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First and foremost …

Discussion in the Japanese Baseball Daily forum
First and foremost …

Rookie tops Giants in 1st career start

Rookie pitchers get thrown for a loop if the first start comes against the Yomiuri Giants. That wasn’t the case for Yakult Swallows rookie hurler Yuki Shichijo.

The right-hander became the first Swallows rookie hurler ever to beat the Giants in his first pro start, holding Japan’s marquee team to three hits over seven innings in a 4-1 win on Tuesday.

Makoto Fujiwara earned a win over the Giants in his first pro appearance for the Swallows in 1969, but no first-year hurler had ever done it for Yakult.

“To be honest, I was actually kind of scared [about facing the Giants], but I just decided just to focus on trying to throw to [catcher Ryuji] Aikawa’s glove, and I was able to do that," Shichijo said.

"I was nervous, but in the second half I got better and better and hitting his glove,” said Shichijo, whose start to the season was slowed because of an injury.

“The team is playing well and I joined the first team today, so I just didn’t want the guys to have to carry me, and this was the result so I’m glad.”

Shichijo fanned seven and allowed just an unearned run in the third inning.

Shingo Kawabata had an RBI single, and Aikawa followed with a double in the second to give the Central League’s top team a lead they would never relinquish.

Hiroyasu Tanaka, whose error led to the run in the third, padded the lead in the ninth with a two-run single. Tony Barnette worked a scoreless eighth and Lim Chang Yang shut the Giants down in the ninth for his CL-lead-tying 16th save.


Fourth-year pro Yuki Karakawa earned his career-best seventh win in style, fanning eight in a five-hitter for his third shutout this season as Lotte blanked Nippon Ham at Sapporo Dome.

The righty (7-2) lowered his ERA to 1.27 and made Shoitsu Omatsu’s third-inning RBI single stand up for the defending Japan Series champs, in fifth place in the PL.


Red-hot Tomotaka Sakaguchi put Orix on top with an RBI single in the fourth, and doubled and scored in a five-run fifth as the Buffaloes held off Seibu at Kyocera Dome Osaka.

Sakaguchi--who came in hitting.426 over the past three weeks--had three hits and two RBIs, and Mitsutaka Goto cleared the bases with his third hit, a double in the fifth.

Takeya Nakamura homered twice for Seibu, giving him a Japan-best 17.


Sixth-year outfielder Yuta Naito hit his sixth pro homer and his first grand slam in a five-run third, and had a career-best six RBIs as Yokohama enjoyed a rare laugher by blasting Chunichi at home.

The season-high 18 hits and 14 runs gave lefty Luis Gonzalez the victory in his Japan debut.

Chunichi’s Masahiro Araki stole second base in the first, giving him 300 in his career and making him the second player in franchise history with that many steals.


Hiroki Kokubo blasted two homers, including a go-ahead two-run shot in the sixth, and doubled and singled to drive in four as front-running SoftBank spanked Rakuten at Tokyo Dome.

Alex Cabrera also went 3-for-3 with a solo homer for the Hawks.


Craig Brazell exploded for two homers and a double, going 4-for-4 with four RBIs, and Matt Murton had three hits as Hanshin ripped Hiroshima at Toyama.

Re: First and foremost …
[ Author: Guest: Dugout Joe | Posted: Jun 29, 2011 10:57 AM ]

The big news being that a game in Toyama was actually played and not rained out for a change!

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