Posts Tagged ‘hokkaido’
Posted by simon c on 2008 June 11日 Wednesday
We’re 2/3 of the way through interleague play with 16 games played, and the Eagles are on top of the interleague standings tied with the Tigers with 11-5 records. The eagles had strong numbers in runs scored and runs allowed heading into interleague, so this is no fluke, expect the strong performance of the Eagles to continue past the interleague period.
Also, Hoshino, manager and GM for Team Japan at Beijing Olympics, has added 4 players to the list candidates for the Olympic team and they are G.G. Sato and Hoashi (both Lions), Yoshimi (Dragons), and Watanabe (Tigers). Sato and Watanabe have both shown that their great performances last season weren’t by chance, and among the 70+ players already named as candidates, many are off to slow starts or injured which prompted this announcement. The final team will be announced in July… but the first game that counts is on 13 August. I expect some changes made between the team is announced to the opening game against Cuba.
Anyways, just a partial update, only the batting and pitching leaders this week.
Batting leaders (2008.6.10)
Familiar faces up top, and we see a new name in the table in the league leading batter Uchikawa(!) of Yokohama who sports a handsome .395 batting average at the moment after getting enough playing time to qualify. Perhaps a Sato, Aoki (missed time with injury, returned to lineup recently), and Inaba outfield in Beijing?
Pitching leaders (2008.6.10)
Lewis is doing an incredible job for the Carp who are 1.5 games behind the Giants for 3rd place and the last playoff spot. Komatsu is pitching pretty well for the Buffaloes too even if he’s not getting the run or defensive support. Hoashi has a sparkling 1.55 ERA but his FIP is 3.20 suggesting he’s gotten benefits of both good luck and defense, still wouldn’t be a bad choice for the Olympics (though, he’ll probably hurt Seibu more than benefit Japan). Tanaka is pitching in the shadows of resurgent Iwakuma this year, but he’s contributing nearly as much as his teammate to the Eagles’ success when you look beyond the won-loss record and the ERA. Kawakami has returned, he’s pitched 8, 7, and 7 innings in his last 3 starts allowing 1, 3, and 1 run each time out.
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: aoki, baystars, buffaloes, carp, chunichi, dragons, eagles, fighters, hanshin, Hiroshima, hoashi, hokkaido, hoshino, inaba, interleague, iwakuma, kawakami, komatsu, lewis, lions, nippon-ham, orix, rakuten, sato, seibu, swallows, tanaka, tigers, tohoku, uchikawa, watanabe, yakult, yokohama, yoshimi | 1 Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 June 3日 Tuesday
Another busy week, so a short poster here. This interleague week’s day off was Monday. We have completed the first 2 weeks of interleague play now.
1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 34-17-1 .667
6-4 against PL teams, most importantly winning both games against PL leading Lions at home in Koshien. It’ll be interesting to see how they’ll fare in the return trip, but this definitely cemented the Tigers place at the top of this ranking.
2. Saitama Seibu Lions(3) 34-21-1 .618
Lost both games to the Tigers (though took the other cats to extra innings in the second game), but split the pair of games against the Dragons at home. 76 homeruns in 56 games is still far outpacing the next best homerest NPB team Dragons with 50 in 53 games and Buffaloes with 46 in 57 games. Bocachica with his amazing .997 OPS is still hitting 9th in the order, because the team’s still winning and pro athletes tend to be superstitious (they started him off hitting 9th when he first came back from the minors, understandably). 5-5 in interleague so far. Brazell continues to suck hard in the middle of the order with a .263 OBP and .416 SLG (and he started off the year scorching hot too!), there’s absolutely no justification for continuing to let him hit in the 4 spot… other than superstition.
3. Chunichi Dragons(2) 28-22-3 .560
4-6 in interleague competition so far, slowly but steadily falling behind the Tigers in the CL standings and in this ranking as well. Split its games against the Lions, but lost both games to the Fighters, it’s never a good sign when you give up 11 runs to the weakest hitting club in the nation.
4. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(4) 29-26 .527
7-3 in interleague, the team is starting to play up to its Pythagorean expectations (248 – 195 RS – RA), this team is for real. Surprisingly, they’re getting all this run scoring (2nd in PL) done while hitting by far the least homeruns in the league at 26.
5. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(5) 32-25-1 .561
Team continues to defy Mr. Pythagoras (197 – 192 RS – RA). With the team having played 40% of its game, this is probably real too (again), a repeat of last season. The ability to win low scoring games favours the team in the postseason as well, so I suppose I could/should rank them higher… oh, another 7-3 team in interleague here.
6. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(7) 30-28 .517
7-3 in interleague. Trailing the Eagles by only half a game, the battle for the final playoff berth in the PL is interesting too. Though this team’s propensity of giving up runs (242 RA is by far the worst among the top 4 PL teams) means they should be further back.
7. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(10) 23-25-2 .479
6-4 against PL teams. The team’s winning again, doing a good job of keeping the Giants at bay.
8. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(7) 25-28-1 .472
5-5 interleague record so far. Sunk below the poor Carp in the CL standings though. The team of high rollers continue to sputter along, making it a 3 horse race for 3rd place.
9. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(6) 22-28 .440
Struggling, with a 3-7 record against PL teams. Guiel’s posting a pedestrian .734 OPS, but his BA of .216 is by far the lowest amongst all qualifying CL batters and is acting as a black hole in the lineup. He struck out twice in key plate appearances late in the game that I went to see. He needs to start hitting, and with Aoki back in the lineup, the team has better potential to get back into the playoff race.
11. Chiba Lotte Marines(9) 24-34 .414
Woes continue with 3-7 record in interleague which brought them all the way to the bottom of the PL standings. Can’t decide if Bobby’s Marines are worse than the Buffaloes, but they’ve definitely have sunken to the bottom of the heap.
11. Orix Buffaloes(11) 25-32 .439
Hey, 5-5 against the CL, not bad, not bad at all. And managed to climb above the slumping Marines in the PL standings to boot.
12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 15-35-1 .300
Exactly .300! 2-8 against PL teams, so far so bad, as expected.
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics | Tagged: baystars, bobby valentine, bocachica, brazell, buffaloes, carp, central league, chiba, cl, eagles, Evil Empire, fighters, Fukuoka, giants, guiel, hanshin, hawks, Hiroshima, hokkaido, lions, lotte, marines, nippon-ham, norichika aoki, OBP, OPS, orix, pacific league, pl, power rankings, rakuten, saitama, seibu, SLG, softbank, swallows, tigers, tohoku, yakult, yokohama, yomiuri | 2 Comments »
Posted by simon c on 2008 May 27日 Tuesday
We’re a week into interleague play now, and that changes the day off to Tuesday, so that gives us an opportunity to look at some overlooked numbers in baseball, especially NPB.
In CL we see that defensive competency is actually keeping the Giants and Swallows closer in the standings than they really should be, as the Giants have better pitching but worse ERA due to having the worst defenders in the league (no big surprise here for a team that is always assembled full of sluggers).
In the PL, Fighters have great pitchers, but it’s their defense that makes them a winning team (with league leading ERA) despite their pathetic offense (team OBP of .300 is by far the worst in the league). Eagles are for real, with their solid pitching, defense, and league leading .350 OBP and run scoring prowess, they should actually be winning more games than they currently are. Look for them to solidify their playoff position in the coming weeks.
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Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics, tokyo | Tagged: AL, alex ramirez, baystars, buffaloes, carp, central league, chiba lotte, chunichi, cl, darvish, defensive efficiency, der, dragons, eagles, fighters, FIP, Fukuoka, g.g. sato, giants, golden, hanshin, hawks, Hiroshima, hokkaido, iwakuma, lions, marines, miura, nakajima, nippon-ham, OBP, orix, pacific league, rakuten, saitama, seibu, softbank, sugiuchi, swallows, tigers, tohoku, yakult, yamasaki, yokohama, yomiuri | 1 Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 May 19日 Monday
Yeah, I keep on changing the title format as well, shoot me 😛
1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 28-13-1 .683
Very strong hold on 1st place in CL. With setup man Jeff Williams back from injury, the invincible JFK relief trio (with Kubota, and closer and fireballer Fujikawa) is back together for the first time since opening day. This means that starters really only need to pitch 6 solid innings to give the team a chance to win. Combined this with Akahoshi, Arai, Toritani, and Kanemoto being 1, 2, 4, and 5 in the CL OBP rankings means that this team deserves its record and ranking.
2. Chunichi Dragons(2) 24-16-3 .600
Similar formula as the Tigers with solid pitching (2.79 team ERA good for 2nd after Hanshin’s 2.69) and hitters who get on base (Dragons have 5-10th place locked up in CL OBP rankings with Ibata, Woods, Morino, Wada, and Nakamura, respectively). The team’s Pythagorean expectations are similar to the Tigers, and its bullpen just as effective. So it shouldn’t be a surprise if the Dragons manage to narrow the 3.5 game gap with the Tigers during the upcoming 24 game (2 games each, home and away) interleague period.
3. Saitama Seibu Lions(3) 29-16-1 .644
This team can sure hit. It’s sluggers have launched 63 homers in 46 games, far outpacing the 2nd place teams which are the Dragons and Giants both with 45. The PL SLG leaderboard features G.G. Sato on top with .615, and Nakajima and Nakmura in 3rd and 9th. Hiram Bocachica’s been playing amazing since his short reconditioning stint down in 2-gun, he now sports 10 HR and 1.086 OPS in only 26 games. He really should replace Craig Brazell in the middle of the lineup, as this man has no plate discipline, walking only 7 times in 198 PA for a miserable .278 OBP. I reckon the league’s already figured out that you don’t have to throw strikes to him. Since he never displayed any plate discipline in Minor League Baseball, the chances of him suddenly developing this skill here is virtually unlikely, and it’ll likely be his downfall. (Bocachica’s still hitting 9th(!) and that’s a travesty.)
4. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(4) 22-23 .489
This team can score runs too, with its 203 runs only trailing explosive Seibu’s 229. With 166 RA, the team should have a winning record, as amazingly as that sounds for this recent expansion franchise.
5. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(7) 25-22 .532
Smoke and mirrors or a continuation of last year’s successful small ball? A 152 – 164 RS – RA has been helped by some offensive outbursts this month (finally).
6. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(6) 19-21 .475
Continues to play its near .500 ball, now with the crosstown rival Giants hot on their heels. Aaron Guiel’s continued troubles (his OPS is now down to .755) is worrisome as he’s the team’s lone pure power source. On the other hand, relievers Oshimoto (0 ER in 20 IP!), Matsuoka (0.56 ERA in 17.2 IP), and closer Lim (0.56 ERA and 12 saves in 16 IP) have been shutdown dominant. And starters led by Ishikawa (2.63 ERA in 61.2 IP) have been holding their own.
7. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(10) 20-23-1 .465
As expected, the Evil Empire have finally started hitting, and winning a little more accordingly. The team’s ugly BA in the .230s have been brought up to .250 in the last few weeks, but it’s team OBP is still a CL worst .299. Expect the fight for 3rd and final playoff spot against the Swallows to continue, as this team’s not in same class with the Tigers and Dragons. Especially with regulars like Lee and Uehara missing.
7. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(8 ) 23-25 .479
Continuing to plod along like this (similar to the Giants) with 191 – 210 RS – RA, the Hawks are currently fundamentally weaker than the Eagles.
9. Chiba Lotte Marines(5) 21-27 .438
The Marines are in a free fall, as Bobby V’s team has gone 4-13 since we last checked in. Probably not what the manager had in mind as he was featured in a student made documentary about him on ESPN.
10. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(9) 17-21-1 .447
Better pitching (3.35 ERA is 3rd in CL) than the Giants, but .364 SLG is worst in CL and the Carp play in an extreme hitter’s park!
11. Orix Buffaloes(11) 20-27 .426
The always injured greybeard slugger Kiyohara hit a homerun… in the minors. Nothing new here, move along.
12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 13-27-1 .325
Yay, the BayStars brought their winning percentage above .300!
I plan on alternating power rankings and a more sabermetric individual performance reviews every other week, unless work or real life puts up too much interference.
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: akahoshi, arai, bobby valentine, bocachica, brazell, buffaloes, carp, central league, chiba, cl, eagles, ESPN, Evil Empire, fighters, Fukuoka, giants, golden, guiel, hanshin, hawks, Hiroshima, hokkaido, ibata, jeff williams, jfk, kanemoto, kiyohara, lions, lotte, marines, morino, nippon-ham, OBP, OPS, orix, pacific league, pl, power rankings, rakuten, saitama, seibu, SLG, softbank, swallows, tigers, tohoku, yakult, yokohama baystars, yomiuri | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 May 19日 Monday
Fukuoka Softbank Hawks 3 – 4 Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters
18 May 2008 Fukuoka Yahoo! Dome
Former Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighter Tsuyoshi Shinjo showed off his strong arm in an off the charts ceremonial first “pitch”. In this event to promote Tokyo’s bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics, the 36 year old Shinjo made his first appearance on a baseball field since his retirement in 2006. He pitched a no holds barred ceremonial “at bat” against his former understudy, and Fighters leadoff man, Hichori Morimoto. After going to a 2-2 count, Shinjo got Morimoto to ground out to the shortstop. Of the 4 pitches that were measured by a speed gun, the first pitch clocked in at 145 km/h (90 mph). “I thought I threw a little harder” remarked Shinjo playfully, as the crowd was wowed. Wearing the full uniform of his hometown Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, and in an incredible show of fan service, he threw in the actual gold glove that he won for his 2006 Golden Glove award into the crowd after completing this big task. He was exhilarated, saying “moriagattabai!” (“that got the crowd going!”) in the local Hakata dialect.
(Shinjo’s done it again! He never ceases to surprise fans and casual observers alike, even well into his retirement. I’m not sure if a former player has ever donned the full uniform of a team he had never played for, including cleats, and threw an entire at bat as a ceremonial “first pitch”. Probably a world first by the man who loves to surprise.) Here’s the video:
Original article (Japanese):
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Posted in 02_English, 03_Translations (英訳ポートフォリオ), baseball, culture, information, NPB, opinion | Tagged: ceremonial, fighters, first pitch, Fukuoka, hawks, hichori, hokkaido, Japan, morimoto, nippon-ham, pacific league, pl, shinjo, softbank, uniform | 1 Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 28日 Monday
Fukufuji almost singlehandedly won the first round of the ECHL playoffs for his Bakersfield Condors against the Victoria Salmon Kings, but he was spraygunned with 61 shots, so it would’ve been a true miracle had the Condors won, as Victoria was truly superior in every other facet of the game. Fukufuji intends on playing in North America again next season, hopefully he’ll get a chance with an AHL club.
Every party has a spoil-sport and this one almost did, too. His name was Yutaka Fukufuji. The Bakersfield Condors goaltender was the reason the Salmon Kings were forced into overtime for the victory.
Fukufuji, the first Japanese-born player to play in the NHL, almost single-handedly forced a Game 7. Regulation time was dominated in almost every facet by the Salmon Kings. Every aspect except one — goaltending.
The shots clock at the end of regulation time read a glaring 57-23 in favour of Victoria and ended 61-25.
“He [Fukufuji] stood on his head all series and kept them in it,” said Goldie.
“But we knew if we kept putting the shots on him, some had to eventually go in and we got one more goal than they did tonight.”
But the dominant Salmon Kings not only had to solve the gallant crease efforts of Fukufuji, they had to do it by contending with five against-the-grain goals by the Condors that kept pulses pounding amid the deafening din caused by the near sold-out crowd.
Despite holding a wide edge in play, the Salmon Kings had to fight back from 2-0, 3-1 and 4-3 deficits. But after finally taking a 5-4 lead on third-period goals by Marc-Andre Bernier and Ryan Wade, the Salmon Kings saw the opportunistic Condors tie it 5-5 on former Senators draft-pick Andrew Ianiero’s fifth goal of the series at 13:16 of the third period.
In a game in which the shots were flowing for them like winter-rain water out of the Sooke Reservoir, the S-Kings were forced into the strange and painstaking position of trying to climb back into a game that might have turned into a blowout against a goalie of lesser calibre that Fukufuji.
Bernier had two goals for Victoria and Wade, Chris St. Jacques and Paul Ballantyne one each. Ianiero led the Condors with two goals.
But the biggest goalbelonged to the tricky Goldie in OT, who took a lovely two-on-one pass from Estrada and made a move around Fukufuji that was truly worthy of a golden goal.
Now the Salmon Kings are facing the Utah Grizzlies in the second round. The Grizzlies feature Japanese forward Kazuma Takahashi, but he was a healthy scratch and didn’t make the trip up to Victoria for the first 2 games of the series, which the teams split with blowout scores of 6-0 and 1-6.
As reported earlier Nishiwaki’s Dayton Bombers lost the best of 3 mini playoff round, so he flew back to Japan in time to play in the World Championships Division I B which was hosted by Sapporo. He played well in the tournament, but it was not enough for Japan to advance to the top division as Japan finished a strong 3rd in the tourney.
Posted in 02_English, ECHL, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: bakersfield, bombers, condors, dayton, Fukufuji, grizzlies, hokkaido, kazuma, nishiwaki, salmon kings, sapporo, takahashi, utah, victoria, world championships | Leave a Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 28日 Monday
I’m rather busy at the moment, so I’ll try to keep this entry short too. Previous week’s ranking in brackets.
1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 18-6-1 .750
Keeps on going strong, splitting the series against the Dragons (1-1-1) and taking 2 of 3 from the Giants with a dramatic game winning bases loaded walk against Yomiuri’s closer Kroon last night.
2. Chunichi Dragons(2) 15-8-2 .652
Couldn’t overcome the Tigers wall, but didn’t fare badly either. Ace Kawakami returned to the top team, made a relief appearance, but gave up a solo shot in 1 inning of work. He needs to return to form… by October.
3. Saitama Seibu Lions(3) 14-9-1 .609
Dropped both games against the Marines, then feasted upon the Buffaloes weak pitching to the tune of 29 runs in 3 games! The team gets on base (.324 OBP is 2nd in PL) and far outslugs anyone else (.432 SLG and 36 HR, no other team is above .374 and 27 HR). Pitching’s just mediocre though, and Watanabe’s questionable bullpen use (bringing in historically shaky Onuma or Mitsui into high leverage situations) doesn’t bode well for October (and the team’s slugging’s gotta come back down to earth sooner or later). Hiram Bocachica made a dramatic return to the top team, hitting 3 homers in the last 2 games, after a stint in the minors following early season struggles. He adds even more on base ability and power to the lineup, and Watanabe has a happy problem of having too many hot bats to fit into the lineup. If this were the majors, trading one or two hitters for good pitching would be considered, but alas..
4. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(8 ) 16-13 .552
Had an undefeated week to jump up to 2nd in PL, thanks to complete game shutouts thrown by Nagai, Domingo, and Tanaka!
5. Chiba Lotte Marines(7) 17-14 .548
A great 4-1 week against the strong Lions and struggling Hawks, continuing its strong play.
6. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(4) 11-12 .478
Another 2-3 week. Though splitting the two games against the Carp, and taking 1 out of 3 against the Dragons is pretty much the expected result considering each team’s strengths.
7. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(5) 15-15 .500
2-4 week. The team can’t score runs to save their lives with only 8 runs scored over 6 games, 6 of those against porous Buffaloes pitching. Fighters got swept by the rising Eagles.
8. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(6) 14-17 .452
Continued its poor play, going 1-4 against key rivals Eagles and Marines.
9. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(9) 9-13-1 .409
The same ol’ the same ol’, a 2-3 week against the Swallows and BayStars.
10. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(10) 11-14-1 .440
Continues to struggle. A 4-2 week sounds good, until you realize that 3 of those wins came against the worst team in NPB, the Yokohama BayStars. Kroon blew a save and lost last night’s game against the Tigers. Uehara was sent down to the minors. The team is definitely much less than what the sum of their parts should be.
11. Orix Buffaloes(11) 11-20 .355
Lost 2 to the Fighters who can’t score, and got absolutely bombed by the Lions and got swept.
12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 6-17-1 .261
Won 2 games against Hiroshima! But the team’s winning percentage is still barely above .250.
Aaron Guiel Watch
23GP 95PA 16R 8HR 21RBI .277/.358/.639 9BB 2HBP 18K
Only 1 HR, 1 walk, and striking out 6 times in 5 games, our man may be in a mini-slump.
Koji Uehara (Giants) – sent down to the minors, there’s definitely something wrong with him physical or psychological, and he already let the team and the fans know that he intends on going to the majors next year in a major PR gaffe (not that he cares about these sorts of things) so his future is really unclear now
5GS 29.1IP 21/8 K/BB 5HR 22RA 6.75ERA
Kenshin Kawakami (Dragons) – Returned from minors and promptly gave up a bomb, we’ll have to see how he does when he gets a start.
4GS 17.2IP 15/3 K/BB 5HR 9RA 4.58ERA
Masahiro “Ma-kun” Tanaka (Eagles) – a shutout
6GS 50IP 45/19 K/BB 2HR 12RA 1.80ERA
Shota Ohba (Hawks)
6GS 43IP 48/10 K/BB 8HR 18RA 3.77ERA
Yu Darvish (Fighters) – 9IP 2RA, allowed his first HR, and team lost in extra innings
6GS 52IP 51/7 K/BB 1HR 5RA 0.69ERA 3CG
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, statistics | Tagged: baystars, buffaloes, carp, chiba, chunichi, darvish, dragons, eagles, fighters, Fukuoka, giants, guiel, hanshin, hawks, Hiroshima, hokkaido, kawakami, lions, lotte, marines, ohba, orix, rakuten, seibu, softbank, swallows, tanaka, tigers, uehara, yakult, yokohama, yomiuri | 2 Comments »
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 26日 Saturday
westbaystars at Japanesebaseball.com does a logical analysis on the early season PL attendance figures.
Compared to the same time period last year (up to games ending April 24), SoftBank takes the biggest hit, down 10.3% (27,036 per game). But Nippon Ham makes up for that, up 10.2% (23,362). Orix, having moved to Osaka Dome, is up a whopping 45.7% (16,429).
While the article attributes moving to Osaka as the cause for the rise for Orix, I’ll contend that it was their great start that got people coming out. SoftBank, on the other hand, has had its worst start in years, thus the downturn. I think that when you compare results on the field with results in the seats, that there will be a close correlation – which the press doesn’t seem to get for some reason.
Yeah, that seems like a way more plausible reason. I’ve only been to 2 games so far this season. A half empty Jingu for a midweek Swallows-BayStars tilt, and a Sunday afternoon Hawks-Fighters game in Sapporo that drew well (just north of 30,000).
Meanwhile, sports journalists are desperate to write good things about the Giants. Sure having your first 4 game winning streak of the season is a good thing, scoring 6 runs each in the first 3 wins, but that series sweep was against the lowly BayStars, the worst team in Japan, so that’s nothing to write home about. Now, the 3-1 win against the Tigers last night is a good thing for the club, though only getting 3 runs on 10 hits is rather inefficient. The Giants are the least patient team in the league with only 41 walks while Hanshin leads the league and almost doubles that with 78. Hmm…
Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: attendance, baystars, fighters, giants, hokkaido, jingu, pacific league, pl, sapporo, swallows, yakult, yokohama, yomiuri | 1 Comment »
Posted by simon c on 2008 April 22日 Tuesday
I’m rather busy at the moment, so I’ll try to keep this short. Previous week’s ranking in brackets.
1. Hanshin Tigers(1) 15-4 .789
Continues to roll right along with yet another 4-1 week. 4 of the top 7 in CL OBP with Akahoshi (.451), Arai (.415), Kanemoto (.413), and Toritani (.395) explain their position up top.
2. Chunichi Dragons(2) 12-6-1 .667
Can stake a claim for the top spot in the Hanshin series starting tonight.
3. Saitama Seibu Lions(3) 14-9-1 .609
Went undefeated in 3 games (2-0-1) in a short 4 game week that got reduced to 3 games by rain. Outslugging the rest of the league with its 26 homeruns, 7 ahead of the nearest competitor.
4. Tokyo Yakult Swallows(4) 9-9 .500
Continues to slip with a 2-3 week. Saw the 2-1 win on Tuesday against Yokohama, but that’s not much to write home about. Lim continues to look fantastic, not allowing a run in 7 appearances while only allowing 5 baserunners. He may return to the setup role when/if Igarashi returns from injury, in which case the duo could become the Betancourt-Borowski of Japan, at the very least.
5. Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters(6) 13-11 .542
Another smallballrific week with game scores being 3-3, 2-4, 3-1, 4-2, and 2-4. I saw that last game on Sunday up in Hokkaido, great crowd and a funky dome in the great white north of Japan. Winning record but currently being outscored 69-77. Could they repeat Hanshin’s success last year as a playoff team with a negative run differential? Maybe.
6. Fukuoka Softbank Hawks(5) 13-13 .500
Dropped 2 out of 3 against perennial playoff rivals Fighters for a 2-3 week.
7. Chiba Lotte Marines(8 ) 13-13 .500
Went 3-2 against the Eagles and the Buffaloes to bring the record up to .500.
8. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles(7) 11-13 .458
A 1-3 week against the Marines and Lions. Iwakuma is in top form as he battles Darvish for the ERA lead with miniscule 0.46.
9. Hiroshima Toyo Carp(10) 7-10-1 .412
Won 2 of 3 against the ever slumping Giants as the teams swap spots.
10. Tokyo Yomiuri Giants(9) 7-12-1 .368
Lost both series against the Dragons and the Carp, losing both of Uehara’s starts as the ace gave up 10 runs in 9 innings over two starts.
11. Orix Buffaloes(11) 10-15 .400
Hitting bombs (19 HR is 2nd in PL) but unable to get hits with any regularity (.219 BA is only 1 point better than league worst Fighters, and probably the worst once adjusted for park factors), and league worst pitching staff sporting 4.10 ERA means the team’s at the bottom of PL.
12. Yokohama BayStars(12) 4-13 .235
Going 1-3 this past week actually raised the team’s winning percentage, can’t get much lower than that.
Aaron Guiel Watch
Still batting over .300, expect that to come down to his more typical 260-280 range though. A relatively quiet week with 1HR and 4RBI as he gave up his CL lead in the latter category, but earned his first HBP of the season in the game I saw at Jingu last Tuesday.
18GP 74PA 13R 7HR 19RBI .313/.392/.734 8BB 1HBP 12K
Koji Uehara (Giants) – 2 painful starts giving up 10 total runs
4GS 25IP 19/8 K/BB 5HR 17RA 6.12ERA
Kenshin Kawakami (Dragons) – back with the big club yesterday after a short spell in the minors for an unspecified ailment, not scheduled to start in the Tigers series though
2GS 15.2IP 13/1 K/BB 4HR 8RA 4.60ERA
Masahiro “Ma-kun” Tanaka (Eagles)
5GS 41IP 38/15 K/BB 2HR 12RA 2.20ERA
Shota Ohba (Hawks) – the rookie continues to serve up the long ball
5GS 30.2IP 35/4 K/BB 8HR 10RA 3.44ERA
Yu Darvish (Fighters) – yet another CG victory
5GS 43IP 42/5 K/BB 0HR 3RA 0.46ERA 3CG
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Posted by simon c on 2008 April 20日 Sunday
A well deserved win and promotion to the top division by Hungary!
Ukraine decided that they coast through the first half of the game and still win, but no no no, Hungary fought hard for 60 minutes and it was a true team victory for the hard working team. Even had the Japanese goal counted and Hungary only got 1 point in that match, they would still have topped the table, so Hungary is the true champions despite some potentially costly miscues by the refs. Ukraine learned the hard way that Division I is no cake walk.
Good luck in the top division next year Hungary!
Posted in 02_English, hockey, information, International, Japan, opinion | Tagged: hokkaido, hungary, ihwc, IIHF, sapporo, ukraine | Leave a Comment »