[5/3/2016] Nogami and Kikuchi to anchor Seibu rotation over next twelve games

Ryoma Nogami and Yusei Kikuchi will most likely each get three starts during the Seibu Lions’ next twelve games (including the game on May 3).

Nogami: May 3 against Orix at Seibu Prince Dome, May 8 against Nippon Ham at Seibu Prince Dome, May 14 against Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome

Kikuchi: May 4 against Orix at Seibu Prince Dome, May 10 against Rakuten at kobo Stadium, May 15 against Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome

Source: Daily Sports 5/3/2016


[5/3/2016] Hanshin Tigers set new Ni-gun attendance record

The Ni-gun Hanshin Tigers played their game against Hiroshima at Koshien Stadium earlier today and set a new attendance record by drawing 10,093 fans. The previous of 7,054 was set on September 23, 2009 (which also coincided with Shuta Tanaka’s retirement game).

Source: Sanspo 5/3/2016

[UPDATE 5/4 @ 6:13pm]

A few more interesting attendance notes:

  • The Western League started keeping track of attendance records in 2008. The 10,093 set a new Western League high. The previous high for attendance since 2008 was 8,733, set during a Chunichi-Hiroshima game at Mazda Stadium on September 5, 2015. The Eastern League attendance record of 28,004 was set during a Rakuten-Yomiuri game at Tokyo Dome on August 6, 2009.
  • Through May 3, the Ni-gun Tigers have drawn a total 5,011 in eleven games at Naruohama (average of about 456 per game).

Source: Sponichi 5/4/2016

[UPDATE 5/4 @ 7:32pm]

Today’s Ni-gun Hiroshima-Hanshin game at Koshien Stadium drew 12,631 fans.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/4/2016

[UPDATE 5/5 @ 5:45pm]

The Ni-gun Hanshin Tigers drew 10,721 to their game against the Hiroshima Carp at Koshien Stadium today. It should be noted, that some fans attended the game because wanted to see/show their support for Ni-gun manager Masayuki Kakefu.

Ni-gun Hanshin is slated to play two games at Koshien Stadium against Yomiuri on June 11 and 12.

Source: Sanspo 5/5/2016, Sanspo 5/5/2016


[5/3/2016] Kazuhiro Hatakeyama could be ready for Yokohama series

Kazuhiro Hatakeyama (back) could rejoin the active roster in time for the Yokohama series that begins on May 5. He has played in two rehab games at Ni-gun (through May 1) and has gone 2-for-5 with two walks and a strikeout.

Source: Sponichi 5/3/2016, Sports Hochi 5/3/2016


[5/3/2016] Hiromi Oka could be ready for Inter-league play

Hiromi Oka (right ankle) could return to the active roster in time for the start of Inter-league play. Oka hurt his right foot while running the bases during an exhibition game against Softbank on March 17 and was diagnosed with a varus sprain. He has already started pushing his rehab at a faster pace and could play in a rehab game at Ni-gun some time this week (beginning with DH or pinch-hit appearances).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/3/2016


[5/3/2016] NPB will let Posting System window lapse without talks

According to Nikkan Sports, the NPB is set to let the renegotiation window on the Posting System lapse. People close to the situation have told the media that making changes to the Posting System may not be high on the NPB’s list of priorities right now because there is a good chance it will not be used this upcoming off-season and because the MLB is already busy with other discussions. The decision has already been confirmed during an executive committee meeting.

The current Posting System terms are set to expire on October 31, 2016. The NPB and MLB can request for changes up to 180 days (May 5, 2016) before the expiry date. If no requests are made, the terms are set to automatically extend another year.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/3/2016


[5/3/2016] Tony Blanco waiting in the wings

The Buffaloes are having Tony Blanco prepare for possible playing time at first base. Brian Bogusevic and Brent Morel could lose their spots on the active roster to Blanco if they do not start producing.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/3/2016

2016 Stats

Morel, Brent Ichi-gun 25 104 88 8 20 2 0 1 25 10 29 11 0 2 0 3 1 0 1 .227 .317 .284 .601
Bogusevic, Brian Ichi-gun 25 86 78 8 18 5 0 1 26 10 25 5 0 3 0 0 1 1 1 .231 .302 .333 .636
Blanco, Tony Ni-gun 12 48 36 3 9 2 0 1 14 6 13 10 0 1 0 1 0 0 2 .250 .417 .389 .806

[5/2/2016] NPB: time between pitches (through May 1)

The NPB released a list of pitchers and hitters ranked by the shortest time between pitches as part of their ongoing efforts to shorten the length of games. The top ranked pitchers and hitters will be eligible for the Speed Up Award. Below are the rankings for pitchers.

Time between pitches with bases empty (through May 1)

Central League

Rank Name JPN Name ENG Team Time IP
1 高木 勇人 Takagi, Hayato Yomiuri 10.3 36.0
2 ネイラー Naylor, Drew Chunichi 10.7 36.2
3 ジョンソン Johnson, Kris Hiroshima 11.1 43.1
4 メッセンジャー Messenger, Randy Hanshin 11.4 40.2
5 田口 麗斗 Taguchi, Kazuto Yomiuri 11.4 31.0
6 ポレダ Poreda, Aaron Yomiuri 11.5 27.0
7 マテオ Mateo, Marcos Hanshin 11.5 15.1
8 今村 信貴 Imamura, Nobutaka Yomiuri 11.5 26.2
9 三上 朋也 Mikami, Tomoya Yokohama 11.7 12.1
10 井納 翔一 Ino, Shoichi Yokohama 11.7 43.0

Pacific League

Rank Name JPN Name ENG Team Time IP
1 牧田 和久 Makita, Kazuhisa Seibu 8.2 27.1
2 小石 博孝 Koishi, Hirotaka Seibu 9.9 10.1
3 南 昌輝 Minami, Masaki Lotte 10.8 13.0
4 メンドーサ Mendoza, Luis Nippon Ham 10.8 34.2
5 バース Bass, Anthony Nippon Ham 10.9 25.1
6 吉川 光夫 Yoshikawa, Mitsuo Nippon Ham 10.9 27.2
7 和田 毅 Wada, Tsuyoshi Softbank 11.4 34.0
8 岸 孝之 Kishi, Takayuki Seibu 11.4 30.0
9 東明 大貴 Tomei, Daiki Orix 11.6 28.2
10 ディクソン Dickson, Brandon Orix 11.6 34.0

Source: NPB announcement


[5/2/2016] Hanshin Tigers: First Hits

Six Japanese Hanshin players have recorded their first career hits this season: Yutaro Itayama, Shun Takayama, Shintaro Yokota, Fumiya Hojo, Naomasa Yokawa, and Fumihito Haraguchi. The last time six Japanese Hanshin players recorded their first career hits in the same year was in 1989: Seiichi Kaneko, Tsutomu Kameyama, Toru Iwata, Hajime Takai, Hiroyuki Yoshikawa, and Eiji Iwakiri.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/2/2016


[5/2/2016] Tetsuto Yamada notched ninth multi-homer game on May 1

Tetsuto Yamada notched the ninth multi-homer game of his career on May 1 with home runs in back-to-back at bats. The two home runs made him one of the first players in the Central League to reach ten home runs this season (the other is Brad Eldred). Yamada is the ninth player in franchise history to be one of the first to hit ten home runs in the league. Of the nine, only three were Japanese. The other two: Yukihiko Machida in 1955 and Atsuya Furuta in 1992.

Source: Sanspo 5/2/2016


[5/2/2016] Some Shohei Otani numbers

A little on Shohei Otani’s start on May 1:

  • he has allowed fourteen runs in six starts this year.
    • nine runs between the first and third innings (three runs in the first and six runs in the second)
    • three runs between the fourth and sixth innings (one run each in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings)
    • two runs from the seventh inning on (two runs in the seventh inning)
  • he has not yet gone on a three-game losing streak
  • he is the fourth player out of high school to record at least one win and one home in each of his first four seasons, behind Masaichi Kaneda (1950-1960), Masaaki Ikenaga (1960-1969), and Tsuneo Horiuchi (1966-1974).
  • the 138 pitches he threw on May 1 was the third most in his career: 149 against Seibu on August 17, 2014 and 139 against Seibu on September 15, 2015.
  • he picked up his seventeenth double-digit strikeout game of his career on May 1. He also picked up his fifth double-digit/complete game win of his career.
  • of the thirty victories under his belt, twenty-seven were games in which he allowed three or fewer runs. The other three games: four runs in 6.2 innings against Orix on May 4, 2014, five runs in six innings against Seibu on July 24, 2015, and four runs in nine innings against Lotte on May 1, 2016.
  • May won-loss records: 0-0 in 2013, 2-0 in 2014, 2-0 in 2015, and 1-0 so far in 2016

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/2/2016, Sanspo 5/2/2016, Sponichi 5/2/2016

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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