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
Koki Yamashita, Yokohama (First Time)
May 31 vs Rakuten at Yokohama Stadium. Bottom of the 12th, score tied at three. Runner on second and two out. Yamashita recorded a walk-off hit to right.
Carlos Peguero hit a home run in the fourth to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead. The Bay Stars came back with a two-run shot by Toshiro Miyazaki in the sixth. Yokohama fell behind again, but managed to tie the score on a game-tying, two-out home run by Yoshitomo Tsutsugo in the ninth. The Bay Stars won the game in the tenth after Masayuki Kuwahara hit a two-out double and Yamashita followed with the first walk-off of his career.
Ikuhiro Kiyota, Lotte (First Time)
May 24 vs Nippon Ham at ZOZO Marine Stadium. Bottom of the 12th, score tied at six. Runners on first and third, two out. Kiyota recorded a walk-off hit to left.
The Fighters held a 5-3 lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning. Matt Dominguez sent the game into extra-innings with a game-tying, pinch-hit, two-run home run. Lotte allowed Nippon Ham to regain the lead by surrendering a run in the eleventh. Dominguez came through with another game-tying hit: a two-out double with a runner on second. With the game tied at six in the bottom of the twelfth, Kiyota stepped up to the plate with runners on first and second and two out. He recorded the third walk-off hit of his career.
Source: NPB 6/14/20180 Comments
Daichi Osera, Hiroshima (First Time)
4 G, 4-0, 31.0 IP, 2.03 ERA, 2 CG, 25 SO, 7 ER
Osera recorded a victory in each of his starts in May and led the league with four wins. He picked up his first complete game victory in three years when he held Yakult to one run on seven hits on May 5. He continued to pitch well and ended the month with his second complete game victory of the year (three runs on five hits vs Chunichi on May 25). Osera is the first Hiroshima pitcher to win MVP of the Month since Yusuke Nomura in June 2016.
Zoilo Almonte, Chunichi (First Time)
25 G, .371 AVG, 36 H, 5 HR, 21 RBI
Almonte batted .371 and led the league with thirty-six hits in May. He recorded a hit in twenty-three of twenty-five games and notched two or more hits in ten (he also went 4-for-5 against Hiroshima on May 27). His twenty-one RBI was good for a second place tie. The last Chunichi hitter to win an MVP of the Month was Dayan Viciedo in May 2017.
Takayuki Kishi, Rakuten (Third Time)
5 G, 3-0, 40.0 IP, 1.35 ERA, 2 CG, 1 ShO, 37 SO, 6 ER
Kishi started five games in May and went 3-0. He lead the league in ERA (1.35), innings (40.0 IP), and strikeouts (37). He tossed a three-hit shutout against Nippon Ham on May 2 and recorded seven shutout innings against Lotte on May 8. He failed to pick up a victory after he held Softbank to three runs (two earned) over six innings on May 17, but he kept the Eagles close enough for a walk-off victory. He picked up a complete game victory against Orix on May 24 (one run, four hits) and turned in a solid performance against Yokohama on May 31 (three runs, nine innings). Kishi won MVP of the Month awards in August 2008 and May 2014.
Yuki Yanagita, Softbank (Fifth Time)
26 G, .387 AVG, 41 H, 7 HR, 23 RBI, 5 SB
Yanagita played in all twenty-six of Softbank’s games in May. He batted third in nineteen games and clean-up in seven. He led the league in hits (41), doubles (8), RBI (23), total bases (74), batting average (.387), slugging percentage (.698), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.433). He recorded a hit in twenty-two games and drove in at least one run in fourteen games, including two or more in seven games). He failed to reach base in just one game. Yanagita won MVP of the Month in May 2014, August and September 2015, and June 2017.
Source: NPB 6/7/20180 Comments
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 at 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