Masayuki Kuwahara hit for the cycle during Friday night’s game against the Hanshin Tigers at Yokohama Stadium. He became the sixty-seventh player (accomplished seventy-two times) in NPB history, thirty-fourth (accomplished thirty-seven times) in Central League history, and seventh (accomplished nine times) in Yokohama history, first since Boi Rodriguez on July 27, 2002, to achieve the feat. Kuwahara joined Sachio Kinugasa (July 7, 1976), Akinobu Mayumi (May 20, 1979), Rainel Rosario (September 2, 2014), and Yohei Oshima (July 20, 2016) as the only players in NPB history to record a lead-off home run in the first inning while hitting for the cycle.
Softbank’s Yuki Yanagita (April 21) and Yakult’s Tetsuto Yamada (July 9) have also hit for the cycle this year.0 Comments
The Yokohama Bay Stars announced the following uniform number changes on November 17:
Source: Yokohama 11/17/20170 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
Masayuki Kuwahara fouled a pitch off the area near his left knee during his at bat in the eighth inning. He temporarily left the field for treatment, but was able to return and grounded out to short. He was replaced on defense in the bottom-half of the inning.
Source: Daily Sports 6/11/20170 Comments
Kuwahara had cosmetic surgery to remove a mole near his left eye during the last off-season. It cost him about 30,000 yen. He decided to have it removed because he thought it might help changes this up.
Source: Sports Hochi 9/20/2016
Kuwahara hit a lead-off home run and a grand slam in the same game on July 1, 2017 (against Yomiuri at Tokyo Dome). He joined Yoshinori Hirose (May 7, 1964), Yutaka Fukumoto (May 6, 1970), Shigeru Takada (June 23, 1972), Koji Minoda (June 30, 1988), and Naoyuki Omura (May 2, 2003) as the only players to accomplish the feat in NPB history. He is the first to hit a come-from-behind grand slam.0 Comments
Masayuki Kuwahara crashed into Elian Herrera while chasing after a fly ball hit by Yuhei in the seventh inning of a game against the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium on July 18. Kuwahara could not stand and was taken off the field on a stretcher. Elian remained in the game.
[UPDATE 7/20 @ 5:49am]
Kuwahara was back in the starting line-up on July 19. He had a bruised left knee.
Source: Sanspo 7/19/2016