Yusei Kikuchi: Did You Know



Kikuchi was a member of the Giants Fan Club. He even watched a game at Tokyo Dome in 2002, right around the time he started playing baseball. He liked following the foreign players, like Hector Almonte, Gabe Kapler, and John Wasdin.

Source: Sponichi 6/8/2016

Kikuchi’s wife, freelance reporter Rumi Fukatsu, is a newscaster on NHK BS1’s World Sports MLB. For Kikuchi, it was love at first sight when he saw her in the fall of 2013. He tried to set up a meeting through a mutual acquaintance, but was continually turned down for two years because she wanted to maintain a professional relationship with athletes. He finally managed to organize a casual dinner get-together that included a mutual friend in November 2015. They started dating in December and he ended up proposing just before the start of the season in March 2016. They filed marriage papers on her birthday, June 24.

Source: Sponichi 7/7/2016


There were reports that Kikuchi selected Nez Balelo to be his agent, but he denied the rumors during an unrelated press conference on November 15, 2017.

Source: Sponichi 11/16/2017


Kikuchi will appear on Saitama Seibu Fire Bureau’s fire prevention posters.

Source: Saitama Seibu Fire Bureau 5/18/2018



April 21 vs Nippon Ham at MetLife Dome – Kikuchi recorded the second one-hit shutout of his career. He became the twelfth pitcher in NPB history (third in PL history) to toss a one-hit shutout where the one hit allowed came from the first batter he faced in the first inning.

He also recorded his eighth double-digit strikeout game (fourth during shutouts).

Source: Sponichi 4/22/2017, Nikkan Sports 4/22/2017

July 27 – August 10, 2017 – Kikuchi recorded ten or more strikeouts in three consecutive starts between July 27 and August 10 (twelve on July 27, eleven on August 3, and twelve on August 10). The three consecutive starts with at least ten strikeouts tied a Seibu Lions’ franchise record. Three other Seibu pitchers have accomplished the feat: Fumiya Nishiguchi in 1996, Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2005, and Hideaki Wakui in 2009.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/11/2017

August 31, 2017 vs Rakuten at Kobo Park Miyagi – Kikuchi notched his thirteenth victory of the year. He is the first Seibu Lions’ pitcher to record thirteen or more wins in a season since Takayuki Kishi won thirteen in 2014; the first left-handed Seibu Lions’ pitcher to record thirteen or more wins in a season since Kazuyuki Hoashi racked up thirteen wins in 2005. He is the first pitcher in franchise history to record a winning streak of six or more against the Rakuten Eagles.

Source: Sponichi 9/1/2017

September 7, 2017 vs Lotte at MetLife Dome – Kikuchi notched his fourteenth victory of the year. He became the first left-handed Seibu pitcher to win fourteen games since Kimiya Kudo won fifteen in 1993.

Source: Sponichi 9/7/2017

September 14, 2017 vs Rakuten at Kobo Park Miyagi – Kikuchi struck out eleven and pushed his strikeout total to 201. He also notched his tenth double-digit strikeout game of the year. He is the first Seibu pitcher to record ten double-digit strikeout games in a season (team single-season high) since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2003 and 2006. He is also the first Seibu pitcher to record 200 or more strikeouts in a season since Matsuzaka struck out 200 in 2006 and the first left-handed Seibu pitcher since Takayuki Hata struck out 219 in 1960.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/15/2017, Sponichi 9/15/2017

October 14, 2017 vs Rakuten at MetLife Dome – Kikuchi tossed a shutout in his first Climax Series appearance. He is the seventh pitcher in Playoff/Climax Series history to accomplish the feat.

Source: Sponichi 10/15/2017


April 20 vs Lotte at MetLife Dome – Kikuchi became the fourth pitcher in Lions franchise history to get the opening day start and begin the season 4-0 in four games. The other three pitchers: Tokuji Kawasaki (1953, 6-0), Akira Takahashi (1971, 5-0), and Fumiya Nishiguchi (2007, 4-0).

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/21/2018

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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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