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NPB Roundup – 10/5: Iwakuma picks up 21st win; Tigers, Giants win

by on Oct.05, 2008 @ 10:37 am, under NPB

Central League

The Hanshin Tigers beat the Yakult Swallows, 8-3.

This is a game that should have been much closer, but an ugly 4th more or less put the game away from the Tigers.

The Tigers opened the fourth with a single, fly out, double, and walk to load the bases with 1 out for Takashi Toritani. He swung at the first pitch he saw from Ryo Kawashima for a 2-run double that set up another walk to load the bases. Akihiro Yano, like Toritani, swung at the first pitch and hit a fairly routine grounder to third. It should have resulted in at least an out at first, but instead two runs scored, leaving runners on second and third. The next batter struck out, but Norihiro Akahoshi single through the right side of the infield, driving in the 5th run of the inning.

Kyuji Fujikawa pitched 2 scoreless innings for his 37th save of the season and lowered his ERA to 0.70.

NOTES: Aoki went 0-for-3 with a strike out and a walk (that makes 2 games in a row!). He is now batting .354. ... The loss by the Swallows means that they will finish the season in 4th place.

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
HAN  0  0  0  5  0  0  0  0  3    8   7   0  
YAK  0  0  0  0  0  2  1  0  0    3   5   2

WP: Shunsuke Ishikawa (2-0)   SV: Kyuji Fujikawa (37)
LP: Ryo Kawashima (7-8)
HR: HAN: Aarom Baldiris (3). YAK: None.

Hanshin Tigers
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Shunsuke Ishikawa W  6.0  23  95   3  0   5  3    0   2   2
Scott Atchison       1.0  7   27   2  0   1  1    1   1   1
Kyuji Fujikawa    S  2.0  6   27   0  0   4  0    0   0   0

Yakult Swallows
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Ryo Kawashima     L  6.0  26  105  5  0   4  2    0   2   5
Masahiro Yoshikawa   1.0  5   32   1  0   0  1    0   0   0
Masao Kida           1.0  5   23   0  0   0  1    1   0   0
Chang-Yong Lim       1.0  6   26   1  1   2  2    0   3   3

The Hiroshima Carp beat the Yokohama Bay Stars, 7-2.

The Yokohama Bay Stars gave Takeo Kawamura a chance to pitch in front of the fans for one last time in his career. He struck out the one batter he faced and left the mound to a standing ovation. Kawamura was instrumental in the 1998 Bay Stars Championship team and wanted one last chance to pitch at Yokohama Stadium.

Too bad the pitchers that followed couldn't make this day for Kawamura better with a victory. Instead the relief corp gave up 15 hits and 7 runs over the next 26 outs.

Kenta Kurihara hit two home runs in the game and now has 102 RBIs on the season. This would mark the first time Kurihara has driven in 100+ RBIs in one season. Scott Seabol also added 2 RBIs, his 52nd and 53rd of the season, with a 2-for-4 night. And Yoshiyuki Ishihara went 4-for-5 with an RBI and a run scored.

NOTES: Seiichi Uchikawa went 3-for-4 and raised his batting average to .380.

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
HIR  0  2  2  0  1  0  2  0  0    7   15  0
YOK  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  1  0    2   9   0

WP: Kenta Maeda (9-2)
LP: Atori Oota (0-2)
HR: HIR:	Kenta Kurihara (22, 23). YOK: Shuichi Murata (43).

Hiroshi Carp
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Kenta Maeda       W  8.0  33  129  8  1   5  2    0   2   2
Mike Schultz         1.0  5   19   1  0   1  1    0   0   0

Yokohama Bay Stars
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Takeo Kawamura       0.1  1   3    0  0   1  0    0   0   0
Atori Oota        L  2.2  16  50   7  1   1  0    1   4   4
Kazuya Takamiya      1.0  3   10   0  0   0  0    0   0   0
Shigeki Ushida       3.0  16  66   5  1   3  2    0   3   3
Yukiya Yokoyama      2.0  8   31   3  0   0  0    0   0   0

The Yomiuri Giants beat the Chunichi Dragons, 3-0.

Koji Uehara last start, also against the Dragons, ended in a tough 1-0 loss (8 IP, 6 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 1 ER). With 5 games remaining on the schedule and the Tigers coming into town for a 1-game series on Wednesday, Uehara knew this would be an important start. He gave the Giants exactly what they needed: a shut-out through his 7 innings of work.

Marc Kroon also returned to the mound after having a horrible outing last night. While he did have some control issues again (2 walks in his 1 inning of work), he managed to retire the side without giving up a run for his 39th save of the season.

All 3 Giants runs came on solo home runs: Takahiro Suzuki in the first; Shinnosuke Abe in the 4th; and Michihiro Ogasawara in the 8th.

NOTES: Michihiro Ogasawara has a chance of finishing the season with 100 RBIs (currently has 96) and a .300+ batting average. It's amazing how far he's come, considering he was batting .253 as late as July 1st.

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
CHU  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    0   7   1
YOM  1  0  0  1  0  0  0  1  x    3   6   1

WP: Koji Uehara (6-5)   SV: Marc Kroon (39)
LP: Weiyin Chen (7-6)
HR: CHU:	None. YOM: Takahiro Suzuki (3), Shinnosuke Abe (23),
Michihiro Ogasawara (36).

Chunichi Dragons
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Weiyin Chen       L  7.0  27  104  5  2   6  2    1   2   2
Akifumi Takahashi    0.2  3   10   1  1   0  0    0   1   1
Takuya Asao          0.1  1   8    0  0   0  0    0   0   0

Yomiuri Giants
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Koji Uehara       W  7.0  25  105  5  0   6  0    0   0   0
Kiyoshi Toyada       1.0  4   14   1  0   2  0    0   0   0
Marc Kroon        S  1.0  5   27   1  0   1  2    0   0   0
Code:
                   W   L   T  WPCT  GB
Hanshin Tigers     81  55  3  .596  -
Yomiuri Giants     81  56  3  .591  0.5
Chunichi Dragons   71  66  5  .518  10.5
-----------------------------------------
Hiroshima Carp     69  69  5  .500  13
Yakult Swallows    62  72  4  .463  18
Yokohama Bay Stars 44  92  2  .324  37


The Giants beat the Dragons behind Uehara's 7 shut-out innings

Pacific League

The Rakuten Golden Eagles beat the Softbank Hawks, 8-0.

Two things were riding on this game: Hisashi Iwakuma's 21st victory of the season and a chance for the Eagles to get out of the basemant. Both missions were accomplished.

The Eagles offense banged out 13 hits and 8 runs for Iwakuma. Takeshi Yamasaki led the team with 4 RBIs that scored on the two home runs he hit in the game. Jose Fernandez was on base both times for Yamasaki with his 3-for-5 night (that also included a double and a third run scored).

Iwakuma didn't fare very well the last time he pitched, which happened to also be the last time the Hawks won. But he bored down and limited the Hawks to 3 hits over 6 shut-out innings. The bullpen did the rest by pitching 3 scoreless innings to preserve the shut-out.

NOTES: Iwakuma's 21st win of the season is the first of it's kind in 23 years for both leagues. He 1.87 ERA also edges out Yu Darvish's ERA of 1.88 for tops in the NPB. ... I don't know where I've been but it appears as though Rick Short isn't on the roster. I know he hurt his foot a couple weeks back, but I thought it was day-to-day. But in looking at the rosters now, I don't see his name. Guess that means he's won the batting title in the PL.

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
SOF  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0    0   3   1
RAK  0  0  0  1  0  2  3  2  x    8   13  0

WP: Hisashi Iwakuma (21-4)
LP: Tsuyoshi Wada (8-8)
HR: SOF: None. RAK: Takeshi Yamasaki (25, 26), Daisuke Kusano (3).

Softbank Hawks
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Tsuyoshi Wada     L  6.0  27  104  8  1   1  3    1   3   3
Shinsuke Ogura       2.0  13  46   5  2   2  2    0   5   5

Rakuten Golden Eagles
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Hisashi Iwakuma   W  6.0  21  92   3  0   4  1    0   0   0
Kanehisa Arime       1.0  4   16   0  0   2  0    1   0   0
Domingo Guzman       2.0  7   23   0  0   2  1    0   0   0

The Nippon Ham Fighters, Orix Buffaloes, Chiba Lotte Marines, and Seibu Lions no longer have any more games left on their schedules.

Code:
                   W   L   T  WPCT  GB
Seibu Lions        76  64  4  .543  --
Orix Buffaloes     75  68  1  .524  2.5
Ham Fighters       73  69  2  .511  4
-----------------------------------------
Lotte Marines      73  70  1  .507  4.5
Rakuten Eagles     64  75  3  .460  11.5
Softbank Hawks     63  76  3  .453  12.5


Iwakuma celebrates his 21st victory