Gary Garland / the japanese insider
October 15, 2002
No games scheduled.
Cabrera Says Hats Off to Lotte for Pitching to Him
See article by Dan Latham at Japan Times at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20021016a1.htm
Kinkade Japan Bound?
According to Nikkan Sports, the Kintetsu Buffaloes are checking into the availability of Dodgers reserve Mike Kinkade. The righthanded hitting 29 year old Washington State graduate got his first taste of MLB life with the Mets in 1998 before moving on to the Orioles and then L.A. He posted a .341 batting average with Las Vegas before being called up to the Dodgers, where he hit .380 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 37 games. In 2000, he was part of a U.S. contingent that won a gold medal at the Sydney Olympics. He can play first and third as well as some outfield. For his MLB career to date, he's hit .281 with eight homers and 34 RBIs in 134 games. He is 6'1 and 210 pounds.
Iranian-Japanese High Schooler Darwish Making Impression
16 year old sophomore Yu Darwish, the eldest son of a former Iranian soccer star and a Japanese woman, tossed an 80 pitch shutout earlier today for Tohoku High School against a contingent from Morioka, Iwate Prefecture to win a regional tournament held in Miyagi Prefecture in northern Japan, allowing just four hits in a 3-0 victory that lasted only an hour and 19 minutes (and this is nine innings, mind you). He was clocked at a high of 87mph and this was his first ever shutout in high school.
Darwish was born in Matsubara, Osaka and started playing baseball in second grade and then joined a boys league in junior high school, where he became the team ace, pulling his side to the quarterfinals of a nationwide tournament at one point. In August of 2001, he was part of a Japanese squad that represented that country in an international tournament, winning one of his two starts. The kids from the Land of the Rising Sun finished third.
Now 6'4" and a skinny 170 pounds, he has been clocked as high as 91mph and
should be able to leverage more velocity out of that frame as he adds weight
and muscle, especially in his legs. He also has a tough act to follow, as
that school's number one starter is one Yuhei Takai, the hardthrowing southpaw
with a 94mph heater who is expected to go in the first round of this November's
pro draft. There are some who expect Darwish, though, to surpass Takai by
the time he finishes his high school days. He says that he would like to
be the first Japanese to hit 100mph on the radar gun. Even so, he revealed
he tries to lure the hitters into getting themselves out so that when he
doesn't have his best strikeout stuff he can still pile up outs. The 5'8"
Takai, though, noted to Sports Nippon that "he's stronger than I was at his
age." You can see a pics of his delivery at:
Darwish has been looked upon as something of a novelty due to his mixed parentage, but he insists that "right now, I'm drawing a lot of attention because of my ethnicity and ny name, but those things don't matter. I want to compete based on my ability." Along with the fastball, his repetoire consists of a curve, slider, shuuto and a knuckle ball.
Takatsu Says He May Go to MLB
Yakult Swallows sidearming sinkerballing righthanded closer Shingo Takatsu announced today that he is unhappy with his team's lack of action on offering a new contract for 2003 and beyond and may decide to head off for MLB. Takatsu is second all time in saves in Japan with 226 saves, just three off of Kazuhiro Sasaki's mark of 229.
Takatsu, 5'11" and 160 pounds, was drafted on the third round in 1990 out of Asia University. He broke the club's lifetime saves record in 1995 and went on to become a three time Fireman of the Year (1994, 1999 and 2001. He features two types of sinker as well as a slider and fastball that tops out at 87mph. He has been somewhat vulnerable to the home run ball, surrendering 67 homers in 653 innings for his career, but he has been tattoed for six homers in 41.1 innings this season and has his highest ERA, 3.92, since 1998, when he posted a 5.56 figure. He averages 3.28 BB+HBP/9 and 7.15 K/9, a decent, though hardly eye popping, ratio. Lifetime to date, he is 33-35 with 226 saves and a 3.14 ERA.
In addition to being only one of two men in Japanese baseball annals who
have surpassed 200 saves, he also holds the records for career Japan Series
saves with six (two of those in the 2001 fall classic) and the standard for
most saves in one series with three and is tied with former Seibu hurler
Osamu Higashio for total series save points with eight. You can see some
stats up through last year at:
Takatsu grew up in Hiroshima as a Carp fan and went to Hiroshima Industrial High School, where he waspart of teams that played in both the spring and summer Koshien High School Baseball Tournament in 1986. As a child, he had dreams of becoming the next Koji Yamamoto, the great slugger who is now the manager of the Red Hell. At Asia University, he was their number two starter. After being drafted, he onloy got into 13 games in 1992, but in 1993, he made 23 appearances and tossed 82.2 innings in a mixture of starting and middle relief roles. >From 1993, he has been Yakult's closer, registering 20 saves that year, 19 the next, 28 in 1995 and 21 in 1996. Once he rehabbed his elbow in 1998, he racked up 30, 29, 37 and 32 saves over the next four campaigns. Takatsu is one of the Swallows most popular players and is married to wife Maki with two young children.
The thing that would hinder any MLB ambitions is that he suffered elbow pain in both 1997 and 1998 and still takes injections of painkillers in it at least once a month. He also missed most of the last three weeks with a hamstring problem as well as more elbow discomfort. There has also been at least one occasion where he had back trouble.He is also up there in age, as he will turn 34 in November.
As a side trivia note, Takatsu was the first pitcher Hideki "Godzilla" Matsui ever took deep (in Matsui's 2nd pro game on May 2nd, 1993 at Tokyo Dome in his seventh career at bat in the ninth inning).
The Mets and Rangers are appearently interested, but an unnamed MLB scout is quoted as saying that another three or four could be in on the bidding. But he also expects Takatsu to come cheap, between $300-400,000. He makes $1.2 million now. Here is a photo of how he looks delivering the ball: http://www.zakzak.co.jp/spo/s-2001_10/image/s2001102505takatu_b.jpg
Sports Nippon: Nakamura Headed for Hanshin
According to Sports Nippon, Kintetsu Buffaloes free agent third baseman Norihiro Nakamura is almost certain to end up in Hanshin pinstripes next season, as he is quoted as staing that due to family concerns he is going to stay in Japan. A more cynical individual might say that he wasn't going to receive the same kind of monetary offers from the Dodgers, Mets or several other MLB outfits said to be interested in the burly slugger as compared to what the Tigers are rumored to be proferring the locally born and bred Nakamura.
If Hanshin does indeed ink Nakamura, it will be a big hit on the bottom line, since in addtion to a $5-6 million salary, they will also owe Kintetsu 1.5 times that salary as compensation, meaning that the total yearly expense is a whopping $15 million or thereabouts. But if Hanshin wants to contend, they absolutely have to bolster their offense and Nakamura would be a good start, especially in the Central League, where the pitching is undeniably better qualitatively, but the ballparks, on average, are also smaller.
Nakamura told Nikkan Sports that it would be sad not to stay with Kintetsu, but there are issues peripheral to the financial issue that he is apparently concerned with and is reportedly waiting for an answer about from the club;s front office.
The Tigers are also courting Roberto Petagine, who will say sayonara to Yakult once the schedule concludes. He is also expected to make in the $6 million range for his new team. Hanshin is owned by a wealthy railway concern and can afford it. Now if they could just get some effective middle relief.
If Petagine does go to Osaka, George Arias will get the heave ho. Arias has expressed a willingness to comeback to Hanshin despite the criticism he endured despite leading the team in homers and RBIs.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 15th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1960, the Taiyo Whales completed a four game sweep of the Daimai Orions in the Japan Series for their only championship to date. They were the first club in Japanese history to finish last one season and then go all the way in the next.
On the same day, Daimai's owner, an individual by the last name of Nagata, called Orions manager Yukio Nishimoto a "fucking moron" Nishimoto resigned soon thereafter. That turned out to be a bad move, since Nishimoto is now in the Hall of Fame, winning eight pennants with Daimai, Kintetsu, and Hankyu (with whom he won five of those). His managerial record: 2665 games, 1384-1163 with 118 ties. He never won a Japan Series.
Also on that date in 1975, on the 25th anniversary since the team was founded in 1950, the Hiroshima Carp won their first pennant.
October 14, 2002
No Record Blast from Cabrera, But Evans Three Run Homer Beats Lotte 3-2
The 32,000 fans who packed into Chiba Marine Stadium Monday appeared to be getting a double treat, as Daisuke Matsuzaka, easily the most popular pitcher in Japanese baseball, started the game on the mound for the Seibu Lions and the team's first baseman, Alex Cabrera, was going to take his final attempt at shattering Sadaharu Oh's record of 55 homers for a season. Lions manager Haruki Ihara even put Cabrera in the number one hole to ensure that he would get as many chances as possible to go down in history.
Unfortunately, neither Matsuzaka or Cabrera delivered quite what was hoped, as Matsuzaka went four innings of two run ball on five hits and struckout three and walked two while Cabrera went 1-4, the lone hit being a single, to end the year stuck at 55. The fact that the Lions beat the Chiba Lotte Marines 3-2 to become the first team ever to have registered four 90 win seasons in its history was just a sidelight.
So the glory went to Tom Evans, whose three run homer in the fourth inning enabled Chang Chia-chiah to earn his tenth victory and hang Lotte starter Koji Takagi with his third defeat.
Takagi got into trouble in the first, as rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki and DH Toshiaki Inubushi each cracked one out singles to center. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui, switching places with Cabrera in the lineup, drilled a shot headed into rightcenter. However, Second baseman Koichi Hori was standing right there and he nabbed it and then went to first to double off Inubushi and end the inning.
Lotte then punished Seibu by seizing a 1-0 lead in the first, as Hori doubled off the rightfield wall with one down and first baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to center to send Hori scurrying across the plate. Fukuura, the 2001 batting champ, went 2-4 on the night to finally bring his average up to .300 after a long mid-season slump.
Lotte added on thanks to a wild pitch in the third, when rightfielder Kenji Morozumi leadoff by striking out. But the ball went by catcher Masaumi Shimizu and Morozumi reached. Hori singled to right. One out later, DH Derrick May singled to right and Hori motored around to make it 2-0.
That state of affairs, however, would change drastically in the fourth. Inubushi singled to center with one out and Matsui singled to right. Takagi then attempted to lure Evans into chasing a forkball in the dirt. Problem was that the pitch didn't do anything and instead just hung in the lower part of the zone and the ex-Tigers put good wood on it, depositing it in the centerfield seats for a 3-2 Lions advantage.
In the seventh, Chang walked Hori with one away and Fukuura singled to right. Ihara dialed local and out came Yoshihiro Doi, who induced an infield pop and a strikeout to kill the inning.
Lotte returned in the eighth, though, for a more serious effort at knotting the contest against Shinji Mori, as leftfielder Yukihiko Sato leadoff with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Rookie pinch hitter Takashi Kita legged out a bouncer toward short. But pinch hitter Kenji Yoshitsuru struckout and Morozumi flied to left. Kiyoshi Toyoda then struckout the side to secure the triumph in the ninth.
More on Fukuura: aside from being a rather arduous season at the plate for him, it has been painful, too, as he leads all of Japanese baseball in being hit by pitches with 17. Ouch!
A breakdown of Cabrera's at bats looked like this: In the first, he popped up a high 85mph fastball that was over the heart of the plate. This is what happens when you muscle up. Earlier in the season, when the Venezuelan slugger was more relaxed, that ball is a souvenir. In the third, he flew out to right on an 86mph heater right down the pipe. Again, Cabrera's swing has gotten longer and he was late on a pitch that should have landed somewhere in Tokyo Bay. In the fifth, he laced an 86mph fastball on the inner half of the plate into leftfield for a single. His last at bat was in the seventh and he struckout on a forkball on the outer part of the plate, to audible moans in the bleachers.
Sankei Sports gave a detailed breakdown of Cabrera's dingers. His biggest victims were Lotte and Daiei, who each coughed up 13 longballs to the Lions cleanup man. Another 12 came in faceoffs with Kintetsu. Nine were against Nippon Ham and eight were at Orix' expense.
By stadium, Cabrera transgressed the fences at his homeground, Seibu Dome, 24 times and then did it six times at Fukuoka Dome, Chiba Marine Stadium and Osaka Dome, five at Tokyo Dome, three at Sapporo Dome and Kobe Green Stadium, and one each at Yonego and Nagano. 44 of his homers came in games the Lions won and 11 were in losses. 41 were against righthanders and 14 against lefties. His 104 bombs in two seasons is a record. 37 of his blasts were after July first, when it counts the most. That and just what his mere presence does to the opposition game plan should get him the MVP in a walk. His OBP was .467 and his SLG is a mind melting .756! That is a 1.223 OPS folks. Shinjararenai (unbelievable!). He went homerless in his last 23 at bats and finished with a .336 average.
For Seibu as a team, the 90 shiroboshi this year are the most for any club since the Yomiuri Giants in 1965, when they won 91. Now let's see if they can cap all this off with a Japan Series title.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with a walk and RBI and two strikeouts to decline to .273.
For Seibu, Evans was 1-4 with three RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .252.
IP 4.0 PC 83 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.68
Chang (W, 10-4) IP 2.1 PC 38 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.71
Doi IP 0.1 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.68
S. Mori IP 1.1 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.07
Toyoda (W, 38) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.78
K. Takagi (L, 3-3) IP 5.0
PC 70 H 7 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.56
H. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 31 H 2 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.61
S. Fujita IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.09
A. Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.48
2B: Hori, Hatsushiba, K.
HR: Evans (15)
RBI: Evans 3, Fukuura, May
Season Series: Seibu 19, Lotte 8 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:12
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Yanagida (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Hanshin Stomps Dragons 10-5
The Hanshin Tigers ended their season on a high note Monday at Koshien Stadium, as they bombed Chunichi Dragons starter Kenta Asakura for seven runs on eight hits in the second inning to cadillac to a 10-5 victory. It was their third win in a row. The Osaka favorite sons finished with a 66-70-4, the first time in nine years that they had gotten so close to the .500 mark.
Nobuyuki Hoshino started for the Tigers in his retirement game and struckout centerfielder Takayuki Onishi on a big slow curve ball and bade the fans goodbye. He was then replaced by Masahi Date, who went 4.2 innings of two run ball on five hits to scoop up his second shiroboshi.
Asakura was charged with eight runs on ten hits in four innings, but due to his own error, only one of those was ruled to be earned and he put 2002 behind him after posting a sparkling 2.61 ERA.
The Dragons had a momemtary lead in the second, when first baseman Mitsunobu Takahashi unloaded on Date leading off the inning and thumped it off a seat in the leftfield bleachers to make it 1-0.
Hanshin, though, made a joke of that. In its half, first baseman Atsushi Kataoka singled to left and went to second on a groundout. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto singled to left. Catcher Katsuhiko Yamada, who has hit into six double plays in only 106 at bats, hit a comebacker to Asakura, who threw the ball into centerfield attempting to go for the twin killing at second and both Kataoka and Fujimoto kicked it into gear for the plate while Yamada hustled to third. Date beat out a little roller toward short and Yamada crossed. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi singled to center. Third baseman Shuta Tanaka singled to right to load the bases. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama flew out to center and Date scored. Leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to right and Akahoshi went home. Kataoka singled to center to plate Tanaka. Second baseman Taichiro Kamisaka singled to left and Hamanaka reported and it was 7-1 Tigers.
Asakura begin a mini of his own, though, as he singled to center to begin the third and went to second on a groundout. Second baseman Masahiro Araki singled to center and Asakura stopped at third. Pinch hitter Hiroyuki Watanabe grounded to short and Asakura toed the dish to make it 7-2 Hanshin.
In the fourth, Asakura's control went walkabout. With two outs, he walked both Hamanaka and Kataoka and Kamisaka slapped a single to right to redeem Hamanaka and Hanshin had an 8-2 edge.
The Tigers widened that in the seventh, when Kataoka lead off with a walk off of reliever Shinichiro Koyama and Kamisaka singled to left. Fujimoto grounded to first, but Takahashi booted it and Kataoka busted for the plate to make it 9-2. Two outs later, Akahoshi singled to right for an RBI and a 10-2 Hanshin lead.
Chunichi rallied for three runs in the home half, but it wouldn't be enough. Watanabe commenced it with a double into the leftfield corner. Takahashi singled to center to drive Watanabe in. Backup third baseman So Tsutsui singled to left and Takahashi blazed to third. With rightfielder Kenji Makuta at the plate, reliever Tetsuro Kawajiri somehow allowed the run to score (wild pitch?). He struckout, but catcher Hidenori Tanoue singled to left to bring Tsutsui in and it was 10-5 Hanshin.
Kawajiri started the ninth by striking out pinch hitter Fumihiro Suzuki and surrendering a knock to left by backup centerfielder Hidenori Kuramoto. Araki grounded to third for the second out. Manager Senichi Hoshino went to the pen for Shoji Toyama, who is going to call it a day. Toyama, who has had a nightmare of a year in middle relief, fanned Watanabe on three pitches to end the game.
Kosuke Fukudome, who is this year's batting champ, pinch hit for reliever Akira Miyakoshi and swatted a hot shot off of the foot of Taninaka for a single and will finish with a .343 average.
The Tigers front office that hey were laying off three players. Those are: pitcher Satoshi Funaki (29), infielder Ryuki Nemoto (29), and outfielder Hiroshi Yoshida (30). Yoshida and Funaki are the only ones to see action at the big club level. Funaki threw one inning with an ERA of 18.00. Lifetime, he was 9-24 with a 4.90 ERA in 84 games. He hadn't won a game since 1999.
Yoshida was 0-7 this season and batted .240 for his career in 213 games (258 total at bats) with three homers and 13 RBIs.
Nemoto originally began his career with Nippon Ham and then moved to Hanshin in 2000. He hit .248 in 165 games (322 total at bats) with four homers and 27 RBIs.
Dragons third baseman Masahiko Morino was hit on the arm by a Shinji Taninaka pitch, causing a fracture. He will be out more than a month is thus likely to miss the clubs fall camp.
Backup outfielder Teruyoshi Kuji, unhappy with his playing time, asked to be released and that request was granted. He will now seek a job with another team.
No foreign players batted in this game.
Asakura (L, 11-11)
IP 4.0 PC 86 H 10 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 8 ER 1 ERA 2.61
Miyakoshi IP 2.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 19.29
Koyama IP 1.0 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 4.81
M. Kimura IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.00
Hoshino IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR
0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.39
Date (W, 2-3) IP 4.2 PC 62 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.32
Taninaka IP 2.0 PC 34 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.43
Kawajiri IP 1.2 PC 28 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.02
Toyama IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.49
E: M. Takahashi, Morino
2B: H.Y. Watanabe
HR: M. Takahashi
RBI: H.Y. Watanabe, M. Takahashi 2, Tanoue, Hiyama, Hamanaka, Kataoka, Kamisaka 2, Fujimoto, Date
HBP: Morino (Taninaka)
Season Series: Chunichi 15, Hanshin 11 2 Ties
Game Time: 2:58
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Suginaga (1B), Shimada (2B), Tani (3B)
Hiroshima's Four Homers Defeat Yokohama 5-4
The Hiroshima Carp lineup clobbered four homers for a total of five runs and then the team's pitching staff barely stifled a ninth inning charge by the Yokohama Bay Stars Monday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. Tetsuto Tomabechi started for the Red Hell and tossed six difficult innings of two run ball on eight hits and five walks to cadge his fifth shiroboshi while Yokohama starter Kuniyuki Taniguchi stepped backward to 1-6.
Carp third baseman Takahiro Arai pulled his side ahead in the second when he went yard to left for the first of his two big flies on the night and it was 1-0 Hiroshima.
Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii restored equilibrium with a shot into the rightcenterfield stands in the fourth and it was 1-1.
The Stars then pushed out to a lead in the sixth when rightfielder Boi Rodriges carromed a one out long single off the leftfield wall and first baseman Hirofumi Ogawa doubled to rightcenter. Pinch hitter Hitoshi Nakane walked to load the bases. Catcher Ryoji Aikawa tapped one toward third and outran it while Rodrigues crossed to make it 2-1 Yokohama.
That advantage was gone two hitters later when Hiroshima came to bat. Leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto lead it off with a walk and Arai cleaned and jerked one beyond the centerfield fence for a "gyakuten two run" and it was 3-2 Carp. First baseman Itsuki Asai then cleared the centerfield wall, too, for back to back jacks and it was 4-2.
In the seventh, Hiroshima made that 5-2 when centerfielder Koichi Ogata connected for his 25th roundtripper with one out.
Yasuhiro Oyamada entered in the ninth to go for his 30th save. It didn't come easy.Aikawa leadoff with a single to right. Pinch hitter Masaaki Koike beat out a bleeder toward second. Pinch hitter Takahiro Saeki singled to center to plate Aikawa. Koike advanced on a groundout and then went home on a groundout to second by Ishii. With the tying run on third, Rodrigues grounded to Asai and it was "game setto."
With the loss, Yokohama has lost the season series with the other five Central League clubs.
Kanemoto told reporters after the game that he is indeed thinking about staying in Hiroshima. One can't see why he wouldn't want to.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 2-4 with a walk and is at .262.
Taniguchi (L, 1-6) IP 5.0
PC 92 H 6 HR 3 K 3 BB 4 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.55
Chiba IP 1.1 PC 24 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
N. Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Hata IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
Tomabechi (W, 5-3) IP 6.0
PC 111 H 8 HR 1 K 4 BB 5 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.55
S. Tamaki IP 1.1 PC 25 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.34
Yamauchi IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Amano IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.20
Oyamada (S, 30) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.72
2B: H. Ogawa
HR: Arai 2 (28), T. Ishii (8), I. Asai (4), Ogata (25)
RBI: Saeki, T. Ishii 2, Ryoji Aikawa, Ogata, Arai 3, I. Asai
GIDP: Taneda, K. Nomura
Season Series:Yokohama 13, Hiroshima 14 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Tsuchiyama (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Shoda Five Hits Orix 5-0
Nippon Ham's 20 year old rookie southpaw, Itsuki Shoda, won his ninth game of the season Monday, as he scattered five hits and struckout six against the Orix Blue Wave for his second shutout of the year.
Shoda, who has a solid 3.45 ERA is being touted in the press as the leading Rookie of the Year candidate. But where does that leave Chang Chieh-chia, who has won ten games in just little more than half a season and has an ERA almost a run lower? Unlike most foreign players, Chang is reportedly eligible for the award. So why, one must wonder, isn't he the leading candidate?
Anyway, Tsutomu Tamura started for Orix (the first time he's ever opened a game on the mound) in his retirement game and struckout rightfielder Hichori Morimoto and then passed the ball to Satoshi Tokumoto, who went 6.1 innings of four run ball, two earned, on six hits for his fourth kuroboshi.
Nippon Ham did most of its damage in the fifth, as leftfielder Yukio Tanaka leadoff with a single to center and DH Kuniyuki Kimoto singled to right and Tanaka sprinted for third. First baseman Takaya Hayashi flied to leftfielder Ryota Aikawa, who geeked it. It was scored a sac fly and an error. The runners were moved over on a sac bunt. One out later, shortstop Hiroshi Narahara singled to right and Hayashi and Kimoto crossed for a 3-0 advantage.
Fighters third baseman Kokichi Akune walked to start the seventh and was sacrificed to second. Narahara singled to left to usher Akune in and it was 4-0.
In the eighth, Tanaka singled to center with one down and Kimoto pounded one into the rightcenter alley and the speedy Kimoto galloped in to cap off the scoring at 5-0. Orix finished the schedule 37 games under .500, a team record for futility.
Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara sat out his third game in a row with back trouble. Even so, he has pretty much locked up the batting title, the first by a Nippon Ham player since Isao Harimoto in 1974.
No foreign players batted in this game.
Shoda (W, 9-11) IP 9.0 PC 111 H 5 HR 0 K 6 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.45
IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 13.50
Tokumoto (L, 1-4) IP 6.1 PC 98 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 2 ERA 3.34
Y. Ogawa IP 1.1 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.00
Aiki IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.94
E: M. Shiozaki, Ryota Aikawa
2B: Y. Tanaka, Kimoto
RBI: Kimoto, Hayashi, Narahara 3
HBP: Ryota Aikawa (Shoda)
GIDP: Ken Tanaka, Ryota Aikawa
Season Series: Nippon Ham 16, Orix 10 2 Ties
Game Time: 2:32
Umpires: Okada (HP), Iizuka (1B), Kakigizono (2B), Nagami (3B)
Elephants on Verge of Championship After Fending Off Whales Comeback
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/14/story/0000175713
Taichung Threatening to Sweep Kaohsiung in TML Series
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/14/story/0000175716
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 14th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1966, an incident involving a vote of confidence by team officials in manager Yukio Nishimoto was revealed by the press. Nishimoto had taken a pathetic Hankyu club from last in 1963 to second the following year then saw them on to fourth and fifth place rankings. So at the beginning to the Braves fall camp, he gathered the players together and asked them to vote on whether they had faith in him. He won by a 32-11 vote while four players abstained. Neverthless, upset by the 11 negative ballots, Nishimoto, who displayed a stern hand in dealing with his charges, declared his intention to resign. But as front office officials hurriedly set about trying to find a replacement, owner Kozo Kobayashi said that they were to talk Nishimoto out of leaving. Nishimoto stayed and in 1967, Hankyu won their first ever pennant.
Also on the same date in 1974, Yomiuri Giants third baseman Shigeo Nagashima
retired. The tv broadcast of the retirement ceremony drew the largest rating
of any program that year.
Matsui Triple Crown Bid Ends With 0-5 Night in Giants Win
Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui has feasted on Hiroshima Carp pitching over the years, butthat wasn't the case Friday, as he struckout three times as part of an 0-5 night to concede the batting title to Chunichi Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome and to deny himself the Triple Crown. However, let me say this: Fukudome sitting out games when a historical accomplishment such as a Triple Crown is on the line is really a disgrace. Fukudome-kun, kisama bakayarou! Kuso wo kurae!
Now that I've vented my spleen, let's talk about the game: Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe thundered his 19th homer and drove in four runs to spur Yomiuri to a 6-2 victory. Junya Sakai started for the winners and went four innings of two run ball on two hits. Rookie Hiroki Sanada then entered and claimed the shiroboshi after he fashioned four innings of no hit ball, striking out three and walking none.
Shinji Sasaoka started for Hiroshima and he was roughed up for five earned runs in five innings on six hits to absorb the defeat and make it two seasons in a row with a losing record, something he hasn't done since 1994.
The Giants broke out some small ball in the third to be the first to get on top 1-0, as third baseman Koji Goto walked, was sacrificed to second with one out, and crossed on a single to left by leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu, his 191st of the year and one off of Bobby Rose's league record.
But the Carp would overturn that in their half, as Sasaoka walked, second baseman Kazuki Fukuchi singled to left, and both were sacrificed along. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata singled to left to recall Sasaoka and leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto grounded to second to redeem Fukuchi and make it 2-1 Hiroshima.
However, in the fifth, Yomiuri tattooed Sasaoka and they were on their way. Goto kicked it off with a single to center and second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to left. Pinch hitter Takahiro Suzuki singled to center to load the bases. Shimizu flew out to center and Goto tagged and toed the dish to knot it at 2-2. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka grounded to Sasaoka, who held the runner at third and threw to first for the out. That brought Abe up, and he rocketed a Sasaoka delivery into the centerfield seats and it was 5-2 Yomiuri.
In the ninth, Yomiuri acquired it's final tally when pinch hitter Yoshinori Murata walked and Nioka singled to right one out later. Abe then seared a double to rightcenter and Murata hustled home to make it 6-2 Giants.
Tsuyoshi Jobe was assigned the closer's duty in the ninth and, after being touched for a single to center by Ogata, he struckout two and popped up another to put it in the books.
Shimizu's third inning single was his only safety of the contest and so he finished as second all time for hits in a season in the CL.
Matsui, who had his first five hitless plate appearances showing in 2002,
ended up at .334. As part of his attempt to land Matsui, Yankees owner George
Steinbrenner is going to permit Bernie Williams and Jason Giambi to play
in this November's NPB-NLB all star series, the first time a Yankee will
have participated in one of these events since
No foreign players batted in this game.
IP 4.0 PC 67 H 2 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.24
Sanada (W, 6-3) IP 4.0 PC 52 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.73
Jobe IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.16
Sasaoka (L, 8-9) IP 5.0
PC 78 H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.46
Kawauchi IP 2.0 PC 40 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.73
Amano IP 1.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.23
Kawano IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.43
SB: Nishi, Takayuki Saito, Fukuchi
2B: S. Abe
HR: S. Abe (18)
RBI: T. Shimizu 2, S. Abe 4, Ogata, Kanemoto
SF: T. Shimizu
Season Series: Yomiuri 16, Hiroshima 11 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:50
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Yoshimoto (1B), Tomoyori (2B), Manabe (3B)
Ishikawa Wins 11th in Toppling Yokohama 3-2
Yakult Swallows rookie lefty Masanori Ishikawa continues to make his case for the Rookie of the Year award, as he went seven innings and allowed a mere run on six hits for his 11th victory in the Swallows 3-2 triumph Friday at Meiji Jingu Stadium. Domingo Guzman had a solid night, permitting three runs, two earned, on seven hits, but ultimately suffered his fifth kuroboshi.
Yakult seized the upper hand in the bottom of the first, as centerfielder Atsunori Inaba doubled to left and shortstop Yoshiyuki Noguchi singled to right to usher Inaba in. Yokohama rightfielder Boi Rodrigues air mailed the relay over the head of catcher Takeshi Nakamura and Noguchi sped to third before the ball was finally coralled. First baseman Roberto Petagine flew out to center and Noguchi tagged up and made a beeline for the plate for a 2-0 Swallows lead.
The Stars shaved a run off of that disadvantage in the fourth, as first baseman Takahiro Saeki pounded a double off the leftfield wall and, one out later, scored on a single to right by second baseman Hitoshi Taneda to make it 2-1 Yakult.
Inaba, though, would push his side back up by a pair in the seventh. Second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. One out later, Inaba torqued one through the leftcenter gap and to the fence. As Shiroishi busted a move for home, Inaba made the turn at second and headed for third and slid in safely for a triple and it was 3-1 Swallows.
In the eighth, Yokohama shortstop Takuro Ishii throttled an offering from Hirotoshi Ishii, who was clocked at 96mph in this one, and deposited it in the leftfield bleachers to bring the Stars within 3-2. The lefthanded setup man then brought the curtain down by striking out the last two men he faced in a perfect ninth to secure the W for Yakult.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 2-4 with an error and is at .260.
For Yakult, Petagine was 0-1 with two walks and an RBI and is at .321. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 and is at .298. Brazilian rightfielder Yuichi Matsumoto was 1-4 and is at .250.
Guzman (L, 5-5) IP
7.0 PC 100 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.79
Fukumori IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.02
Masanori Ishikawa (W, 11-9)IP
7.0 PC 97 H 6 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
H. Ishii (S, 3) IP 2.0 PC 46 H 2 HR 1 K 5 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.55
2B: Inaba, Ramirez, Iwamura, Saeki
HR: T. Ishii (7)
RBI: T. Ishii, Taneda, Inaba, Noguchi, Petagine
Season Series: Yakult 16, Yokohama 9 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:40
Umpires: Shikida (HP), Sasaki (1B), Arisumi (2B), Ino (3B)
May Three Run Homer Highlights Lotte Victory Over Nippon Ham
Gazing at their fourth place standing in the Pacific League race, it is easy to forget that they have won the season series against three of the circuit's other five ballclubs and that they have a winning record at home. But the Daiei Hawks and Seibu Lions have sliced and diced Lotte and thus the second division finish. Tonight's tilt, though, was against the Nippon Ham Fighters, who Lotte has owned in 2002, and DH Derrick May mashed a first inning three run homer to guide his team to a 5-3 victory Friday at Chiba Marine Stadium. Kosuke Kato earned his tenth win with seven innings of two run ball on seven hits, striking out eight and walking two.
Hayato Nakamura started for Nippon Ham and surrendered five first inning runs, three of them earned, on seven hits to accept his 11th defeat. Five of those knocks were in the first as well. Unfortunately, whatever adjustment he made came too late to help his cause. He has lost six in a row.
As pointed out above, Lotte went on a rampage to snatch a lead it would never relinquish in the first. With one down, shortstop Makoto Kosaka walked and first baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to right. May then decimated a Nakamura delivery and thudded it into the rightcenterfield seats to make it 3-0. Second baseman Koichi Hori tapped one to third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto, who kicked it. Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa singled to left. One out later, catcher Masaumi Shimizu lasered a shot off the centerfield fence for a two run double and a 5-0 Lotte advantage.
Nippon Ham got off the shnide in the fifth when catcher Kazunari Sanematsu singled to center, as did centerfielder Hichori Morimoto, and both were advanced on a sac bunt. Second baseman Hiroshi Narahara flew out to center and it was 5-1 Lotte.
The following inning, the Fighters narrowed the gap a bit more when leftfielder Yukio Tanaka walked and, one out later, Kimoto singled to center. Rightfielder Yutaka Nakamura lashed a shot into the leftcenter alley and Tanaka scored easily to shrink the disparity to 5-2. Kato struckout the next two men to ensure that Nippon Ham wouldn't really get a fire burning.
In the eighth, Tanaka commenced things with a triple to right and, one out later, pinch hitter Shinji Takahashi grounded to third. Tanaka, running on contact, slid into home while Kiyoshi Hatsushiba went over to first for the out and it was 5-3 Lotte.
Lotte closer Masahide Kobayashi jogged in and while it took him 15 pitches, he retired the side in order for his 36th save and the Lotte victory.
For Lotte, May was 1-4 with three RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .273.
H. Nakamura (L, 7-11)
IP 7.0 PC 102 H 7 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 5 ER 3 ERA 4.26
Ko. Yamaguchi IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Ejiri IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
K. Kato (W,
10-15) IP 7.0 PC 111 H 7 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 2
ER 2 ERA 4.59
H. Kobayashi IP 0.1 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.77
T. Kawai IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.76
M. Kobayashi (S, 36) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.86
2B: Masaumi Shimizu, T. Nakamura
3B: Y. Tanaka
HR: May (23)
RBI: Narahara, S. Takahashi, T. Nakamura, May 3, Masaumi Shimizu 2
GIDP: Imae, Hori
Season Series: Nippon Ham 9, Lotte 18
Game Time: 2:41
Umpires: Tsugawa (HP), Nakamura (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Showalter New Rangers Manager; Hillman to Leave for Japan
See Fort worth Star-Telegram article at: http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/sports/4260800.htm
Steinbrenner Makes Concessions for Matsui
In the past, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner wouldn't allow his players to participate in MLB all star matches in Japan due to injury concern. That just changed: http://www.nypost.com/sports/yankees/23259.htm
Ferguson Jenkins Named Commissioner for New Canadian League
See Montreal Gazette article at: http://www.canada.com/montreal/sports/story.asp?id=%7BA7C3BAB4-6041-4966-B715-5412F86EF16D%7D
(note: you may have to copy and paste the URL into your browser).
Taiwan's Best Baseball Strategists Set for Showdown
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/11/story/0000175351
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 11th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1961, Nishitetsu Lions hurler Kazuhisa Inao picked up his 42nd win of the year to match the Yomiuri Giants' Victory Starfin's 1939 record.
Also on that date in 1976, Sadaharu Oh passed up Babe Ruth with his 715th lifetime homer in a game against Hanshin.
October 10, 2002
No Homer From Cabrera, as Suzuki Three Run Blast Powers Seibu
While there was some controversy over an intentional walk to Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera, seeking a record 56th homer, in the ninth inning of last night's wingding at Kobe Green Stadium against the Orix Blue Wave, there was none Thursday. Unfortunately, there was also nothing leaving the yard off of the slugging Venezuelan's bat, as he singled and struckout twice in five at bats. One of the problem's is that like Alfonso Soriano and Vladimir Guerrero, he is so geared up to hit the heater out that he allowed a hanging curve ball from Takashi Aiki to go by in the fifth. Aiki told reporters that he was glad he got that ball back.
So if your big bopper isn't going to etch his name in history, the least you could do is win the game anyway, and that is what the Lions did, as third baseman Ken Suzuki blasted a second inning three run homer to back a superlative outing from starter Hsu Ming-chieh, who went five innings of three hit ball (one of those was of the infield variety) in a 6-2 victory. The shiroboshi was Hsu's first in a month and a half.
Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui kicked off the game with a single to left and went to second on a sac bunt. Centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji singled to center and Matsui blazed across the plate to make it 1-0 Seibu. Cabrera then flew out to right.
Orix came back to tie in the home portion, as centerfielder Koji Takamizawa leadoff with a double to center and went to third on a sacrifice. DH Yoshitomo Tani grounded to short and it was 1-1.
Seibu then rocked Orix starter Hisashi Ogura. DH Taisei Takagi walked and leftfielder Susumu Otomo singled to right. Suzuki dug in and crushed an Ogura offering into the rightfield seats. Catcher Kosuke Noda singled to left. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi singled to right. One out later, rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki singled to right and Hiroyuki Takagi came around to make it 5-1 Lions.
Koji Mitsui took the mound for Seibu in the sixth and scattered three hits in three innings. In the meantime, the Lions threw another run up on the big board. Matsui leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a groundout. Seibu manager Haruki Ihara didn't want to give Orix boss Hiromichi Ishige any excuse to walk Cabrera, so he ordered up a squeeze bunt from Miyaji, who did as he was told and it was 6-1. Rui Makino was summoned from the bullpen and he delivered a 92mph fastball right down broadway to Cabrera. Cabrera mashed it, but he didn't lift it and it went for a line single to left.
In the ninth and with Jun Hagiwara, who also throws in the low 90's, on the hill, Cabrera struckout. He is now homerless in his last 19 at bats. Seibu reliever Yoshihiro Doi then mosied in to fashion a perfect inning to turn out the lights.
Orix has lost 22 games against the Tokorozawa contingent. The last time they had dropped so many contests to one club was in 1961, when they did it against the Nankai Hawks.
The normally light hitting Miyaji has benefited enourmously from the focus on Cabrera's record chase,. as he has gone 7-14 with two walks since Cabrera hammered his 55th.
For Seibu, third baseman Tom Evans walked in his only plate appearance after being put in as a defensive substitute and is at .252.
Hsu (W, 9-7) IP 5.0
PC 74 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.65
Mitsui IP 3.0 PC 60 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.15
Doi IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
7-4) IP 2.1 PC 43 H 7 HR 1 K 0
BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.50
T. Kawaguchi IP 2.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
Aiki IP 1.1 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.05
Y. Ogawa IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
Makino IP 0.0 PC 5 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
T. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.21
J. Hagiwara IP 1.2 PC 33 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.64
E: M. Shiozaki
2B: Takamizawa, Otomo, K. Matsui
HR: K. Suzuki (5)
RBI: Ozeki, Miyaji 2, K. Suzuki 3, M. Shiozaki, Tani
GIDP: M. Shiozaki
Season Series: Seibu 22, Orix 6
Game Time: 3:16
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Hayashi (2B), Sugimoto (2B), Tamba (3B)
Matsui Becomes First Giant Since Oh to 50 in 5-3 Victory
Similar to what Norihiro Nakamura did at Osaka Dome a few days ago, Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui, if he is indeed going to cross the Pacific to play for the Yankees, gave his fans something to remember in his team's last match at Tokyo Dome Thursday, as he homered twice to become the eighth man in Japanese history to reach 50 circuit clouts in a campaign and the second Giant since Sadaharu Oh in 1977 to do it while in that club's uniform. Hiromitsu Ochiai, who twice surpassed that mark, did it while a member of the Lotte Orions before moving to Yomiuri later on. Godzilla's heroics enabled the Giants to beat the crosstown rival Yakult Swallows 5-3.
Chunichi Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome is friends with Swallows lefthander Shugo Fujii and asked Fujii to shut Matsui down so that Fukudome can clinch the batting crown. It didn't quite work that way, though. Giants shortstop Tomohiro Nioka singled with one out in the first and one out later, the lefthanded hitting Matsui (George King at the NY Post might want to make a note of that since he erroneously reported that Godzilla hit righthanded) jacked a Fujii delivery into the leftfield seats for a 2-0 Giants lead. That was Matsui's sixth longball of 2002 off of Fujii. You can see a pic of the swing on that shot at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-021011-4.jpg
Yakult second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi bashed one off of Yusaku Iriki in the top of the third into the leftfield stands to halve that advantage to 2-1.
However, the Giants doubled down to grab that one back, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu doubled into the rightfield corner for his 190th hit of the season, just two off of former Yokohama Bay Star infielder Bobby Rose's Central League record. Nioka then carromed one off the centerfield wall to usher in Shimizu for a 3-1 Giants edge.
John Wasdin ascended the hill in the eighth for Yomiuri and the Swallows evened the game. Catcher Tomohito Yoneno singled to right and pinch hitter Atsuya Furuta whistled one down the rightfield lin for a double and was pinch run for by Munehiro Shida. Centerfielder Atsunori Inaba singled to right to redeem both Yoneno and Furuta to make it 3-3.
Ryota Igarashi relieved Fujii in the bottom of the inning and he was promptly greeted by Nioka socking one of his pitches into the centerfield seats. One out later, Matsui got jammed on a fastball and popped it up. However, Yoneno had difficulty locating the ball and it fell to the turf without anyone getting a glove on it. Matsui then torched a sixth pitch 1-2 fastball that was up and on the outer half of the plate and lined it more than 420 feet into the leftcenterfield bleachers to put his team ahead 5-3. He is within four points of Fukudome, who only played a couple of innings as a defensive replacement, and will need to go 4-5 to pass him in his final game of the year. You can see a pic of the pass he made at Igarashi's heater at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200210/image/02101101matuiNK230A10.jpg
Takashi Kamoshida, 18, who was in a high schoolers uniform this time last year rather than a pro baseballer's, worked a 1-2-3 ninth to become the first ever rookie fresh out of secondary school to post a save for Japan's most famous nine.
Giants starter Masumi Kuwata won the ERA title today, as Kenshin Kawakami got lit up against the Hanshin Tigers to fall to second. The veteran righthander last won an ERA crown for Yomiuri in 1987.
Yakult is seeking more pitching depth and have invited nine hurlers who had been released the last couple of weeks to tryout for a spot in the organization.
Kazuhiro Takeda, 37, started for Yomiuri in his retirement game and induced a flyout to right by Inaba leading off the first before passing the ball to Iriki. Takeda is just one of three pitchers to have beaten all 12 pro clubs. His knees, though, won't let him go any further and he decided to hang 'em up.
Korean righthander Cho Shing-min, who turned down a deal from the L.A. Dodgers to sign an eight year contract with Yomiuri, asked out of the final season of that pact due to chronic elbow problems. Cho was once able to throw easy 95mph gas, going 7-6 with a 2.75 ERA in 15 games in 1998, but he blew his elbow out during an all star game that season and now wants to concentrate on rehabbing the wounded wing. He finishes his Japanese career with an 11-10 record and 11 saves.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-4 with two strikeouts. He may have lost a homer in the fourth when he launched a high drive to right that struck the roof and came down in the mit of rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi for an out. He is at .322. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 2-4 and is at .299. Brazilian rightfielder Yuichi Matsumoto was 0-4 and is at .250.
IP 7.0 PC 116 H 5 HR 1 K 10 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.08
R. Igarashi (L, 8-2) IP 1.0 PC 26 H 3 HR 2 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.13
IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.22
Y. Iriki IP 6.2 PC 85 H 4 HR 1 K 9 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.05
Wasdin IP 0.1 PC 13 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.54
Kashiwada (W, 1-0) IP 0.2 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kamoshida (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
SB: T. Suzuki
2B: T. Shimizu, Nioka, Ramirez, Furuta
HR: H. Matsui 2 (50), Shiroishi (6), Nioka (24)
RBI: Inaba, Iwamura, Shiroishi, Nioka 2, H. Matsui 3,
Season Series: Yakult 10, Yomiuri 18
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Honda (HP), Kamimoto (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Arias Homers Twice in Yabu 7-0 Shutout of Dragons
Hanshin Tigers righthander Keiichi Yabu registered his first season in four years in which he has won at least ten games, as, backed by a pair of homers from first baseman George Arias, he threw a complete game five hitter against the Chunichi Dragons Thursday at Koshien Stadium before easily the Tigers smallest crowd of the season. The final was 7-0.
Kenshin Kawakami started fot the Dragons and had one of those days, as he will conclude the schedule with a 2.35 ERA in the wake of being bullied for four runs, three earned, in 5.2 innings to cede the ERA crown to Giants righty Masumi Kuwata. More ominously, however, is that Kawakami reportedly is experiencing some pain in his shoulder.
Hanshin obtained theonly tally it would need in the first, as centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi walked and then sprinted home on a triple into the rightcenter gap by rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama for a 1-0 lead.
The Tigers then expanded on that in the third when Akahoshi whizzed one down the leftfield line for a double and stole third. He then got up and busted for home when catcher Fumihiro Suzuki's throw went into leftfield and it was 2-0 Hanshin.
In the sixth, Arias leadoff by getting real gone to rightcenter. One out later, shortstop Shuta Tanaka doubled down the rightfield line and went to third on a groundout. Yabu singled to center and Hanshin was solidly in control at 4-0.
Next time up, Akahoshi got aboard on an error by shortstop Hirokazu Ibata. Hiyama singled to right and Akahoshi motored to third. Leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka flied to right and Akahoshi tagged and scored. Arias then cannonaded one deep into the leftfield bleachers and it was 7-0 Tigers.
Yabu put the last six men away in order to wrap it up.
Arias went 2-3 with a walk, a steal, and three RBIs. He has 32 homers and
yet Hanshin is uncertain as to whether they will bring him back for 2003.
I'm not sure where Hanshin thinks it's going to get that kind of power and
RBI production. Nobody else on the roster is even close to his numbers. It's
not going to come from Atsushi Kataoka. If Hanshin does manage to lure Norihiro
Nakamura, they will still need a first baseman.
With everyone pursuing Roberto Petagine, Hanshin, with its less than competent front office and a jerkoff as a manager, is hardly an attractive ballclub for the former Phillie.
Kawakami (L, 12-6) IP 5.2
PC 97 H 7 HR 1 K 1 BB 3 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.35
Koyama IP 0.1 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.63
Hiramatsu IP 2.0 PC 32 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 7.56
Yabu (W, 10-6) IP 9.0 PC 130 H 5 HR 0 K 9 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
E: Morino, F. Suzuki, Okihara
SB: Akahoshi 2, Hiyama, Arias
2B: Araki, Akahoshi, S. Tanaka
HR: Arias 2 (32)
RBI: Hiyama, Hamanaka, Arias 3, Yabu
Season Series: Chunichi 15, Hanshin 10 2 Tie
Game Time: 2:30
Umpires: Shimada (HP), Watamari (1B), Nemoto (2B), Tani (3B)
Powell Shelled in 8-4 Loss to Lotte
Jeremy Powell was looking to be tops in all of Japanese pro ball with 18 wins, but he didn't get it thanks to being cuffed around for eight runs, seven earned, in 6.1 innings, as the Kintetsu Buffaloes were drubbed by the Chiba Lotte Marines Thursday at Chiba Marine Stadium 8-4.
Shingo Ono started for Lotte and was barely good enough, as he was charged with four runs (one earned) on seven hits in six innings for his fourth victory. Three relievers combined for three innings of two hit ball to keep the Buffs lineup from catching fire.
Lotte was the fastest with the first, as DH Derrick May leadoff the second inning with a scorcher into the rightfield corner for two bases and then went to third on a single to right by Koichi Hori. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to left to score May and it was 1-0.
Kintetsu, though, was the recipient of some bad fielding by Lotte in the third and it was they who were on top before it was over. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to center. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi grounded to Hori, who booted it. One out later, with leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes at the plate, Ono threw a third pitch wild pitch and the runners moved up. Rhodes then hit a bouncer to first baseman Kazuya Fukuura, who attempted to go to the plate with it, but it was late and it was dead even at 1-1. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura whiffed, but first baseman Yuji Yoshioka spanked one into center and Kawaguchi strutted in to make it 2-1 Buffs.
Powell hit Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura in the bottom of the third. Lotte didn't put any runs on the big board in that frame, but you will see why it was important later on.
In the fifth, Naoyuki Omura leadoff with a single to left to catalyze another Buffs rally. He went to second on a groundout. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to right. Rhodes flew out to center for a sac fly while Mizuguchi advanced to second on the throw home. Nakamura singled to center to turn in Mizuguchi and it was 4-1 Kintetsu.
Powell, though, had no staying power in this one and Lotte quickly caught up. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu singled to center. Two popouts later, leftfielder Kenji Morizumi singled to center. Fukuura smoked one into the leftcenter alley and all the way to the wall, which gave both Shimizu and Morozumi time to gallop in. May singled to right and it was a deadlock at 4-4.
Lotte then sleazed into a lead in the sixth when Shimizu singled to center, shortstop Makoto Kosaka singled to right and backup leftfielder Hiromi Oho, a fifth year player with less than 30 lifetime at bats, collected his first pro RBI when he rifled a slider on the inner half of the plate down the rightfield line for a double to make it 5-4 home team.
Things then got massively ugly in the seventh. Fukuura commenced the inning with an infield hit. One out later, Powell plunked Hori. He also nailed Hatsushiba and the benches emptied and we had ourselves a donnybrook. Powell got in several punches to the face of Lotte batting coach Norihito Yamashita and was ejected. Now with the bases loaded, Daisuke Miyamoto was called in to spell Powell and rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa flew out to left to get Fukuura in. Shimizu ripped a hot down the rightfield line for a two run double and it was now 8-4.
Curiously though, despite the Buffs apparent outrage at Powell hitting three of their players, Lotte never retaliated even though Brian Sikorsky could have put a major hurt on someone with a 93mph fastball. So that's how it concluded, an 8-4 Lotte triumph.
With the defeat, Powell missed a chance to tie for most victories by a foreign pitcher in a season since Hanshin's Gene Bacque racked up 18 35 years ago.
Oho displayed the difference between Japanese thinking and that of Americans, as he missed his 87 year old grandmother's funeral on October eighth because Lotte had a game.
For Lotte, May was 2-5 with an RBI and is at .273.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-4 with two RBIs and a steal and is at .272. The two runs batted him also put him at the summit of the Pacific League ahead of Alex Cabrera.
Powell (L, 17-10) IP 6.1
PC 135 H 12 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 8 ER 7 ERA 3.78
D. Miyamoto IP 0.2 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.11
S. Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.41
S. Ono (W, 4-8) IP
6.0 PC 110 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 4 ER 1 ERA 3.61
T. Kawai IP 0.2 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.78
Sikorsky IP 1.1 PC 29 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.44
H. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.66
E: Rhodes, T.T. Maeda, Hori
SB: Rhodes, S. Omura, Kosaka
2B: May, Hori, Fukuura 2, Oho, Masaumi Shimizu
RBI: Rhodes 2, Nakamura, Yoshioka, Oho, Fukuura 2, Hatsushiba, Tachikawa,
Masaumi Shimizu 2, May
SF: Rhodes, Tachikawa
WP: S. Ono
HBP: S. Omura (Powell), Hori (Powell), Hatsushiba (Powell)
Season Series: Kintetsu 12, Lotte 14
Game Time: 3:24
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Will Media, Management Give Hillman a Chance in Japan?
Dan Latham at the Japan Times ponders that question at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20021011a2.htm
Contreras May Be Forced into Draft
I would feel sorry for him if he ends up in Tampa Bay. He might decide to
go back to Cuba. Anyway, see ESPN article at:
Contreras Interests Mets
See North Jersey.com article at: http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?level_3_id=112&page=5260238
Taiwanese Baseball Fan and Legislator Under Attack for Going to Game
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/10/story/0000171380
Yankees Wang: Expect More Taiwanese in MLB and Japan
See Japan Today article at: http://www.japantoday.com/e/?content=news&cat=6&id=234032
Korea Just Too Strong for Taiwan
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/10/story/0000171370
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 13th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1969, Masaichi Kaneda, who started his career with the Kokutetsu Swallows before moving on to the Yomiuri Giants, registered his 400th victory. He is the all time wins leader in Japanese annals.
Also on that date in 1943, pitcher Takehiko Bessho, who had signed contracts with both Nankai and Yomiuri, was ruled to belong to Nankai. He did eventually move to Yomiuri in 1949. For his career, he went 310-178 with a 2.18 ERA. He was a .254 lifetime hitter with 35 homers and was often used as a pinch hitter. His finest campaign with the stick? That would be in 1950 with the Giants, when he posted a .344 mark with four homers and 28 RBIs. He also struckout just six times in 151 at bats. He only had 180 Ks in 1972 total at bats. Mike Hampton had nothing on this guy.
Also on that date in 1967, Yomiuri Giants righthander Tsuneo Horiuchi tossed
a no hitter against the Hiroshima Carp at Korakuen Stadium. He also homered
three times in the game for the greatest day any pro pitcher has ever had
anywhere.Horiuchi had a total of 21 homers in his 18 season career while
batting .172. He had four homers (a lifetime best that he tied in 1974)
that season and drove in 12 runs while batting .241.
Cabrera Still Driving 55 in Seibu Victory Over Orix
Perhaps trying too hard and muscling up in order to break the 55 homer barrier, Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera just missed driving the ball out in the third inning, getting it off the end of the bat and seeing it misujudged by centerfielder Koji Takamizawa at the warning track for a gift double. Then he popped up on a fastball that was up and in his wheelhouse in the fifth. Make no mistake about it, the former Diamondback is feeling the pressure.
But even with their big bopper basically on a one man quest right now, the Lions still managed to prevail in this game, as starter Fumiya Nishiguchi rang up his 15th victory of the season and the 100th of his career Wednesday at Kobe Green Stadium by a 4-1 margin.
Hidetaka Kawagoe, who has been awful the second half of the schedule, started for Orix and indeed was terrible, as he surrendered four runs on 11 hits in five innings to absorb his 15th loss. However, to the disappointment of even his club;s own fans, he kept Cabrera in the ballpark.
Orix went out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, as Takmizawa steamed one down the leftfield line for a double and DH Yoshitomo Tani singled to right. First baseman Yuji Goshima lifted a sac fly to center and Takamizawa tagged and scored.
Seibu, though, made that upended that advantage and siezed an edge in the third. With one down, shortstop Kazuo Matsui walked and went to second on a groundout.Centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji singled to center and Matsui sped around to knot it at one all. Cabrera then drove a deep fly ball that fooled Takamizawa and it bounced into the seats for a ground rule double. Both runners came around on a subsequent single to right by DH Taisei Takagi to make it 3-1 Lions.
In the fourth, Kawagoe couldn't get the third out until he was dented again. With one away, catcher Kosuke Noda singled to center and went to second on a groundout. Matsui singled to center and Noda wheeled in for a 4-1 Lions lead.
Nishiguchi kept Orix pretty quiet after the first and handed the ball over to Koji Mitsui in the eighth, who immediately got himself into a big jam. With one away, pinch hitter Ryota Aikawa pinged a shot off the rightfield wall for a double. Ledtfielder Manabu Satake singled to right. But second baseman Tatsuya Shindo struckout and pinch hitter Daisuke Hayakawa fouled out to first and the inning was at an end.
Cabrera was the fourth scheduled hitter of the ninth and the fans hoped that he would get one more chance at history. Matsui struckout against reliever Yusuke Ogawa. Pinch hitter Tom Evans singled to left. Lions manager Haruki Ihara, wanting to prevent a possible double play so that Cabrera could bat, ordered Miyaji to sacrifice, which he did. That brought up Cabrera and Orix boss Hiromichi Ishige ordered that the big Venezuelan be walked. The crowd in the stands went apoplectic, and showered the field with plastic bottles and other debris, causing the game to be interrupted for five minutes. This didn't deter Ishige and amid loud booing, Cabrera got four wide ones. Pinch hitter Toshiaki Inubushi flew out to right and that was that. Admittedly, Ishige gave Cabrera four chances to light up the scoreboard, but this was a meaningless game in terms of what it would mean in the standings and so he should have pitched to Cabrera.
Kiyoshi Toyoda came on and allowed an infield hit before retiring the next three men in order for his 43rd save point, a new Pacific League record.
Ihara was incensed at the intentional walk, saying that there were maybe ten fans who had come to see the game itself while the rest were there in the hopes that Cabrera would best the old homer mark. Ishige replied that he wanted to win the game and that since first base was open, the situation dictated that Cabrera be walked.
Nishiguchi became the 118th hurler in Japanese history to reach triple figures in shiroboshi.
The two teams will meet again Thursday.
For Seibu, Cabrera went 1-4 with two strikeouts and a walk and is at .338. Evans was 1-1 and is at .252.
Nishiguchi (W, 15-10) IP
7.0 PC 132 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.51
Mitsui IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.15
Toyoda (S, 37) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.80
Kawagoe (L, 3-15)
IP 5.0 PC 94 H 11 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 4.92
T. Kawaguchi IP 1.0 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
Makino IP 2.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
Y. Ogawa IP 0.2 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
J. Hagiwara IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.71
2B: Takamizawa, Cabrera, Ryota Aikawa
RBI: K. Matsui, Miyaji, T. Takagi 2, Goshima
GIDP: M. Satake
Season Series: Seibu 21, Orix 6
Game time: 3:22
Umpires: Yamamura (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Nagami (2B), Higashi (3B)
Nakamura, Yoshioka Two Run Homers Unravel Lotte 9-1
Chiba Lotte Marines starter Nathan Minchey went out to the mound Wednesday seeking a career high 16th victory, but instead he got hammered for seven runs in 7.1 innings on 11 hits, including Kintetsu Buffaloes third baseman Norihiro Nakamura's 40th bomb of the year, in a 9-1 loss to the Osaka team. Nakamura also raised his average to .292 with a 2-3 night.
Yasunari Takagi started for Kintetsu and continues to pitch well, going six innings of five hit, one run ball with seven strikeouts and one walk to earn his third win. If Takagi can reproduce this next season, they would have a first three of Jeremy Powell, Hisashi Iwakuma and Takagi and Akira Okamoto can close, so manager Masataka Nashida would have to feel pretty good about that. If they do add Ed Yarnell, that would give them a strong fourth starter. Now the question is, can they somehow hang on to Nakamura and will Tuffy Rhodes produce again as he has this season and last?
Kintetsu blasted their way into the lead and never looked back, as in the first, DH Kenshi Kawaguchi leadoff with a single to center and was sacrificed to second. Leftfielder Rhodes then seared a double down the rightfield line to plate Kawaguchi and to acquire a tie with Alex Cabrera for the PL lead in RBIs with 115. Minchey tried to freeze Nakamura with a big slow curve ball, but Nakamura waited on it and then punished it, lining the ball up into the mezzanine section of the leftfield seats with the wind blowing in as it always does at Chiba Marine Stadium to make it 3-0. Nakamura has four big flies in his last four games and is only four RBIs behind Cabrera himself.
Takagi no hit Lotte for four innings until being touched for a pair of singles in the fifth, but he easily pitched out of that predicament. However, Lotte did get something off of Takagi in the sixth. With one out, second baseman Koichi Hori beat out a little bouncer. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura drilled a double off the rightfield wall. DH Derrick May singled to left and Hori crossed and it was 3-1 Buffs. That was as far as it went, though, since third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba grounded into a 6-4-3 twin killing to throw cold water on a potential big inning.
Minchey had appeared to have found his ryhthm after that first inning, permitting just four hits over the following six innings. But then he endeavored to go eight and that was a miscalculation. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi leadoff by crashing one off the leftfield wall. One out later, Nakamura was intentionally walked. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka grounded to Hatsushiba, who let the ball get through him and Muzuguchi toured third and home. Rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano then beat out a roller toward third to load the bases. Shortstop Tadatoki Maeda singled to center for two RBIs and catcher Akihito Fujii also went back up through the middle for another and it was 7-1 Buffs.
Lotte loaded the bases with one down on a pair of singles and an HBP, but a popup and a strikeout did that opportunity in.
The Buffaloes then finished this game as they began it, with some pop, as Rhodes doubled into the leftfield corner and, one out later, Yoshioka bigtimed Soichi Fujita with a shot into the leftfield bleachers to make it 9-1 and that is how it ended.
For Lotte, May was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .272.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-5 with an RBI and is at .271.
Y. Takagi (W, 3-2) IP 6.0
PC 93 H 5 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.47
Misawa IP 0.2 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.97
A. Okamoto IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.70
T. Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.17
D. Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
Minchey (L, 15-14) IP 7.1
PC 122 H 11 HR 1 K 5 BB 2 R 7 ER 6 ERA 2.85
T. Kawai IP 0.2 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
S. Fujita IP 0.2 PC 25 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.29
J. Kuroki IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
2B: Rhodes, Fukuura, Masaumi Shimizu, Mizuguchi
HR: N. Nakamura (40), Yoshioka (26)
RBI: Rhodes, N. Nakamura 2, Yoshioka 3, T.T. Maeda 2, A. Fujii, May
IBB: N. Nakamura
HBP: May (Yoshida)
GIDP: Yoshioka, Hatsushiba
Season Series: Kintetsu 12, Lotte 13
Game Time: 3:04
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Tachibana (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Furuki Homers Again in 5-2 Yokohama Triumph
Yokohama Bay Stars rookie third baseman Katsuaki Furuki mashed his ninth homer of the year, good for two runs, and number one draft choice Yuji Hata tossed 6.1 excellent innings of two run ball on four hits to beat the Hiroshima Carp 5-2. Furthermore, Hata is the first Yokohama rookie to win a game right out of high school for the team since Tomokazu Ohka in 1994.
Masayuki Hasegawa started for the Carp and had another disappointing outing, as he was done up for four runs on four hits in three innings to be saddled with the loss, his tenth.
Yokohama slapped Hasegawa around in the first, as shortstop Takuro Ishii doubled down the rightfield line and went to third on a groundout. First baseman Takahiro Saeki singled to right to make it 1-0. Furuki got a fastball that was up and on the outer half of the plate and waylaid it into the leftfield seats for a 3-0 Stars advantage.
Then in the third, Hasegawa struckout leftfield Kazunori Tanaka with one down, but the ball went to the backstop and Tanaka went to first. Saeki roasted one into the leftcenterfield alley and Tanaka set the controls for the heart of home plate to widen his side's lead to 4-0.
Hata was throwing a nice little ballgame, but tired in the seventh. With one away, third baseman Takahiro Arai walked. First baseman Itsuki Asai doubled into the rightfield corner to sent Arai to third. Atsushi Kizuka relieved Hata. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura grounded to short to recall Arai and to get Asai over to third. Pinch hitter Kenjiro Nomura doubled off the centerfield fence to dispatch Asai homeward to make it 4-2.
Yokohama's last run came in the eighth, when Furuki singled to center and was pinch run for by Takashi Manei, who stole second. Manei then somehow got to third (wild pitch?) and hit the dish on a groundout to second by rightfielder Boi Rodrigues and it was 5-2.
Kazuo Fukumori was assigned closer duty and he was mugged for a single to right by Arai. Asai grounded to Manei, who booted it. But Fukumori struckout the next two hitters and second baseman Kazuki Fukuchi grounded to short and it was see you later.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 0-4 and is at .258.
Hasegawa (L, 12-10)
IP 3.0 PC 45 H 4 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.88
Kawauchi IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.98
Kawano IP 2.0 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.33
K. Kobayashi IP 2.0 PC 37 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.18
1-0) IP 6.1 PC 106 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 1
R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.38
Kizuka IP 0.2 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.95
Fukumori (S, 2) IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.09
E: Hata, Manei
SB: T. Ishii, Manei
2B: T. Ishii, Saeki, Kinjo, K. Kimura, I. Asai, K. Nomura
HR: Furuki (9)
RBI: K. Kimura, K. Nomura, Saeki 2, Furuki 2
Season Series: Hiroshima 13, Yokohama 13 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:03
Umpires: ? (HP), Mori (1B), Kiuchi (2B), Ino (3B)
Yankees Cox on Asian Baseball Talent Pool
See article in english language Malaysian newspaper The Star at:
Fear and Loathing on Home Run Record Trail
The Yomiuri Shimbun's Jim Allen analyzes how Alex Cabrera is being pitched to (or not) in his quest to break Sadaharu Oh and Tuffy Rhodes record: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021010wo51.htm
More on this subject by Jim at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021010wo52.htm
Almonte Makes an Ass of Himself Again
What is up with this guy? During spring trainning, Yomiuri Giants reliever Hector Almonte, brother of Yankees infield prospect Erick Almonte, was dissatisfed with the team's practice routine, so he made a scene and is lucky they just didn't tell him to get lost. Almonte then resurrected his career after a joke of a showing in 2001 by posting a strong 2002 season. But earlier today, Almonte started whinging about being forced to do some running and proclaimed in a loud voice, "when the Japan series is over, it's goodbye to Japan and goodbye to the Giants." He then threw his hat in a trash can and stalked off.
Yomiuri had intended to bring Almonte back for next season, but now his future in Japan is in doubt. This guy should be glad to just have a job. Now he may have blown it. Can someone please tell me what he's thinking?
Sasaki Begging Off Elbow Surgery for Bone Chips
What an idiot. See Mariners.org story at:
(note: you may have to paste the URL into your browser window).
Hawks Parent Company Still Dealing With Debt
See Seattle Times article at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/134551082_zombiecos09.html
Japan Awarded Softball Gold Medal Thanks to Rain
What a joke this is. See Asahi Shimbun article at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002100700245.html
Korea Wins Asian Games Baseball Gold Medal
See Xinhua News article in english at: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2002-10/09/content_590417.htm
Also, see article at: http://www.etaiwannews.com/Taiwan/2002/10/10/1034211405.htm
Mexican Billionaire Asks MLB Permission to Bid for Angels
See San Jose Mercury News story at: http://www.bayarea.com/mld/mercurynews/sports/4243883.htm
Contreras in San Diego
See Baseball America article at: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/news/contreras100802.html
Aussies Beat Japan in Women's Baseball World Series
See St. Mary's Star (an Australian paper) article at: http://www.stmarysstar.com.au/read.asp?article=001n3032867.txt&s=sport
Barnum and Bailey's Japanese Baseball Team
Cute little anecdote in the following article from the Alva Review-Courier:
(note: you may have to paste the URL into your browser).
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 9th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1962, the Hanshin Tigers won their first pennant in 15 years while the Yomiuri Giants suffered their first second division finish since the two league system was introduced.
Also on that date in 1969, the so-called father of Japanese pro baseball, Matsutaro Shoriki, died.
Also on that date in 1971, Lotte Orions first baseman Shinichi Etoh locked
up the PL batting title. He had won one when he was with the Chunichi Dragons,
so he thus became the only man in Japanese baseball history to win hitting
crowns in both leagues.
Cabrera Homer Record Bid Rained On
The game scheduled between the Seibu Lions and the Orix Blue Wave at Kobe Green Stadium Tuesday was rained out. There is another game between the two clubs scheduled for Wednesday.
Takagi Throws Four Hit 4-0 Shutout at Kintetsu
Chiba Lotte Marines centerfielder Saburo Omura slugged a first inning solo homer and a three hitters later DH Derrick May blasted a two run roundtripper and starter Koji Takagi handled it from there, tossing a six hit complete game shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Kintetsu Buffaloes Tuesday at Chiba Marine Stadium. That was Takagi's first shutout since he was with Yakult in 1999.
Hisashi Iwakuma started for the Buffaloes and he was tattooed for all four runs in 1.2 innings on six hits and was hung with his seventh loss.
Omura got things off to a rousing beginning for Lotte by leading off the bottom of the first with a drive into the leftfield seats for an instant 1-0 lead. Leftfielder Kenji Morozumi singled to center and went to second on ground ball. May then hammered a shot into the rightfield bleachers to make it 3-0.
Kintetsu made a little noise in the second when third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to left and first baseman Yuji Yoshioka singled to right. But rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano grounded into a 6-4-3 double play and shortstop Tadatoki Maeda flied out to left to end the inning. Takagi, who is on his fourth ballclub, had only one other mild threat later on and he cruised the rest of the way.
Lotte then got after it again in the bottom of the frame, as rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa walked and, one out later, shortstop Makoto Kosaka doubled down the leftfield line. Omura singled to right and Tachikawa jogged in for a 4-0 advantage. It got really dull after that, as both offenses pretty much going into a deep sleep until it was finally over. This was only the fourth time that Kintetsu had been shutout this season.
Kintetsu manager Masataka Nashida expressed interest in acquiring Ed Yarnell, who was recently released by Orix. Yarnell would be the replacement for Sean Bergman, who was cut loose by the Buffs after being dogged by a shoulder problem.
But the thing they are most focused on is keeping Nakamura on the club and to that end they are making him a firm offer of six years with a total base of $29 million (just under $5 million a year) with a $4 million signing bonus and another $1.25 million a season in incentives to bring the potential worth of that contract to $38 million. However, Hanshin is apparently prepared to go on a mad spending spree, as the parent railway firm is reportedly willing to part with whatever cash is necessary to scoop the burly slugger up as well as perhaps two other high profile free agents.
For Kintetsu, leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 1-4 and is at .269.
For Lotte, May was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .272.
Iwakuma (L, 8-7) IP 1.2 PC 48 H 6 HR 2 K 2
BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.75
S. Yamamoto IP 3.0 PC 38 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.48
Fujisaki IP 1.1 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
T. Matsumoto IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
K. Takagi (W, 3-2) IP 9.0 PC 118 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.32
HR: S. Omura (8), May (22)
RBI: S. Omura 2, May 2
GIDP: Takano, Hori
Season Series: Kintetsu 11, Lotte 13
Game Time: 2:29
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Yakult Edges Dragons 4-2
Yakult Swallows first baseman Roberto Petagine crushed his 40th homer of the year in the seventh and Hiroki Hongo bashed a two run triple in the fourth while Hirotoshi Maeda, Hirotoshi Ishii and Ryota Ishii followed struggling starter Yataro Sakamoto with five superb innings of one hit relief to roll to a 4-2 victory against the Chunichi Dragons Tuesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium. Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome, leading Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui by six points in the Central League batting race, didn't start due to a supposedly hurt elbow and then was sent in for two innings, but didn't get a plate appearance.
The Dragons blew a scoring opportunity in the second, as third baseman Masahiko Morino leadoff with a single to right and Sakamoto plunked catcher Nakano. Rightfielder Kenji Makuta singled to center to load the bases. But Sakamoto fanned the next two hitters and shortstop Hirokazu Ibata flew to right and Sakamoto had wriggled out of the predicament.
Sakamoto did get dented, though, in the third. Second baseman Masahiro Araki beat out a roller toward third. Two outs later, Morino walked and Eiichi Nakano beat out a bouncer toward short to pack the sacks. Makuda singled to center and both Araki and Morino crossed to make it 2-0 Dragons.
Yakult halved that deficit in the home segment, as shortstop Yoshiyuki Noguchi tripled off the centerfield fence and scored on a groundout to second off the bat of third baseman Akinori Iwamura and it was 2-1 Dragons.
In the fourth, Ramirez leadoff by getting in the way of a delivery from Dragons starter Daisuke Yamai. Rightfielder Yuichi Matsumoto singled to left. Second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi grounded to third and Kazuyoshi Tatsunami stepped on the bag for the force, but the throw to first was tardy, so no double play. One out later, Hongo, pinch hitting for Sakamoto, found a seam in rightcenter between the two outfielders and blazed around for a triple as Matsumoto and Shiroishi galloped to the plate to put the Swallows in front 3-2. That was Hongo's first RBIs in three years.
The pitching dominated on both sides until the seventh, when Petagine flattened one over the centerfield seats for the Venezuelan's 40th homer to widen it to 4-0 Swallows. With the circuit clout, the ex-Phille becomes just the second non-Japanese since Randy Bass in 1986 to have two 40 homer campaigns during his time in Japan.
Igarashi came on for the ninth when closer Shingo Takatsu said his elbow wasn't feeling very good and he put the tying run on first with a walk and a hit batter, but struckout two others and induced a foul out in a 26 pitch outing for his fourth save.
For Chunichi, Omar Linares struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .174.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .325. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-3 with an HBP and is at .297. The 21 year old Brazilian youngster, Matsumoto, was 1-3 and was hit by a pitch and is at .313.
IP 3.0 PC 57 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.93
M. Kimura (L, 0-1) IP 2.0 PC 46 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.00
Hisamoto IP 2.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.50
Koyama IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.70
IP 4.0 PC 89 H 6 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.68
H. Maeda (W, 3-1) IP 2.0 PC 39 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.45
H. Ishii IP 2.0 PC 24 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.48
R. Igarashi (S, 4) IP 1.0 PC 26 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.92
2B: Y. Noguchi, Ibata 2
3B: Y. Noguchi, Hongo
HR: Petagine (40)
RBI: Makuta 2, Iwamura, Petagine, Hongo 2
HBP: Nakano (Sakamoto), Ramirez (Kimura), Y. Matsumoto (M. Kimura), Sho. Mori
Season Series: Chunichi 11, Yakult 11 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:10
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), Arisumi (1B), Kamimoto (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Bases Clearing Hayashi Triple Wins it for Nippon Ham 4-3
Nippon Ham third baseman Takaya Hayashi came up with the bases loaded and tripled off the leftfield wall to break a 1-1 deadlock and the Fighters then white knuckled it from there in a 4-3 victory over the Daiei Hawks Tuesday at Fukuoka Dome. Itsuki Shoda, who the Japanese press seems to be pointing at as this season's Rookie of the Year (mine is Chang Chia-chiah of the Lions) won his eighth after fashioning an undistinguished 6.1 innings of three run ball (two earned) on six hits.
Junji Hoshino started for Daiei and probably had to have his neck massaged upon whipping it around in the wake of ten hits going every which way while he was on the hill. He is now 9-10.
Daiei drew first blood in the second, as third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to left and went to second on a groundout. Catcher Kenji Johjima then pancaked one off the leftfield fence and Kokubo lumbered in for a 1-0 lead.
In the fifth, Nippon Ham equalized it when second baseman Kokichi Akune pounded a double off the rightfield wall and was sacrificed to third. Rightfielder Hichori Morimoto singled to center and Akune loped in to make it 1-1.
Two innings later, centerfielder Tsutomu Ishimoto singled to center and first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara copycatted that. The runners were advanced on a sac bunt. DH Kuniyuki Kimoto was intentionally walked to juice the bags. Hayashi then boomed one against the leftfield wall and completely unclogged the basepaths for three RBIs and a 4-1 Fighters advantage.
The Hawks, though, crept back up on Nippon Ham in the seventh. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka singled to right and Johjima grounded to shortstop Shigeyuki Furuki, who booted it. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe flamed a double into the leftfield corner and non-speedsters Matsunaka and Johjima chugged in to make it 4-3. Torigoe was sacrificed to third. Shoda was removed and Yoshinori Tateyama was put in his place. Centerfielder Kazuyuki Takahashi hit a comebacker and pinch hitter Arihito Muramatsu popped out to third to preserve what was left of the Fighters lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, Hiroshi Shibakusa gave up a single to Matsunaka with one away and, one out later, second baseman Munenori Kawasaki singled to left to put the tying run on second and the winning run on first. Takahashi grounded to short and the Fighters had it in the refrigerator.
Ogasawara went 2-3 to lift his average to .340 and put himself back at the summit of the Pacific League batting race by a point over Alex Cabrera.
No foreign players batted in this game.
Shoda (W, 8-11) IP 6.1 PC
99 H 6 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.66
Tateyama IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.37
Shibakusa (S, 11) IP 2.0 PC 34 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.58
J. Hoshino (L, 9-10) IP 6.1 PC 111 H 10 HR
0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.76
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.1 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.72
Terahara IP 2.1 PC 35 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.59
2B: Johjima, Morimoto, Akune, Torigoe
RBI: Hayashi 3, Morimoto, Johjima, Torigoe 2
HBP: Morimoto (J. Hoshino)
GIDP: Hayashi, Kimoto
Season Series: Nippon Ham 12 Daiei 15 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:38
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Sato (1B), Yoshikawa (2B), Maeda (3B)
Kanemoto Three Run Homer Shoots Down Stars 3-2
Yokohama Bay Stars starter Kuniyuki Taniguchi was working on a 2-0 six hit shutout when he came out for the eighth, but when left the mound, the shutout as well as the win were gone on the wings of a three run homer by Hiroshima Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto in a 3-2 victory by the fish. Red Hell closer Yasuhiro Oyamada saw the tying and winning runs reach in the ninth, but he struckout Boi Rodrigues to seal it.
Yokohama got something that was in scarce supply for them, a clutch hit, in the fourth to seize the upper hand. Rodrigues walked to open the inning and stole second. Two outs later, catcher Ryoji Aikawa was intentionally walked to get to Taniguchi, who retaliated for the insult by singling to right to plate Rodrigues and imbue the Stars with a 1-0 lead.
Hiroshima loaded the bases with two outs in the fifth, but let that get away. Yokohama countered with two on and one out in their ups, but wasted that chance, too. They didn't do that in the sixth. Aikawa walked and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Takuro Ishii outran a slow roller toward first. leftfielder Kazunori Tanaka grounded to second baseman Kazuki Fukuchi, who went to the plate endeavoring to nail Aikawa, but it was not in time and the Stars were up 2-0.
Taniguchi had delivered more than 100 pitches, though, and tired in the eighth. Fukuchi singled to center. One out later, centerfielder Koichi Ogata walked. Taniguchi then grooved a fastball right down broadway and Kanemoto treated it mercilessly, howitzering it into the centerfield seats to give the Carp a 3-2 advantage.
Oyamada entered from the pen and got Tanaka to groundout, but first baseman Takahiro Saeki singled to right. Third baseman Katsuaki Furuki walked. Oyamada, though, struckout Rodrigues and that was apparently the game, so it may have been a strikeout-caught stealing double play or someone got picked off before Rodrigues' at bat ended, it's hard to say. Whatever the case may be, Hiroshima prevailed 3-2 and Oyamada now has 29 saves.
Hiroshima announced that they had signed Shinichi Nishikawa, a lefthander recently given the heave ho by Hanshin. He will be used in middle relief.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 0-2 with three walks and two strikeouts and is at .260.
IP 5.1 PC 130 H 5 HR 0 K 5 BB 7 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.71
Sawazaki IP 0.2 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
S. Tamaki (W, 6-1) IP 2.0 PC 27 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.54
Oyamada (S, 29) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.36
Taniguchi (L, 1-5) IP 7.1 PC 128 H 8 HR 1
K 5 BB 4 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.29
Inamine IP 0.0 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.23
Chiba IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Fukumori IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.22
SB: Okagami, Saeki, Rodrigues
HR: Kanemoto (28)
RBI: Kanemoto 3, K.N. Tanaka, Taniguchi
GIDP: Arai 2
Season Series: Hiroshima 13, Yokohama 12 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:43
Umpires: Nishimoto (HP), Fukatani (1B), Shikida (2B), Watada (3B)
Individual CL, PL Titles Go Down to the Wire
See article by Wayne Graczyk at the Japan Times at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20021009wg.htm
Hara Named Manager of the Year; Maeda Comeback Player
Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara was named Manager of the Year by Central League officials for leading his team to a pennant in his first season at the helm. He also set a new record for wins by a freshman boss which is at 84 and counting.
Hiroshima Carp outfielder Tomonori Maeda, Japan's equivalent to Eric Davis, was named Comeback Player of the Year by those same CL executives. Maeda, a gifted athlete whose career has been hampered by chronic Achilles tendon problems, has gotten through most of this season unscathed, cracking 20 homers and driving in 59 runs while batting .316 in 120 games. However, it has been somewhat bittersweet as well for him, as his babying the tendons lead to a very public confrontation with first baseman Luis Lopez that resulted in Lopez being suspended. Last season, injuries limited him to 27 games.
Cabrera Finds Homer Chase Frustrating
See El Paso Times story at: http://www.borderlandnews.com/stories/sports/todaysstories/20021008-30141.shtml
Yokohama Releases Seven Players
The Yokohama Bay Stars announced earlier today that they have cut seven players loose. They are pitchers Masahide Yone (30), Daisuke Kanda (24), Tomoyoshi Sekiya (22), and Hiroki Suzuki (21), and infielder Kota Yoshida (24) and Mikinori Hachiuma (27), as well as outfielder Jun Inoue (32).
The biggest name here is Inoue, a lefthanded hitter who came on board in 1990 and spent 12 seasons as a fourth outfielder. He got into 474 career games and batted .267 with seven homers and 52 RBIs in 547 total at bats. This season, he had only gotten into 12 games and went 2-13 with one homer and an RBI.
Yone was 4-4 in 87 total games since his career started in 1995 with an ERA of around 4.40. Kanda has only racked up 40.2 innings since he was first promoted to the big club in 1997 and has a record of 4-0 with a 1.99 ERA. However, he didn't see any action at all in either 1998 or 1999 nor this season.
Yoshida was with Kintetsu and got into one game with them in 2000 before coming to Yokohama and spending all his time in the minors. He has yet to bat in a pro game.
Suzuki, Sekiya, and Hachiuma spent all their careers in the minors.
Japan Loses Shot at Asian Games Gold With Defeat
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/09/story/0000171249
Also, see another rendering of the game at: http://www.chinapost.com.tw/detail.asp?onNews=1&GRP=A&id=16517
Jong-beom Lee Powers Korea Over China in Asian Games
See Star (an english
language newspaper in Malaysia) article at:
Former Chunichi Reliever Son Dong-yol May Manage LG Twins
According to the Jiji News Service, former Chunichi Dragons righthanded reliever Son Dong-yol, who went 146-40 with 132 saves and eight ERA titles, seven of those in a row, during his career with the Haitai Tigers (now owned by Kia), and then went to Japan for four seasons in Nagoya starting in 1996, is one of the top candidates to take over the helm of the LG Twins in the KBO.
Son, who hails from Kongju, went 10-4 with 98 saves and a 2.70 ERA during his time with Chunichi, winning a Fireman of the Year in 1997 after posting 38 saves and a 1.28 ERA as the team's closer. Amazingly, none of the 232 batters he faced that season took him deep. He then saved 28 more in 1999 in helping his club to a pennant and then retired after the Japan Series. Son has been working in the KBO's public relations department since exiting Japan.
In addition, he will be participating in the fall Master's League, a kind of senior league for ex-players in Japan's two pro circuits.
NPB to Sign Agreements With Cuba, China
According to the Mainichi Shimbun, Nippon Professional Baseball announced that it is about to conclude agreements with both Cuba and China regarding the handling of players. NPB already has agreements with both the KBO and MLB.
China Makes First Steps in International Baseball Arena
See Channel New Asia story at: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/eastasia/view/21193/1/.html
Taiwan Pro League Championship to Begin Saturday
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/09/story/0000171355
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for
October 8th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1961, Chunichi
Dragons rookie righthander Hiroshi Gondo won his 35th game of the year. The
Dragons were so pitching poor that the saying among fans was something like
"Gondo, Gondoh, rain, rain, Gondo." Over his first three years, Gondo racked
up a total of 175 appearances covering 1012.1 innings. This lead to his arm
giving way his fourth season and he was converted to a third baseman, where
he hit .200 in 666 at bats in his last four seasons in baseball with nine
homers and 52 RBIs.
Cabrera Singles, Walks Twice, HBP in Loss to Daiei
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera went 1-2 Saturday at Seibu Dome and walked twice and was hit by a pitch (more about that later) to pass Nippon Ham first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara in the Pacific League batting race, but he didn't get what both he and a monster 50,000 strong crowd wanted, i.e., his 56th homer. The reason for that was that Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh had Kenichi Wakatabe pitch around the Venezuelan star, leaving a bad taste in everyone's mouth.
What Oh told reporters after the game was that in a close ballgame he couldn't just put the ball on a tee for Cabrera, a match in which the Hawks ultimately proved victorious by a 4-3 score.
Unfortunately, for as great a player as Oh indeed was (see Baseball Guru's Jim Albright's excellent recounting of the great Yomiuri Giants first baseman's accomplishments), he has taken some of the luster off of that thanks to the incident in 1985 with Randy Bass and last season with Tuffy Rhodes. Oh has written in the past that one of his faults is that he is a very proud man, and stubbornly so. He's no braggart, don't get me wrong. But as a tremendous student of baseball, he is well aware of his place in it and is perhaps afraid of losing it if he is eclipsed.
Anyway, Mitsutaka Goto started for Seibu and didn't pitch that badly even though he was charged with three runs in 6.1 innings. He made one mistake to leftfielder Yudai Deguchi in the third, but otherwise was touched for just one other hit.
Wakatabe has come back down solidly to earth since that streak where he won five or six in a row and appeared to be a different man than the mediocrity he was his previous ten years in Fukuoka. This is a guy who has had only one campaign where his ERA has been under 4.00. He required 124 pitches to last through 6.2 innings and he was shaken down for nine hits and three runs, two earned, not really an outing you would write home about, but it was just good enough and he reached ten wins for only the fourth time.
Seibu could have
knocked Wakatabe out in the first, but they've been in a malaise recently
and didn't convert. With one away, rightfielder Masaji Shimizu, making his
last appearance as a pro before retiring and becoming a coach, singled to
right, as did centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji. Cabrera went up attempting to
force the issue, but ball four was just too wide of the plate to swing at
and he trotted off to first to jam the
basepaths. DH Taisei Takagi, making a rare start, struckout. Leftfielder Susumu Otomo popped up to kill the rally.
The Lions, though, were able to take a lead in the second, With one away, catcher Kosuke Noda laced a screamer down the leftfield line for a double. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi singled to right to cash in Noda and it was 1-0 Seibu.
However, Daiei surmounted that deficit in the third. Second baseman Munenori Kawasaki drew a two out walk. Deguchi dug in and got lost, propelling the ball beyond the centerfield wall for a 2-1 Hawks advantage.
Cabrera was the first hitter of the third inning and went after a fastball up and away and rapped it through the middle for a single. He was stranded and it remained 2-1 Daiei.
But the Lions gathered themselved in the sixth and seized an ephemeral lead. Third baseman Hiroshi Hirao lashed a double into the leftfield corner and, one out later, Hiroyuki Takagi whistled one down the rightfield line to knot it at 3-3. He stole third. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui walked. Tatsuya Ozeki, inserted after Shimizu had his final at bat, grounded to second and Takagi crossed and Seibu was on top 3-2.
Goto and reliever Yoshihiro Doi, who has been getting lit up lately, wouldn't be able to defend it. DH Noriyoshi Omichi leadoff with a single to center and stole second. One out later, Goto was taken out in favor of Doi, who struckout first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka. Pinch hitter Kenji Johjima walked. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe burned one between the outfielders in leftcenter and both Omichi and Johjima galloped all the way around to put the Hawks in the driver's seat at 4-3.
In the bottom of the inning, Cabrera was up again and Wakatabe plunked him on the arm with a 1-1 88mph fastball. Taisei Takagi singled to right and both men were sacrificed along. With the infield up, Hirao grounded right to Torigoe, who winged it to the plate. Cabrera came in standing up and intentionally elbowed catcher Masanori Taguchi in the face, though the journeyman backstop managed to tag Cabrera out before the collision. Astonishingly, Cabrera wasn't tossed even though Taguchi had to be taken to the Hawks dugout and a cut on his mouth cleaned up. Perhaps even more remarkably, this didn't lead to a brawl. In fact, the Daiei bench barely even bothered to stir. Incidently, Lions manager Haruki Ihara stood firmly behind his first baseman and no disciplinary action is planned. Taguchi, who was left with a bruise on his cheek, when asked about it by reporters, was non-commital, basically displaying a lot of class by shrugging the incident off. Toshiaki Inubushi was sent up to pinch hit against lefthander Shuji Yoshida. Inubushi has been chewing up and spitting out southpaws all season, but he struckout here and, offensively, that was all for the blue and white.
Cabrera as caused Daiei a lot of grief this year, batting .364 with 13 homers against them, but he couldn't do anything here. Now it's on to Tokyo Dome for a tussle with Nippon Ham.
See Jim Allen's view of what went on at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021006wo55.htm
See another related article at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20021006a1.htm
Cabrera gives Taguchi the elbow at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/10/06/20021006024356.jpg
Wakatabe (W, 10-8) IP 6.2 PC 124 H 9
HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.99
S. Yoshida IP 1.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.16
K. Okamoto (S, 8) IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.40
Goto IP 6.1 PC
89 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.38
Doi (W, 1-4) IP 0.2 PC 16 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.76
Mizuo IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.80
Mitsui IP 1.0 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.20
E: Deguchi, M. Kawasaki
SB: Omichi, Miyaji, Cabrera, T. Takagi, H. Takagi
2B: Noda, Hirao, H. Takagi, Torigoe
HR: Deguchi (6)
RBI: Deguchi 2, Torigoe 2, Ozeki, H. Takagi 2
HBP: Matsunaka (M. Goto), Cabrera (Wakatabe)
Season Series: Daiei 12, Seibu 16
Game Time: 3:22
Umpires: Tsugawa (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Akimura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Inaba, Ramirez Gang Up on Hiroshima in 7-5 Yakult Win
Yakult Swallows centerfielder Atsunori Inaba and leftfielder Alex Ramirez each drove in three runs to spur the birds on to a 7-5 victory over the Hiroshima Carp Saturday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. Rookie screwballer Masanori Ishikawa was blessed with a 6-2 lead until losing traction in the seventh and seeing the so-called "Rocket Boys," Ryota Igarashi and Hirotoshi Ishii, blow up as well to allow the three runners Ishikawa permitted to get on eventually reach the plate and make it tight at 6-5. Nevertheless, the little lefthander was credited with his tenth win when Ishii and closer Shingo Takatsu were able to shut the Carp attack down on two hits the rest of the way.
Shinji Sasaoka started for Hiroshima and just did not get the job done, enabling the Swallows to accumulate four runs on ten hits in five innings. Moreover, they waited out107 deliveries from the Carp veteran in that span and he was hung with the loss.
Yakult dres first blood in the second, as Ramirez singled to right and was forced out when rightfielder Hiroki Hongo slapped a comebacker to Sasaoka, who went to second. Second baseman Noriyuki Shiroishi singled to center and so did catcher Kosei Ono for the RBI and a 1-0 Swallows advantage.
In the home half,. leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto leadoff with a double to rightcenter and went to third on a groundout. But in a case of poor situational hitting, third baseman Takahiro Arai grounded to third to freeze Kanemoto and first baseman Kojiro Machida also saw his ball gobbled up by third baseman Akinori Iwamura and the inning was over.
In the fourth, Yakult tore it open when Ono singled to center with two out and Ishikawa singled to right. Inaba then stepped up and went yard to right for a three run homer to make it 4-0 Swallows.
The it was Ramirez' turn to do some damage in the sixth against relievers Kenta Satake and Kawano. With two down, shortstop Yoshiyuki Noguchi singled to center and Iwamura singled to left. First baseman Roberto Petagine walked to load the bases. Masato Kawano was summoned to face Ramirez and the former Indian responded with a single to center to recall both Iwamura and Noguchi and it was 6-0 Yakult.
Koichi Ogata has been a thorn in the side of the Swallows all season and he did it again in the bottom of the frame. Shortstop Akihiro Higashide singled to left and then Ogata drilled a shot over the leftcenterfield wall for his 24th homer of the season and to reduce the Yakult edge to 6-2.
You really can't blame manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu for not pulling Ishikawa at this point. His pitch count was in line and he wasn't hit up anymore in that past stanza, but boy, he got tattooed in the seventh. Machida leadoff with a single to right and catcher Yoshiyuki Ishihara singled to center. Pinch hitter Jun Hirose singled to right to pack the sacks. Wakamatsu made the right move and selected Igarashi, who blew away the next two hitters with 95mph heat. That brought up Ogata. You should have known, right? Ogata walked to force Machida in and Wakamatsu resorted to the pen again for the fireballing southpaw Ishii to face the lefthanded batting Kanemoto, who is hitting like a man possessed lately. The soon to be free agent spanked a single to left that plated both Ishihara and Hirose and it was 6-5. Wakamatsu had to be thinking at that point, "my kingdom for an out," because Ishii, who has been lights out for almost the whole season, walked the always dangerous rightfielder Tomonori Maeda to load the bases again. Fortunately, Arai grounded to short and the Swallows were still in front.
Yakult came up and gave themselves a little more room for error. Inaba singled to left and was sacrificed to second. Iwamura singled to right. Petagine walked to juice the bags. Ramirez then lofted a fly ball to center and Inaba tagged up and sped in to make it 7-5 Swallows.
Takatsu ascended the hill in the ninth and induced two groundballs and a strikeout and the Swallows returned to the hotel with a W. The win by Ishikawa makes him the first Yakult rookie to rack up ten shiroboshi since Yoichi Okabayashi in 1991.
However, the defeat suffered by Hiroshima also assures that they will finish in the second division for the fifth straight season.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with a two walks and is at .326. Ramirez was 2-4 with three RBIs and is at .297.
Masanori Ishikawa (W, 10-9)IP 6.0 PC 102 H
8 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.46
R. Igarashi IP 0.2 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.86
H. Ishii IP 1.1 PC 24 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
Takatsu (S, 31) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.79
Sasaoka (L, 8-8) IP 5.0 PC 107 H 10
HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.27
K. Satake IP 0.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 5.40
Kawano IP 1.1 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.84
K. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.14
Oyamada IP 1.0 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.41
2B: Kanemoto, Inaba
HR: Inaba (9), Ogata (24)
RBI: Inaba 3, Ramirez 3, K. Ono, Ogata 3, Kanemoto 2
Season Series: Yakult 13, Hiroshima 11 2 Ties
Game Time: 3:48
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Tani (1B), Ino (2B), Mori (3B)
Sheldon Homer, Tanaka Shutout Spells Victory for Orix
Orix starter Yuki Tanaka registered his second straight complete game shutout, a six hitter, and DH Scott Sheldon took the long way home through the leftfield bleachers in the sixth for the game's only run in a 1-0 victory by the Kobe crew over the Chiba Lotte Marines Saturday at Kobe Green Stadium. Tanaka, 23, is now 7-1 with a 1.10 ERA.
Kosuke Kato started for Lotte and even if he threw too many pitches, 117, in his seven innings, he limited Orix to six hits and a run while striking out seven so that he can finish a disappointing campaign with an ERA under 5.00. Unfortunately, he also was dropped his 15th, which leads all of Japanese baseball.
Lotte had a prime opportunity in the second, when catcher Masaumi Shimizu wacked a leadoff double to center and went to third on a sac bunt. But centerfielder Saburo Omura grounded to third to keep Shimizu where he was and leftfielder Kenji Morozumi grounded to short and the scoring chance evaporated. The Lotte offense then went walkabout and Tanaka was never in harms way afterward.
Orix then didn't exploit a threat it created in the third. Second baseman Tatsuya Shindo singled to center and catcher Takeshi Hidaka squared around and laid down a sac bunt. But Kato tried for the force at second and it wasn't in time. Both runners were then sacrificed up 90 feet. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki bounced a comebacker to Kato, who held the runners and then went to first for the out. Leftfielder Manabu Satake struckout and Orix disappeared until the eighth.
In the sixth, Sheldon got a one out 2-0 fastball and rocketed it into the leftfield bleachers for his 26th homer and a 1-0 Orix lead.
An inning later, Orix loaded the bases on two out singles to right by rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa and third baseman Imae and a knock to left from Shimizu, but shortstop Makoto Kosaka flied to center to snuff that revolt. They loaded the bases again in the eighth with one away, but a strikeout and a groundout quashed that.
Tanaka tempted DH Derrick May into grounding out to third and then put an exclamation point on this one by fanning the next pair of hitters and it was goodnight, drive safely.
For Lotte, May was 0-3 with a walk and is at .270.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .256.
K. Kato (L, 9-15) IP 7.0 PC 117
H 6 HR 1 K 7 BB 4 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.68
H. Kobayashi IP 0.1 PC 5 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
T. Kawai IP 0.2 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.83
Yuki Tanaka (W, 7-1) IP 9.0 PC 133 H 6 HR 0 K 9 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.10
2B: Masaumi Shimizu
HR: Sheldon (26)
GIDP: Ryota Aikawa
Season Series: Lotte 15, Orix 13
Game Time: 2:54
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Higashi (1B), Nagami (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Nakamura Homers Twice and Powell Wins 17th for Kintetsu
Jeremy Powell was solid Saturday at Tokyo Dome against the Nippon Ham Fighters and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura supported Powell with homers in the second and third for a total of four RBIs, as the Kintetsu Buffaloes did the cadillac walk to victory 10-1. The Buffs lineup voted early and voted often on how much they liked what Fighters starter Tatsuhito Kato was serving up, as the second year lefthander was shredded for five runs on five hits in 2.1 innings and is still looking for his first pro win after four consecutive losses.
Nakamura got the Buffs off to a rousing offensive beginning, as he flattened one into the centerfield seats in the top of the second to make it 1-0 Kintetsu.
Kato went down for the count in the third when catcher Tetsuya Matoyama leadoff with a single to left and was sacrificed to second. Second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi singled to left to recall Matoyama. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes walked. Nakamura then put the bomp in a Kato forkball and the folks in the centerfield bleachers scrambled for the souvenir while the scoreboard noted it was now 5-0 Buffs and Fighters manager Yasunori Oshima made a pitching change, Takeshi Itoh jogging in to spell Kato. Kintetsu loaded the bases on a pair of walks and a single, but Maeda lined to short and Matoyama grounded out to let Itoh off the hook.
In the fifth, Kintetsu DH Kenshi Kawaguchi homered to left and it was 6-0.
The Fighters retorted in the fifth with their lone tally, a bomb to leftcenter by DH Kuniyuki Kimoto that made it 6-1 Buffs.
Shintaro Ejiri came on for the sixth and got taken deep by Mizuguchi and Kintetsu was gazing down on Nippon Ham at 7-1.
In the eighth and with Kosuke Yamaguchi now at the center of the diamond for the Fighters, centerfielder Akihito Moritani buried one of Yamaguchi's pitches in the leftfield bleachers for an 8-1 Kintetsu advantage.
And the hits kept on coming. In the ninth, Kintetsu first baseman Yuji Yoshioka leadoff with a double down the leftfield line and put it in gear for the plate when pinch hitter Naoyuki Omura doubled to rightcenter. After Omura moved up on a groundout, he eased on home on a single to right by pinch hitter Muto to cap the scoring at 10-1.
Powell, who is tied with Yomiuri's Koji Uehara at the top of the victory column in Japanese baseball with 17, now has six of those shiroboshi against the Fighters. You can see a pic of him from this game at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/10/06/20021006013038.jpg
19 year old Nippon Ham rookie infielder Shingo Nonaka, a 19 year old fifth round draft choice, knocked out a double in the eighth in a pinch hitting appearance for his first pro hit.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with a walk and is at .267.
Powell (W, 17-9) IP 7.0 PC 95
H 6 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.59
Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 17 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
D. Miyamoto IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.22
0-4) IP 2.1 PC 54 H 5 HR
2 K 1 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.89
Tak. Itoh IP 2.2 PC 53 H 4 HR 1 K 0 BB 3 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.52
Ejiri IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 9.00
Ko. Yamaguchi IP 1.2 PC 26 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.40
Yano IP 1.1 PC 20 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 13.50
2B: Y. Tanaka, Nonaka, Yoshioka, N. Omura
HR: N. Nakamura 2 (38), K. Kawaguchi (13), Kimoto (7), Mizuguchi (5), Moritani (2)
RBI: Moritani, Mizuguchi 2, N. Nakamura 4, Omura, K. Kawaguchi, Muto, Kimoto
GIDP: Rhodes, Narahara, H. Kitagawa
Season Series: Kintetsu 15, Nippon Ham 13
Game Time: 3:05
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Nakamura (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Igawa Racks Up 14th Victory in Hanshin 5-2 Defeat of Yomiuri
Hanshin Tigers lefthander Kei Igawa picked up his 14th win of the season in a complete game four hitter and fifth against the Yomiuri Giants this year Saturday at Koshien Stadium in their last head to head battle of 2002. Igawa, who was perfect through six, even had an RBI single in the fourth to help his own cause. Aside from being able to win 14 while being on a team with a sucky offense, Igawa also went over the 200 mark in both strikeouts and innings pitched on the campaign.
Yomiuri rookie righthander Hiroki Sanada started and didn't acquit himself very well, as he was cuffed around for four runs on seven hits in five innings to lower his record to 5-3. But hey, he's only 18.
Sanada had surrendered a lone single through the first two innings, but then got hurt in the third. With one down, Igawa walked. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka singled to center. Both runners moved up on a groundout. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama scalded an 85mph shuuto into the rightcenter alley to plate Imaoka and Igawa. Leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka put a charge into one and thought it was gone, but it bounced off the rightfield wall and Hamanaka ended up with just a long single, but at least Hiyama hustled in to make it 3-0 Tigers.
In the fourth, Hanshin catcher Katsuhiko Yamada blazed a double down the rightfield line with two outs and Igawa singled to left for a 4-0 Tigers lead.
Takayuki Shimizu shattered the no hitter when he leadoff the seventh with
a single to right. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka lifted one to center, where
centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi geeked it. But in a ridiculous case of hometown
scoring, it was ruled a double rather than an error. Rightfielder Yoshinobu
Takahashi singled to center and Nioka and Shimizu scored easily to reduce
the gap between the two sides to 4-2.
Centerfielder Hideki Matsui singled to center. Igawa struckout Kenji Fukui and tempted catcher Shinnosuke Abe into fouling out to first. Third baseman Akira Etoh walked to pack the sacks. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi struckout. Igawa would have been perfect over the final two innings had not third baseman Atsushi Kataoka not bobbled an easy ground ball in the eighth.
Igawa, who was clocked at a high of 91mph, is the first Hanshin hurler to surpass 200 strikeouts since Shigeru Kobayashi in 1979. He is also just the seventh Tigers pitcher to ever do that. And his 207 innings are the most for the club since Yutaka Enatsu in 1975. Opponents are hitting a mere .214 against him this season.
Shinobu Fukuhara, who has spent most of the season down on the farm, is going to have arthroscopic shoulder surgery and probably won't be back until after opening day of Hanshin's 2003 schedule.
To nobody's surprise, Yomiuri utilityman Felipe Crespo was released. He spent most of the year in the minors. And John Wasdin is no doubt spending his last days in Japan.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 2-4 and is at .257.
Sanada (L, 5-3) IP 5.0 PC 99 H
7 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.95
Kashiwada IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kamoshida IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Wasdin IP 1.0 PC 21 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.10
Igawa (W, 14-9) IP 9.0 PC 129 H 4 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.51
SB: S. Tanaka
2B: Hiyama 2, K. Yamada, Nioka
RBI: Y. Takahashi 2, Hiyama 2, Hamanaka, K. Yamada, Igawa
GIDP: S. Tanaka, Kataoka
Season Series: Yomiuri 15, Hanshin 12 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Kittaka (1B), Shimada (2B), Manabe (3B)
Three Run Homers by Morino and Mori Dumps Yokohama 9-3
Three run homers by both third baseman Masahiko Morino and leftfielder Shogo Mori plus a six man pitching relay strengthened the Chunichi Dragons hold on third place Saturday at Yokohama Stadium in a 9-3 triumph over the Yokohama Bay Stars. Shane Bowers was scheduled to start for the Stars, but he hurt his arm before the game and Masao Morinaka, normally a reliever, was pressed into a spot start and took his fifth defeat after 3.1 innings of three run ball on three hits.
Makoto Kito started for the Dragons and was in for just two innings, as he gave up two runs on three this while throwing 43 pitches, so Chunichi manager Hisashi Yamada punted and went to a succession of relievers, who between them wove seven innings of one run, six hit ball while his team's offense issued a righteous kicking to Yokohama pitching.
Yokohama initially had the upper hand, as in the second, centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka singled to right with one out and, one out later, third baseman Katsuaki Furuki slaughtered one into the rightfield seats for a 2-0 Stars lead.
That went the way of the Edsel, though, with a pass of the bat across the strikezone in the fourth. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome slammed a double down the leftfield line to lead it off. One out later, catcher Motonobu Tanishige walked. Morino got a fastball right down the pipe and blowed it up real good to right for a three run homer and a 3-2 Dragons advantage.
The succeding frame, Dragons second baseman Masahiro Araki cracked a single up through the middle with two out against Stars reliever Shinya Goto and Fukudome plastered one off the centerfield wall to provide the speedy Araki a chance to sprint home to make it 4-2 Chunichi.
The Dragons then broke it open in the sixth. Tanishige and Morino singled to right. One out later, Mori ambushed a first pitch fastball and concealed the evidence in the rightfield stands. The next batter, backup rightfielder Kazuki Inoue, approved and he also sent out some love to the folks in the rightfield seats for back to back jacks and an 8-2 Dragons lead.
In the bottom of the same frame, leftfielder Hitoshi Tamura took Shigetoshi Yamakita above and beyond to leftcenter to make it 8-3 Dragons. Unfortunately, Tanishige was insulted and took that back by thrumming a delivery from Kazumasa Azuma to the opposite field in the top of the seventh. Boy, rightfield was definitely the place to be in this game and it was 9-3 Dragons.
Yokohama backup centerfielder Tatsuhiko Kinjo leadoff the home segment by lacing a shot into the leftcenterfield alley and went to third on a groundout. And there he died, as Tanaka struckout and first baseman Takahiro Saeki popped up in foul territory to third to end the inning.
Then in the bottom of the eighth, Furuki doubled off the leftfield wall on a pitch from Eiji Ochiai. Ochiai plunked pinch hitter Mitsunobu Takahashi. Both men moved up on a groundout. But Tamura fanned and catcher Ryoji Aikawa hit one on the screws right at Fukudome and there went their last substantial scoring opportunity before Koyama brought the curtain down.
With his 2-3 day, Fukudome is at .339 to open a three point lead on Hideki Matsui in the CL batting race.
Furuki has seven homers in 22 games, a 40 homer pace. He has already been penciled in as the regular at that position for next season. Must have made Yokohama management feel silly for wasting their time with Mike Gulan, even as hard as Gulan worked. However, Furuki is also on pace for more about 20 errors over the course of a full schedule, so we'll have to see if he can produce enough to conpensate for his suspect glove.
For Chunichi, first baseman Omar Linares was 0-4 and is at .178.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 0-2 with a walk and is at .259.
IP 2.0 PC 43 H 3 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.85
Hisamoto (W, 1-0) IP 2.0 PC 31 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.50
Yamakita IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.13
Endo IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.14
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.62
Koyama IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.95
Morinaka (L, 2-5) IP 3.1 PC 64 H 3 HR
1 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.85
Chiba IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.00
S. Goto IP 2.0 PC 56 H 6 HR 2 K 0 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 8.71
Azuma IP 2.0 PC 44 H 3 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.56
Fukumori IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
SB: T. Ishii
2B: Fukudome 2, Morino, Kinjo, Furuki, Tanishige, K.N. Tanaka
HR: Furuki (7), Morino (5), Mori (1), K. Inoue (7), Tamura (5), Tanishige (24)
RBI: Furuki 2, Tamura, Fukudome, Tanishige, Morino 3, Mori 3, K. Inoue
HBP: Araki (Azuma), M. Takahashi (Azuma), Fukumoto (Ochiai)
Season Series: Chunichi 17, Yokohama 8 2 Ties
Game Time: 3:13
Umpires: K. Kobayashi (HP), Shikida (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Fukatani (3B)
Rangers, Nippon Ham to Battle in Court Over Hillman?
See Fort Worth Star-Telegram article at: http://www.dfw.com/mld/startelegram/sports/4218569.htm
And Sullivan, get your facts right. Hillman would be the FOURTH gaijin to manage a Japanese ballclub after Joe Lutz (Hiroshima), Don Blasingame (Hanshin and Nankai), and Bobby Valentine (Lotte).
Wada Strikes Out 13 in Complete Game Shutout
Waseda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada added to his Tokyo Big Six University League career strikeouts record earlier today, when he fanned 13 in a 7-0 complete game 172 pitch five hit victory over Meiji University at Meiji Jingu Stadium in front of 12,000.
In addition, the win was the 24th he racked up at Waseda, tying him with Shugo Fujii, now of the Yakult Swallows.
Japan Stomped by Korea in Asia Games Baseball Action
Being no hit for the first seven innings until they loaded the bases on three hits, their only safeties of the match, in the eighth, the Japanese baseball squad was annihilated Saturday in Pusan, by a South Korean dream team 9-0.
The game was delayed an hour by wet weather and then the Korean side rained on Japan's pitching with a seven hit, six run barrage in the third off of starter Kazuhiro Senba and then were victimized by a monster two run shot to left in the fourth, as they collected 12 hits and nine runs in all.
The Japanese contingent is composed of third string pro players as well as players from the industrial leagues whereas the Koreans had its frontline stars such as Seung-yeop Lee, who batted cleanup and went 2-4 with a double, in the lineup.
Even with the loss, the Japanese will advance to the next round and it is likely the two sides will eventually meet in the final.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 5th and on that date in 1963, a Hokkai High School pitcher, Masaru Yoshizawa, had been signed by both the Hankyu Braves and the Yomiuri Giants, so it went to the commissioner's office, which ruled that the Giants had the actual rights to the youngster. Ironically, though, Yoshizawa lasted only five seasons in pro ball, all with the Giants, posting a 1-1 record. He was unsuccessfully converted to an outfielder toward the end of his career, so all the fuss was basically for nothing.
Also on that date
in 1974, a Lotte Orions game was interrupted when pitcher Kiyokazu Ogawa
lost his contact lense. Don't laugh. This used to happen in MLB, too.
Matsui Homers Twice to Encroach on Fukudome in 5-1 Giants Victory
Celebrating his becoming second all time in consecutive games played with 1247, Yomiuri Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui homered twice and walked in four trips to the plate to get within one third of a point of Chunichi Dragons rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome at the top of the Central League batting race. Giants starter Masumi Kuwata also got away with some bad pitches in the fifth inning to once agains takeover the ERA lead in a 5-1 victory against the Yokohama Bay Stars Friday at Yokohama Stadium.
Chris Holt started for the Stars and really ran up his pitch count, as he delivered to the plate 102 times in only five innings,. a stint during which he surrendered three runs on six hits to accept his tenth defeat.
The Giants seized a quick 3-0 lead in the first, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff with a single to center. Two outs later, Matsui torched a Holt offering and unloaded a bomb halfway up the rightcenterfield seats. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, making his first start in five games, hammered a hot shot off the glove of Katsuaki Furuki at third. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to right. Third baseman Akira Etoh singled to left and Kiyohara crossed for the three run advantage. You can see a pic of the swing on that Matsui longball at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-021005-6.jpg
In the fifth, Yokohama endeavored to mount a comeback. Leftfielder Hitoshi Tamura beat out a tapper toward third. Centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka singled to center. Pinch hitter Hirofumi Ogawa worked the count to 2-2. Kuwata then tried to put a pitch on the outside corner, but left it up and out over the heart of the plate. For whatever reason, though, Ogawa froze and he was rung up by the umpire. Pinch hitter Hitoshi Nakane was next and when the count got to two strikes, Kuwata ran a slider up to the plate that he hung. Kuwata himself thought the game was going to be tied when he saw where it was going, but Nakane, too, imitated a statue and he, too, was called out on strikes. Shortstop Takuro Ishii flied out to left and Yokohama wasn't heard from agains until the eighth.
In the meantime, Matsui unleashed a laser beam off of a fastball up and in from Stars reliever Shintaro Takeshita in the top of the eighth and tucked it into the first couple of rows of seats in right to and it was 4-0 Yomiuri. You can see a pic of the swing on that jack at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/10/05/20021005015512.jpg
In the home half, second baseman Hitoshi Taneda ripped a double into leftcenter with one out off of Giants reliever Yusaka Iriki. One out later, Third baseman Katsuaki Furuki laced one off the glove of second baseman Toshihisa Nishi and Taneda scored as Nishi chased it down to make it 4-1 Yomiuri.
The Giants got that back, however, when Shimizu buried one in the rightfield stands in the top of the ninth for 5-1 edge. Shimizu now has 188 hits and now needs just five more to break Bobby Rose's Central League record of 192.
Yokohama veteran Hiroo Ishii, 38, said goodbye to life as a pro ballplayer in this one, as he was sent up in a pinch hit role in the seventh and popped up an 0-2 86mph fastball to short in his final at bat before taking off the uniform. He revealed that it was such an emotional occasion for him that his eyes misted up while he was at the plate.
Ishii first came up with Kintetsu in 1990 and slugged 22 homers as a rookie while batting .300. His best season was also with the Buffs, that being in 1994, when he belted 33 homers, drove in 111 runs and boasted a .316 average. He then began to suffer one injury after another and was let go by Kintetsu. He then played with Yomiuri and Lotte before migrating this past offseason to Yokohama. He has been offered a batting coach position with the Stars, though he hasn't indicted if he will take it. He is married to singer-songwriter Takako Okamura and has a daughter.
Hector Almonte then came on and put this one to bed in the bottom of the inning.
This was Yokohama's 21st loss to the Giants this season, the first time in 13 years that the Stars had been so victimized by their Tokyo rivals.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-4 and is at .261.
Kuwata (W, 12-6) IP 6.0 PC 81 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.22
Y. Iriki IP 2.0 PC 26 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.13
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Holt (L, 6-10) IP 5.0 PC 102 H 6 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 2 ER 2
Taniguchi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.40
Takeshita IP 0.2 PC 12 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.81
Kizuka IP 1.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.02
E: K. Goto
SB: Nishi, T.H. Suzuki, Saeki
HR: H. Matsui 2 (48), T. Shimizu (14)
RBI: T. Shimizu, H. Matsui 3, Etoh
GIDP: Furuki, Ryoji Aikawa
Season Series: Yomiuri 21, Yokohama 7
Game Time: 3:00
Umpires: Sasaki (HP), ? (1B), Nishimoto (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Ogata's Two Homers, Three RBIs Leads Hiroshima Over Yakult
Hiroshima Carp centerfielder Koichi Ogata, after getting a second chance when Yakult rightfielder Atsunori Inaba couldn't hold on to a foul ball that went into the stands, connected for a two run homer in the eighth inning off of Swallows starter Shugo Fujii for his second roundtripper of the night and to power the fish to a 6-2 victory Friday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium. Hiroki Kuroda started for the winners and picked up his tenth shiroboshi in the wake of going all the way despite being clocked for 11 hits.
Fujii only gave up six hits in his eight innings, but four of them flew the coop and he was saddled with the defeat.
Yakult had a man on second with one out, but Kuroda picked him off. He then picked off another runner in the second after the Swallows had loaded the bases with nobody out on a walk and two singles before striking out the next two men to escape with no damage.
Inaba eventually finally gave Yakult a lead in the third when he dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 and it was picked up in the centerfield seats to make it 1-0.
Swallows first baseman Roberto Petagine built on that when he bigtimed Kuroda for a solo job to rightcenter leading off the fourth and it was 2-0 Yakult. That was his first homer in ten games.
Fujii, though, obviously has neverheard the phrase, "you hang 'em, we'll bang 'em," as with two outs in the bottom of the inning and working on a perfect game, Ogata and leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto mashed back to back jacks to right and just like that it was two all.
Fujii then came back to strikeout the side in the fifth and tossed a perfect sixth, but ran into some bother in the seventh. Ogata leadoff with a walk. One out later, rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to right. Third baseman Takahiro Arai walked to load the bases. But first baseman Kojiro Machida fouled out to catcher Tomohito Yoneno and catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura, who leads all receivers in Japanese baseball with a .317 average, popped out to first.
Fujii obtained the first two outs of the eighth before shortstop Takuya Kimura singled to right. Ogata, a righthand hitter, was next. Now why Yakult manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu didn't go to the bullpen for Ryota Igarashi is hard to say, but Ogata hit a flyball down the rightfield line. Inaba gave chase and reached in to the seats and ice cream coned the ball. He couldn't get a good grip, though, and dropped it. Ogata then cleaned and jerked the following pitch over the centerfield fence and it was 4-2 Carp. Kanemoto grounded to Petagine, who flipped it to Fujii covering first. Fujii muffed it and that enabled Maeda to stand in and then get real gone to left for a 6-2 Hiroshima advantage.
Nevertheless, Yakult didn't go down without making a battle of it in the top of the ninth. With two away, Hiroki Hongo singled to center and second baseman Noriyuki Shiroyuki singled to left. Pinch hitter Atsuya Furuta beat out a roller toward short and the bases were loaded. Munehiro Shida pinch ran for Furuta. The tying run in the form of pinch hitter Shinichi Sato checked in and he grounded to second for the final out.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .326. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 2-4 and is at .296.
S. Fujii (W, 10-9) IP 8.0 PC 121 H 6 HR 4 K 9 BB 2 R 6 ER 4 ERA 3.05
Kuroda (W, 10-9) IP 9.0 PC 128 H 11 HR 2 K 6 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.72
E: S. Fujii
HR: Inaba (8), Petagine (39), Ogata 2 (23), Kanemoto (27), T. Maeda (20)
RBI: Inaba, Petagine, Ogata 3, Kanemoto, T. Maeda
GIDP: Shiroishi, Iwamura
Season Series: Yakult 12, Hiroshima 11 2 Ties
Game Time: 2:51
Umpires: Tani (HP), Mori (1B), Honda (2B), Arisumi (3B)
Lotte Makes Best Use of Their 14 Hits in Win Over Orix
A pitching duel this was not. Each side amassed 14 hits in this one, but Lotte emerged victorious after DH Derrick May doubled to rightcenter in the seventh to drive in pinch runner Hiromi Oho from second for a 6-5 win against the Orix Blue Wave Friday at Kobe Green Stadium. The defeat assures that Orix will lose the season series with all of its five fellow Pacfic League colleagues, the first time in 39 years, when the club was called the Hankyu Braves, it will have done that.
Shingo Ono started for Lotte and blew a 5-1 lead in the fourth and was sat down for the remainder of the confrontation by manager Koji Yamamoto. Thus, the shiroboshi went to reliever Hiroyuki Kobayashi.
Kazuya Motoyanagi started for Orix and, to put it bluntly, sucked. He lasted just 3.2 innings and was rocked for five runs on nine hits, though he was fortunate to not get a decision.
Lotte put Orix back on its heels in the first inning, as leftfielder Kenji Morozumi singled with one out and stole second. First baseman Kazuya Fukuura seared a double into the leftfield corner and the speedy Morozumi tooled on home for a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Lotte went back on the chain gang to splatter a three spot up on the big board. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka tripled to rightcenter and loped home on a double to leftcenter from centerfielder Saburo Omura. Omura, though, was out attempting to make it to third. Fukuura thundered one into the rightfield seats and it was 4-0.
Orix partially fought back with its first run during its ups in that frame. Leftfielder Koji Takamizawa reached on an infield hit and went to second on a groundout. Now with two gone, shortstop Makoto Shiozaki singled to center to plate Takamizawa to make it 4-1 Lotte.
Lotte then clipped on another in the fourth, as Kosaka singled with two outs and glided on in on a liner into the leftcenter gap by Omura that went for a standup double and a 5-1 advantage.
Ono, however, pretty much disintegrated in the home portion. DH Yuji Goshima and rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi both singled to right. One out later, Takamizawa singled to right and Goshima crossed. Catcher Kosuke Yoshihara walked to load the bases. Third baseman Shogo Makida singled to right to usher in Katsuragi. Shiozaki grounded to second baseman Koichi Hori, who went to Kosaka at second, who then threw it away and Takamizawa and Yoshihara toed the dish and it was deadlocked at 5-5. Shiotani struckout to quell any further damage, but a four run edge had been wasted.
In the fifth, Orix couldn't execute a simple sac bunt and it proved costly. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani and Goshima each singled to left. Katsuragi attempted to sacrifice, but he popped it up. Now instead of men on second and third with one away, where a run could be had for a ground ball to the rightside, there was still men on first and second and one out. Second baseman Tatsuya Shindo fouled out to the catcher. Takamizawa struckout and that was that.
Two innings down the road, Lotte got the clutch knock that would seal this contest. Pinch hitter Yukihiko Sato singled to right and was pinch run for by Oho. He went to second on a groundout. May whizzed a drive into the leftcenter alley for a double and Oho chugged home unopposed to make it 6-5 Lotte.
Orix ran themselves out of the tying run in the bottom of the inning, but exactly how it happened is hard to fathom given the information provided in the game log. In any event, that was Orix' last hurrah and Masahide Kobayashi came on in the ninth for Lotte and even though he needed to use 20 pitches, he tied a league record with his 35th save.
For Lotte, May was 2-3 with two walks and an RBI and is at .272.
For Orix, Scott Sheldon was 0-1 in a pinch hitting role and is at .253.
IP 4.0 PC 85 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.74
T. Kawai IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.85
H. Kobayashi (W, 7-4) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.71
S. Fujita IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.54
Sikorsky IP 1.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.49
M. Kobayashi (S, 35) IP 1.0 PC 20 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.88
IP 3.2 PC 84 H 9 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 7.62
T. Kawaguchi IP 0.2 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Aiki IP 1.2 PC 21 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.20
T. Yamamoto (L, 0-2) IP 0.1 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.38
Makino IP 1.2 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.82
J. Hagiwara IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.73
2B: Fukuura 2, S. Omura 2, May, Tani
HR: Fukuura (9)
RBI: S. Omura 2, Fukuura 3, May, M. Shiozaki 2, Takamizawa, Makita
HBP: Y. Yamamoto (J. Hagiwara)
Season Series: Lotte 15, Orix 12
Game Time: 3:51
Umpires: Fujimoto (HP), Hayashi (1B), Okada (2B), Kakigizono (3B)
Kisanuki Strikes Out 13 Against Senshu University
Clocked at a high of 93mph in this one, Asia University righthander Hiroshi Kisanuki, who is likely going to sign with the Yomuri Giants in the November draft, fanned 13 in a five hit complete game 1-0 shutout Friday at Meiji Jingu Stadium.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 4th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1958, Waseda Jitsugyou High School graduate Sadaharu Oh turned down an offer from Hanshin, who he was expected to go to, and instead signed with the Yomiuri Giants for a signing bonus of 18 million yen, which at the time was about $55,000.
Also on this date in 1974, Yomiuri Giants first baseman Sadaharu Oh walked five times in a row on 20 straight balls in a game against the Hanshin Tigers. At the the time, Tigers catcher Koichi Tabuchi was engaged in a battle for the homer title with Oh and that was the Hanshin pitching staff's way of helping their teammate out. How chickenshit.
Also on that date in 1978, the Yakult Swallows won their first ever pennant.
October 3, 2002
Minchey Wins 15th Against Nippon Ham 3-1
With Nippon Ham Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara sitting the game out due to back pain and DH Sherman Obando out for the season due to a fracture, Chiba Lotte Marines starter Nathan Minchey was bound to have an eaiser time of it this time out and he did, as he went eight innings and limited the Fighters lineup to seven hits and a run for his 15th victory, tying his 1998 personal best when he was with the Hiroshima Carp. He threw 236 innings that first year in Japan and he has been a workhorse for an underpowered Lotte club in 2002, as he has tossed 223 to date. You can see a pic of him at work at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200210/image/02100406minchiNK235A03_b.jpg
Hayato Nakamura started for Nippon Ham and had a nice little outing, going seven innings and allowing two runs on seven hits, though it resulted in his tenth loss.
Minchey weathered a men on second and third, one out situation in the fourth by inducing a strikeout and groundout and he basically cruised until first baseman Takaya Hayashi took him over the leftfield wall to begin the ninth, which compelled Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto to go to the pen for Masahide Kobayashi, who posted his 34th save.
Lotte broke out on top in the fifth, as second baseman Koichi Hori walked and, one out later, rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa pancaked one off the centerfield wall for an RBI double and a 1-0 lead.
The following frame, Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to center with one down and shortstop Makoto Kosaka outran a tapper toward third. One out later, DH Derrick May smacked a single to left to recall Omura and make it 2-0.
Hiroshi Shibakusa came on in to pitch the eighth for Nippon Ham and Lotte scored off of him, too. Leftfielder Kenji Morozumi drew a one out walk and stole second. Omura spanked one back up through the middle and Morozumi sped around for a 3-0 Lotte advantage.
Hayashi responded with a jack into the leftfield seats, but that would be it for the Fighters and it ended 3-1.
For Lotte, May was 1-3 with an RBI and is at .269.
H. Nakamura (7-10) IP 7.0 PC 90 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.28
Shibakusa IP 0.2 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.77
A. Shimizu IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.28
Minchey (W, 15-13) IP 8.0 PC 112 H 7 HR 1 K 8 BB 0 R 1
ER 1 ERA 2.70
M. Kobayashi (S, 34) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.90
2B: Y. Tanaka, Tachikawa
HR: Hayashi (6)
RBI: Hayashi, S. Omura, May, Tachikawa
Season Series: Nippon Ham 9, Lotte 17
Game Time: 2:25
Umpires: Hirabayashi (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Yanagida (2B), Akimura (3B)
Tani Sayonara Single Beats Hawks 3-2
Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani's single to right with two on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth provided the game winner for the Orix Blue Wave in their battle with the Daiei Hawks Thursday at Kobe Green Stadium. Reliever Jun Hagiwara was credited with the shiroboshi while Shuji Yoshida was burdened with the responsibility for the defeat for Daiei.
Masahiko Kaneda, perhaps still suffering from shoulder pain, threw just four innings and didn't pitch that badly, permitting two runs on six hits during his stint, but he now can qualify for the ERA title and has a slight lead over teammate Koo Dae-sung, who is out for the season, in that category and will almost certainly take that crown home. This match also saw a rare good showing from Hidetaka Kawagoe, who was touched for three hits in two innings, but kept any Hawks from swooping into home plate. Takashi Aiki and Hagiwara then finished Daiei off with three combined hitless innings.
Akio Mizuta also proved up to the task in this one, as he fashioned five innings of four hit, one run ball to get a no decision for Daiei.
The Hawks got off to a flying start when they used a leadoff single to right by leftfielder Yudai Deguchi, a sac bunt, and a double past third by DH Noriyoshi Omichi to snatch a 1-0 lead in the first.
They then widened that advantage in the second when catcher Masanori Taguchi cranked his first dinger of the campaign into the leftfield bleachers to make it 2-0 Hawks.
Mizuta faced a bases loaded, two out predicament in the fourth due to a single, a walk and an error by first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka, but he extricated himself out of it when Orix backstop Takeshi Hidaka popped to third.
Orix, though, did take a bite out of Mizuta in the fifth. With one away, shortstop Makoto Shiozaki walked and went to third on a subsequent knock to right by first baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani. Tani flew out to center and Shiozaki tagged up and hustled in to cut the deficit to 2-1 Hawks.
Hirokazu Watanabe sidled in from the bullpen in the sixth and Tatsuya Shindo blasted one of his pitches into the leftfield stands with one away to even it at 2-2. Watanabe, who was as reliable as death and taxes in the first half, has fallen on hard times the last two months.
There was little further action until Orix took their turn in the ninth against Yoshida. With one out, third baseman Shogo Makita singled to left. One out later, Shiotani thwacked a single to center. Katsunori Okamoto was called on to face Tani and the all star outfielder punched a fastball on the outside corner into right to decide it for the home folks 3-2.
For Orix, Scott Sheldon struckout in a pinch hit appearance and is at .254.
IP 5.0 PC 81 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.41
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.2 PC 19 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.75
Yoshitake IP 1.1 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
S. Yoshida (L, 7-5) IP 1.2 PC 29 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.21
K. Okamoto IP 0.0 PC 2 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.43
IP 4.0 PC 65 H 6 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.50
Kawagoe IP 2.0 PC 35 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.82
Aiki IP 2.0 PC 33 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
J. Hagiwara (W, 3-4) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
2B: Omichi, Taguchi
HR: Taguchi (1), Shindo (5)
RBI: Omichi, Taguchi, Tani 2, Shindo
Season Series: Daiei 15, Orix 13
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Sato (HP), Maeda (1B), Kaneko (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Dragons Gobble Up Carp 9-5
Seven different players for the Chunichi Dragons had at least one RBI Thursday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, as the two clubs finished their 28 game season series in a deadlock with a 9-5 Dragons victory. Kenta Asakura, who was fighting his control somewhat and thus got his pitch count up more than was optimum, nevertheless governed the Carp on two runs and eight hits over seven innings to cop his 11th win.
Southpaw Takaya Kawauchi, a 1999 number one draft choice, started for Hiroshima and had a night to forget, as he was mugged for five runs on nine hits and three walks to get tagged with the kuroboshi, his seventh.
The Dragons roared for a quick and easy 1-0 lead in the first when rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome drilled a shot to left that was misread by Tomoaki Kanemoto and became a gift triple. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami then cashed Fukudome in with a single to left to make it 1-0.
But Hiroshima bunched two out singles by centerfielder Koichi Ogata, Kanemoto and rightfielder Tomonori Maeda to tie it at 1-1 in the bottom stanza.
Kawauchi walked leftfielder Takayuki Onishi to open the second and the Dragons offense walked through that door, as centerfielder Hidenori Kuramoto singled to right, Asakura singled to right to load the bases and shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to left to welcome Onishi in with a 2-1 advantage.
It remained close until the sixth, when the Nagoya crew really put the boot in. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige leadoff with a single to right. First baseman Mitsunobu Takahashi singled to center. He was pinch run for by Hiroyuki Watanabe. Onishi singled to left to pack the sacks. Kuramoto singled to left to drive in Tanishige. Asakura walked to force in Watanabe. One out later, second baseman Masahiro Araki grounded to second and Onishi crossed. Fukudome wacked a single to center to score Kuramoto and it was 7-1 Dragons.
Again the Carp clustered a trio of singles for a run in in the home half. With two outs, Maeda singled to right and first baseman Itsuki Asai singled to center. Third baseman Takahiro Arai clobbered one down the rightfield line and Maeda headed home without a play to make it 7-2. Dragons.
In the ninth, Araki singled to center and pinch hitter Shogo Mori rifled a shot down the leftfield line to plate him and went to third on the thrown home. Tatsunami grounded to first and Mori made a beeline for home and it was 9-2 Dragons.
Hiroshima then made the most noise it had all night in its final at bat against Dragons reliever Daisuke Yamai. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to right and, one out later, second baseman Kazuki Fukuchi did the same. Ogata then put a whipping on a Yamai offering and deposited it in the rightcenterfield seats to bring his team within 9-5. Kanemoto, though, flied out and it was "game setto."
Fukudome went 3-5 to raise his average to .337, putting him two points up on Yomiuri centerfielder Hideki Matsui in the Central League batting competition. The first inning triple was his 178th hit, a new team record. It was also the 17th time in which he collected three hits or more in a game. He has hit .365 since September 1st while Matsui has managed just a .257 mark.
No foreign players batted in this game.
Asakura (W, 11-10) IP 7.0 PC 129 H 8 HR 0 K 8 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.61
Hiramatsu IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Yamai IP 1.0 PC 33 H 3 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.97
Kawauchi (L, 1-7) IP 5.0 PC 98 H 9 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 5 ER 5 ERA 6.11
S. Tamaki IP 0.2 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 3.68
K. Satake IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Kawano IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.23
Amano IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.32
Sawazaki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.45
E: Fukudome, Kanemoto
2B: Arai, Mori
HR: Ogata (21)
RBI: Ibata, Araki, Fukudome, Sho. Mori, Tatsunami 2, Kuramoto, Asakura, Ogata 3,
T. Maeda, Arai
GIDP: Araki, T. Matsumoto
Season Series: Chunichi 14, Hiroshima 14
Game Time: 3:28
Umpires: Watada (HP), Ino (1B), Suginaga (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Yakult's Iwamura Wants to Be Posted
In a not all that surprising development, Yakult Swallows lefthand hitting third baseman Akinori Iwamura says that would like the Yakult Swallows to post him to MLB, according to Sports Nippon. The all star infielder isn't eligible for free agency until 2008, by which time he will be 29. Consequently, he hopes that the team's management will let him go by 2005. He will be playing the NPB-MLB all star series starting in November and is considering a request to be posted depending on how he does during that faceoff with some of MLB's best. He has previously indicated interest in playing in MLB at some point.
A Yakult team official said that "[Iwamura] hasn't said anything to us about it, so we can't comment at this point."
Biographical info: Hailing from Uwajima, Ehime Prefecture on the island of Shikoku, the 5'9" 175 pound graduate of Uwajima East High School, where he hit .457 as the team's cleanup man, was drafted on the second round in 1997. In 1998, he won a home run title with 18 playing for Yakult's Eastern League (a minor league) affiliate and also finished second in batting. The following season, he got into 83 games at the big club level and hit .294 with 11 homers, 35 RBI and seven steals to win the regular third base job from veteran Takahiro Ikeyama (who just retired). Then in 2000, he played in 130 games and hit .278 with a then career high 18 homers, 66 RBIs and 13 steals.
But not satisfied with those numbers, (in fact, he told the magazine Sports Number Graphic that he couldn't give himself a passing grade in any aspect of the game that season, mainly as a result of a slump the first two months of the campaign that at one point caused him to think to himself, "what the hell am I doing out here?") in 2001, he batted sixth behind Roberto Petagine and Alex Ramirez for a team that went all the way to a Japan Series championship, hitting .287 with 18 homers and 81 RBIs while also stealing 15 bases. He has won Gold Gloves in each of the last two seasons. Overall, coming into this season, he batted .284 with 47 homers and 182 RBIs in 350 games with 35 steals.
In 2002, he continues to show improvement. He is
hitting at a .317 clip with a career high 21 homers and 66 RBIs. He also
has 32 doubles, two triples and five steals. He has made just eight errors.
However, his strikeouts are on the high side, as he has whiffed 103 times
so far in 533 plate appearances (469 official at bats) while walking 56 times.
Iwamura's OPS, though, is a nice .921 (.392 OBP and .529 SLG). He does have
average speed and is a hardworking, gutsy player with no lack of confidence.
Looking at a breakdown of last season, Iwamura showed himself to be a solid two out hitter, as he posted a .297 mark in that situation with six homers and 32 RBIs. With nobody out, though, he was on fire, boasting a .331 average with seven homers and 26 RBIs. He wasn't been a good two strike hitter, though, as he hit .219 in 0-2 counts, .157 in 1-2 counts and .191 in 2-2 counts. But he ripped it up when he was ahead in the count, batting over .400. He has hit well in the first four innings plus the seventh, but it falls off from there. His average has also tailed off as the season wore on, hitting just .265 in September.
He did most of his damage last season on fastballs, batting .355 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs while he also wacked the curve ball to a farethewell (.324) and the shuuto (.444). He did okay with changeups (.286). He had trouble with the slider, though,batting just .212 when he has made contact with that pitch, and the forkball, where he has sunk to a .171 mark.
His career strikeout rate is just about right at 20%. He needs to reduce that.
Personally, I think he is still a developing player and he should wait at least two more years before making the jump. He perhaps needs to do more conditioning work since his average has fallen off in the latter months of the season in preparation for the longer MLB schedule. It is unlikely that he will hit for much power in MLB unless he bulks up a bit and becomes kind of Japan's answer to Ron Cey, though even then he will probably never hit 30 homers in the big leagues as Cey did. In fact, it could be that an MLB team might try to move him to second base, which I don't believe he has ever played.
He makes about $600,000 and his hobby is fishing.
You can view his partial stats up through the 2001 season at: http://www.npb-bis.com/player/register/active/09021970.html
You can see his current partial stats at: http://www.npb-bis.com/2002/stats/idb1_s.html
Did Cuban Star Pitcher Contreras Defect?
This is for those who haven't already heard: If it is true that Cuban National Team number one starter Jose Ariel Contreras did indeed defect, this is earthshaking news. Whoever gets him will have someone who will contend for the Cy Young next year. Moreover, they can just give him a Rookie of the Year award right now. He makes any of the previous Cuban defectors, such as Rolando Arrojo or El Duque, look like little leaguers. This is akin to buying a healthy Pedro Martinez right off the shelf. See Baseball America story at: http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/columnists/askba.html
Diamondbacks' Kim Puts World Series Disaster Behind Him
See NY Times story at:
(note: you may have to copy and paste the URL into your browser)
Hanshin Encouraged by Improved Showing
See Yomiuri Shimbun story at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021003wo56.htm
Bobbleheads Expand Overseas
See USA Today story at: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/columnist/hiestand/2002-10-02-bobble-heads_x.htm
Taiwanese Doing Well in MLB Systems
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/03/story/0000170574
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 3rd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1961, Yomiuri Giants third baseman Shigeo Nagashima uttered to the Asahi Shimbun, "if the Socialist Party wins the election, there will be nore more professional baseball." Yet another instance that proves that athletes and actors should shut up about their political beliefs since they rarely know what they're talking about.
We at Baseball Guru would like to pass along our condolences to the family of Angel Maehara, who died Tuesday in an industrial accident. Aside from not only owning the Asahi baseball club in Hawaii, he was also the brother of Dodgers scout Ichiro Maehara. You can read a story about Angel in the Honolulu Advertiser at: http://the.honoluluadvertiser.com/article/2002/Oct/03/ln/ln13a.html
October 2, 2002
Cabrera Ties Record with 55th Homer in Seibu Loss
Well, move over Tuffy Rhodes and Sadaharu Oh, you have company, to paraphrase Jack Buck, as Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera launched a towering drive that may have barely scraped the roof of the Seibu Dome, landing it on the grass seats just beyond the leftfield fence to leadoff the eighth inning Wednesday for his 55th homer of the season. Unfortunately, thought, it didn't do much good, as the Lions lost to the Kintetsu Buffaloes 4-1. 20 year old Yasunari Takagi started for the Osaka side and utilizing a good moving fastball and sharp curve, tossed seven innings of shutout ball on five hits while striking out eight and walking two for his second victory. It was his first, however, as a starter.
Getting lost in the hoopla over Cabrera's muscular displays, though, was Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui doubling in the third inning to leftcenter for his 86th extra basehit of the year, breaking Shochiku Robins (who were later mereged with the Taiyo Whales) outfielder Makoto Kozuru's 1950 mark of 85. Considering this is in just 135 games, that is some accomplishment, especially for a leadoff hitter.
Chang Chia-chiah started for Seibu and while his pitch efficiency wasn't much at 127 over that span, he held the Buffs to three runs on six hits to absorb his fourth loss. Not a bad job, just not quite good enough.
It was knotted at zero until the fourth inning, when Kintetsu DH Kenshi Kawaguchi put the hammer down on a Chang offering and flamed it into the rightcenterfield bleachers for a 1-0 lead.
In the sixth, Buffs second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi socked a 2-1 pitch into the leftfield seats and it was 2-0.
An inning later, Kintetsu rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano leadoff with a single to right and went to second on a ground ball. One out later, centerfielder Naoyuki Omura singled to right to bring in Takano with a 3-0 advantage. The thing that you gotta like about Chang is that even when he isn't sharp, he can still be tough.
Tetsuya Shiozaki ascended the hill for the Lions in the top of the eighth and got the first two men he faced, but he then walked Kawaguchi. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka continued his second half surge with a screamer into the rightcenter alley and Kawaguchi managed to lumber all the way in to make it 4-0 Buffs.
Cabrera, who was hit on the elbow in the first, was intentionally walked with a man on third in the third, and popped out to second in the sixth, got an 86mph fastball from Akira Okamoto, against whom he was 1-9 to date, on the inner half of the plate and lofted a rainbow to deep leftfield. According to press reports, the ball seemed to hang up there forever before transgressing the leftfield fence, where it was scooped up in a mass scramble by Takayuki Hinata, a 21 year old college student who claims he even took a punch in the head in the scramble for the ball. You can see a pic of the former Diamondback's swing on the historic jack at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/10/03/20021003013950.jpg
Okamoto stated that he got the ball where he wanted it, but Cabrera was just too strong and he drove it out of the yard.
Akinori Otsuka, who will soon be in an MLB uniform, strolled in for the ninth and struckout two of the four Lions he faced in closing it out for his 20th save.
Cabrera, who raised his average to .338, is slugging homers at the fastest pace in Japanese history, going yard every 7.8 at bats this season, easily exceeding Lotte first baseman Hiromitsu Ochiai's one in every 8.34 at bats in 1986 despite not having homered in his last 20 at bats. By contrast, Oh's best rate was one every 8.39 at bats in 1973 and Rhodes was one every ten at bats.
Anyone who saw Vladimir Guerrero and Alfonso Soriano struggle for that last dinger that would have put them in the 40-40 club can sympathize with what Rhodes, who said he was only getting 3-4 hours of sleep at night in the chase for number 55, and Cabrera are going through. It took Rhodes 33 at bats between his 54th and 55th, so Cabrera at least had THAT beat. But Cabrera is at the same homer pace game wise as Rhodes, this being the big slugger's 135th contest.
Rhodes and Cabrera had played in the same Venezuelan winter league between 1991-1994 and knew each other from that period. They've since become good friends and the ex-Cub sent his congratulations to Cabrera after the game.
For the superstitious among you out there, Cabrera had his 12 year old son Ramon with him in Japan for the last 62 games, during which he amassed 29 longballs. Ramon is now back home for the beginning of the school year there. But keep that name in the back of your mind, since you could very well see him in a major league lineup in ten years. Surely, Ramon has to be proud of his father, who, in belting 104 goners in two seasons, joins just three other men in surpassing 100 in that time, Oh, Ochiai, and Randy Bass.
The Kintetsu Buffaloes lightened their payroll with the subtraction of four men. Pitcher Hiroshi Ishige, 32, who once saved 30 games for Yomiuri in 1993, went 33-28 with 83 saves and a 3.44 ERA in 356 lifetime games. Pitcher Kazuharu Yamazaki, 30, who came came up with Hanshin before crossing town, was 20-20 with three saves and a 3.69 ERA in 204 career games. Pitcher Nobunori Tamamine, 26, who has never been with the big club. Outfielder Masahiro Takumi, 34, who batted .253 in 433 career games with ten homers and 70 RBIs. He will join the club's front office.
For Seibu, third baseman Tom Evans was 0-3 with two strikeouts and is at .253.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-4 with a walk and two strikeouts and is at .267.
See Jim Allen's take on this game at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021003wo57.htm
And Dan Latham of the Japan Times has an excellent piece on it at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20021003a1.htm
Y. Takagi (W, 2-2) IP 7.0 PC 136 H 5 HR 0 K 8 BB
2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.58
A. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 15 H 2 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.73
A.N. Otsuka (S, 20) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.18
Chang (L, 9-4) IP 7.0 PC 127 H 6 HR 2 K 7 BB 2 R
3 ER 3 ERA 2.76
T. Shiozaki IP 1.2 PC 42 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.89
Doi IP 0.1 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.59
2B: T. Sato, K. Matsui, Yoshioka
HR: K. Kawaguchi (12), Mizuguchi (4), Cabrera (55)
RBI: Cabrera, N. Omura, Mizuguchi, Kawaguchi, Yoshioka
HBP: Cabrera (Takagi)
Game Time: 3:21
Umpires: Sakaemura (HP), Akimura (1B), Tachibana (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Kawakami Wins 12th as Hanshin Comeback Fails
A great peg to the plate by centerfielder Takayuki Onishi in the fifth and a little bit of luck in the ninth was enough for the Chunichi Dragons to down the Hanshin Tigers Wednesday at Koshien Stadium 3-2. Moreover, Onishi also made it possible for Dragons starter Kenshin Kawakami to overtake the Yomiuri Giants Masumi Kuwara in the ERA race by three onehundredths of a run, as he went five scoreless innings on five hits for his 12th win.
Taiyo Fujita started for the Tigers and had another strong outing, going seven innings of two run ball, those tallies coming on a pair of solo homers, on five hits to regress to 2-5. The thing that sucks about Fujita losing it is that despite the strength of his performance, manager Senichi Hoshino called him surrendering those two circuit clouts "pathetic." What a moron. The sooner goons like him and his head coach Shimano are no longer running teams, the better.
The Dragons broke out on top in the second, as catcher Motonobu Tanishige leadoff with a bomb on a 2-0 count into the leftfield seats for a 1-0 lead.
Then in the fifth, Hanshin attempted to equalize it. With one down, catcher Ryo Asai singled to right and was sacrificed to second. Second baseman Makoto Imaoka walked. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi spanked a single into centerfield. Onishi charged it and got off a strike to Tanishige, who threw down the tag and the inning was over.
The next time the Dragons came up, the top of the sixth, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami crushed one , that also being when he was ahead in the count 2-0, into the rightfield stands with one down and it was 2-0 visitors.
The Tigers got that back in the home portion against Shigetoshi Yamakita, though, as third baseman Atsushi Kataoka walked and leftfielder Osamu Hamanka singled to center. One out later, first baseman George Arias singled to left and Kataoka rumbled in to make it 2-1 Dragons.
Nothing much happened until the ninth, when the Dragons swooped in for an important insurance run against reliever Takehito Kanazawa. Leftfielder Kazuki Inoue singled to center and was pinch run for by Hidenori Kuramoto. One out later, Kanazawa plunked pinch hitter Junichi Jinno. First baseman Hiroyuki Watanabe singled to right to redeem Inoue and Chunichi was looking good at 3-1.
Eddie Gaillard was summoned from the pen to put it to bed and it almost became a nightmare. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto beat out a bleeder to kick it off. Asai singled to right to get Fujimoto over to third. Pinch hitter Koji Hirashita flied out to center and Fujimoto tagged and scored to shrink the deficit to 3-2. Imaoka smoked a fastball up and on the inner half of the plate down the leftfield line for a double to put the winning run in scoring position. Akahoshi then beat the daylights out of a Gaillard delivery and torqued it toward rightfield. But he didn't get quite enough elevation on it and second baseman Masahiro Araki snared it for the second out. Kataoka grounded meekly to Araki and it was not just "game setto," but the Osaka favorite sons were back in fifth place.
Imaoka went 3-4 to raise his average to .317. That was the 21st time that he had a trio of hits or more in a contest, breaking Randy Bass' 1985 team record of 20.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .255.
Kawakami (W, 12-5) IP 5.0 PC 62 H 5 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER
0 ERA 2.27
Yamakita IP 0.1 PC 13 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.12
Endo IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Iwase IP 1.2 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.07
Gaillard (S, 34) IP 1.0 PC 19 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.52
T. Fujita (L, 2-5) IP 7.0 PC 110 H 6 HR 2 K 3 BB 3 R 2
ER 2 ERA 3.61
Yoshino IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.50
Kanazawa IP 1.1 PC 28 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.60
2B: Fukudome, Imaoka
HR: Tanishige (23), Tatsunami (16)
RBI: Tatsunami, Tanishige, H.Y. Watanabe, Arias, Hirashita
HBP: Fukudome (Yoshino), Jinno (Kanazawa)
GIDP: M. Takahashi
Season Series: Chunichi 15, Hanshin 9 2 Ties
Game Time: 3:19
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Tsuchiyama (1B), Tani (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Tomabechi Four Hits Yokohama; Kanemoto Homers Twice
Hiroshima Carp leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto continues his torrid homer pace, as he cracked his 25th and 26th of the season Wednesday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium to back a terrific complete game four hitter by Tetsuto Tomabechi, who only permitted two runs to cross in a 7-2 triumph over the Yokohama Bay Stars. That was the first time Tomabechi had gone all the way in a start in his career.
Yuji Yoshimi started for Yokohama and he was fricaseed for seven runs on 12 hits in 6.2 innings to suffer his seventh kuroboshi.
Yokohama obtained the upper hand when Kazuki Fukuchi leadoff the first inning with a single to center and stole second. Takuya Kimura sacrificed him to third. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata flied out to center and Fukuchi tagged and sped for the dish to make it 1-0.
In the second, Hiroshima widened that when rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to right and, one out later, Kojiro Machida walked. Catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to center to push Maeda in for a 2-0 lead.
Yokohama got off the shnide in the fourth, as Hitoshi Tamura walked with two away and rightfielder Boi Rodrigues bashed one into the leftfield corner and Tamura motored around to make it 2-1 Carp.
Both teams took a breather in the fifth and then Kanemoto, like Yoshimi an alumnus of Tohoku Fukushi University, stepped in to commence the bottom of the sixth and buried one in the centerfield seats for a 3-1 advantage.
Yoshimi fanned the first two men in the seventh and then all hell broke loose. Ogata exited to the righthand side on a slider and Kanemoto rolled out a copycat version. Maeda singled to center and then somehow got to second (wild pitch?). Third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to right to send Maeda in and Arai went to second on the throw home. Machida singled to center to convert Arai and knock Yoshimi out of the game. Kuniyuki Taniguchi was touched for a single to center by Kazuyoshi Kimura, but then induced a ground ball to short for the third out. Nevertheless, it was 7-1 Hiroshima.
Stars third baseman Katsuaki Furuki mortared one into the leftfield seats to leadoff the eighth to make it 7-2. However, they were only able to muster one hit the rest of the way and that is how it ended.
With his tater, Ogata has now homered 20 times for the first time in three seasons.
Hiroshima worked out Padres AAA farmhand David Lundquist, 29, today at their homeground. The 6'3" 200 pound Masachussets-born righthander's fastball tops out at 90mph and was initially impressed by the quality of his breaking pitches, which include a slider, a splitter and a curve accompanied by a changeup, and the way he holds runners on. He will also use a cutter against lefties and he wil sink that fastball against righthanders. He threw 48 pitches off the mound. They will take another look at him on the fourth and then decide whether they will actually sign him. Lundquist says he is confident of being eventually being picked up by the Carp. You can see a pic of him working out for the Red Hell at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200210/image/02100212randOS044A01_b.jpg
Lundquist was drafted on the fifth round by the White Sox in 1993. Six years later, he got his first taste of MLB action, finishing with a 1-1 record. He has been in 37 games in the big leagues, going 1-2 with a 7.92 ERA.
Also, first baseman Luis Lopez, 38, is being released. He won the RBI crown in both 1996 and 1997. He moved on to Daiei and then gave MLB another shot. He came back to Japan in 2000. Last season, he slugged 32 homers and drove in 100 runs while hitting .308. However, this season, he got involved in a confrontation with Carp outfielder Tomonori Maeda and hasn't seemed like the same man since, as his average fell to .245 with five homers and 33 RBIs in 80 games. He was demoted to the minors in mid-August and hasn't been back up since.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .263.
Yoshimi (L, 10-7) IP 6.2 PC 123 H 12 HR 3 K 6 BB 2 R 7 ER 7 ERA 3.47
Taniguchi IP 0.1 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.61
Chiba IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.38
Tomabechi (W, 4-3) IP 9.0 PC 129 H 4 HR 1 K 7 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.85
2B: Rodrigues, Machida
HR: Kanemoto 2 (26), Ogata (20), Furuki (6)
RBI: Rodrigues, Furuki, Ogata 2, Kanemoto 2, Machida, K. Kimura
IBB: K. Kimura
Season Series: Yokohama 12, Hiroshima 12 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:37
Umpires: Kiuchi (HP), Suginaga (1B), Kasahara (2B), Watada (3B)
Terahara Wins Sixth with Three Scoreless Innings Against Orix
Daiei Hawks rookie Hayato Terahara entered this game in the fourth with one out and a man on first and struckout Orix Blue Wave shortstop Makoto Shiozaki and lured centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani into flying out to right and then pitched a perfect fifth and six innings before being pulled in the seventh with one out and two on to earn his sixth win, the first time ever in Hawks history that a rookie fresh out of high school has racked up so many shiroboshi in his inaugural season.
Tomonori Kitagawa started for Orix and was dispatched to the showers after two innings in which he had been mugged for three runs on four hits and two walks to plummet to 0-3.
Daiei rightfielder Hiroshi Shibahara leadoff the game by taking a hanging slider from Kitagawa on a tour of the rightcenterfield bleachers for a quick 1-0 Hawks advantage.
They tacked another pair on the board in the second, as shortstop Yusuke Torigoe singled to right and catcher Masanori Taguchi doubled into the leftfield corner while Torigoe got on his horse and rode on in. One out later, Shibahara walked. Centerfielder Kazuyuki Takahashi pinged a shot off the rightfield wall to ring in Taguchi and it was 3-0 Daiei.
In the second, Orix rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi creamed one into the rightfield seats to make it 3-1 Daiei.
The next inning, Hawks starter Keisaburo Tanoue fumbled a ground ball off the bat of leftfielder Koji Takamizawa. Second baseman Koichi Oshima grounded to first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka, who elected to go to second, but Takamizawa slid in ahead of the throw. Shiozaki singled to right and it was 3-2 Hawks.
The theme of the Daiei fourth was "make mine a double," as Taguchi walked with one out and then Shibahara pounded one off the centerfield wall with two gone and Taguchi chugged in while Shibahara cruised into second. Takahashi singed one down the rightfield line for another two bagger and an RBI. DH Noriyoshi Omichi lined one up the leftcenter alley for a double and Takahashi galloped in. Third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to left to turn in Omichi for credit and it was 7-2 Hawks.
Tanoue wouldn't be able to hold the line and had
to be rescued in the bottom segment. Third baseman Tatsuya Shindo leadoff
with a single to right. One out later, catcher Takeshi Hidaka hit a fly ball
to center and Takahashi geeked it. Takamizawa whizzed one down the rightfield
line and both Shindo and Hidaka hustled in. Oshima singled to right to bring
in Takamizawa to make it 7-5, necessitating a call to Terahara, who stopped
the rally dead in its tracks. You can see a pic of the youngster's
In the seventh, Terahara got the leadoff man, but Shiozaki laced a shot down the rightfield line and Tani walked. Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh dialed local for Shuji Yoshida, who struckout the next two batters to keep his team's lead intact. Orix went down in order in both the eighth and ninth and Oh had another W in his portfolio.
Orix reliever Shintaro Yamasaki threw a scoreless inning to make it 1500 lifetime frames to become the 150th hurler in Japanese history to achieve that number. He won't get much farther than that, though, as he is going to retire at season's end and become a coach in the club's system.
Orix made a some roster cuts, with 37 year old pitcher Tsutomu Tamura, a veteran who came up with Hanshin in 1991 and ran up 22 saves in 1993, getting the axe. He was 13-12 lifetime with 54 saves and a 2.87 ERA. Also calling the unemployment office is infielder Kiyoshi Arai, 33, a former Bay Star and Swallow (.180-2-9 career in 139 games) as well as catcher Mitsuhiro Kubo, (one hit in five career at bats) 28.
IP 3.1 PC 66 H 5 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 5 ER 2 ERA 3.93
Terahara (W, 6-2) IP 3.0 PC 45 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.78
S. Yoshida IP 1.2 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.16
K. Okamoto (S,7) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.43
T. Kitagawa (L, 0-3) IP 2.0 PC 43 H 4 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.22
Kubota IP 1.2 PC 44 H 4 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 9.58
T. Kawaguchi IP 2.1 PC 47 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Kawagoe IP 2.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.91
S. Yamasaki IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 9.72
E: K.Y. Takahashi
2B: Taguchi, K.Y. Takahashi 2, Shibahara, Omichi, Takamizawa, M. Shiozaki
HR: Shibahara (4), Katsuragi (1)
RBI: Shibahara 2, K.Y. Takahashi 2, Omichi, Kokubo, Taguchi, K. Oshima,
M. Shiozaki, Katsuragi, Takamizawa 2
HBP: Matsunaka (Kawaguchi)
Season Series: Daiei 15, Orix 12
Game Time: 3:28
Umpires: Iizuka (HP), Nagami (1B), Higashi (2B), Okada (3B)
Hatsushiba Three Run Homer, Imae RBI Double Topples Fighters
A three run homer by Chiba Lotte Marines third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba in the fifth inning brought his team from a 4-3 deficit into a 6-4 lead and, after the Lotte offense generated another tally, his relief corps was barely able to hold on for a 7-6 victory over Nippon Ham Wednesday at Chiba Marine Stadium. Closer Masahide Kobayashi, who was clocked at 95mph, slammed the door shut in the ninth with a perfect 11 pitch inning for his 33rd save to extend his save point streak.
Lotte's owner needs to fine manager Koji Yamamoto everytime he starts submariner Shunsuke Watanabe, as Watanabe got his clock cleaned once again for four runs in four innings on five hits before departing. Nippon Ham was all over him immediately, as Michihiro Ogasawara singled to left with two outs and leftfielder Yukio Tanaka flambed a triple off the rightfield fence to drive in Ogasawara. DH Kuniyuki Kimoto then homered to rightcenter to make it 3-0 Fighters.
Lotte centerfielder Saburo Omura leadoff the bottom of the inning with a shot into the leftfield bleachers and it was 3-1 Fighters.
Nippon Ham, though, countered with second baseman Kokichi Akune's second long distance runaround in 2002 to right to open the second to return to a three run lead at 4-1.
Itsuki Shoda, the Fighers starter, retired the first two men in the fourth, but then got dented. Catcher Masaumi Shimizu singled to right and third baseman Toshiaki Imae whistled one up the rightcenter gap for an RBI double to make it 4-2 Fighters.
The disparity between the two sides was reduced to one in the fourth, as Hatsushiba leadoff with a single to center and, one out later, Shimizu singled to right. Following another out, Omura singled to left and Hatsushiba sprinted in and it was 4-3 Fighters.
Then came the crucial Lotte fifth. DH Derrick May leadoff with a walk. Leftfielder Yoshihiro Sato grounded to third. Third baseman Takaya Hayashi went for the force at second, but May beat the throw. That brought up Hatsushiba, who cleaned and jerked one out to left to put Lotte up 6-4. Rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa walked and was sacrificed to second. Imae lashed a shot down the leftfield line to plate Shimizu and it was 7-4 Lotte.
Three Lotte relievers, though, almost allowed Nippon Ham to tie it in the eighth. Shortstop Hiroshi Narahara doubled to leftcenter off of Takashi Kawai. Pinch hitter Shingo Nonaka struckout. Kawai was replaced by Atsushi Yoshida, who walked Tanaka. Soichi Fujita relieved Yoshida and he struckout Kimoto. Hayashi did him up for an RBI single to left. Akune singled to center and Tanaka ran in to tighten it up at 7-6. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi blasted one toward third, where it was flagged down by Hatsushiba to blunt the rally.
Kobayashi was called on and responded by tempting the Fighters lineup into a comebacker and two fly balls to right to put it in the refrigerator. You can see a pic of Kobayashi at: http://www.sanspo.com/baseball/top/bt200210/image/02100311kobayashiNK249A02_b.jpg
Lotte released outfielder Kenichiro Hayakawa (.149-4-8 in 93 career games,), 28, pitcher Tsuneyuki Iso (7-9 5.19 in 35 career games), 26, infielder Takuto Nobuhara (5 hits in 20 at bats with one homer and four RBIs lifetime), 26, and pitcher Ryokan Kobayashi, 23. Kobayashi never saw action with the big club.
Throwing out the first ball before the game was
Lotte reliever Brian Sikorsky's son Easton. You can see a pic of that at:
For Lotte, May was 2-4 with a walk and is at .269.
Shoda (L, 7-11) IP 4.1 PC 107 H 9 HR 2 K 1 BB 4 R 7 ER 7 ERA 3.69
Iba IP 0.2 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.77
Tak. Itoh IP 2.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.40
IP 4.0 PC 60 H 5 HR 2 K 5 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 6.35
T. Kawai (W, 4-1) IP 3.1 PC 45 H 2 HR 0 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.89
A. Yoshida IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.57
S. Fujita IP 0.2 PC 15 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
M. Kobayashi (S, 33) IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.92
2B: Imae 2, S. Omura, Y. Tanaka, Narahara
3B: Y. Tanaka
HR: Kimoto (6), S. Omura (7), Akune (2), Hatsushiba (17)
RBI: Y. Tanaka, Kimoto 2, Hayashi, Akune 2, S. Omura 2, Hatsushiba 3, Imae
Season Series: Nippon Ham 9, Lotte 16
Game Time: 3:17
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Hirabayashi (2B), Yamazaki (3B)
Minchey Named September Pitcher of the Month
According to Nikkan Sports, Chiba Lotte Marines righthander Nate Minchey has been named September Pacific League Pitcher of the Month. Minchey won all five of his starts during the month with a 0.48 ERA.
Named Player of the Month for the PL was Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui, who hit .371 during the month.
In the Central League, Yokohama Bay Stars rookie Yuji Yoshimi won Pitcher of the Month while Chunichi Dragons outfielder Kosuke Fukudome was named Player of the Month. Yoshimi won three games in September. Fukudome hit .348 to help him challenge Hideki Matsui for the batting championship.
Kuehnert: Nothing Wrong With Ichiro
The Japan Times Mary Kuehnert says all the fretting
over Ichiro's performance this season is silly. See article at:
Giants' Minami Involved in Auto Collision
Yomiuri Giants minor league hurler Shinichiro Minami was involved in a traffic accident after 11 p.m. on September 25th in Tokyo's Meguro Ward that resulted in a pair of injuries. According to police, Minami ran a stoplight in Nakane 1 chome in Meguro Ward and t-boned a car crossing the intersection, resulting in contusions to the neck and back of the 32 year old unnamed driver, a company worker who is a resident of Meguro Ward, as well as the driver's mother, who suffered a sprained neck. Minami was charged with a traffic violation and the case is now in the hands of the Tokyo prosecutor's office.
Minami told Sankei Sports, "I wasn't paying attention to the light and accidentally ran it."
Minami, a native of Wakayama Prefecture, first came up with Kintetsu in 1996 before moving to Yomiuri in 1998. In 2000, he had his best season, going 2-0 with two saves and s 2.08 ERA in 26 games, all in relief. For his career, he is 4-3 in 69 appearances with two saves in 69.2 total innings, with a 5.56 ERA. He has yet to get in a game for Yomiuri this season.
Yakult Releases Iriki, Three Others
The Yakult Swallows announced the release of two pitchers today, Satoshi Iriki (35), whose brother Yusaku is a starter with Yomiuri, and Naoya Shimada (32), Both men had injuries this season and disappointed this year. Iriki went 1-3 in six games with a 6.66 ERA while Shimada was in four games with no record, pitching a total of 2.2 innings with an ERA of 10.13
Last season, Iriki, who began at Kintetsu, went to Hiroshima, returned to the Buffs and then slid on over to Yomiuri before signing with Yakult in 2001, went 10-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 24 games last season to contribute substantially to the Swallows eventual Japan Series victory. That was easily his finest tour of duty in an otherwise undistingushished career.
Shimada was originally a member of Nippon Ham before going on to Yokohama in 1992. His best year was in 1995, when he went 10-4 with a 3.57 ERA in 46 games.
He was picked up by Yakult last season and was in 53 games, going 0-2 with a 2.91 ERA in 46.1 innings. For his career, he is 39-38 with nine saves and an ERA of 3.62 in 412 games.
The team also informed catcher Susumu Aoyagi, 34, a .233 career hitter who has been with Lotte before coming to Yakult in 1995, and 6'4" 205 pound righthanded pitcher Mikio Tamba, 28, a career minor leaguer, that their services were no longer needed, either.
Partial MLB All Star Team Announced
The composition of part of a team of Major League Baseball all stars that will journey to Japan and play the Yomiuri Giants and a squad of Japanese all stars has finally been announced. They are:
Manager: Art Howe (Oakland)
Pitchers: Tomokazu Ohka (Montreal), Bartolo Colon (Montreal), Eric Gagne (L.A.), Randy Wolf (Philadelphia), Mark Buehrle (Chicago White Sox), Lopez (Baltimore).
Benito Santiago (San Francisco), Paul LoDuca (L.A.)
Infielders: Eric Hinske (Toronto), Junior Spivey (Arizona), and Miguel Tejada (Oakland).
Outfielders: Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle), Magglio Ordonez (Chicago White Sox), Barry Bonds (San Francisco) and Torii Hunter (Minnesota).
The remainder of the MLB contingent will be announced in the coming days.
See related story at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021004wo53.htm
Yomiuri Releases Five Players
The Yomiuri Giants announced today that five players are being excised from their roster. They are: pitcher Shinichiro Minami (29), pitcher Masaki Maki, pitcher Tsuyoshi Ono, pitcher Masatoshi Yasuhara, and infielder Kentaro Tanaka.
For the Collector Who Has to Have EVERYTHING
For those of you out there collecting Ichiro merchandise, a new item has hit the market. A runner duck bathtoy. But wait, not just any rubber duckie, but one that has the face of Ichiro on it. Salivating yet? There's more! Up to 21 major league players have been honored with their visages on the duck, including Derek Jeter and Barry Bonds as well as Kazuhisa Ishii. This has reportedly been approved by MLB as well as the MLB Player's Association. With backing like that, you know it's gotta be good, right? I'm sure operators are standing by.
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 2nd and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1960, under manager Osamu Mihara, the Taiyo Whales went from worst in 1959 to first and clinched their first ever pennant. They then won the Japan Series.
Also on that date in 1960, Yomiuri Giants manager Shigeru Mizuhara, having failed to lead his team to a sixth consecutive pennant, got angry at reporters and punched out a photographer. The ballclub suspended him.
Also on that date in 1965, Hiroshima Carp righthander Yoshiro Sotokoba won his first ever pro game by tossing a no hitter against the Hanshin Tigers. Sotokoba, a two time 20 game winner, threw three no nos in his career, including a perfect game. That was the only game he won that season, as he went 2-1 in 16 games with a 1.48 ERA. He finished his playing days having accumulated a record of 131-138 with three saves and an ERA of 2.88 in 445 games over 15 seasons.
Guzman Throws Six Hit Shutout Against Hiroshma 4-0
Domingo Guzman has pitched extremely well since being put into the starting rotation, but Tuesday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, he did everything except go into the stands, throw on a beer tank and begin dispensing drinks to the fans. Not only did he throw a six hit shutout, but he also drove in a run with a fourth inning double and stole third. He then ignited a rally with a single to right in the seventh. Basically, he took this game over to spur the Yokohama Bay Stars to a 4-0 victory over the Hiroshima Carp.
Yokohama rightfielder Boi Rodrigues homered to center leading off the second to pull his team in front 1-0. Then Guzman took matters into his own hands in the fourth. With one down, first baseman Hirofumi Ogawa was plunked by Carp starter Masayuki Hasegawa and went to second on a groundout. Catcher Takeshi Nakamura was intentionally walked to get to Guzman, who had struckout in his first at bat. He pierced the outfield defense in rightcenter for a double and Ogawa motored around to make it 2-0. One can only presume that Hasegawa forgot that Guzman was out there and the ex-China Trust Whale thieved third. Centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka grounded to short to end the inning, but now Guzman had something to tell the folks back home.
The Stars doubled that advantage in the seventh, as Guzman singled to right and Tanaka raced to first on a ground ball for an infield hit. Second baseman Makoto Fukumoto laid down a sac bunt, but Hasegawa attempted to get Guzman at third and he was late with the peg to load the bases. Shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to center and both Guzman and Tanaka scored to cap the scoring at 4-0. Hasegawa has lost his last three starts.
Hiroshima management announced the release of reliever Rigo Beltran, who was 0-1 with a 9.15 ERA this season and had spent the last two months in the minors.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .263.
Guzman (W, 5-4) IP 9.0 PC 106 H 6 HR 0 K 8 BB 3 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.73
Hasegawa (L, 12-9) IP 6.0 PC 105 H 8
HR 1 K 2 BB 3 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.76
K. Satake IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.25
Kawano IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.54
Amano IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
Sawazaki IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
HR: Rodrigues (17)
RBI: T. Ishii 2, Rodrigues, Guzman
IBB: T. Nakamura
HBP: Ogata (Guzman), T. Maeda (Guzman), Ogawa (Hasegawa)
GIDP: Higashide, Machida, T. Maeda
Season Series: Yokohama 12, Hiroshima 1 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:39
Umpires: Ino (HP), Kasahara (1B), Watada (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Kazuo Matsui Says He Will Stay in Japan Through Next Season
According to Sports Nippon, Seibu Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui is going to stay in Japan at least through next season, after which he will be a free agent. "At this point, I'm not thinking of using the posting system," the record breaking switch hitting infielder told reporters. "I just want to win the Japan Series and then win the pennant again next season."
Rest of NPB All Star Team Announced
The 18 reserve players who will be part of a Japanese all star aggregation that will play a series against an MLB all star squad in November have been announced. The ten pitchers are: Kenshin Kawakami (Chunichi), Hirotoshi Ishii (Yakult), Shugo Fujii (Yakult), Takashi Saito (Yokohama), Yasuhiro Oyamada (Hiroshima), Hisashi Iwakuma (Kintetsu), Chang Chih-chiah (Seibu), Kiyoshi Toyoda (Seibu), Shinji Mori (Seibu), and Masahide Kobayashi (Lotte).
The eight position players are: Michihiro Ogasawara (Nippon Ham), Motonobu Tanishige (Yokohama), Masaumi Shimizu (Lotte), Akinori Iwamura (Yakult), Takuro Ishii (Yokohama), Hiroki Kokubo (Daiei), Kazuhiro Wada (Seibu), and Yoshitomo Tani (Orix).
Again, where is Kenji Johjima? Did he beg off? Moreover, Takuro Ishii has no business on this team. That spot should have gone to Tomohiro Nioka. Oyamada being on the team is a joke. That should have been awarded to Masumi Kuwata, Ryota Igarashi, Kimiyasu Kudoh or Satoru Kanemura. But I guess they wanted at least one player from each team.
Wada Breaks College Career K Record
Waseda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada fanned another 11 hitters Tuesday in a game against Hosei University at Meiji Jingu Stadium for his 444th career strikeout. By doing so he has broken Suguru Egawa's 25 year old record of 443.
Wada brushed aside a rumored offer by the L.A. Dodgers to say that he would like to be in a Daiei Hawks uniform next season. He was also pursued by several other Japanese clubs, but rebuffed them in Japan's peculiar draft system.
Unfortunately, though, Wada, after striking out a hitter in the ninth for the record, then surrendered the game winning hit to lose it 2-1.
By the way, in the past, I may have written that Yutaka Enatsu held the record, but that is wrong.
Mariners Sign Taiwanese Teenager
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/10/01/story/0000170342
A Noisy, Weird Time at North Korea-Japan Softball Game
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/sports/K2002100100328.html
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for October 1st and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1964, the first ever Japan Series that pitted two teams based in Osaka against each other, in this case the Hanshin Tigers and the Nankai Hawks, kicked off. It was also the first nighttime Japan Series game.
Also on that date in 1967, the Hankyu Braves won their first ever pennant.
September 30, 2002
Shimizu Outpitches Nishiguchi; Cabrera 2-4, But No Homer
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera went 2-4 to elevate his batting average to .337, but neither knock left the field of play, so the suspense continues as he seeks to surpass the record held by Tuffy Rhodes and Sadaharu Oh sometime in the remaining six games. Chiba Lotte Marines starter Naoyuki Shimizu dazzled the Lions lineup, as he went six innings of one run ball on four hits for a 2-1 victory. Seibu starter Fumiya Nishiguchi, who has been largely ineffective the last month, was back in the black in this one, as he went nine and threw a five hit, two run gem. But due to Shimizu's excellence as well as that of relievers Brian Sikorsky and Masahide Kobayashi, he was spattered with a kuroboshi.
Lotte did all of its scoring in the second, as leftfielder Yukihiko Sato leadoff by crashing one off the centerfield wall. Two outs later, catcher Masaumi Shimizu shredded one off the leftfield wall for an RBI double. Third baseman Toshiaki Imae, making his first start of the season, singled to center to plate Shimizu and it was 2-0. That was Imae's first pro hit and RBI.
In the third, third baseman Hiroshi Hirao wrenched a Shimizu delivery into the rightfield seats to make it 2-1 Lotte.
Seibu then put itself in a position to win this game in the sixth, but saw it slip through their fingers. Pinch hitter Susumu Otomo legged out a ground ball to short. Second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi walked. Both runners were sacrificed along. Now needing just a fly ball to tie, rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki struckout. Centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji flied out to right for the third out and Shimizu still had his lead.
In the eighth and Sikorsky on the hill, Seibu had a much more minor chance. Otomo leadoff with a walk and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Kazuo Matsui was intentionally walked. However, Ozeki flew out and Miyaji struckout and now the Lions would have to face Kobayashi in the ninth.
Cabrera commenced the ninth by spanking a 92mph fastball on the outside corner for a single center, but DH Ken Suzuki grounded into a 1-6-3 double play. Pinch hitter Tom Evans struckout and Kobayashi had save number 32.
It has been 16 at bats since Cabrera, who was 4-7 with two homers against Shimizu before the game, last homered and even with his multihit night Nippon Ham first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara passed him for first in batting average in the PL.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 0-4 and is at .267.
For Seibu, Evans was 0-1 and is at .257.
Jim Allen on this game at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20021001wo51.htm
See another related story at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20021001a1.htm
N. Shimizu (W, 14-9) IP 6.0 PC
84 H 4 HR 1 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.24
Sikorsky IP 2.0 PC 36 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.56
M. Kobayashi (S, 32) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.95
Nishiguchi (L, 14-10) IP 9.0 PC 126 H 5 HR 0 K 8 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.60
2B: Sato, Masaumi Shimizu,
HR: Hirao (3)
RBI: Masaumi Shimizu, Imae, Hirao
IBB: K. Matsui
GIDP: H. Oshima 2, K. Suzuki
Season Series: Lotte 8, Seibu 18 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:48
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Tachibana (1B), Kawaguchi (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Rhodes' Two Homers, Three RBIs Pulls Buffaloes Past Hawks
22 year old righthander Hironori Fujisaka had been in just 14 games during his three prior seasons as a Kintetsu Buffalo and hadn't won anything. Monday at Osaka Dome, he rectificed that state of affairs, as he went five innings of four hit, one run ball and was supported by two homers and three RBIs from leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes in a 4-1 Buffs victory over the Daiei Hawks. Junji Hoshino lasted only 4.1 innings for Daiei and was yanked after surrendering three runs on four hits and took the defeat.
Fujisaki had started the game by getting a strikeout and ground ball out. But rightfielder Hiroshi Shibahara beat out a bouncer toward short. First baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka came up swinging and lasered one into the rightcenter gap and the fleetfooted Shibahara toured the diamond to register a 1-0 Hawks lead.
Kintetsu countered in the second when third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to left and DH Kenshi Kawaguchi walked. One out later, rightfielder Koichi Isobe laced a shot into the rightcenter alley and Nakamura lumbered in to make it 1-1.
The Buffs then turned on the power in the third, as second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi walked with one out and Rhodes clubbed one into the rightcenterfield seats for a 3-1 Kintetsu advantage.
The game then metamorphasized into a pitching duel until the seventh, when Rhodes buried a selection from reliever Yoshitake in the rightfield bleachers to make it 4-1 Kintetsu. Rhodes has 16 homers this season just against Daiei. The last nine Hawks hitters all went down in order and the Buffs stamped out of there with the win to make it possible that they will win the season series with the Fukuoka nine for the first time in five years.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 2-4 with three RBIs and is at .269. This was his first two homer display since August 24th. He is one RBI behind Cabrera.
J. Hoshino (L, 9-9) IP 4.1 PC 73 H 4 HR 1
K 2 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.67
H.K. Watanabe IP 1.0 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.56
Yoshitake IP 1.2 PC 25 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
M. Sato IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
Fujisaki (W, 1-0) IP 5.0 PC 89 H 4 HR
0 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.80
S. Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.78
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.08
T. Yoshida IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.28
A. Okamoto IP 0.2 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.62
A.N. Otsuka (S, 19)IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.22
E: N. Nakamura, T.T. Maeda
2B: Matsunaka, M. Tanaka, Isobe,
HR: Rhodes 2 (46)
RBI: Matsunaka, Rhodes 3, Isobe
HBP: Moritani (J. Hoshino)
Season Series: Daiei 12, Kintetsu 14 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Tamba (HP), Yoshikawa (1B), Sato (2B), Maeda (3B)\
Tani's Three RBIs Leads Orix Over Nippon Ham 5-3
Orix Blue Wave centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani has pretty much dropped out of the batting race at a "mere" .327, but one thing he can still do is have fun wreaking havoc against the opposition and that is what he did in a faceoff against the Nippon Ham Fighters Monday at Tokyo Dome, as he went 2-5 and drove in three runs in the Kobe crew's 5-3 victory. Hisashi Ogura started for Orix and extended his winning string to five and become the winningest Blue Wave hurler of the 2002 campaign at seven.
Satoru Kanemura started for the Fighters and was looking for his tenth win, but ultimately suffered his fifth loss when he couldn't get out of the fourth inning before being hammered for five runs, four earned, on ten hits in 3.1 innings.
Orix went out to a 1-0 lead in the first when second baseman Koichi Oshima singled to right and, two outs later, DH Yuji Goshima singled to center. Rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi then singled to right to push Oshima.
Nippon Ham, though, rallied with two outs and knotted it. First baseman Michihiro Ogasawara singled to right and leftfielder Yuki Tanaka tripled off the rightfield wall and it was 1-1.
So Orix got back to work and went back in front in the second. First baseman Kazuhiko Shiotani singled to right and was sacrificed to second. He went to third on a groundout. Oshima singled to center and Shiotani crossed. Shortstop Makoto Shiozaki singled to center and Tani singled to right to bring in Oshima for a 3-1 advantage.
Two innings later, Orix leftfielder Koji Takamizawa singled to center and Oshima walked. The two runners were sacrificed over. Tani singled to center to exploit them for a 5-1 lead.
Nippon Ham made it closer, though, in the home half, as DH D.T. Cromer walked and third baseman Takaya Hayashi singled to center. One out later, catcher Kazunari Sanematsu singled to left and Cromer strode in to make it 5-2.
In the fifth, the Fighters chipped away once more, as shortstop Hiroshi Narahara beat out a roller toward second. Ogasawara singled to left. Two outs later, Hayashi singled to left and Narahara skittered across and it was 5-3.
The Orix relief corps governed the Nippon Ham order on one hit over the final four innings to maintain their lead and engender the victory.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-3 with a walk and is at .245.
7-3) IP 6.2 PC 118 H 9 HR 0 K 8
BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.12
T. Yamamoto IP 0.1 PC 1 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.77
Kawagoe IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.00
J. Hagiwara (S, 10) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.82
Kanemura (L, 9-5) IP 3.1 PC 66 H 10
HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 5 ER 4 ERA 3.18
A. Shimizu IP 4.0 PC 54 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.31
Shibakusa IP 1.2 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.65
E: Takamizawa, Morimoto
3B: Y. Tanaka
RBI: K. Oshima, Tani 3, Goshima, Y. Tanaka, Hayashi
HBP: T. Noguchi (Ogura), Goshima (A. Shimizu), Hidaka (A. Shimizu), Satake (Shibakusa)
Season Series: Orix 10, Nippon Ham 15 2 Ties
Game Time: 3:17
Umpires: Yanagida (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Tsugawa (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Ichiro Sees No Difference Between This Season and 2001
Is he kidding? See Seattle Times article at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134545851_mari01.html
Yakult Shortstop Takahiro Ikeyama Retires
Yakult Swallows shortstop Takahiro Ikeyama broke the mold of the little slick fielding Japanese shortstop with little power whose sac bunts would always outnumber his homers. Instead, Ikeyama, six feet tall and a wiry 165 pounds, went up hacking and piled up 304 homers in his 19 year career, including five straight seasons of 30 or more between 1988 and 1992, the first ever such accomplishment for a Japanese shortstop and the first time any Yakult player had done that. The homers came with a price, though, as he also struckout over 120 times in four of those five campaigns, including a lifetime high of 148, the third most for a season in Japanese history, in 477 at bats in 1992 to lead the league, earning him the nickname "Bun Bun Maru (boom boom nothing)" from Swallows fans, as he played on four Japan Series championship clubs.
His first contact with organized baseball was playing Little League in Hyogo Prefecture when he was a fifth grader and he also ran track in junior high. Moving on to high school, he played at the Koshien Baseball Tournament in 1983 with Amagasaki High School before he was drafted number two the same year by Yakult.
Ikeyama was athletic and an excellent fielder with good range and a powerful arm. He became a regular in 1987, when he hit .250 with 13 homers and 46 RBIs. The following season, though, saw him ramp up his power numbers dramatically, as him and first baseman Katsumi Hirosawa became a potent combination in the batting order.
Ikeyama's defense, though, didn't pale in comparison to his offense, as he still holds the all time single season record for fielding percentage in a season with just four errors in 682 chances in 1992. He usually lost out to the less flashy Masahiro Kawai of the Yomiuri Giants in the Gold glove voting, so 1992 was the only occasion he was rewarded for his outstanding work in that department. In 1997, he moved over to third, but injuries would force him to cede that spot to Akinori Iwamura.
In 1993, he began to be afflicted by the injury bug and in 1996, he suffered a severed Achilles tendon, limiting him to 53 games. Eventually, this gave Shinya Miyamoto a lot of playing time and Ikeyama was eased out of a starting role.
started to decline noticeably starting with the 1999 campaign and he was
confined to mostly a pinch hitting role the last two years. On May 6, 2001
at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium, he jacked a Ken Yamasaki pitch into the
rightfield seats for his 300th homer, a three run seventh inning shot that
made him the 24th in history to attain that figure. He was fifth in career
homers among active players before retiring today. He had initially hoped
to play in 2003, too, but he revealed to reporters, "I was watching video
footage of my past performances and it seemed like a different person doing
it." Thus, his decision to call it a day. He will reportedly become a baseball
His total stats are: G 1783 AB 5806 H 1520 HR 304 RBI 898 AVG .262.
Aside from the fielding and consecutive season homer records, he also holds the mark for most RBI in a single inning with seven (a three run homer and a grand slam in 1993). Ikeyama was named to five Best Nine teams and eight all star aggregations. As far as Swallows team rankings goes, he is third all time in games played, third in hits and first in homers and RBIs. He also hit for the cycle against the Chunichi Dragons on August 23rd, 1990 at Meiji Jingu Stadium, getting a triple in his final at bat, and clouted ten grand slams. He had five lifetime walk off homers.
His hobbies are golf, horse racing, shogi, and playing cards. Ikeyama is married to wife Yurika and has two sons and a daughter.
Yokohama's Saito to Go to MLB
Yokohama Bay Stars closer Takashi Saito says that he intends to join an MLB team as a free agent next season.
He was recently evaluated to a good review from the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers are said to also be mulling a run at the 32 year old righty, too. He throws in the low 90's with a slider (actually, more of a slurve with downward movement), being his out pitch. Has thrown as hard as 95mph in his career. He also has a slow curve, a changeup, a forkball that he will throw mainly to righthanded hitters, and a "shuuto" (a running fastball that he'll try to bore in on righthanded hitters). went on the DL with shoulder pain, then came back in late august and has been giving up homers.
Saito is a Miyagi Prefecture native who went to Tohoku High School and then moved on to Sendai Fukushi University, which also produced Kazuhiro Sasaki and Kazuhiro Wada to name but two. He was drafted number one in 1991 and earned his first pro win on April 29, 1993 against the Yomiuri Giants. He lead the Central League in strikeouts in 1996 and picked up a Comeback Player of the Year Award for 1998 after winning two games against the Seibu Lions in that year's Japan Series for a championship ballclub. In 2001, he became the 104th pitcher in Japanese history to 1000 strikeouts, the ememorable whiff coming against Yakult Swallows third baseman Akinori Iwamura on June 26th.
He trained with Shigetoshi Hasegawa in Anaheim in this past offseason. He has had some injury problems, including surgery on his elbow in 1997 that caused him to sit out the entire year. Historically, he has had a problem keeping the ball in the ballpark. Consequently, since he is around the plate, is a fastball-slider kind of guy, has a large frame and has seen a lot of his pitches turned into souvenirs, he may remind some of James Baldwin, not exactly a flattering comparison. He is a three time all star and is presently making about $1.5 million. Saito is married to wife Yukiko and has two daughters.
Season to date stats:
G 39 W 1 L 2 S 20 IP 47.2 H 37 HR 5 K 46 BB 15 HBP 4 WP 0 R 17 ER 13 ERA 2.45 Batting average against is 2.08
Daiei Releases Five Players
The Daiei Hawks trimmed their roster by five earlier today, as Pitchers Taira Suzuki, Masahiro Doi, and Tetsu Yofu as well as outfielders Rin Ono and Kazuto Moriyama were given their walking papers.
The lanky Suzuki, 6'2" and 170 pounds, came up with Yakult in 1989 had his best season in 1996, when he went 7-2 with 19 saves and a 2.43 ERA in 55 games. That was his only season with double figures in that category, though, as he played three more years with Orix before being let go and catching on with the Chunichi Dragons in 2001 and then Daiei this season, where he was in 12 games and went 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA in 12 innings. For his career, he is 27-20 with 36 saves and an ERA of just over 3.00.
Yofu was a 29 year old 2001 number seven draft choice who never pitched with the big club this season. There is a Yofu who pitches in Taiwan. I wonder if it is him or a relative?
Doi had just one appearance with the Hawks in 2002, and is 5-1 for his six season career with an ERA of around 4.60.
Ono had three seasons, mostly in the minors, with Yomiuri before coming to Fukuoka in 2001. His average is .161 in 31 career at bats. Moriyama had 15 career at bats in five seasons, batting .067. His one hit was a home run.
Orix Releases Three Players
The Orix Blue Wave allowed three players to seek other opportunities today, those being pitcher Tsutomu Tamura, catcher Mitsuhiro Kubo and infielder Kiyoshi Arai.
Tamura, 37, came up with Hanshin in 1991 and then went to Orix last year. He racked up 14 saves in 1992 and then 22 more in 1993 before moving into more of a middle relief role. He was 13-12 for his career with about a 2.90 ERA in 285 appearances.
Kubo, 28, had just five career at bats with one hit for a .200 average. Arai, 33, came up with Yakult in 1993 before scooting over to Yokohama in 1997 and then Orix last year. He had 205 lifetime at bats with a .180 average. He saw no action with the first team this season.
Kuo Triple, Olenberger Relief Get Kaohsiung in Playoffs
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/30/story/0000170219
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 30th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1962, the Toei Flyers won their first ever PL pennant.
Also on that date in 1965, it was decided that each ballclub could have as many as two foreign players.
Also on that date in 1960, Kokutetsu Swallows great Masaichi Kaneda made it ten years in a row with at least 20 wins.
September 29, 2002
Johjima RBI Single in Tenth Topples Seibu; Cabrera Walked Twice
A single down the leftfield line with men on first and second by Daiei Hawks pinch hitter Kenji Johjima off of Seibu Lions reliever Koji Mitsui in the bottom of the tenth Sunday at Fukuoka Dome enabled the birds of prey to beat the Tokorozawa contingent by a 5-4 margin. Lions slugger Alex Cabrera, who was inserted into the DH role in this one, didn't homer and remains at 54 on the season.
Daiei starter Kenichi Wakatabe was battered for nine hits and four runs, two of them earned, in 5.1 innings, but Lions starter Takashi Ishii wasn't much better, surrendering three runs on eight hits in five innings. Neither man figured in the decision, which instead went to 19 year old rookie righty Hayato Terahara, who was promoted to the big club from the minors after rehabbing a leg injury for his first appearance in two months. The youngster went four outstanding inningsof two hit shutout ball to notch his fifth win.
The contest hinged on who was going to make the best of the ample scoring opportunities provided by Wakatabe and Ishii and it was Seibu who perhaps lost this one due to a blown chance in the first. Lions Shortstop Kazuo Matsui lead off the contest with a single to center. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki singled to right. Both were sacrificed over. Cabrera, not surprisingly, was intentionally walked to load the bases. First baseman Tom Evans struckout. Centerfielder Susumo Otomo then grounded to first and a potential rally was frustrated.
Daiei took their turn and edged out to a lead. Centerfielder Kazuyuki Takahashi commenced it with a double down the rightfield line. Leftfielder Takeshi Tsuji laid down a sac bunt, but Ishii bobbled it and everyone was safe. Rightfielder Hiroshi Shibahara singled to left and Takahashi trotted in with a 1-0 Hawks advantage.
Seibu, unlike in the first, then retaliated by making the best of their situation in the second. With one down, catcher Satoshi Nakajima singled to center and then galloped in when second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi sliced a forkball into the leftfield corner for a triple to deadlock it at one all. Matsui singled to center and Takagi jogged in to make it 2-1 Lions. Ozeki singled to left and Matsui hotfooted it for third. Ozeki stole second. One out later, Cabrera was intentionally walked again to pack the sacks. That worked out for Daiei once more, as Evans whiffed to end the inning.
The Hawks then knotted it 2-2 in the fourth when first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka doubled to rightcenter and DH Noriyoshi Omichi did likewise.
Takahashi ignited a little uprising in the fifth to put his side in front, as he and Tsuji both singled to center with one away and Shibahara cashed Takahashi in with a single to right to make it 3-2 Hawks.
Wakatabe, though, coughed it right back up in the sixth, as third baseman Hiroshi Hirao singled to left and was sacrificed to second. Takagi grounded to shortstop Yusuke Torigoe, who misplayed it for an error, and Hirao crossed. Matsui singled to center to redeem Takagi and Seibu was back at the head of the pack at 4-3.
Daiei, however, didn't let that get them down and they got a one out single to left in the bottom half by Torigoe, a single to right by catcher Masanori Taguchi that allowed Torigoe to sprint to third, and a grounder to second from third baseman Mizuki Tanaka that tied it at 4-4.
So on to the bottom of the tenth inning and Omichi lead it off with a single to right and Motoi Okoshi pinch ran. Okoshi was sacrificed to second. Torigoe was intentionally walked to keep the double play in order. Johjima was sent up to hit for Taguchi and he lashed one near the line to usher in Okoshi for a walkoff single and a 5-4 Hawks triumph.
Terahara, who was once clocked at 98mph at the Koshien Summer Baseball Tournament, was told by his pitching coach to emphasize hitting his spots over velocity. Thus, he threw a lot of sliders in this outing and was clocked at a high of 89mph. Pretty gutty performance by the teenager. Cabrera is 0-7 with three strikeouts against him.
The Lions got some good news. It seems as if both pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka and outfielder/DH Kazuhiro Wada will indeed be ready to go for the Japan Series. Matsuzaka, who has recently been fighting a flexor muscle problem in his leg, may even open the Series on the hill.
Matsui went 3-5, his 20th game with three hits or more on the year, to raise his average to .332. Moreover, he has more career three or more hits displays than Ichiro now.
For Seibu Cabrera was 1-3 with two walks and is at .336. Evans was 0-5 with three strikeouts and is at .258.
See related article at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020930wo53.htm
Ishii IP 5.0 PC 70 H 8 HR 0 K 1
BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.28
Uchizono IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.33
Mizuo IP 2.0 PC 35 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.85
Mitsui (L, 10-2) IP 0.1 PC 19 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.22
IP 5.1 PC 99 H 9 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 2 ERA 3.00
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.2 PC 3 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.63
Terahara (W, 5-2) IP 4.0 PC 63 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.01
E: Torigoe, Takashi Ishii
SB: Ozeki, Shibahara
2B: Takahashi, Matsunaka, Omichi,
3B: H. Takagi
RBI: K. Matsui 2, H. Takagi, Shibahara 2, Omichi, Johjima, M. Tanaka
IBB: Cabrera 2, Torigoe
Season Series: Seibu 16, Daiei 11
Game Time: 3:58
Umpires: Kodera (HP), Kakigizono (1B), Yamamura (2B), Nagami (3B)
Matsui Homer for Nought in Loss to Dragons
Chunichi Dragons starter Shigeki Noguchi held the Yomiuri Giants to two runs on four hits through seven innings Sunday at Tokyo Dome and his teammates in the batting order produced two eighth innings runs that terminated a 2-2 deadlock, as the Nagoya outfit then got two innings of one hit ball from a pair of relievers to emerge triumphant 4-2. Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui celebrated tying Kokutetsu Swallows great Tokuji Iida for second place on the all time consecutive games list at 1246 by crushing a first pitch slider in the fifth for a two run homer that both evened the score and gave him his third consecutive campaign with 100 or more RBIs.
Koji Uehara made his last start of the regular season for the kyojin and surpassed 200 innings in a season for the first time in his career, as he went eight innings and was responsible for all four Dragons tallies to get hung with the loss. The last one to accumulate that many frames in the Central League? It was Noguchi, who did it three years ago. And Uehara was the first Yomiuri hurler to pass that standard since Balvino Galvez in 1996.
Uehara plunked Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata to start the game and, two outs later, third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami wacked a long single off the rightfield wall. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige singled to right to plate Ibata and make it 1-0.
The Dragons then utilized three more safeties in the third to go up 2-0, as Morino leadoff with an infield single, rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome singled to right to move Masahiko Morino over to third and Tatsunami brought him home with a groundout to first.
Yomiuri had the bases loaded with two outs on a single and two walks in the fourth, but leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu popped out to exterminate that bit of noise. However, Matsui followed an infield hit by rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi by applying substantial force to a slider that was down and away and mortaring it well into the rightcenterfield seats to level it at 2-2. You can see a pic of that swing at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/09/30/20020930005756.jpg
Morino then got another Dragons rally rolling in the eighth with a leadoff single to right. Fukudome scorched one down the rightfield line for a double. One out later, Tanishige grounded to third baseman Masahiro Kawai, who went home with it, but Morino was ahead of the tag. Hiroyuki Watanabe flew out to right and Tanishige tagged and scored to lend the Dragons a 4-2 edge.
Hitoki Iwase worked a perfect bottom of the eighth and Eddie Gaillard retired three of the four men he faced in the ninth to seal it for Chunichi.
With his fifth overall 100 RBI season, Matsui moves into a fourth place tie all time with Shigeo Nagashima and former Hankyu Braves first baseman Boomer Wells. Former Hiroshima Carp Koji Yamamoto had six, Katsuya Nomura seven and Sadaharu Oh 14. Matsui's recent funk at the plate, he believes, is due to thinking too much about the batting title and therefore letting too many hittable pitches go by while swinging at balls out of the strike zone.
Kawai sacrificed twice and needs seven more to exceed Philadelphia A's hall of famer Eddie Collins' world record.
Dragons infielder Leo Gomez is indeed going to retire since his knees aren't going to carry him much further on the diamond. But Gaillard's option was picked up and he will be back closing in Japan in 2003. The team would still like to re-sign Mel Bunch, but his status is uncertain right now due to his health.
No foreign players appeared in the game.
Noguchi (W, 2-1) IP 7.0 PC 105
H 4 HR 1 K 5 BB 5 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.50
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.11
Gaillard (S, 33) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.36
Uehara (L, 17-5) IP 8.0 PC 119 H 8 HR
0 K 8 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.60
Kamoshida IP 1.0 PC 15 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
HR: H. Matsui (46)
RBI: H. Matsui 2, Tatsunami, Tanishige 2, H.Y. Watanabe
SF: H.Y. Watanabe
HBP: Ibata (Uehara)
Season Series: Chunichi 12, Yomiuri 16
Game Time: 2:38
Umpires: Manabe (HP), Kasahara (1B), Sasaki (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Hanshin Seven Run Rally in Eighth Beats Yokohama 7-2
Yokohama Bay Stars starter Shane Bowers and three relievers had trouble getting anyone out in the eighth inning, as the Hanshin Tigers sent 12 men to the plate and amassed eight hits and a walk for seven runs to overcome a 3-0 deficit and whip the Stars 7-3.
During the first seven innings, Bowers had quieted the Tigers on one hit, but he was cuffed around for three hits to open the eighth and the rally was on.
Kei Igawa started for Hanshin and fought himself somewhat, as he had to deliver to home 122 times in seven innings and gave up three runs on seven hits and three walks, but the big Hanshin surge ultimately resulted in his 13th shiroboshi.
Yokohama put themselves in an advantageous position almost immediately, as Makoto Fukumoto singled to right and shortstop Takuro Ishii walked. Fukumoto stole third. Katsuaki Furuki grounded to second for a force on Ishii as Fukumoto crossed. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues walked. Koike singled to right and Furuki set the controls for the heart of the plate and it was 2-0 Stars.
In the third, Fukumoto leadoff with an infield single and then was forced at second by Ishii. Furuki singled to center and Rodrigues singled to right to provide cover for Ishii toeing the dish to make it 3-0 Yokohama.
Hanshin rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama, who, if press reports are correct, is going to stay in Osaka despite earlier indications that he might consider offers from elsewhere, ended Bowers no hit bid in the fifth, when he legged out a tapper toward first.
The former Minnesota Twin then went on to toss two more hitless frames before he collapsed in the eighth. Shortstop Shuta Tanaka leadoff with a single to left. Koji Hirashita and Katsumi Hirosawa both singled to center to make it 3-1 and oust Bowers in favor of Atsushi Kizuka. Ryo Asai pinch ran for Hirosawa. Taichiro Kamisaka singled to center to jam the basepaths. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi grounded to second with the infield up, Fukumoto winging it to the plate for the force. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka struckout. Leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka had his bat splintered, but the ball parachuted into centerfield and both Asai and Kamisaka dashed in to even it at 3-3. Takeshita replaced Kizuka. Hiyama singled to center and Akahoshi strode in. First baseman George Arias singled to left for two more. Tanaka walked. Taniguchi was given the ball and Hiroshi Yagi singled to left for an RBI and it was 7-3 Tigers. Asai grounded to short to put an end to the carnage.
Mark Valdez ambled in from the pen for the ninth and eleven pitches later, Hanshin had a win.
Hanshin announced that righthander Hisanori Yokota was going to be released. He was 1-1 with an ERA of 6.00 in two appearances this season. He began his career with Seibu in 1987 before moving on to Lotte in 2001. Lifetime he is 26-43 with an ERA of approximately 3.60.
To shore up their pitching next season, Hanshin is looking at Hiroshima native Hirotaka Egusa, a 5'10" 170 pound Senshu University southpaw whose fastball maxes out at about 90mph and he reportedly has a "unique" curve ball (maybe a knuckle curve?) plus a slider and a forkball. He had pitched mostly in relief until this year. According to the good folks at Mei Scout, Egusa has tremendous finish on his pitches and that characteristic also imbues him with a certain amount of deception. However, they then go on to say that after about five innings, he starts losing the feel on his pitches and they tend to begin flattening out. He could help Hanshin in the pen, where they badly need some fresh blood, but his future as a potential starter doesn't seem very promising. You can see an mpg of him at: http://www.byakuya-shobo.co.jp/kozo/movie/moviefile/egusa.mov
Another pitcher that Hanshin is keeping an eye on is righthander Naohisa Sugiyama of Ryukoku University, whose heater tops out at about 92mph. Hailing from Maizuru, Kyoto and having started playing organized baseball as a fourth grader, the six foot, 170 pounder threw a no hitter as a junior. To accompany his fastball, he has a hard slider, a curve ball that he will change speeds on, a changeup and slider. He is reportedly very poised on the mound and consistently keeps his pitches down. You can see an mpg of him at: http://www.byakuya-shobo.co.jp/kozo/movie/moviefile/sugiyamanaohisa.mov
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-3 with an RBI, a walk, and two strikeouts and is at .263.
For Hanshin, Arias was 1-4 with two RBIs and is at .253.
Igawa (W, 13-9) IP 7.0 PC 122 H 7 HR 0 K 6
BB 3 R 3 ER 2 ERA 2.54
Yoshino IP 0.1 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
Ando IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.75
M. Valdez IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.54
IP 7.0 PC 112 H 4 HR 0 K 2 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.77
Kizuka (L, 1-3) IP 0.2 PC 16 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.92
Takeshita IP 0.0 PC 9 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 4.66
Taniguchi IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.65
Chiba IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
E: Fujimoto, T. Ishii
SB: Akahoshi, Fukumoto
2B: K.N. Tanaka, Furuki, Kamisaka
RBI: Hamanaka 2, Hiyama, Arias 2, Hirosawa, Yagi, Rodrigues, Koike
HBP: Akahoshi (Bowers)
Season Series: Hanshin 17, Yokohama 10 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:30
Umpires: ? (HP), Watamari (1B), Arisumi (2B), Ino (3B)
Powell Throws Four Hit 2-0 Shutout
Kintetsu Buffaloes righthander Jeremy Powell wove his fourth shutout of the season Sunday at Osaka Dome, as his four hitter was backed by big flies from both second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi and leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes for a 2-0 victory over Nippon Ham. Two of the four knocks that Powell permitted were of the infield variety and nobody got farther than second base, so dominating was his performance. In addition, only five Fighters outs reached the outfield. Of course, Powell putting the screws to the Tokyo outfit is nothing new, as five of his 16 2002 shiroboshi were at Nippon Ham's expense.
Tatsuhito Kato started for the Fighters and threw one heck of a ballgame himself, as he also was touched for four hits while exhibiting a fine curve ball. Unfortunately, two of those left the ballpark and he remains winless on the year.
The Buffs were being no hit until the fourth, when Mizuguchi tagged a Kato fastball and propelled it over the leftfield fence for a 1-0 lead.
Powell finally gave up his first solid basehit in the seventh, but then induced a double play ball from leftfielder Yukio Tanaka to wipe it off the basepaths.
In the eighth, Rhodes saw something he liked and set it free to roam the rightcenterfield seats and it was 2-0 Kintetsu. That was the ex-Cub's first loong distance runaround in six games.
Nippon Ham mustered a single with two out in the ninth, but the next man grounded out and that was the closest Powell had to any drama.
Buffs manager Masataka Nashida said after the game that he would like to work Powell in three of the team's final 11 games. The question is, why? He's already thrown 203 innings. Since these games are largely meaningless, Nashida ought to be looking to shut Powell down for the season, not ramping up his workload.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .267.
For Nippon Ham, DH D.T. Cromer was 0-3 and is at .246.
T. Kato (L, 0-3) IP 8.0 PC 139 H 4 HR 2 K 4 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.96
Powell (W, 16-9) IP 9.0 PC 121 H 4 HR 0 K 8 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.67
SB: Morimoto, Moritani
2B: N. Nakamura
HR: Mizuguchi (3), Rhodes (44)
RBI: Mizuguchi, Rhodes
GIDP: Y. Tanaka
Season Series: Nippon Ham 12, Kintetsu 13
Game Time: 2:31
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Shirai (1B), Fujimoto (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Kato Shuts Out Orix on Three Hits 2-0
Now that Kosuke Kato seems to have found something resembling a groove, Lotte manager Koji Yamamoto has to be wondering where Kato was the first half of the season. Anyway, the young hurler went eight shutout innings of two hit ball while walking none and striking out eight in what was arguably his finest moment of 2002. It was his first shiroboshi in a hair under a month.
Satoshi Tokumoto started for Orix and threw a dandy himself, as he went eight innings of two run ball on five hits, though he walked four, to lose his second against one win.
Lotte put up the only run they would need in the first when shortstop Makoto Kosaka walked, went to second on a sac bunt, and then loped on home when first baseman Kazuya Fukuura torched a Kato pitch into the rightcenter alley for an RBI double and a 1-0 lead.
In the third, Kosaka primed his team to score again when he leadoff with a triple up the rightcenter gap and then tagged and went home on a fly to center from centerfielder Saburo Omura to make it 2-0.
This affair required just two hours and nine minutes to complete, the fastest Pacific League tilt of the season.
Scott Sheldon didn't play because he hurt his hamstring. There is a good chance he will be back next season even after being in manager Hiromichi Ishige's doghouse for a while due to less than desirable offensive production earlier in the season.
Orix centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani stole his 40th base in the first inning. He leads all of Japanese baseball in that category.
For Lotte, DH Derrick May was 1-3 and is at .269.
Tokumoto (L, 1-2) IP 8.0 PC 125 H 5 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.95
K. Kato (W,
9-14) IP 7.0 PC 86 H 2 HR 0 K 8
BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.86
Sikorsky IP 1.0 PC 6 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.63
M. Kobayashi (S, 31) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.97
2B: Fukuura, May
RBI: S. Omura, Fukuura
SF: S. Omura
Season Series: Orix 12, Lotte 14
Game Time: 2:09
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Nakamura (2B), Kawaguchi (3B)
Sasaoka Two Hits Yakult 5-1
Hiroshima Carp starter Shinji Sasaoka had excellent command of his slider and "shuuto," as he was able to place those pitches on the outside corner at will to flummox the Yakult Swallows Sunday at Hiroshima Municipal Stadium 5-1. Kojiro Machida, normally a bench player, was penciled into the starting lineup and had a great night, blasting two homers and, as Stuart Scott would say, got freaky with the leather to deny a basehit.
Rookie screwballer Masanori Ishikawa started for Yakult and was pretty solid, having given up two runs on seven hits through 7.2. innings. Ishikawa is only about 5'6", so stamina is going to be an issue and when you consider that he was already over 120 pitches and ended up at 141 when he finally finished off the eighth, this is yet another illustration of a manager going too far with thi starter, especially when you have Hirotoshi Ishii and Ryota Igarashi in the pen. So he gave up a basehit and then the following two hitters each went deep to effectively clinch it for the Carp.
Shinji Sasaoka started for Hiroshima and had his best outing in a dinkey's years, as he went all the way by sinking the Swallows on two hits and a run while throwing only 100 pitches. It was his first complete game since April 5th.
Ishikawa got off to a bad beginning when Kazuki Fukuchi leadoff the bottom of the first with a shot down the leftfield line for a double and was sacrificed to third. Centerfielder Koichi Ogata flew out to right and it was 1-0 Carp.
In the top of the seventh and one away, Yakult third baseman Akinori Iwamura came up and drilled one down the first base line that had two bagger written all over it. But Machida dove and snagged it for the out.
Then in the bottom of the inning, Machida applied maximum force to an Ishikawa offering and a fan in the leftfield seats had a souvenir and the Carp were up 2-0.
Sasaoka tried to bore a shuuto in on Alex Ramirez to commence the eighth and missed, the ex-Indian lambasting it into the centerfield bleachers to make it 2-1.
After Ishikawa got the first two outs in the eighth, rightfielder Tomonori Maeda singled to center. Third baseman Takahiro Arai then left the yard to right. Machida was next and he jerked one into the rightcenterfield stands and it was 5-1 Hiroshima. Sasaoka then worked a 1-2-3 ninth to bring down the curtain.
Carp hurler Yasuyuki Yamauchi announced that he was retiring at age 29. Yamauchi graduated from Onomichi Commercial High School in Hiroshima Prefecture and moved on to Nikkyu in the Japanese industrial leagues. He was drafted number one in 1994 and posted a 14-10 record to win Rookie of the Year honors. He then accumulated another 11 triumphs a year later, but then he began to have elbow and knee problems. He only appeared twice this season. Lifetime, he was in 183 games, going 44-41 with one save.
In the other dugout, Yakult informed the press that reliever Alan Newman would not be renewed for 2003. The big 33 year old lefthanded ex-Cleveland Indian's two year tenure in Japan has, similar to Yamauchi, often been pockmarked by injury. He went 3-4 with a 4.18 ERA in 17 games last season and then made 42 appearances in 2002 in both starting and relief roles, going 2-3 with a 3.52 ERA.
Masanori Ishikawa (L, 9-9) IP 8.0 PC 141 H 10 HR 3 K 6 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.31
Sasaoka (W, 8-7) IP 9.0 PC 100 H 2 HR 1 K 7 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.13
HR: Machida 2 (6), Ramirez (23), Arai (26)
RBI: Ramirez, Ogata, Arai 2, Machida 2
Season Series: Yakult 12, Hiroshima 10 2 Ties
Game Time: 2:28
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), Tomoyori (1B), Nemoto (2B), Shimada (3B)
Rangers Trey Hillman Takes Nippon Ham Managing Job
In a very
surprising development, Texas Rangers minor league executive Trey Hillman,
39, has agreed to take the managing job of the
Nippon Ham Fighters next season, according to Sports Nippon. He has also managed in the Yankees system, in all boasting 13 years of experience in MLB systems handling prospects. He becomes the first foreigner to manage a Japanese ballclub since Bobby Valentine did it for the Chiba Lotte Marines in 1995. Others who have done that in the past include Joe Lutz (Hiroshima) and Don Blasingame (Hanshin).
Most Japanese baseball observers had been expecting the job to go former Yokohama Bay Stats skipper Akihiko Ohya, who managed a developing ballclub for two years in 1996-1997. Like Hillman, Ohya has a reputation for being able to develop young players. However, Hillman's presence gives Nippon Ham some credibility in terms of associatiing with MLB, providing one of Japan's least popular teams some more marketing punch as it prepares to move to Sapporo in 2004.
The Nippon Ham Fighters parent corporation has recently been rocked by a meat labeling scandal and the buzz this will create may also help to focus some attention away from a scandal that has hurt the company badly.
Another Oh in the Wings?
See Everett Herald article at: http://heraldnet.com/Stories/02/8/10/15744138.cfm?cityid=20
Tokyo Dome Hotel Also Tied to Yakuza
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/national/K2002092800192.html
Wada Shutout String Ends at 52.1 Innings in 1-0 Loss
Waseda University lefthander Tsuyoshi Wada, who is one of the more highly sought after college pitchers for the November pro draft, had his shutout string of 52.1 innings broken earlier today when he got taken deep by infielder Tsuyoshi Watanabe with two outs in the 11th inning in a 1-0 loss to Hosei University. He needed to get one more batter out to tie a 14 year old league record, but didn't do it. Ryutaro Doi, who, like Wada, is going to be a high draft choice, went all the way for the win.
Wada also struckout another 14 and needs just ten more to break Yutaka Enatsu's all time Tokyo Big Six University League career record of 443.
Martinez Pitches Sinon Bulls to Victory in Taiwan Action
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/29/story/0000170092
The Rise of the Asian Athlete
See Slate article at: http://slate.msn.com/?id=2071629&device=
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for
September 29th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1974, Nippon
Ham catcher Hiroshi Takahashi played all nine positions in a game against
the Nankai Hawks at Korakuen Stadium. He was a .254 career hitter who played
with three teams over 18 seasons. His lifetime OPS was .665.
Evans RBI Single in Tenth Wins it for Seibu; Cabrera 3-5 No Homer
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera got a good pitch to hit in the sixth inning of Saturday's game with the Daiei Hawks, but he hit it a little toward the end of the bat and the ball ended up carroming a little more than halfway up the 18 foot centerfield wall at Fukuoka Dome for a double to be denied a record tying 55th homer, but he ended up continuing his Triple Crown bid by finishing the night 3-5 with an RBI to raise his average to .336 and edge out Nippon Ham first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara for the top spot in the batting race by a hair.
So it was left up to Lions third baseman Tom Evans after his team blew a four run lead and allowed the Hawks to knot it at 5-5 in the seventh, the contest eventually going into the tenth, where the former Tigers and Rangers infielder banged a two out single to center with a man on second in the top of the inning to spur Seibu to a 6-5 victory. Tomoki Hoshino, in a rare appearance (just his eighth this year and his 35th lifetime), was credited with this second shiroboshi while Shuji Yoshida was blamed for the defeat.
At the outset, it looked as if it would be a Lions cakewalk, as they put up a four spot in the first inning against Kazumi Saito. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki wacked a one out double to rightcenter and leftfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji whizzed a shot into the leftfield corner to score Ozeki on his own two bagger. Cabrera spanked a single to left to redeem Miyaji and then Evans unloaded a rocket into the leftfield stands and it was 4-0.
But the offenses slowed down from there until the fourth, when Daiei first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka went yard to right to make it 4-1 Lions.
In the sixth, Miyaji leadoff by grounding a ball to Matsunaka, who booted it. Saito threw Cabrera an 88mph fastball on the outer half of the plate and he cruised into second while a relay to the plate cut down Miyaji. Cabrera then advanced to third on a deep fly ball to right by Evans. Centerfielder Susumu Otomo doubled to leftcenter and Cabrera crossed for a 5-1 Lions advantage.
Daiei's lineup took its turn in the home half and they crept closer to their opponent. Leftfielder Yudai Deguchi leadoff with a single to center and, one out later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo dropped a bomb on Lions starter Hsu Ming-chieh, torquing it out to leftcenter for his 31st dinger and it was 5-3 Lions.
Yoshihiro Doi was summoned from the bullpen for the seventh and got only one out before it was a new ballgame. Centerfielder Kazuyuki Takahashi commenced the inning by grounding out to second, but then rightfielder Hiroshi Shibahara laced one into the leftcenter gap for a double. Deguchi walked. DH Noriyoshi Omichi then penetrated the leftcenter alley as well and both Deguchi and Shibahara raced across the plate for a 5-5 tie. Kokubo was intentionally walked. Doi then induced a popout and a groundout to ensure that it remained deadlocked.
In the ninth, the Hawks had two on with one out against Hoshino, but two fly balls to center extinguished that flame.
So it went to the tenth and the Lions used their speed to scoop up a triumph. With one away, pinch hitter Toshiaki Inubushi walked and was pinch run for by Tomoaki Sato, who then stole second. Cabrera went for a pitch out of the zone and fanned. Evans, though, slapped it back through the middle and Sato sped the final 180 feet to the plate and it was 6-5 Seibu.
Closer Kiyoshi Toyoda mosied in with a chance to tie Akinori Otsuka's Pacific League saves record, which was 35. Catcher Kenji Johjima beat out a bleeder toward second and was pinch run for by Motoi Okoshi, who was sacrificed to second. But Koji Bonishi struckout and Takahashi grounded out to second and that was that.
Because this series is between Daiei, managed by homer record holder Oh, the Japanese press has been exploring the relationship between him and Cabrera. The latest article has Cabrera supposedly not even knowing who Oh was before coming to Japan, which is hard to believe. Aside from the fact that he comes from a baseball mad country, Vanezuela, he has also played in Taiwan, where Oh is a national hero. For his part, Oh woudl only tell reporters that game situations will dictate how Cabrera is pitched. You can see a pic of Cabrera's swing on that double at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020929-6.jpg
For Seibu, Evans was 2-5 with three RBIs and is at .263.
IP 6.0 PC 98 H 7 HR 2 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.73
Doi IP 1.0 PC 22 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.61
T. Hoshino (W, 2-0) IP 2.0 PC 28 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.08
Toyoda (S, 35) IP 1.0 PC 17 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.83
IP 9.0 PC 144 H 8 HR 1 K 10 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.48
S. Yoshida (L, 7-4) IP 1.0 PC 24 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.24
SB: T. Sato
2B: Ozeki, Miyaji, Cabrera, Shibahara, Omichi,
HR: Evans (14), Matsunaka (28), Kokubo (31)
RBI: Miyaji, Cabrera, Evans 3,Otomo, Omichi 2, Kokubo 2, Matsunaka
HBP: Noda (K. Saito)
Season Series: Seibu 16, Daiei 10
Umpires: Hayashi (HP), Yamamura (1B), Nagami (2B), Kodera (3B)
Holt One Hits Hanshin 2-0
A one out single in the top of the first Saturday at Yokohama Stadium was all that stood between Yokohama Bay Stars starter Chris Holt and history, as he went on to retire 26 of the next 28 men for a complete game one hit 2-0 shutout of the Hanshin Tigers. The other two got aboard on consecutive errors in the fifth. This was the ex-Rockie's second shutout of the season.
Holt had been up and down over the last two months, going 1-6 during that time. But this time out, he lured the Tigers lineup into 11 groundouts, five strikeouts, and six pop ups with a good sinker. In other words, he utterly dominated the Osaka favorite sons, this being the low point of a Hanshin season that fell apart once summer set in.
Yokohama racked up four stolen bases and they used one of those to pull in front in the third. With two outs, centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka singled to right and then dashed for second successfully with rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura in the batter's box. Tamura then converted Tanaka with a single to left to make it 1-0.
Holt himself then got into the act, as he singled to center to leadoff the
fifth and shortstop Takuro Ishii doubled into the rightfield corner. One
out later, Hanshin starter Tetsuro Kawajiri, who was victimized by his team's
lackluster attack in losing the game, nailed Tamura to load the bases. Third
baseman Katsuaki Furuki flew out to center and Holt tagged and hit the dish
for a 2-0 lead. Holt then took it from there and this one was
complete in less than two and a half hours. It also assured that the Tigers would finish under .500 for the tenth consecutive campaign.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-3 and is at .253.
For Yokohama, Holt was 1-3 and is at .091.
Kawajiri (L, 5-4)
IP 7.0 PC 116 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.76
Kanazawa IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.55
Holt (W, 6-9) IP 9.0 PC 113 H 1 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.48
E: Manei, Furuki
SB: Akahoshi, T. Ishii, K. Tanaka 2, Tamura
2B: T. Ishii
RBI: Furuki, Tamura
HBP: Tamura (Kawajiri)
Season Series: Hanshin 16 Yokohama 10 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:24
Umpires: Mori (HP), Arisumi (1B), Ino (2B), ? (3B)
Takahashi Slam Gets Kudoh Win Despite Lackluster Outing
Yomiuri Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi took Chunichi Dragons starter Daisuke Yamai over the rightfield wall with the bases loaded in the second inning Saturday at Tokyo Dome for a grand slam homer that capped off a six run binge by the kyojin. Giants starter Kimiyasu Kudoh and four relievers then held off the Dragons long enough to cadge a 6-5 victory.
Kudoh, who has been as reliable as Old Faithful this season even if he hasn't been rewarded much for it, had one of his worst outings of 2002 in this one, as he was shaken down for four runs in five innings. Yukinaga Maeda then permitted a Dragons tally in the seventh, but Hector Almonte and closer Junichi Kawahara each tossed 12 pitch perfect innings to vanquish the party from Nagoya.
Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata singled to right and second baseman Masahiro Araki singled to left to immediately put Kudoh on the defensive in the top of the first. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome grounded into a 4-6-3 double play. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami, though, came through with a single to left to usher Ibata in and it was 1-0.
The following inning, Dragons leftfielder Takayuki Onishi doubled off the leftfield wall with one out and centerfielder Hidenori Kuramoto singled to left to push Onishi across to make it 2-0.
Yomiuri then gave Yamai an old fashioned beating. With one away, first baseman Akira Etoh and third baseman Daisuke Motoki both singled to right. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi walked to pack the sacks. One out later, leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu beat out a roller toward second to drive in Etoh. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka rammed a shot off of Yamai's glove for another infield hit and an RBI. Takahashi then jumped all over a first pitch fastball on thew inner half of the plate and blistered it deep into the rightfield bleachers and it was 6-2 Giants.
In the wake of that staggering blow administered to the Dragons, it behooved Kudoh to keep them on their heels, but instead he let them back in it in the third. Ibata leadoff with a single to left and Araki outran a dribbler. Fukudome walked to jam the basepaths. Tatsunami singled to left to plate Ibata. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige grounded to short and Araki was back on the bench to make it 6-4 Yomiuri.
In the fourth, Onishi leadoff with a double to leftcenter. One out later, Omar Linares came up to pinch hit for Yamai in his first appearance since going down with back and knee complaints more than a month ago. He struckout. Ibata popped up and that opportunity went down the drain.
Maeda came out for the seventh and Araki got the sheels rolling for a one out infield hit. One out later, both Tatsunami and Tanishige singled to right to dispatch Araki plateward and it was 6-5 Yomiuri.
John Wasdin made his first appearance in eons and tossed a scoreless inning on one hit. His days as a Giant are numbered.
Shimizu set a new club record with a 2-5 night that gave him 186 hits on the season, surpassing Noboru Aota's 1950 standard of 185. Moreover, manager Tatsunori Hara's 83 wins is a new Central League mark for a rookie skipper.
For Chunichi, Linares was 0-1 and is at .200.
Yamai (L, 6-3)
IP 3.0 PC 77 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.68
Hiramatsu IP 1.1 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Koyama IP 0.2 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.21
Yamakita IP 1.2 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.99
Endo IP 1.1 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.23
9-8) IP 5.0 PC 90 H 9 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA
Wasdin IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.96
Y. Maeda IP 1.0 PC 23 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.74
Almonte IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.57
Kawahara (S, 28) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
2B: Nioka, Onishi 2, T.
HR: Y. Takahashi (17)
RBI: Tatsunami 2, Tanishige 2, Kuramoto, T. Shimizu, Nioka, Y. Takahashi 4
Season Series: Chunichi 11, Yomiuri 16
Game Time: 3:23
Umpires: Kamimoto (HP), Sasaki (1B), T. Kobayashi (2B), Manabe (3B)
Sheldon Three Run Homer Covers Tanaka Shutout for Orix 3-0
Chiba Lotte Marines starter Shingo Ono made one mistake in the first inning Saturday at Chiba Marine Stadium and Orix third baseman Scott Sheldon punished it into the leftfield seats with two on and Blue Wave starter Yuki Tanaka neutralized Lotte on three hits in his first ever complete game shutout in a 3-0 victory. Tanaka has now won five in a row and his six wins are a new personal single season high.
Orix obtained its only runs in the first when shortstop Makoto Shiozaki beat out a ground ball toward second and centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani walked. Sheldon then got a hanging forkball and turned it into his 25th jack of the year for a 3-0 advantage.
Lotte had its only threat in the second when leftfielder Yukihiko Sato leadoff with a double to rightcenter, rightfielder Takashi Tachikawa walked with one out and shortstop Makoto Kosaka walked with two away to load the bases. Second baseman Koichi Hori flied out to left and Tanaka breezed the rest of the way to pocket the W.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .255.
For Lotte, leftfielder Derrick May was 1-4 and is at .269.
Yuki Tanaka (W, 6-1) IP 9.0 PC 127 H 3 HR 0 K 7 BB 5 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.26
S. Ono (L, 3-8) IP 9.0 PC 113 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.51
2B: Y. Sato
HR: Sheldon (25)
RBI: Sheldon 3
HBP: Fukuura (Yuki Tanaka)
GIDP: Shiozaki, May
Season Series: Orix 12, Lotte 13
Game Time: 2:16
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Tachibana (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Shiroishi Three Run Homer Powers 7-2 Yakult Victory
A three run homer by Yakult Swallows shortstop Noriyuki Shiroishi in the top of the eighth inning effectively put the game away for the Tokyo crew, as they went on to gut the Hiroshima Carp 7-2. Shugo Fujii started for Yakult and had one of his best recent performances, going 7.2 innings and suffocating the opposition on two runs and five hits while striking out ten and walking two for his tenth win.
Hiroki Kuroda started for Hiroshima and had been able to blunt the Yakult attack by permitting one run on seven hits through seven, but he went an inning too far and got bonked in the eighth to even his record at 9-9.
Fujii had no hit Hiroshima for five innings, including striking out the side in the third, but the Carp then got two hits for a run in the sixth. Rightfielder Tomonori Maeda leadoff by pinging a pitch off the centerfield wall for a double. One out later, first baseman Kojiro Machida singled to left to recall Maeda and make it 1-0.
The Swallows did that in reverse to get the same result in the bottom of the inning. Second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi leadoff with a single to center and third baseman Akinori Iwamura, who may be going to MLB in a couple of years, lined a screamer into the leftcenter gap and Dobashi made a beeline for the plate while Iwamura did the cadillac walk into second base. to level it at 1-1.
In the eighth, Iwamura then ignited a rally with a one out single to right. First baseman Roberto Petagine and leftfielder Alex Ramirez each singed to center to drive in Iwamura and send Petagine to third. Pinch hitter Atsuya Furuta tapped one toward second and legged it out as Petagine crossed. Shiroishi then dialed Ibaraki 6-5000 on Kuroda and it was picked up in the rightfield seats to break it open at 6-1.
Hiroshima scored in the eighth as well, but it wasn't nearly enough. Pinch hitter Jun Hirose kicked it off with a walk and, one out later, shortstop Akihiro Higashide singled to center. After centerfielder Koichi Ogata struckout, Fujii sawed leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto off with a 91mph fastball, but the ball fell in to centerfield to bring in Hirose and make it 6-2.
Yakult went back up by five, however, in the top of the ninth, as backup shortstop Yoshiyuki Noguchi walked with one out and Kanemoto dropped a fly ball by Iwamura. Petagine walked to load the bases. Ramirez singled to right and Noguchi was in to put the birds in the driver's seat at 7-2.
Hiroshima couldn't do anything with Hirotoshi Ishii in the ninth and the Swallows flew off with the shiroboshi.
The Carp front office announced today that they said sayonara to reliever Rob Stanifer. Stanifer appeared in 15 games and posted an ERA of 4.74.
For Yakult, Petagine was 1-3 with two walks and is at .325. Ramirez was 2-4 with two RBIs and is at .294.
S. Fujii (W, 10-8)
IP 7.2 PC 129 H 5 HR 0 K 10 BB 2 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.99
H. Ishii (S, 2) IP 1.1 PC 22 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.56
Kuroda (L, 9-9)
IP 8.0 PC 113 H 11 HR 1 K 8 BB 2 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.82
K. Satake IP 0.1 PC 21 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Sawazaki IP 0.2 PC 3 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: Yoneno, Kanemoto
2B: Iwamura 2, T. Maeda, Arai
HR: Shiroishi (5)
RBI: Iwamura, Ramirez 2, Furuta, Shiroishi 3, Kanemoto
GIDP: S. Sato
Season Series: Yakult 12, Hiroshima 9 2 Ties
Game Time: 3:24
Umpires: Tani (HP), Nemoto (1B), Shimada (2B), Suginaga (3B)
Seelbach Cooks Buffaloes 9-3
As he has for most of the season, Nippon Ham starter Chris Seelbach struggled with his command, as he walked five and hit a batter in addition to allowing six hits in seven innings, but Seelbach is also a battler and he was able to hold the Kintetsu Buffaloes to three runs while he was on the mound to grab his eighth victory 9-3.
Of course, aiding Seelbach's cause was that his opposite number, Hiroshi Takamura, was incinerated by the Fighters for six runs on seven hits, three of those homers, in five innings, as he accepted his ninth loss. Are you sure you want to take a shot at MLB Hiroshi? Minaoshita hou ga ii (you should reconsider).
Nippon Ham used a little brute force in the second to seize an early lead, as third baseman Takaya Hayashi doubled to rightcenter with one down and then second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto, not your typical power guy, clubbed a hot into the centerfield seats for a 2-0 advantage.
Another unexpected power source, centerfielder Tsutomu Ishimoto, then crushed one and left it in the rightfield bleachers to make it 3-0 Fighters in the third. Two batters later, Takamura walked both leftfielder Yukio Tanaka and DH D.T. Cromer. Hayashi singled to center and Tanaka galloped in with a 4-0 lead.
But Seelbach had a difficult bottom half. With one down, catcher Tetsuya Matoyama beat out a bleeder. Centerfielder Naoyuki Omura grounded into a force play at second. Both leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura walked to force in Omura. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi then rolled one tward second and beat the throw to first to drive in Rhodes and it was 4-2 Fighters.
Nippon Ham then lent Seelbach some more breathing room in the fifth, as first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara leadoff with a single to right and got to third on a pair of groundouts. Hayashi then cleared one for takeoff and slotted it into the leftfield seats to make it 6-2 Fighters.
They then put up a three spot against reliever Yasunari Takagi in the sixth to put it in the refrigerator. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi walked. Rightfielder Hichori Morimoto singled to center and both men were moved up on a sac bunt. A run then scored while shortstop Hiroshi Narahara was at the plate, probably on a wild pitch. Ogasawara walked. Tanaka boomed one off the centerfield fence for a double and Ogasawara and Morimoto were able to beat the relay home for a 9-2 lead.
In the sixth, Buffaloes first baseman Yuji Yoshioka homered to left to make it 9-3. Kintetsu was then no hit by Seelbach and Pat Flury from that point on and Nippon Ham had its third win in a row.
As expected, 20th year veteran catcher Kenji Furukubo, 38, retired to take a coaching position with the club. He was a sixth round draftee in 1983 and saw action in 943 games, batting .204 with 38 homers and 186 RBIs. No doubt you will see Furukubo running a team one day.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 0-4 with a walk and is at .248.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with a walk and is at .267.
Seelbach (W, 8-7)
IP 7.0 PC 129 H 6 HR 1 K 2 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.60
Flury IP 2.0 PC 30 H 0 HR 0 K 4 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.46
Takamura (L, 8-9)
IP 5.0 PC 107 H 7 HR 3 K 4 BB 4 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.68
Y. Takagi IP 1.0 PC 26 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.98
T. Matsumoto IP 2.0 PC 25 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Kadokura IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.76
2B: Hayashi, Y. Tanaka
HR: Kimoto (5), Ishimoto (2), Hayashi (5), Yoshioka (25)
RBI: Ishimoto, Y. Tanaka 2, Hayashi 3, Kimoto 2, N. Nakamura, K. Kawaguchi, Yoshioka
HBP: Kimoto (Takamura), Takano (Seelbach)
GIDP: K. Kawaguchi
Season Series: Nippon Ham 13, Kintetsu 13
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Maeda (HP), Fujimoto (1B), Tamba (2B), Sugimoto (3B)
NPB All Star Team Voting Winners Announced
Winners of the fan balloting for the NPB all star squad that will face one from MLB was announced earlier today. And looking at the choices, the fans deserve a pat on the back. The only quibble I have is at catcher, where I would have chosen Kenji Johjima (Daiei), but Shinnosuke Abe is a fine up and comer and is not a bad choice. However, he will hurt that team a little defensively. 18 other pitchers and position players will be chosen later by manager Tatsunori Hara (Yomiuri), who should have been left at home and the job given to last year's world champion manager, Tsutomu Wakamatsu (Yakult).
RHP: Koji Uehara (Yomiuri); LHP: Kei Igawa (Hanshin); C; Shinnosuke Abe (Yomiuri); 1B: Alex Cabrera (Seibu); 2B: Makoto Imaoka (Hanshin); 3B: Norihiro Nakamura (Kintetsu); SS: Kazuo Matsui (Seibu); OF: Hideki Matsui (Yomiuri); Takayuki Shimizu (Yomiuri); Kosuke Fukudome (Chunichi).
Hurst Wins 16th in Taiwan Action
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/28/story/0000169972
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 28th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1977, Nankai Hawks manager Katsuya Nomura was fired by the team when his affair with the woman who is now his current wife, Sachi, was exposed in the press. Can you say "bitch from hell"? What in God's name was the Hall of Fame catcher thinking when he hooked up with that harridan and why is he still with her?
Cabrera Thunders 54th Homer in Front of Oh; Matsui Ties Record
With Daiei Hawks manager Sadaharu Oh looking on from the opposing dugout, Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera launched a majestic drive into the centerfield bleachers at spacious Fukuoka Dome Friday for his 54th homer of the year, just one short of the single season record jointly held by Kintetsu Buffaloes leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes and former Yomiuri Giants first baseman Oh in a 6-5 victory by the Hawks.
There was some history made in this one, too. First, with the bomb, Cabrera set a new standard for most homers across two seasons with 103, besting the previous mark of 102 by former Lotte great Hiromitsu Ochiai, who hammered 52 in 1985 and then 50 in 1986 while winning the Triple Crown each of those campaigns (while striking out a COMBINED 99 times in 877 total at bats and walking 202 times during that time).
Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui tied former Shochiku Robins outfielder Makoto Kozuru's 1950 record for most extra base hits in a season when he cranked a two run homer in the third and then doubled in the fifth to bring his total to 85. Kozuru did it in 130 games while Matsui pulled it off in 131. Moreover, the nifty infielder now has 181 hits, a new club mark.
Mitsutaka Goto started for Seibu and was knocked around for a pair in both the first and second and another in the fifth and so was charged with five earned runs in his six inning stint, surrendering seven hits and striking out six.
Akio Mizuta started for Daiei and he was buffeted offensively as well, going 5.2 innings and coughing up four runs, though he left up 5-4.
The Hawks used some muscle to push to the front, as Yudai Deguchi doubled to leftcenter with one down in the first and, one out later, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo whomped a Goto offering into the leftfield seats to make it 2-0. It was also Kokubo's 1000th career baseknock.
Daiei expanded on that in the second when shortstop Yusuke Torigoe walked with two away and centerfielder Kazuyuki Takahashi doubled into the rightfield corner to put men on second and third. Rightfielder Hiroshi Shibahara then wacked a double down the rightfield line and Torigoe and Takahashi wheeled in for a 4-0 Hawks hegemony.
But Matsui wasn't going to approve of that and in the third he piggybacked on a one out single to left by second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi with a fencebuster into the rightfield bleachers to shrink the deficit to 4-2. Rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki singled to center and, one out later, Cabrera put the good wood on a Mizuta offering and whistled it down the leftfield line. Mizuta was on the ropes with DH Tom Evans now looking to really damage him. But the native of Washington state struckout and Mizuta was off the hook.
So the Hawks offense went back on the chain gang, as second baseman Munenori Kawasaki singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Takahashi singled to left. Shibahara lifted a fly ball to right and Kawasaki tagged and scored for a 5-2 Hawks advantage.
However, Cabrera took his turn in the leading off the sixth and Mizuta aimed
to waste a first pitch 86mph fastball off the plate. But he got it up and
it was over the outer the outer half of the dish and Cabrera leaned into
it, mortaring a high arching drive that landed deep into the centerfield
seats and it was 5-3 Hawks. That was his tenth homer in September and his
first in five games covering 20 at bats. Moreover, it was his 13th of 2002
against Daiei. Evans singled to left and was sacrificed to second. One out
later, Tetsuya Kakiuchi walked. Takagi rapped a single to center and Evans
blazed around to make it 5-4. You can see a pic of Cabrera's swing at:
In the eighth, Lions pinch hitter Takashi Inubushi walked against Shuji Yoshida. Third baseman Hiroshi Hirao zapped a shot down the leftfield line and Inubushi, who is a catcher by trade, lumbered in to knot it at 5-5.
Shinji Mori came on to pitch the eighth for Seibu and he shook off Satoshi Nakajima, apparently wanting to challenge Daiei first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka with a low 90's fastball. The 2000 Pacific League MVP was more than able to meet it, clouting the ball beyond the centerfield fence to put his side ahead 6-5.
Katsunori Okamoto, who seems tgo have been given the closer's job since Rodney Pedraza was cut loose, entered to face the Lions lineup in the ninth and it was tense. With one gone, Tatsuya Ozeki singled to left and was sacrificed to second. Cabrera was intentionally walked, a move that was by the book and not because Oh didn't want to see his record broken. Evans then popped out to first and it was "game setto."
Cabrera told reporters after the game that Oh and him shook hands before the game and the Hawks boss wished him good luck. "I'm thankful to Daiei for allowing me to compete," the Venezuelan slugger remarked. "They threw me a surprising number of strikes. I missed some hittable pitches, but I'm grateful that they pitched to me." About Oh as a person, the ex-Diamondback averred, "I consider Oh a friend. He is the best. If I tie the record, I don't know what I'll do with myself."
Cabrera is an avid bat collector, having over 100 at his home that he has aquired or traded for from various players he has met over the years. He is also becoming quite the celebrity in his homeland, as Venezuela's ambassador to Japan, Carlos Vidro, placed a call to the Lions slugger before the game.
One thing that Cabrera is mindful of these days is to focus on hitting the ball where it's pitched, since he has more than enough power to insideout the ball into the seats, one reason he is hitting .333 and is contending for the batting title after a 2-4 night.
Evans was 1-5 with two strikeouts and is at .260.
Daiei outfielder Pedro Valdez has gone back to Puerto Rico with what may be a heel fracture.
IP 6.0 PC 127 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.30
Doi IP 1.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.23
S. Mori (L; 6-7) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.10
IP 5.2 PC 103 H 8 HR 2 K 4 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 2.51
Shinohara IP 0.0 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.83
S. Yoshida (W, 7-3) IP 2.1 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 4 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.15
K. Okamoto (S, 6) IP 1.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.46
2B: Deguchi, K. Takahashi,
Shibahara, Cabrera, K. Matsui, Hirao
HR: Kokubo (30), K. Matsui (36), Cabrera (54), Matsunaka (27)
RBI: K. Matsui 2, Cabrera, Hirao, H. Takagi, Shibahara 3, Kokubo 2, Matsunaka
Season Series: Seibu 15, Daiei 10
Game Time: 3:33
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Nagami (1B), Hayashi (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Hanshin Gets 14 Hits in Six Innings and Loses 7-4
Hanshin Tigers starter Keiichi Yabu will not get into double figures in wins for the first time in four years, as he was dirtied up for seven runs, six earned, in five innings Friday at Yokohama Stadium by the Yokohama Bay Stars, who whipped the Osaka contingent 7-4. Yuji Yoshimi earned his tenth victory, perhaps locking up the Rookie of the Year trophy in the process.
However, Yoshimi was lucky he didn't meet a fate similar to that of Yabu. He was throttled for 14 hits and two walks by the Hanshin lineup in only six innings, but ended up being charged with just four runs, three earned. If you look up the words "lack of timely hitting" in the dictionary, you will see the box score of this one.
Hanshin went out to a 1-0 lead in the first, as second baseman Makoto Imaoka leadoff the game with a single to center and went to second on a groundout. One out later, leftfielder Osamu Hamanaka singled to left and Imaoka crossed.
In the second, Hanshin first baseman George Arias leadoff with a single to center and stole second. One out later, catcher Ryo Asai singled to center to cash in the ex-Padre and it was 2-0 Tigers. Yabu sacrificed Asai to second. Imaoka singled to left and Asai made the left turn around third for home, but Masaaki Koike's relay was on the money and Asai was meat.
But Yokohama then took its turn in the bottom of the inning as if it was on a mission for God. Third baseman Katsuaki Furuki commenced it with by outrunning a ground ball toward short. First baseman Hirofumi Ogawa walked. Rightfielder Hitoshi Tamura singled to left to load the bases. Leftfielder Koike hit a bleeder toward short and beat that out and Furuki toed the dish. One out later, Yabu nailed Yoshimi to force in the tying run. Shortstop Takuro Ishii then slapped a base hit near the leftfield line. However, the ball took a weird hop past Hamanaka and Ishii had a gift three run triple and the Stars a 5-2 advantage. Yokohama interim manager Kuroe then flashed the squeeze sign and Kazunori Tanaka got it down to plate Ishii to make it 6-2.
Hanshin reduced that margin in the fourth, when shortstop Yoshinori Okihara singled to left and Asai got him over to third on a single to right. Yabu then put down a squeeze of his own as Okihara headed in and it was 6-3 Yokohama.
Unfortunately, the Tigers gave that one back on a farcical defensive sequence in the fifth. Ishii walked. He then took off for second. Asai threw it into centerfield and Ishii headed for third. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi gloved it and heaved it toward third and it was wild, enabling Ishii to score and make it 7-3.
In the sixth, Hanshin aimed to score again, but Koike sabotaged that. Arias singled to left. One out later, so did Asai. Katsumi Hirosawa roasted a shot off the leftcenterfield wall that went for a long single somehow. Koike got to it and started a relay that resulted in Arias being cut down at the plate. That turned out to be a big play because Imaoka walked to load the bases. So instead of a run being forced in and one away, now it was no runs in, the bases packed and two down. Akahoshi grounded to short to throw cold water on the threat.
Hanshin then saw the first three men in the seventh all smack singles to once again jam the basepaths and knock Yoshimi out, but a foul out, a groundout and a strikeout induced by reliever Atsushi Kizuka put that revolt in the morgue. There was almost no offense from either team from that point forward and the Stars cruised to a 7-3 triumphed.
Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino, upon hearing of the way the firing of Yokohama manager Masaaki Mori, who said his goodbyes to his now former charges before the game, was handled, went into a tirade, asserting that the manner in which the firing was done "was a disgrace to baseball. Why didn't they let him manage the last 14 games? [Yokohama team executives] just ruined the team's image. [Owners TBS] have no right owning a baseball team."
In Mori's place on an interim basis until newly appointed boss Daisuke Yamashita can take over the reigns, is head coach Kuroe, who knows what it's like to be a fill in manager. In 1985, when Tatsuro Hirooka was canned as the helmsman of the Seibu Lions, Kuroe called the shots for three games. The man who replaced Hirooka? Uh, Masaaki Mori, who guided the team to several pennants and Japan Series titles.
In other Stars-related news, they are apparently going to take a run at Kintetsu Buffaloes free agent third baseman Norihiro Nakamura. The question is, if they are successful in signing him, where are they going to put him? Katsuaki Furuki is at third right now and doing a hell of a job offensively, so somebody has to move to first. Probably Furuki ends up there since he is not defensively gifted. Then again, neither is Nakamura.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-4 and is at .254.
9-6) IP 5.0 PC 87 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 7 ER 6 ERA 3.38
Date IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.27
Taninaka IP 2.0 PC 28 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.50
Yoshimi (W, 10-6)
IP 6.0 PC 106 H 14 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 4 ER 3 ERA 3.23
Kizuka IP 2.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Fukumori (S, 1) IP 1.0 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.46
E: Akahoshi, Okihara, R.
Asai, T. Nakamura
SB: Arias, T. Ishii
3B: T. Ishii
RBI: Hamanaka, Hirashita, R. Asai, Yabu, T. Ishii 3, K. Tanaka, Koike, Yoshimi
HBP: Yoshimi (Yabu)
Season Series: Hanshin 16, Yokohama 9 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:44
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Ino (1B), ? (2B), Mori (3B)
Dragons Hold on for 4-3 Victory Over Giants
A two run homer in the third by Chunichi Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige proved to be decisive in his team's confrontation with the Yomiuri Giants Friday at Tokyo Dome, as it provided the final pair or tallies in a 4-3 victory. It also enabled Tanishige to set a new personal best in RBIs.despite a horrendous .206 batting average.
Kenta Asakura started for the Nagoya bunch and evened his record to 10-10 in the wake of 7.1 innings of two run ball (one earned) on six hits. Asakura has the stuff to be a star, but he has been inconsistent at times this season, though his ERA is still a sparkling 2.61. Now with the season sadly winding down, we get to wait and see if he can have a true breakout in 2003.
Hisanori Takashashi started forYomiuri and got rocked early and then settled down to end up with seven innings of four run ball on eighth hits for his fourth kuroboshi against ten shiroboshi. The question is, will HE replicate what has been easily his best season in 2003? That cutter he aquired during spring training has made him a new man. Now let's see if the opposition makes an adjustment.
Anyway, Chunichi snatched the upper hand in the second, when first baseman Mitsunobu Takahashi singled to right with one out and leftfielder Takayuki Onishi laid out a copycat version. Centerfielder Hidenori Kuramoto then redeemed both runners with a liner down the leftfield line that went for a two RBI double and a 2-0 Dragons lead.
The Giants shaved one off that disparity in their half when third baseman Koji Goto ripped a two out single to left, went to second (probably on a passed ball) and then chugged in on a single to right by second baseman Toshihisa Nishi to make it 2-1 Dragons.
Chunichi fashioned their own little two out rally in the third, as third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami singled to center and then Tanishige torched one into the leftcenterfield seats to widen it to 4-1 Dragons.
In the fifth, the Dragons got something going again when speedy Masahiro Araki singled to left with one out. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome was next and he laced a drive down the rightfield line that had RBI double written all over it. But Giants rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi got an excellent jump on it and ran it down to keep the score where it was.
Hisanori Takahashi put the screws to the Dragons, permitting only one hit over his last four innings on the hill to keep his team in it. The Giants made it closer in the seventh, as first baseman Takayuki Saito leadoff with a single to center and was forced out on a grounder to second by Goto. Nishi singled to left and then stole second. Pinch hitter Yoshinaga grounded out to short to recall Goto and it was 4-2 Dragons.
Shigetoshi Yamakita was inserted in the eighth for the Dragons and with one out, he gave up a single to right by Yoshinobu Takahashi, who was pinch run for by Kazuaki Miyazaki, who then somehow advanced to second (wild pitch?). Centerfielder Hideki Matsui then flashed a fastball that was down and away up the middle to drive Miyazaki in and make it 4-3 Dragons. It was also Godzilla's first hit this season in seven at bats against Yamakita.
Eddie Gaillard, however, threw a perfect ninth, striking out two, to keep that lead and sock away a Dragons triumph.
No foreign players got into this game. But four minor league players were given their walking papers by Chunichi.
Asakura (W, 10-10)
IP 7.1 PC 111 H 6 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.61
Yamakita IP 0.0 PC 10 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.11
Iwase IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.13
Gaillard (S, 32) IP 1.0 PC 16 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.39
H. Takahashi (L, 10-4) IP
7.0 PC 106 H 8 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.09
Kashiwada IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
E: S. Abe
SB: Ibata, Nishi
2B: Kuramoto 2, Tanishige
HR: Tanishige (22)
RBI: Tanishige 2, Kuramoto 2, H. Matsui, Nishi
HBP: Nioka (Asakura)
GIDP: Y. Takahashi
Season Series: Chunichi 11, Yomiuri 15
Game Time: 3:02
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Manabe (2B), Kamimoto (3B)
Six Run Nippon Ham Fifth Just Enough 6-5
A two run single from first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara and a double from D.H. D.T. Cromer that hooked another pair highlighed a six run fifth inning for the Nippon Ham Fighters Friday at Osaka Dome, as they then held on for a 6-5 victory. Relieve Hiroshi Shibakusa was, for reasons only known to the official scorer, given credit for the win even though he didn't come in until the seventh. However, neither Tomokazu Iba or Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi pitched very well during their stints, so the official obviously used his discretion in awarding the shiroboshi.
Hiroyuki Sekine started for Nippon Ham and while his pitch count was a bit higher than would be desirable, otherwise got good results, going four strong innings of one run ball on three hits, though, obviously, he didn't stick around long enough to earn the decision.
Hisashi Iwakuma started for Kintetsu and was outstanding for four innings before seeming to become a totally different pitcher in the fifth and getting pummeled for all six runs.
Sekine, who hasn't been on the mound for the Fighters in a while due to injury, was a little shaky in the first and the Buffs took advantage. With one down, second baseman Eiji Mizuguchi thunked one off the leftfield wall for a double. One out later, third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to center to plate Mizuguchi for the 1-0 lead. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi then attempted to leave, but had to settle for a rightfield wall rattling double. First baseman Yuji Yoshioka walked to load the bases. But Rightfielder Fumitoshi Takano grounded to short and Sekine battened down the hatches after that.
Iwakuma was working on a two hitter through four and then the Fighters tilted him for five safeties in the big fifth. Third baseman Takaya Hayashi leadoff with a single to right. Second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto walked. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi then endeavord to sacrifice, but he dribbled it out in front of the plate, whereit was gobbled up by Akihito Fujii, who went to third for the force. Shortstop Hiroshi Narahara walked to load the bases. Centerfielder Tsutomu Ishimoto used his speed to beat out a bleeder toward second and it eas tied at one all. One out later, Ogasawara, who was picked off after singling in the fourth, hacked a single up the middle and both Noguchi and Kimoto crossed. Leftfielder Yukio Tanaka singled to center to invite Narahara in. Cromer then jackhammered a shot into the rightcenter alley to send in Ishimoto and Ogaswara and it was 6-1 Fighters. You can see a pic of Ogasawara's hit at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/09/28/20020928010852.jpg
In the sixth, Kintetsu third baseman Norihiro Nakamura bruised the bejesus out of a fastball from Iba and the ball left the yard as if it had been shot out of a cannon, ultimately landing in the leftfield bleachers. That was the burly slugger's 36th homer of the year and it narrowed the score to 6-2. One out later, Yoshioka got on thanks to an infield hit and pinch hitter Koichi Isobe singled to right. After another out, Fujii singled to center and Yoshioka came around and pinch hitter Yosuke Takasu singled to right to recall Isobe to narrow the contest to 6-4.
The next inning, Mizuguchi kicked off a rally with an infield hit and, one out later, Nakamura doubled to leftcenter. Kawaguchi flied out to left and Mizuguchi tagged and scored to turn it into a one run game at 6-5. Shibakusa no hit Kintetsu over the final two innings, though, and the Fighters survived.
Nakamura, who was a triple short of the cycle, drove in his 100th run to make it three seasons in a row he has done that.
For Kintetsu, Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes was 0-5 with two strikeouts and is at .267.
For Nippon Ham, Cromer was 1-4 with two RBIs and two strikeouts and is at .250.
IP 4.0 PC 73 H 3 HR 0 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.94
Iba IP 1.2 PC 48 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.83
Shimoyanagi IP 0.2 PC 10 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 5.75
Shibakusa (W, 4-3) IP 2.2 PC 40 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.76
Iwakuma (L, 8-6)
IP 5.0 PC 95 H 7 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.53
S. Yamamoto IP 2.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.87
Misawa IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.15
A. Okamoto IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.64
2B: Mizuguchi, Kawaguchi, Cromer, N. Nakamura
HR: N. Nakamura (36)
RBI: Ishimoto, M. Ogasawara 2, Y. Tanaka, Cromer 2, Takasu, N. Nakamura 2, Kawaguchi, Fujii
GIDP: Cromer, T. Noguchi
Season Series: Nippon Ham 12, Kintetsu 13
Game Time: 3:29
Umpires: Kaneko (HP), Sato (1B), Maeda (2B), Higashi (3B)
Minchey Wins 14th for Lotte 7-2
Chiba Lotte Marines righthander Nathan Minchey has been phenemonal this month and his Friday outing against the Orix Blue Wave didn't waver from that trend, as he tossed eight innings of two run ball (one earned) on five hits at Chiba Marine Stadium for his 14th victory overall and his fifth in a row. In his last 37.1 innings, Minchey has permitted just two earned runs for a dazzling 0.48 ERA. He now has nine shiroboshi following the all star break.
Tomoya Kawaguchi, a 1997 number one draft choice, made his first ever pro start for Orix and found that life at this level ain't easy, as he was touched for four runs, three earned, on seven hits in four innings. Whether it was nerves or just bad command, it took him 115 pitches to get through four innings. By contrast, Minchey used 118 in eight innings.
Lotte spurted out to a 2-0 lead in the first when they combined a leadoff
walk to second baseman Koichi Hori, an RBI double to leftcenter by centerfielder
Saburo Omura, a one out error by Orix shortstop Makoto Shiozaki on a dropped
pop up off the bat of DH Derrick May, and a scoring fly ball to center by
Yukihiko Sato. Kawaguchi went to the plate 30 times in the
Lotte doubled that advantage in the fifth, as May whizzed one down the rightfield line for a double and Sato tripled to right to drive May in. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba flew out to left and leftfielder Sato tagged and ran in to make it 4-0.
In the sixth, diminutive Lotte shortstop Makoto Kosaka connected off of Orix reliever Kubota for a homer to right, his first of the year. Hori tripled to leftcenter, but then he was stranded when Atsushi Kubota and Takuji Yamamoto kept everything else on the infield, 5-0 after six complete.
Orix then offered token resistance in the seventh, when leftfielder Kazuhiko Shiotani got aboard on an error by Hatsushiba and then eventually completed the circuit on singles by pinch hitter Ikuro Katsuragi and DH Koichi Oshima to make it 5-1 Lotte.
Shintaro Yamasaki went to the center for the diamond for Orix in the eighth and was roughed up. Sato singled to right. Yamasaki nailed Hatsushiba with a pitch. Both men moved up on a groundout and then catcher Masaumi Shimizu singled to center to shoo them home and it was 7-1 Lotte.
Orix managed another run in the ninth on a one out single to right from second baseman Tatsuya Shindo, a walk to Katsuragi and a single to center by catcher Takeshi Hidaka to make it 7-2. But pinch hitter Manabu Satake grounded into a 1-6-3 double play and it was in the books.
Lotte announced that they have released former Angels infielder Frank Bolick. Bolick had been dogged by inury this season and never really got his bat started this year after three nice seasons with the team. Bolick is 36, so maybe age caught up with him. For 2002, he batted .203 with six homers and 24 RBIs in 61 games.
Mitsunobu Hirai, who won a batting championship with Lotte in 1991 but who has been toiling in the minors this season, announced he was retiring at 35. He was a 1988 sixth rounder out of Aikodai Meiden, the same high school that produced Ichiro Suzuki. In 1991, he hit .314 to walk off with the batting crown. In 1998, he hit .320 and finished second. However, he began experiencing knee problems and had them operated on. Lifetime, he hit .271 in 1066 games with 39 homers and 293 RBIs.
For Orix, third baseman Scott Sheldon was 0-4 with three strikeouts and is at .255.
For Lotte, May was 1-5 and is at .269. You can see a pic of Minchey celebrating with a "guts pose" at: http://www.sponichi.co.jp/baseball/kiji/2002/09/28/20020928011035.jpg
T. Kawaguchi (0-1) IP 4.0
PC 115 H 7 HR 0 K 4 BB 3 R 4 ER 3 ERA 5.79
Kubota IP 1.1 PC 13 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 7.27
T. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.84
S. Yamasaki IP 2.0 PC 41 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 11.05
Minchey (W, 14-13) IP 8.0
PC 118 H 5 HR 0 K 9 BB 2 R 1 ER 0 ERA 2.76
A. Yoshida IP 1.0 PC 20 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.35
E: Shiozaki, Yoshiwara,
SB: Tani, Shindo, Morozumi
HR: Kosaka (1)
RBI: K. Oshima, Hidaka, S. Omura, Sato 2, Hatsushiba, Masaumi Shimizu 2, Kosaka
Season Series: Orix 11, Lotte 13
Game Time: 2:57
Umpires: Tsugawa (HP), Yamamoto (1B), Sakaemura (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Dodgers Interested in Nakamura?
So says the Boston Globe at: http://www.boston.com/dailynews/270/sports/Kintetsu_slugger_Nakamura_to_t:.shtml
Mets Look Overseas for Help
See New York Post article at: http://www.nypost.com/sports/mets/48399.htm
Yakuza Feeding on Tokyo Dome
See Asahi Shimbun story at: http://www.asahi.com/english/national/K2002092700363.html
Baseball Countries Happy with Deal
See Associated Press article at: http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/sports/3976953.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 27th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1935, the manager for the newly established Tokyo Giants, a gentleman named Miyake, was let go. During his tenure, the team went 36-3-1 in 40 games. However, apparently, those three losses stuck in the craw of the club's management and he was asked to leave.
Also on that date in 1946, a game between Gold Star and the Senators never went off due to the Senators thinking it would be cancelled due to heavy rain, so they never showed up at the ballpark. But it was going to go off and thus it was declared a forfeit, the first forfeit in Japanese baseball pro annals.
Seibu Backs into Pacific League Title in 4-0 Loss
The Seibu Lions were victimized by a seven hit shutout by Shingo Ono and two of his Chiba Lotte Marines teammates Saturday at Chiba Marine Stadium, but they celebrated five hours later in the parking lot of the Makuhari Prince Hotel when the Daiei Hawks tied the Nippon Ham Fighters 1-1 to win the Pacific League pennant for the first time in four years. Talk about your anticlimaxes!
Hsu Ming-chieh started for the Lions and surrendered three runs in four innings to get hung with the defeat.
The Lions had a scoring chance in the top of the first, as rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki doubled off of the rightfield wall with one down and then went to third on a groundout. But first baseman Alex Cabrera struckout to end the inning.
Lotte then came up and barged in for an early lead. Rightfielder Kenji Morozumi leadoff with a single to left and went to second on a one out groundout. DH Frank Bolick singled to right to drive in Morozumi. Leftfielder Derrick May doubled to rightcenter and Bolick huffed and puffed his way around the basepaths and across the plate to make it 2-0.
In the fourth, Lotte pushed across another. Bolick leadoff with a double down the rightfield line and went to third on a groundout. One out later, third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to center for the RBI and it was 3-0.
Kazuyuki Hoashi came in from the bullpen to pitch the seventh for the Lions and pinch hitter Yukihiko Sato welcomed him with a double down the leftfield line and centerfielder Saburo Omura singled to right to send him in and make it 4-0.
Seibu had two men on due to singles in the sixth and eight innings, but couldn't convert and it finished 4-0 Lotte.
This was the 19th time that the Lions have won the PL pennant in their more than 50 year history. It has been 28 years since they clinched on a day on which they lost. Why did they win? Well, when you win the season series against each of the other five teams in the circuit, post a winning record every month of the season, lead in homers, runs scored, average, and ERA, you have a pretty good shot at it. Now they will go on to face the Giants in the Japan Series hoping to break a decade long drought since they were last Japanese champions.
As usual when its baseball team wins a title, the Seibu department store chain will hold a big three day sale in conjunction with the Sogo chain that starts the 22nd. Between them, the two concerns hope to realize about $150 million in sales during that celebration.
For Lotte, Bolick was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .212. May was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .269.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .324. Third baseman Scott McClain was 0-3 with a walk and is at .238.
See related story at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020922wo52.htm
Hsu (W, 8-7) IP 4.0 PC 58 H 5 HR 0 K
2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.69
Mitsui IP 2.0 PC 37 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.07
Hoashi IP 2.0 PC 26 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 6.00
S. Ono (W, 3-7) IP 7.0 PC
102 H 7 HR 0 K 5 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.56
T. Kawai IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.01
Sikorsky (S, 2) IP 1.1 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.83
2B: Ozeki, May, Bolick, Y. Sato
RBI: Fukuura, Bolick, May, Hatsushiba
GIDP: Masaumi Shimizu
Season Series: Seibu 17, Lotte 7 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:54
Umpires: Nakamura (HP), Kawaguchi (1B), Yanagida (2B), Sakaemura (3B)
Takatsu Blows Save in Loss to Giants
I don't know if Yakult closer Shingo Takatsu is losing his touch, but he did lose this game when he couldn't maintain a one run lead in the top of the ninth and was knocked around for four runs, Yomiuri Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe providing the clutch hit when he laced a bases clearing double to left in a 5-2 Yomiuri victory. The Giants magic number is now four.
Yakult rookie starter Masanori Ishikawa did an excellent job, going 7.1 innings of one run ball on five hits, but didn't earn a decision when Takatsu blew up.
Kimiyasu Kudoh was his usual phenomenal self, as he twirled seven innings of two run ball, one earned, on four hits to get stuck with another no decision himself.
Yomiuri went out in front in the fourth, as rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi rocketed one into the leftfield seats to make it 1-0.
Yakult tied it, though, thanks to a Giants error in the fifth. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez leadoff with a groundball to Akira Etoh at third, who mishandled it. One out later, centerfielder Shinichi Sato singled to left. Shortstop Noriyuki Shiroishi walked to load the bases. Ishikawa grounded to second and Ramirez sped in with the equalizer and it was 1-1.
In the seventh, Yakult third baseman Akinori Iwamura punished a hanging slider from Kudoh with two away and launched it into the leftfield seats to put the Swallows up 2-1.
Yomiuri then put Ishikawa under pressure in the eighth when Abe leadoff with a single to left and Etoh singled to right. Both were advanced on a sac bunt. Swallows manager Tsutomu Wakamatsu resorted to the bullpen and brought in Ryota Igarashi. Pinch hitter Daisuke Motoki lined one right at Igarashi, who picked it off and then threw to first for the double play to terminate the uprising.
Takatsu would have no such luck in the ninth, however. With one out, pinch hitter Koji Goto and Takahashi both singled to right. One out later, pinch hitter Koichiro Yoshinaga walked to jam the basepaths. Abe, who had gotten picked off in the fifth, went with a 2-2 fastball on the outer half of the plate and drilled a screamer down into the leftfield corner, everyone sprinting in to make it 4-2 Giants. Etoh walked. Second baseman Toshihisa Nishi singled to center and Abe crossed and it was 5-2 Yomiuri.
Junichi Kawahara, who has been unpredictable, put the Yakult lineup away in order and Yomiuri can smell the pennant.
On the season, Abe is 7-12, a .583 clip, when the bases are full, with 17 RBIs. One the pitch he sent up to Abe, Takatsu averred that he got it a little more elevated than he wanted and may have overthrown it a bit.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .321. Ramirez was 0-3 and is at .293.
See related story at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020922wo53.htm
IP 7.0 PC 89 H 4 HR 1 K 4 BB 1 R 2 ER 1 ERA 2.78
Y. Maeda (W, 4-3) IP 1.0 PC 22 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.42
J. Kawahara (S, 27) IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.74
Masanori Ishikawa IP 7.1 PC 89
H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.19
R. Igarashi IP 0.2 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.93
Takatsu (L, 0-2) IP 1.0 PC 39 H 4 HR 0 K 0 BB 2 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.99
2B: S. Abe
HR: Y. Takahashi (16), Iwamura (21)
RBI: Y. Takahashi, S. Abe 3, Nishi, Iwamura, Masanori Ishikawa
Season Series: Yomiuri 16, Yakult 10
Game Time: 2:57
Umpires: Kasahara (HP), T. Kobayashi (1B), Honda (2B), Mori (3B)
Barrage of Singles by Carp in Tenth Beats Hanshin 7-4
An RBI single by Hiroshima Carp closer Oyamada in the top of the tenth inning Saturday at Koshien Stadium not only sent Hanshin Tigers manager Senichi Hoshino's blood pressure through the roof, but it was part of a six single barrage against reliever Masashi Date that enabled the fish to even the season series with their Osaka opponents as part of a 7-4 victory.
Sidearmer Tetsuro Kawajiri started for Hanshin and following a string of solid performances, he wasn't sharp in this one, as he went seven innings and was hit up for four runs, three earned, on five hits, including a two run homer from first baseman Itsuki Asai that afforded the Carp a temporary lead in the sixth.
For the Red Hell, Shinji Sasaoka began the game on the hill and was okay, going seven innings of seven hit, three run ball, striking out six and walking one, at the end of the day not benefiting from a decision.
Hiroshima staked itself to a 1-0 lead in the first, as centerfielder Fukuchi steered the first pitch of the contest down the rightfield line for a double and was sacrificed to third. Asai flew out to left and Fukuchi tagged and galloped in for the early advantage.
Hanshin was up to the challenge, however, and evened it in the home half. Centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi singled to center and stole second. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto singled to center and Akahoshi buzzed in to home and it was 1-1.
The Tigers then surged ahead in the second, when second baseman Taichiro Kamisaka beat out a bleeder toward short and made like a track star after catcher Katsuhiko Yamada slammed a two bagger off the leftfield wall and it was 2-1 Hanshin.
Hiroshima put things back in balance in the third, as shortstop Akihiro Higashide legged out an infield ground ball and stole second. Asai spanked one near first, where first baseman George Arias let it get by him for an error that Higashide was able to exploit to score and make it 2-2.
In the bottom portion, though, Akahoshi collected his third triple in two days when he lined one over the head of rightfielder Tomonori Maeda. Fujimoto walked. Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka grounded to first and Akahoshi crossed to put Hanshin up at 3-2.
The pitching dominated from there until the sixth, when Kazuki Fukuchi clubbed one off the centerfield fence for a double and went to third on a sac bunt. Asai was then given clearance for takeoff and landed the ball in the rightcenterfield seats for a two run homer that lent the Carp a 4-3 edge.
In the eighth, three Hanshin relievers created a bases loaded two out jam when Takehiro Hashimoto, who, one suspects, could be joining the ranks of the retired at season's end, was taken down for a one out single to center, pinch hitter Kojiro Machida walked off of Takehito Kanazawa with two outs and the next hitter, leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto, walked off of Makoto Yoshino. Fortunately for the Hanshin faithful, Yoshino sleazed out of it when Maeda grounded to third for the third out.
Arias atoned for his critical miscue when he obliterated one of Yasuhiro Oyamada's deliveries and unleashed a missile that went 450 feet for the game tying homer. That was the former Padre's seventh roundtripper of the month and 29th of the year.
Date came back out for his second inning of work and lost it, both literally and figuratively. With one away, Fukuchi singled to center and Higashide singled to right. Pinch hitter Kazuyoshi Kimura singled to left and Fukuchi was in with the winning run. One out later, Oyamada singled to center to register Higashide and third baseman Takahiro Arai singled to right for a seventh tally. Second baseman Takuya Kimura singled to center to load the bases, but catcher Shuji Nishiyama grounded out to prohibit further damage. Nevertheless, Hiroshima was sitting pretty at 7-4.
Hanshin put a couple of men on in their last ups on a single and a hit batter, but never got out of the infield otherwise and Hiroshima went back to the hotel shiroboshi-handed.
Tigers outfielder Osamu Hamanaka has apparently healed from a thumb fracture and will be back in the lineup on Monday, as will regular second baseman Makoto Imaoka. It may be too little, too late, as Hanshin would have to play .800 ball until the end of the schedule to finish at .500.
For Hanshin, Arias was 2-5 with an RBI and is at .249.
IP 7.0 PC 116 H 7 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.27
K. Kobayashi IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.70
Oyamada (W, 2-0) IP 2.0 PC 49 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.03
IP 7.0 PC 95 H 5 HR 1 K 6 BB 1 R 4 ER 3 ERA 2.77
T.H. Hashimoto IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 16.62
Kanazawa IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.92
Yoshino IP 0.1 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
Date (L, 1-3) IP 2.0 PC 39 H 6 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 3.54
E: Higashide, Arias
SB: Higashide, Kanemoto, Akahoshi 2
2B: Fukuchi 2, K. Yamada, Arias
HR: I. Asai (3), Arias (29)
RBI: I. Asai 3, K. Kimura, Oyamada, Arai, Fujimoto, Kataoka, Arias, K. Yamada
SF: I. Asai
HBP: Yagi (Oyamada)
GIDP: Kataoka, Nishiyama
Season Series: Hiroshima 13, Hanshin 13
Game Time: 3:46
Umpires: Yoshimoto (HP), Watada (1B), Suginaga (2B), Tani (3B)
Ninth Inning Omichi Homer Results in 1-1 Tie
Nippon Ham Fighters starter Chris Seelbach went into the ninth inning leading 1-0 and had two outs and a 3-2 count on the Daiei Hawks' DH Noriyoshi Omichi. Unfortunately, he hung a slider to the veteran and Omichi put the fat part of the bat on it, ramming it into the leftcenterfield bleachers to knot it at 1-1. Both teams then blew several scoring opportunities over the succeeding three innings so that it went in the books as a 1-1 12 inning tie. By so doing, Daiei handed the PL title to the Seibu Lions.
Kazumi Saito, if he pitches in 2003 anything like he has in limited action in the second half of 2002, could very well begin the new campaign as the club's number one starter, as he was outstanding, fashioning eight innings of one run ball on four hits and struckout ten while walking a mere one to reduce his ERA to a sparkling 2.02.
Seelbach allowed just two hits in his nine innings, but he walked six to mar an otherwise superlative effort and he probably would have won this thing had he not extended his pitch count with the freebies. He's shown a good propensity for luring hitters into killing worms this season, but he needs more consistent command to be a frontline hurler. Maybe he can experience the same kind of improvement next year that Kevin Hodges did between last season and this one.
It was a terrific scoreless duel until the fifth, when Saito left a REALLY fat one to the assuredly less than brawny Fighters second baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto, who socked it into the rightcenterfield bleachers for a 1-0 Nippon Ham lead.
After Omichi performed his heroics in the ninth, catcher Kenji Johjima singled to leadoff the tenth against reliever Hiroshi Shibakusa and went to second on a sac bunt. And that is where he stayed, as two groundouts bid adieu to this uprising.
Nippon Ham thought it had a chance for a sayonara victory in the bottom of the frame, as rightfielder Yutaka Nakamura doubled down the rightfield line with one out and centerfielder Tatsuya Ide was intentionally walked. Leftfielder Hichori Morimoto grounded to third for the force and shortstop Hiroshi Narahara flied out and that opportunity went down the tubes.
The Fighters returned in the 11th against Shuji Yoshida to assay another attempt at icing it when first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara steamed a shot into the leftfield corner and, one out later, third baseman Takaya Hayashi was intentionally walked. Backup second baseman Kokichi Akune beat out an infield hit to load the bases. Now they were just a fly ball away from victory. But catcher Kazunari Sanematsu struckout and Nakamura grounded out to blow it again.
Daiei had two on with two out in the 12th and didn't convert. Nippon Ham got a leadoff walk to Ide and, one out later, Narahara rolled one to Takeshi Nonogaki at short, who booted it. Tomoyuki Oda, though, bounced into a 6-4-3 double play and it was game over.
For Nippon Ham, DH D.T. Cromer was 0-4 and is at .246.
IP 8.0 PC 126 H 4 HR 1 K 10 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.02
H.K. Watanabe IP 0.1 PC 8 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.78
K. Okamoto IP 1.2 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.30
S. Yoshida IP 2.0 PC 34 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.81
IP 9.0 PC 125 H 2 HR 1 K 4 BB 6 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.59
Shibakusa IP 2.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.01
Tateyama IP 1.0 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
E: Torigoe, Nonogaki
2B: Y. Nakamura, M. Ogasawara
HR: Kimoto (4), Omichi (6)
RBI: Kimoto, Omichi
IBB: Ide, Hayashi
GIDP: Takahashi, Omichi, T. Oda
Season Series: Daiei 15, Nippon Ham 10 1 Tie
Game Time: 4:08
Umpires: Akimura (HP), Sato (1B), Tachibana (2B), Hirabayashi (3B)
Tanaka Throws Complete Game Eight Hitter to Whip Kintetsu 6-2
In a season of little but disappointments for the Orix Blue Wave, aside from centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani, there has been little to point to the team rectifying its pathetic showing next season. Now 23 year old Yuki Tanaka has come to the fore and he had it going on again, as he went all the way in a sterling two run, eight hit outing against the Kintetsu Buffaloes Saturday at Kobe Green Stadium for his fifth win against just one defeat. The final was 6-2. He also compiled a career high nine strikeouts while walking two. First baseman Scott Sheldon helped out, supplying a two run homer, his 22nd, as he hopes to be asked back for another go round in Japan.
Hiroshi Takamura started for the Osaka nine and was blowed up real good for six runs, all earned, on ten hits in four innings to even his record at 8-8.
Kintetsu rightfielder Koichi Isobe leadoff the game with a single to center and went to second on a sacrifice. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes grounded out to first to allow Isobe to move to third. He then scored somehow, probably on a wild pitch, and it was 1-0 Buffs.
Orix returned serve in the second when rightfielder Manabu Satake singled to center with two gone and catcher Takeshi Hidaka doubled into the leftcenter alley to provide Satake with an avenue through which he could get his wheels rolling and it was gridlocked at 1-1.
In the third, Sheldon imbued his squad with some separation. With one away, shortstop Makoto Shiozaki blooped a double to left and headed home on a single to right by Tani. Sheldon tore into a Takamura pitch and disposed of it center backscreen stylee to send Orix in front 4-1.
Orix then had eight men go up to the plate in the fifth for another pair, as Shiozaki singled to center and Tani doubled to center. Sheldon walked to juice the bags. DH Yuji Goshima singled to left and both Shiozaki and Tani were on the bench and a 6-1 lead was on the scoreboard for the home folks.
In the eighth, Kintetsu
created its most significant threat when Isobe leadoff with an infield hit,
Rhodes singled to right with one out and third baseman Norihiro Nakamura
walked to jam the basepaths. But DH Kenshi Kawaguchi popped up to short and
first baseman Yuji Yoshioka grounded to
short to extinguish the fire. Tanaka then retired three of the four men he saw in the ninth to put it to bed.
For Orix, Sheldon was 1-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .261.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .265.
Takamura (L, 8-8) IP 4.0 PC 81 H 10
HR 1 K 3 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.38
Kadokura IP 3.0 PC 41 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.91
S. Yamamoto IP 1.0 PC 7 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Yuki Tanaka (W, 5-1) IP 9.0 PC 146 H 8 HR 0 K 9 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.61
2B: Hidaka, Shiozaki, Satake, Tani, A. Fujii
HR: Sheldon (22)
RBI: N. Omura, Tani, Sheldon 2, Goshima 2, Hidaka
Season Series: Kintetsu 16, Orix 8 1 Tie
Game Times: 2:56
Umpires: Shirai (HP), Yamamura (1B), Nagami (2B), Higashi (3B)
Holt, Yokohama Run Over by Ibata's Cycle 11-2
Chunichi Dragons shortstop Hirokazu Ibata, a 1997 fifth round draft choice out of Asia University, homered for the first time in three months and ripped his first triple of the season Saturday, as he went on to become the fourth Dragons player and the 53rd overall to hit for the cycle, as he spurred his team on to an 11-2 stomping of the Yokohama Bay Stars at Nagoya Dome. Masahiro Yamamoto started for the home team and tossed his first complete game of 2002 in winning his seventh, surrendering two runs on four hits while striking out seven and walking none.
Chris Holt started for Yokohama and got pummeled for five runs on five hits in two innings to absorb his ninth loss.
Yokohama took a 1-0 lead in the first when centerfielder Hitoshi Tamura homered to centerfield with two outs in the first.
But the Dragons bundled together a bunch of doubles and a bad fielding decision by Stars catcher Takeshi Nakamura to surmount the disadvantage. Ibata leadoff by deflecting a double off the rightfield wall. Second baseman Masahiro Araki laid down a sac bunt. However, Nakamura attempted to get the out at third and Ibata was there ahead of the tag and now it was men at first and third with nobody out. Araki stole second. Rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome cannonaded a two bagger down the leftfield line and it was 2-1 Dragons. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami then doubled to leftcenter and it was 3-1 in favor of the party from Nagoya.
Yokohama then put up its final tally in the second, as the rookie third basemanKatsuaki Furuki, who is slowly but surely earning himself a starting berth next season, clouted a Yamamoto delivery into the rightfield stands to make it 3-2.
Holt, though, continued to take on water. In the home segment, Yamamoto, never much with the stick, singled to center and Ibata homered to left for a 5-2 Dragons edge.
In the sixth, Dragons catcher Motonobu Tanishige leadoff with a single to left and went to second when Stars first baseman Hirofumi Ogawa booted a groundball. Centerfielder Takayuki Onishi singled to right and Tanishige chugged in to widen their lead ot 6-2.
The following inning, the Dragons put it in the refrigerator against reliever Ryuichi Kawahara. Ibata walloped a 2-2 fastball that was down in the zone into the rightcenter gap and was heading for third right out of the box, getting there with a popup slide. Araki then hit a little ground ball toward third that he beat out and Ibata hit the dish. Fukudome walked. Tatsunami, who was the last Dragon to cycle when he did it five years ago, then also found the rightcenter alley for his own triple and two RBIs. One out later, Hidenori Kuramoto singled to right to score Tatsunami. Onishi doubled up the leftcenter alley for a double and the speedy Kuramoto sprinted around and when the smoke cleared, it was 11-2.
Yamamoto worked a perfect eighth and then struckout the side in the ninth to close it out with gusto.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 0-4 with two strikeouts and is at .266.
For Chunichi, leftfielder Scott Bullet was 0-3 and is at .201.
Holt (L, 5-9)
IP 2.0 PC 50 H 5 HR 1 K 0 BB 0 R 5 ER 5 ERA 3.80
Morinaka IP 2.0 PC 40 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.83
Kizuka IP 2.0 PC 36 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.82
R. Kawahara IP 1.0 PC 45 H 5 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 5 ER 5 ERA 6.06
Chiba IP 1.0 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.40
M. Yamamoto (W, 7-6) IP 9.0 PC 99 H 4 HR 2 K 7 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.96
E: Ogawa, Furuki
SB: Tamura, Araki, M. Takahashi
2B: Ibata, Fukudome, Tatsunami, Koike, Onishi
3B: Ibata, Tatsunami
HR: Tamura (4), Furuki (4), Ibata (4)
RBI: Tamura, Furuki, Ibata 2, Araki, Fukudome 2, Tatsunami 3, Kuramoto, Onishi 2
Season Series: Yokohama 8, Hiroshima 16 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:56
Umpires: Tomoyori (HP), Hamano (1B), Manabe (2B), Kiuchi (3B)
Seguignol to be Released by Orix
Fernando Seguignol will be heading elsewhere at season's end, as the Orix Blue Wave, exasperated by the former Expo's mounting strikeout totals, have announced that he will be released. The big designated hitter batted .204 with 23 homers and 47 RBIs in 89 games with 104 strikeouts. He also set a record when he homered from both sides of the plate for the third time in the same season on July 26th.
For his part, Seguignol said that he will go anywhere where he can play baseball.
Arakaki, Expected to Go High in Draft, Hits 96mph in Shutout
Nagisa Arakaki, a righthander for Kyushu Community College, hit a personal best of 96mph on the radar gun Saturday in a faceoff with Fukuoka Kyoiku University in Fukuoka Six University League play, as he went all the way in a 14 strikeout 113 pitch complete game six hit 1-0 shutout victory. Arakaki is expected to go in the upper echelon of what will be a pitching rich November draft and is said to favor the Daiei Hawks.
The Okinawa native was drafted four years ago by the Orix Blue Wave out of Okinawa Suisan High School, but he refused the team's offer and the scout in charge of negotiating with the young phenom committed suicide by throwing himself off of a hotel balcony.
Arakaki is still feeling the effects of an oblique muscle pull he suffered during the spring schedule. "He's still only using his legs about 60% of what he is capable of and he still touched 96mph, so him one day being able to hit 100mph isn't out of the question," said Daiei Player Personnel Director Ogawa, who was at the game to see the 22 year old. "This time out, he was staying on top whereas the last time he had been throwing almost sidearm" offered Arakaki's coach, Kiyoshi Nakasato. Of the 113 deliveries, 25 were at 93mph or better, so he still needs to find more mechanical consistency. You can see a pic of his delivery at: http://www.nikkansports.com/news/baseball/bb-020922-1.jpg
Brother Elephants Still Need One to Clinch After Defeat
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/21/story/0000168961
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 21st and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1954, the Nankai Hawks racked up their 18th straight win. Ironically, though, the PL pennant was won by the Nishitetsu Lions.
Cabrera Clouts #53 in Seibu Loss to Lotte
The Seibu Lions had one of their more sloppily played games of the year Friday at Chiba Marine Stadium and lost 6-1 to enable a six game string of defeats Lotte had endured at the hands of the Tokorozawa contingent to end. But the notable accomplishment in this one was that Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera connected again for his 53rd homer, a solo bazooka shot with one out in the ninth that was his side's only run. He now has 15 games to rack up three more and overtake both Tuffy Rhodes and Sadaharu Oh for the single season Japanese record.
Seibu appeared that
they would pull in front, as in the third, they put men on second and third
with one out on an infield hit by second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi and a ringing
double to leftcenter by shortstop Kazuo Matsui. But Lotte starter Nathan
Minchey struckout rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki and leftfielder Masahide Kaizuka
grounded to second to snuff the threat. You can see a pic of Minchey at:
Lotte, which will finish in the second division for its seventh straight campaign, then drew first blood in the third, as the PL's littlest shortstop, Makoto Kosaka, laced a shot off the rightfield wall and motored all the way to third. One out later, centerfielder Saburo Omura clocked one to Koichi Hori at second. Hori wanted to go home as Kosaka flew down the line, but had trouble getting the ball out of his glove and had to settle for nipping Omura at first and it was 1-0 home team.
While Minchey, who scooped up his 13th win of the season, would allow just two hits to the big cats in his final five innings, Lotte invaded for another tally in the fourth. With two gone, Hori walked and went to second on a bad pickoff throw from Seibu starter Mitsutaka Goto. Lotte third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba singled to left and Hori wheeled on in to go up 2-0.
The Lions then hurt themselves with a bad running decision in the sixth. Kaizuka singled to center. Cabrera parachuted a looper to center for what should have been a hit. But Kaizuka was sure it would be caught and went back to the bag. He then tried to run for second, only to see Omura's throw beat him for an unusual 8-4 force play. DH Kazuhiro Wada then bounced into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Inspired by that fortuitous turn, Lotte splattered a crooked number on the board in the bottom portion. DH Frank Bolick mashed a Goto pitch off the centerfield wall for a double. Leftfielder Derrick May then attempted to leave on the righthand side, but it carromed off the wall and, hustling right out of the box, he had himself an RBI triple. Hori cashed May in with a flyout and then Hatsushiba conducted a rendition of "Long Stick Goes Boom" for the folks in the centerfield bleachers and it was 5-0 Lotte.
May made some more trouble in the eighth, slicing and dicing a delivery from reliever Naoki Uchizono into the rightcenterfield seats and Lotte were in control at 6-0.
Brian Sikorsky came on to pitch the ninth for Lotte and fanned Kaizuka, but Cabrera pinged a 93mph fastball off of a billboard behind the leftcenterfield stands more than 450 feet away to ruin the shutout to match Rhodes 2001 homer pace. Sikorsky walked Wada and centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji rolled a ground ball to Hatsushiba for what should have been a game ending twin killing, but he booted it. Third baseman Hiroshi Hirao then grounded to Gold Glove man Kosaka, who expertly executed the double play and that was the ballgame.
Matsui was 2-3 with a walk to close within a point of Nippon Ham first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara in the Pacific League batting competition at .331. Will he be the second Japanese batting champion to move to MLB? Read Baseball Guru to find out.
For Lotte, Bolick was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .206. May was 3-4 with two RBIs and is at .267.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .327.
For another take on this game, see Japan Times story at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020921a1.htm
M. Goto (L, 7-2) IP 6.0 PC 108 H 7 HR
1 K 6 BB 2 R 5 ER 4 ERA 2.94
Uchizono IP 2.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.10
Minchey (W, 13-13) IP 8.0 PC 132 H 5 HR 0
K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.87
Sikorsky IP 1.0 PC 16 H 1 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.89
E: Hatsushiba, M. Goto
2B: K. Matsui 2, S. Omura, Bolick
3B: Kosaka, May
HR: Hatsushiba (15), May (21), Cabrera (53)
RBI: Cabrera, S. Omura, Hatsushiba 2, Hori, May 2
GIDP: Wada, H. Hirao
Season Series: Seibu 17, Lotte 6
Game Time: 2:41
Umpires: Yamamoto (HP), Sakaemura (1B), Nakamura (2B), Yanagida (3B)
Hodges Bombed by Giants 7-1
Yakult Swallows righthander Kevin Hodges could have made history Friday at Meiji Jingu Stadium in front of a 45,000 strong crowd if he had been able to beat the Yomiuri Giants for the sixth time this season, but he didn't have much of anything and the birds' crosstown rivals teed off, blitzing the ex-Mariner for seven runs in his shortest stint of the year, three innings, in a damaging 7-1 loss.. He would have set a new record for most triumphs against the Giants by a foreign pitcher, but that won't happen now.
Yomiuri third year southpaw starter Hisanori Takahashi, bombarding the Yakult lineup with cutters and shuutos that bored in on hitter's hands, attained a new career best when he was awarded his tenth victory after tossing a complete game six hitter to help reduce his club's magic number to six. Furthermore, he also hit 90mph on the radar gun for the first time ever as a pro.
The Giants put the boot in from the outset, as shortstop Tomohiro Nioka and rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi each cracked one out singles to right and centerfielder Hideki Matsui walked to load the bases. First baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara, finally back after two months on the disabled list, ripped a 2-1 fastball on the inner half of the plate into centerfield and it was already 2-0 Yomiuri. Catcher Shinnosuke Abe, who had performed so ably in the three hole, was dropped to sixth with Kiyohara back and responded with a liner into the leftcenter gap that plated two more. Third baseman Akira Etoh then recalled Abe with a single to left and it was 5-0 for the kyojin.
In the bottom of the inning, catcher Atsuya Furuta drilled a two out solo homer into the leftfield stands to make it 5-1, but that was the last time Yakult would make any trouble for Takahashi.
In the third, Yoshinobu Takahashi leadoff by leaning into a Hodges pitch and losing it over the rightcenterfield wall for his first dinger in over a month and a half. Matsui walked. Kiyohara singled to right. Furuta then had Matsui picked off at second on a throw through to the bag, but Matsui just took off for third and actually got in ahead of the relay for a weird stolen base. Abe grounded to second to redeem Matsui and it was 7-1 Giants. And for all intents and purposes, it was over from there, as neither offense had any real spark from there on in and Takahashi whiffed third baseman Akinori Iwamura on a slider to turn out the lights in a perfect ninth inning.
One interesting thing to note is that when Takahashi faced an MLB all star team in 2000, he aimed to get inside on them, but he never got the bal in enough and he was tattooed for three huge bombs and five earned runs. In his next start against the same squad, he stayed on the outer half and twirled five hitless innings. But what tonight's outing demonstrates is that the cutter he added during spring training provides him with a formidable new weapon in his pitching arsenal and is a big reason why he has been so successful in 2002.
The Giants are now guarenteed to win the season series with the other five ballclubs in the Central League, something they hadn't pulled off in six years.
For Yakult, first baseman Roberto Petagine was sawed off twice and went 0-4, his average dropping to .324. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 1-4 and is at .295.
H. Takahashi (W, 10-3) IP 9.0 PC 128 H 6 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.99
Hodges (L, 15-7) IP 3.0 PC 68 H 7 HR 1 K 2
BB 2 R 7 ER 7 ERA 3.37
H. Maeda IP 2.0 PC 30 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 5.00
Newman IP 2.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.62
Hanada IP 2.0 PC 23 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.97
2B: S. Abe
HR: Furuta (9), Y. Takahashi (15)
RBI: Y. Takahashi, Kiyohara 2, S. Abe 2, Etoh, Furuta
Season Series: Yomiuri 15, Yakult 10
Game Time: 2:34
Umpires: Sasaki (HP), Honda (1B), Mori (2B), Kasahara (3B)
Yabu Suppresses Hiroshima on Six Hits 4-2
Getting hitters out with a lot of breaking pitches down in the zone, Hanshin Tigers righthander Keiichi Yabu has a shot at his first double figure in wins in four seasons, as he seized his ninth shiroboshi of the year with a nice six hit seven inning effort where he permitted two runs, one earned before turning the ball over to reliever Makoto Yoshino and closer Mark Valdez, who kept the Hiroshima Carp at bay Friday at Koshien Stadium in a 4-2 Hanshin victory.
Masayuki Hasegawa started for Hiroshima and had a rocky time of it, being touched for eight hits and four runs in seven innings to accept responsibility for his seventh kuroboshi.
Hanshin snatched a 1-0 lead in the top of the first when centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi rammed a drive over the head of Hiroshima centerfielder Koichi Ogata for a triple and shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto walked. Atsushi Kataoka grounded to Akihiro Higashide at short, who misplayed it and Akahoshi hustled across with the first run of the battle.
The Carp fought back during their ups when catcher Kazuyoshi Kimura walked with two down and Hasegawa doubled into the leftcenter gap to allow Kimura to lumber in and it was knotted at 1-1.
Hanshin clumbed back into the catbird seat, though, in the second, as catcher Ryo Asai singled to right with one away and went to second on a sac bunt. Akahoshi then jerked one against the rightfield wall and utilized his blazing speed for his second three bagger while Asai made for home and it was 2-1 Tigers.
In the third, rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama, who indicated after the game that he would indeed test the free agent waters at season's end, creamed one over the rightcenterfield fence to expand the Tigers hegemony to 3-1.
Hiroshima did the tighten up in the sixth, as Higashide hit a little ground ball that was ruled a hit, but it got by first baseman George Arias, which allowed Higashide to get to second. Arias was tagged with an error on the play, too, since the runner made it to second. First baseman Itsuki Asai singled to left and Higashide made the left turn for home and it was 3-2 Hanshin.
The Tigers obtained a two run edge again, though, in the seventh, when pinch hitter Katsumi Hirosawa singled to center with one out and Akahoshi singled to left. Shuta Tanaka pinch ran for Hirosawa. One out later, third baseman Atsushi Kataoka singled to right and Tanaka went around for a 4-2 Tigers lead.
Yoshino came on in the eighth and plunked pinch hitter Kojiro Machida, who then stole second with nobody out, and walked leftfielder Tomoaki Kanemoto with one gone, but Yoshino then battened down the hatches and induced a flyout and a strikeout and Valdez had the Carp lineup pounding the ball into the ground in a 1-2-3 ninth to lock it up and extend the Hiroshima losing skein to three.
For Hanshin, Arias was 0-4 and is at .247.
Hasegawa (L, 12-7) IP 7.0 PC 121 H 8
HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 4 ER 4 ERA 3.62
Amano IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.69
9-5) IP 7.0 PC 111 H 6 HR 0 K 6
BB 2 R 2 ER 1 ERA 3.06
Yoshino IP 0.2 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.37
M. Valdez (S, 22) IP 1.1 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.63
E: Arias, Higashide
SB: Machida, I. Asai
3B: Akahoshi 2
HR: Hiyama (13)
RBI: Akahoshi, Kataoka 2, Hiyama, I. Asai, Hasegawa
HBP: Machida (Yoshino)
Season Series: Hiroshima 12, Hanshin 13
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: Kittaka (HP), Suginaga (1B), Tani (2B), Yoshimoto (3B)
Mizuta Five Hitter Backed by Four Homers to Down Fighters 8-1
Akio Mizuta continues to be a nice late season surprise for the Daiei Hawks, who fortified the 29 year old righthander's five hit, one run showing with four trips downtown in an 8-1 victory by the Kyushu crew over Nippon Ham Friday at Tokyo Dome. DH Pedro Valdez raked his 21st homer, a two run upper deck monster to right, to put his team up 2-0 in the top of the first and the Hawks never looked back. This was Mizuta's second straight complete game win. His three triumphs tripled his career total, which was one coming into this year.
Behind 2-0, Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara put the good wood on a two out first pitch fastball from Mizuta and tucked it just inside the rightfield foul pole to shrink the deficit to 2-1. Rightfielder Yukio Tanaka then doubled down the leftfield line. That was going to be it for Nippon Ham offense, however, as they achieved just three more safeties, never more than one in an inning, the rest of the way.
Hayato Nakamura started for Nippon Ham and had his shortest outing of the season, lasting two innings and being shafted for five runs on six hits.
In the wake of Valdez' tape measure homer, the Hawks improved on their advantage in the second, as shortstop Yusuke Torigoe sent one flying over the rightcenterfield fence with one away in the second and it was 3-1 Daiei.
The next time up, Daiei put this baby away, as Valdez walked, third baseman Hiroki Kokubo outran a bleeder toward third and both advanced on a groundout. Nakamura was replaced by Takeshi Itoh. Catcher Kenji Johjima flied to center and Valdez tagged up and crossed. Leftfielder Noriyoshi Omichi beat out a bouncer toward second. Second baseman Munenori Kawasaki whistled one into the rightfield corner for a triple and two RBIs to make it 6-1 Hawks.
In the fifth, first baseman Nobuhiko Matsunaka leadoff by piledriving an Itoh pitch into the rightfield stands and it was 7-1 Hawks.
Kokubo then concluded the offensive splurge in the seventh, when he went to the opposite field on Tatsuhito Kato and deposited it in the rightfield seats to widen it to 8-1. He is now in a position to where he will become the first Hawk in history to blast 30 homers in three straight years.
For Nippon Ham, DH D.T. Cromer was 1-4 with two strikeouts and is at .248.
For Daiei, Valdez was 1-3 with two walks and two RBIs and is at .303.
Mizuta (W, 3-0) IP 9.0 PC 115 H 5 HR 1 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.57
H. Nakamura (L, 7-9) IP 2.0 PC 60 H
6 HR 2 K 1 BB 2 R 5 ER 5 ERA 4.38
Tak. Itoh IP 3.0 PC 62 H 4 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 6.00
T. Kato IP 2.0 PC 27 H 1 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.45
Sakurai IP 1.1 PC 42 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.42
A. Shimizu IP 0.2 PC 2 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.74
2B: Y. Tanaka, Kimoto
3B: M. Kawasaki
HR: P. Valdez (21), M. Ogasawara (31), Torigoe (4), Matsunaka (25), Kokubo (29)
RBI: P. Valdez 2, Kokubo, Matsunaka, Johjima, M. Kawasaki 2, Torigoe,
GIDP: Y. Tanaka
Season Series: Daiei 15, Nippon Ham 10
Game Time: 3:09
Umpires: Yamazaki (HP), Tsugawa (1B), Sato (2B), Tachibana (3B)
Six Run Kintetsu Sixth Defeats Orix 6-1
For six innings, this game was a sweet scoreless pitching duel between Kintetsu Buffaloes starter Hisashi Iwakuma and 24 year old second year Orix sidearming righthander Tomonori Kitagawa, but Kitagawa walked five during his 6.2 innings and one of those came back to haunt him in the seventh, when the Buffs attacked for six runs and prevailed by a 6-1 margin.
Both men pitched out of mild jams, Kitagawa in the second with two on and nobody out, and Iwakuma in the sixth, when he also allowed two to get on before an out was made.
But the roof fell in on Kitagawa in the seventh, as Kintetsu centerfielder Naoyuki Omura leadoff with a double down the rightfield line and went to third on a sacrifice. One out later, lefthanded hitting rightfielder Koichi Isobe was intentionally walked to get to second baseman Yosuke Takasu. Takasu, though, singled to center to plate Omura. Yamamoto was summoned from the bullpen to relieve Kitagawa. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes walked to load the bases. Masafumi Hirai then acended the hill. Third baseman Norihiro Nakamura singled to left and both Isobe and Takasu set the controls for the heart of home plate. DH Kenshi Kawaguchi then brutalized one and propelled it past the rightcenterfield fence and it was 6-0 Buffs.
Orix leftfielder Manabu Satake hammered an Iwakuma offering off the rightfield wall for a double and the Blue Wave hoped to mount a comeback. He advanced on a deep fly ball and then scored on a groundout to second to make it 6-1 Buffs. Iwakuma would render the Kobe nine hitless in the eighth and ninth and this one ended quietly.
Iwakuma, btw, hit 95mph on the gun, a lifetime best and won for the first time in a month.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 0-4 with a walk and is at .266.
For Orix, first baseman Scott Sheldon took home a golden sombrero after whiffing four times in four tries and is at .261.
Iwakuma (W, 8-5) IP 9.0 PC 104 H 5 HR 0 K 7 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.24
T. Kitagawa (L, 0-1) IP 6.2 PC 99 H 4 HR 0
K 4 BB 5 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.51
T. Yamamoto IP 0.0 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.61
Hirai IP 0.1 PC 10 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 9.00
Kubota IP 2.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.11
2B: Hidaka, N. Omura, Satake
HR: Kawaguchi (10)
RBI: Takasu, N. Nakamura 2, Kawaguchi 3, Tamaki
HBP: Kawaguchi (Kitagawa)
Season Series: Kintetsu 16, Orix 7 1 Tie
Game Time: 2:47
Umpires: Kakigizono (HP), Hayashi (1B), Shirai (2B), Yamamura (3B)
Shichino Error Denies Yoshimi 10th Win in 1-1 Tie with Dragons
A second inning throwing error by Yokohama Bay Stars first baseman Tomohide Shichino, who was trying to start a double play, resulted in the only run the Chunichi Dragons would score Friday at Nagoya Dome and it would deny starter Yuji Yoshimi his tenth win despite his shutting the Dragons down on five hits over the next nine innings, the final ultimately being a 1-1 tie. Yoshimi went 11 innings on 147 pitches while closer Takashi Saito tossed the 12th to keep it even.
Kenta Asakura started for the Dragons and went seven innings of one run ball on eight hits. The Dragons bullpen then took over and suffocated the Stars on two hits for the following five innings, though they did walk three. The salient point, though, was that neither side had any real scoring opportunities except for a one out double to rightcenter by backup first baseman Hirofumi Ogawa in the 11th, but Yoshimi induced a couple of groundouts to quell the disturbance.
The Dragons went out to a 1-0 lead in the second when first baseman Mitsunobu Takahashi and leftfielder Takayuki Onishi singled to right. Centerfielder Kuramoto dug in and slapped a routine ground ball to Shichino, who threw it into rightcenterfield to allow Takahashi to score.
Yokohama evened it in the eighth, as leftfielder Kazunori Tanaka reached when he wacked a shot off of Asakura's thigh, causing Asakura to be pulled as a precaution. Hitoki Iwase entered from the pen and centerfielder Tamura singled to left. They were sacrificed along. Pinch hitter Hitoshi Nakane was intentionally walked to set up a force at every base. Second baseman Seiichi Uchikawa grounded to short and Tanaka busted for home and it was 1-1. Ogawa walked to pack the sacks. But catcher Takeshi Nakamura struckout to waste his team's only major chance to win this thing.
And it just kind of petered out from that point forward, as befits two teams not going anywhere.
For Yokohama, rightfielder Boi Rodrigues was 1-2 with a walk and is at .269.
IP 11.0 PC 147 H 7 HR 0 K 7 BB 3 R 1 ER 0 ERA 3.18
Takashi Saito IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.22
IP 7.0 PC 107 H 8 HR 0 K 6 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.67
Iwase IP 1.0 PC 23 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.99
Yamakita IP 1.0 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.10
Endo IP 1.0 PC 9 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.50
Ochiai IP 1.0 PC 12 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.93
Gaillard IP 1.0 PC 19 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.49
E: Furuki, Shichino
GIDP: Tatsunami, Yoshimi, Araki
Season Series: Yokohama 8, Chunichi 15 1 Tie
Game Time: 3:53
Umpires: Arisumi (HP), Manabe (1B), Kiuchi (2B), Tomoyori (3B)
Nihon University Righty Fans 18 in Losing Effort
22 year old Nihon University righthander Takeshi Tsutsumiuchi had the game of his life Friday in Tokyo Metropolitan University League play, as he struckout at least one man in every inning for a total of 18, includijng five in a row at one point, against powerful Tokai University to tie a circuit record. However, he gave up a two run single to Tokai infielder Hayato Funakoshi after that side loaded the sacks on a single and a pair of walks in the eighth that broke a 1-1 tie and he lost it 3-1. 13 of the empties were swinging while five were rung up by the umpire. He was clocked at a high of 91mph and was able to get the hitters to consistently bite on his forkball.
Japanese pro scouts were at the game, but Tsutsumiuchi, a Miyazaki native, even despite the epic whiffs, isn't expected to go all that high in the upcoming draft. He is 6'1" and 170 pounds and is 4-9 in 37 games during his college career.
Chen Slam Leads Whales Past Bulls in Taiwan Action
The guy who wrote
this article needs an english comp class. Anyway, read it at:
No games scheduled.
Without Sports All You Have is Real Life
Joe Posnanski doing that thing he does so well again at the Kansas City Star:http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/sports/columnists/joe_posnanski/4055456.htm
Nomo to Get Extra Work in Last Weeks of Season
See L.A. Times article at:
(you may have to copy and paste the URL into your browser window)
Agbayani to Daiei?
According to Sankei Sports, 30 year old Boston Red Sox outfielder Benny Agbayani is being seriously looked at by the Daiei Hawks, who may add him to their 2003 roster. The Hawaii native was reportedly close to joining the Yomiuri Giants last offseason, but just couldn't come to a final agreement.
Furthermore, manager Sadaharu Oh will be personally checking out winter league action in both Central and South America this offseason in hopes of picking up someone who can help them after they released two other Red Sox alumni, Carlos Castillo and Morgan Burkhart, as well as closer Rodney Pedraza and starter Brady Raggio.
In any event, the Hawks see the stocky ex-Met as someone who can both slug 30 homers as well as provide protection for Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Hiroki Kokubo in the batting order.
Opportunism Key to Lions Success
Jim Allen at the Yomiuri Shimbun shows that aggressiveness, when well used, can help a team's fortunes: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020920wo53.htm
Yokohama's Nomura Announces Retirement
Also, the Kintetsu Buffaloes are going to extend the contract of manager
Masataka Nashida, which is actually a no brainer considering the stellar
job the former catcher has done handling that crapola pitching staff. See
Japan Times article at:
One trivia note about Nomura, btw: 25 of his wins were against Yomiuri (he had 16 losses in other confrontations with them), according to Sports Nippon.
Buffaloes' Morita, Who Came Back from Brain Tumor, Retires
Kintetsu Buffaloes righthander Koki Morita, who won a Comeback Player of the Year award last winter after beating a brain tumor and once again taking the mound as part of the team's relief corps, announced today that he was going to retire at the age of 32.
Morita, a Hokkaido native, was a number one draft choice in 1988 of the Taiyo Whales, using his sharp shuuto (a running fastball), to win an ERA title with a 2.05 mark in 1992, when he posted a career high 14 wins and lost six in 52 appearances.
In 1994, he saved 16 games, his only season in double figures in that category, as he went 8-4 2.48 in 72.2 innings over 46 appearances.
After ineffective 1996 and 1997 seasons with Taiyo, which was now named the Yokohama Bay Stars by that time, he moved on to Kintetsu in 1998, where he went 5-1 with a 2.91 ERA. However, it was also that same year he was diagnosed with the tumor, which was removed in September. He then came back and pitched in the final game of the 1999 season.
Morita appeared in three games in 2000 and then was in 34 games in 2001, when he went 2-0 in 21.2 innings with a 7.06 ERA. This season, though, he got into just one game. Lifetime, he was 47-34 with 20 saves.
Did Selig Stab Bush and Vincent in the Back?
See Milwaukee Sentinel Journal article as reprinted in the Seattle Times at: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/sports/134538249_seam19.html
Seung-yeop Lee Three Run Shot Powers Samsung to Victory
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200209/t2002091917131447110.htm
Shad Williams Pitches Chiayi to Win to Keep Playoff Bid Alive
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/19/story/0000168716
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 19 and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1958, in a game at Korakuen Stadium with the Hiroshima Carp, rookie third baseman Shigeo Nagashima homered, but missed first base during his home run trot and Carp first baseman Hirokazu Fujii noticed. The appeal was made and Nagashima was out.
Also on that date in 1960, Taiyo Whales manager Osamu Mihara used 26 players in a game with Hanshin at Kawasaki Stadium. Normally, Japanese teams were only allowed to use 25 players, but after September 15, they could use as many as they wanted and Mihara took advantage.
Sakamoto Tosses Two Hit Shutout at Hiroshima
20 year old Yataro Sakamoto tossed the first complete game of his career Wednesday at Meiji Jingu Stadium for the Yakult Swallows against the Hiroshima Carp and made it a two hit shutout to boot to pick up his third win in a season that has shown a lot of promise but has been marred by weak run support. First baseman Roberto Petagine helped put the contest out of reach when he doubled to left with men on second and third in the fifth, when the Tokyo outfit got all their runs in a 4-0 victory.
Ken Takahashi started for Hiroshima and went five innings, surrendering all four Swallows tallies, none of which were earned thanks to his own error to fall to 9-13.
The Carp had been rendered hitless until first baseman Takahiro Arai singled to center with one out in the fifth. In the bottom of the same frame, Yakult centerfielder Shinichi Sato legged out a bouncer toward short. Shortstop Noriyuki Shiroishi hit a comebacker to Takahashi, who attempted to get the lead runner, but his peg was off the mark and everyone was safe. Sakamoto grounded to Arai, who went across the diamond for the force at third. Rightfielder Hirobumi Watarai walked to load the bases. Second baseman Katsuyuki Dobashi singled to left to drive in Shiroishi. Catcher Atsuya Furuta grounded to second and Sakamoto crossed. Petagine then blooped a ball to left and by the time it was retrieved and sent back to the infield, he was standing on second and Watarai and Furuta both sprinted in to make it 4-0.
Arai singled again in the seventh for the final Carp safety while the Swallows couldn't get anything going the rest of the game and Sakamoto, who featured his fastball early on before resorting to his forkball in the last few innings, cruised to a quick two hours and 18 minute win. He was clocked at a career best 90mph, too and ended a seven game personal losing streak.
In their last six matches with Yakult, Hiroshima is 0-5-1 and this is the 11th time overall that they were shutout by an opponent this season.
For Yakult, Petagine was 2-3 with two RBIs and a walk and is at .328. Leftfielder Alex Ramirez was 0-4 and is at .295.
K. Takahashi (L, 9-13)
IP 5.0 PC 83 H 5 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 4 ER 0 ERA 3.86
Kawauchi IP 2.0 PC 19 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.42
Kawano IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 6.75
Sakamoto (W, 3-8) IP 9.0 PC 112 H 2 HR 0 K 5 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.17
E: K. Takahashi
2B: Petagine 2
RBI: Dobashi, Furuta, Petagine 2
GIDP: Ramirez, S. Sato
Season Series: Hiroshima 9, Yakult 11 2 Ties
Game Time: 2:18
Umpires: Ino (HP), Kamimoto (1B), Fukatani (2B), Nishimoto (3B)
Kuwata Pitches, Bats Yomiuri to 6-3 Victory
Yomiuri Giants righthander Masumi Kuwata had a shutout going Wednesday against the Yokohama Bay Stars at Tokyo Dome until the top of the ninth, before he surrendered an RBI double to rightfielder Boi Rodrigues and got taken deep by rookie third baseman Katsuaki Furuki to spoil it, though he still came away with a 6-3 victory. The veteran hurler also connected for his first homer at Tokyo Dome in ten years and his first overall in eight seasons, since he unloaded one against Hiroshima.
The Giants pulled out in front in the bottom of the first, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu leadoff with a single to left and, one out later, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi rifled one past Hirofumi Ogawa at first and down into the rightfield corner, Shimizu galloping around the basepaths to make it 1-0.
In the second, Giants second baseman Toshihisa Nishi mortared one into the leftfield bleachers with one down. Kuwata, who chokes up on the bat 3-4 inches, then banged an 86mph fastball from Stars starter Shane Bowers beyond the leftcenterfield wall and it was 3-0 Yomiuri.
The following frame, Giants centerfielder Hideki Matsui was the recipient of a bit of luck when he hit skidded a groundball that hit the first bag and bounded over the head of Ogawa for a one out double. Nothing came of that, though.
Yomiuri then put up a three spot in the sixth when catcher Shinnosuke Abe singled to right and first baseman Akira Etoh doubled down the leftfield line. Manager Tatsunori Hara called for the squeeze and third baseman Daisuke Motoki laid it down to plate Abe. Nishi singled to center to bring in Etoh. He then stole second, his 19th of the year, and was sacrificed over to third. Shimizu singled to center to usher Nishi in and it was 6-0 Giants.
Kuwata had a three hitter until the ninth, when second baseman Makoto Fukumoto leadoff with a single to right. Leftfielder Hitoshi Taneda singled to left. Rodrigues lasered one off the centerfield wall and Fukumoto chugged in, but Taneda was meat at the plate. One out later, Kuwata had Furuki 0-2 and then left a fat one over the plate. Furuki creamed it, hurtling it into the centerfield stands to shrink the deficit to 6-3. Kuwata, though, tempted Tamura into grounding to short and that was that.
Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura made his first appearance since going down with an elbow problem two months ago and threw a scoreless inning, permitting one hit. He says the discomfort isn't completely gone, but it also isn't painful enough to bother him.
Giants first baseman Kazuhiro Kiyohara made a rehab start in the minors and struckout twice and fouled out to the catcher. Despite that less than impressive outing, he will be back with the big club Friday.
With his 2-5 night, Shimizu now has 180 hits. She needs 20 more knocks in the 13 remaining games to become the first Central League player ever to 200 hits.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 1-4 with an RBI and is at .267.
4-8) IP 6.0 PC 101 H 10 HR 2 K 2 BB 1 R 6 ER 6 ERA 3.73
R. Kawahara IP 0.2 PC 10 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
Chiba IP 0.1 PC 4 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 7.71
Miura IP 1.0 PC 13 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.19
Kuwata (W, 11-6) IP 9.0 PC 112 H 7 HR 1 K 6 BB 0 R 3 ER 3 ERA 2.30
2B: Y. Takahashi, H. Matsui, Kuwata, Etoh, Rodrigues
HR: Nishi (7), Kuwata (1), Furuki (3)
RBI: Rodrigues, Furuki 2, T. Shimizu, Y. Takahashi, Motoki, Nishi 2, Kuwata
HBP: Tamura (Kuwata)
Season Series: Yokohama 7, Yomiuri 20
Game Time: 2:43
Umpires: Watada (HP), Tani (1B), ? (2B), Kittaka (3B)
Kaizuka's Timely Hitting Brings Another Win for Lions
Seibu Lions leftfielder Masahide Kaizuka drove in three runs and also scored a run with some daring baserunning, as the Tokorozawa squad reduced its magic number to clinch the Pacific League pennant to one with a 5-2 victory Wednesday over the Nippon Ham Fighters at Seibu Dome in front of a season high 50,000. Koji Mitsui got the victory with 1 perfect inning after starter Tetsuya Shiozaki lasted just four innings and was victimized by Fighters DH Sherman Obando's two run homer in the fourth.
Carlos Mirabal started for Nippon Ham and took the defeat after five innings of three run ball (two earned) on seven hits.
It was scoreless until the fourth, when Nippon Ham first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara mashed one off the leftfield wall for a long single and then Obando dialed long distance on Shiozaki and it was picked up by a fan in the leftfield bleachers to make it 2-0 Fighters.
Seibu halved that disparity in the home half, as Kazuhiro Wada leadoff with a tapper toward second that he outran for a hit and centerfielder Kazuhiko Miyaji and Hiroshi Hirao each singled to right to load the bases. Oshima flew out to left and Wada tagged and scored to get his side within 2-1.
Then in the fifth, Lions shortstop Kazuo Matsui leadoff with a walk and was sacrificed to second. Kaizuka singled to center and the speedy Matsui busted for home and slid in safely while Kaizuka went to second on the relay to the plate. First baseman Alex Cabrera hit a ball that forced third baseman Kuniyuki Kimoto had to field it a little off balance, so he threw to first without looking at Kaizuka, who took off as soon as the ball left Kimoto's hand. Ogasawara caught the ball at first for the out and then whipped it back toward third, but he missed the mark completely and Kaizuka got up and toed the dish and Seibu had a 3-2 edge.
Nippon Ham made some trouble in the sixth against reliever Naoki Uchizono, as Yutaka Nakamura walked and was sacrificed to second. Shortstop Hiroshi Narahara singled to right. Uchizono was dispatched to the showers and Yoshihiro Doi put in his stead. Doi fanned the next two men and that rally went down the tubes.
If you're going to win a pennant, luck is something that really helps and the Lions were visited by a good turn of fate in the bottom of the sixth. With one down, catcher Satoshi Nakajima singled to center and went to second when second baseman Ken Tanaka booted a ground ball from his opposite number, Hiroyuki Takagi. Takagi was forced on a grounder to short while Nakajima moved to third. Fighters reliever Akio Shimizu plunked Tatsuya Ozeki to jam the basepaths. Kaizuka singled to left and two men crossed and Seibu was in the catbird seat at 5-2.
Three Lions relievers blanketed the Nippon Ham attack on one hit over the last three innings and the big cats had a W in pocket.
With the team's 82nd victory, first year manager Haruki Ihara put himself alongside two illustrious helmsmen from the past, Shigeru Mizuhara (1950) of the Yomiuri Giants and Yukio Nishimoto (1960) of the Daimai Orions, who also won that many in their inital seasons. So when Seibu clinches, Ihara will become the winningest rookie field boss ever.
One interesting thing about Seibu's supremacy this season is that they haven't been receiving much production from their number three hitters. They have had a dozen men try their luck in that role and cumulatively they have only posted a .262 average. Coming into the season, they had hoped that either longtime veterans Ken Suzuki or Taisei Takagi would be able to give them what they need there, but Takagi began the regular schedule on the DL and Suzuki just never really got anything done. Now Kaizuka is being tried out in the three hole. Thank you to the Japanese press for pointing that out.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 1-2 with two RBIs. He somehow suffered a left leg fracture is out for the season. In addition, he was hit with a pitch on the hand, but the umpire ruled he had swung and it was therefore a strike, setting off a strenous two minute objection from Fighters manager Yasunori Oshima. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer 0-3 and is at .248.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 0-4 and is at .328.
Also, see Jim Allen's story on this game at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020919wo53.htm
Mirabal (L, 9-6)
IP 5.0 PC 74 H 7 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.37
A. Shimizu IP 0.2 PC 32 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 0 ERA 4.81
Iba IP 2.1 PC 39 H 1 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.60
IP 4.0 PC 62 H 2 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.86
Mitsui (W, 9-1) IP 1.0 PC 12 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.12
Uchizono IP 0.1 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.95
Doi IP 1.2 PC 20 H 0 HR 0 K 3 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.35
S. Mori IP 1.0 PC 15 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.08
Toyoda (S, 32) IP 1.0 PC 8 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.88
E: Ken Tanaka, M. Ogasawara
HR: Obando (26)
RBI: Obando 2, Kaizuka 3, Oshima
HBP: Ozeki (A. Shimizu)
GIDP: Y. Tanaka
Season Series: Nippon Ham 10, Seibu 17
Game Time: 3:15
Umpires: Tachibana (HP), Yanagida (1B), Akimura (2B), Yamamoto (3B)
Tanoue Three Hits Orix 7-0
If one takes a gander at Daiei Hawks starter Keisaburo Tanoue's stats, it doesn't seem as if he has done that badly. He is 6-8 with a 3.71 ERA. Those aren't great numbers, but they hardly suck. Unfortunately, that's not true. In a year in which he has not met manager Sadaharu Oh's expectations and could see him bidding Fukuoka adieu, his record only looks as good as it does due to his ability to beat the Orix Blue Wave. Wednesday at Fukuoka Dome, he racked up his fifth victory against the Kobe contingent just this season with a complete game three hit 7-0 shutout. It's not like what Tanoue did, though, is remarkable, since the weak hitting Blue Wave have been blanked 14 times and they are now 30 games under .500 for the first time in 39 years.
Takashi Aiki started for Orix and got stomped for four runs on seven hits in 3.1 innings to lose his fourth.
Daiei popped Aiki for a pair in the second, as centerfielder Hiroshi Shibahara was nailed with a pitch and then blazed around the basepaths on a triple in the leftcenterfield gap by second baseman Munenori Kawasaki. Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe beat out a bleeder for an infield hit and Kawasaki busted for home and it was 2-0 Hawks.
In the fourth, catcher Kenji Johjima torched an Aiki offering into the leftfield seats. Shibahara then tried to leave, but had to settle for a wall rattling double to center. He went to third on a groundout and trotted in on a single to center by Torigoe to make it 4-0.
Atsushi Kubota, who obtained the last two outs of the fourth, went back out for the fifth and roughed up. First baseman Noriyoshi Omichi walked and third baseman Hiroki Kokubo singled to center. DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka walked to juice the bags.One out later, Shibahara singled to center and Omichi and Kokubo scored for a 6-0 Hawks advantage.
In the seventh, Daiei attacked righthander Masafumi Hirai. With two gone, Johjima singled to center and Shibahara walked. Hirai was replaced by Takuji Yamamoto. Kawasaki singled to left to fill the bases. Torigoe then waited out a walk and forced Johjima in for the 7-0 final as Tanoue had Orix eatning out of his hand.
To finance stadium renovations as well as the manner the facility is run, naming rights to Kobe Green Stadium are going to be put up for sale. God, I hate that.
For Orix, first baseman Scott Sheldon struckout twice in three hitless at bats and is at .263.
IP 3.1 PC 60 H 7 HR 1 K 3 BB 0 R 4 ER 4 ERA 5.36
Kubota IP 1.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 10.38
Kase IP 0.2 PC 9 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.57
M. Hirai IP 1.2 PC 38 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 2 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.91
T. Yamamoto IP 1.1 PC 31 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.74
Tanoue (W, 6-8) IP 9.0 PC 120 H 3 HR 0 K 7 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.71
SB: K.Y. Takahashi, Torigoe
2B: Shiozaki, Shibahara
3B: M. Kawasaki
HR: Johjima (25)
RBI: Johjima, Shibahara 2, M. Kawasaki, Torigoe 3
HBP: Shibahara (Aiki), K.Y. Takahashi (Hirai)
GIDP: M. Kawasaki, Omichi, Sheldon, Katsuragi
Season Series: Orix 12, Daiei 14
Game Time: 3:05
Umpires: Yoshikawa (HP), Iizuka (1B), Tamba (2B), Maeda (3B)
Five Run Lotte First Sinks Kintetsu 7-3
The Chiba Lotte Marines got a pair of two run doubles in the first inning on the way to a five run bonanza off of Kintetsu Buffaloes starter Jeremy Powell, and then Lotte starter Naoyuki Shimizu, battling his control, and two relievers took it from there in what became a 7-3 victory Wednesday at Chiba Marine Stadium. Powell was terrible, as he was dunned for all seven runs that Lotte amassed in just two innings of work.
In that crucial first, centerfielder Saburo Omura cracked a one out single to center and first baseman Kazuya Fukuura singled to left. DH Frank Bolick walked to load the bases. Leftfielder Derrick May lined a double to right center to recall Omura and Fukuura and second baseman Koichi Hori did the same to plate both Bolick and May. One out later, catcher Masaumi Shimizu walked. Shortstop Makoto Kosaka singled to center and Hori was in with a 5-0 Lotte lead.
Buffs third baseman Norihiro Nakamura leadoff the second by decimating a Naoyuki Shimizu pitch and scattering the remains in the rightcenterfield bleachers to make it 5-1.
Powell got through the second, but then couldn't retire anyone in the third. Hori leadoff with a single to left. Third baseman Kiyoshi Hatsushiba jerked one down the leftfield line and Hori skated in from first as Hatsushiba went into second standing up. Powell hit Masaumi Shimizu with a pitch and Buffs manager Masataka Nashida went to the bullpen for Yasunari Takagi, who walked Kosaka to load the bases. Pinch hitter Takashi Tachikawa flew out deep enough to left that Hatsushiba was able to tag and score and Lotte was up 7-1.
In the fourth, DH Kenshi Kawaguchi did the magic thing, demonstrating how you turn a pitch left in the wheelhouse into a souvenir in the rightfield seats, to make it 7-2.
Kintetsu then got within a granny in the fifth when rightfielder Koichi Isobe singled to right and went to third on a single to left by second baseman Yosuke Takasu. Leftfielder Tuffy Rhodes grounded to second to plate Isobe and it was 7-3.
The pitching staffs then owned the game after that, as they limited Kintetsu to three hits while Lotte could collect a mere one, all singles, and Lotte walked away with a win. Kintetsu has lost their last six tilts with Lotte.
Mets scout Isao Ojimi was at this game watching Nakamura, who was impressed by the stocky Osaka native's ability to go to the opposite field with power.
For Kintetsu, Rhodes was 1-3 with a walk and an RBI and is at .268.
For Lotte, Bolick was 0-3 with two walks and is at .205. May was 1-5 with two RBIs and .262.
14-9) IP 2.0 PC 57 H 7 HR 0 K 1 BB 3 R 7 ER 7 ERA 4.01
Y. Takagi IP 4.2 PC 72 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.33
Misawa IP 0.2 PC 6 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.76
S. Yamamoto IP 0.2 PC 11 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.29
N. Shimizu (W, 13-8)
IP 6.0 PC 113 H 7 HR 2 K 4 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA 4.03
T. Kawai IP 1.1 PC 29 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.04
Sikorsky IP 1.2 PC 17 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.83
2B: May, Hori 2, Matoyama,
HR: N. Nakamura (35), Kawaguchi (9)
RBI: Rhodes, N. Nakamura, Kawaguchi, Tachikawa, May 2, Hori 2, Hatsushiba, Kosaka
HBP: Masaumi Shimizu (Powell)
GIDP: T.T. Maeda
Season Series: Kintetsu 11, Lotte 12
Game Time: 3:14
Umpires: Kawaguchi (HP), Hirabayashi (1B), Yamazaki (2B), Nakamura (3B)
Arias Three Run Homer Backs Nice Fujita Outing for Hanshin 3-1
Taiyo Fujita appears to finally be fulfilling the promise Hanshin Tigers scouts thought he had before they made him their 2000 number one draft choice, as Wednesday at Nagoya Dome, he went seven superb innings on one run and five hits while striking out four and walking two. And thanks to first baseman George Arias' three run fourth inning blast into the leftfield seats, Fujita grabbed his second pro victory 3-1 over the Chunichi Dragons.
Makoto Kito started for the Dragons and ended up taking the loss after no hitting the visitors over the first three innings before losing his command in the fourth and giving up the bomb to the former Padre. He ultimately went five frames in what in the main was a pretty strong performance except for that fatal fourth, when the Tigers rapped out three of their four hits against him.
In the fourth, Kito plunked centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi with a pitch and walked shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto, who was forced out at second on a one out grounder to first from rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama. Arias then rammed one into the leftfield bleachers to make it 3-0 Hanshin. Leftfielder Koji Hirashita and second baseman Taichiro Kamisaka each singled to right and catcher Ryo Asai walked to load the bases, but Fujita grounded to short to cut that rally short.
Chunichi third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami hammered a Fujita delivery into the rightfield seats with one down in the bottom of the inning, but Fujita, who had a good forkball, was throughly in control from there on in until retiring for the evening.
The Dragons actually had the tying run on in the ninth against closer Mark Valdez when backup shortstop Shuta Tanaka booted catcher Motonobu Tanishige's one out grounder and first baseman Mitsunobu Takahashi singled to right, but centerfielder Takayuki Onishi, who has been a major pain in the butt to the opposition that last couple of weeks, struckout and pinch hitter Junichi Jinno lined out to short and it was "game setto." The Tigers have already matched last season's win total.
For Hanshin, Arias, who is going to be asked back to Osaka for next season after all due to a shortage of viable power hitters in the team's system after manager Senichi Hoshino had earlier signalled a desire to cut him loose for inconsistent production, was 1-3 with three RBIs and a walk and is at .249.
T. Fujita (W,
2-4) IP 7.0 PC 94 H 5 HR 1 K 4 BB 2 R 1 ER
1 ERA 3.72
Taninaka IP 0.2 PC 11 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.59
M. Valdez (S, 21) IP 1.1 PC 18 H 1 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.68
3-4) IP 5.0 PC 73 H 4 HR 1 K 3 BB 3 R 3 ER 3 ERA
Ochiai IP 2.0 PC 25 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.03
Yamakita IP 2.0 PC 33 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.18
E: S. Tanaka
2B: M. Takahashi, Ibata
HR: Arias (28), Tatsunami (15)
RBI: Arias 3, Tatsunami
HBP: Akahoshi (Kito)
GIDP: R. Asai, K. Inoue
Season Series: Hanshin 9, Chunichi 14 2 Ties
Game Time: 2:53
Umpires: T. Kobayashi (HP), Mori (1B), Tsuchiyama (2B), Sasaki (3B)
Practice Doesn't Always Make Perfect
A very informative article from the Yomiuri Shimbun's english edition at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020919wo52.htm
Dodgers Introduce Chen at Press Conference
See Taipei Times story at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/18/story/0000168596
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 18th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1968, Hanshin Tigers hurler Gene Bacque played some chin music to the Yomiuri Giants' Sadaharu Oh and both benches emptied, resulting in Giants coach Arakawa and Bacque duking it out. Both men were ejected, as was the Giants outfielder Toshiro Yanagida, also for violent actions. The Kobe prosecutor's office wasn't too thrilled about this and both Bacque and Arakawa later received notices at their homes that they were being considered for prosecution.
Also on that date in 1974, a bomb threat was received at Kawasaki Stadium.
Kanagawa Prefecture police then inspected all fans entering that day's game
as they entered the park.
Cabrera Hammers 52nd Homer in Slugfest with Nippon Ham
Seibu Lions first baseman Alex Cabrera howitzered his 52nd homer of the season Tuesday at Seibu Dome off of reliever Yoshinori Tateyama in the eighth inning to provide his club with a big insurance run, as the Tokorozawa dynasty beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 10-8. Leftfielder Kazuhiro Wada clouted a pair of longballs and shortstop Kazuo Matsui drilled a three run shot to also help reduce the big cats magic number to clinch the Pacific League pennant to two.
Itsuki Shoda started for the Fighters and got popped to a faretheewell, being charged with eight runs, six earned, on six hits for his tenth loss.
Chang Chieh-chia started for Seibu and got himself in the Lions doghouse thanks to an incident in the fifth, when manager Haruki Ihara went out to yank the Taiwanese righthander after he was taken to the downs for two runs by Fighters first baseman Michihiro Ogasawara that got Nippon Ham within 8-5. Chang, who lost his last start when he was victimized by a two run ninth inning homer that cost him the game, threw the ball into the upper deck along the first baseline, where it was picked up by fan Yoshiko Kiko, who had come in from Tachikawa to see the battle. Ihara, who told reporters after it was over in not so many words, "I can be a real asshole, too," in hinting that he was going to give Chang the tongue lashing of his life, though he decided against suspending him, probably due to his rotation being thinned out by Daisuke Matsuzaka's injury. But how the league office will react is a different question. By the way, Chang did apologize.
A few years ago, Yomiuri Giants hurler Balvino Galvez got into a confrontation with umpire Atsushi Kittaka over the way balls and strikes were called and flung the ball into the seats after Kittaka ran him. The big Dominican was suspended the rest of the season. He came back the following year and was then released after an up and down campaign, whereupon he went to Korea in 2001 after he had stalked out of the Pittsburgh Pirates spring training camp in the wake of throwing another ball into the bleachers at the end of a workout. He bombed out of Korea and I have no idea where he his now.
Nippon Ham got off to a brief 1-0 lead in the first, as second baseman Ken Tanaka walked and was sacrificed to second before scoring on a single to center by Ogasawara.
Seibu then mugged Shoda in their ups when Matsui leadoff with a triple off the rightfield fence and came home on a rare miscue by Ogasawara on a grounder off the bat of rightfielder Tatsuya Ozeki. One out later, Cabrera singled to right and then Wada connected for a voyage to the leftfield seats and a 4-1 Lions advantage.
Nippon Ham rightfielder Yukio Tanaka narrowed that a bit when he buried one into the leftcenterfield bleachers to make it 4-2 Lions in the top of the second.
In the fourth, Wada commenced the inning with a walk and advanced on a sac bunt. Third baseman Hiroshi Hirao singled to left to plate Wada. Catcher Satoshi Nakajima walked. He was forced at second on a grounder to short by second baseman Hiroyuki Takagi. Matsui waylaid a Shoda offering and deposited it in the leftfield stands and it was 8-2 Seibu.
With a big lead, the prevailing wisdom is throw strikes, but the ones Chang was serving up were too hittable. In the top of the fifth and with one away, centerfielder Yutaka Nakamura, a spseedster with little power, unloaded a big fly to left. One out later, shortstop Hiroshi Narahara walked. Ogasawara then made it his third consective year with 30 jacks, as he shredded a hanging slider into the rightfield bleachers to shrink the gap with the Lions to 8-5. Ihara called on Koji Mitsui, who surrendered a single to center from DH Sherman Obando, but induced a groundout by Yukio Tanaka to put the stanza to rest.
Pat Flury mosied in from the bullpen for Nippon Ham for the home portion and Wada lit him up for a two out solo blast to right for a 9-5 lead.
The Fighters would exemplify their nickname in the sixth and turn this into a one run ballgame. Pinch hitter Takaya Hayashi catalyzed it with a single to right and pinch hitter Katsuhiro Nishiura walked. Catcher Toshihiro Noguchi laced a double into the leftcenter alley and both runners sprinted in. Nakamura then laid down a sac bunt, but Hirao dropped the throw at first and everybody was safe. One out later, Narahara Flied to right and Noguchi tagged up and chugged in to make it 9-8.
Yoshihiro Doi threw the seventh for Seibu and he allowed Nippon Ham to get a couple men on in the seventh with one out, but two groundouts later, he was out of the predicament.
An inning later, Cabrera dug in to face Tateyama and leaned into a sinker, propelling it to dead center more than 450 feet away for a huge, in a couple senses of the word, solo roundtripper and the Lions had the upper hand at 10-8.
Ogasawara singled to open the kick off the ninth against closer Kiyoshi Toyoda, but Toyoda fanned the next two men and then Hayashi grounded to second to put it in the books.
This was the second time that Wada, Matsui, and Cabrera had all gone bang in the same contest this season. The inaugural occasion was August 19th.
For Seibu, Cabrera was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .332 to grab the top spot in the PL batting race by a point. He is also in front in the other two Triple Crown categories, too. DH Scott McClain was 0-3 with a walk and is at .250.
For Nippon Ham, Obando was 2-5 and is at .262. Leftfielder D.T. Cromer was 0-2 and is at .250.
Shoda (L, 6-10)
IP 4.0 PC 79 H 6 HR 2 K 0 BB 3 R 8 ER 6 ERA 3.56
Flury IP 2.0 PC 34 H 1 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.09
Tateyama IP 2.0 PC 30 H 2 HR 1 K 2 BB 0 R 1 ER 1 ERA 2.39
IP 4.2 PC 73 H 5 HR 3 K 3 BB 4 R 5 ER 5 ERA 2.76
Mitsui (W, 8-1) IP 1.1 PC 47 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 3 ER 2 ERA 3.15
Doi IP 1.0 PC 12 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.45
S. Mori IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.11
Toyoda (S, 31) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.89
E: M. Ogasawara, H. Takagi
2B: T. Noguchi
3B: K. Matsui
HR: Wada 2 (33), K. Matsui (32), Y. Tanaka (15), Y. Nakamura (1), M. Ogasawara
(30), Cabrera (52)
RBI: Narahara, M. Ogasawara 3, Y. Tanaka, T. Noguchi 2, Y. Nakamura, K. Matsui 3,
Cabrera, Wada 4, Hirao
GIDP: Obando, K. Matsui
Season Series: Nippon Ham 10, Seibu 16
Game Time: 3:21
Umpires: Sato (HP), Tachibana (1B), Yanagida (2B), Akimura (3B)
Both Closers Blow Saves in 4-3 Giants Win Over Yokohama
Closer Junichi Kawahara was summoned from the bullpen by Yomiuri Giants manager Tatsunori Hara in the top of the ninth and saw Yokohama Bay Stars rookie Katsuaki Furuki jackhammer one out of the park with a man on to cede the Stars a 3-2 lead. However, Giants catcher Shinnosuke Abe spanked a single to right with two down and the bases loaded to push the tying and winning runs across the plate against closer Takashi Saito for a dramatic 4-3 win by the Tokyo favorite sons. That was Abe's fourth sayonara safety of 2002, which matches a team record. Yomiuri now needs a combination of nine victories and Yakult Swallows defeats to wrap up the title.
Yusaku Iriki started for the victors and wove seven excellent innings of four hit, one run ball, though Kawahara's blown save left him with a no decision.
Domingo Guzman continues to be the Derek Lowe of Japan, as he had another quality start after a terrible season as a reliever. He hung around for seven innings and permitted two runs on seven hits, though he didn't figure in the decision, either, when it was all said and done.
Yomiuri copped an initial advantage in the first, as leftfielder Takayuki Shimizu outran a little ground ball toward first. Shortstop Tomohiro Nioka scorched a double down the leftfield line. With the infield up, rightfielder Yoshinobu Takahashi grounded to second baseman Hitoshi Taneda, who gunned it to the plate to shoot Shimizu down. Centerfielder Godzilla Matsui singled to right and Nioka toed the dish to make it 1-0.
This game really slowed down offensively, as both pitchers were brilliant. In the sixth, though, Iriki cracked. With one down, shortstop Takuro Ishii singled to right and was forced at second on a grounder by centerfielder Kazunori Tanaka, who then somehow got to second (wild pitch?). Taneda singled to left to convert Tanaka and knotted it at 1-1.
The Giants, however, snatched another lead in the home segment when Takahashi singled to left and went to second on a walk to Matsui. One out later, first baseman Akira Etoh singled to left to load the bases. Pinch hitter Koji Goto then walked to force Takahashi in and make it 2-1 Yomiuri. Takahashi's heel began to bother him while he was running the bases, so he was substituted for defensively when Yokohama came up in the seventh.
Saito entered the game in the eighth and hit a man and walked another before extricating himself, but he still isn't sharp after returning from injury and that would be costly.
Kawahara came on to start the ninth and struckout Hitoshi Nakane. Taneda singled to center. Rightfielder Boi Rodrigues flied out to left. Furuki went up to pinch hit for first baseman Hirofumi Ogawa. Kawahara attempted to spot a pitch on the outside corner, but it tailed back over the plate and Furuki walloped the daylights out of it, the ball landing well into the rightfield seats and Yokohama now had a chance to triumph at 3-2.
Saito strode back out to the mound and fanned third baseman Kenji Fukui. Shimizu singled to center for his third hit of the night (more about that later). Nioka laid down a sac bunt. Saito pounced on it and whipped it over to second hoping to force Shimizu, but he was safe. Pinch hitter Koichiro Yoshinaga singled to right to pack the sacks. Saito then struckout Matsui. Saito threw a fastball down in the zone to the lefthanded hitting Abe and he lined it on one hop to right and both Shimizu and Nioka motored in for the 4-3 victory.
The trio of knocks by Shimizu comprised the 22nd time he had at least that many in a game this season, tying him with Hall of Fame inductee Wally Yonamine's 1952 team record. He needs to do that two more times to pass up Hiroshima Carp rightfielder Tomonori Maeda's all time standard of 23.
The Giants could possibly secure the pennant when they go into Koshien Stadium for a series against Hanshin. The last time Yomiuri celebrated a pennant win there was in 1973. Some disgruntled Tigers fans displayed their disgust at that state of affairs by running on to the field and conking first baseman Sadaharu Oh on the head with one of their geta (traditional wooden shoes).
With their 19th defeat at the hands of the Giants, it's been 18 years since Yokohama has been so trounced in the season series between the clubs.
Yokohama also announced that they have put outfielder Ernie Young on waivers with the purpose of releasing him. The former Diamondback and ex-2000 U.S. olympic baseball team member hit just .173 with eight homers in 32 games for the Stars.
For Yokohama, Rodrigues was 0-3 with a walk and is at .268.
IP 7.0 PC 101 H 7 HR 0 K 3 BB 4 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.33
Takashi Saito (L, 1-2) IP 1.2 PC 45 H 3 HR 0 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.27
IP 7.0 PC 91 H 4 HR 0 K 5 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.33
Okajima IP 1.0 PC 10 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.52
J. Kawahara (W, 5-3) IP 1.0 PC 18 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 0 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.80
2B: T. Ishii, Nioka
HR: Furuki (2)
RBI: Furuki 2, H. Matsui, S. Abe 2, K. Goto
HBP: K. Goto (Takashi Saito)
GIDP: Etoh, T. Nakamura, M. Kawai
Season Series: Yokohama 7, Yomiuri 19
Game Time: 3:20
Umpires: Suginaga (HP), ? (1B), Kittaka (2B), Watada (3B)
Jinno Pinch Two Run Double in Eighth Defeats Tigers 5-3
A two run double to leftcenter in the bottom of the eighth off of reliever Shinji Taninaka by Chunichi Dragons pinch hitter Junichi Jinno broke a 3-3 deadlock and spurred the Nagoya contingent to a 5-3 victory over the Hanshin Tigers Tuesday at Nagoya Dome. The Osaka nine are now a season worst eight games under .500 and it is highly unlikely they can elevate themselves into the first division from their current fifth place perch.
Hanshin scored in the first when starter Daisuke Yamai plunked centerfielder Norihiro Akahoshi to leadoff the game and stole second. Shortstop Atsushi Fujimoto singled to left.Third baseman Atsushi Kataoka grounded to second and Akahoshi quickly headed plateward and it was 1-0 Tigers.
They expanded on that in the second, as leftfielder Koji Hirashita doubled down the leftfield line and went to third on a sacrifice. Catcher Ryo Asai singled to right to drive Hirashita in and it was 2-0 Hanshin.
Hanshin loaded the bases in the third on a leadoff single to center by Fujimoto and a pair of two out walks. Dragons boss Hisashi Yamada subtracted Yamai and added Masataka Endo, who got second baseman Taichiro Kamisaka to pop out and end the inning.
In the fifth, Fujimoto got on again with a single to center. Kataoka singled to left. Rightfielder Shinjiro Hiyama singled to center to knock Fujimoto in and it was 3-0 Tigers.
Tigers starter Kyuji Fujikawa had limited the Dragons to a first inning single
to right by second baseman Masahiro Araki, but he and reliever Makoto Yoshino,
who has otherwise done a nice job this season, were dented up in the sixth
and it became a new ballgame. Leftfielder Kazuki Inoue steamed one into the
leftfield corner for a double and went to third on a groundout. Araki singled
to center to redeem Inoue and topple
Fujikawa. Yoshino ascended the hill and walked rightfielder Kosuke Fukudome. Third baseman Kazuyoshi Tatsunami doubled down the rightfield line to get Araki around. Yoshino was supplanted by Takehito Kanazawa. Catcher Motonobu Tanishige walked to juice the bags. First baseman Mitsunobu Takahashi grounded to third and Kataoka went to catcher Katsuhiko Yamada for the force, but his feet got tangled up with the sliding Fukudome and he wasn't able to get off a very strong throw to first and Takahashi was safe to keep the rally alive. Centerfielder Takayuki Onishi singled to center and Tatsunami was hotfooting it across the dish and it was even at 3-3.
There was little movement on either side until the eighth, when the Dragons applied the killing blow against Taninaka. Fukudome singled to center to lead it off. Tatsunami flamed one into the leftcenter alley to put the winning run on third. Tanishige walked to jam the basepaths. Jinno pinch hit for reliever Hitoki Iwase and he got something he could handle and shot it into the leftcenter gap to drive both Fukudome and Tatsunami in without a play for a 5-3 Chunichi advantage. Yuya Ando, in his first appearance in three months since going down with a shoulder injury, spelled Taninaka and induced three flyouts to finally terminate the revolt.
Eddie Gaillard then went to the center of the diamond to do again what he has already done 29 other times this season, put the capper on a victory. Hanshin didn't even get out of the infield and were gone in order for Gaillard's 30th save.
Dragons execs announced that Omar Linares, who is currently out with a back ailment, will be back next season. Moreover, talks are going on right now between Cuban government representatives and the Japanese commissioner's office about an agreement to establish procedures for funneling Cuban players to Japan's pro league.
For Hanshin, first baseman George Arias was 0-3 with a walk and is at .249.
IP 5.1 PC 82 H 3 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.21
Yoshino IP 0.0 PC 7 H 1 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 1.42
Kanazawa IP 1.2 PC 30 H 2 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 0 ER 0 ERA 3.92
Taninaka (L, 5-8) IP 0.0 PC 17 H 3 HR 0 K 0 BB 1 R 2 ER 2 ERA 3.62
Ando IP 1.0 PC 13 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 4.26
IP 2.2 PC 67 H 4 HR 0 K 3 BB 3 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.97
Endo IP 2.1 PC 44 H 3 HR 0 K 2 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 3.55
Hiramatsu IP 1.0 PC 23 H 2 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 0.00
Iwase (W, 4-2) IP 2.0 PC 18 H 0 HR 0 K 0 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.01
Gaillard (S, 30) IP 1.0 PC 14 H 0 HR 0 K 1 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.52
SB: Akahoshi, Fujimoto
2B: Hirashita, K. Inoue, Tatsunami 2, Jinno
RBI: Kataoka, Hiyama, R. Asai, Araki,Tatsunami, Jinno 2, Onishi
HBP: Akahoshi (Yamai)
Season Series: Hanshin 8, Chunichi 14
Game Time: 3:38
Umpires: Watamari (HP), Tsuchiyama (1B), Sasaki (2B), T. Kobayashi (3B)
Matsunaka Jack in Eighth Edges Orix 3-2
Daiei Hawks DH Nobuhiko Matsunaka, afflicted with shoulder discomfort, nonetheless flattened a delivery from Orix Blue Wave reliever Hidetaka Kawagoe in the eighth for a solo homer that erased a 2-2 tie in the eighth and gave the birds of prey a 3-2 victory. Hawks reliever Shuji Yoshida was awarded his sixth shiroboshi while Kawagoe was tagged with his 13th defeat.
Kenichi Wakatabe started for Daiei and allowed Orix to get ahead of him, as rightfielder Ikuro Katsuragi walked and was sacrificed to second. Centerfielder Yoshitomo Tani singled to right and Scott Sheldon collected the RBI with a single to left to make it 1-0 Orix.
Ed Yarnell started for Orix and was humming along until his infield betrayed him in the sixth. With one down Matsunaka walked and catcher Kenji Johjima singled to left. Following a flyout, Shortstop Yusuke Torigoe hit a little tapper toward short. Third baseman Scott Sheldon cut the ball off and uncorked a wild throw that allowed both Matsunaka and Johjima to lumber around the diamond to make it 2-1 Hawks.
However, Orix first baseman Yuji Goshima got even by torquing one into the centerfield seats and it was 2-2. But Orix then ran itself out of the inning. Shortstop Tatsuya Shindo singled to center and was sacrificed to second. Yoshida replaced Wakatabe. Catcher Takeshi Hidaka walked. Second baseman Tomotaka Tamaki singled to center and Shindo stopped at third. The problem was that Hidaka kept on running and ended up at third himself and he was out as a result. A real bonehead move. Katsuragi grounded to second for what should have been an RBI, but instead was merely the third out.
Kawagoe had pitched a perfect seventh, but in the eighth, Matsunaka got a ball up and in and turned on it, air mailing it into the rightfield seats for a 3-2 Hawks.
Katsunori Okamoto was on the mound for Daiei in the ninth and he allowed a single to right by Shindo to put the tying run on. But Okamoto struckout two of the next three men and had the other one fly out to vanquish Orix.
For Daiei, leftfielder Pedro Valdez was 0-3 with a walk and is at .302.
For Orix, Sheldon was 2-4 with an RBI and is at .265.
IP 6.0 PC 109 H 4 HR 0 K 4 BB 5 R 2 ER 0 ERA 3.61
Kawagoe (L, 3-13) IP 2.0 PC 36 H 2 HR 1 K 1 BB 1 R 1 ER 1 ERA 4.99
IP 6.1 PC 84 H 5 HR 1 K 3 BB 2 R 2 ER 2 ERA 2.87
S. Yoshida (W, 6-2) IP 1.2 PC 37 H 2 HR 0 K 1 BB 2 R 0 ER 0 ERA 2.89
K. Okamoto (S, 5) IP 1.0 PC 21 H 1 HR 0 K 2 BB 0 R 0 ER 0 ERA 1.35
2B: Shindo, Johjima
HR: Goshima (7), Matsunaka (24)
RBI: Sheldon, Goshima, Matsunaka
GIDP: Goshima 2
Season Series: Orix 12, Daiei 13
Game Time: 3:07
Umpires: Higashi (HP), Maeda (1B), Iizuka (2B), Yoshikawa (3B)
Baseball No Soft Sport
See a tremendous piece by Marty Kuehnert at the Japan Times at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sp20020918mk.htm
Hyundai Whips Kia 6-4 in KBO Action
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200209/t2002091717080447110.htm
Today in Japanese Baseball History
This report is for September 17th and on that date in Japanese baseball history in 1968, Hanshin Tigers great Yutaka Enatsu racked up his 354th strikeout of the year to break Kazuhisa Inao's 1961 record (in 404 innings). Enatsu finished with 401 in 329 innings, which is still the record.
Note to Readers:
Due to a technical glitch, there is no game log I have access to for Monday. You can get a partial summary of the action for that day, though, at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?sb20020917a1.htm
Hideki Matsui clouted his 43rd homer that night, a new single season high.
Giants Pennant Good for Japanese Economy?
Of course, the Yomiuri Shimbun may be just a slight bit biased considering that they own the team, but for those of you into this sort of thing, see article at: http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/newse/20020917wo11.htm
Pedraza Says He Will Be Back
See article by Dan Latham at the Japan Times at: http://www.japantimes.com/cgi-bin/getsp.pl5?sb20020917a2.htm
Fernandez Slams 38th to Beat Lotte in KBO Action
See Korea Times article at: http://www.hankooki.com/kt_sports/200209/t2002091618123847110.htm
Dodgers' Chen Scores a First for Taiwan
See Taipei Times article at: http://www.taipeitimes.com/news/2002/09/16/story/0000168229
Taichung Punishes Kaohsiumg 10-3 in Taiwan Pro Action
See Taipei Times article at:
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