Toshiya Sugiuchi stepped up big time for the Softbank Hawks yesterday. In a nail-biting game against Yu Darvish and the Nippon Ham Fighters, Sugiuchi tossed a complete game shutout (9 IP, 32 BF, 117 NP, 5 H, 9 SO, 1 BB, 0 R, 0 ER) for his first victory since 8/21, a span in which he went 0-2 in 4 starts and got rocked for 22 earned run over 20.2 innings of work. Sugiuchi was so happy and relieved that he won yesterday that he actually started tearing up during his hero interview.
Sugiuchi also became the first pitcher to toss four complete game victories in one season against one team (vs Nippon Ham Fighters) since Masaki Saito in 1995 (vs Yakult) and the first pitcher in the Pacific League since Keishi Suzuki in 1978 (vs Nankai).
Incidentally, Darvish finished the night with the following line: 9 IP, 35 BF, 146 NP, 5 H, 12 SO, 1 BB, 2 HBP, 1 R, 1 ER.
As for Munenori Kawasaki, he became the 468th player in NPB history to play in 1,000 games and set a new franchise record for hits in a single season with his 188th hit in the first inning. He also managed to extend that record to 189 with a single in his fourth and final at bat of the game in the 7th inning.