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    Posts Tagged ‘all star’

    Oops and Ichiro’s 3000th

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 August 1日 Friday

    I had planned on doing a Pythagorean review of the season so far along with the Power Rankings for NPB during its current 4 day All Star break, but urgent work and real life has gotten in the way. The first week of August promises to be a hectic week for Japanese baseball as the Koshien high school baseball tournament kicks off (March Madness of high school baseball, basically) on 2 Aug, the second half (or rather the latter third) of the NPB season resumes play on 3 Aug, and the Olympic team being assembled for workouts on 2 Aug with warmup games starting on 5 Aug against the Giants farm team, then against PL selects and CL selects on 8-9 Aug. The chances of me being able to keep up with this mayhem is rather slim from the current outlook, which is unfortunate.

    Meanwhile, Robert Whiting and other baseball figures weigh in on Ichiro’s 3001 career hits, a combined figure between his NPB (1278 in 9, not completely whole, seasons) and MLB (1723 and counting in his 8th season) hit totals. If NPB players NPB stats are to be counted towards Cooperstown, then they should not qualify for rookie of the year honours. It’s as simple as that, you can’t have your cake and eat it too (stupid saying, but y’know). But then again, there may be a gray zone when it comes to considering NPB stats for Japanese MLB players considerations for the Hall, perhaps a weighing the NPB numbers would be a more reasonable middle ground instead of either extreme. Either way, if Ichiro hits 3000 in the majors, and his career totals approach 5000, then he should be a lock for the Hall, like Whiting mentions.

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, high school, information, MLB, NPB, olympics, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    D. Cabrera v Dice-K

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 14日 Monday

    Daniel Cabrera (BAL) faces off against Daisuke Matsuzaka (BOS) today in the last game before the All Star break, some interesting comparisons of their numbers to date this season.

    Oh, look at their idential numbers:

    D.Cabrera 69K 51BB 1.37WHIP
    Dice-K 70K 52BB 1.37WHIP

    And their disparate numbers:

    D.Cabrera 6-4 4.40ERA 124.2IP
    Dice-K 9-1 2.84ERA 82.1IP

    Funny aren’t they?

    There are some interesting comparisons here:

    • Identical K, BB, and WHIP numbers despite Cabrera pitching 50% more innings than Dice-K.
    • Obviously luck and run support is playing a huge part in Matsuzaka’s 9-1 record.
    • Dice-K’s FIP is 4.10 and Cabrera’s is 4.95, so there’s definitely a gap their in their true performance, but it’s nowhere as wide as their W-L records and ERA indicate (thanks to diverging luck and run support their experiencing and receiving so far this season).

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Ichiro in the homerun derby?

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 July 10日 Thursday

    EDIT2: Now Sports Navi is reporting an Ichiro quote that his participation in the homerun derby is unlikely. This is a more credible source (Kyodo News) than the Sports Hochi original report who often jump the gun, and it contains an up to date Ichiro quote. He is quoted as saying his participation in the derby is “tabun nai” (多分ない) meaning “unlikely”. 2 out of the 4 HR derby spots are still unfilled for the AL, which spawned this rumour. The man makes news without doing anything.

    EDIT: Looks like this might’ve been the creative works of Sports Hochi paper’s writer. We’ll see, but no other source is reporting this story, so it seems unlikely, I’ll reprint the original Japanese article below, just for record keeping.

    The greatest batting practice slugger in the majors (by many eye witness accounts both on and off the field) has reportedly entered this year’s homerun derby which will take place on the 14th, the day before the All Star Game (which counts for World Series home field advantage! But is still lame nonetheless). Anyways, the slugger is of course Ichiro Suzuki. Yes, the slap happy 200+ hits per year hitter who has all of 70 HRs in 1208 career games, and only 3 so far in 90 games this season. Then again, Ichiro himself claims that he can hit 40 homers per season, if him and the team don’t mind that he hits for .220 average. He has steadfastly refused to enter the homerun derby (for fear of messing up his swing mechanics, etc.) but has made an exception this year, probably due to the combination of this being the Yankee Stadium’s final year, his appreciation of NYC fans, and the Mariners absolutely sucking so this is the least he can do to please baseball fans.

    Despite his batting practice heroics, he hasn’t fared well in his past 3 appearances in NPB homerun derbies. In 1995 he did alright, hitting 4 homeruns in 10 swings as a PL representative. In 1997 he only hit 1 homerun in 5 swings, and 1999 was the same result as he lost to Roberto Petagine in a mono a mono homerun derby with Petagine hitting 3 in 5 swings. (Japanese homerun derbies have predetermined number of swings, where as in MLB homerun derbies players keep on hitting until they hit into predetermined number of “outs”).

    This will be the most interesting part of the All Star festivities (including the game) for me to see whether Ichiro can live up to his often cocksure approach and hopefully we’ll finally get to see his batting practice slugging glory on a big stage with the world watching, well I guess there might be something about it being Yankee Stadium’s last year or something…

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

    Nomo is almost back!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 April 10日 Thursday

    Kansas City Royals purchased the contract of 39 year old Hideo Nomo to whom all Japanese major leaguers can thank for opening the door to MLB. He’s tornadoless, but was successful at missing bats during spring training. He joins rookie countryman Yabuta in the bullpen and will be a long reliever.

    “We really didn’t bring him in just for baby-sitting services for Yabu,” Hillman said. “It’s a nice advantage to have also because it provides some cultural comfort in a foreign situation for Yabu, but that wasn’t why Hideo was brought in.”

    “The fork[ball] was of great interest, because when it’s on, it changes two or three hitting planes and it’s difficult for even the best hitters to follow that. And it’s still there. It’s there at less a velocity, but it’s still there nonetheless.”

    Sure enough, Nomo started looking pretty good in camp. He worked hard. The Royals eliminated him from the rotation but put him in the bullpen picture.

    One major change was that Nomo got rid of the distinctive twisting windup — the “Tornado” — that helped make him famous in the United States. Now he pitches strictly from the stretch.

    “I tried pitching from the stretch before I went to Venezuela,” Nomo said. “The windup position puts more stress on the elbow. I found that out.”

    In seven games this spring, he had a 4.80 ERA but was striking out people with regularity — 17 K’s in 15 innings with just three walks. Then, on March 25, he suffered a groin pull in Cactus League game and was put on the shelf. Just temporarily, as it turned out.

    Here are couple of fun Nomo videos from 1990, his pro debut year with the (then) Kintetsu Buffaloes (those were some great uniforms).

    This one is of his All Star Game matchup against now-Dragons manager and legendary slugger (only person to win the triple crown in both leagues) Hiromitsu Ochiai where Nomo went with all fastballs.

    And this one is Nomo’s 1st pro win on his 3rd start. Amazingly he struck out 17, setting a Japanese rookie record (Ohba of the Hawks almost tied it last Saturday) and tying the then-Japanese record for strikeouts in a game. His forkball is absolutely sick as the bottom completely drops out, and his first 9 victims are all finished off with this pitch.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »