipe Crespo and walked. He was pinch run for by Kenji Fukui. Saito singled to right for two RBIs and the Giants had a 6-2 edge. Hanshin couldn't muster anything against Yomiuri closer Junichi Kawahara, who is now unscored upon in 14 innings, and that's how it ended.
Hanshin got a bit of further bad news in that the club's starting centerfielder, Norihiro Akahoshi, is unlikely to return before the all star break since his fractured tibia is healing slower than originally expected.
Saito came over in the deal with Orix for Kazuhiko Shiotani and contributed with his RBI hit. He once played on the same junior high squad that Takayuki Saito did.
Kudoh, who has endured a string of frustrating losses and no decisions, finally picked up his third win and has lost four despite a sparkling 2.76 ERA.
Braves scout Phil Dale was in country starting Tuesday night to get a look at Matsui. There is talk in the Japanese press that Atlanta GM John Schuerholz will be going over soon, too, to see if it's worth $5 million or more a season to aquire the Ishikawa Prefecture product. Godzilla was 1-4 with a walk to lower his average to .342.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 2-4 with two strikeouts and is at .238. White was 2-4 and is at .310.
For Yomiuri, Crespo was 0-3 and is at .121.
3-4) IP 7.0 PC
121 H 10 HR 1 K 8 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.76
Y. Maeda IP 0.0 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 4 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
J. Kawahara (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
7.0 PC 91 H 8 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.45
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.86
Toyama IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 20.25
2B: S. Abe, Motoki, White
HR: Hamanaka (6)
RBI: Motoki 2, Y. Takahashi, Takayuki Saito 2, K. Goto, Imaoka, H. Saito, Hamanaka
SF: Y. Takahashi
HBP: Hiyama (Y. Maeda), Y. Takahashi (Toyama)
GIDP: Etoh, White
LOB: Yomiuri 7, Hanshin 8
Game Time: 3:27
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Kasahara (1B), Ino (2B), Manabe (3B)
Tatsunami Sayonara Slam Keeps Dragons Streak Alive
Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami did something Tuesday night for the Chunichi Dragons that hadn't been done by someone in a Chunichi Dragons uniform in 28 years, crush a sayonara grand slam homer in what became a 7-3 victory by the Aichi Prefecture favorite sons at Nagoya Dome over the Yakult Swallows. That extended Chunichi's winning streak to eight games, the first time in ten years they have been so successful in succession.
The Dragons initially pulled out in front in the bottom of the second, when Tatsunami leadoff with a single to right and was sacrificed to second. Second baseman Masahiko Morino singled to right and catcher Motonobu Tanishige singled to center for the RBI and the 1-0 lead.
Kenshin Kawakami started for Chunichi and was throwing well until the fifth, when he was touched for two runs. With two outs, Swallows centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka singled to left and shortstop Shinya Miyamoto legged out an infield hit. Rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to right to deadlock it at 1-1. First baseman Roberto Petagine singled to right for the 2-1 Swallows advantage.
Yakult leftfielder Alex Ramirez checked in with one out in the fifth and smoked a Kawakami offering over the centerfield wall and the bird were sitting pretty at 3-1.
Swallows starter Shugo Fujii was making the Dragons pound the ball into the ground and they didn't do a thing with him before he left after a perfect seventh.
At 106 pitches, Fujii probably could have gone one more inning, but Yakkult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu has a lot of confidence in Hirotoshi Ishii and ran him to the mound for the eighth. Bad mistake. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukodome leadoff with a walk. Ishii then left a fastball right down broadway and first baseman Leo Gomez said "right back at ya," the ball finding an open seat in the centerfield stands to even it at 3-3. Akinori Iwamura bobbled a grounder to allow centerfielder Masahiro Araki to reach, Ishii walked both Morino and Tanishige to pack the sacks, but Ishii induced a groundball for a force at the plate and shortstop Hirokazu Ibata struckout to keep things equal.
Ryota Igarashi was in the center of the diamond for the bottom of the ninth and he didn't get anyone out in that stanza. Scott Bullet started it with a single to center. Fukudome singled to right. Gomez was intentionally walked to juice the bags. Igarashi then threw a 1-0 94mph fastball on the outer half of the plate and Tatsunami got all of it, raising his hands as soon as he hit it and watching it fly into the rightfield seats for a game winning grand slam. The last time a Dragon did that? 1974 by Yukio Iida. Iida had a mere six RBIs that season, which makes his doing it all the more remarkable. The other two RBIs came on solo homers.
By the way, ex-Dodgers utility man Bart Shirley (who also won a Gold Glove that year at shortstop) did it in 1972 for the same team.The last time anyone had ended a game with a four run dinger was last September 30 by Yasuo Fujii of Orix against Lotte. Tatsunami now has four lifetime grannies and that was the second sayonara homer of his career.
Incidentally, in an earlier item,. I wrote that Isao Hirono had done it around the same time, but that was not factual. Hirono hit his for the Dragons in 1966. In all, five Dragons in Japanese baseball history have unloaded decisive grand slams.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .285. Ramirez was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .331.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-5 and is at .250. Gomez was 2-4 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .273.
IP 7.0 PC 106 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.26
H. Ishii IP 0.1 PC 28 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.96
Ryo. Igarashi (L, 3-1) IP 0.2 PC 19 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.79
IP 5.2 PC 100 H 10 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.81
Yamakita IP 1.1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.26
Koyama IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Endo (W, 1-0) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2B: Fukudome, Morino, Gomez
HR: Ramirez (6), Gomez (9), Tatsunami (3)
RBI: Ramirez, Tatsunami 4, Gomez 2, Inaba, Petagine, Tanishige
WP: H. Ishii
LOB: Yakult 8, Chunichi 10
Game Time: 3:32
Umpires: Watada (HP), Kiuchi (1B), Suginaga (2B), Tani (3B)
Shiozaki Sparkles Again in One Hit 5-0 Whitewash of Orix
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera gave the fans in Yonago, Tottori Prefecture what they were hoping for in the top of the seventh when he richocheted a 490 foot bomb off of the centerfield scoreboard, but it was sidearmer Tetsuya Shiozaki who was the real star in this one, as he twirled six sparkling innings of one hit ball on only 69 pitches in a 5-0 triumph over the Orix Blue Wave Tuesday for his fourth consecutive victory. That knock was all that the Kobe contingent would manufacture in this one.
Shiozaki, after allowing a leadoff single to Orix rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi in the first, was, for all intents and purposes, perfect afterward, only one other runner getting to first during his stint, that being on an error, as he had them tapping the ball on the ground all day long. He was clocked as high as 88mph.
Seibu jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first, as shortstop Kazuo Matsui lead the game off with a single to center and stole second. Tatsuya Ozeki then drilled a shot off the rightfield fence for two bases and the first run of the contest. Two outs later, leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada went back up the middle for an RBI.
In the fifth, Orix starter Masahiko Kaneda nailed second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi with a pitch to open the frame. Matsui sacrficed him along and Ozeki converted Takagi into another tally with a screaming double into the leftcenter alley and it was 3-0 Seibu.
Two innings later, Matsui was plunked by Nobuyuki Ebisu and after advancing to third on a sac bunt and a groundout, Cabrera butchered a delivery from Kazuo Yamaguchi and left it for the folks in the deepest part of the yard to conclude the scoring. Lions closer Kiyoshi Toyoda, in the aftermath of two fine innings from setup man Shinji Mori, then struckout the side to clinch it for the veteran Shiozaki.
For Orix, Fernando Seguignol struckout two of his three at bats and is at .262. Third baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-3 and is at .233.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .260.
4-0) IP 6.0 PC 69 H 1 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R
0 ER 0 ERA 0.94
Mori IP 2.0 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.83
Toyoda IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.60
1-2) IP 5.0 PC 83 H 6 HR
0 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.18
Ebisu IP 1.1 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.78
Kase IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
Yamaguchi IP 2.1 PC 31 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
SB: Miyaji, K. Matsui
2B: Ozeki 2, H. Takagi
HR: Cabrera (13)
RBI: Ozeki 2, Cabrera 2, Wada
HBP: H. Takagi (Kaneda), K. Matsui (Ebisu)
LOB: Seibu 7, Orix 2
Game Time: 2:40
Umpires: Nagami (HP), Yamamura (1B), Sato (2B), Higashi (3B) .
Kintetsu Beats Daiei in Six Homer Show
Each team involved in this faceoff between the Kintetsu Buffaloes and the Daiei Hawks clocked three homers for a total of five RBIs, but it was the Buffs who were able to finagle three additional runs to the Hawks one and they walked away with the game in their pocket 8-6. Jeremy Powell, who has had a hot hand recently, improved his record to 4-3 despite being roughed up for a pair of longballs and five earned runs and ran Daiei's losing streak to five.
Daiei got an early edge when centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff with a single to center, second baseman Tadahito Iguchi singled to right and both men moved up on a groundout to first. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo flew out to right and the speedy Shibahara tagged and hit the dish for a 1-0 Hawks lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, though, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to left with one out and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes got a hanging forkball from Hawks starter Akichika Yamada, who has pitched poorly his last few outings, and powdered it way up into the rightcenterfield bleachers for a two run homer and now Kintetsu was up 2-1.
They added to that in the second with a four run explosion. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka leadoff with a triple to center and rightfielder Koichi Isobe cranked a double to rightcenter. After going to third on a ground ball, catcher Kenji Furukubo singled to left for a 4-1 lead. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura then got a meatball from Yamada and jacked it into the rightcenterfield seats to make it 6-1.
In the third, the Hawks preyed on Powell with a one out single to center from Shibahara and a tour of the centerfield seats by Iguchi to cut the deficit to 6-3.
Kintetsu responded with third baseman Norihiro Nakamura piledriving a Yamada heater center backscreen style in the home half to put a four run gap between them and Daiei at 7-3.
In the top of the fourth, Daiei DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to to left to lead it off and catcher Kenji Johjima went yard to the same part of the field to tighten it up to 7-5.
The Hawks then made it a one run affair in the seventh when Yusuke Torigoe went midieval on Takamura to left and it was 7-6.
The Buffaloes reclaimed that with a one out single infield hit from Mizuguchi, a two out single to left from Nakamura and an RBI rip to center, 8-6 Kintetsu after seven complete.
Daiei attempted to rally in the top of the eighth with two out singles from Kokubo and Matsunaka, which brought up Johjima, who is in scoring position when he is in the batter's box, with the possible winning run. However, Johjima rolled out to third and then the Hawks were put to sleep by Akira Okamoto in the ninth for his ninth save to seal the Buffs victory.
Daiei has had its starters knocked out early the last seven games in a row. That's going to decimate their thin bullpen if that keeps happening.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .263.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-4 and is at .297. First baseman Morgan Burkhart was 0-2 and is at .205.
A. Yamada (L,
4-2) IP 2.0 PC 48 H 8 HR 3 K 1 BB 0 R
7 ER 7 ERA 4.44
Wakatabe IP 4.2 PC 69 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
Yoshida IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
K. Okamoto IP 1.1 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Powell (W, 4-3
) IP 6.0 PC 96 H 6 HR 2 K
4 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.05
Takamura IP 1.1 PC 20 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.25
Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 11 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
A. Okamoto (S, 9) IP 1.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.98
HR: Iguchi (6), Johjima
(10), Torigoe (2), Rhodes (18), N. Omura (6), N. Nakamura (14)
RBI: Iguchi 2, Johjima 2, Torigoe, Rhodes 2, N. Omura 2, N. Nakamura, Kokubo, Kawaguchi, Isobe, Furukubo
HBP: Johjima (Powell)
LOB: Daiei 3, Kintetsu 4
Game Time: 3:03
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Kodera (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Maeda (3B)
The Drinks are on Obando, But There's No Celebrating by Nippon Ham
By denting a sign in at the rear of the leftcenterfield seats at Tokyo Dome, Nippon Ham designated hitter Sherman Obando took home an extra $7500 and enough beer to last a year, but one thing they forgot to supply him with was the victory, which the Chiba Lotte Marines gladly carted off by a 6-5 score Tuesday. Fighters reliever Kiyoshi Sasaki walked the bases loaded and then gave up a single to put Lotte ahead and then third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba lofted a sac fly off of Hiroshi Shibakusa for what proved to be the difference.
Lotte mugged Nippon Ham starter Hiroyuki Sekine for a pair of runs in the top of the second when leftfielder Derrick May singled to center with one out and Hatsushiba tattooed one into the leftfield seats and it was 2-0 Lotte.
They built on that in the third thanks to shortstop Masato Watanabe singled to begin the inning and was sacrificed to second. Centerfielder Saburo Omura lashed a shot off the centerfield wall for a standup double to make it 3-0 Lotte.
Nippon Ham chipped a bit off that that in their portion, third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto slapping a leadoff single to center, centerfielder Tatsuya Ide doing similarly one out later and, after second baseman Ken Tanaka struckout, shortstop Makoto Kaneko singled to left to drive in Kimoto and the score was 3-1 Lotte.
Then in the fourth, Obando and leftfielder D.T. Cromer slugged back to back jacks to center to level it at 3-3.
Lotte went ahead again, though, in the top of the sixth when DH Frank Bolick exited to leftcenter. However, Nippon Ham rightfielder Yukio Tanaka homered to center in the home half and it was 4-4.
So it was the eighth inning that was the pivotal point of the game. Sasaki strode out of the dugout for his second inning and after inducing a flyout to left from Lotte second baseman Koichi Hori, he walked Omura, first baseman Kazuya Fukuura, and Bolick to load the bases. May singled to center to plate Omura and Hatsushiba flew to right to provide cover for Fukuura and it was now 6-4 Lotte.
Obando then destroyed a pitch from Hiroyuki Kobayashi in the bottom of the inning and carromed it off of that billboard and that was it for the Fighters, who were subsequently kept away from home plate while Masahide Kobayashi picked up his sixth save.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .224. May was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .214.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .268. Cromer was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .265.
IP 5.1 PC 91 H 7 HR 3 K 5 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.66
H. Kobayashi (W, 3-1) IP 2.1 PC 18 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.70
M. Kobayashi (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.53
IP 6.0 PC 91 H 7 HR 2 K 2 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.63
K. Sasaki (L, 2-2) IP 1.1 PC 39 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.60
Shibakusa IP 1.2 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.60
2B: S. Omura
HR: Hatsushiba (4), Bolick (5), Obando 2 (11), Cromer (6), Y. Tanaka (7)
RBI: Hatsushiba 3, Bolick, Obando 2, Cromer, Y. Tanaka, S. Omura, May, Kaneko
WP: K. Sasaki 2
LOB: Lotte 4, Nippon Ham 6
Game Time: 3:01
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Yanagida (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Hiroshima Goes Six Up and Then Barely Hangs On 6-5
Yokohama Bay Stars third baseman Mike Gulan just barely missed spearheading a comeback from an early six run deficit, as he hammered a solo dong in the seventh and a two run roundtripper in the eighth in a 6-5 loss to the Hiroshima Carp at Yokohama Stadium Tuesday. Masayuki Hasegawa threw seven strong innings for the winners, permitting two runs on seven hits and walking one while striking out six to earn his third victory.
Hiroshima tossed a deuce on the big board in the first, as centerfielder Takuya Kimura lead off the game with a double down the leftfield line and trotted around in front of leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto's two out blast into the rightfield bleachers.
The longball then played havoc with Stars starter Masao Morinaka and his successor, Kazushi Hosomi, in the top of the third, when shortstop Akihiro Higashide drew a leadoff walk and then was thrown out trying to steal. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda rifled a delivery into the rightfield stands to deepen the Carp lead to 3-0. Kanemoto laced a double down the rightfield line to topple Morinaka and second baseman Eddie Diaz did the right thing, too, his also leaving the field of play off of Hosomi to make it 5-0.
Their next ups, Hiroshima turned an infield hit by Kimura, a sacrifice, and a single to right from Maeda into another tally and it was 6-0 and Maeda was at the top of the Central League batting race with a .356 average.
In the seventh, Yokohama got off the floor with a leadoff homer to right from Gulan. Pinch hitter Histoshi Tamura spanked a one out double to leftcenter and shortstop Takuro Ishii slammed a two bagger to rightcenter to make it 6-2.
Rigo Beltran came on in the eighth for Hiroshima and was greeted with a single to center from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki. One out later and now with Daisuke Sakai on the mound, Gulan went long to leftcenter and now what looked like a cakewalk for Hiroshima was a tense 6-4 battle.
In the bottom of the ninth and with Carp closer Yasuhiro Oyamada trying to put it in the refrigerator, Tamura, now in right, leadoff by just barely missing hitting the ball out to left, settling for a double instead. He went to third on a fly ball and scored on a sac fly from Takuro Ishii and it was 9-5. Pinch hitter Hiroo Ishii, though, grounded out and that was the ballgame.
Yokohama's problem has been scoring runs and in their previous 12 losses they have averaged a miserable 1.67 per nine. So no secret here as to why Yokohama will only see first place if it buys tickets to a Giants game at this juncture. Takahiro Saeki is back with the team now after spending some injury time, but it's doubtful he's going to be able to pull them out of their doldrums.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 4-4 with three RBIs and is at .231. Rightfielder Boi Rodriges was 1-3 and is at .236.
3-1) IP 7.0 PC 99 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Beltran IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.97
Sakai IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.88
Oyamada (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.32
1-2) IP 2.1 PC 53 H 6 HR 2 K 0 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Hosomi IP 2.2 PC 39 H 6 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.94
Kawahara IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Higashi IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.02
2B: T. Kimura 2, Kanemoto,
Lopez, Tamura 2, T. Ishii
HR: Gulan 2 (6), Kanemoto (4), T. Maeda (7), Diaz (13)
RBI: Gulan 3, Kanemoto 2, T. Maeda 2, Diaz 2, T. Ishii 2
SF: T. Ishii
LOB: Hiroshima 6, Yokohama 6
Game Time: 2:58
Attendance: 16,000 Standings
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Kittaka (1B), Arisumi (2B), Mori (3B)
Japanese Baseball Leaders
Go to: http://www.npb-bis.com
Hanshin Tigers Campaign for Orphans
See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20020521b4.htm
Sadaharu Oh Considered for Appoinment as Honorary Ambassador to Taiwan
See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20011114a9.htm
Programming Against Ichiro
Really Illuminating Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20011021pb.htm
A Foreign Fan at Meiji Jingu
Man, what a character this guy is. See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20011021a5.htm
All the Best Laid Plans....
Masaaki Mori is the manager of the Yokohama Bay Stars, who currently have the worst record among the 12 pro teams. Take a look at this article and see how it jibes with how the Stars are doing in 2002: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sb20010323a1.htm
Red Sox Used by Kawasaki?
By the way,. I'm sure Poitevant thanked God he didn't sign Kawasaki since he blew his shoulder out a few games into last season and hasn't thrown a pitch for the Chunichi Dragons since: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sp20001221jg.htm
One to Keep on File
Bobby Valentine was against Japanese players coming to the U.S. (though he didn't complain when his club had Masato Yoshii). Thie article night be interesting to ask him about when the Mets bid for Kazuo Matsui, as they have indicated they would: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sp20001130dp.htm
Child Abuse in Japanese Baseball
Where often underweight high schoolers are expected to be supermen:
Ex-Yomiuri Giant Yonamine's Wife a Real Pearl
See Japan Times article at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?fl20000809a2.htm
This Day in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 21st and on this day in Japanese baseball history in 1945, Shinichi Ishimaru, a young ace for the Nagoya Club (a predecessor of the Chunichi Dragons), died in a kamikaze mission. This incident is written about at length in Robert Whiting's "You Gotta Have Wa," so I'm not going to go into it here. There was no season played in 1945, btw.
And on that date in 1959, the great Hanshin hurler Minoru Murayama no hit the Yomiuri Giants, tough they managed to score two runs off of him anyway.
KBO Standings and Leaders
Team W L T PCT GB
Kia Tigers 22 14 2 .611 2.0
Doosan Bears 20 18 1 .526 4.0
Hanwha Eagles 18 18 2 .500 5.0
SK Wyverns 17 19 1 .472 6.0
Hyundai Unicorns 16 20 3 .444 7.0
LG Twins 16 22 0 .421 8.0
Lotte Giants 15 23 1 .395 9.0
01. Lee Yeong-wu
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) .345
03. Lee Ho-joon (SK) .338
04. Lee Seung-yeop (Samsung) .331
05. Chang Seong-ho (Kia) .326
06. Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) .325
07. Park Jae-hong (Hyundai) .325
08. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) .323
09. Kim Jae-hyun (LG) .317
10. Jeon Joon-ho (Hyundai) .317
01. Lee Seung-yeop
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) 17
03. Ma Hae-yeong (Samsung) 15
04. Lee Yeong-wu (Hanwha) 10
05. Chin Gap-yong (Samsung) 10
06. Tyrone Woods (Doosan) 10
07. Lee Soong-yong (Hyundai) 9
08. Chang Seong-ho (Kia) 9
09. Shim Jeong-Soo (Hyundai) 8
10. Lee Ho-joon (SK) 8
Runs Batted in RBIs
01. Lee Seung-yeop
02. Song Ji-man (Hanwha) 40
03. Man Hae-yeong (Samsung) 36
04. Chin Gap-yong (Samsung) 31
05. Lee Ho-joon (SK) 27
01. Cho Yong-joon
02. Kim Min-gi (LG) 2.13
03. Im Chang-yong (Samsung) 2.40
04. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 2.45
05. Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 2.57
06. Kiefer (Kia) 2.68
07. Melquicides Torres (Hyundai) 2.72
08. Arantes (SK) 2.82
09. Chae Byeong-ryong (SK) 3.15
10. Lee Sang-hoon (Doosan) 3.20
01. Gary Rath
02. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 6
03. Kim Jin-wu (Kia) 5
04. Choi Sang-deok (Kia) 5
05. Kiefer (Kia) 5
01. Kim Jin-wu
02. Song Jin-wu (Hanwha) 50
03. Park Myeong-hwan (Doosan) 49
04. Kim Soo-kyung (Hyundai) 49
05. Kiefer (Kia) 48
Rhodes Two Homers, Four RBIs Lead 8-1 Thrashing of Daiei
Daiei Hawks starter Junji Hoshino came into this one having won four in a row against the Kintetsu Buffaloes, but he had nothing Monday and was really unloaded on by Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura, who went third deck, and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes, who lined a shot into the leftcenterfield seats in what became an 8-1 throttling of the Hawks at Osaka Dome. Hisashi Iwakuma opened on the mound for Kintetsu and twirled his best ball of the season, a complete game six hitter where he permitted just one run and struckout four without walking anyone to win for the second time against three defeats.
Kintetsu got the only runs it would need in the first, as Rhodes blooped a fly ball double to centerfield and Nakamura unloaded on a fastball down and on the outer half of the plate, rocketing it 455 feet away in the upper reaches of the dome, for a 2-0 lead.
In the second, Kintetsu first baseman Yuji Yoshioka leadoff with a single to left and then catcher Kenji Furukubo got good wood on a "shuuto" (a running changeup) and tucked it inside the leftfield foul pole to double the Buffs advantage to 4-0. That was Furukubo's first homer in three years and his 36th lifetime.
Daiei got off the shnide in the fifth, DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled off the rightfield wall. Catcher Kenji Johjima singled to right. First baseman Morgan Burkhart singled to right to push Matsunaka across, but Iwakuma then got two ground balls and a strikeout to nip the rally in the bud.
Kintetsu came charging back in their at bat, shortstop Masahiro Abe singled to center and was sacrificed to second. One out later, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi got sawed off, but the ball made it safely to center and Rhodes ripped a bazooka shell to the deepest part of the yard and it was 7-1. Rhodes then cleaned and jerked one out to left off of Tomohiro Nagai in the eighth to conclude the scoring at 8-1. The Hawks went in order in the ninth and the home folks filed out happy.
J. Hoshino (L, 4-1 ) IP 5.0 PC 72 H 7 HR 3
K 2 BB 0 R 7 ER 7 ERA 3.48
Shinohara IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Nagai IP 2.0 PC 31 H 2 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Iwakuma (W, 2-3) IP 9.0 PC 118 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.48
2B: Rhodes, Kawaguchi
HR: N. Nakamura (13), Furukubo (1), Rhodes 2 (17)
RBI: Rhodes 4, Burkhart, N. Nakamura 2, Furukubo 2
LOB: Daiei 4, Kintetsu 1
Game Time: 2:40
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Maeda (1B), Iizuka (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Seelbach Rocked by Lotte 8-3
Chiba Lotte Marines second baseman Koichi Hori homered for the fifth time in nine games and Lotte spanked out double figures in hits in consecutive games for the first time this season as they cuffed Nippon Ham starter Chris Seelbach around for an 8-3 victory Monday at Tokyo Dome. Naoyuki Shimizu, owner of a gaudy 1.93 ERA, was shaken down for seven hits and two runs in 5.1 innings before being pulled by manager Koji Yamamoto in the wake of Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara taking him deep to grab his fourth win.
Seelbach got behind literally right away, Hori leading off the game with a drive into the leftfield bleachers for a 1-0 Lotte lead.
Lotte piled on that with four in the fourth. Leftfielder Derrick May walked. One out later, rightfielder Kenji Morozumi sacrificed him to second. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu singled to center and May dashed in to make it 2-0. Shortstop Masato Watanabe walked. Hori singled to left and Shimizu hotfooted it around for a third run. Centerfielder Saburo Omura walked to load the bases. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to left to give Fukuura his eighth and ninth RBIs in two games and to put his side up 5-0.
The Fighters shortened that lead to 5-1 in the fifth when third baseman Yukio Tanaka singled to center and one out later so did catcher Kazunari Sanematsu to get Tanaka to third. Rightfielder Yutaka Nakamura flied out to right to enable Tanaka to tag up and toe the dish.
An inning later, Ogasawara decided it was hammertime and played a game of "you can't touch this" in the leftfield seats. Leftfielder Sherman Obando singled to left and Yamamoto didn't want to chance Shimizu perhaps being tapped out, so he handed the ball to Takashi Kawai and then Hiroyuki Kobayashi to end the inning.
In the top of the seventh, May went to right for a one out single and third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba slammed a pitch from Nippon Ham reliever Junichiro Muto and put it in the leftfield stands and it was 7-2 Lotte. Morozumi doubled to rightcenter and Watanabe singled to left and Lotte was in the driver's seat 8-2.
Nippon Ham to back to back one out doubles from
birthday boy Ken Tanaka and Ogasawara to make it 8-3. The Fighters pretty
much had exhausted themselves at that point and Lotte closer Masahide Kobayashi
struckout two and drew a ground
ball from another in a 1-2-3 ninth to put them out of their misery.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 3-4 with an error and is at .262. DH D.T. Cromer was 0-3 with a walk and is at .265.
For Lotte, DH Frank Bolick was 0-5 and is at .221.
May was 1-3 with two walks and is at .205.
N. Shimizu (W, 4-1) IP 5.1 PC 82 H 7 HR 1 K
2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 1.93
Kawai IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
H. Kobayashi IP 1.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.60
Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.94
Fujita IP 0.1 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.76
K. Yamasaki IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
M. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.79
3-3) IP 4.0 PC
88 H 6 HR 1 K 1 BB 4 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.19
Muto IP 3.0 PC 66 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.09
Kato IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.46
SB: Hori, S. Omura, Morozumi
2B: Obando, K. Tanaka, M. Ogasawara, Fukuura, Morozumi
HR: Hori (7), Hatsushiba (3), M. Ogasawara (14)
RBI: Hori 2, Hatsushiba 2, M. Ogasawara, Fukuura 2, M. Shimizu, Masato Watanabe
SF: T. Nakamura
WP: N. Shimizu
LOB: Lotte 10, Nippon Ham 6
Game Time: 3:34
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Tachibana (1B), Akimura (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 20th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1961, the first regular season pro game was played in Okinawa, featuring the Toei Flyers (now the Nippon Ham Fighters) and the Nishitetsu Lions. The admission fee was in dollars (since the U.S. wouldn't cede Okinawa back to Japan until 1973).
Also on this date in 1958, Nihon Seimei Stadium,
the homeground of the Kintetsu Buffaloes, was kitted out for night games
and thus became the last of the 12 pro clubs to do so.
And on this date in 1971, Isao Hirono of the Yomiuri Giants became the third player all time to slug a come from behind pinch hit sayonara grand slam homer in a game against Yakult. He then pulled that feat off in 1974 when he went to the Chunichi Dragons during the offseason, his second tour of duty with the Nagoya bunch. He was a .239 lifetime hitter in nine seasons wirth three teams, hitting 78 homers in 1844 AB and having an OPS of .717.
May 19, 2002
Diaz Bops Swallows with Two Three Run Homers
Two longballs from Hiroshima Carp second baseman Eddie Diaz, one of them drilled completely out of the park and striking a girl working at a beverage stand in the head, gave Carp starter Ken Takahashi his third victory of the season Sunday at Iwate Prefectural Stadium in Morioka Sunday 9-4. In addition, Hiroshima leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto homered in his 26th ballpark.
19 year old rookie Yataro Sakamoto had his roeughest outing of the year for Yakult, lasting just three innings and surrendering three run on two hits while walking two and striking out none. Hiroshima then went after Takahiko Hagiwara, who was recently called up when Satoshi Iriki was demoted to the minors, and Alan Newman to put this one in the bank.
Hiroshima went out to an early lead in the first, when shortstop Akihiro Higashide walked to lead the inning off and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda lined out, but Kanemoto walked. Diaz then came up and launched a bomb that sailed over the leftfield stands, hitting the young lady, who was taken to hospital for x rays. Fortunately, she suffered no skull fracture or concussion, but no doubt did have a headache. In any event, the Carp were up 3-0.
Yakult catcher Atsuya Furuta answered with a leadoff blast into the centerfield seats in the second to cut it to 3-1.
In the fourth, the Swallows evened it with a one out single to left from Furuta, an error on Diaz, a two out intentional walk to second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi that loaded the bases and a two run single from pinch hitter Hirobumi Watarai to make it 3-3.
An inning later, though, the Carp went ahead to stay. Maeda singled to left with one out and Kanemoto got a fastball up and in "that I was able to turn on really well" and some fan in the rightfield stands had a souvenir as Kanemoto circled the bases and earned two RBIs to give the Carp a 5-3 edge.
Yakult trimmed that disparity in the top of the sixth with one away. Third baseman Akinori Iwamura doubled down the rightfield line and came around on a double to rightcenter from leftfielder Alex Ramirez and it was 5-4.
In the seventh, Hiroshima put it away with a leadoff walk to Higashide, a sacrifice bunt, a single to left by Maeda, and an RBI broken bat knock to right from Kanemoto that knocked Newman out of the game. Kanemura was summoned from the bullpen and Diaz victimized him with a journey to the center of the leftfield bleachers for another three runs and a 9-4 Carp lead. Takahashi allowed one hit and a walk over the last two innings to secure the complete game triumph. This is also the first time all season that Kanemoto racked up three RBIs in a single contest.
The active leader in homering at different ballparks is Yakult infielder Takahiro Ikeyama with 29. Carp manager Koji Yamamoto, when he was an active player, did it in 32 stadiums, as did another ex-Carp player, Sachio Kinugasa and former Orix catcher/DH Hiromitsu Kadota.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .284. May was 2-4 with an RBI and was .333.
IP 3.0 PC 52 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.69
Hagiwara (L, 0-1) IP 2.0 PC 47 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.00
Newman IP 1.1 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 5.02
Kawabata IP 0.2 PC 12 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.00
H. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
K. Takahashi (W, 3-4) IP 9.0 PC 130 H 10 HR 1 K 8 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.91
2B: Iwamura 2, Ramirez
HR: Furuta (1), Diaz 2 (12), Kanemoto (3)
RBI: Diaz 6,Kanemoto 3, Furuta, Ramirez, Watarai 2
LOB: Yakult 8, Hiroshima 5
Game Time: 2:55
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Shikida? (1B), Watada (2B), K. Kobayashi (3B)
Hidaka Sayonara Single Frustrates Mirabal, Nippon Ham 1-0
Carlos Mirabal of the Nippon Ham Fighters hooked up in a dandy with Orix' Koo Dae-sung Sunday at Kobe Green Stadium, but he ran into trouble in the ninth when Blue Wave DH Fernando Seguignol leadoff with a double down the rightfield line and was eventually sacrificed to third, from where he scored on a sayonara single to right by catcher Takeshi Hidaka off of a changeup to give the Hyogo Prefecture squad a 1-0 victory. The loss was Mirabal's first of the year while Orix closer Masanobu Okubo leveled his record to 1-1 by being credited with the win.
Koo went eight innings and scattered five hits, though he did walk five while striking out six to lower his ERA to 1.78.
The Fighters got their first real chance to do something with Koo in the fifth, when rightfielder Toshihiro Noguchi singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide walked. But then Koo induced a groundout from shortstop Makoto Kaneko and second baseman Hiroshi Narahara flied out in foul territory in right to end the rally.
Orix presented its first credible uprising in the bottom of the sixth, when rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi beat out a roller toward second and advanced on a sacrifice. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani walked. Seguignol flied out to center, though, and shortstop Tatsuya Shindo grounded out to keep it scoreless.
An inning later, Orix just flat out blew a big opportunity to break through. First baseman Scott Sheldon cracked a leadoff double down the leftfield line and went to third on a sacrifice. But pinch hitter Koji Takamizawa struckout and pinch hitter Yasuo Fujii grounded out to frustrate themselves.
Okubo put the Fighters order down 1-2-3, so on to the home half. Seguignol wacked his double and Shindo was intentionally walked. Both were advanced on a sacrifice, so Fighters manager Yasunori Oshima ordered an intentional walk to leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani to set up a force at every base. Takamizawa struckout for the second out, bringing up Hidaka, who then performed his heroics to see his side come out on top 1-0.
For Nippon Ham, leftfielder Sherman Obando was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .248. DH D.T. Cromer was also 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .270.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-3 with .238. Seguignol was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .269.
Mirabal (L, 5-1 ) IP 8.2 PC 112 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 5 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.52
IP 8.0 PC 119 H 5 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.78
Okubo (W, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2B: Sheldon, Seguignol
IBB: Shindo, Shiotani
LOB: Nippon Ham 7, Orix 9
Game Time: 2:25
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Higashi (1B), Nagami (2B), Sato (3B)
Hanshin Relief Corps Implodes in Another Home Loss
This game marked Hanshin manager Senichi Hoshino's 1500th as the headman of a ballclub (most of that obviously with the Chunichi Dragons), but the Tigers couldn't give him a win on this occasion, as they went down 6-2 to the Dragons at Koshien Stadium in front of 48,000 Sunday. The victory was the Nagoya club's seventh in a row to elevate themselves to third place while Hanshin dropped its fifth consecutive Koshien tilt.
Trey Moore started for the Tigers and had another good outing despite saying that he was leaving too many pitches up, giving up two runs in seven innings on five hits while striking out five and walking three to get the loss.
Kenta Asakura got his fifth win, though he stuck around for only 5.1 innings before Chunichi manager Hisashi Yamada began a relief relay that permitted one run and four hits the rest of the way to keep things the Dragons way.
Chunichi took a 1-0 lead in the second when catcher Motonobu Tanishige barely hit one over the rightfield fence.
The Tigers knotted things back up in the fourth when third baseman George Arias leadoff with a double down the leftfield line, centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to right and shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto did similarly to make it 1-1.
However, the Dragons went back ahead 2-1 in the sixth when first baseman Leo Gomez creamed a Moore pitch well into the centerfield bleachers.
In the seventh, Hanshin tried to comeback when a
leadoff infield hit from pinch hitter Atsushi Fujimoto and a single to center
from second baseman Makoto Imaoka set up a two on, no out situation. Leftfielder
Tomochika Tsuboi, who failed to execute a sac bunt in the first, didn't do
the job here, either, Tanishige pouncing on the ball and throwing to third
for the force. First baseman Derrick White struckout. Arias walked to juice
the bags, but rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama whiffed to keep the Dragons
Chunichi then bolstered that advantage in the eighth when reliever Shinobu Fukuhara plunked rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome with one out. One out later, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled off the rightfield wall and Fukudome chugged in to make it 3-1.
In the top of the ninth, Hanshin relievers Shoji Toyama and Atsunori Itoh stunk it up and the result was three more Dragons runs. Backup leftfielder Sekikawa singled to left off of Toyama and Tanishige singled to center. Itoh was waved in by Hoshino and after getting the first man he faced, nailed shortstop Hirokazu Ibata to pack the sacks. Centerfielder Toshio Haru singled to center to bring in Sekikawa, and Fukudome walked to force in another. Gomez lifted a fly to shallow center and backup centerfielder Taichiro Kamisaka kind of lollygagged it, not expecting Ibata to go. But Ibata did and since Kamisaka wasn't in a good throwing position, he didn't get much on his relay and the speedy Ibata scored easily and it was 6-2 Hanshin.
Moore is reportedly learning Japanese to try to fit in with his teammates. However, one guy he won't have to worry about dealing with for a while is Tsuboi, who sprained his ankle and was sent down, Koji Hirashita being called up in his place. Hoshino, after this one was over, said that his team played like the old Hanshin Tigers that finished in the cellar the last four years.
For Hanshin, White was 1-5 with an RBI while striking out four times and is at .303. Arias was 1-4 with a walk and is at .231.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .267.
Asakura (W, 5-1
) IP 5.1
PC 103 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.03
Endo IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.87
Ochiai IP 0.1 PC 8 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.77
Yamakita IP 0.0 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.50
Kito IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.57
IP 7.0 PC 110 H 5 HR 2 K 5 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.44
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.04
Toyama IP 0.0 PC 7 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 32.40
A. Itoh IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.15
2B: Tatsunami, Imaoka 2, Arias
HR: Tanishige (8), Gomez (8)
RBI: Haru, Fukudome, Gomez 2, Tatsunami, White, Sekimoto
HBP: Fukudome (Fukuhara), Ibata (A. Itoh)
GIDP: Ibata, Kamisaka
LOB: Chunichi 8, Hanshin 11
Game Time: 3:42
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Manabe (1B), Tani (2B), Tsuchiyama (3B)
Fukuura's Seven RBIs Routs Kintetsu 15-4
Nathan Minchey was finally able to earn his second win of the season Sunday, as the Chiba Lotte Marines offense exploded on Katsuhiko Maekawa and the Kintetsu Buffaloes for 15 runs on 18 hits to destroy the Osaka contingent by a 15-4 margin. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura lead the thrashing with a two run homer, a bases clearing double, an RBI single and a sacrifice fly for a total of seven runs batted in his greatest offensive splurge of 2002.
Maekawa had a 2-0 lead when the Buffs combined a one out single from rightfielder Kenshi Kawaguchi and a jack into the rightfield seats from DH Takano in the top of the fourth. But that wouldn't last long.
In the bottom of the fourth, second baseman Koichi Hori walked to lead it off. Centerfielder Saburo Omura ripped a double down the rightfield line. Fukuura flew out to left and Hori tagged and came in to make it 2-1 Kintetsu.
Maekawa got through the fifth okay, but was dismantled in the sixth. With one out, Hori singled to center. Omura walked. Fukuura singled to left and Hori blazed in with the tying run. DH Frank Bolick, taking advantage of a rare non-windy day at Chiba Marine Stadium, then hammered a Maekawa offering and deposited it over the centerfield fence for a kachikoshi three run homer to make it 5-2 Lotte. Rightfielder Yukihiko Sato singled to center and leftfielder Derrick May singled to right to knock Maekawa out of the game. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to center off of reliever Daisuke Miyamoto and it was 6-2. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu executed the squeeze for his team's seventh tally and shortstop Masato Watanabe singled in another and it was 8-2 Marines.
Kintetsu countered with a two out double down the leftfield line in the seventh from second baseman Yosuke Takasu and a two bag gapper to rightcenter from leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes to make it 8-3.
Lotte retorted with a leadoff triple in the home half from Omura off of the rightfield fence and Fukuura exited to rightcenter and it was 10-3 Lotte.
Kintetsu resisted, albeit weakly, in the eighth with a carrom off the leftfield wall from first baseman Yuji Yoshioka, an infield single by Kawaguchi and an RBI groundout from Takano to slice it to 10-4.
Lotte reloaded and made this even more of a laugher in the bottom half when Watanabe leadoff with a single to center, Hori singled to right, Omura singled to center to load the bases and Fukuura cleaned the decks with a scorcher into the leftcenter alley to widen his team's lead to 13-4. Leftfielder Kenji Morozumi singled Fukuura and came all the way around when Buffs centerfielder Naoyuki Omura allowed the ball to squirt by him for the 15th Lotte tally.
The win was the 200th at the Lotte helm for manager Koji Yamamoto, the first man to do that for the club since Masaichi Kaneda did it in the 1970's when they were still known as the Lotte Orions.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-5 with an RBI and two strikeouts and is at .250.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-5 with three RBIs and is at .231. May was 3-4 and is finally above the Mendoza line at .202.
Maekawa (L, 2-4) IP 5.1 PC
91 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 7 ER 7 ERA 5.19
D. Miyamoto IP 0.2 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.12
Ishige IP 1.0 PC 35 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 18.00
Aikyo IP 1.0 PC 31 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.65
Minchey (W, 2-6) IP 7.0 PC 121 H 8 HR 1 K 3
BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.68
K. Yamasaki IP 0.2 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.07
Tak. Tanaka IP 1.1 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.00
E: N. Omura
2B: Takasu, Rhodes, Yoshioka, S. Omura, Fukuura, May
3B: S. Omura
HR: Takano (1), Bolick (4), Fukuura (2)
RBI: Rhodes, Takano 3, Fukuura 7, Bolick 3, Morozumi, Hatsushiba, M. Shimizu, M. Watanabe
HBP: N. Omura (Tak. Tanaka)
LOB: Kintetsu 11, Lotte 4
Game Time: 3:18
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Yamamoto (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Sugiuchi, Terahara Pummeled in Daiei Loss to Seibu
The Daiei Hawks' top two draft choices, Hayato Terahara and Toshiya Sugiuchi, were both kicked and clawed by the first place Seibu Lions Sunday in a 9-2 mauling of the birds of prey at Nagano. Daiei third baseman Hiroki Kokubo homered twice for the only Daiei runs and now has 13 on the year to put himself on pace for another 40+ dingers year.
Koji Mitsui had his start moved up due to the injury to Hsu Ming-chieh and picked up his third win against only one defeat with eight superlative innings of four hit, one run ball, striking out six and walking only one to contract his ERA to 2.47. Meanwhile, over in the other dugout, Sugiuchi, who has been bombarded his last few starts, was demoted to middle relief. Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh hasn't said who will spell Sugiuchi in the rotation, but most likely it will be Kenichi Wakatabe, who has been throwing well during his relief appearances.
In the first inning, Sugiuchi couldn't throw a strike to save his life and paid for that. Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff with a walk and stole second. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ozeki and DH Toshiaki Inubushi also worked free passes to load the bases. All three were then cashed in on a two run double down the leftfield line from first baseman Alex Cabrera and a sac fly from Kazuhiro Wada to make it 3-0 Seibu.
In the fourth, Kokubo dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 to rightcenter and it was 3-1 Lions.
The Lions retaliated with a leadoff walk and a drive into the leftfield bleachers on a pitch up and on the inner half of the plate by rightfielder Tetsuya Kakiuchi to make it 5-1. Sugiuchi then was mugged for a double to center by second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi and a single to left from Ozeki, which got Sugiuchi the hook in favor of Terahara. The Miyazaki phenom then induced a pop up by Inubushi to conclude the stanza.
Terahara pitched a 1-2-3 fifth and then Matsui stuck the knife in an inning later. Kakiuchi leadoff by being hit by Terahara and was pinch run for by Katsuhiko Miyaji. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh grounded to short and was out at first, but then Terahara wild pitched Miyaji to second and saw him roll in on a single to right from Takagi, who was pinch run for by Kazuya Harai. Matsui checked in and thwacked a hanging changeup deep drive that he didn't think was going to go out, but it did, center backscreen style, and it was 8-1 Lions. Ozeki doubled to leftcenter and pinch hitter Ken Suzuki pounded a Terahara fastball off the centerfield wall and it was 9-1.
Seibu loaded the bases in the seventh on a single to left from third baseman Hiroaki Ueda, a double into the leftfield corner from Miyaji and a walk to Itoh, only to have Harai ground into a 1-2-3 double play and Matsui fly out to center to keep the score where it was before the inning began.
Kokubo took Lions reliever Naoki Uchizono on an involuntary excursion to the leftfield stands for Daiei's final run and that's where it ended, 9-2 Seibu.
Sugiuchi is now 0-2 with a 9.75 ERA this season against Seibu.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .261.
For Daiei, Morgan Burkhart was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .206. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 1-4 and is at .312.
Sugiuchi (L, 2-2 ) IP 3.2 PC 79 H 4 HR
1 K 0 BB 5 R 5 ER 5 ERA 6.48
Terahara IP 2.1 PC 41 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 4 ER 3 ERA 4.43
Higasa IP 2.0 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mitsui (W, 3-1 ) IP 8.0 PC
118 H 4 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.47
Uchizono IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
SB: K. Matsui
2B: Nonogaki Cabrera, H. Takagi, Ozeki, K. Suzuki, Miyaji
HR: Kokubo 2 (13), Kakiuchi (1), K. Matsui (7)
RBI: Kokubo 2, K. Matsui 2 , K. Suzuki, Cabrera 2, Wada, Kakiuchi 2
HBP: Kakiuchi (Terahara), Matsunaka (Mitsui)
LOB: Daiei 6, Seibu 8
Game Time: 2:54
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Akimura (2B), Sakaemura (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Yokohama Loses 12th in a Row 8-1 to Yomiuri
For the first time in 16 years, the Yokohama Bay Stars have been defeated in 12 straight games, as the Yomiuri Giants batting order used the longball in the fifth and sixth innings to break what had been a 2-0 match open and cruise to an 8-1 victory and allow lefty Hisanori Takahashi to take his fourth shiroboshi with no losses this season.
Yoshimi started for the Stars and since he had the phenomenal first outing has been able to do little right since. He held the Giants scoreless the first time through the order, but come the fourth it started to fall apart for him. Giants shortstop Tomohiro Nioka commenced the attack with a double off the centerfield wall. One out later, centerfielder Hideki Matsui walked. Third baseman Akira Etoh singled to left to plate Nioka and make it 1-0, Matsui wheeling over to third. Daisuke Motoki grounded out to second to usher in Matsui and it was 2-0 Giants after four.
In the fifth, Yomiuri brought out the yard implements to deadly effect. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe leadoff with a clout into the rightcenterfield seats. One out later, Yoshimi walked leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu. Nioka went to right and the ball carried into the seats for a two run homer and it was 5-0 Giants.
Yokohama made its only noise in the sixth when shortstop Takuro Ishii kicked it off with a liner down the leftfield line for a standup double. One out later, leftfielder Takanori Suzuki walked. Third baseman Mike Gulan singled to left and the fleet footed Ishii completed the circuit to make it 5-1.
Now it was the Giants turn again and Etoh walked off of Atsushi Kizuka to begin the inning. One out later, second baseman Toshihisa Nishi sacrificed Etoh to second. Abe was intentionally walked to get to the pitcher's spot. Yomiuri manager Tatsunori Hara sent up Takayuki Saito to pinch hit and he mashed a Kizuka offering into the rightfield bleachers to balloon his squad's lead to 8-1. Three Giants relievers combined to shutout Yokohama the remainder of the game on one hit and that was that.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 1-4 with three strikeouts and an RBI and is at .200. First baseman Boi Rodrigues was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .233.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo came in as a defensive replacement but did not bat.
Yoshimi (L, 1-2) IP
4.1 PC 78 H 4 HR 2 K 2 BB 2 R 5 ER 4 ERA 5.50
Kawahara IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kizuka IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.05
Takeshita IP 2.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
H. Takahashi (L, 4-0) IP 6.0 PC 94 H 4 HR 0 K 9 BB
1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.09
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
J. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: T. Ishii, Taneda, Etoh
2B: Takuro Ishii, Nioka
HR: Nioka (5), S. Abe (3), Takayuki Saito (3)
RBI: Gulan, Nioka 2, Etoh, S. Abe, Takayuki Saito 3
IBB: S. Abe
LOB: Yokohama 6, Yomiuri 5
Game Time: 2:56
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Suginaga (2B), Mori (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 19th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1970, Hanshin Tigers outfielder Takao Katsuragi was arrested for trying to fix an auto race. That was the end of his 16 year career. He had won two consecutive RBI titles for the Daimai Orions (now the Chiba Lotte Marines) in 1958-59 and was a three time .300 hitter. His best season was in 1959, when he hit 24 homers and drove in 95 runs while batting .310. Lifetime, he hit .278 with 174 homers and 860 RBIs. He only struckout a little over 8% of the time for his career, an incredible number.
In 1981, Yutaka Enatsu of the Nippon Ham Fighters got credit for a save against the Nankai Hawks at Heiwadai Stadium, meaning that he now had one save against all 12 pro teams. Enatsu amassed 193 saves over his 18 seasons, which also included 206 wins, and had a lifetime ERA of 2.49 with 2987 strikeouts. He was a three time 20 game winner for Hanshin before becoming a closer with Nankai. He also owns the one season strikeout record with 401 in 329 innings (just a hair under 11 K/9) in 1968, when he went 25-12 and had a 2.13 ERA.
Miura Takes Another Tough Defeat to Put Giants in First
Eighth inning solo homers by third baseman Akira Etoh and catcher Shinnosuke Abe ended what had up until then been a scoreless duel between the Yokohama Bay Stars righthander Daisuke Miura and the Yomiuri Giants Koji Uehara to enable the Tokyo club to prevail Saturday 2-1 at Tokyo Dome. The loss was Miura's seventh despite brandishing a fine 2.83 ERA.
Yokohama had a scoring chance against Uehara in the third, when they loaded the bases on a one out single to center by shortstop Takuro Ishii, an infield hit from centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka and Uehara plunking leftfielder Takanori Suzuki. Uehara then stepped it up and got third baseman Mike Gulan to foul out to first and struckout first baseman Boi Rodrigues to end the inning.
Both hurlers were absolutely dominating until the eighth, when Miura cracked first. Etoh got a fastball that was supposed to be in on Etoh's hands but got too much of the plate and he obliterated it, bonking it off of a lightstandard near the roof above the rear of the leftfield bleachers more than 450 feet away to make it 1-0 Giants. Two outs later, Abe, who has a natural uppercut in his swing, hammered a drive over the rightcenterfield fence and it was 2-0 Yomiuri.
In the ninth, Yokohama attempted to fight back. With one out, Rodrigues lined one of Uehara's deliveries off the rightfield wall for a double. Seiichi Uchikawa pinch ran for him. Second baseman Hitoshi Taneda singled to center to plate Uchikawa. Now with the tying run on, Uehara put the boot in again and retired the final two batters for the 2-1 complete game victory. Uehara, who was the object of overtures from the Angels before he was drafted by Yomiuri, has four of his six wins this season against the Stars. This is also the fastest he has ever gotten to six, the previous best being in June of 1997.
This is also the first time in 13 years that Yokohama has lost 11 in a row.
The 11 strikeouts is a season high for Uehara, who achieved double figures in that category for the tenth time in his career.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 0-4 and is at .198. Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk and is at .240.
Miura (L, 2-7) IP 8.0 PC 118 H 4 HR 2 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.83
Uehara (W, 6-2) IP 9.0 PC 123 H 7 HR 0 K 11 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
HR: Etoh (4), S. Abe (2)
RBI: Etoh, S. Abe, Taneda
HBP: T. Suzuki (Uehara)
LOB: Yokohama 7, Yomiuri 1
Game Time: 2:32
Umpires: Ino (HP), Suginaga (1B), Mori (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Two Run Bullet Blast the Difference in 5-1 Dragons Victory Over Hanshin
A two run homer to left in the fifth by leftfielder Scott Bullet provided the Chunichi Dragons with some breathing room in what ended up as a 5-1 victory by the Nagoya nine over the Hanshin Tigers Saturday at a sold out Koshien Stadium. Melvin Bunch allowed just one run on seven hits and struckout 11 to earn his fourth win of the year as his club continues on a May rampage.
For Hanshin starter Yuya Ando, this was his third loss in a row and he gave up all five Dragons runs on six hits, three of them homers, leading to Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino ripping his number one draft choice to reporters after the game.
The Tigers, who are 15-6-1 on the road, are playing .500 ball at home, splitting their 16 games at Koshien thus far. Moreover, big crowds seem to give them problems, since they are 1-5 when there are 50,000 or more fans observing a hometown faceoff. That's one of the reasons they can't seem to pull away from the pack in the Central League pennant struggle and it is still a four team race.
The Dragons pulled to the head of the line in the third when second baseman Masahiko Morino doubled down the leftfield line and catcher Motonobu Tanishige walked, Morino coming in when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata, during a 14 pitch at bat, got a slider on the outer half of the plate and banged it up the middle, to make it 1-0.
Hanshin had a chance to rectify things in the bottom of the inning, as shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto beat out a roller to third. Catcher Ryo Yoshimoto singled to right and both men were sacrificed along. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka struckout, however, and after leftfielder Tomochika Tsuboi walked to load the bases, Bunch struckout centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to kill the threat.
In the top of the fourth, first baseman Leo Gomez leadoff with a clout into the leftfield seats to double the Dragons advantage to 2-0.
Bunch singled to center with one out in the fifth to bring up Bullet, who crushed an Ando pitch well into the leftfield seats and it was 4-0 Dragons. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome then followed that by getting lost in the rightfield stands and now the visitors were up 5-0.
The Tigers loaded the bases again in the bottom of the sixth with one away when third baseman George Arias singled to left, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to center and, one out later, Sekimoto beat out a tapper near the mound, Bunch throwing the ball away in the attempt to get Sekimoto and Arias hit the dish to make it 5-1. Hoshino then sent up pinch hitter Masashi Matsuda and he flied out to left to end the rally.
Bunch struckout the side in the seventh and induced a couple of weak foul flies before Dragons manager Hisashi Yamada, noting Bunch's pitch count, summoned Hitoki Iwase from the bullpen and he didn't give Hanshin anything at all and it was game over.
The Tigers are drawing 42,000 a game, 10,000 above last year and if they can keep going like that they will break their one year attendance record. However, if playing at home becomes kind of a jinx, those figures may fall off.
Hoshino received an apology from Giants manager Tatsunori Hara for the pitch from Yomiuri lefthander Hisanori Takahashi that broke a finger on Atsushi Kataoka's hand.
Ibata, who is batting .367 and yet will probably be passed over in the all star balloting, recently lost a wallet containing about $800 on the shinkansen. In addition to the 14 pitch at bat he had against Ando Saturday, he had a 16 pitch one against the rookie, though he flied out on that occasion.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .230. White was 1-4 and is at .308.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .333.
Bunch (W, 4-3) IP 7.2 PC
121 H 7 HR 0 K 11 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.83
Iwase IP 1.1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.83
Ando (L, 2-4) IP 5.0
PC 100 H 6 HR 3 K 4 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.12
Date IP 1.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.30
Kanazawa IP 3.0 PC 46 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.67
HR: Gomez (7), Bullet (3), Fukudome (7)
RBI: Bullet 2, Gomez, Fukudome, Ibata
LOB: Chunichi 5, Hanshin 7
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Tani (1B), Tsuchiyama (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Five Run Lions Rally in Fourth Shoots Down Hawks
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera slammed his 12th homer of the year in the first inning to goose his side to a 2-0 lead before the beasts of Tokorozawa threw up a five spot in the fourth to strut away with a 7-2 triumph over the Daiei Hawks at Nagano. Daiei starter Keisaburo Tanoue couldn't get out of the fourth and was demoted to the minors after the game and ordered to sort himself out. It's not like Tanoue has been getting hammered all season since his ERA is 3.04 even with the siege he endured Saturday, but he is 1-4 and they want more consistency out of him.
After Cabrera went yard for the first time in four games on a big slow curve ball in the middle of the plate and down with centerfielder Katsuhiko Miyaji aboard to get Seibu a 2-0 lead, Daiei halved that in the top of the second when DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka leadoff with a single to right off of Seibu starter Fumiya Nishiguchi, catcher Kenji Johjima singled to center so that Matsunaka could motor to third, and Matsunaka ran in when rightfielder Koji Akiyama grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.
Cabrera was the catalyst for the Lions fourth inning rally, when he kicked it off with a single to center. One out later, third baseman Ken Suzuki walked. Hisashi Takayama doubled into the leftfield corner to drive in Cabrera and catcher Tsutomu Itoh doubled to leftcenter to make it 5-1. After second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi struckout, shortstop Kazuo Matsui was intentionally walked. Tatsuya Ozeki tattooed a shot against the rightfield wall and the Lions were in the driver's seat at 7-1.
Nishiguchi was fighting himself and after watching deliver to the plate 117 times in six innings, Lions manager Haruki Ihara gave him the hook and went with Hayato Aoki for an inning and then Yoshitaka Mizuo started the eighth. With one out, he hit second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and was touched for a single by leftfielder Pedro Valdez. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo flied out, but then Matsunaka went hammertime into the rightcenter alley to recall Iguchi and make it 7-2. Ihara, wanting to snuff this revolt right now, waved in setup man Shinji Mori, who induced a comebacker for the third out. Closer Kiyoshi Toyoda worked a 1-2-3 ninth and Seibu were one more game in the black and Daiei was one more game down in the Pacific League race.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-4 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .261.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-3 with a walk and is at .314. First baseman Morgan Burkhart was 1-3 and is at .208.
Tanoue (L, 1-4) IP 3.1 PC 65 H 6 HR 1
K 2 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.04
Shinohara IP 0.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Wakatabe IP 3.0 PC 40 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 10 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.00
Nishiguchi (W, 4-3) IP 6.0 PC 117 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 1 ER 1
Aoki IP 1.0 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Mizuo IP 0.2 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.92
Mori IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.04
Toyoda (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.64
2B: Matsunaka, Takayama, T. Itoh, Ozeki, H. Takagi
HR: Cabrera (12)
RBI: Matsunaka, Cabrera 2, Ozeki 2, T. Itoh 2, Takayama
IBB: K. Matsui
HBP: Iguchi (Mizuo)
GIDP: Akiyama, Shibahara, Harai
LOB: Daiei 7, Seibu 6
Game Time: 2:59
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Akimura (3B)
Bergman Hammered Early, But Kintetsu Chips Away to Eventually Win 6-5
Sean Bergman got the Kintetsu Buffaloes behind 5-1 after two innings, but his team kept its nose to the grindstone and managed to eek out a 6-5 victory Saturday over the Chiba Lotte Marines at Chiba Marine Stadium. Kosuke Kato had another bad outing to inflate his ERA to nearly 7.00 and one wonders if a demotion to the minors is in the offing.
Kintetsu drew first blood in the initial inning when centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to center to leadoff the game, went to second on a sacrifice and galloped around on a double bag screamer down the leftfield line by Tuffy Rhodes to make it 1-0 Buffaloes.
Lotte retaliated with a four ply in their portion. Second baseman Koichi Hori singled to center to kick it off and two outs later Bergman walked both DH Frank Bolick and leftfielder Derrick May to load the bases. Centerfielder Saburo Omura zipped a liner up the leftcenter gap for a bases clearing triple and a 3-1 Lotte advantage. Third baseman Ryosuke Sawai clocked one down the rightfield line for an RBI and a standup double and now it was 4-1 home team.
Hori took a tour of the leftfield seats off of Bergman in the second and Lotte was in the catbird seat at 5-1. Unfortunately, Lotte wouldn't get any more runs and Kato couldn't hold the fort.
In the top of the third, Kintetsu catcher Tetsuya Matoyama cracked a leadoff single to left and went to second on a wild pitch. Two outs later, Rhodes singled to center to close within 5-2.
Two innings later, Kintetsu made things even tighter with an infield hit from Matoyama, a one out single to left from second baseman Yosuke Takasu, and a two run double to rightcenter from third baseman Norihiro Nakamura to reduce the Lotte lead to 5-4.
Kintetsu then caught up in the sixth with a leadoff two base shot off the leftfield wall by DH Fumitoshi Takano and an RBI single to center from shortstop Masahiro Abe for the 5-5 tie.
Takasu then had the game winning hit in the seventh when he clobbered a pitch from Lotte reliever Soichi Fujita for the 6-5 kachikoshi homer. Both teams then each blew one scoring opportunity and that's how it ended.
For Lotte, Bolick was 0-2 with two walks and is at .233. May was 0-3 with a walk and is at .183.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-5 with two RBIs, three strikeouts and an error and is at .252. Nigel Wilson struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .221.
IP 5.0 PC 88 H 6 HR 1 K 4 BB 3 R 5 ER 5 ERA 5.29
Takamura (W, 3-2) IP 3.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.09
Okamoto (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.06
IP 4.2 PC 78 H 9 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.98
K. Yamasaki IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.57
Kawai IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.24
Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.45
Fujita (L, 0-1) IP 0.2 PC 14 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
H. Kobayashi IP 2.1 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.73
2B: Rhodes, N. Nakamura, Yoshioka, Takano, Kita, Sawai
3B: S. Omura
HR: Takasu (1), Hori (6)
RBI: Takasu, Hori, N. Nakamura 2, Rhodes 2, M. Abe, S. Omura 3, Sawai
WP: K. Kato
HBP: Takano (K. Kato)
GIDP: M. Abe, Matoyama
LOB: Kintetsu 6, Lotte 6
Game Time: 3:27
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Ninth Inning Sanematsu Clout Margin of Victory for Nippon Ham
A solo roundtripper from Nippon Ham catcher Kazunari Sanematsu in the ninth inning kept this one from going to extra innings after the Orix Blue Wave surged for a run in their last at bat in a 4-3 Fighters victory at Kobe Green Stadium Saturday. Kanemura threw six strong innings for the winners, though he ultimately didn't figure in the decision, which was picked up by reliever Kiyoshi Sasaki.
Ed Yarnell started for Orix and despite complaining about the umpire's small strikezone, went a solid 7.2 innings of seven hit, three run ball (two earned) to lose it.
Nippon Ham cadged a temporary lead in the first, Yarnell beginning the game by plunking shortstop Makoto Kaneko. Kaneko was moved to second on a sac bunt, advanced on a groundout and hit the dish on an error by Orix third baseman Mitsutaka Goto and it was 1-0 Fighters.
Nippon Ham then built on that in the second, as rightfielder Seigo Fujishima walked with one down. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi singled to right and Fujishima made like a bat out of hell for third. Centerfielder Tatsuya Ide flew to center and Fujishima tagged an came home to make it 2-0.
Orix restored equilibrium, though, in the bottom of the inning, first baseman Scott Sheldon following shortstop Tatsuya Shindo taking one for the team from Satoru Kanemura by mortaring a pitch into the centerfield seats to level it at 2-2.
It stayed that way until the top of the eighth, when third baseman Yukio Tanaka legged out a roller near short and came around in the wake of singles from leftfielder Sherman Obando and DH D.T. Cromer to enable the Fighters to get in front again 3-2.
Sanematsu slugged his first homer of the 2002 campaign leading off the ninth for a 4-2 advantage and then went back behind the plate hoping to aid Tomokazu Iba wrap it up. With one out, Shindo singled to center and advanced to second on a two out error by first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara. catcher Takashi Miwa singled in Shindo to make it 4-3. Nippon Ham manager Yasunori Oshima then got on the hotline for Hiroshi Shibakusa, who induced a groundout from Oshima to put it in the refrigerator.
For Orix, DH Fernando Seguignol was 0-4 and is at .270. Sheldon was 1-4 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .236.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 3-4 and is at .255. Cromer was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .278.
IP 6.0 PC 101 H 4 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.93
Sasaki (W, 2-1) IP 2.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
Iba IP 0.2 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 6.39
Shibakusa (S, 2) IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.14
Yarnell (L, 3-3) IP 7.2 PC
126 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 3 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.02
Hagiwara IP 1.1 PC 17 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.36
E: M. Ogasawara, M. Goto
SB: Narahara, Noguchi, Tani
HR: Sanematsu (1), Sheldon (2)
RBI: Sanematsu, Sheldon
HBP: Kaneko (Yarnell), Shindo (Kanemura)
GIDP: Y. Tanaka
LOB: Nippon Ham 7, Orix 7
Game Time: 2:55
Wada Strikes Out 16 in Another Shutout
Waseda Univerity lefty Tsuyoshi Wada, likely to
be a top pick in this year's pro draft, racked up another 16 strikeouts in
a 2-0 victory over Meiji University Saturday at Meiji Jingu Stadium in Tokyo.
The shutout was his fourth of the season. Wada stuckout ten of those hitters
in thr first four innings, including five in a row at one point. "They had
a lot of lefthand hitters," he noted (in fact six in the starting lineup),
so I was able to get them on sliders." With his 78 strikeouts so far, Wada
now has 383 for his collegiate career, putting him within 60 of Hosei
University's Suguru Egawa's all time Tokyo Big Six University League record.
Another pitcher likely to go high in the November draft is Shuichiro Ozata of Keio University, and he picked up a win in a ten inning four hit 2-0 shutout of Hosei University, his first whitewash of the season.
Carp Add New Foreign Pitcher
The Hiroshima Carp have signed a new pitcher out of their Dominican Academy, a 5'10" 170 pound righthander named Ramon Ramirez. He will make 4.4 million yen (about $35,000) and has been sent to the Japanese minors.
In other Carp related news, their star leftfielder, Tomoaki Kanemoto, 34, will qualify for free agency May 19. However, he says that he will remain in a Carp uniform, a wise decision on his part since he is too old for the major leagues.
Roger Khan on Joe Black
I would like to send my condolences to the family of Joe Black, who helped get one of my two favorite MLB teams, the Dodgers, to the World Series. He won a Rookie of the Year for his efforts as well. In the L.A. Times, Roger Khan remembered the hard throwing former Greyhound executive at: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-000035161may18.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dsports
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 18th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1969, Jim Gentile of the Kintetsu Buffaloes homered against the Hankyu Braves, but suffered a muscle pull on the way to first and had to be taken out of the game while pinch hitter Takeo Ise completed the trip around the bases.
Also, on that date in 1979, the Yomiuri Giants Suguru Egawa made a minor league start at Korakuen Stadium against Nippon Ham's affiliate and 50,000 fans showed up to watch.
All games were rained out.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report would have been for May 17 and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1964, Taisuke Watanabe of Keio University tossed the first and only perfect game in Tokyo Big Six University League annals in a faceoff with Rikkyo University. Watanabe then went on to an eight season career in the pro ranks with the Nankai Hawks from 1965-1972, winning 54 and losing 58 with a 3.35 ERA, including 14 shutouts in 221 total games.
Also on that date in 1974, the 10,000,000 yen limit (which at the time would have been about $30,000) on rookie signing bonuses was eliminated.
And on that date in 1975, ex-Cleveland Indian Richie Scheinblum of the Hiroshima Carp became the first man in Japanese baseball history to homer from each side of the plate in the same game in a confrontation with the Taiyo Whales at Naha, Okinawa. Scheinblum is reportedly running a jewelry store these days. He hit a total of 33 roundtrippers in two seasons with the Carp.
Igawa Throws Two Hitters in 9-0 Smashing of Yokohama
When you're a professional ballplayer, there are times when you wonder why you even went to the ballpark that day. Well, for the Yokohama Bay Stars, this was one such case, as Hanshin lefthander Kei Igawa dominated for a complete game two hitter, striking out nine and walking none. This was also the first shutout that Igawa has tossed where he didn't hand out any free passes. Then the Tigers batting order took over and pummeled Shinya Goto, making his first pro start, for four runs in 4.1 innings on the way to an 8-0 flogging of their Kanto counterparts.
Hanshin went out to a first inning lead thanks to a leadoff flyball double from second baseman Makoto Imaoka and a two out single to right from rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama to make it 1-0.
Hanshin then resorted to the extra base hit in the fifth to begin to pull away. With one out, Imaoka sent a screamer down the leftfield line to lead it off. Leftfielder Tomochika Tsuboi lined a shot up the rightcenter gap to drive in Imaoka. He then came around when centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka ping ponged one off the rightfield fence for another two bagger and a 3-0 Tigers advantage. It also knocked Goto out of the game and he was replaced by Yu Sugimoto. Third baseman George Arias walked. One out later, first baseman Derrick White sent a little looper near the leftfield line and Hamanaka sprinted in to make it 4-0.
An inning later, Hanshin backstop Ryo Yoshimoto went yard for the first time this season, a solo roundtripper to to right, off of Sugimoto to widen the difference to 5-0.
The Tigers then went back to playing extra base ball in the eighth. Imaoka leadoff with his third double of the ballgame. Tsuboi laced a double down the rightfield line. One out later, Arias just missed hitting it out to left, settling for a double and an RBI. White split the rightcenter gap and he cruised into second with an RBI to complete the night's scoring at 8-0. Yokohama has now lost ten in a row for the first time in nine years.
A big reason for Yokohama's last place showing is that they have scored two runs or less in 23 of their 35 games. To try to shore up the offense, they have dispatched scouts to the U.S. in hopes of signing a new foreign player who can provide them with some run production.
Igawa, who was told by manager Senichi Hoshino that they needed a nine inning performance out of him so that closer Mark Valdez and setup man Shinobu Fukuhara could be rested, was clocked as high as 90mph. His mom Ritsuko was reportedly watching the game from her home in Ibaraki Prefecture and must have been delighted by the manner in which her son so befuddled the Stars lineup that five of his nine strikeouts were called, all on fastballs. The last Hanshin pitcher to have seven wins through May was Koji Nakada, also a southpaw, in 1992. He went on to a 14-12 seaosn with a 2.53 ERA, the only time in his otherwise mediocre career that he won in double figures. The opposition is hititng just .185 against Igawa.
Hanshin's starting third baseman, Atsushi Kataoka, will be out at least three weeks, though lately there is talk of him not coming back until after the all star break, which would be a big blow to the team not to mention that in not being able to face live pitching during that time during an already substandard season, it will make it tough for him to contribute during the stretch drive.
For Yokohama, third baseman Mike Gulan was 0-3 and is at .207. First baseman Boi Rodrigues struckout two of his three times up and is at .237.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-1 with an RBI and two walks and is at .230. White was 4-5 with an RBI and is at .310.
Igawa (W, 7-1) IP 9.0 PC 123 H 2 HR 0 K 9 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.71
0-1) IP 4.1 PC 71 H
8 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 8.31
Sugimoto IP 1.1 PC 48 H 5 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.09
Kawahara IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Higashi IP 2.0 PC 49 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 13.50
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.97
2B: Imaoka 3, Tsuboi 2, Hamanaka, Arias, White, Koike
HR: Yoshimoto (1)
RBI: Yoshimoto, Tsuboi 2, Hamanaka, Arias, Hiyama, White 2
HBP: Sekimoto (Higashi)
LOB: Hanshin 11, Yokohama 1
Game Time: 3:05
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Hodges, Yakult Shutout Yomiuri 1-0
See Japan Times story at:
Also, see Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020516wo51.htm
You can see a pic of Takahashi in the aftermath of the incident at:
http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200205/image/0517takahasi2_NK159516_b.jpg He will be out for a couple of games and has been ordered to wear a cup from now on. Iwamura said that the ball he lined to Takahashi is one of the hardest he has ever hit. The homer Iwamura launched was on a fastball that was up in the strike zone.
Kevin Hodges has really put it to Yomiuri this season, as he has given up a mere five hits in 12 innings against them this season. The Giants have scored two runs or less in 14 of their 15 losses.
1-0) IP 6.0 PC 83 H 3 HR 0 K 1
BB 4 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.74
H. Ishii IP 2.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.19
Takatsu (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
2-3) IP 7.0 PC 96 H 5 HR 1 K 3
BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.77
Okajima IP 1.1 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.59
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
Y. Maeda IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
2B: Iwamura, Ramirez
HR: Iwamura (4)
LOB: Yakult 9, Yomiuri 7
Game Time: 2:57
Umpires: Tani (HP), Mori (1B), Kittaka (2B), Manabe (3B)
Sasaki Went Back to Japan to Contest Divorce, Says Japanese Daily
It appears that the reason that Sasaki went back to Japan had to do with a divorce that his wife Kaori, a former tv personality, initiated due to a disagreement over the couple's living arrangements. Sasaki, according to the Hochi Shimbun, a subsidiary of the Yomiuri group, wants to take permanent residency and live in the U.S. while Kaori-san wants to keep everyone in Japan. They have two children, 10 and 8, and she is apparently saying that flying back and forth to and from the U.S. disrupts their children's education. You can see a pic of Kaori-san at: http://www.zakzak.co.jp/top/t-2002_05/image/2t2002051703kaori.jpg
Sasaki has stated that the story is categorically false and that his lawyers will be taking "appropriate measures" to deal with it, but I have my doubts about Sasaki's denial. It is almost unheard of for a Japanese salaryman, much less a ballplayer, to leave his team unless the relative is critically ill. Hochi indicated that Kaori-san wanted her husband to sign a "rikon todoke" a Certificate of Divorce. The Hochi Shimbun also seems to be insinuating that the divorce may have been motivated by the closer signing a new contract deal for $8 million a year. They just built a new $4 million home in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward and have apparently bought a home in the U.S. Hochi says that the financial terms of the divorce have yet to be worked out, though, obviously, that's contingent on the their report being factual.
When asked about all this by the Seattle Times, Sasaki again denied that any divorce rumors are false and that the Hochi Shimbun wrote this "because the Giants lost and they didn't have anything else to write about." Futhermore, he stated that he has no intention of taking permanent residency in the U.S., which would directly contradict other statements that have appeared attributed to him in the Japanese press saying he would do that upon retiring. So which is it, Kazu?
Finally, in a private email exchange I had with a well known national sports columnist, he said he thought that Sasaki got caught screwing around on his wife and had a fit and that is what may have started this whole mess. There is some evidence for that since an article printed in the gossip magazine FRIDAY last season indicated that both Ichiro and Sasaki had been seeing bar hostesses, though the focus was on Ichiro in that article and not on the Mariners righty. Consequently, the information in that regard about Sasaki is much sketchier and one has to be careful in giving that report any veracity when it comes to the Daimajin.One thing the Hochi article may do, though, is send the Japanese gossip press on a hunting expedition, so this may not be the last we hear of strife in the Sasaki household.
The Meaning of Defense
See article by Jim Allen of the Yomiuri Shimbun at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020516wo51.htm
Ex-Hankyu Players and Managers Remember Nishinomiya Stadium
With Nishinomiya Stadium, once home to the Hankyu Braves (now the Orix Blue Wave) now scheduled for demolition, ex-Braves players and managers reminisced about their old homeground recently.
Yukio Nishimoto, now 82, who guided the Braves to their first Pacific League pennant in 1967, offered, "that was a nice stadium. The distance between the seats and the players was small, so it was easy to watch games there. I always felt that the reason we got to be a strong team was being put in a good ballpark."
Hisashi Yamada, now manager of the Chunichi Dragons, pitched on the Hankyu clubs that won three Japan Series in a row between 1975-77 and had this to say: "it was my starting point. It's where I grew up. When we got back from a road trip, it was like a refuge. When I heard it was going to be torn down, I thought it was too bad, but time marches on."
Newly inducted Hall of Fame outfielder Yutaka Fukumoto, 54, Japan's answer
to Lou Brock, was very emotional. "It's where I grew up. I feel as if I no
longer have a place to go back to. Setting the steals records and climbing
the wall and catching a fly ball by Koichi Tabuchi during an all star game,
there are a lot of memories in that place. Before they tear it down, I'd
to play ball in it one more time with my firends."
Yoshinori Sato, 47, also a pitcher with Hankyu and now a Hanshin pitching coach, allowed, "I always wondered what would happen to it. And now it's going to go. We've lost a lot by that occurring. It's packed with so many memories. That's sad."
Below are some photos from Sankei Sports taken at the venerable stadium:
Braves manager Toshiharu Ueda gets the "doage" form his players after clinching a pennant: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200205/image/0516ueda_MS082515_b.jpgb
Yutaka Enatsu dispatches another batter on a strikeout during his nine
consecutive whiff tour de force in an all star game at
Song Ji-Man on Pace to Break Korean Homer Record
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200205/t2002051517242447110.htm
Samsung Sweeps Doubleheader Behind Seung-yeop Lee Homers
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200205/t2002051717311647110.htm
Nomura Won't Divorce His Wife Despite Her Costing Him Hanshin Job
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/national/K2002051700348.html
Wayne Graczyk Goes to the Mailbag
See article by Wayne Graczyk of the Japan Times at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020516wg.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 16th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1948, Yomiuri Giants first baseman Tetsuharu Kawakami, in a game against Gold Star at Sendai, became the first Japanese pro player ever to hit two homers in a single inning. Kawakami is now in the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame, known as Japan's "God of Hitting."
May 15, 2002
Hanshin Stays on Top with Victory Over Yokohama
Talk about a tale of two cities, Yokohama continues to sink deeper into last place in the Central League while Hanshin is still riding high at the summit of the circuit with the Tigers 4-2 victory over the Bay Stars at Yokoham Stadium. Keiichi Yabu had a nice outing, going six innings and giving up one run on four hits before a shot off the bat of Stars third baseman Mike Gulan prematurely ended his night.
Shane Bowers started for Yokohama and went 4.1 innings, surrendering two runs on seven hits, two walks and a hit batter to be hung with the loss.
The game was scoreless until the third, when Hanshin played small ball to score its first run. Yabu lead it off with a walk and went to second when second baseman Makoto Imaoka beat out a bunt toward third. Both men moved up on a sacrifice and Yabu came home on a sacrifice fly by centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka to make it 1-0 Hanshin.
In the fourth, Hanshin first baseman Derrick White cracked a one out single to left and moved up on shortstop Kentaro Sekimoto's knock to right. Bowers nailed catcher Ryo Yoshimoto with a pitch to load the bases. Yabu singled to left and it was 2-0 Hanshin. Imaoka ripped a shot to the left side of the diamond, whereit was flagged down by Gulan. Leftfielder Tomochika Tsuboi then grounded out and Hanshin wasted a chance to really break this game open.
Bowers was touched for a one out single to center in the fifth by third baseman George Arias and then he walked rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama. Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori, fearful that things were about to get out of hand, went to the bullpen and brought in Kazushi Hosomi. White flew out to right and Hosomi then walked Sekimoto to pack the sacks. Again, though, Hanshin's inability to get timely hits raised its head again when Yoshimoto flew to left to end the inning.
In the bottom of that frame, Gulan began things for the Stars with a single to right. First baseman Boi Rodrigues walked. Two outs later, Yoshihito Ishii wacked a single to right to plate Gulan and it was 2-1 Hanshin. Yabu shut the uprising down by inducing a grounder to first from shortstop Takuro Ishii.
Hanshin then expanded its advantage in the top of the seventh against Jason Turman with a leadoff single to center from Hamanaka, a double off the centerfield wall by Arias, a passed ball by Yokohama backstop Ryoji Aikawa for one run and a sacrifice fly to center from Hiyama to make it 4-1 Tigers.
Yabu's night would then be over in the home half, when Gulan spanked a shot off the middle finger of Yabu's right hand that went for a hit. Hanshin Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino ran out to check his pitcher's condition out. Yabu wanted to stay in the game, but Hoshino wanted to err on the side of caution and talked Yabu into giving up the ball to Kenji Harada.
Hanshin's relief corps did the job from there (for once) and got their club to the ninth and closer Mark Valdez. Unfortunately, the ex-Brave had some problems. Stars Second baseman Hitoshi Taneda leadoff with a single to right and stole second. Leftfielder Takanori Suzuki lifted a little fly ball down the leftfield line that Arias gathered in. Gulan struckout, but then Rodrigues slapped a single to center to plate Taneda. Kazunori Tanaka grounded out, though, to secure the 4-2 triumph for Hanshin.
Former Hanshin manager Katsuya Nomura said at a press conference for a book he just put out, "My Wife is a Doberman," which describes his relationship with his controversial chat program host spouse Sachi, that he felt betrayed by the fact that Imaoka and Yabu are doing so well when they didn't do much for him. "I treated then like adults because that's what worked for me at Yakult," the former Nankai slugging catcher revealed. "I guess I should have treated then like children." Despite his criticism of Imaoka and Yabu, he says that he is rooting for the Tigers to win the pennant.
When Imaoka was asked about Nomura's remarks, Imaoka spat, "just let him watch us win it all."
After the game, Yokohama infielder Hirofumi Ogawa was demoted to the minors for not hitting well.
For Hanshin, Arias was 3-5 with an error and is at .220. White was 1-3 with two walks and is at .287. His OBP is a sweet .410 thanks to his good eye at the plate.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 2-4 and is at .213. Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk an RBI and is at .245.
5-1) IP 6.0 PC 80 H 4 HR 0 K 4
BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.95
Harada IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
A. Itoh IP 0.2 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.75
Fukuhara IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
M. Valdez (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 0.66
(0-1) IP 4.1 PC 84 H 7 HR
0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.06
Hosomi IP 0.2 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Turman IP 2.0 PC 49 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 6.16
Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Takeshita IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
E: Arias, Taneda
RBI: Hamanaka, Hiyama, Yabu, Y. Ishii, Rodrigues
SF: Hamanaka, Hiyama
HBP: Yoshimoto (Bowers)
PB: Ryoji Aikawa 2
GIDP: Hiroo Ishii, T. Suzuki, Ryoji Aikawa
LOB: Hanshin 12, Yokohama 5
Game Time: 3:21
Umpires: Watada (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Kiuchi (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Etoh Slam Cooks Swallows Goose
A first inning grand slam by Yomiuri Giants third baseman Akira Etoh and an eighth inning 420 foot cruise missile into the rightcenterfield centerfield by centerfielder Godzilla Matsui that some in the Japanese press are calling one of the most impressive longballs of all time, lead the way for the Tokyo squad to annihilate Satoshi Iriki and the Yakult Swallows 11-1 Wednesday at Tokyo Dome.
The Giants, after a sparkling outing from the ex-Chunichi Dragon Kazuhiro
Takeda, got another top flight performance out of a hurler who was all but
consigned to the baseball dead in Cho Sung-min, the big Korean who once had
a 95mph fastball and was courted by the Dodgers before signing with Yomiuri
in 1997. Cho, who blew out his shoulder and had surgery last June on it that
some thought might end his baseball career if it wasn't successful, no longer
runs the badass gas up to the plate, his fastball now clocked around 90mph,
but he went six phenomenal innings on just 72 pitches, giving up four hits,
one Swallows third baseman Akinori Iwamura's third jack of the season, striking
out four and walking none. For those interested, you can view Cho's
stats at: http://www.inter.co.jp/Baseball/player/register/active/01160907.html
And there is a pic of his delivery at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020516-6.jpg
Meanwhile, Satoshi Iriki was sent down to the minors after being knocked around by the Giants order, lasting a mere 1.1 innings and being charged with six earned runs.
Giants leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff the first with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi walked, as did Matsui, to load the bases. Etoh strolled up and drilled a hanging forkball from Iriki halfway up the leftfield bleachers for an instant 4-0 Yomiuri lead. The granny was Etoh's first in two years and his tenth lifetime.
Then in the Giants half of the second, Cho scalded a one out double to leftcenter. Shimizu laced a double down the rightfield line to plate Cho and shortstop Tomohiro Nioka singled to center to usher in Shimizu. Exit Iriki and enter Alan Newman, who got the last two outs.
But then Yomiuri got to Newman in the fourth. Nishi opened with a single to center and advanced on a grounder to first. After Cho whiffed, Shimizu clocked another two bagger, this one down into the leftfield corner and the speedy Nishi came around easily to make it 7-0 Giants.
Iwamura answered by taking Cho over the leftfield fence to cut it to 7-1. Talk about futile gestures!
Matsui checked in with one out in the fifth and got a 1-2 fastball that Swallows reliever Hirotsugu Maeda was trying to paint on the outside corner that instead tailed over the plate and Matsui, whose batspeed is in excess of 105mph, jumped all over it like a starving man at a buffet and unleashed a low line drive. Nishi said that Yakult second baseman Chihiro Hamana leaped to try to catch it and Swallows centerfielder Mitsuru Manaka averred that he wouldn't be surprised if Hamana did. In any event, the ball left Matsui's bat at 86mph and landed in the rightcenterfield stands more than 420 feet away, an Aaronesque shot. I say that because Aaron, in the 1960's, was playing in a game against St. Louis, iirc, and rammed a liner back up the middle of the diamond. The pitcher leapt for it as it passed over his head. When he turned around to see where it went, he saw it bounding about the centerfield bleachers at County Stadium for another homer.
Former Nishitetsu Lions third baseman Futoshi Nakanishi was watching the
Giants game on tv and said that Matsui got tremendous extension on his dinger,
but that he couldn't believe the ball left the yard at the angle it did.
Nakanishi, a former batting and homer champion who still works as a consultant
to Japanese teams today, knows whereof he speaks. In a game in the early
60's at the old Heiwadai Stadium, Nakanishi hammered what appeared to me
to be a fastball up in the strikezone and howitzered it on a line over the
second deck of the leftcenterfield bleachers and out onto the street behind
the ballpark, a 500+ foot drive that Mike Piazza would have been proud to
call one of his own. One of the hardest hit balls I have ever seen anyone
in any country hit to be sure. The reporters convering the Giants-Yakult
faceoff Wednesday were indeed making comparisons with the Nakanishi longball
in terms of how hard Matsui struck it. Look at it this way: Sammy Sosa's
batspeed is only about 11km/h, or about 7-8mph, faster than Matsui's, and
Barry Bonds' is only about 5-6mph quicker, so that will tell you something
about the kind of force that Matsui generates. You can see photos of Matsui's
Speaking of Heiwadai, Giants coach Shinozuka said he thought Matsui's bomb resembled one he saw former Orioles first baseman Eddie Murray slug in an all star series there in 1984, again, a very flattering comparison.
Anyway, getting back to the game, with the score now 9-1, Yomiuri went back to work in the seventh, Etoh kicking it off with a walk. One out later, Nishi doubled into the leftfield corner and catcher Shinnosuke Abe plated Etoh with a sac fly to left. Koji Goto seared an RBI double into rightcenterfield and it was 11-1 Giants and Yakult cried uncle and returned to the hotel.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-3 and is at .291. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 and is at .323.
For Yomiuri, Felipe Crespo, who played third late in the contest, went 1-2 and is at .133.
1-3) IP 1.1 PC 38 H
5 HR 1 K 0 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 6.66
Newman IP 2.2 PC 37 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.28
H. Maeda IP 2.0 PC 45 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.86
Teramura IP 2.0 PC 49 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.63
IP 6.0 PC 72 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.50
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
J. Sakai IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
Masami Ishikawa IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.00
2B: Manaka, Cho, T. Shimizu
2, Fukui, Nishi, K. Goto
HR: Iwamura (3), Etoh (3), H. Matsui (8)
RBI: Iwamura, Etoh 4, H. Matsui, T. Shimizu 2, Nioka, Y. Takahashi, S. Abe, K. Goto
SF: S. Abe
LOB: Yakult 3, Yomiuri 8
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Kittaka (1B), Manabe (2B), Tanabe (3B)
Daiei Comeback Falls Short Against Orix
With a six spot in the third and a deuce in the sixth and then held on for dear life as the Daiei Hawks tried to orchestrate a comeback after blowing a 3-0 first inning lead in what became an 8-7 Orix victory on a rainy afternoon at Taipei, Taiwan. Neither starter saw out the third and the Hawks lost despite outhitting the Blue Wave 14-10.
The fun began in the inital inning, as Daiei centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara doubled to leftcenter to lead it off. Two outs later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to center to push Shibahara across. DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka carromed one off the leftfield wall and by the time the ball was retrieved, he had an RBI triple and it was 2-0 Hawks. Catcher Kenji Johjima singled to right and that made it 3-0.
The Blue Wave saw that three and raised them another trey in the top of the third. Catcher Takashi Miwa singled to left. Second baseman Koichi Oshima singled to center. Rightfielder Daisuke Hayakawa singled to right and it was 3-1. One out later, DH Fernando Seguignol walked to load the bases. Third baseman Mitsutaka Goto was hit by Hawks starter Akichika Yamada to force in a run. Shortstop Tatsuya Shindo lined a double down the leftfield line to unclog the bases and make it 5-3 Orix. Daiei manager Sadaharu Oh yanked Yamada and put Kenichi Wakatabe in his stead. Scott Sheldon flied out, but Kazuhiko Shiotani singled to left and Shindo romped home and it was 6-3 Blue Wave.
In the bottom of the fourth, Daiei first baseman Morgan Burkhart homered to center and it was 6-4 Orix.
The Kobe contingent went back up by four, though in the top of the sixth. Shiotani leadoff the inning by going downtown center backscreen stylee off of Wakatabe. Miwa played pattycake with the leftfield wall for a double and Oh got himself a new pitcher, Takayuki Shinohara. Miwa was sacrificed to third. One out later, centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled to left and it was 8-4 Orix.
Daiei, though, almost managed to make that deficit up in the bottom of the eighth. With two outs, Matsunaka beat out a roller to third. Johjima walked. Pinch hitter Noriyoshi Omichi got real gone to left and it was now 8-7. Orix boss Hiromichi Ishige went to his bullpen and selected Masanobu Okubo, who induced a groundball from Burkhart for the third out.
Orix had men on second and third with one out in the top of the ninth but couldn't convert, so on to the bottom of the inning with Okubo still toiling on the hill. Rightfielder Koji Akiyama flied out to right for the first out. Shibahara walked and now the tying run was on first. But Okubo fanned both second baseman Tadahito Iguchi and leftfielder Pedro Valdez and the two teams bid adieu to Taiwan with a split of the two game series. Both clubs were so happy with the turnout and the enthusiasm of Taiwanese fans that they are already making plans to do it again in 2003.
For Orix, Seguignol was 0-2 with a walk and is at .279. Sheldon was 2-5 and is at .235.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-4 with a walk and is at .313. Burkhart was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .204.
IP 2.2 PC 48 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.99
Imamura (W, 2-3) IP 2.1 PC 37 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.82
Yamaguchi IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
Hagiwara IP 1.2 PC 38 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.50
Okubo (S, 7) IP 1.1 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
A. Yamada (L,
4-1) IP 2.1 PC 57 H 5 HR 0 K 0
BB 3 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.33
Wakatabe IP 2.2 PC 38 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.45
Shinohara IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Terahara IP 2.0 PC 38 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Iijima IP 0.1 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.42
Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
2B: Shindo, Miwa, Sheldon, Shibahara
HR: Shiotani (1), Burkhart (9), Omichi (2)
RBI: Shiotani 2, Burkhart, Omichi 3, Hayakawa, Tani, M. Goto, Shindo 3, Kokubo, Matsunaka, Johjima
HBP: M. Goto (A. Yamada)
LOB: Orix 10, Daiei 5
Game Time: 3:37
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Yamamura (1B), Nagami (2B), Sato (3B)
Matsui Sets PL Consecutive Games Record in Loss to Kintetsu
Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui is now the all time Pacific League consecutive
games played leader with 899 and counting, as he passed 1950's Nishitetsu
Lions first baseman Tokuji Iida Wednesday to put his mark on Japanese baseball
history. Unfortunately, in setting the new league standard, Matsui struckout
three times in four at bats as Seibu couldn't overcome an early 2-0 Kintetsu
lead to lose it 2-1 behind another superlative stint form Jeremy Powell.
Powell went 7.1 innings and gave up one run on five hits, striking out eight
and walking three in earning credit for the win and to even his record
The Lions had a chance to score in the first, and in blowing it, lost the game. Matsui leadoff the contest with a hot shot down the leftfield line for a double and was sacrificed to third. But Powell struckout Katsuhiko Miyaji and lured first baseman Alex Cabrera into grounding to short to frustrate Seibu.
Buoyed by that, Kintetsu got an infield hit by centerfielder Naoyuki Omura, a sacrifice and a ping off the centerfield wall from leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes to make it 1-0 Buffaloes.
In the second, shortstop Masahiro Abe ripped an 88mph fastball that was up on a line that just kept carrying and it eventually went over the leftfieldfence to open a 2-0 lead. Aside from surprising Abe himself, his mom Saiko, watching the game at home in Kawasaki, said she had goose bumps when the ball left the field of play.
Rookie hurler Mitsutaka Goto then put the screws to the Kintetsu order and ended up with a fine, though ultimately losing, seven innings of two run ball in his first pro start, as he took the injured Hsu Ming-chieh's spot on the roster.
Seibu finally put a dent in Powell in the top of the sixth. Tatsuya Ozeki guided one down the rightfield line for two bases. Miyaji singled to center and it was 2-1. Powell threw a couple of ground balls, though, and that was pretty much all Seibu would get going, Okamoto putting down the last five Lions batsmen of the game to save it.
Kintetsu will get catcher Kitagawa back on the 20th, which will deepen the club's bench, as will regular second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .246.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-3 with a walk and is at .254. Matsui, who hasn't missed a game since July 22nd, 1995, is now at .309. X Rays showed nothing abnormal in Daisuke Matsuzaka's elbow, but he will nevertheless miss his next scheduled start as a precautionary measure.
IP 7.0 PC 101 H 4 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.57
Aoki IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Doi IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.04
3-3) IP 7.1 PC
97 H 5 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.67
Okamoto (S, 7) IP 1.2 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
2B: Ozeki, K. Matsui, Rhodes, Matoyama
HR: M. Abe (1)
RBI: M. Abe, Miyaji, Rhodes
GIDP: N. Nakamura
LOB: Seibu 7, Kintetsu 3
Game Time: 2:33
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Tamba (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Bullet's Two Missiles Help Dragons Edge Carp
I'm sure Chunichi Dragons outfielder Scott Bullet is pinching himself to ensure that Wednesday's game against the Hiroshima Carp wasn't a dream. In the wake of a .133 spring and a .194 average in the minors, he's lucky he's not back in a U.S. independent league or becoming a civilian. Arguably fighting for his baseball life, Bullet made his first start since being called up and collected a two run homer in the first and a solo clout in the third to power his side to a 5-4 win at Fukui Prefectural Stadium.
The dimensions of the ballpark are 328 down the lines and 400 to straightaway center. You can view pictures of it at the bottom of the following webpage: http://homepage1.nifty.com/tadaf/fukuikenei.htm
The Dragons were offensive in the first, when shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to center and Bullet got a first pitch hanging slider and lined it into the rightfield seats to make it 2-0 Dragons.
Hiroshima starter Tetsuto Tomabechi was having trouble spotting his fastball, so Bullet relocated a 2-2 changeup to straightaway center to open a 3-0 disparity betwen Chunichi and the Carp.
Hiroshima made it a tie ballgame in the fourth with a leadoff single to right from Takuya Kimura and a similar effort from rightfielder Tomonori Maeda. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto grounded to Leo Gomez at first, who, in trying to get a double play relay, threw it away and Kimura scored. Eddie Diaz was hit by Dragons reliever Yamai. Third baseman Takahiro Arai flied out to bring in Maeda and it was now 3-2. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura drilled a double down the leftfield line and Diaz motored in to deadlock it at 3-3. .
The Dragons went up by three, however, when leftfielder Jun Inoue homered to rightcenter to leadoff the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Masahiko Morino piggybacked on that by giving Tomabechi the long distance runaround to right and it was 5-3 Chunichi.
In the top of the sixth, things became more tense when Kanemoto doubled down the rightfield line to lead it off. Diaz singled to center and Kanemoto got the wheels rolling home and it was 5-4. From that point forward, though, Dragons relievers gave the Carp hitters almost nothing and Eddie Gaillard got the save, his ninth.
The four homers that Hiroshima pitching was mugged for isn't a surprise. The Carp staff is on pace to cough up 212 dingers, which would tie a club record in that category. And to add to their pitching woes, one of their starters, Ryuji Yokoyama, has an aching shoulder and will be out for a good while, Koji Hiroike called up in his place.
Even better for Hiroshima is that they also just got their number one starter, Shinji Sasaoka, back. It's uncertain just how much that's going to help them, however, since the rest of their staff hasn't been throwing that well.
1-3) IP 3.1 PC 67 H 6 HR 4 K 2
BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 7.94
Stanifer IP 2.0 PC 42 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.40
Hiroike IP 0.2 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
IP 5.0 PC 89 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 2 ERA 2.03
Yamakita IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Ochiai IP 0.2 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Koyama IP 1.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.70
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.89
Gaillard (S, 9) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
2B: K. Kimura, Kanemoto
HR: Bullet (2), Inoue (3), Morino (3)
RBI: Bullett 3, Inoue, Morino, Kanemoto, Diaz, Arai, K. Kimura
HBP: Diaz (Yamai), Tomabechi (Inoue), Tanishige (Tomabechi)
GIDP: Arai, Fujitate
LOB: Hiroshima 3, Chunichi 6
Game Time: 3:05
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Suginaga (1B), K. Kobayashi (2B), Ino (3B)
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 15th and on that day in Japanese baseball history in 1983, Hanshin righthander Osamu Nomura beat the Taiyo Whales (now the Yokohama Bay Stars) at Koshien Stadium. By doing so, had then beaten all 12 of Japan's most elite pro squads.
Nomura spent 18 seasons in Japan's top leagues and compiled a career record
of 121-32 with a 4.02 ERA and 12 shutouts. His best season was in 1978, when
he went 17-11 with a 3.14 ERA in 238 innings with the Whales to lead the
CL in victories. He then went to Hanshin in 1983, his fourth team, going
12-11 with a 3.86 ERA in 191.1 innings. However, the next three years he
won only 2, 1 and 1 games and retired at the end of the 1986 season.
Matsunaka Sayonara Blast Ends First NPB Regular Season Game in Taiwan
The first regular season game between two of Japan's elite pro teams ever played outside of that country happened Tuesday in Taipei, Taiwan at Tienmu Stadium, as the Daiei Hawks, with Sadaharu Oh, a national hero in Taiwan due to his being half-Taiwanese (in fact, he still has a Taiwan passport from what I understand) faced off with the Orix Blue Wave, Ichiro's old club (Ichiro was very popular among Taiwan's baseball fans). And perhaps fittingly, it was a wild one, as the Hawks went down 3-0 on two homers from Orix DH Fernando Seguignol and then surged back on three longballs of their own in the seventh and won it on a sayonara blast from Nobuhiko Matsunaka that just barely stayed on the fair side of the rightfield foul pole.
Junji Hoshino started for Daiei and did a solid job, going six innings and giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits, striking out four and walking two. But he got behind in the fifth, when Seguignol took one of Hoshino's deliveries completely out of the ballpark to right for a 1-0 Blue Wave lead.
In the seventh, Orix centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani reached thanks to an error from shortstop Yusuke Torigoe and then Seguignol launched another missile, this one leaving the yard via centerfield way for a 3-0 Blue Wave edge.
However, Orix starter Masahiko Kaneda was already tired when the Hawks order came up in their half of that inning and his lead evaporated. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo swung real hard and while he didn't think he hit it hard enough to get it over the fence, it was and now the Hawks were within three to one. Two outs later, DH Noriyoshi Omichi drilled a hot into the leftfield seats and rightfielder Koji Akiyama got a pitch up and he believed he struck it more toward the end of the bat, but the ball carried and went beyond the fence for the "gyakuten solo" and it was deadlocked at 3-3.
Daiei then went ahead in the bottom of the eighth, as centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara lead it off with a single to center and went to third on a knock to center from second baseman Tadahito Iguchi. Leftfielder Pedro Valdez grounded out to second for what became a twin killing, but Shibahara scored in the meantime and it was 4-3 Daiei.
Orix fought back in the top of the ninth against Daiei closer Rodney Pedraza when Tatsuya Shindo cracked a single to center with one out, went to second on a sacrifice and came around on a double into the leftcenter alley by pinch hitter Scott Sheldon to even it at 4-4.
Orix manager Hiromichi Ishige went to the bullpen for Toshihiro Kase with Matsunaka entering the batter's box to start the Hawks portion. Three pitches later, Daiei had a win as the ball arched out of the field of play and into the night for the sayonara 5-4 triumph.
This match was a pretty big event in Taipei, as political figures, including the mayor of the city, were in attendance and the fans, who lined up three hours before game time in anticipation, kept up a steady buzz in the stands, even doing the wave. Daiei brought its oendan with them and they were so loud that the stadium authority and Daiei were fined $700 U.S. for noise violations. You can truly say a good time was had by all. You can read about it in the local english language press in Taiwan at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/05/15/story/0000136158
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-1 with an RBI and is at .228. Seguignol was 3-4 with three RBIs and is at .284.
For Daiei, Valdez was 0-4 and is at .315.
IP 6.2 PC 93 H 6 HR 3 K 3 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 1.85
Yamaguchi IP 1.1 PC 18 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.06
Kase (L, 0-1) IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.08
IP 6.0 PC 91 H 3 HR 2 K 4 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.55
Okamoto IP 1.1 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.30
Pedraza (W, 1-1) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.06
HR: Seguignol 2 (15), Kokubo (11), Omichi (1), Akiyama (2), Matsunaka (7)
RBI: Seguignol 3, Kokubo, Omichi, Akiyama, Matsunaka, Sheldon
HBP: Johjima (Kaneda)
GIDP: Shindo, P. Valdez
LOB: Orix 5, Daiei 3
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Sato (1B), Yamamura (2B), Nagami (3B)
Hanshin Takes Back First Place
The last two times the Hanshin Tigers were in first place, they almost immediately relinquished it and then sunk out of site. While it is still questionable whether the team, which is just barely over .500 since it took its inital seven games in a row, has what it takes to hold on during the long term, this year's Tigers are at least showing some tenaciousness, as they reclaimed the top spot with by sneaking past the Yokohama Bay Stars Tuesday 4-2 at Hiratsuka Stadium in Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The Tigers got on the big board first in the third, as second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to center and went to second on a sac bunt. Centerfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to right and then third baseman George Arias grounded into a force play to score the run and make it 1-0.
In the fifth, the Tigers got some help from the farm for two more tallies. Hamanaka leadoff by grounding to Hirofumi Ogawa at second, who misplayed it for an error. One out later, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to right and first baseman Derrick White singled to center to load the bases. Sekimoto, who was just called up a couple of days ago after leading the western league in hitting, then got a slider from Yokohama starter Morimoto and he laced it down the rightfield line for his first two pro RBIs and a 3-0 Hanshin lead.
Baseball being what it is, Kentaro Sekimoto then kicked a ball in the top of the fifth, but it didn't result in anything, much to the rookie's relief, I'm sure.
Hanshin reliever Shinobu Fukuhara threw a scoreless inning in the seventh and came back out for the eighth, where he was touched for a one out single from leftfielder Takanori Suzuki. Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino got on the phone and brought in closer Mark Valdez. Yokohama third baseman Mark Gulan grounded to Shuta Tanaka, now in for Sekimoto at short, who booted it. One out later, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues singled to center and Suzuki toed the dish. Pinch hitter Hitoshi Taneda singled to left and Gulan crossed to make it 3-2. Valdez the nailed catcher Ryoji Aikawa to load the bases. But Seiichi Uchikawa, spelling Ogawa at second, grounded out to end the inning.
Hamanaka got his side an important insurance run, though, in the top of the ninth when he put a whippin' on an offering from Stars reliever Atsushi Kizuka and lost it in the leftfield stands to make it 4-2. Valdez then worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Yokohama fans aren't happy with the team's current eight game losing streak and vented their displeasure by throwing things on the field and then running on to it when the game ended. They were eventually carted off by stadium security and local police. But considering that the Stars are on a pace to sink lower than their worst ever finish, a 31-99 showing in 1955 when they were still known as the Taiyo Whales, one can understand the grumbling of the Yokohama faithful.
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-4 with an RBI and is at .205.
For Yokohama, Gulan was 0-4 with an error and is at .200. Rodrigues was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .242.
3-2) IP 5.1 PC 95 H 5 HR
0 K 3 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.43
A. Itoh IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.97
Fukuhara IP 1.2 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
M. Valdez (S, 9) IP 1.2 PC 33 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 0 ERA 0.00
1-1) IP 5.0 PC 89 H 7 HR
0 K 4 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.15
Sugimoto IP 2.0 PC 31 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
Hosomi IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.55
Kizuka IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.83
E: Sekimoto, S. Tanaka,
SB: Sekimoto, White
HR: Hamanaka (5)
RBI: Hamanaka, Arias, Sekimoto 2, Rodrigues, Taneda
IBB: Imaoka, Yoshimoto
HBP: Ryoji Aikawa (M. Valdez)
GIDP: Rodrigues, Gulan
LOB: Hanshin 10, Yokohama 10
Game Time: 3:27
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Kiuchi (1B), Yoshimoto (2B), Watada (3B)
Kudoh Excellent Again in Losing Effort Against Yakult
The little Swallows rookie screwball artist, Masanori Ishikawa, and three relievers managed to hold the line against the Giants and outlast another stellar outing from Kimiyasu Kudoh to come out on top 2-1 Tuesday at Tokyo Dome. Yakult first baseman Roberto Petagine may have also lost a homer to the roof of the stadium. Now that's what I call a home field advantage!
In any event, Kudoh dropped his fourth against two wins in another frustrating outing for the great veteran southpaw. He went eight innings of two run, four hit ball, walking one and striking out 12. Ishikawa's numbers weren't as impressive except for the one category that counts, runs allowed, The 5'7" number one draft choice tossed 6.1 innings of one run ball on five hits, striking out three and walking two for his third pro win and his first in three tries against Yomiuri. But Kudoh, in his four losses, has a 2.43 ERA. How do you say "no run support in Japanese?"
The Swallows seized the upper hand in the first, when rightfielder Atsunori Inaba singled with two out and went to second on a walk to Petagine. Catcher Atsuya Furuta thend oubled down the leftfield line to push Inaba in and it was 1-0 Yakult.
They added to that in the third, shortstop Shinya Miyamoto leading off with a double off the centerfield wall and then heading plateward on a single to center from Petagine to put a 2-0 gap between them and their crosstown rivals.
Ishikawa was doing a good job of luring the Giants order into couging up ground balls until the sixth, when he took on some damage. With one gone, shortstop Tomohiro Nioka tripled off the centerfield wall and came in on a sacrifice fly by rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi.
In the seventh, Ishikawa was shaken down for a single to center by first baseman Daisuke Motoki and Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu dialed local for righthander Ryota Igarashi, who got two fly balls to center to end the inning.
The Giants got at least one man on in the final two innings, but didn't get the necessary hits to turn those runners into anything. Yakult closer Shingo Takatsu got the final two outs for his ninth save.
Petagine came up in the top of the ninth and sent a deep towering drive to right, where it dinked off the roof and was caught by Takahashi. Petagine was annoyed at possibly losing a homer and a big insurance run for his nine, but he was reconciled to it, saying that if those are the rules there's nothing he can do about it.
Yomiuri should be getting their regular first baseman, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, back in the next week or so. He is scheduled to play in a minor league game today.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez
was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .331.
Masanori Ishikawa (W,
3-2) IP 6.1 PC 84 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 1 ER
1 ERA 2.89
Ryo. Igarashi IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.96
H. Ishii IP 1.1 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.31
Takatsu (S, 9) IP 0.2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
IP 8.0 PC 115 H 4 HR 0 K 12 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.61
Okajima IP 0.2 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.72
Jobe IP 0.1 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
SB: Inaba, Suzuki, S. Abe
2B: Furuta, S. Miyamoto, Nioka,
3B: Nishi, Nioka
RBI: Petagine, Furuta, Y. Takahashi
SF: Y. Takahashi
IBB: S. Abe
Balk: Masanori Ishikawa
GIDP: Furuta, Motoki, S. Abe
LOB: Yakult 5, Yomiuri 6
Game Time: 3:14
Umpires: Mori (HP), Manabe (1B), Tani (2B), T, Kobayashi (3B)
Dragons Flambe Carp 9-2
A six run uprising in the sixth inning provided the Chunichi Dragons with all the runs they would need Tuesday to best the Hiroshima Carp in game in Nagaragawa, Gifu Prefecture 9-2. Dragons starter Takashi Ogasawara maintained his league lead in ERA with a 1.69 mark while twirling six innings of one run ball on six hits to snatch his fifth victory.
The game was scoreless until two were out in the fifth, as Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome took Hiroshima starter Yasushi Tsuruta over the leftfield wall 318 feet away (it's 400 to straightaway center).
Hiroshima got that back in the top of the sixth with a single to center from shortstop Akihiro Higashide, who stole second. Second baseman Eddie Diaz singled to center. First baseman Luis Lopez flew out to center to bring in Higashide and even things back up.
Tsuruta didn't see out the sixth and Chunichi broke the game wide open. With one out, leftfielder Jun Inoue doubled to leftcenter. One out later, catcher Motonobu Tanishige was intentionally walked to get to the pitcher's spot. Dragons boss Hisashi Yamada sent up pinch hitter Junichi Jinno, who singled to right to plate Inoue and that was all for Tsuruta, who was relieved by Daisuke Sakai. Shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to right for an RBI and pinch hitter Scott Bullet tripled two in with a shot into the rightcenter alley to make it 5-1. That is Scott's first official hit in Japan as well as his inital RBIs. Fukudome singled to right to drive in Bullet. First baseman Leo Gomez walked, which resulted in Sakai's exit in favor of Rigo Beltran, who gave up a single to center to send Fukudome in and it was 7-1 Dragons.
The Carp responded with alone run in the top of the eight on a homer to left from catcher Kazunori Kimura to make it 7-2.
The Dragons then got some more extra base hits to widen their advantage in their half. Ibata leadoff by scorching a double down the rightfield line. One out later, Fukudome singled to center to make it 8-2. Gomez mashed one off the leftfield wall for another two bagger and an RBI and it was 9-2.
For Chunichi, Bullet was 1-1 with two RBIs and is at .250. Gomez was 2-3 with two walks and an RBI and is at .258.
2-1) IP 5.2 PC 105 H 6 HR 1 K 4
BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.30
Sakai IP 0.0 PC 16 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 6.61
Beltran IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.38
Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kawano IP 1.0 PC 27 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 21.00
T. Ogasawara (W,
5-1) IP 6.0 PC 86 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.69
Yamakita IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.06
Endo IP 1.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Koyama IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
SB: Higashide, Fukudome
2B: Arai, Ibata 2, Inoue, Gomez
HR: K. Kimura (3), Fukudome (6)
RBI: K. Kimura, Fukudome 3, Lopez, Ibata, Bullett 2, Gomez, Tatsunami, Jinno
WP: Tsuruta, Sakai
LOB: Hiroshima 4, Chunichi 9
Game Time: 3:21
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), K. Kobayashi (1B), Ino (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Three Run Seibu Seventh Does in Iwakuma, Kintetsu
The Kintetsu Buffaloes went into the seventh inning leading 2-1, but not after that frame was concluded, since a two run double off the centerfield wall from rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki and a single to center from DH Toshiaki Inubushi chased in a total of three runs to put the Lions up for good in a 5-2 victory over the Buffs at Osaka Dome Tuesday.
Seibu got out in front in the first when shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff the game with a single and stole second. He was sacrificed to third and hustled in on a sacrfice fly off the bat of centerfielder Katsuhiko Miyaji to make it 1-0 Lions.
Kintetsu evened it in the bottom of the second at 1-1 with doubles to right from third baseman Norihiro Nakamura and rightfielder Koichi Isobe.
Hsu Ming-chieh was supposed to start for Seibu, but while warming up in the bullpen his shoulder started to hurt and Uchizono, on his 28th birthday, was tapped for an emergency start. He did credibly, allowing a run in 2.2 innings before being pulled in the aftermath of a single from Kintetsu second baseman Takashi Muto. That began a relay of five relievers, capped off by the club's closer. Kiyoshi Toyoda, grabbing his eighth save.
Anyway, In the fifth, the Buffaloes went to the front of the line off of Yoshitaka Mizuo. Shortstop Masahiro Abe singled to leadoff the inning and was moved along on a sacrifice. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to center. Pinch hitter Yosuke Takasu lifted a sac fly to center and it was 2-1 Kintetsu.
Seibu loaded the bases in the sixth, but let the opportunity turn to dust. Matsui was hit with a pitch from Kintetsu starter Hisashi Iwakuma to begin the inning. Ozeki beat out a little roller. Miyaji walked to pack the sacks. But Iwakuma struckout first baseman Alex Cabrera and leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada and got third baseman Ken Suzuki to fly out to stifle the threat.
In the seventh, Seibu did convert. Catcher Tsutomu Itoh worked a one out walk and was pinch run for by Masaji Shimizu. Shimizu was sacrificed to second. Matsui walked. Ozeki banged one off the centerfield fence to plate Shimizu and Matsui and make it 3-2 Lions. Inubushi clocked one to center and Ozeki sprinted in and it was 4-2 visitors.
The Lions scooped up an insurance run in the top of the ninth. Shimizu beat out an infield hit. Hiroaki Ueda grounded out to second and Shimizu advanced. Matsui cranked a double to leftcenter and Shimizu scored easily to make it 5-2. Toyoda got a couple of groundballs and a fly out and that was the ballgame.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 1-4 and is at .244. Nigel Wilson was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .223.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with three strikeouts and is at .260.
IP 2.2 PC 39 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.00
Mizuo IP 2.0 PC 43 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.31
Aoki (W, 1-0) IP 1.2 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Doi IP 0.2 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Mori IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Toyoda (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.69
1-3) IP 6.2 PC 93 H 5 HR 0 K 6
BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.38
Yamamoto IP 0.0 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
D. Miyamoto IP 1.2 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.82
Yoshida IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
SB: K. Matsui
2B: Ozeki, K. Matsui, N. Nakamura, Isobe
RBI: K. Matsui, Ozeki 2, Miyaji, Inubushi, Takasu, Isobe
SF: Miyaji, Takasu
WP: D. Miyamoto 2
HBP: K. Matsui (Iwakuma), Kawaguchi (Uchizono)
Game Time: 3:38
Umpires: Sugimoto (HP), Hayashi (1B), Maeda (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Obando Homer Hangs Fifth Loss on Sikorsky
Brian Sikorsky started Tuesday's game looking for his second 2002 victory for the Chiba Lotte Marines and pitched okay, going six innings and giving up three runs on six hits, two of them homers. However, the Lotte offense never got going and he was hung with another loss, his fifth, to continue a miserable season for the second worst team recordwise in the Japanese leagues. The final score was 3-2.
Sherman Obando made his first start for Nippon Ham since last June in the outfield, trading places with D.T. Cromer, who spent the day as the DH, and he had the big blow in this one, a sixth inning solo shot to right, to keep Hayato Nakamura's winning streak against his Chiba Prefecture opponents going, now at five and counting.
Lotte took a 2-0 lead in the third, second baseman Koichi Hori spanking a one out single to left and chugging home on a triple to rightcenter from rightfielder Takashi Kita. Nakamura then walked both first baseman Kazuya Fukuura and DH Frank Bolick to load the bases. Leftfielder Derrick May flied out to left to score Kita for the second run.
Nippon Ham retorted in the fifth with a leadoff double to rightcenter from catcher Kazunari Sanematsu, who went to third on a groundout and tagged up and jogged in on a sac fly to right from shortstop Makoto Kaneko to make it 2-1 Lotte.
The Fighters then pulled ahead in the sixth with a couple of quick lightning
bolts. Third baseman Yukio Tanaka jerked a Sikorsky offering into the leftfield
seats with one out to tie it at 2-2. After Cromer fanned, Obando eclipsed
the not so friendly confines of Chiba Marine Stadium's outfield fences, the
ball overcoming the wind blowing in off the ocean to settle among the
sparsely populated rightfield seats.
From there, Nakamura put the boot on, not giving Lotte a darn thing over the next two innings until the ninth, when May singled. Nakamura got the next men on a pop to the catcher, but he had by then thrown 129 pitches, so Nippon Ham manager Yasunori Oshima went for some relief and Hiroshi Shibakusa, after surrendering, if you can call it that, an infield hit, retired the next two men on a strikeout and a groundball to short for the save.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .279. Obando was 3-4 with an RBI and is at .241.
For Lotte, Bolick was 0-3 with a walk and is at .238. May was 103 with an RBI and is at .188.
H. Nakamura (W,
3-1) IP 8.1 PC 129 H 4 HR 0 K 6 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA
Shibakusa (S, 1) IP 0.2 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.27
1-5) IP 6.0 PC 96 H 6 HR
2 K 9 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.43
H. Kobayashi IP 3.0 PC 38 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
SB: S. Omura
2B: Obando 2, Cromer, Sanematsu
HR: Y. Tanaka (6), Obando (9)
RBI: Obando, Y. Tanaka, Kita, May, Kaneko
SF: May, Kaneko
LOB: Nippon Ham 7, Lotte 8
Game Time: 3:08
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Akimura (1B), Tachibana (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Nishinomiya Stadium to be Torn Down
According to Sports Nippon, Nishinomiya Stadium, which is located in Nishinomiya, a suburb of Kobe, and was once home to the Hankyu Braves before that ballclub was sold to the Oriental Leasing Company (Orix) in 1988 and then moved to Kobe in 1991, is being discussed as a target of razing in order to redevelop the land it sits on.
The stadium, which opened May 1st, 1937 was outfitted with lights in 1953 for night games and was the Kansai region's first artificial turf field and then had an Astrovision screen installed in 1982. It's baseball dimensions were 331 down the lines and 390 to center. There was also a "lucky zone" in both left and right at one time and those were 300 feet from home plate. It had a capacity from 40,000-43,000. It was also used for Hanshin Tigers home games when the Koshien high school tournament occupied their homeground just down the road.
The Stadium has long been used until March, and even when the Braves were
still around, for bicycle racing. The racing track took a toll on the ground
underneath it and consequently the ballpark had a reputation as being hard
to field on. There is a U.S. style football game scheduled there for the
end of this year. However, the bicycle races have since been done away with,
which has spurred the Hankyu Railways company to ponder redeveloping the
land it sits on. Too bad. A ballpark has a special resonance for the fans
that went there or even just watched games on tv broadcast from it and it
will indeed be a sad day for many when the wrecking ball strikes the concrete
facade of the stadium for the first time. Hopefully they will put a marker
on the site commemorating the ballpark, much as there's one for the old Heiwadai
Stadium on Kyushu, the former homeground of the Nishitetsu Lions before they
were bought by Seibu and moved to
Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for May 14th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1978, the Kintetsu Buffaloes, in a game against Hankyu, became the first team ever to have everyone in the lineup get both a hit and an RBI.
Also on this date in 1980, Don Blasingame quit as manager of the Hanshin Tigers. Apparently the point of contention with the club's management was Blasingame's refusal to use rookie Akinobu Okada (who would be part of Hanshin's championship club in 1985 and who is now the manager of its minor league team), favoring Dave Hilton, who compiled an .809 OPS in his three years in Japan, instead. Upon Blasingame's departure, Okada went on to bat .290 with 18 homers and 54 RBIs in 376 official at bats and was named Central League Rookie of the Year.
In 1985, Okada established career highs in homers with 35 and RBIs with 101.
His lifetime OPS was .813.
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.
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2002 OPENING DAY SPECIAL ISSUE
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