Archive > 20 August 2009

Games on, Aug 20 Edition

» 20 August 2009 » In Koshien, npb » 3 Comments

I put’s archive feature to good use yesterday, and got video for four games: keeps archived footage around for about a week, so enjoy this footage while it’s around.

Note: these links aren’t too likely to work correctly if you’re in Europe or Asia — vagaries of’s archival system.

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Kikuchi’s Latest Koshien Win

» 20 August 2009 » In npb draft » 9 Comments

If you follow NPB Tracker on Twitter, you might have already seen that Yusei Kikuchi won at Koshien again yesterday.

I was watching the game on and availed myself of the site’s watch later feature, so you can check out the game from the beginning by following this link. You can also check out the previous game, Chukyo’s 15-5 drubbing of Nagano here.

I wrote a bit about Kikuchi last spring, but this was my first chance to really see him in a game. He definitely has a live arm, with a heater that maxed out 154 kmph (~96 mph) but mainly seemed to range between 140-148 kmph (86-92mph).  He went to his secondary stuff quite a bit, showing a slider with good movement, and a slow curve that appears to be more of the get-me-over variety at this point. He still has work to do on commanding his breaking pitches, but the movement is there and he changes speeds well.

Kikuchi has gotten public attention from just about every NPB, with Hanshin and Yomiuri reportedly very interested in selecting him. I wrote about the MLB teams that watched in spring as well, notably the Rangers and the Mets. More MLB scouts have been watching him this summer, though I’ve learned to take that kind of news with a grain of salt. Daily Sports reported that the Cubs and Twins were in attendance for his August 17 game, but surprisingly I didn’t see any reports of MLB scouts at yesterday’s game.

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Swine Flu Infects Nippon Ham

» 20 August 2009 » In international baseball, npb » 2 Comments

Just when we thought the swine flu epidemic was behind us, and NPB teams even resumed the use of jet balloons, the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters caught the bug. Five players and staff were infected with the flu, and as a precaution every player and staff was checked. Six additional players were diagnosed with a slight fever and the team decided to let those players rest until they recover.

Three of the players who are thought to be infected with the flu are Termel Sledge, Shota Ohno, and Naoki Miyanishi. The six additional players diagnosed with fever symptoms were some of the main members of the team including CA Shinya Tsuruoka, INF Eihichi Koyano, INF Tomohiro Nioka, OF Yoshio Itoi, LHP Tomoya Yagi and RHP Kazumasa Kikuchi.

The team is currently in first place in the Pacific League with a seven game lead, but losing the core of the team for an extended period of time could be a problem. Top prospect Sho Nakata will be getting another opportunity with the Fighters due to the absence of these players. If he makes the most out of this opportunity, the Fighters might have an X-Factor going into the playoffs.

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