[8/8/2017] Nihon Seimei MVP of the Month Awards for July

Central League

Pitching

Tomoyuki Sugano, Yomiuri (Fourth Time)
4 G, 4-0, 29.0 IP, 0.31 ERA, 30 SO, 1 ER

Sugano won the MVP of the Month Award for the second time this year (May and July). He led the league with four wins and a 0.31 ERA in July. He won all four of his starts. Sugano is the first Yomiuri pitcher to win two MVP of the Month Awards in one season since Masaki Saito in 1990 (May and July).

Hitting

Masayuki Kuwahara, Yokohama (First Time)
21 G, .389 AVG, 35 H, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB

Kuwahara batted first in every game in July and led the league with a .389 batting average. He recorded a hit in seventeen of the twenty-one games he played. Of the seventeen, thirteen were multi-hit games; of the thirteen, five were modashos. He also led the league in on base percentage (.439) and his seventeen runs scored was good for a second place tie with two other players. On July 1, he recorded a lead-off home run and a come-from-behind grand slam in the ninth. Kuwahara is the first Yokohama player to win the award since Jose Lopez later year (September).

Pacific League

Pitching

Nao Higashihama, Softbank (First Time)
3 G, 3-0, 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 13 SO, 3 ER

Higashihama pitched in three games in July and led the league in wins (tied with five others). He gave up a run on four hits over 5.1 innings against Nippon Ham on July 7; a run on five hits over 7.2 innings against Seibu on July 17; and a run on five hits over 7.1 innings against Rakuten on July 27.

Hitting

Shogo Akiyama, Seibu (Third Time)
23 G, .351 AVG, 33 H, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 2 SB

Akiyama batted lead-off in all twenty-three of his team’s games in July. He led the league in hits (33), RBI (19), and total bases (52). His sixteen runs scored was tied for most with two other players. He recorded three hits and four RBI on July 6 against Nippon Ham, July 11 against Lotte, and July 23 against Nippon Ham. He also recorded four hits and two RBI against Orix on July 25. He put together an eleven-game hitting streak between July 18 and 30. Akiyama won the MVP of the Month Award two other times, both in 2015 (March/April and June). This is the seventy-second time a Seibu player won the award, most in the league.

Source: NPB 8/8/2017

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