Sunday, July 29, 2018

Card Of The Week July 29

The big news out of NPB this past week was that Shun Yamaguchi of the Giants threw a no-hitter against the Dragons on Friday.  Yamaguchi was almost perfect - he only gave up one walk during the game.  This was the first no-hitter in NPB in over four years (Takayuki Kishi of the Lions against the Marines in May of 2014) and the first in the Central league in over five years (Daisuke Yamai of the Dragons against the Baystars in June of 2013 - coincidentally Yamai was the opposing starting pitcher in Friday's game).  Well, technically Yamaguchi was part of a combined no-hitter last season but NPB doesn't count combined no-hitters as no-hitters.

Yamaguchi is in his second season with Yomiuri after 11 seasons in Yokohama.  He's 8-6 in 17 starts this season - that's the most starts by any Giants pitcher and the second highest win total.  Despite this he's not in any of the "flagship" sets by BBM, Calbee or Epoch so far this year.  The only card I've seen for him this year is in BBM's Giants team set although it wouldn't surprise me to see him in BBM's 2nd Version set when it is released in the next few weeks.  I don't know for sure but I wonder if he's missing this year due to his drunken episode last season where he shoved a hospital security guard into a desk - he ended up getting suspended for the remainder of the season.  Perhaps he's been "shunned" by the card companies as a result (sorry, couldn't resist).

Here's a card for him from the "Play For Giants" subset from last year's BBM Giants set (#G72):


SumoMenkoMan said...

Interesting. Why do you think there are fewer no hitters in Japan? Style of pitching or style of batting?

NPB Card Guy said...

Probably the style of batting - a lot more slap hitters and swing to contact guys in the lineups than in the States. It's why there aren't as many defensive shifts in NPB as there are in MLB - too many guys could hit against the shifts.