Yusei Kikuchi: Did You Know

Kikuchi was a member of the Giants Fan Club. He even watched a game at Tokyo Dome in 2002, right around the time he started playing baseball. He liked following the foreign players, like Hector Almonte, Gabe Kapler, and John Wasdin.

Source: Sponichi 6/8/2016


Kikuchi’s wife, freelance reporter Rumi Fukatsu, is a newscaster on NHK BS1’s World Sports MLB. For Kikuchi, it was love at first sight when he saw her in the fall of 2013. He tried to set up a meeting through a mutual acquaintance, but was continually turned down for two years because she wanted to maintain a professional relationship with athletes. He finally managed to organize a casual dinner get-together that included a mutual friend in November 2015. They started dating in December and he ended up proposing just before the start of the season in March 2016. They filed marriage papers on her birthday, June 24.

Source: Sponichi 7/7/2016


Milestones

April 21, 2017 vs Nippon Ham at MetLife Dome – Kikuchi recorded the second one-hit shutout of his career. He became the twelfth pitcher in NPB history (third in PL history) to toss a one-hit shutout where the one hit allowed came from the first batter he faced in the first inning.

He also recorded his eighth double-digit strikeout game (fourth during shutouts).

Source: Sponichi 4/22/2017, Nikkan Sports 4/22/2017

July 27 – August 10, 2017 – Kikuchi recorded ten or more strikeouts in three consecutive starts between July 27 and August 10 (twelve on July 27, eleven on August 3, and twelve on August 10). The three consecutive starts with at least ten strikeouts tied a Seibu Lions’ franchise record. Three other Seibu pitchers have accomplished the feat: Fumiya Nishiguchi in 1996, Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2005, and Hideaki Wakui in 2009.

Source: Nikkan Sports 8/11/2017

August 31, 2017 vs Rakuten at Kobo Park Miyagi – Kikuchi notched his thirteenth victory of the year. He is the first Seibu Lions’ pitcher to record thirteen or more wins in a season since Takayuki Kishi won thirteen in 2014; the first left-handed Seibu Lions’ pitcher to record thirteen or more wins in a season since Kazuyuki Hoashi racked up thirteen wins in 2005. He is the first pitcher in franchise history to record a winning streak of six or more against the Rakuten Eagles.

Source: Sponichi 9/1/2017

September 7, 2017 vs Lotte at MetLife Dome – Kikuchi notched his fourteenth victory of the year. He became the first left-handed Seibu pitcher to win fourteen games since Kimiya Kudo won fifteen in 1993.

Source: Sponichi 9/7/2017

September 14, 2017 vs Rakuten at Kobo Park Miyagi – Kikuchi struck out eleven and pushed his strikeout total to 201. He also notched his tenth double-digit strikeout game of the year. He is the first Seibu pitcher to record ten double-digit strikeout games in a season (team single-season high) since Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2003 and 2006. He is also the first Seibu pitcher to record 200 or more strikeouts in a season since Matsuzaka struck out 200 in 2006 and the first left-handed Seibu pitcher since Takayuki Hata struck out 219 in 1960.

Source: Nikkan Sports 9/15/2017, Sponichi 9/15/2017

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NPB Standings [Full]
G W L T
Hiroshima 140 86 50 4
Hanshin 136 73 60 3
Yokohama 136 69 63 4
Yomiuri 139 70 66 3
Chunichi 136 58 73 5
Yakult 139 44 93 2
G W L T
Softbank 138 91 47 0
Seibu 137 77 57 3
Rakuten 131 72 57 2
Orix 134 61 72 1
Nippon Ham 134 53 81 0
Lotte 136 50 85 1
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