Unbelievable! It really happened. Hiroki Kuroda decided to finish out his career in Hiroshima. He is truly a man of honor. I'm sure he has just enough gas left in the tank to help push the Carp toward a championship. Maeda can only benefit by working on the same team as such an experienced and excellent MLB pitcher. I'm really looking forward to next season!
Friday, December 19, 2014
I have to admit that I'm glad that Maeda is staying. I think he might be able to get Hiroshima over the hump this year. I don't know what moves the Carp have made this off season but any fan always has to hope for the best. I'm still hoping that Kuroda might return. I haven't seen any signs of him being back in MLB. Anyway, I'm looking forward to Maeda's pitching and the awesome play of Kikuchi.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
The Hawks did it with awesome hitting and pretty good pitching. They played well after winning the Pacific League by only a half game. They handled the Hanshin Tigers in only 5 games. They look like a really well-constructed team. I was sorry to see the Tigers lose (since I prefer the Central League) but it was a good season all around for Nippon Baseball. Now I hope the Carp can get it together next year. I think their biggest requirement is simply that their top players remain healthy.
Friday, October 17, 2014
There are a lot of ways to look at this season for the Carp and it may be cruel to see it only in the negative. This was their first winning season in some time so that was an achievement. The hitting was certainly the best I have seen in years as a Carp fan. They hit a lot of home runs and they also had people over .300. On the negative side, the defense was often questionable (not including Kikuchi) and the pitching did not come up to a high level during the stretch run for the league championship. Maeda was by far the most disappointing pitcher. Other than a couple of good games at the end, he pitched a really lousy second half and it seemed like his mind was already in MLB (where he most likely will be a colossal failure). I believe Maeda owes it to the Carp to stay and pitch with his whole heart and mind for one season. Otherwise, he leaves Japan as a failure on his way to probably a bigger failure. He just doesn't have the stuff of Tanaka or Darvish and now it's clear that he also lacks mental toughness and heart.
Friday, October 10, 2014
How do they manage it? The Carp were in first place or second place for pretty much every day of the season and they managed to fall to third on the last day. And their supposedly "star" pitcher pitched pretty badly for the entire second half of the year and was particularly bad in every big game. It seems to me that Kenta Maeda doesn't have the stuff to play major league baseball. He can't even win the big games. He's just whistling in the wind. If he comes to the U.S., he will end up being an embarrassment to Japan. Anyway, maybe somehow they can win this series against Hanshin and make something happen. But if Maeda keeps pitching like a minor leaguer, I don't see much chance.
Sunday, August 31, 2014
The Carp have played beautiflly at times this season and with 28 games left they are only one game back of Yomiuri. Kikuchi has become an absolute superstar and Maru has also had a great season. Eldred has been a little up and down but 33 homers is still impressive and the Carp have led the league in home runs for virtually the entire season. I just hope they have enough gas to push past Yomiuri into that first place spot so they can get that extra game up on the way to the championship.