• Kyodo


Tokyo Yakult Swallows starter Yasuhiro “Ryan” Ogawa and Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles reliever Yuki Matsui were named August pitchers of the month in the Central and Pacific Leagues, respectively, on Thursday.

The two league’s awards for hitters both went to second basemen, with the Hiroshima Carp’s Ryosuke Kikuchi winning his second CL honor, while the Seibu Lions’ Hideto Asamura was recognized for the third time by the PL.

The awards, which are routinely presented to the starting pitcher with the most wins and the hitter with the highest batting average, went that way in the CL. Ogawa went 4-0 and had a shutout among his three complete games, while Kikuchi led the CL with a .358 batting average.

This month’s PL honors, however, varied a little. Perhaps with six starting pitchers posting records of 3-1 or better, Matsui stood out with his PL-leading nine saves and a 0.69 ERA.

In a rare case, Chiba Lotte Marines left fielder Katsuya Kakunaka batted .411 in August but finished out of the running. Asamura batted .384, but his average had a lot more weight with 14 doubles and a league-best 26 RBIs.


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