Takahiro Arai: Countdown to 2,000 hits

Takahiro Arai became the forty-seventh player in NPB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone on April 26. The defining moment came in the top of the third against the Yakult Swallows with Yoshihisa Naruse on the mound. Arai hit an 1-0 pitch for an RBI double to left.

Some interesting facts about the milestone:

  • Arai is the seventh player to reach 2,000 hits at Jingu Stadium. The other six: Shigeo Nagashima, Isao Shibata, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Shinya Miyamoto, Motonobu Tanishige, and Alex Ramirez.
  • Arai is the fifth player in Carp history to reach 2,000 hits. The other four: Sachio Kinugasa, Koji Yamamoto, Kenjiro Nomura, Tomonori Maeda.
  • Arai recorded his 2,000th hit in his 2,112nd game. Only seven other players required more games. Of the twenty-two players out of college or the Industrial League that reached the milestone, Arai required the most number of games (the previous record was Hiromasa Arai’s 2,027 games).
  • At thirty-nine years and two months, Arai is the fifteenth oldest player to record 2,000 hits.
  • Arai’s .277 batting average is thirty-fourth on the list.
  • Arai was selected in the sixth round out of college. Only one other player was selected in the sixth or later round of the draft: Yutaka Fukumoto in the seventh round out of the Industrial League (no college). Arai is the first to be selected in the sixth round or later out of college. (Thirty players have reached 2,000 hits since the draft was introduced. Breakdown: seven from the first round, eight from the second round, seven from the third round, four from the fourth round, one from the sixth round, one from the seventh round, and two outside of the draft.)
  • Arai and Hiroki Kokubo (Daiei, Yomiuri, Softbank) are the only players to reach the milestone after leaving and returning to their first team.
  • Arai (1,530) joined Kiyohara (1,740), Tanishige (1,738), Norihiro Nakamura (1,629), and Koji Akiyama (1,607) as the only players to reach 2,000 hits with 1,500 or more strikeouts (at the time they reached the milestone).
  • Arai (1,163) joined Nagashima (2,172), Nakamura (1,971), Michiyo Arito (1,774), and Kinugasa (1,638) as the only players to reach 2,000 hits while playing in at least 1,000 games as a third baseman.
  • TV Ratings for the game (Chugoku Hoso) in Hiroshima was 26.6%. At the moment Arai recorded his 2,000th hit: 20.6%.

Source: Daily Sports 4/26/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016

Youtube videos of the hit: one, two (since these are not official, they can be taken down at any moment)

  • April 25 against Yakult: 1-for-2 (as of the third inning)
  • April 24 against Hanshin: 2-for-4, one hit from 2000
  • April 23 against Hanshin: 1-for-2, three hits from 2000
  • April 22 against Hanshin: 2-for-5, four hits from 2000
  • April 20 against Yokohama: 1-for-3, six hits from 2000
  • April 19 against Yokohama: 1-for-5, seven hits from 2000
  • April 17 against Yomiuri: 0-for-3, eight hits from 2000
  • April 16 against Yomiuri: 1-for-3, eight hits from 2000
  • April 14 against Chunichi: 2-for-4, nine hits from 2000
Hit Date Opponent Pitcher Venue
1 1999/05/12 Yomiuri Parra, Jose Tokyo Dome
1000 2008/04/12 Yokohama Terahara, Hayato Yokohama Stadium
1500 2011/07/30 Yokohama Suda, Kota Koshien Stadium
2000 2016/04/26 Yakult Naruse, Yoshihisa Jingu Stadium

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NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 143 88 51 4
Hanshin 143 78 61 4
Yokohama 143 73 65 5
Yomiuri 143 72 68 3
Chunichi 143 59 79 5
Yakult 143 45 96 2
Softbank 143 94 49 0
Seibu 143 79 61 3
Rakuten 143 77 63 3
Orix 143 63 79 1
Nippon Ham 143 60 83 0
Lotte 143 54 87 2
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