Category: Did You Know


Yuki Matsui: Did You Know

Matsui pitched the ninth against the Chiba Lotte Marines on April 25 and struck out the side on nine pitches. He became the seventeenth player in NPB history to achieve the feat, first since Chunichi’s Yuta Muto on September 10, 2014, and first in Rakuten franchise history.

Source: Sponichi 4/25/2017

Matsui closed out a game against Lotte on April 25 by striking out the side with nine pitches.

  • Kei Hosoya: swinging, swinging, swinging
  • Matt Duffy: swinging, swinging, swinging
  • Daichi Suzuki: looking, foul, swinging

He became the seventeenth player (accomplished eighteen times) in NPB history (sixth and accomplished seven times in Pacific League history, first in Rakuten Eagles’ franchise history) to strike out the side with nine pitches. He is the first to accomplish the feat while facing the three, four, and five batters. He is also the first to record at least seven swinging strikes (the previous record of six was set by Masaji Hiramatsu in 1979).

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/26/2017, Sports Hochi 4/26/2017, Sponichi 4/26/2017


Kazuo Matsui: Did You Know

Matsui blasted the 200th home run of his career on April 22 and became the 100th player in NPB history to reach the milestone. At forty-one years and five months, he joined George Altman (forty-two years and three months) as the only players to hit their 200th after turning forty. The previous high for a Japanese player was Atsuya Furuta at thirty-eight years and ten months.

Matsui also joined Hiromi Matsunaga as the only switch-hitters in NPB history to hit 200 or more home runs.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/23/2017, Sponichi 4/23/2017, Nikkan Sports 4/23/2017


Shimpei Shinohara: Did You Know

Shinohara picked up a win in his first career appearance on April 19 against Yakult at Kagoshima. He became the first player in NPB history to record a win in their first Ichi-gun appearance after making their way through the organization as an Ikusei player (he was selected in the first round of the Ikusei draft in 2014).

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/20/2017


Atsushi Ugumori: Did You Know

Walk-off hits:

  • April 2, 2017 vs Yokohama, pinch-hit, grand slam
  • April 13, 2017 vs Chunichi, pinch-hit, RBI hit to left

Ugumori is the first player in Swallows history to record two pinch-hit walk-off hits in one season since Masaaki Iwashita in 1982 and the first right-handed player since Yasumitsu Toyoda in 1968. The last Yakult player to record two pinch-hit walk-off hits in one month was Tsutomu Wakamatsu in June 1977.

Source: Sponichi 4/14/2017, Nikkan Sports 4/14/2017


Yoshio Itoi: Did You Know

Itoi told a reporter that he tried to skip practices often when he was a student. In college, he tried to skip practices to play Pachinko by saying he was going to get physical therapy. He spent the most amount of time practicing when he converted over from pitcher to position player in 2006.

When Itoi was in elementary school, he enjoyed soccer. He wanted to become a soccer player up until the time his father forced him to join a baseball team when he was in middle school.

Source: Tokyo Sports 4/12/2017


Shotaro Tashiro: Did You Know

Tashiro has lived with a number of different kinds of animals. He is currently living with a Bengal cat and crested gecko.

Source: Sanspo 4/11/2017


Wladimir Balentien: Did You Know

Ejection History

  • September 24, 2013 against Yomiuri – argued with an umpire
  • July 8, 2016 against Chunichi – threw his helmet
  • April 4, 2017 against Hanshin – exchanged blows with Hanshin coach Akihiro Yano

Source: Sponichi 4/5/2017


Motohiro Shima: Did You Know

The Rakuten Eagles announced that Shima will be donating 10,000 yen to the Pink Ribbon Festival (The Japan Cancer Society) for every hit he records this season. He has been donating money to the cause since 2015.

  • 2015 – 74 hits – 740,000 yen
  • 2016 – 54 hits – 540,000 yen

Source: Pink Ribbon Festival


Sho Nakata: Did You Know


  • Weighed about ninety-eight kilograms in late-February 2017. Dropped around eight kilograms while playing for Japan during the World Baseball Classic. Source: Sports Hochi 3/30/2017

Katsuki Matayoshi: Did You Know

Rawlings Japan announced today that they signed Matayoshi to an advisory contract.

Source: Rawlings Japan 3/30/2017Nikkan Sports 3/30/2017

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 26 16 9 1
Hanshin 23 13 10 0
Yomiuri 24 13 11 0
Yokohama 24 10 12 2
Chunichi 25 9 13 3
Yakult 24 9 15 0
Rakuten 20 15 5 0
Orix 22 15 7 0
Seibu 22 11 10 1
Softbank 25 13 12 0
Lotte 23 7 15 1
Nippon Ham 24 6 18 0
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