YOM HAN

[4/26/2016] Possible starters for Yomiuri-Hanshin series

Possible starters for the Yomiuri-Hanshin series at Koshien Stadium (April 26-28):

  • Hayato Takagi (YOM) – Shintaro Fujinami (HAN)
  • Kazuto Taguchi (YOM) – Minoru Iwata (HAN)
  • Tomoyuki Sugano (YOM) – Randy Messenger (HAN)

Source: Sanspo 4/26/2016

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HIR

Takahiro Arai: Countdown to 2,000 hits

Takahiro Arai became the forty-seventh player in NPB history to reach the 2,000 hit milestone on April 26. The defining moment came in the top of the third against the Yakult Swallows with Yoshihisa Naruse on the mound. Arai hit an 1-0 pitch for an RBI double to left.

Some interesting facts about the milestone:

  • Arai is the seventh player to reach 2,000 hits at Jingu Stadium. The other six: Shigeo Nagashima, Isao Shibata, Kazuhiro Kiyohara, Shinya Miyamoto, Motonobu Tanishige, and Alex Ramirez.
  • Arai is the fifth player in Carp history to reach 2,000 hits. The other four: Sachio Kinugasa, Koji Yamamoto, Kenjiro Nomura, Tomonori Maeda.
  • Arai recorded his 2,000th hit in his 2,112nd game. Only seven other players required more games. Of the twenty-two players out of college or the Industrial League that reached the milestone, Arai required the most number of games (the previous record was Hiromasa Arai’s 2,027 games).
  • At thirty-nine years and two months, Arai is the fifteenth oldest player to record 2,000 hits.
  • Arai’s .277 batting average is thirty-fourth on the list.
  • Arai was selected in the sixth round out of college. Only one other player was selected in the sixth or later round of the draft: Yutaka Fukumoto in the seventh round out of the Industrial League (no college). Arai is the first to be selected in the sixth round or later out of college. (Thirty players have reached 2,000 hits since the draft was introduced. Breakdown: seven from the first round, eight from the second round, seven from the third round, four from the fourth round, one from the sixth round, one from the seventh round, and two outside of the draft.)
  • Arai and Hiroki Kokubo (Daiei, Yomiuri, Softbank) are the only players to reach the milestone after leaving and returning to their first team.
  • Arai (1,530) joined Kiyohara (1,740), Tanishige (1,738), Norihiro Nakamura (1,629), and Koji Akiyama (1,607) as the only players to reach 2,000 hits with 1,500 or more strikeouts (at the time they reached the milestone).
  • Arai (1,163) joined Nagashima (2,172), Nakamura (1,971), Michiyo Arito (1,774), and Kinugasa (1,638) as the only players to reach 2,000 hits while playing in at least 1,000 games as a third baseman.
  • TV Ratings for the game (Chugoku Hoso) in Hiroshima was 26.6%. At the moment Arai recorded his 2,000th hit: 20.6%.

Source: Daily Sports 4/26/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016

Youtube videos of the hit: one, two (since these are not official, they can be taken down at any moment)

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YOK

[4/26/2016] Yokohama unable to finalize deal with Matt McBride

The Yokohama Bay Stars are interested in thirty-year-old Matt McBride. The two sides could be close to finalizing a deal. If negotiations go smoothly, there is a chance he could join the team before the end of the month. The Bay Stars are most likely looking at McBride primarily as a right fielder.

Source: Sponichi 4/26/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016, Sanspo 4/26/2016

[UPDATE 4/28 @ 8:42pm]

The Bay Stars were unable to finalize a deal with McBride because he was called up by the Oakland Athletics.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/26/2016, Sports Hochi 4/26/2016

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RAK

[4/26/2016] Kazuo Matsui could be used as a reliever

The Rakuten Eagles could look to Kazuo Matsui as an emergency reliever.

Four of Rakuten’s last six games have gone into extra innings. The bullpen is overworked and Matsui could end up pitching if they run out of arms. The veteran is prepared to do what he can to help the team.

Masataka Nashida started thinking about using Matsui as an emergency reliever during an extra inning game on April 23 against the Seibu Lions at Seibu Prince Dome. Eight pitchers were available and he called on the eighth pitcher in the twelfth inning. Nashida told Matsui he might have to take the mound if the eighth pitcher was unable to make it out of the inning.

Source: Sponichi 4/26/2016

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YOM

[4/26/2016] Tomoyuki Sugano not expected to miss next start

Tomoyuki Sugano popped a blister on his right middle finger during his last start on April 22 against Yokohama at Tokyo Dome. He is not expected to miss his next start on April 28 against Hanshin at Koshien.

Yoshinobu Takahashi is planning to make a final decision once the team is in Osaka.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2016, Sponichi 4/26/2016

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CHU

[4/25/2016] Dayan Viciedo powering Chunichi offense

Dayan Viciedo got off to a torrid start this year: he hit home runs in the first three games of the season and recorded at last one hit in his first nine games (16-for-33). He cooled down a bit after that, but is currently in the middle of a six-game hitting streak in which he is 9-for-22 with three doubles, three home runs, four walks, and 11 RBI.

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SEI

[4/25/2016] Ernesto Mejia swinging a hot bat

Ernesto Mejia is swinging a hot bat right now: he has ten hits in his last nineteen at bats, including five home runs and fifteen RBI. He blasted his first home run of the season on April 9. Since then, he has sixteen hits (including seven home runs and four doubles) in forty-eight at bats.

During his last game on April 24 against Rakuten at Seibu Prince Dome, he went yard in three consecutive trips to the plate: he drove in the first run of the game with a solo home run in the third inning, he drove in the go-ahead run with a two-run home run in the fifth inning, and a come-from-behind grand slam in the seventh inning.

Mejia is just the seventh player in NPB history to hit home runs, including a grand slam, in three consecutive trips to the plate, first since Akira Eto on June 30, 1998. He joined Ralph Bryant (October 12, 1989) and Norihiro Nakamura (September 20, 1997) as the only players that drove in all their team’s runs with home runs in three consecutive trips.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/25/2016

Mejia was also a Featured Player on Pa-League TV.

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HAN

[4/25/2016] Atsushi Nomi loves pitching at Mazda Stadium

Some stats on Atsushi Nomi:

  • He is 24-10 with a 2.40 ERA against Hiroshima over his. At Mazda Stadium, he is 13-5 with a 1.69 ERA.
  • He notched his twenty-second complete game on April 24 (against Hiroshima at Mazda Stadium). Win/Loss on complete games: 17-5. Seven of his complete game wins have come against Hiroshima. He has recorded six complete game victories at Koshien Stadium and five at Mazda Stadium.
  • His eighty-six wins is good for an eleventh place tie with Kei Igawa on Hanshin’s all-time list. Or tied for third most on Hanshin’s left-handed pitchers all-time list, behind Yutaka Enatsu’s 159, Kazuyuki Yamamoto’s 116, and tied with Igawa.
  • His 1,175 strikeouts is good for sole possession of fifth on the Tigers’ all-time list.

Source: Sanspo 4/25/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/25/2016

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ORI

[4/25/2016] Yoshihisa Hirano third 100 hold – 100 save pitcher

Yoshihisa Hirano notched his 100th career save on April 24 against Lotte and joined Kyuji Fujikawa and Hisashi Takeda as the only players in NPB with at least 100 holds and 100 saves.

  • Hirano 127 holds, 100 saves
  • Fujikawa 102 holds, 220 saves
  • Takeda 107 holds, 167 saves

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/25/2016, Sponichi 4/25/2016

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CHU

[4/25/2016] Raul Valdes set to throw about 100 pitches during next rehab outing

Raul Valdes developed left shoulder pain during spring camp. He believes it was because he did not play baseball last winter for the first time in his career. He no longer feels any pain and is at 100 percent.

Valdes tossed five shutout innings against Orix during his first rehab game at Ni-gun on April 22. He is slated to throw about 100 pitches during his next rehab game against Softbank on April 28. He could be ready to join the active roster in early-May.

Source: Sports Hochi 4/25/2016

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hanshin 45 27 18 0
Hiroshima 48 28 19 1
Yomiuri 46 23 23 0
Yokohama 47 21 24 2
Chunichi 48 19 26 3
Yakult 46 19 27 0
G W L T
Rakuten 41 29 12 0
Softbank 48 29 19 0
Seibu 44 25 18 1
Nippon Ham 45 19 26 0
Orix 45 18 27 0
Lotte 47 14 32 1
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