2014 in Japanese Baseball

From BR Bullpen

2014 in baseball
Cuban National League
Japanese baseball
American League
National League
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The 2014 season in Nippon Pro Baseball saw a few records being set. 49-year-old Masahiro Yamamoto of the Chunichi Dragons became the oldest pitcher to win a game or strike out a batter in NPB, breaking records Shinji Hamazaki had held for over 50 years. Motonobu Tanishige, player-manager of the Chunichi Dragons, became NPB's career leader in games caught. Yoshihisa Hirano set a new Pacific League save record with 40, a record that would only stand one year.

One change of note was that Cuba allowed players to sign with teams in other countries; with the US off-limits due to the embargo, NPB became the destination for some of Cuba's best players. Two-time Serie Nacional MVP Yulieski Gourriel hit .305/.349/.536 with 46 runs in 62 games for the Hiroshima Carp and three-time MVP Alfredo Despaigne batted .311/.374/.627 with 12 homers in 45 games for the Chiba Lotte Marines but Frederich Cepeda only batted .194/.333/.389 for the Yomiuri Giants with 38 K in 108 AB. A fourth player, young reliever Hector Mendoza, signed with Yomiuri as well, but only saw limited action in the minors and did not make it to the big club.

Also, NPB adopted a rather odd interleague inverse DH rule - the DH was used in the home parks of the Central League teams when the CL does not use a DH while pitchers batted in the home parks of the Pacific League when the PL does use a DH.

Standings[edit]

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

Central League[edit]

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Yomiuri Giants* 144 82 61 1 .573 -- 667 552 .264 .329 .391 3.58 Tatsunori Hara
Hanshin Tigers* 144 75 68 1 .524 7 599 614 .264 .335 .376 3.88 Yutaka Wada
Hiroshima Toyo Carp* 144 74 68 2 .521 7.5 649 610 .272 .337 .420 3.79 Kenjiro Nomura
Chunichi Dragons 144 67 73 4 .479 13.5 570 590 .258 .325 .364 3.69 Motonobu Tanishige
Yokohama DeNA BayStars 144 67 75 2 .472 14.5 568 624 .253 .317 .383 3.76 Kiyoshi Nakahata
Tokyo Yakult Swallows 144 60 81 3 .426 19 599 717 .279 .339 .412 4.62 Junji Ogawa

Pacific League[edit]

Team G W L T WPCT GB RS RA AVG OBP SLG ERA Manager(s)
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks* 144 78 60 6 .565 2 607 522 .280 .344 .396 3.25 Koji Akiyama
Orix Buffaloes* 144 80 62 2 .563 -- 584 456 .258 .335 .382 3.00 Hiroshi Moriwaki
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters* 144 73 68 3 .518 6.5 593 569 .251 .321 .379 3.61 Hideki Kuriyama
Chiba Lotte Marines 144 66 76 2 .465 15.5 556 642 .251 .314 .378 4.46 Tsutomu Itoh
Saitama Seibu Lions 144 63 77 4 .450 17.5 574 600 .248 .329 .384 4.17 Haruki Ihara (21-35)/Norio Tanabe (42-42)
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 144 64 80 0 .444 18.5 549 604 .255 .327 .356 3.97 Senichi Hoshino

Leaders[edit]

Bold indicates league record, Italics indicate all-time record

Batting[edit]

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
Batting Average Matt Murton Hanshin Tigers .338 Yoshio Itoi Orix Buffaloes .331
Runs Yoshihiro Maru
Tetsuto Yamada
Hiroshima Carp
Yakult Swallows
106 Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks 91
Hits Tetsuto Yamada Yakult Swallows 193 Akira Nakamura Softbank Hawks 176
Doubles Ryosuke Kikuchi
Tetsuto Yamada
Hiroshima Carp
Yakult Swallows
39 Yoshio Itoi Orix Buffaloes 36
Triples Takayuki Kajitani Yokohama BayStars 9 Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters 13
Home Runs Brad Eldred Hiroshima Carp 37 Ernesto Mejia
Takeya Nakamura
Seibu Lions
Seibu Lions
34
Runs Batted In Mauro Gomez Hanshin Tigers 109 Sho Nakata Nippon Ham Fighters 100
Stolen Bases Takayuki Kajitani Yokohama BayStars 39 Haruki Nishikawa Nippon Ham Fighters 43
Walks Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp 100 Andruw Jones Rakuten Golden Eagles 118

Pitching[edit]

Statistic Central League Pacific League
Leader Team Number Leader Team Number
ERA Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants 233 Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes 1.98
Wins Randy Messenger
Daisuke Yamai
Hanshin Tigers
Chunichi Dragons
13 Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes 16
Losses Atsushi Nohmi Hanshin Tigers 13 Wataru Karashima
Luis Mendoza
Rakuten Golden Eagles
Nippon Ham Fighters
13
Saves Seung-hwan Oh Hanshin Tigers 39 Yoshihisa Hirano Orix Buffaloes 40
Innings Pitched Randy Messenger Hanshin Tigers 208 1/3 Takahiro Norimoto Rakuten Golden Eagles 202 2/3
Appearances Koji Fukutani Chunichi Dragons 73 Tatsuya Sato Orix Buffaloes 64
Hits Allowed Randy Messenger Hanshin Tigers 188 Takahiro Norimoto Rakuten Golden Eagles 187
Home Runs Allowed Masanori Ishikawa
Daichi Osera
Yakult Swallows
Hiroshima Carp
20 Takahiro Fujioka Chiba Lotte Marines 19
Strikeouts Randy Messenger Hanshin Tigers 226 Takahiro Norimoto Rakuten Golden Eagles 204
Base-on-Balls Randy Messenger Hanshin Tigers 69 Yusei Kikuchi Seibu Lions 78

Awards[edit]

The winner of the 2014 Sawamura Award was Chihiro Kaneko of the Orix Buffaloes. He had a 16-5 win-loss record, 199 strikeouts, and a 1.98 ERA in 191 innings, leading the Pacific League in ERA and wins and finishing second in strikeouts.

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 Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P 42 2 7 0 4 0 .167 .205 .167 12 - 5 0 158 2/3 138 12 36 122 2.33
PL Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes P 8 0 1 0 1 0 .125 .125 .250 16 - 5 0 191 157 7 42 199 1.98
Rookie of the Year CL Daichi Osera Hiroshima Carp P 53 4 5 0 3 0 .094 .127 .151 10 - 8 0 151 165 20 40 116 4.05
PL Ayumu Ishikawa Chiba Lotte Marines P 4 0 1 0 0 0 .250 .250 .250 10 - 8 0 160 165 10 37 111 3.43

Best Nine[edit]

The following players were part of the 2014 Best Nine teams.

Central League Position Pacific League
Player Team Player Team
Tomoyuki Sugano Yomiuri Giants P Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes
Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants C Hikaru Ito Orix Buffaloes
Mauro Gomez Hanshin Tigers 1B Ernesto Mejia Seibu Lions
Tetsuto Yamada Yakult Swallows 2B Kazuya Fujita Rakuten Golden Eagles
Hector Luna Chunichi Dragons 3B Ginji Akaminai Rakuten Golden Eagles
Takashi Toritani Hanshin Tigers SS Kenta Imamiya Softbank Hawks
Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp OF Sho Nakata Nippon Ham Fighters
Matt Murton Hanshin Tigers Yoshio Itoi Orix Buffaloes
Yuhei Takai Yakult Swallows Yuki Yanagita SoftBank Hawks
DH Takeya Nakamura Seibu Lions

Gold Gloves[edit]

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 Chihiro Kaneko Orix Buffaloes
Shinnosuke Abe Yomiuri Giants C Hikaru Ito Orix Buffaloes
Masahiko Morino Chunichi Dragons 1B Takahiro Okada Orix Buffaloes
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
Yohei Oshima Chunichi Dragons OF Dai-Kang Yoh Nippon Ham Fighters
Yamato Maeda Hanshin Tigers Yoshio Itoi Orix Buffaloes
Yoshihiro Maru Hiroshima Carp Yuki Yanagita Softbank Hawks

International Baseball[edit]

Japan won the 2014 Women's Baseball World Cup and got a Bronze Medal in the 2014 Asian Games.

Hall of Fame[edit]

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

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