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2013 in Japanese Baseball

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2013 in Japanese Baseball was notable primarily for a couple record-setting performances. Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Golden Eagles went 24-0 with a 1.27 ERA for one of the top performances in Nippon Pro Baseball history, setting several records, including wins without a loss, consecutive starts with a win and winning streak. Over in the Central League, Yakult Swallows outfielder Wladimir Balentien set a new NPB record with 60 home runs, breaking the mark of 55 shared by Sadaharu Oh, Tuffy Rhodes and Alex Cabrera. The fact that NPB had adopted a newer, livelier ball without telling anyone resulted in penalties to the NPB officials responsible for those decisions. On a minor record note, Ryosuke Kikuchi broke the 8-year-old record for assists at 2B with 528 (the old mar was 496, set by Masahiro Araki.

Four new players joined the meikyukai with 2,000 hits. Alex Ramirez became the first foreigner to join, followed by Norihiro Nakamura, Motonobu Tanishige (the oldest to that point at 42 yrs, 4 mos) and Tadahito Iguchi.

Rakuten won its first Japan Series, topping the Yomiuri Giants in seven games in the 2013 Japan Series. After Tanaka finally took a loss in Game 6 of the Series, lesser light Manabu Mima tossed his second gem of the Series to wrap it up, earning Series MVP honors.

Contents

[edit] Standings

Bold indicates league champion; Italics indicate Nippon Series winner; * indicates playoff team

[edit] Central League

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Yomiuri Giants* 144 84 53 7 .613 -- 597 508 .262 .326 .400 3.21 Tatsunori Hara
Hanshin Tigers* 144 73 67 4 .521 12.5 531 488 .255 .326 .358 3.07 Yutaka Wada
Hiroshima Toyo Carp* 144 69 72 3 .489 17 557 554 .248 .319 .367 3.46 Kenjiro Nomura
Chunichi Dragons 144 64 77 3 .454 22 526 599 .245 .315 .359 3.81 Morimichi Takagi
Yokohama DeNA BayStars 144 64 79 1 .448 23 630 686 .262 .325 .390 4.50 Kiyoshi Nakahata
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 144 57 84 4 .407 28.5 577 682 .253 .327 .377 4.26 Junji Ogawa

[edit] Pacific League

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles* 144 82 59 3 .582 -- 628 537 .267 .338 .379 3.51 Senichi Hoshino
Saitama Seibu Lions* 144 74 66 4 .529 7.5 570 562 .257 .331 .363 3.54 Hisanobu Watanabe
Chiba Lotte Marines* 144 74 68 2 .521 8.5 572 584 .262 .331 .374 3.77 Tsutomu Itoh
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 144 73 69 2 .514 9.5 660 562 .274 .339 .409 3.56 Koji Akiyama
Orix Buffaloes 144 66 73 5 .475 15 513 529 .256 .323 .366 3.31 Hiroshi Moriwaki
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 144 64 78 2 .451 18.5 534 604 .256 .326 .368 3.74 Hideki Kuriyama

[edit] Leaders

Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record

[edit] Batting

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
Batting Average Tony Blanco Chunichi Dragons .333 Yuya Hasegawa Softbank Hawks .341
Runs Wladimir Balentien Yakult Swallows 94 Dai-Kang Yang Nippon Ham Fighters 93
Hits Matt Murton Hanshin Tigers 178 Yuya Hasegawa Softbank Hawks 198
Doubles Matt Murton Hanshin Tigers 37 Hideto Asamura Seibu Lions 38
Triples Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp 5 Daichi Suzuki Chiba Lotte Marines 11
Home Runs Wladimir Balentien Yakult Swallows 60 Michel Abreu Nippon Ham Fighters 31
Runs Batted In Tony Blanco Chunichi Dragons 136 Hideto Asamura Seibu Lions 110
Stolen Bases Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp 29 Dai-Kang Yang Nippon Ham Fighters 47
Walks Takashi Toritani Hanshin Tigers 104 Andruw Jones Rakuten Golden Eagles 105

[edit] Pitching

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
ERA Kenta Maeda Hiroshima Carp 2.10 Masahiro Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles 1.27
Wins Yasuhiro Ogawa Yakult Swallows 16 Masahiro Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles 24
Losses Daisuke Miura
Ryosuke Yagi
Yokohama BayStars
Yakult Swallows
13 Mitsuo Yoshikawa Nippon Ham Fighters 15
Saves Kentaro Nishimura Yomiuri Giants 42 Naoya Masuda Chiba Lotte Marines 33
Innings Pitched Randy Messenger Hanshin Tigers 196 1/3 Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes 223 2/3
Appearances Kentaro Nishimura Yomiuri Giants 71 Naoya Masuda Chiba Lotte Marines 68
Hits Allowed Daisuke Miura Yokohama BayStars 181 Yuri Karakawa Chiba Lotte Marines 185
Home Runs Allowed Daisuke Miura Yokohama BayStars 26 Takayuki Kishi
Ryoma Nogami
Seibu Lions
Seibu Lions
17
Strikeouts Randy Messenger Hanshin Tigers 183 Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes 200
Base-on-Balls Kazuki Mishima Yokohama BayStars 79 Shota Takeda Softbank Hawks 68

[edit] Awards

The winner of the 2013 Sawamura Award was Masahiro Tanaka of the Rakuten Golden Eagles. He had a 24-0 win-loss record, 183 strikeouts, and a 1.27 ERA in 213 innings, leading the Pacific League in ERA and wins.

Award League Player Team Position AB R H HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG W - L SV IP HA HRA BB SO ERA
Most Valuable Player CL Wladimir Balentien Yakult Swallows OF 439 94 145 60 131 0 .330 .455 .779 Did not pitch
PL Masahiro Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles P 6 0 1 0 1 0 .167 .167 .333 24 - 0 1 212 168 6 32 183 1.27
Rookie of the Year CL Yasuhiro Ogawa Yakult Swallows P 54 1 5 3 0 0 .093 .093 .148 16 - 4 0 178 155 9 45 135 2.93
PL Takahiro Norimoto Rakuten Golden Eagles P 7 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .125 .000 15 - 8 0 170 142 14 51 134 3.34

[edit] Best Nine

The following players were part of the 2013 Best Nine teams.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Kenta Maeda Hiroshima Carp P Masahiro Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants C Motohiro Shima Rakuten Golden Eagles
Tony Blanco Yokohama BayStars 1B Hideto Asamura Seibu Lions
Tsuyoshi Nishioka Hanshin Tigers 2B Kazuya Fujita Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shuichi Murata Yomiuri Giants 3B Casey McGehee Rakuten Golden Eagles
Takashi Toritani Hanshin Tigers SS Daichi Suzuki Chiba Lotte Marines
Hisayoshi Chono Yomiuri Giants OF Sho Nakata Nippon Ham Fighters
Matt Murton Hanshin Tigers Yuya Hasegawa Softbank Hawks
Wladimir Balentien Yakult Swallows Seiichi Uchikawa SoftBank Hawks
DH Michel Abreu Nippon Ham Fighters


[edit] Gold Gloves

The following players were the recipients of the Gold Glove Award in 2013.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Kenta Maeda Hiroshima Carp P Masahiro Tanaka Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants C Motohiro Shima Rakuten Golden Eagles
José López Yomiuri Giants 1B Hideto Asamura Seibu Lions
Ryosuke Kikuchi Hiroshima Carp 2B Kazuya Fujita Rakuten Golden Eagles
Shuichi Murata Yomiuri Giants 3B Nobuhiro Matsuda Softbank Hawks
Takashi Toritani Hanshin Tigers SS Kenta Imamiya Softbank Hawks
Hisayoshi Chono Yomiuri Giants OF Dai-Kang Yoh Nippon Ham Fighters
Sho Aranami Yokohama BayStars Yoshio Itoi Orix Buffaloes
Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp Shogo Akiyama Seibu Lions

[edit] International Baseball

Japan tied for third in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

[edit] Hall of Fame

The following people were elected to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame:

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