Hosei Takata, Yomiuri
4 G, 4-0, 0 Sv, 28.0 IP, 29 SO, 8 BB, 3 ER, 0.96 ERA
Takata started four games in August and led the league with four wins. He also led the league in innings (28.0) and strikeouts (twenty-nine).
Alejandro Mejia, Hiroshima
12 G, 16-for-41, 5 HR, 15 RBI, .390 BA, .878 SLG
Mejia played in twelve games in August and led the league in batting average (.390), home runs (five), and RBI (fifteen). He also led the league in batting average with runners in scoring position (.636), slugging percentage (.878), and on base percentage (.480).
Source: NPB 9/13/20180 Comments
Seiya Suzuki, Hiroshima (Second Time)
August 23 vs Yakult at Mazda Stadium. Bottom of the 9th, score tied at eight. Suzuki blasts a walk-off home run to left.
The Yakult Swallows took an early seven run lead, but the Hiroshima Carp came back with two runs in the fifth and one run in the sixth. At the end of the seven innings, the Swallows were up 8-5. The Carp managed to tie the game with a one-out three-run home run by Yoshihiro Maru in the bottom of the ninth. Suzuki followed with a walk-off home run to left.
The walk-off was Suzuki’s first since June 14, 2017 (vs Orix). He won his first Sayonara Award in June 2016.
Yurisbel Gracial, Softbank (First Time)
August 26 vs Seibu at YafuOku Dome. Bottom of the twelfth inning, score tied at eight. Bases loaded and one out. Gracial hit a walk-off grand slam to right.
The Softbank Hawks scored two runs in the first on a two-run home run by Yuki Yanagita. Kenta Imamiya pushed home four with a grand slam in the second inning. The Seibu Lions clawed their way back and scored eight runs between the fourth and eighth innings. The Hawks quickly tied the game in the bottom of the eighth on Yanagita’s second two-run home run of the day. In the bottom of the twelfth, the Hawks loaded the bases with one out and Gracial stepped up to the plate. Down 0-2 in the count, Gracial took the third pitch from Tatsushi Masuda over the fence in right for a walk-off grand slam. The Hawks extended their winning streak to nine games, Kenichi Nakata notched his 100th career victory, and Gracial recorded the first walk-off hit of his NPB career.
Source: NPB 9/12/20180 Comments
Geronimo Franzua, Hiroshima (First Time)
18 G, 0-1, 1 Sv, 10 H, 17.2 IP, 0.51 ERA, 19 SO, 1 ER
Franzua tied a Central League record by appearing in eighteen games in one month. His 0.51 ERA and league-leading ten holds helped his team to a 17-9-1 record. He picked up his first save on August 29 against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome. Franzua made his way to Japan in 2014 through Carp Academy, became an Ikusei player in March 2018, and won a spot on the seventy-man roster in May 2018.
Dayan Viciedo, Chunichi (Third Time)
26 G, .465 AVG, 47 H, 7 HR, 24 RBI
Viciedo played in all of his team’s twenty-six games in August. He led the league in hitting (.465) and set a new Central League record with forty-seven hits in one month. He also tied an NPB record with eight modashos (three or more hits in a game) in one month. Viciedo recorded a walk-off hit against the Hanshin Tigers at Nagoya Dome on August 23.
Kodai Senga, Softbank (First Time)
4 G, 4-0, 31.1 IP, 0.86 ERA, 1 CG, 1 ShO, 37 SO, 3 ER
Senga started four games and led the league with four wins. He also led the league in ERA (0.68) and strikeouts (thirty-seven). His 31.1 innings were good for third most in the league. Senga did not allow a run over 7.2 innings against Nippon Ham on August 10, tossed a shutout against Orix on August 17, held Seibu to two runs over 6.2 innings on August 24, and gave up a run over eight innings against Rakuten on August 31. He is the first Ikusei draft player in Pacific League history towin an MVP of the Month.
Takeya Nakamura, Seibu (Second Time)
26 G, .319 AVG, 29 H, 12 HR, 26 RBI
Nakamura played in all twenty-six of his team’s game in August. He led the league in home runs (twelve), total bases (sixty-eight), and slugging percentage (.747). His RBI (twenty-six) were tied for most in the league. He tied a Pacific League record by hitting a home run in six consecutive games. Nakamura won his first MVP of the Month in July 2015.
Source: NPB 9/11/20180 Comments
Ko Shimozuru, Hiroshima (First Time)
July 20 vs Yomiuri at Mazda Stadium. Bottom of the 10th, down 9-8. Runner on first and two out. Shimozuru hit a two-run, walk-off home run.
The Carp scored seven runs on five hits, including two home runs, during the first two innings of the game. The Giants cut the lead to just one run with three runs in the fourth and three runs in the sixth. Hiroshima tacked on another run in the sixth. Yomiuri immediately came back and tied the score at eight with two runs in the seventh. In the top of the tenth, Kazuma Okamoto put the Giants out in front, 9-8, with a lead-off solo home run. Ryosuke Kikuchi reached base on a one-out walk in the bottom of the tenth. One out later, Shimozuru ended the game with a walk-off two-run home run to right.
Ayatsugu Yamashita, Rakuten (First Time)
July 24 vs Nippon Ham at Rakuten Seimei. Bottom of the 11th inning, scored tied at eight. Runner on first and one out. Yamashita recorded a walk-off home run.
The Eagles allowed the Fighters to score first with a run in the top of the second. They scored two in the bottom-half of the inning, then allowed Nippon Ham to reclaim the lead with a four-run third. The Fighters kept their lead until the Eagles tied the game at seven in the bottom of the eighth. Both teams scored a run in the tenth. In the bottom of the eleventh, Carlos Peguero reached on a walk and Yamashita ended the game with a walk-off two-run homer to right.
Source: NPB 8/17/20180 Comments
Hisanori Yasuda, Lotte
17 G, 23-for-65, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB, .354 BA
Yasuda played in all seventeen of his team’s games in July and recorded six multi-hit games. His twenty-three hits and sixteen RBI were good for second (tied) in the league.
Yutaro Itayama, Hanshin
13 G, 15-for-39, 3 HR, 9 RBI, 2 SB .385 BA
Itayama played in thirteen of his team’s fourteen games in July. He led the league in hitting (.385), slugging percentage (.718), and on base percentage (.500).
Source: NPB 8/10/20180 Comments
Kris Johnson, Hiroshima (First Time)
4 G, 4-0, 26.2 IP, 2.03 ERA, 27 SO, 6 ER
Johnson led the league with four wins and 2.03 ERA in July. He recorded a win in all four of his starts. He gave up two runs in 8.1 innings in his first start on July 4 against Yakult at Mazda Stadium and one run in seven innings on July 16 against Chunichi at Nagoya Dome. He is the first Hiroshima pitcher to win the award since Daichi Osera (May 2018).
Tetsuto Yamada, Yakult (Sixth Time)
19 G, .425 AVG, 31 H, 7 HR, 18 RBI, 8 SB
Yamada played in all seventeen of his team’s games in July. He led the league in batting average (.425) and stolen bases (eight). He failed to reach base on a hit in just one of the seventeen games he played. He homered in four straight and recorded at least one RBI in nine straight. On July 9 against Yomiuri, he became the sixty-sixth player in NPB history to hit for the cycle.
Kohei Arihara, Nippon Ham (Second Time)
4 G, 3-0, 29.2 IP, 1.52 ERA, 1 CG, 18 SO, 5 ER
Arihara started four games and recorded three wins (tied for most in July). He led the league in ERA (1.52). He allowed a run over seven innings against Softbank on July 9, a run over nine innings against Orix on July 16, and eight shutout innings against Lotte on July 31. He did not record a decision against Rakuten on July 24 (five runs over 5.2 innings). He won his first MVP of the Month in July 2016.
Seiya Inoue, Lotte (First Time)
20 G, .400 AVG, 28 H, 7 HR, 23 RBI
Inoue played in all twenty of his team’s games in July (he batted fifth in seven and fourth in thirteen). He led the league in batting average (.400), RBI (twenty-three), and on base percentage (.500). He reached base in eighteen games and recorded multiple hits in eight. Katsuya Kakunaka won the award in June. Lotte players won the award in back-to-back months for the second time in franchise history (1980 – Leron Lee in May and Leon Lee in June).
Source: NPB 8/8/20180 Comments
Tetsuto Yamada, Yakult (First Time)
June 28 vs Chunichi at Jingu Stadium. Bottom of the 9th, score tied at six. Runners on first and second and one out. Yamada blasted a three-run walk-off home run.
The Dragons broke a two-two tie with three runs in the eighth inning. Wladimir Balentien answered back with a two-run homer for the Swallows in the bottom of the eighth, but another run in the ninth put the Dragons ahead 6-4. The Swallows pushed two across the plate before Yamada ended the game on a one-out, three-run home run to left. Yamada picked up the first walk-off hit of his career.
Seiji Uebayashi, Softbank (First Time)
June 29 vs Lotte at YafuOku Dome. Bottom of the 9th, Hawks down 5-4. Runners on first and third and two out. Uebayashi cleared the bases with a walk-off triple.
The Marines held a 5-2 lead after the top of the eighth. Uebayashi hit a solo home run in the bottom of the eighth. The Hawks kept the Marines off the board in the top of the ninth. Yuya Hasegawa hit an RBI single to right in the bottom of the ninth. Uebayashi swung at the first pitch he saw and hit a two-out, walk-off two-run triple to left-center. The walk-off hit was the first of his career.
Source: NPB 7/17/20180 Comments
Munetaka Murakami, Yakult
20 G, 23-for-73, 6 HR, 14 RBI, 7 SB, .315 BA
Murakami recorded a hit in seventeen of the twenty games he played in June, including multiple hits in six. He hit .315 with six home runs (tied for second) and stolen seven bases (led the league) in June.
Kotaro Otake, Softbank
5 G, 3-0, 20.0 IP, 14 SO, 2 BB, 6 ER, 2.70 ERA
Otake pitched in five games (three in relief and two as a starter) in June. His three wins were tied for most in the league.
Source: NPB 7/11/20180 Comments
Yasuhiro Ogawa, Yakult (Second Time)
4 G, 3-0, 25.0 IP, 1.08 ERA, 20 SO, 3 ER
Ogawa pitched in four games in June. He went at least six innings and held opponents to two runs or less in all four games. He led the league with three wins. Ogawa went seven innings against Orix at Jingu on June 10 and allowed a run on four hits. He pitched six innings on June 17 and held Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome to one run. On June 24, he tossed six shutout innings against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome. The last Swallow pitcher to win an MVP of the Month was Ogawa in August 2016.
Norichika Aoki, Yakult (Fourth Time)
23 G, .388 AVG, 33 H, 4 HR, 22 RBI
Aoki played in all twenty-three games in June. He led the league in batting average (.388), hits (33), RBI (22, tied), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.600). He failed to reach base in just one game and recorded twelve multi-hit games. He became the ninth player in NPB history to hit a lead-off, inside-the-park home run on June 14. The last Swallow hitter to win an MVP of the Month was Tetsuto Yamada on June 2016.
Mike Bolsinger, Lotte (First Time)
5 G, 5-0, 35.0 IP, 2.31 ERA, 2 CG, 1 ShO, 27 SO, 9 ER
Bolsinger started five games in June and lead the league with five wins. He also led the league in complete games (2) and innings (35.0). He gave up three runs over 7.0+ innings against Hiroshima on June 2 and two runs over seven innings against Hanshin on June 10. He picked up his first NPB shutout (allowed four hits) against Yomiuri on June 16. In a rain-shortened game on June 23, Bolsinger held Seibu to three runs over five innings. He picked up his fifth win on June 30 against Softbank (seven innings, one run).
Katsuya Kakunaka, Lotte (First Time)
22 G, .395 AVG, 32 H, 2 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB
Kakunaka batted clean-up in all twenty-two games in June. He led the league in batting average (.395) and his thirty-two hits were good for a second place tie. He reached base in twenty-one games and record multiple hits in eight games. He recorded four hits and four RBI against Chunichi on June 7 and three hits and three RBI against Hiroshima on June 2 and Softbank on June 30. This marked the fourth time Lotte players won MVP of the Month awards for pitching and hitting in the same month, first since April 1997.
Source: NPB 7/10/2018One Comment
Mizuki Hori, Nippon Ham
4 G, 3-1, 23.2 IP, 27 SO, 8 BB, 6 ER, 2.28 ERA
Hori started four games in May. He led the league in innings (23.2 IP) and strikeouts (27). After recording a win against Lotte on May 13, he tossed a shutout against Rakuten on May 24 (three hits, nine strikeouts). He kept Seibu off the scoreboard over 6.2 innings on May 31 for his third win of the month.
Shungo Fukunaga, Hanshin
3 G, 3-0, 22.2 IP, 10 SO, 4 BB, 4 ER, 1.59 ERA
Fukunaga started three games in May. He went 6.2 innings and allowed a run against Softbank on May 1 for his first win. He allowed three runs over seven innings against Chunichi on May 11 for his second win. He notched his third win, a shutout, against Orix on May 22. He led the league in wins (three) and innings (22.2 IP).
Source: NPB 6/15/20180 Comments