Category: NPB


[5/17/2016] Shinji Tajima extends scoreless games streak

Shinji Tajima extended his scoreless games streak to twenty-four games from the start of the season on May 17 during a game against Hanshin at Koshien Stadium and tied the Central League record set by Kazuhiro Sasaki in 1998 and Tetsuya Yamaguchi in 2012. The Pacific League record of twenty-six was set by Hideki Okajima in 2012.

Source: Sanspo 5/17/2016, Mainichi Shimbun 5/17/2016, Sports Hochi 5/17/2016

[UPDATE 5/19 @ 3:35am]

Tajima set a new Central League record on May 18 with his twenty-fifth straight scoreless appearance. He is one game away from tying the NPB record.

The NPB record for consecutive scoreless appearances that begins at any point during a season is thirty-eight, set by Kyuji Fujikawa in 2006. The franchise record is thirty-one, set by Akifumi Takahashi in 2005.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/18/2016, Sponichi 5/18/2016

[UPDATE 5/20 @ 11:23pm]

Tajima tied the NPB record on May 20bwith his twenty-sixth straight scoreless game from the start of the season.

Source: Sponichi 5/20/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/20/2016

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[5/17/2016] Nagisa Arakaki records 100th wild pitch

Nagisa Arakaki recorded his 100th career wild pitch during a game against Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium earlier today and became just the third player in NPB history to reach the milestone. The wild pitch came in the fourth inning with Brad Eldred up to bat.

Pitchers with 100 or more wild pitches:

  • Choji Murata – 148
  • Kazuhisa Ishii – 115
  • Nagisa Arakaki – 100

Incidentally, Arakaki also holds the Pacific League record for most wild pitches in a game (five set in 2008) and tied the Central League record (four) in 2014.

Source: Daily Sports 5/17/2016, Sponichi 5/17/2016


[5/17/2016] Shohei Otani homers in fifth straight game

Shohei Otani blasted the second pitch he saw from Rick van den Hurk for his fifth home run in as many games as a position player.

Otani is the first player in the NPB to homer in five consecutive games since Tony Blanco in 2013 and the first player in franchise history since Tony Solaita in 1981. The NPB record for home runs in consecutive games is seven, set by Sadaharu Oh in 1972 and Randy Bass in 1986. Otani is now also the youngest player to achieve the feat at twenty-one years and ten months. The previous record of twenty-two years and nine months was set by Tomio Tashiro in 1977.

Source: Sponichi 5/17/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/18/2016


[5/17/2016] Kyuji Fujikawa will most likely remain in the bullpen

There are currently no plans to move Kyuji Fujikawa back to the starting rotation. When pitching coach Isao Koda was asked about the possibility of Fujikawa returning to the rotation on May 16, he said it was possible, since it was something he started out doing this year, but wondered if it was the best thing to do. He then said that unless the team needed a starter, he would rather see the thirty-five-year-old keep his current role since bouncing back and forth was not a good thing.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/17/2016


[5/17/2016] Seibu Lions: possible starters for next two series

According to Daily Sports, the Seibu Lions could go with the following starters over their next two series.

Chiba Lotte Marines at QVC Marine Field (May 17-19)

  • Isamu Sato
  • Yusei Kikuchi
  • Kona Takahashi

Softbank Hawks at YafuOku Dome (May 21-22)

  • Shinsaburo Tawata
  • Ryoma Nogami

Source: Daily Sports 5/17/2016


[5/16/2016] JPBPA meets with NPB, wishes to start 2017 season after March

The Japan Professional Baseball Players Association (JPBPA) met with the NPB earlier today in Tokyo to discuss a number of issues, including when to start the 2017 season.

The NPB suggested starting the season on March 31, but the JPBPA was concerned that might not give some players enough time to rest and prepare for the season if Japan makes it to the final round of the World Baseball Classic. The players association would like to see the season start on either April 4 or 7, with April 7 being the best case scenario.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/16/2016, Sponichi 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Leyson Septimo tosses bullpen session in front of GM

Leyson Septimo worked out at Nagoya Dome today. He tossed a bullpen session in front of General Manager Hiromitsu Ochiai. The Chunichi Dragons appear to be satisfied with Septimo so far and could sign him if he passes his medical. He has been practicing with the team on a trial basis since May 14.

Source: Tokyo Sports 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Hiroshima starters for Yakult series

According to Daily Sports, the Hiroshima Carp will go with the following starters against the Yakult Swallows at Mazda Stadium:

  • May 17 – Kris Johnson
  • May 18 – Yusuke Nomura
  • May 19 – Aren Kuri

Source: Daily Sports 5/16/2016

The Carp could go with the following starters for the Hanshin at Koshien series that begins on May 20:

  • May 20 – Hiroki Kuroda
  • May 21 – Akitake Okada
  • May 22 – Kyohei Nakamura

Source: Daily Sports 5/17/2016


[5/16/2016] The controversial out call at home plate from May 11

An out call at home plate was reversed during a game between the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium on May 11 after Yomiuri manager Yoshinobu Takahashi asked for a review. The umpiring crew checked the film and decided catcher Fumihito Haraguchi blocked the lane to home plate. Manager Tomoaki Kanemoto was not happy with the ruling. The Tigers were later told the umpires reversed their call because they felt Haraguchi blocked the lane from the start and that they felt it was not a definite out.

The Tigers submitted a letter to the NPB the following day and asked for clarification. Chief umpire Masato Tomoyose and Central League official Kazuhide Kinefuchi met with Hanshin for about fifty minutes at Yokohama Stadium on May 13. Tomoyose explained that the collision rule was cited because the umpiring crew felt the ball thrown to home plate was catchable without blocking the lane. He also said there were some umpires that felt differently about decision and that they were in the process of determining what the appropriate ruling should be for future incidents.

Kanemoto was not satisfied with the explanation and is waiting to hear how the umpires plan to handle future cases. He told reporters he would be extremely frustrated if the same thing happened again and added that he felt Haraguchi did nothing wrong.

Source: Daily Sports 5/11/2016, Daily Sports 5/14/2016, Sponichi 5/12/2016, Sponichi 5/12/2016, Sponichi 5/13/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/14/2016, Sanspo 5/14/2016


[5/16/2016] Lotte scores twenty-two in two straight walk-off games

The Chiba Lotte Marines recorded two walk-off victories against Rakuten this past weekend: 13-12 on May 14 and 9-8 on May 15. The twenty-two runs they scored is most for back-to-back walk-off victory NPB games since 1950. The previous record of twenty-one was set by Yokohama in 1998: an 8-7 win over Yomiuri on July 14 and a 13-12 win over Yomiuri on July 15.

Lotte also became the first team to score a total twenty or more runs in back-to-back victories since Yakult in 1993 (14-7 win against Hiroshima on May 18 and 17-16 win against Hiroshima on May 19).

This marked the first time Lotte recorded back-to-back walk-off extra-inning victories since 2013 (against Orix, March 29 and 30).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/16/2016, Sponichi 5/16/2016