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[10/22/2014] Nippon Series: Hanshin Tigers, Softbank Hawks

by on Oct.23, 2014 @ 10:52 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Shintaro Fujinami could start Game 3 of the Nippon Series. Source: Sponichi 10/22/2014
  • Nippon Series possible four-man rotation: Randy Messenger, Atsushi Nomi, Fujinami, Minoru Iwata. Source: Sanspo 10/22/2014
  • Kenichi Tagami ran into Hayata Ito while playing defense in the 2nd inning of a Phoenix League game against Doosan on Tuesday. Tagami had to be carried off the field on a stretcher. Tests at a hospital in Miyazaki indicated a cervical spine sprain. The injury does not appear to be serious. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/22/2014
  • Kansai University professor Katsuhiro Miyamoto estimates the economic impact of the Tigers winning the Nippon Series to be around 42.9 billion yen. That is down from previous figures when the Tigers finished in first place in 2003 (148 billion yen) and 2005 (64.3 billion yen). Reasons for the large gap include: a drop in attendance, the team losing steam toward the end of the season, and a failure to finish in first place. There has also been little to no postseason merchandising or celebration sales because stores were not prepared. Source: ZakZak 10/21/2014, Sponichi 10/21/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Jason Standridge will most likely start Game 1 of the Nippon Series. Source: Daily Sports 10/23/214
  • Kenji Otonari could start Game 3 of the Nippon Series. Source: Sanspo 10/22/2014 ... Another possibility is the Game 2 start. Source: Sponichi 10/23/2014
  • Yuki Yoshimura could play the outfield during games at Koshien, but will most likely be used as a bat off the bench since Akira Nakamura has more experience on defense. Source: Sponichi 10/22/2014
  • Dae-Ho Lee against Seung-Hwan Oh (KBO): 8-for-25. Lee faced Oh during the Inter-league on May 24 and went 1-for-1 (single to left). Source: Sponichi 10/22/2014
  • This year's fan festival will take place at YafuOku Dome on November 24. Gates will open at 12:00 and events will begin at 13:00. Source: official announcement, official announcement

[10/20/2014] Nippon Series: Hanshin Tigers, Softbank Hawks

by on Oct.21, 2014 @ 10:12 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Full team practices will resume on the 21st. A batting practice scrimmage is scheduled for the 23rd. Source: Sanspo 10/21/2014
  • Advance scouts Akihiro Shimada and Yasutaka Furusato have been checking on the Hawks at YafuOku Dome. Source: Sanspo 10/20/2014, Sanspo 10/21/2014
  • Takahiro Arai could be used as a designated hitter when playing at YafuOku Dome. Source: Sanspo 10/20/2014
  • Seung-Hwan Oh has pitched in the Tigers' last eleven games (last five regular season games, two First Stage games and four Final Stage games). Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014, Sponichi 10/20/2014
  • The Tigers could go with a four-man rotation during the Nippon Series: Randy Messenger, Atsushi Nomi, Minoru Iwata, and Shintaro Fujinami. Source: Sponichi 10/20/2014
  • Tomoaki Kanemoto is no longer a candidate to join the staff next year. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014
  • The Tigers will be opening a Nippon Series at Koshien Stadium for the first time since 1964. Source: Sanspo 10/20/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • The Hawks prepared 3,000 beers, 400 sodas, and eight barrels of sake for their celebration on Monday. Source: Sponichi 10/20/2014, Sanspo 10/21/2014
  • There are twelve broadcast booths at YafuOku Dome. A temporary broadcast booth was added on the 18th because there was not enough space. A smoking room was converted and had to be sprayed down and cleaned. It did not have a good view of the field. Source: Sanspo 10/20/2014
  • Softbank recorded its fifteenth sellout of the year on Monday. They may have raked in over 1.5 billion yen during the Final Stage of the Climax Series. Source: Sanspo 10/21/2014

[10/20/2014] Free Agents and Rumors: Chun-Lin Kuo, Wily Mo Pena (Orix)

by on Oct.21, 2014 @ 10:06 am, under NPB
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Seibu Lions

Softbank Hawks

Orix Buffaloes

  • Chihiro Kaneko told reporters that he had not thought about his FA option yet. He was more concerned about representing Japan at the Suzuki MLB All-Star Series in November. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014 ... The Buffaloes are willing to do their best to match whatever requests Kaneko might have. Source: Sports Hochi 10/21/2014
  • The Buffaloes are planning to offer Yoshitomo Tani a contract for the 2015 season. Tani is seventy-seven hits away from 2,000. The organization is ready to begin negotiations with Kaneko, Yoshihisa Hirano, Takahiro Mahara, and Tomotaka Sakaguchi. Source: Sports Hochi 10/20/2014 ... The Buffaloes are okay with the four players exercising their FA options before deciding to stay. They also plan to be as flexible as possible with regards to requests they might have. Source: Daily Sports 10/21/2014, Sponichi 10/21/2014
  • Team official Ryuzo Setoyama on how negotiations are going with Wily Mo Pena: "They're seeking a contract for a top-level foreign player, but Pena did not really perform to expectations beginning in September. I think negotiations will not go the way they'd like them to go." Source: Daily Sports 10/20/2014 ... Pena could be seeking a multi-year deal worth over 200 million yen a year. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/21/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Luis Mendoza and Michael Crotta will most likely return next year. Juan Miranda is a question mark. Source: Daily Sports 10/21/2014 ... Nippon Ham will reportedly part ways with Miranda and Anthony Carter. Mendoza is in the middle of a two-year deal and the Fighters hold an option on Crotta for the 2015 season. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/21/2014
  • Nippon Ham would like Naoki Miyanishi to stay and might be willing to go three years on a contract depending on negotiations. Source: Daily Sports 10/21/2014 ... Miyanishi thinks staying with the Fighters might be his best option, but is fifty-fifty on the decision. Source: Sponichi 10/21/2014
  • Kensuke Tanaka is on the radar. Source: Sponichi 10/21/2014

[10/20/2014] Softbank Hawks advance to Nippon Series

by on Oct.20, 2014 @ 11:18 pm, under NPB
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The Softbank Hawks finally got the job done by beating the Nippon Ham Fighters 4-1 in Game 6 of the Final Stage of the Climax Series. It took the full six games, but in the end, the Hawks took the series 4-3.

The Hawks will be heading to the Nippon Series for the fifteenth time in franchise history, first since 2011.

Yuki Yoshimura was awarded the Climax Series MVP.

Date Opponent AB H RBI SO 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th
10/15 Nippon Ham 4 2 2 0 1B9 G5 G4 2B8
Walk-off
 
10/16 Nippon Ham 3 0 0 0 F7 BB F8 F7  
10/17 Nippon Ham 3 0 0 0 G5 Fo9 Fo3 BB  
10/18 Nippon Ham 3 1 1 0 1B7
one RBI
G6 DP
5-3
BB  
10/19 Nippon Ham 5 1 2 2 2B7
two RBI
Kl Fo3 G6 Ks
10/20 Nippon Ham 3 1 1 1 G3 1B9
one RBI
Ks    

Koji Akiyama was tossed into the air eight times during post-game celebrations on the field. Players from both teams honored Atsunori Inaba (five times) and Makoto Kaneko (eight times) by tossing them into the air as well.

CS: Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 1 – Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 4 (October 20, 2014)

by on Oct.20, 2014 @ 6:30 am, under Game Summaries, NPB, Postseason
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Nippon Ham Fighters vs Softbank Hawks @ YafuOku Dome - 18:00
Starters: Uwasawa, Naoyuki (HAM) 8-8, 3.19 - Otonari, Kenji (SOF) 3-1, 1.64

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nippon Ham 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 9 0
Softbank 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 1 X 4 8 1

Attendance: 38561 | Time: 3h24m | Series tied, 3-3-0

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[10/19/2014] Climax Series: Hanshin Tigers, Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Oct.20, 2014 @ 6:27 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Mauro Gomez set a new Central League record with eight RBI in one Climax Series stage (Final Stage). The previous record of six was set by Michihiro Ogasawara during the Second Stage of the 2008 Climax Series and Masahiko Morino during the Second Stage of the 2009 Climax Series. The NPB record of ten was set by Terrmel Sledge during the Second Stage of the 2009 Climax Series. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Tsuyoshi Nishioka recorded the fifth Climax Series modasho of his career on Saturday and set a new Playoff/Climax Series record. The previous record of four was held by Kensuke Tanaka, Michihiro Ogasawara, and Kazuhiro Wada. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/19/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Nobuhiro Matsuda collected hits in six consecutive trips to the plate (from his last at bat in Game 3 through all four of his at bats in Game 4 and his first at bat in Game 5) and set a new Playoff record. The previous record of five was set by Taketoshi Goto (Second Stage of the 2008 Climax Series, between Games 4 and 5, includes a walk) and Yohei Oshima (First Stage of the 2012 Climax Series, between Games 2 and 3). Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2014, Jiji Press 10/19/2014, Nikkan Sports 10/19/2014, Sanspo 10/19/2014
  • Yuki Yanagita hit a lead-off home run on Saturday and became the eighth player to hit a lead-off home run in a Playoff/Climax Series game. Source: Sponichi 10/19/2014
  • Kenichi Nakata picked up his fifth career Climax Series victory on Saturday and joined Yu Darvish and Kazuki Yoshimi as the only pitchers to record five Playoff/Climax Series victories. He also joined Kiyoshi Toyoda (Seibu, Yomiuri), Dennis Houlton (Softbank, Yomiuri), Toshiya Sugiuchi (Softbank, Yomiuri), and Takahiro Mahara (Softbank, Orix) as the only players to record the victories with two different teams. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/19/2014
  • The Hawks have prepared 3,000 beers and eight barrels of sake in case they win the Final Stage. Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

Pacific League

  • The Nippon Ham Fighters and Softbank Hawks combined for twenty-four strikeouts through the first nine innings of Sunday's game and set a new Pacific League postseason record. The Central League postseason record of twenty-five was set in 2007 during the Second Stage between Chunichi and Yomiuri. The thirty-two strikeouts over the entire eleven-inning game on Sunday set a new postseason record (includes extra-inning games). Source: Sports Hochi 10/19/2014

CS: Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 6 – Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 4 (October 19, 2014)

by on Oct.19, 2014 @ 4:00 am, under Game Summaries, NPB, Postseason
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Nippon Ham Fighters vs Softbank Hawks @ YafuOku Dome - 13:00
Starters: Otani, Shohei (HAM) 11-4, 2.61 - Standridge, Jason (SOF) 11-8, 3.30

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
Nippon Ham 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 2 6 12 0
Softbank 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 7 0

Attendance: 34070 | Time: 4h26m | Nippon Ham leads series, 3-2-0

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[10/18/2014] Climax Series: Hanshin Tigers, Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Oct.19, 2014 @ 3:26 am, under NPB
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Hanshin Tigers

  • Seung-Hwan Oh joined Masahide Kobayashi (2005, Second Stage, saves in Games 1, 2, 5) and Hitoki Iwase (2007, Second Stage, saves in Games 1-3) as the only players to record three save in one Climax Series stage; also joined Iwase as the only players to record saves in three consecutive games in one Climax Series stage. Source: Sponichi 10/18/2014 ... Oh tied Iwase's 2007 Central League record for most saves during a Climax Series with four. The NPB record of five was set by Kobayashi in 2005. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

Softbank Hawks

  • Yuichi Honda (left ring finger) resumed fielding practice on Friday. Honda suffered a fracture in his left ring finger on August 2. He was given the green light to move forward with his workouts during an exam at a hospital on the 16th. Assuming no setbacks, he could begin playing in the Phoenix League on the 21st. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

Nippon Ham Fighters

  • Shohei Otani threw about forty pitches in the bullpen in preparation for his start on Sunday. Source: Daily Sports 10/18/2014
  • Dai-Kang Yoh became the eleventh player to hit two home runs in a Playoff/Climax Series game on Friday. Yoh also became the eighth player to hit the home runs in consecutive trips to the plate; and the fifth to do it in back-to-back innings. Source: Nikkan Sports 10/18/2014

CS: Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 2 – Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 5 (October 18, 2014)

by on Oct.18, 2014 @ 4:00 am, under Game Summaries, NPB, Postseason
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Nippon Ham Fighters vs Softbank Hawks @ YafuOku Dome - 13:00
Starters: Kisanuki, Hiroshi (HAM) 1-3, 3.12 - Nakata, Kenichi (SOF) 11-7, 4.34

  1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Nippon Ham 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 4 0
Softbank 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 0 X 5 13 0

Attendance: 31647 | Time: 4h20m | Series tied, 2-2-0

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[10/17/2014] Climax Series: Yomiuri Giants, Hanshin Tigers, Softbank Hawks, Nippon Ham Fighters

by on Oct.18, 2014 @ 2:46 am, under NPB
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Yomiuri Giants

  • Hisayoshi Chono's right knee is still not 100 percent. Source: Sponichi 10/17/2014
  • Tomoyuki Sugano (right elbow) played catch at a distance of about thirty meters on Friday. He told reporters it was the best he felt since he started throwing. Source: Sponichi 10/17/2014
  • Yoshinobu Takahashi (right middle finger) did some long distance throwing at sixty to seventy meters on Friday, a day after he played catch at roughly fifty meters. He also took live batting practice: fifty one-hop baseballs and fifty slow and easy pitches. Source: Sponichi 10/17/2014
  • Hirokazu Sawamura was ejected for throwing a dangerous pitch during Thursday's Final Stage game against Hanshin. He became the third person to get ejected from a Playoff/Climax Series game. The other two: Bunjiro Sakamoto, coach, 1979 Playoffs, Game 3, getting rough with an umpire; and Micheal Nakamura, 2009 Climax Series Second Stage, Game 1, dangerous pitch. The ejection for throwing a dangerous pitch was a first for Sawamura during his Ichi-gun career. Source: Sponichi 10/17/2014

Hanshin Tigers

Softbank Hawks

Nippon Ham Fighters