Kengo Tagawa, Yakult
5 G, 3-0, 20.2 IP, 20 SO, 8 BB, 4 ER, 1.74 ERA
Tagawa pitched in five games in July and recorded a league-high three wins. He recorded his wins both as a starter and a reliever.
Hiroki Takahashi, Hiroshima
15 G, 23-for-48, 8 2B, 10 RBI, 4 SO, .479 BA
Takahashi played in fifteen games in July and went 23-for-48. He led the league in hitting (.479), doubles (8) and on base percentage (.545).
Source: NPB 8/10/20170 Comments
Shoitsu Omatsu, Yomiuri (First Time)
July 26 vs Chunichi at Jingu Stadium. Bottom of the 10th inning and the score tied at ten. With no runners on and one out, Omatsu hit a walk-off home run to right-center.
The Swallows’ pitching staff allowed ten runs over the first six innings of the game. The Swallows’ offense sputtered and managed just four hits over the same number of innings. But Yuhei Nakamura two-run home run in the seventh. The offense capped of an eight-run eighth with a two-run blast from Wladimir Balentien. The score remained knotted at ten until the bottom of the tenth, when Omatsu stepped into the box as a pinch-hitter and knocked the first pitch he saw over the wall in right-center. It was his second walk-off home run of the season.
Japhet Amador, Rakuten (First Time)
July 23 vs Orix at Kobo Park Miyagi. Score tied at two in the bottom of the ninth. Amador leads off the inning and hits a walk-off home run to right-center.
The Buffaloes took a two-run lead in the fourth inning. The Eagles were held to just three hits over seven. Hiroaki Shimauchi tied the game with a two-run blast in the eighth. Yuya Kubo retired the side in order in the top of the ninth. Amador led off the bottom-half of the inning and drilled a 1-2 pitch over the wall in right-center. It was the first walk-off hit of Amador’s NPB career.
Source: NPB 8/9/20170 Comments
Tomoyuki Sugano, Yomiuri (Fourth Time)
4 G, 4-0, 29.0 IP, 0.31 ERA, 30 SO, 1 ER
Sugano won the MVP of the Month Award for the second time this year (May and July). He led the league with four wins and a 0.31 ERA in July. He won all four of his starts. Sugano is the first Yomiuri pitcher to win two MVP of the Month Awards in one season since Masaki Saito in 1990 (May and July).
Masayuki Kuwahara, Yokohama (First Time)
21 G, .389 AVG, 35 H, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 2 SB
Kuwahara batted first in every game in July and led the league with a .389 batting average. He recorded a hit in seventeen of the twenty-one games he played. Of the seventeen, thirteen were multi-hit games; of the thirteen, five were modashos. He also led the league in on base percentage (.439) and his seventeen runs scored was good for a second place tie with two other players. On July 1, he recorded a lead-off home run and a come-from-behind grand slam in the ninth. Kuwahara is the first Yokohama player to win the award since Jose Lopez later year (September).
Nao Higashihama, Softbank (First Time)
3 G, 3-0, 20.1 IP, 1.33 ERA, 13 SO, 3 ER
Higashihama pitched in three games in July and led the league in wins (tied with five others). He gave up a run on four hits over 5.1 innings against Nippon Ham on July 7; a run on five hits over 7.2 innings against Seibu on July 17; and a run on five hits over 7.1 innings against Rakuten on July 27.
Shogo Akiyama, Seibu (Third Time)
23 G, .351 AVG, 33 H, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 2 SB
Akiyama batted lead-off in all twenty-three of his team’s games in July. He led the league in hits (33), RBI (19), and total bases (52). His sixteen runs scored was tied for most with two other players. He recorded three hits and four RBI on July 6 against Nippon Ham, July 11 against Lotte, and July 23 against Nippon Ham. He also recorded four hits and two RBI against Orix on July 25. He put together an eleven-game hitting streak between July 18 and 30. Akiyama won the MVP of the Month Award two other times, both in 2015 (March/April and June). This is the seventy-second time a Seibu player won the award, most in the league.
Source: NPB 8/8/20170 Comments
Yoshiyuki Kamei, Yomiuri (First Time)
June 18 vs Chiba at Tokyo Dome. Bottom of the 12th inning and the Giants down 5-4. Runners on first and second and one out. Kamei hits a come-from-behind, walk-off three-run home run to give the Giants a 7-5 victory.
The Giants took an early lead with a home run by Shinnosuke Abe in the second inning. They added another run in the third and took a 3-0 lead in the fourth with Abe’s second home run of the game. Lotte scored a run in the fifth and tied the game at three in the eighth. Kamei stepped into the batter’s box after a intentional walks to Casey McGehee in the eighth and tenth innings, but fouled out and struck out, respectively. He once against stepped into the batter’s box after an intentional walk to McGehee in the twelfth inning and this time took advantage of the situation.
Shuhei Fukuda, Softbank (First Time)
June 25 vs Seibu at YafuOku Dome. Bottom of the ninth with a runner on first and two out. Hawks trail the Lions 6-5. Fukuda hits a walk-off two-run home run to give Softbank a 7-6 win.
The Hawks scored a run in the first inning. The Lions tied the score at one in the third and took a four-run lead in the fourth. The Hawks chipped away at the lead with a two-run home run by Yuya Hasegawa in the sixth and a timely hit by Tomoki Takata in the seventh. But the Lions tacked on another run in the eighth. The Hawks closed to within a run in the bottom-half of the inning. Yuki Yanagita recorded a one-out infield hit in the ninth. One out later, Fukuda recorded the first walk-off of his career: a come-from-behind, two-out, two-run home run.
Source: NPB 7/12/20170 Comments
Satoshi Iizuka, Yokohama
3 G, 3-0, 19.0 IP, 12 SO, 5 BB, 6 ER, 2.84 ERA
Iizuka started three games in June and led the league with three wins. He also made his first Ichi-gun appearance on June 19 against Orix and recorded five shutout innings.
Alejandro Mejia, Hiroshima
18 G, 24-for-71, 4 HR, 15 RBI, 1 SB, .338 BA
Mejia played in all eighteen of his team’s games in June. He led the league in hits (twenty-four), home runs (four), and RBI (fifteen).
Source: NPB 7/10/20170 Comments
Hitoki Iwase, Chunichi (Second Time)
14 G, 1-0, 1 Sv, 10 HD, 11.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 11 SO, 0 ER
Iwase won the MVP of the Month Award for the second time during his career. He won his first award in April 2005. He pitched in fourteen games in June and did not allow any runs to score. He led the league with ten holds and he picked up a save against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome on June 23. The save was his first in three years. A Chunichi player has now won an MVP of the Month award three months straight. Iwase is the first Chunichi pitcher to win the award since Shunta Wakamatsu in August 2015.
Yoshihiro Maru, Hiroshima (First Time)
21 G, .402 AVG, 33 H, 6 HR, 22 RBI
Maru won the award for the first time in his ten-year career. He played in all his teams games in the month of June. He led the league in batting average, hits, and RBI. He blasted home runs in three consecutive plate appearances on June 16 against Softbank at Mazda Stadium. Maru is the first Hiroshima player to win the award since Ryosuke Kikuchi in August 2016.
Ken Togame, Seibu (First Time)
4 G, 3-0, 23.1 IP, 3.09 ERA, 18 SO, 8 ER
Togame pitched in four games in June. His three wins as a started was tied for most in the league. He gave up two runs over six innings against Hiroshima on June 1 and Yomiuri June 8. He did not record a decision when he gave up two runs over 5.1 innings against Hanshin on June 15. He allowed two runs over six innings and picked up his third win of the month on June 24 against Softbank. A Seibu player has won the award seventy-one ties, tied for most in the league with Orix and Nippon Ham.
Yuki Yanagita, Softbank (Fourth Time)
23 G, .363 AVG, 29 H, 12 HR, 31 RBI, 2 SB
Yanagita batted third and fourth and played in all twenty-three of his team’s games. He led the league in home runs, RBI, R, TB (72), SLG (.900), OBP (.480), RISP (.500). Yanagita won the award in May 2014, August 2015, and September 2015.
Source: NPB 7/7/20170 Comments
Winners of the 2017 NPB Inter-league Awards were released by the NPB today.
Most Valuable Player Award
Yuki Yanagita (Softbank)
16 G, .338 BA, 24 H (5th tie), 7 HR (2nd tie), 23 RBI (1st), .415 OBP, .565 RISP (1st tie)
He led all players with twenty-three RBI. This was the second time he won the award.
Nihon Seimei Award
Go Matsumoto (Nippon Ham)
17 G, .396 BA (2nd), 21 H, 0 HR, 5 RBI, .439 OBP (2nd), .462 (4th tie)
He started getting more regular playing time after he recorded a pinch-hit two-run double in the ninth inning of a game against Hanshin at Koshien Stadium on June 2.
Yoshihiro Maru (Hiroshima)
18 G, .411 BA (1st), 30 H (1st), 5 HR, 18 RBI (2nd), .469 OBP (1st), .565 RISP (1st tie)
He led the league in batting average, hits, and on base percentage.
Source: NPB 6/23/20170 Comments
Daiki Watanabe, Yakult
17 G, 25-for-69, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 4 SB, .362 BA
Watanabe led the league in hits (twenty-five) and his batting average (.362) was good for second. He recorded at least one hit in fourteen of the seventeen games he played in.
Xavier Batista, Hiroshima
20 G, 31-for-78, 8 HR, 22 RBI, 1 SB, .397 BA
Batista batted clean-up in all twenty of his team’s games in May. He blasted a home run in three consecutive games and drove in at least one run in five straight games. He led the league in home runs (eight) and RBI (twenty-two).
Source: NPB 6/9/20170 Comments
Takahiro Araki, Yakult (First Time)
May 14 vs Chunichi at Botchan Stadium. Bottom of the ninth with the score tied at one. Bases loaded with two out. Araki hit a walk-off grand slam to left. The Dragons took the early lead with a run in the first inning. The Swallows answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the second inning. The teams remained locked in a one-all tie until the bottom of the ninth. Chunichi pitchers walked three batters in a row to load the bases and set the stage for Araki’s walk-off grand slam. This was Yakult’s second walk-off grand slam of the season, a first for a team in the Central League.
Shunta Goto, Orix (First Time)
May 7 vs Nippon Ham at Kyocera Dome. Bottom of the 12th with the bases loaded, one out, and the score tied at three. Shunta recorded a walk-off single to right. The Fighters scored first with two runs in the third. The Buffaloes scored a run in the bottom of the inning and two more in the fourth to take a 3-2. Nippon Ham tied the game at three in the sixth. Orix loaded the bases with two hits and a walk in the bottom of the 12th. For Shunta, the deciding hit was his fourth of the game (first four-hit game of his career) and the second walk-off hit of his career. He recorded another walk-off hit on May 31 against Yakult.
Source: NPB 6/8/20170 Comments
Tomoyuki Sugano, Yomiuri (Third Time)
5 G, 3-2, 37.0 IP, 2.68 ERA, 31 SO, 11 ER
Sugano led the league with three victories (tied with two others). The three victories were a shutout, one run over eight innings, and seven shutout innings. He recorded the shutout win on May 2 against Yokohama at Tokyo Dome and became the first pitcher since Masaki Saito in 1989 to string together three shutout victories in a row. He also notched his fiftieth career victory during the win he recorded when he gave up a run over eight innings. Sugano is the first Yomiuri pitcher to record an MVP of the Month since Kazuto Taguchi in July 2016.
Dayan Viciedo, Chunichi (Second Time)
25 G, .341 AVG, 30 H, 8 HR, 25 RBI
Viciedo played in all his team’s games in May and batted .341 (fourth in the league) with eight home runs (third) and twenty-five RBI (first). His seven shukunda’s (hits that drove in the first run of the game, game-tying run, go-ahead run, come-from-behind run) were good for a first place tie. He blasted a walk-off home run against Hiroshima on May 19. Teammate Yohei Oshima won the MVP of the Month last month.
Takahiro Norimoto, Rakuten (Second Time)
4 G, 4-0, 32.0 IP, 2.25 ERA, 1 CG, 1 ShO, 46 SO, 8 ER
Norimoto started four games in May and led the league with four victories (tied with one other). He tossed a shutout victory against Lotte on May 10 (12 SO, 5 H, 1 BB). He struck out twelve against Orix on May 3 and Nippon Ham on May 17 and ten against Orix on May 25. Including the last four games he pitched in April (ten against Seibu on the 19th and ten against Lotte on the 26th), he recorded ten or more strikeouts in six consecutive starts.
Brandon Laird, Nippon Ham (Second Time)
23 G, .333 AVG, 27 H, 10 HR, 27 RBI
Laird batted fifth in all of his team’s games in May. He led the league in slugging (.753), RBI (twenty-seven), and home runs (ten, tied with two others) and his sixty-one totals bases were second most in the league. His team won all seven games in which he drove two or more runs. He blasted home runs in four consecutive at bats spanning two games on May 12 and 13.
Nippon Ham players have now won the award seventy-one times, tied for most in league history with Orix.
Source: NPB 6/7/20170 Comments