[5/24/2016] Ryosuke Yagi strikes out four in the first inning

Ryosuke Yagi recorded four strikeouts in the first inning against the Hanshin Tigers at Jingu Stadium tonight.

  • Fumiya Hojo – strikeout swinging
  • Yamato – strikeout swinging on a wild pitch
  • Kosuke Fukudome – single to center
  • Mauro Gomez – strikeout looking
  • Fumihito Haraguchi strikeout swinging

Yagi is the tenth pitcher in Central League history (eighteenth overall) to notch four strikeouts in one inning, first since Shingo Hirata on June 6, 2015, and second in franchise history, first since Donald Lemon on April 14, 2000.

Source: Daily Sports 5/24/2016, Sponichi 5/24/2016


[5/24/2016] Yuya Hasegawa earns domestic FA option

Yuya Hasegawa earned his domestic FA option today with eight years of service time on the active roster. When the media asked him about the option, he said he was surprised and did not know about it.

Hasegawa is in the first year of a three-year deal.

Source: Tokyo Sports 5/24/2016


[5/24/2016] Big game for Big Country and Johnson notches second straight shutout

Brad “Big Country” Eldred had a big game tonight against the Yomiuri Giants at Mazda Stadium. He went 4-for-4 with a double, two homers, and three RBI.

  • 2nd inning: led off the inning with a double to right-center
  • 4th inning: blasted a two-out solo home run
  • 6th inning: led off the inning with a single to left
  • 8th inning: drilled a two-run home run to left

…And Kris Johnson notched his second straight shutout, both at Mazda Stadium.

  • May 17 against Yakult: 9.0 IP, 114 NP, 32 BF, 5 H, 5 SO, 1 BB
  • May 24 against Yomiuri: 9.0 IP, 128 NP, 33 BF, 4 H, 10 SO, 2 BB

Johnson has won his last four starts at Mazda Stadium and has allowed just four runs (three earned) in those games (33.1 innings).

Additional notes:

  • Johnson is the first Carp pitcher to record back-to-back shutouts since Makoto Kito in 1999 on May 26 (Yomiuri) and June 2 (Yakult). He is also the first foreign Carp pitcher to accomplish the feat. Source: Nikkan Sports 5/25/2016, Sponichi 5/25/2016
  • Johnson recorded ten or more strikeouts in a game for the second time in his career, first since August 7, 2015 (thirteen against Yomiuri). He is the first Carp pitcher to record a shutout and ten or more strikeouts since Kenta Maeda (August 22, twelve against Hanshin) and Daichi Osera (September 6, ten against Yokohama) in 2014 and the first foreign Carp pitcher since Colby Lewis (September 27, eleven against Yakult) in 2008. Source: Sanspo 5/25/2016

[5/24/2016] Sanspo interviews Matt Murton

Sanspo published an interview with Matt Murton today. Below are some takeaways:

  • he continues to check Hanshin results once every two or three days
  • he is still getting reacclimated to baseball in the US, like how batting practice is done (four to five swings per turn versus longer turns in Japan, batting practice pitchers throwing from in front of the mound versus batting practice pitchers throwing from the mound in Japan)
  • he and his family enjoyed Japan from the start
  • he feels luck helped him along the way in Japan: he got a handful of lucky hits when he recorded 214 hits in his first year, he did not have to worry too much about pressure because he got off to a strong start in his first year, the Tigers allowed him to do his own thing even when he was slumping
  • he misses Japanese food. The first dish he ate was gyudon at Yoshinoya
  • his fondest memory is the fourth game of the 2014 Climax Series
  • he is open to returning to the NPB

Source: Sanspo 5/24/2016


[5/24/2016] Jose Adolis Garcia joins San-gun workouts

Jose Adolis Garcia arrived in Japan on May 23 and joined San-gun practices at Giants Stadium on May 24. His participated in a full day of workouts, which included fielding practice and batting practice.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/24/2016


[5/24/2016] Nippon Ham Fighters thinking about building their own stadium

The Nippon Ham Fighters are said to be interested in building their own stadium in or around the Sapporo area (fifteen to twenty locations in all) by about 2024 (twenty years since their move to Hokkaido in 2004). They believe a new stadium will help pave the path to a more productive relationship with Hokkaido and bring the organization more financial stability.

The Fighters are currently using Sapporo Dome as their home stadium. The city of Sapporo owns the stadium and Sapporo Dome Company manages and operates the facilities. It costs the organization about eight million yen in base fees a day (or about 1.3 billion yen a year). If attendance goes over 20,000, they have to pay an addition 400 yen per head.

Source: Sponichi 5/24/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/24/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/24/2016

[UPDATE 5/26 @ 4:19am]

A few more bits about the stadium plans.

  • Possible locations including areas inside Sapporo and Kitahiroshima
  • Seating capacity will be about 30,000
  • It will not be a multi-use stadium
  • They are considering a retractable domed stadium and natural grass
  • There may be additional facilities, like retail stores and/or hotels
  • Plans are still in the exploratory stage, nothing has been set in stone
  • Sapporo mayor Katsuhiro Akimoto would like to see the team stay in Sapporo

Source: Sanspo 5/25/2016, Sponichi 5/25/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/25/2016


[5/24/2016] Hiroyuki Nakajima to return to the active roster

Junichi Fukura is planning to add Hiroyuki Nakajima (right calf) to the active roster today. He is also planning to give the veteran the start at either first or third against Softbank at YafuOku Dome, since Tony Blanco is the designated hitter.

Nakajima recently played in two Ni-gun games against Chunichi (May 20, 21) and went 4-for-9 with two RBI. He has also hit well at YafuOku Dome last year — he went 12-for-38 with five home runs, ten RBI, and a slash line of .316/.458/.711.

Source: Sponichi 5/24/2016, Sports Hochi 5/24/2016, Daily Sports 5/24/2016


[5/25/2016] Takayuki Kishi might make active roster before the end of Inter-league play

Takayuki Kishi (right adductor) could pitch in a Ni-gun rehab game on either May 31 or June 1 (both against Yokohama at Seibu Prince Dome). There is a chance he might be able to make the active roster before the end of Inter-league play.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/24/2016, Daily Sports 5/24/2016


[5/25/2016] Hanshin Tigers to go with a bullpen by committee

The Hanshin Tigers are planning to go with a bullpen by committee for their next six games before the start of Inter-league play. Marcos Mateo and Kyuji Fujikawa will be the primary options to close games. Akifumi Takahashi could also be thrown into the mix if they need a left-handed option.

Source: Sponichi 5/24/2016


[5/24/2016] Tateki Abe to have Tommy John surgery

The media learned on May 23 that Tateki Abe will have Tommy John surgery at a hospital in Kanagawa within the next few days. Abe hurt his elbow during spring camp in February. He originally opted for non-invasive treatment, but recently decided to go with the surgery after discussions with the Yokohama Bay Stars.

Source: Sports Hochi 5/24/2016

NPB Standings [Full]
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
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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