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Daisuke Miura

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Daisuke Miura (Bancho, Gang Leader) (三浦 大輔)

BR minors page

[edit] Biographical Information

Daisuke Miura has spent 19 seasons with the Taiyo Whales/Yokohama BayStars (the franchise switched names in 1993).

Miura was picked by Taiyo out of high school in the 6th round in 1991; this upset Hanshin Tigers coach Akinobu Okada, who wanted the Tigers to pick him. Miura had been a Hanshin fan as a youth. Daisuke debuted with two shutout innings on October 7, 1992 after spending the year in the minors.

He was pitching somewhat regularly for the BayStars by 1993, going 3-3 with a 3.43 ERA and 61 whiffs in 60 1/3 innings. He had a 2-2, 4.34 record in 1994, allowing a .313 average. He rebounded to go 9-9 with a 3.90 ERA and .240 opponent average in 1995.

Miura faded to 5-10, 4.93 in 1996 but was 10-3 with a 3.35 ERA and .221 opponent average in 1997, finishing 8th in the Central League in ERA. On May 29, he was surprisingly yanked for a pinch-hitter despite having a no-hitter in progress.

The Nara native posted a 12-7, 3.18 record in 1998 and was 10th in the CL in ERA. Only Takashi Saitoh had a lower ERA for the BayStars. In the 1998 Japan Series, he started game three and bombed, with six walks and four runs in 2 1/3 innings in a loss to Tetsuya Shiozaki and the Seibu Lions; Yokohama still won the Series in six games, their only title through 2009.

Miura was 9-10 with a 4.27 ERA in 1999 and led the CL in both runs allowed (92) and earned runs allowed (83); he rebounded from a 0-6 start to the campaign. He was 11-6 with a 3.22 ERA in 2000, 8th in the CL in ERA between Hisanori Takahashi and Nate Minchey. On September 10, he reached 1,000 career strikeouts when he whiffed Akihiro Higashide.

The right-hander again was 11-6 in 2001 while reducing his ERA to 2.88 and allowing only 137 hits in 168 2/3 innings. He was third in the league in ERA behind only Shigeki Noguchi and Kei Igawa. He had a 3.23 ERA in 2002 but fell to 4-10 as Yokohama was just 49-86 as a team. He finally made the CL All-Star team. Had he qualified, he would have ranked 9th in the circuit in ERA. That winter, the BayStars signed Miura to a six-year deal, a NPB record for longest contract. It would be broken four years later by Nobuhiko Matsunaka.

In 2003, Miura had a 5-5, 4.09 record followed by 6-8, 4.25 in 2004. He still made his second All-Star team in '04. He pitched for Japan in the 2004 Olympics, allowing 3 runs in 3 innings for the Bronze Medal winners; only Yuya Ando and Hisashi Iwakuma had worse ERAs for Japan. He took a loss against Australia.

Miura rebounded to 12-9, 2.52 in 2005 with a .215 average and 177 strikeouts in 214 2/3 innings for a career year (through 2009). He led the league in innings, batters faced (856), shutouts (2, tied), strikeouts (tied with Ken Kadokura) and ERA (.065 ahead of runner-up Hiroki Kuroda). He was 4th in wins (behind Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi, Kuroda and Igawa) and second in complete games (10, one behind Kuroda). Kuroda beat him out for the Best Nine as the league's top hurler.

The Yokohama mainstay had a 8-12, 3.45 record in 2006. He reached a couple milestones - on May 9, he won his 100th game in Nippon Pro Baseball. The next month, he fanned Kazuhiro Wada to reach 1,500 career Ks. He also made his third All-Star squad. He led the CL in innings (216 2/3), batters faced (912), complete games (9), shutouts (3, tied with Igawa and Kenshin Kawakami), hits allowed (227) and runs allowed (94). Playing for a 58-84 team, he was third in losses behind Tetsuya Utsumi and Kan Otake. He was 3 earned runs shy of Otake, the league leader.

The veteran went 11-13 with a 3.06 ERA in 2007. From June 20 to July 27, he threw 35 consecutive shutout innings to set a Yokohama record. He finished 4th in the league in ERA (behind Hisanori Takahashi, Seth Greisinger and Utsumi), led in losses, was 4th in innings (185 1/3), was 10th in wins, led in shutouts (3), tied Hayato Terahara for second in complete games (4, trailing Kuroda), tied Greisinger for 6th in strikeouts (159), was 6th in walks (51) and was 4th in runs allowed (74).

Daisuke went 7-10 with a 3.56 ERA in 2008, walking only 29 in 144 innings. He was 9th in the CL in ERA (between Minoru Iwata and Otake) but his club was an awful 48-94-2 overall. He tied Iwata and Masanori Ishikawa for 6th in the CL in losses, was 10th in innings, led in complete games (4), led in homers allowed (22), tied Ando for 7th in strikeouts (111) and tied for 9th with 63 runs allowed. That winter, he explored free agency. Hanshin offered him a 3-year, 900-million yen deal but he eventually decided to remain with the BayStars for four years and 1 billion yen, almost definitely to conclude his career with the same one be started off with.

Miura lost his 7th straight Opening Day assignment bid in 2009 (following 1999, 2002 and 2004 to 2007 inclusive), a Japanese record. He had put up good games in five of the contests. He had another good year (11-11, 3.32, only 37 BB in 195 1/3 IP) for a bad team (the other Yokohama hurlers were a combined 40-81). He made his 4th All-Star team. On October 3, he struck out Takehiro Donoue for his 2,000th career K. He finished among the league leaders in ERA (10th), innings (195 1/3, second to Masanori Ishikawa), losses (tied for 4th behind Ryan Glynn, Kenta Maeda and Ando), wins (tied for 7th with Colby Lewis and Susumu Kawai), complete games (6, first), homers allowed (28, first), hits allowed (175, 6th), runs allowed (82, tied for first with Kenta Maeda), strikeouts (138, tied for 6th with Shun Tohno) and earned runs allowed (72, tied for second with Kenta Maeda behind Masanori Ishikawa).

Overall, Miura was 135-133 with a 3.50 ERA in 414 games through 2009. He was 19th in Nippon Pro Baseball history in strikeouts and 30th in earned runs allowed (979). He had gone 41-17 against the Tigers. Given the number of last-place Yokohama teams he has played for, it is surprising he is over .500 for his career through '09.

Miura's repertoire includes a slider, forkball, cutter, fastball (mid to high 80s, tops out at 92) and a slow curveball.

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