Masaki Iwami, Rakuten
26 G, 27-for-74, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 0 SB, .365 BA
Iwami led the league in batting average (.365) and recorded hits in seventeen of the twenty-six games he played.
Hiroki Takahashi, Hiroshima
25 G, 34-for-92, 4 HR, 10 RBI, 1 SB, .370 BA
Takahashi played in twenty-five games and led the league in hitting (.370). He also led the league (tied with other players) in hits (34) and doubles (6).
Source: NPB 5/16/20180 Comments
Ko Shimozuru, Yokohama (First Time)
April 19 vs Yakult at Mazda Stadium. Bottom of the 12th, score tied at four. Runner on second and two out. Shimozuru recorded a walk-off hit to right.
The Carp were down four runs after five innings. They pushed three runs across the plate in the sixth on a two-run single to right by Ryuhei Matsuyama and an RBI single to center by Xavier Batista. Ryosuke Kikuchi tied the game with a two-out RBI triple to right-center. In the bottom of the twelfth, Tomohiro Abe recorded a two-out double to left. Shimozuru followed with the first walk-off hit of his career.
Tomoya Mori, Seibu (Second Time)
April 18 vs Nippon Ham vs MetLife Dome. Bottom of the ninth, Lions down 8-7. Bases loaded, no out. Mori hit a walk-off two-run double to right-center.
The Lions were down five runs before they gave up another three spot in the top of the eighth. They charged back in the bottom-half of the inning by plating seven runs on five hits and three walks. Seibu quickly loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth on two hits and a walk. Mori stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded with the second walk-off of his career.
Source: NPB 5/15/20180 Comments
Randy Messenger, Hanshin (Third Time)
5 G, 4-1, 29.2 IP, 1.82 ERA, 28 SO, 6 ER
Messenger picked up his third MVP of the Month award, first since March/April of last year. He led the league with four wins. He became the first foreign pitcher to get the opening day start four years in a row. He is the first foreign Hanshin player to win three MVP of the Month awards. The previous record of two was held by Randy Bass (April 1985, June 1986) and Jason Standridge (June 2011, July 2011).
Hayato Sakamoto, Yomiuri (First Time)
25 G, .369 AVG, 38 H, 2 HR, 20 RBI, 2 SB
Sakamoto notched the first MVP of the Month award of his career. He led the league in batting average (.369) and hits (38). He went 4-for-4 against Yakult at Tokyo Dome on April 30, notched eleven multi-hit games, and recorded twenty RBI (good for a third place tie) in March/April. He is the first Yomiuri hitter to win an MVP of the Month award since Shuichi Murata in August 2013. He is the first shortstop in franchise history to win an MVP of the Month award.
Shinsaburo Tawata, Seibu (First Time)
5 G, 5-0, 35.0 IP, 2.06 ERA, 1 CG, 22 SO, 8 ER
Tawata pitched in five games and recorded five victories. His 2.06 ERA was good for a third place tie. He tossed six shutout innings against Nippon Ham on March 31, allowed one run over seven innings against Orix on April 7, gave up one run in a complete game victory against Rakuten on April 14, three runs in six innings against Lotte on April 21, and two runs over seven innings against Rakuten on April 29.
Hotaka Yamakawa, Seibu (Third Time)
24 G, .337 AVG, 28 H, 11 HR, 33 RBI
Yamakawa started in all twenty-four of his team’s games in March/April. he led the league in home runs (11), RBI (33), total bases (69), slugging percentage (.831), batting average with runners in scoring position (.560), and walks (22). He recorded at least one RBI in four games and homered in three consecutive games between April 21 and 25 (including a grand slam and three-run home run on April 25). He also hit home runs in two consecutive games on April 28 and 29.
Source: NPB 5/9/20180 Comments