Softbank Hawks win title in extra-inning walk-off fashion

The Softbank Hawks did not find their groove for seven innings as they were kept in check by starting pitcher Shota Imanaga. Only after he was pulled, the Hawks managed to get back in the game and to force extra innings from which they emerged as new champions as they scored the 4-3 walk-off run.  …

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BayStars stay alive in 2017 Nippon Series

At the brink of elimination, the DeNA BayStars have grabbed the last straw and won game for of the Nippon Series. With two hits, the Softbank Hawks never came close to clinching the win as they fell to the BayStars 6-0 and were outhit 12-2. Until the fifth inning both teams kept each other in …

Rick van den Hurk won’t start game 4 in Nippon Series

With a little bit of (bad) luck, Rick van den Hurk will get a 2017 Nippon Series championship ring without throwing a pitch in the Nippon Series. Rick will not start in game four. With a 3-0 lead over the DeNA BayStars, the Softbank Hawks only need one win to sweep the team from Yokohama. Rick …

Softbank Hawks in driver seat after close third win.

The Softbank Hawks are one win away from sweeping the DeNA BayStars in the Nippon Series. Three runs were enough for the team from Fukuoka to beat the opponent from Yokohama as they the BayStars 3-2.  Yuki Yanagita opened the score for the Softbank Hawks in the first inning. After getting on base on a single, …

DeNA BayStars no match for Softbank Hawks in game 1 of Nippon Series

Today the Nippon Series started in the Yahoo Dome in Fukuoka, home of the Softbank Hawks. Trailing 3-0, the DeNA BayStars scored a run in the fifth inning, but the Softbank Hawks countered with seven runs in the bottom of that inning to deal the team from Yokohama a decisive blow as the Hawks won …

Softbank Hawks to face DeNa BayStars in Nippon Series

Dutchie Rick van den Hurk's team, the Softbank Hawks, that had clinched a spot in the Nippon Series already, will face the Yokohama DeNA BayStars that beat the Hiroshima Toyo Carp 9-3 today. The Nippon Series, the championship series of the Japanese NPB, will start coming Saturday, October 28. The Yokohama DeNA BayStars started the Climax …

Van den Hurk wins 13th game of the season

In a six-inning, 108-pitch outing, Rick van den Hurk clinched his thirteenth victory of the NPB season in a 4-1 victory over the Nippon Ham Fighters.  The Softbank Hawks, who clinched the Pacific League pennant last week, gave Van den Hurk enough run support. The Fighters took a 1-0 lead in the third inning when …

Softbank Hawks clinch Pacific League title

Today the Softbank Hawks clinched the Pacific League title by beating the Seibu Lions 7-3. By winning the Pacific League, the Hawks will have a bye in the first round of the playoffs. As the Softbank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions, the latter team was eliminated from clinching the Pacific League. The Hawks started the …

Two-hitter for Rick van den Hurk

Another superb outing for Rick van den Hurk. The tall Dutchman of the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks pitched a two-hitter over seven innings. Rick got plenty of run support, so he earned his twelfth win of the season. Today, Rick dominated the Seibu Lions' lineup as he cruised through seven innings as his pitches topped 93 …

Van den Hurk clinches 9th win of season

Dutch pitcher of the Softbank Hawks, Rick van den Hurk, has clinched his ninth victory today with a 5-1 win over the lowly Orix Buffaloes. Rick lasted eight innings on the mound and threw 119 pitches to accomplish the feat. Rick gave up a run in the first inning when Yoshida Masanori scored on Masahiro …

Rick van den Hurk clinches 8th win, loses no-hit bid in 6th

Today, the Softbank Hawks beat the Seibu Lions 3-1 and handed their Dutch starter, Rick van den Hurk, his eighth win of the season. Rick took a no-hitter into the sixth inning but a solo home run ended his no-hit bid. Rick was perfect in the first three frames but gave up a walk to …

Oh’s 756th home run celebrated

Today, the former team of the Japanese legend Sadaharu Oh, celebrated the 756th home run Oh hit forty years ago. In a ceremony during the game, Oh, who now is chairman of the Softbank Hawks, was placed in the spotlights for breaking Hank Aaron's record of 755 dingers. Sadaharu Oh, who played his entire 22-year …

Nice gesture by Softbank Hawks and chairman Oh

In an attempt to give some children a bit of distraction after the Kuramoto Earthquake, which occurred in April, the chairman of the Softbank Hawks, Sadaharu Oh has invited 180 children of little league teams to attend a game of the team. Legend Sadaharu Oh, played 22 seasons in the NPB, all for the Yomiuri …

Van den Hurk in the win column again

Yesterday, the Softbank Hawks hosted the Orix Buffaloes. Rick van den Hurk was the starter for the Hawks and guided them to a win vs the lowly Buffaloes. Rick pitched six shutout innings and needed 110 pitches to do so. In those six innings, Rick gave up two hits, walked two and struck out three. He …

Ads on MLB jerseys, a matter of time?

With the NBA allowing teams to place advertisements on their jerseys it may be a matter of time before MLB will open the doors for it. Especially now commissioner Rob Manfred does not rule out ads on jerseys. In April 2016, the NBA announced that it will allow teams to sell 2.5-inch-by-2.5-inch space to companies. For …

Cuban players popular in Japan

Ever since Cuban players got permission by the Castro regime to leave the country to play abroad (except in the USA), quite a couple of players were signed by NPB clubs. The latest signees are RHP Raidel Martinez, Leonardo Urgelles and Alfredo Despaigne. Alfredo Despaigne was a familiar face in Japanese baseball already of course, …

Rick van den Hurk to join Kingdom of the Netherlands for 2017 WBC

Today the KNBSB (Royal Dutch Baseball and Softball Federation) came with a press release that announced that pitcher Rick van den Hurk will participate in the 2017 World Baseball Classic. This is pretty much godsend for manager Hensley Meulens. With Van den Hurk, manager Meulens will get a pitcher with a lot of international experience. …