Category: NPB

ORI

[4/1/2016] Masataka Yoshida extended hitting streak to six games

First round draft pick Masataka Yoshida extended his hitting streak to six games from the start of the season and tied the rookie record set by Tatsunori Hara in 1981 and Tomoaki Sato in 2001.

Source: Daily Sports 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 4:09pm]

Hara, Sato, and Yoshida hold the record for hitting streaks by a rookie from the start of the season since the introduction of the draft system in 1966. Shuzo Aono recorded a hit in eight straight from the start of the season in 1962.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 7:05pm]

Yoshida’s streak came to an end on April 2. He went 0-for-2 with two walks against Lotte.

Source: Daily Sports 4/2/2016

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RAK

[4/1/2016] Rakuten Eagles introduce a new mascot

The Rakuten Eagles introduced a new mascot named Switch earlier today. The mascot was born in California on July 4, 2005. He agreed to a contract worth an estimated 1,776 US dollars. A complete profile (in Japanese) can be found at the link below.

Source: Rakuten announcement 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/1 @ 20:43]

A little backstory: The Eagles issued a statement to the media that said they were going to announce the addition of a new foreigner. They made it seem like they were going to introduce a new player, but instead brought in Switch. The press conference, and everything leading up to it, was an April Fools prank, but the addition itself is real.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Daily Sports 4/1/2016

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HAN

[4/1/2016] Marcos Mateo to get two days off after throwing sixty-one pitches

Marcos Mateo threw sixty-one pitches during a three inning stint in relief against Yakult on March 31. He will most likely get two days of rest.

The last Hanshin closer to toss three innings in a regular season game was Kyuji Fujikawa on July 30, 2006.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Daily Sports 4/1/2016

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ORI

[4/1/2016] Buffaloes meet Yoshio Itoi

Team official Ryuzo Setoyama told reporters that they spoke to Yoshio Itoi before a Nippon Ham game at Sapporo Dome on March 29. They congratulated him on his FA option, but did not get into specifics about his status after the season.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016

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CHU

[4/1/2016] Shuhei Takahashi blasts second grand slam

Shuhei Takahashi has hit two grand slams in his career:

  • August 1, 2013 against Hanshin at Koshien
  • March 31, 2016 against Hiroshima at Nagoya Dome

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016

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RAK

[4/1/2016] Rakuten to auction off Okoye’s first stolen base

The media learned on March 31 that the Rakuten Eagles are planning to auction off first round draft pick Louis Okoye’s first stole bases (March 26, against Softbank at kobo Stadium). The auction will begin at 9:00pm on April 3. Proceeds will go towards Rakuten’s Tohoku Smile Project.

Source: Sanspo 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/12 @ 11:59am]

Okoye’s base received 151 bids and was auctioned off for 216,120 yen.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/12/2016, Auction Listing

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YAK

[3/31/2016] Kyle Davies gives up lead-off home run on first NPB pitch

Kyle Davies made his first NPB start on March 31 against Hanshin and gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits and four walks over five innings. He also became the first pitcher in NPB history to give up a lead-off home run to the first batter he faced with his very first pitch.

Source: Sanspo 4/1/2016

See also:

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HIR

[3/31/2016] Hiroki Yokoyama wins first NPB game

Second round draft pick Hiroki Yokoyama picked up a victory in his first game on March 30 against Chunichi and became the eleventh rookie pitcher in franchise history to record a win in his first outing, first since Kazuki Yabuta on July 1, 2015.

Yokoyama also joined Ryutaro Sugiura (April 7, 1951) and Hiroki Kuroda (April 25, 1997) as the only rookies in franchise history to record a win and an RBI.

Sixth round draft pick Oscar Nakaoshi picked up a victory during his outing on March 27 against Yokohama. Hiroshima became the first team in the Central League since Yomiuri in 1960 (Ritsuo Horimoto, Masaki Oscar Nakaoshi) to field two rookie pitchers that recorded their first career wins within their team’s first five games of the season.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016

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HAN

[3/31/2016] Shun Takayama blasts first career home run

Shun Takayama blasted the first home run of his NPB career during a Yakult game on March 31. The home run led off the start of the game and came against Kyle Davies. Takayama is the first rookie in franchise history since Tomochika Tsuboi in 1998 to hit a lead-off home run for his first career blast.

Source: Tokyo Sports 3/31/2016

[UPDATE 4/1 @ 6:54am]

Thirty Japanese players, including Takayama, recorded lead-off home runs for their first career home runs (eleven Central League, fourteen Pacific League, five single league). The last player before Takayama was Shogo Nakamura in 2015. Of the thirty, ten were rookies, including Takayama and Nakamura (seven since the two league format began in 1950).

Since the start of the two leagues, three players have recorded lead-off home runs in the top of the first inning for their first career home runs: Yuki Miyazaki in his second year in 2012, Seiya Suzuki in his second year in 2014, and Takayama in his first year in 2016.

Takayama joined Yoshito Fujino (July 1, 1944) as the only rookies in NPB history that can say their first career home run was off the first pitch of a game.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Sanspo 4/1/2016

See also:

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HAN

[3/31/2016] Messenger’s first outing at Jingu since 2014

Randy Messenger started the Yakult game at Jingu Stadium on March 31. It was his first appearance at the stadium since August 5, 2014.

Source: Nikkan Sports 3/31/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
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
G W L T
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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