Wladimir Balentien not an FA yet

Even though he has the right to do so, Wladimir Balentien didn't use his free-agent rights yet. Apparently, he wants to talk with the club he has spent his entire NPB career with first. Due to this move, the Yakult Swallows will have exclusive negotiation rights until the end of November. If both parties will …

Wladimir Balentien’s new status makes him interesting for other teams

Wladimir Balentien comes off his ninth season in the NPB. The Curaçao-born slugger joined the Yakult Swallows in 2011 and has not left the club ever since. Since his first season in the NPB, Balentien has hit at least 30 home runs per season. He only fell short on that mark in 2015 as his …

Van den Hurk extends number of pitches in rehab start

A few days ago, pitcher Rick van den Hurk of the Softbank Hawks pitched another game for the Ni-gun (minor league) team of the Hawks. The 34-year old Dutchman lasted five innings in a game vs the farm team of the Hanshin Tigers. In a Western League matchup, Rick gave up two runs and struck …

Formidable outing by Van den Hurk leads Softbank Hawks to NPB title

In game six of the Nippon Series between the Hiroshima Toyo Carp and the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks, Dutch starter Rick van den Hurk and a very good outing. Thanks to his strong game, the Hawks earned the NPB championship by beating the Toyo Carp 2-0. Rick van den Hurk was masterful through six innings in …

Softbank Hawks one win away from clinching NPB title

The Softbank Hawks from Fukuoka won game five of the NPB series vs the Hiroshima Toyo Carp today. The team of Dutch pitcher Rick van den Hurk beat the Carp 5-4. Thanks to this win, the team only needs one more win to clinch the NPB championship. After game one, that ended in a 2-2 …

Softbank Hawks advance to Nippon Series to face the Hiroshima Toyo Carp

The Hiroshima Toyo Carp (Central League) and the Softbank Hawks  (Pacific League) will face each other in the 2018 Nippon Series. The Carp swept the Yomiuri Giants 4-0 to advance and today, the Hawks clinched a Nippon Series spot by beating the Seibu Lions 6-5. As usual, the winner of the regular season in each …

Van den Hurk clinches 10th win of season

Dutchie Rick van den Hurk was simply lights out today as he clinched his tenth victory of the season. Van den Hurk lasted seven innings and got just enough run support to earn the win as the Softbank Hawks defeated the Orix Buffaloes 1-0. In a real pitching matchup between Van den Hurk and Yushi …

Van den Hurk bounces back from bad start

After his previous poor outing, Rick van den Hurk earned the win today for the Softbank Hawks in the game vs the Chiba Lotte Marines that was won 8-3. In his previous outing, Rick was highly ineffective as he gave up ten earned runs in just five-plus innings and was tabbed with the loss. Today, Rick …

Van den Hurk highly ineffective today

In today's 12-6 loss, Rick van den Hurk had an enormous off day. The tall Dutch pitcher was responsible for a big chunk of the runs the Seibu Lions scored. After Rick worked his way through the first two innings without giving up a run, things went wrong in the third frame as he gave …

Van den Hurk clinches first win of 2018

After losing his first start of the season due to lack of run support, Dutch RHP Rick van den Hurk bounced back by pitching six quality innings for his first win of the season as the Softbank Hawks beat the Nippon Ham Fighters 8-5. In the game vs the Nippon Ham Fighters, Rick got plenty …

Van den Hurk loses first 2018 start due to lack of run support

In his first start of the 2018 NPB season, Rick van den Hurk pitched a good game. Nevertheless, he took the loss as he did not get enough run support from his teammates as the Softbank Hawks fell 2-1 against the Saitama Seibu Lions. In the first inning, the Dutch righthander already gave up a …

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.  …

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 …