2017 World Baseball Classic

Finals Schedule

Date Time Gm Away   Home Broadcast Attendance
03/21 Tue 10:00 1 Netherlands 3-4 Puerto Rico TBS,
J Sports
24,865
03/22 Wed 10:00 2 United States 2-1 Japan TBS,
J Sports
33,462
03/23 Thu 10:00 3 United States 8-0 Puerto Rico TV Asahi,
J Sports
51,565

Times in Japan Standard Time.

Useful Links: WBC Official Site, WBC Scoreboard, WBC Schedule, WBC Official Site (JPN)

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[8/29/2016] 2017 World Baseball Classic Survey (UPDATE 9/12 @ 2:04am)

I have been asked to do a little research on the 2017 World Baseball Classic. Information I gather could be used in a article that will be published in the next issue of Baseball Times. Those of you that have watched any of YakyuDB’s streams should be familiar with the name. They are a legitimate baseball publication in Japan.

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HIR

[3/13/2017] Hiroshima Carp: Hiroki Kuroda Special Uniforms

The Hiroshima Carp announced on March 10 that they will be wearing special Hiroki Kuroda uniforms during an exhibition game on March 18 against the Nippon Ham Fighters. They unveiled the uniforms on March 13.

The special uniforms are based on designs that were used by the team when Kuroda first joined the team. All uniforms will carry the number fifteen, as well as a Kuroda patch on the left chest.

Source: Hiroshima 3/10, Hiroshima 3/13

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HIR

[10/31/2016] Hiroshima Carp to retire Hiroki Kuroda’s number

Hiroshima Carp Owner Hajime Matsuda told the media that Hiroki Kuroda’s uniform number fifteen will be retired. He will be the third player in franchise history to have his uniform number retired. The other two players: Sachio Kinugasa’s number three and Koji Yamamoto number eight.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/31/2016, Daily Sports 10/31/2016, Sponichi 10/31/2016

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HIR

[10/25/2016] Hiroki Kuroda’s night ends after 5.2 innings

Hiroki Kuroda’s night ended a little early tonight. He appeared to be in pain after he got Shohei Otani to fly out to left with one out in the sixth inning. He left the field for treatment and returned after about two minutes. He threw a few warm-up pitches before he was removed from the game.

Final line: 5.2 IP, 21 BF, 85 NP, 4 H, 1 SO, 1 SH, 1 R, ER.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/25/2016, Daily Sports 10/25/2016

[UPDATE 10/26 @ 4:13am]

Kuroda developed discomfort (cramps/tightness) in both legs. He decided to come out of the game because this was not a game the team could afford to lose.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/25/2016, Sports Hochi 10/25/2016

[UPDATE 10/26 @ 6:59pm]

Kuroda first developed cramps in his calves at the start of the sixth inning. After he returned to the field, he threw three practice pitches and felt tightness in both his hamstrings. He felt it made more sense to pull himself out of the game with the bases empty rather than with a runner on (if it got that far).

Source: Sports Hochi 10/26/2016, Daily Sports 10/26/2016

[UPDATE 10/27 @ 5:37am]

Kuroda threw the ball about fifty times when he played catch during practices on October 26. He told reporters he felt fine and that he was able to throw the ball with authority. If the Nippon Series goes to seven games, there is a good chance he will get the start.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/26/2016

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HIR

[10/18/2016] Hiroki Kuroda to retire after this season

Hiroki Kuroda held a press conference at a hotel in Hiroshima on October 18 to announce his plans to retire after the season.

Kuroda was selected by the Hiroshima Carp in the second round of the 1996 draft. He pitched in 321 NPB games and went 124-105 with a 3.55 ERA and 1.25 WHIP in 2,021.2 innings. He also pitched in 212 MLB games and went 79-79 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.17 WHIP in 1,319.0 innings. He made the Best Nine in 2005 and won a Golden Glove in the same year. He won MVP of the Month Awards in May 2005, July 2006, and August 2006. He made the All-Star team five times (2001, 2005-2007, 2015).

Notes from various sources:

  • One big reason why he decided to retire was the Carp winning the pennant and making it to the Nippon Series. He is not sure if he would have made the same decision if the team failed to win the pennant.
  • Another reason for retirement: no longer being able to pitch deep into games.
  • He first started thinking about retirement every years about two to three years ago. He seriously started thinking about it after the team clinched first place.
  • He told Takahiro Arai about his decision after the Carp clinched the pennant. Arai asked him to play another season, but he told him his body was a mess.
  • If he had it his way, he would have waited to make an announcement until after the Nippon Series. However, he felt he owed it to his teammates and fans to speak up sooner since his next Nippon Series start might be his last.
  • He has no regrets, especially after this season.
  • He gathered teammates and staff on the field at Mazda Stadium around 5:00pm on October 18 and told them he was going to retire. His press conference starts at 7:00pm.

Source: Hiroshima announcement, Daily Sports 10/18/2016, Sports Hochi 10/18/2016, Sports Hochi 10/18/2016, Sponichi 10/18/2016, Sponichi 10/18/2016

[UPDATE 10/19 @ 4:22pm]

TV ratings for Kuroda’s press conference averaged 19.2% and peaked at 23.6%.

Source: Daily Sports 10/19/2016

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HIR

[10/11/2016] Hiroki Kuroda might have some shoulder discomfort

Hiroki Kuroda may have developed some discomfort in his right shoulder while playing catch during practices at Mazda Stadium on October 10. He temporarily stopped playing catch for treatment (massage) and resumed by playing catch at a distance of about sixty meters.

Kuroda is projected to start the third game of the Final Stage. It is uncertain if the shoulder will keep him from the start. However, it should also be noted that he told reporters the discomfort was nothing new and not a problem.

Source: Sports Hochi 10/11/2016, Daily Sports 10/11/2016

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HIR

[10/2/2016] Hiroki Kuroda picks up tenth win

Hiroki Kuroda started a game against the Yakult Swallows at Mazda Stadium on October 1 and picked up his tenth victory of the season.

Kuroda became the fourth pitcher in their forties to record at least ten wins in two seasons, first since Masahiro Yamamoto (2006, 2008). He joined Tadashi Wakabayashi (1948, 1949) and Kimiyasu Kudo (2004, 2005) as the only pitchers in their forties to record at least ten wins in two consecutive seasons. Kuroda and Wakabayashi are the only pitchers that threw enough innings to qualify for a title in the two seasons they won at least ten games during their forties. Kuroda is the only pitcher to accomplish the feat since the two-league format began in 1950.

Source: Nikkan Sports 10/2/2016

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HIR

[9/11/2016] Hiroki Kuroda taken off active roster

Hiroki Kuroda was taken off the active roster today to give him ample time to rest and prepare for the Climax Series.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/11/2016

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HIR

[8/30/2016] Hiroshima Prefecture to give Kuroda, Arai Prefectural Honor Awards

Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki announced during a press conference on August 30 that the prefecture was going to give Olympic gold medalist Rie Kaneto and Hiroshima Carp players Hiroki Kuroda (200 wins) and Takahiro Arai (2,000 hits) Prefectural Honor Awards.

Source: Hiroshima Prefecture announcement

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HIR

Hiroki Kuroda: Did You Know

A few notes about Kuroda:

  • He almost returned to Hiroshima after the 2011 season, but he ended up signing with the New York Yankees at the start of the new year.
  • It may have been in jest, but he asked for a one month contract when he first decided to return to Hiroshima. He wanted to quit right away if he caused problems for the team.
  • He lost both parents to cancer — his mother in 2002 and his father in 2007.
    • His mother was gym teacher. His father (Kazuhiro) played baseball professionally.
    • His mother was very strict. When he was in high school, he would some times visit his teammate’s house for a shower or some food. His mother would contact his teammate’s mother and ask that they return him to the team dormitory. His mother also asked his high school coach to add more running to his menu.
  • He has stayed with SSK since turning pro. He had other offers, but he turned them down.

Source: Daily Sports 7/24/2016, Sports Hochi 7/24/2016, Nikkan Sports 7/24/2016

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HIR

[7/23/2016] Third time’s the charm: Hiroshi Kuroda wins 200th game

Hiroshi Kuroda recorded his 200th career NPB(121) + MLB(79) victory on July 23. It was his third start since he rang up his 199th victory on June 29.

Kuroda is the twenty-sixth player in NPB history to reach 200 victories. He joined Hideo Nomo as the only two pitchers to hit the milestone with wins from the MLB and NPB.

At forty-one years and five months, he is the second oldest player to reach the milestone. The oldest: Masahiro Yamamoto at forty-two years and eleven months in 2008.

Of the 200 victories Kuroda has recorded, only one came in relief. He is just the second player out of college since 1950 to win 200 games. The other: Minoru Murayama in 1970.

Road the 200 Victories

Win # Date Opponent Venue
1 04/25/1997 Yomiuri Giants Tokyo Dome
50 08/17/2003 Yokohama Bay Stars Hiroshima Stadium
100 07/14/2007 Yomiuri Giants Tokyo Dome
150 06/13/2012 Atlanta Braves Turner Field
200 07/23/2016 Hanshin Tigers Mazda Stadium

Source: Nikkan Sports 7/23/2016, Sponichi 7/23/2016, Sponichi 7/24/2016Daily Sports 7/23/2016

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Don't forget to check these out!
NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 143 89 52 2
Yomiuri 143 71 69 3
Yokohama 143 69 71 3
Hanshin 143 64 76 3
Yakult 143 64 78 1
Chunichi 143 58 82 3
G W L T
Nippon Ham 143 87 53 3
Softbank 143 83 54 6
Lotte 143 72 68 3
Seibu 143 64 76 3
Rakuten 143 62 78 3
Orix 143 57 83 3
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