Print  Print © MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.


Honda's fantastic four: how are they going?
04/25/2019 8:28 PM ET

Japan's Industrial League is in full swing and our four former Bite pitchers in Honda's teams - Sayama, Suzuka and Kumamoto - are preparing for the main tournaments in July and October.

Honda Sayama
In the Tokyo Sponichi Tournament (March) Sayama won over Okinawa Electric Power (10-6) despite an early five-run deficit.

Yoshihiro Tamura (a.k.a. Tim Tam) took the win, going three innings, allowing no runs on one hit, striking out four hitters and conceding no walks; his ERA still at 0.00. Unfortunately, Sayama finished the tournament early with two tough extra inning losses against NTT and Subaru.

For reasons unknown to me, Tim Tam did not pitch again after his outstanding performance and our Hirotaka Tochiya (a.k.a. Seaweed) has not pitched yet.

Sayama then made their way to the semi-finals in the Okayama Tournament (April) where they just fell short against City Light Okayama (2-1). 

Honda Kumamoto
Kumamoto started their season at the Okayama Tournament with a mercy-rule victory against Japanese Railways Shikoku (10-3) but struggled to find groove against Seino Transportation in an unfortunate late 1-8 loss (1-2 after 8 innings).

Tohru Kikue (a.k.a. Kick) came in to minimise the damage in the ninth with bases loaded, but even his abilities couldn't keep Seino's hot bats at bay. Kumamoto's journey concluded the next day with a painful 3-4 loss in 10 innings against JFE East Japan.

Honda Suzuka
The Tokai Districts Tournament (March) was where Suzuka began their season with a close win over Prince (2-1) in which Ryo Takeuchi (a.k.a. Terry) recorded three outs and the save. They were knocked out of the tournament by TOHO Gas (8-1) in their second game.

Suzuka dominated in the Shikoku Tournament (April) but lost in the finals against Toshiba (2-4).

The Hitachi Mayor's Cup (April) proved to be more of a challenge, as Suzuka did not manage to get past the three-game qualification round. In total Terry pitched in five games out of 10 so far, facing 32 batters in 7.1 innings.

His ERA is currently sitting at 3.68, allowing four hits, three earned runs, and striking out six. Despite some struggles with control (resulting in seven walks) his performance was highlighted by his good fielding and ability to adjust.

Although the sample size is small, another pitcher from this team that I keep my eye on is rookie Shunya Morita, showing off a 149 km/h fastball, recording 21 strike-outs over 15 innings and a solid 3.00 ERA. Fun fact; he used to pitch for the famous Hosei University, one of Baseball SA's recent guests at the Junko Winter League in Adelaide.



This story was not subject to the approval of the Australian Baseball League or its clubs.