[4/2/2016] Rick van den Hurk extends winning streak to ten games

Rick van den Hurk picked up another win on April 2 and extended his hitting streak to ten games since his debut last year. He is the fourth pitcher in NPB history (first foreigner) to put together a winning streak of at least ten since their debut, first since Kunikazu Ogawa (1973 – 1974).

Pitchers that started their careers with a streak of ten or more wins

Name JPN Name ENG Tm Streak Years
藤本 英雄 Fujimoto, Hideo YOM 10 1942
堀内 恒夫 Horiuchi, Tsuneo YOM 13 1966
小川 邦和 Ogawa, Kunikazu YOM 10 1973-1974
バンデンハーク van den Hurk, Rick SOF 10 2015-2016

Source: Sponichi 4/2/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/2/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/3/2016


[4/2/2016] Hiroki Kuroda tosses shutout against Yomiuri Giants

Hiroki Kuroda tossed a four-hit shutout against the Yomiuri Giants at Mazda Stadium on April 2. It was his first shutout in Japan since June 3, 2007 against Rakuten.

At forty-one years and one month, Kuroda became just the eighth pitcher in NPB history to pitch a shutout after turning forty and the fourth to record a shutout victory after turning forty-one. He also became the second oldest pitcher in franchise history to toss a shutout, behind Yutaka Ono (forty-one years and eight months in 1997), and the second oldest right-handed pitcher in NPB history to record a shutout, behind Tadashi Wakayabashi (forty-two years and eight months in 1950).

Kuroda is the second oldest pitcher to record a shutout against the Yomiuri Giants, behind Masahiro Yamamoto (forty-five years and zero month in 2010), and the oldest right-handed pitcher to toss a shutout against the Yomiuri Giants.

Pitchers that recorded shutouts after turning forty-one

Name JPN Name ENG Tm
若林 忠志 Wakabayashi, Tadashi HAN, MAI
大野 豊 Ono, Yutaka HIR
山本昌 Yamamoto, Masahiro CHU
黒田 博樹 Kuroda, Hiroki HIR

Pitchers that recorded shutouts against the Giants after turning forty

Name JPN Name ENG Tm Year
若林 忠志 Wakabayashi, Tadashi HAN 1948
山本昌 Yamamoto, Masahiro CHU 2010
黒田 博樹 Kuroda, Hiroki HIR 2016

Source: Daily Sports 4/2/2016, Sponichi 4/2/2016, Daily Sports 4/3/2016, Sponichi 4/3/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/3/2016


[4/2/2016] Louis Okoye to get the start in center on April 3

First round draft pick Louis Okoye is slated to get the start in center field against Seibu at kobo Stadium on April 3. It will be his first starting assignment at Ichi-gun.

Source: Daily Sports 4/2/2016


[4/2/2016] Dennis Sarfate’s April Fool’s Day prank

Dennis Sarfate surprised his teammates when he announced during a pre-game pitcher’s meeting on April 1 that he suddenly had to return to the United States for a month. Yuito Mori, a close teammate, got a little misty-eyed by the announcement. When he found out it was an April Fools prank, he shrugged off the tears and said he was tricked and that the team would have had a tough time winning without Sarfate in the bullpen for a month.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2016


[4/2/2016] Hosoya ties PL record with triples in three consecutive games

Kei Hosoya tied a Pacific League record earlier today with a triple in his third straight game. He is the twelfth player in NPB history, seventh player in PL history, and fourth player in franchise history to tie the record. The last player to tie the record before Hosoya was Daichi Suzuki in 2013. The NPB record of four was set by Shigeo Nagashima in 1960.

Pacific League

Year Name JPN Name ENG
1954 蔭山 和夫 Kageyama, Kazuo
1955 三宅 宅三 Miyake, Takuzo
1958 本屋敷 錦吾 Motoyashiki, Kengo
1993 浜名 千広 Hamana, Chihiro
2007 早川 大輔 Hayakawa, Daisuke
2013 鈴木 大地 Suzuki, Daichi
2016 細谷 圭 Hosoya, Kei

Source: Sponichi 4/2/2016, Sponichi 4/3/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/3/2016


[4/1/2016] Otani gives up a run at a rural stadium

Shohei Otani was 4-0 with a 0.00 ERA in four starts and 31.0 innings at rural stadiums over his career (through March 31). The scoreless innings steak ended at thirty-six on April 1.

Rural Stadium Appearances

Date Opponent Stadium G Desc IP BF NP H HR SO BB HBP R ER
2013/08/18 Softbank Obihiro RP 1.0 4 25 1 0 1 0 0 0 0
2014/05/13 Seibu Hakodate SP W 9.0 34 126 6 0 9 3 0 0 0
2014/07/16 Seibu Asahikawa SP W 5.0 22 93 3 0 6 4 0 0 0
2015/04/12 Softbank Kumamoto SP W 7.0 26 111 2 0 9 3 1 0 0
2015/06/24 Lotte Asahikawa SP W 9.0 31 127 3 0 11 2 0 0 0
2016/04/01 Softbank Shizuoka SP 6.0 27 105 5 0 6 3 2 1 1

Incidentally, heading into the start on April 1, Otani was 3-4 with a 4.74 ERA in thirteen games against the Hawks over his career.

Source: Daily Sports 4/1/2016, Daily Sports 4/2/2016, Nikkan Sports 4/1/2016, Sponichi 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] 17th High School Girl’s Baseball Tournament The Invitational

Saitama Sakae High School blanked Komazawa Gakuen Girl’s High School 2-0 in the finals game of the 17th High School Girl’s Baseball Tournament The Invitational on April 1.

Saitama Sakae won the tournament for the sixth time, first in four years.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/1/2016, Tournament Website


[4/1/2016] Masataka Yoshida extended hitting streak to six games

First round draft pick Masataka Yoshida extended his hitting streak to six games from the start of the season and tied the rookie record set by Tatsunori Hara in 1981 and Tomoaki Sato in 2001.

Source: Daily Sports 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 4:09pm]

Hara, Sato, and Yoshida hold the record for hitting streaks by a rookie from the start of the season since the introduction of the draft system in 1966. Shuzo Aono recorded a hit in eight straight from the start of the season in 1962.

Source: Nikkan Sports 4/2/2016

[UPDATE 4/2 @ 7:05pm]

Yoshida’s streak came to an end on April 2. He went 0-for-2 with two walks against Lotte.

Source: Daily Sports 4/2/2016


[4/1/2016] Toshiki Sakurai has discomfort in right elbow

Toshiki Sakurai was taken off the active roster on March 31 with discomfort in his right elbow.

Source: Chunichi Sports 4/1/2016


[4/1/2016] Rakuten Eagles introduce a new mascot

The Rakuten Eagles introduced a new mascot named Switch earlier today. The mascot was born in California on July 4, 2005. He agreed to a contract worth an estimated 1,776 US dollars. A complete profile (in Japanese) can be found at the link below.

Source: Rakuten announcement 4/1/2016

[UPDATE 4/1 @ 20:43]

A little backstory: The Eagles issued a statement to the media that said they were going to announce the addition of a new foreigner. They made it seem like they were going to introduce a new player, but instead brought in Switch. The press conference, and everything leading up to it, was an April Fools prank, but the addition itself is real.

Source: Sponichi 4/1/2016, Daily Sports 4/1/2016

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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