[5/16/2016] Takayoshi Kawabata has surgery to treat fracture

The Orix Buffaloes announced today that Takayoshi Kawabata had surgery at a hospital in Osaka to treat a fracture in his left hand. He will most likely require about two months for a full recovery.

Source: Daily Sports 5/16/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Hiroshima starters for Yakult series

According to Daily Sports, the Hiroshima Carp will go with the following starters against the Yakult Swallows at Mazda Stadium:

  • May 17 – Kris Johnson
  • May 18 – Yusuke Nomura
  • May 19 – Aren Kuri

Source: Daily Sports 5/16/2016

The Carp could go with the following starters for the Hanshin at Koshien series that begins on May 20:

  • May 20 – Hiroki Kuroda
  • May 21 – Akitake Okada
  • May 22 – Kyohei Nakamura

Source: Daily Sports 5/17/2016


[5/16/2016] The controversial out call at home plate from May 11

An out call at home plate was reversed during a game between the Yomiuri Giants and Hanshin Tigers at Koshien Stadium on May 11 after Yomiuri manager Yoshinobu Takahashi asked for a review. The umpiring crew checked the film and decided catcher Fumihito Haraguchi blocked the lane to home plate. Manager Tomoaki Kanemoto was not happy with the ruling. The Tigers were later told the umpires reversed their call because they felt Haraguchi blocked the lane from the start and that they felt it was not a definite out.

The Tigers submitted a letter to the NPB the following day and asked for clarification. Chief umpire Masato Tomoyose and Central League official Kazuhide Kinefuchi met with Hanshin for about fifty minutes at Yokohama Stadium on May 13. Tomoyose explained that the collision rule was cited because the umpiring crew felt the ball thrown to home plate was catchable without blocking the lane. He also said there were some umpires that felt differently about decision and that they were in the process of determining what the appropriate ruling should be for future incidents.

Kanemoto was not satisfied with the explanation and is waiting to hear how the umpires plan to handle future cases. He told reporters he would be extremely frustrated if the same thing happened again and added that he felt Haraguchi did nothing wrong.

Source: Daily Sports 5/11/2016, Daily Sports 5/14/2016, Sponichi 5/12/2016, Sponichi 5/12/2016, Sponichi 5/13/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/14/2016, Sanspo 5/14/2016


[5/16/2016] Lotte scores twenty-two in two straight walk-off games

The Chiba Lotte Marines recorded two walk-off victories against Rakuten this past weekend: 13-12 on May 14 and 9-8 on May 15. The twenty-two runs they scored is most for back-to-back walk-off victory NPB games since 1950. The previous record of twenty-one was set by Yokohama in 1998: an 8-7 win over Yomiuri on July 14 and a 13-12 win over Yomiuri on July 15.

Lotte also became the first team to score a total twenty or more runs in back-to-back victories since Yakult in 1993 (14-7 win against Hiroshima on May 18 and 17-16 win against Hiroshima on May 19).

This marked the first time Lotte recorded back-to-back walk-off extra-inning victories since 2013 (against Orix, March 29 and 30).

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/16/2016, Sponichi 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Daisuke Matsuzaka suffers possible setback

Daisuke Matsuzaka experienced some issues with the fingertips on his right hand during his last Ni-gun start on may 14. He is expected to get the fingers examined by a doctor. Ni-gun pitching/rehab coach Manabu Saito thought it could either be a circulatory disorder or nerve disorder.

Source: Sponichi 5/16/2016, Sports Hochi 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Shohei Otani topped out at 162km/h

Shohei Otani started a game against Seibu at Sapporo Dome on May 15 and tied his personal and NPB high twice with pitches that hit 162km/h: both times in the fifth inning, third pitch to Ernesto Mejia (strike looking) and third pitch to Hideto Asamura (fouled off).

Otani has topped 162km/h six other times:

  • twice during Game 2 of the 2014 All-Star series at Koshien
    • first inning, second pitch to Takashi Toritani – fouled off
    • first inning, first pitch to Shinnosuke Abe – ball
  • four times against Rakuten at Sapporo Dome on October 5, 2014
    • first inning, second pitch to Ginji – G4
    • first inning, third pitch to Aoi Enomoto – fouled off
    • first inning, fourth pitch to Aoi Enomoto – 1B4
    • second inning, fourth pitch to Kazuya Fujita – fouled off

Otani also hit 162km/h during an exhibition game against Yomiuri on March 2, 2016 (fourth inning, second pitch to Garrett Jones – strike swinging).

Otani also picked up his nineteenth career double-digit strikeout game on May 15. It was his third in as many starts. He joined Yu Darvish (five in a row one, four in a row twice, three in a row once) as the only pitchers in franchise history to record three or more double-digit strikeout games in a row.

Source: Daily Sports 5/15/2016, Daily Sports 5/15/2016Sports Hochi 5/15/2016, Nikkan Sports 5/16/2016, Sponichi 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Shinsaburo Tawata walked in three in a row on May 14

Shinsaburo Tawata made his Ichi-gun debut on May 14 with a start against Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome. He walked in three runners in a row in the second inning and became just the second rookie in NPB history to walk in three in a row in their debut game. The other rookie was Hiroshi Onodera on June 18, 1940. Two other rookies have also walked in three in a row (not in their debut games): Kazuyoshi Matsuura on December 6, 1936 and Takayasu Kato on August 16, 1994.

The NPB record of four was set by Takeo Mizobe on April 20, 1947. Since 1950 (start of the two leagues), fifteen other pitchers (eight Central League and seven Pacific League) have walked in three runners in a row. The last pitcher prior to Tawata was Yuya Kubo on August 14, 2014. Only one other pitcher in Seibu franchise history has walked in three runners in a row: Katsuhiro Maeda on July 18, 1995.

Source: Nikkan Sports 5/15/2016, Sponichi 5/15/2016


[5/16/2016] Tsuyoshi Nishioka will be examined by team doctor

Tsuyoshi Nishioka did not participate in general workouts at Naruohama on May 14 and instead focused on his rehab (aggravated left hamstring). The media learned on May 15 that Nishioka will be checked out by the team doctor on May 18.

Source: Sanspo 5/15/2016, Sanspo 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Hanshin Tigers: possible starters for upcoming Chunichi series

According to Sanspo, the Hanshin Tigers could go with the following three starters for their next two series:

Chunichi at Koshien

  • Randy Messenger on May 17 (five days of rest)
  • Yuya Yokoyama on May 18
  • Shintaro Fujinami on May 19 (five days of rest)

Hiroshima at Koshien

  • Yuta Iwasada on May 20 (five days of rest)
  • Atsushi Nomi on May 21 (five days of rest)
  • Messenger on May 22 (four days of rest)

Source: Sanspo 5/16/2016


[5/16/2016] Masato Kumashiro’s wife gives birth to second child

The Seibu Lions announced on May 15 that Masato Kumashiro’s wife gave birth to the couple’s second child, a boy weighing 3,226 grams, at a hospital in Imabari, Ehime on May 2.

Source: Seibu announcementSanspo 5/16/2016