Orix’s Worst Pitchers

» 10 July 2011 » In npb »

After a rough start to the season, the Orix Buffaloes have clawed their way to a .500 record and into contention a playoff spot. So far, they’ve followed the same path that they took last: making up for a bad start by beating up on Central League teams in interleague play, then continuing to hover around respectability. So far they’re three games over .500 since returning to league play.

Orix has so far posted the worst ERA in the Pacific League, though not by much (3.28 to Seibu’s 3.25). That’s not terribly surprising, but going into the season, I really liked Orix’s rotation options. I saw a lot of question marks, but plenty of depth and a lot of upside as well. A couple of the question marks have come up positive, most notably Hayato Terahara and Alfredo Figaro, but Orix’s bad pitchers have been the worst in the Pacific League. Check out these numbers:

  • Satoshi Komatsu — 0.1 IP, 5 ER
  • Tatsuya Kajimoto — 1.1 IP, 3 ER
  • Masahide Kobayashi — 4.2 IP, 7 ER
  • Masato Nishikawa — 3 IP, 4 ER
  • Evan MacLane — 2.1 IP, 2 ER
  • Kazuya Takamiya — 6.1 IP, 5 ER
  • Hiroshi Kisanuki — 43 IP, 27 ER (32 R)

Add it all up and these seven pitchers have surrendered 53 earned runs over 61 innings pitched, which works out to an ugly 7.82 ERA, and over a fifth of Orix’s team total.The non-Kisanuki members of the group have an even more jarring 13.00 ERA over 18 innings of work, though to be fair, none of them has gotten much of a look. And to be intellectually honest, even if we took these 61 innings away and replaced them with scoreless innings, Orix would still be a ways off Nippon Ham and Softbank in terms of run prevention.

So, what happens next? Over the road back to respectability, Orix seems to have found a bullpen that works a bit better, as most of the guys from my bullet point list haven’t seen any recent game action. Kisanuki pitches on the 11th, so we’ll see if he has any bounce-back in him season. Chihiro Kaneko and Kazuki Kondo have both missed time with injuries this season, but are back now. Chan Ho Park was had some rough spots early in the season, has good enough stuff to compete in Japan. He’s currently out with a torn muscle and is expected back around the All-Star break. It looks like there is enough here to keep things interesting, even if they probably won’t contend for a title.

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  1. Patrick
    11/07/2011 at 4:31 am Permalink

    As I was reading this I was watching Kisanuki getting absolutely obliterated yet again. I’ve never personally witnessed him even toss a quality start. This guy was their opening day starter! I realize Kaneko was out, but wow.

  2. Patrick
    11/07/2011 at 5:16 am Permalink

    Ichiro is long gone. This team is terrible and, worse than that, it is terribly boring.

    After using the last two games against Lotte last season to make a mockery of the regular season, they deserve to suffer.

    And their stadium announcer is the most annoying in the league and should have his tongue cut out.

    Go Ham!

    (By the way, Ham is 7-1 against these clowns since Okada decided to award Lotte the 3rd playoff spot last October. Darvish and the boys will be enjoying 3 more games vs. Orix later this week.)

  3. Patrick
    11/07/2011 at 7:58 am Permalink

    Kyle — Kisanuki had some good games last year, particularly in the first half, and early in his career with the Giants. Also, Takamiya made an appearance in today’s drubbing.

    EJH — you’re failing to mention that Orix was just as much of a doormat for Nippon Ham late last season as they were for Lotte.

  4. Patrick
    11/07/2011 at 4:07 pm Permalink

    Patrick, that is nonsense. Okada put out a lineup of nobodies for those last two games versus Lotte. I don’t know why he did it, but he lost on purpose.

  5. Patrick
    11/07/2011 at 8:22 pm Permalink

    I don’t remember that. I was actually in Japan while that was going down, but I was paying a lot more attention to what was going down in the Central League and with Murton.

    Looking back, Orix went 2-7 after Sept 18, losing four games to Nippon Ham and three to Lotte.


    The two games in question:


    You’re right, Orix did play weak lineups in both of those games. They look pretty normal 1-4 but the second half of the order was weak. Cabrera was missing, but who knows why? Okada was no fan of his. I’m not quite ready to call that a conspiracy.

  6. Patrick
    12/07/2011 at 1:21 am Permalink

    If I recall correctly, Okada was just trying out players at the end of the year in an effort to see what he had. I’d have to go back and look at the boxes, but I think he started it, though not to that degree, prior to that series.

    They pretty much knew Cabu wasn’t coming back so there was no need to play him and I think that’s why he wasn’t there. I don’t even remember seeing him at the park, though he could’ve been there and I just don’t remember.

    I wouldn’t call conspiracy or anything of that nature though. The Buffs were just trying out new things. They had nothing to play for. It was better for them to give some guys some game time. They didn’t owe anything to Nippon Ham or to Lotte.

    They were thinking of themselves and I believe Okada said something to that effect