[5/1/2016] Ernesto Mejia first to ten home runs this season

Ernesto Mejia blasted his tenth home run of the season on April 30 against Softbank at YafuOku Dome. He joined Futoshi Nakanishi (1953, 1955), Carl Boles (1970), Terry Whitfield (1983), Koji Akiyama (1988), Alex Cabrera (2001), and Craig Brazell (2008) as the only Seibu players to hit ten home runs in a season before anyone else. Mejia is the first Seibu player to hit ten home runs before end of April since Brazell hit eleven in 2008.

Source: Sanspo 5/1/2016


[5/1/2016] Seishiro Sakamoto plays in first Ni-gun game

Seishiro Sakamoto was hampered by a muscle strain in his left side. He played in his first game on April 30 against Ni-gun Orix. He got the start at catcher and batted eighth. He went 1-for-4 with an RBI.

Source: Sanspo 5/1/2016


[5/1/2016] Tsuyoshi Nishioka close to playing rehab games

Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s (left hamstring) workouts at Naruohama on April 30 included batting and fielding practice. It will be up to the trainers and Nishioka to decide when he begins playing rehab games. Masayuki Kakefu would like to give him playing time during the Ni-gun Hiroshima series that begins on May 3 because the games take place at Koshien Stadium.

Source: Sanspo 5/1/2016


[5/1/2016] Kazuhiro Hatakeyama goes 2-for-3 in rehab game on April 30

Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (back) played in a rehab game at Ni-gun against Yokohama on April 30. He got the start at first and batted fourth. He went 2-for-3 with an RBI. It was his first game in twenty days.

Source: Sanspo 5/1/2016


[5/1/2016] Hiroki Kuroda leads the Central League with four wins

Hiroki Kuroda picked up his fourth victory of the season on April 30 against Chunichi at Mazda Stadium. He is the thirteenth pitcher over forty-one (as of opening day) to win at least four games in a season, first since Daisuke Miura won six in 2015. He is the first to win four before the end of April. He is the third pitcher over forty to win four games before the end of April. The other two: Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi in 2008 and Kenny Ray in 2015.

He joined Yutaka Ono (five wins in 1996, nine wins in 1997) and Ken Takahashi (four wins in 2010) as the only pitchers in Hiroshima franchise history to win at least four games during or after the season they turned forty-one.

Source: Sponichi 5/1/2016, Sanspo 5/1/2016


[3/31/2016] Samurai Japan U18 Coaching Staff

Samurai Japan released the coaching staff list for the U18 team that will be competing at the 11th BFA Asian 18U Baseball Championship later this year.

Position Name JPN Name ENG Age Current
Manager 小枝 守 Koeda, Mamoru 64 Former TakushokuDai Koryo Manager
Head Coach 大藤 敏行 Ofuji, Toshiyuki 54 Former ChukyoDai Chukyo Manager
Coach 米澤 貴光 Yonezawa, Takamitsu 41 Kanto Daiichi Manager
Coach 東 哲平 Azuma, Teppei 36 Tsuruga Kehi Manager

The Samurai Japan U18 team is set to play an exhibition game against the Samurai Japan University team at QVC Marine Field on August 27.

Source: Samurai Japan announcement (coaching staff), Samurai Japan announcement (exhibition game)


Candidate stadiums for baseball and softball if the two sports return for the 2020 Olympics: Yokokhama Stadium, QVC Marine Field, and Tokyo Dome.

Source: Sponichi 4/27/2016


[4/30/2016] Hanshin Tigers strike out sixteen times against Yokohama on April 29

The Hanshin Tigers struck out sixteen times against Yokohama on April 29 and tied the franchise high (August 13, 1994 against Yomiuri; May 24, 2001 against Chunichi; August 23, 2005 against Hiroshima; August 25, 2007 against Chunichi).

Interesting note: six of Hanshin’s nine players in the starting line-up on April 29 were born in or after 1989. Only two were over 30: Takashi Toritani (34) and Mauro Gomez (31). The average age of the position players was 26.0. The average age of Yokohama position players was 26.6.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2016, Sponichi 4/30/2016


[4/30/2016] Shota Imanaga struck out fourteen against Hanshin on April 29

Shota Imanaga struck out fourteen during his start against Hanshin at Koshien on April 29. He is the first rookie to strikeout fourteen or more hitters in a game (nine innings) since Shota Oba struck out sixteen against Lotte on April 5, 2008 and the first Yokohama rookie since Masatoshi Gondo struck out fourteen against Kokutetsu on May 30, 1953. He is also the first pitcher to strikeout fourteen or more hitters in a game and lose since Yu Darvish struck out fifteen and lost on August 25, 2011.

The Central League rookie record of sixteen strikeouts in a game (nine innings) was set by Tomohito Ito on June 9, 1993. The NPB rookie record of seventeen was set by Hideo Nomo on April 29, 1990.

Source: Sponichi 4/30/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/30/2016, Sanspo 4/30/2016


[4/30/2016] Naoto Watanabe leaves with hamstring discomfort

Naoto Watanabe was removed on defense in the seventh inning against Softbank at YafuOku Dome today because he felt discomfort in his left hamstring. The discomfort began as he rounded third when he scored from first on a triple  to center in the seventh inning.

Source: Sanspo 4/30/2016


[4/30/2016] Tomohiro Anraku to miss next start due to popped blister

Tomohiro Anraku popped a blister on his right middle finger during his start against Orix at Kyocera Dome today. Rakuten is planning to take him off the active roster. He is expected to rejoin the rotation once the finger heals.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/30/2016, Sports Hochi 4/30/2016

NPB Standings [Full]
Hiroshima 140 86 50 4
Hanshin 135 73 59 3
Yokohama 135 68 63 4
Yomiuri 137 68 66 3
Chunichi 136 58 73 5
Yakult 137 44 91 2
Softbank 136 91 45 0
Seibu 137 77 57 3
Rakuten 130 71 57 2
Orix 133 61 71 1
Nippon Ham 133 52 81 0
Lotte 135 49 85 1
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