In his second start of the 2016 NPB season, Rick van den Hurk had a very good outing.
In the game vs the Nippon Ham Fighters (don’t make the mistake that I made: the club is named Fighters, not Ham Fighters. The owner of the club is the Nippon Ham company) Rick cruised through the first four innings before he gave up a run on a solo homerun to Haruki Ishikawa.
In the seventh inning, Rick kept the Hawks from scoring once again.
After throwing 105 pitches and facing 27 hitters, Rick was pulled at the start of the eighth inning in favour of Edison Barrios. Rick fanned five and walked two and gave up one run on four hits. According to Nishinippon.co.jp, Van den Hurk had a stable and solid outing today.
After Barrios took over, he gave up two runs. In the first and third inning the Hawks had scored two runs each. In the first the Hawks scored on a two run homerun by Seichi Uchikawa, right into the cheering section of the Softbank Hawks fans in left field. In the third inning the Hawks scored a run when, whith runners on first and second, Seichi Uchikawa hit towards pitcher Mendoza, who made a throwing error towards second base, allowing Kenta Imamiya to score. A sac fly to left field, hit by Akira Nakamura, drove in what appeared to be the insurance run, so the Hawks won with a one run margin giving the win to Rick van den Hurk, who now has an ERA of 2.4o. A much needed win for the Softbank Hawks as they are off a slow start so far. Now the team has played seven games of which they won three, lost three. One game ended in a tie.
Thanks to this win, the club has climbed into third place, trailing first place Chiba Lotte Marines by 1.5 game and second place Rakuten Golden Eagles by half a game.
So far the Softbank Haws are far from the well oiled machine that they were in the previous two seasons.
Here you can see the summary of the game.