One milestone after another, after becoming the first dual type player in NPB league history to hit homers in back to back days and games played in just the first week of the regular season, playing as both pitcher/non-pitcher this year, Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters ace starting pitcher, and soon to be Major Leaguer, Shohei Otani (大谷 翔平), 21 years of age, made another new milestone, and impression… just today, blasting a homerun to cap a 3 consecutive games played hitting a homer (his first in his career, and, still… the only dual type player to do so in NPB) in this early month of May, playing as designated hitter in all of those 3 games… dating back in May 4th, is where it all started. Witness all 3 of his homeruns, in 3 consecutive games played here below:
(2ND UPDATE): Otani just homered in his 5th consecutive game today, May 17th, facing off against Fukuoka Softbank Hawks starting pitcher Rick Vandenhurk in the 1st inning, Otani finished the game going 2 for 4 (homerun, double and a walk)… he is the first player in NPB league history to hit a homer in 5 straight games, since Tony Blanco did it back in year 2013… playing as both pitcher/non-pitcher in the season, he is still the only dual-type player in NPB league history to accomplish this feat. This is his 8th homerun of the season, now owns a batting line of .333/.778/.403.
(1ST UPDATE): Otani’s homerun in his 4th consecutive game here at the Tokyo Dome facing starter Daiki Tomei in the bottom of the 3rd inning giving Hokkaido a 3-0 lead over Orix, just today, May 11th… This is his 7th homerun this season, now his 3rd back to back homerun days hit (May 10 and May 11th) this year. 4th in his career. He now has a batting line of .322/.729/.388 this season.
(Shohei Otani’s 1st homerun back in May 4th, against the Fukouka Softbank Hawks, blasting a solo homer to right center field in the bottom of the 6th inning, inching the score 4-5 for Nippon-Ham… sadly, the game ended in a 6-6 tie in this one… Otani finished the game going 1 for 3 with a walk. This is his 4th homerun of the season.)
(Shohei Otani’s second homerun in his second game appearance back in May 5th, in their 3rd and final game of the series against Fukuoka at Sapporo Dome, with his team trailing 2-0, Otani blasted a solo shot to left center field making it a one-run game in the bottom of the 7th inning… but sadly, again… Hokkaido lost by that score in the 9th. Fukouka swept them at home. This is his 5th homerun of the season.)
(And now, in his 3rd consecutive homerun game just today, May 10th… facing against Orix here at the Tokyo Dome… Otani blasted his 3rd homerun of the month… against Orix Buffaloes starting pitcher Brandon Dickson in the bottom of the 2nd inning, giving Hokkaido a 1-0 lead, Hokkaido won the game 4-0 in this one… this is his 6th homerun of the season… Otani finished the game going 1 for 3 with a walk.)
The back to back days (May 4th and May 5th) consecutive homeruns hit he just did this month, was his second one this year, the first one is there in the first paragraph above, with the statement link (March 29 and March 30)… All in all, this is Otani’s 3rd in his NPB career, his very first back to back days homeruns hit happened 2 years ago, in the 2014 regular season… August 28 and August 29.
So far in the ongoing season, Shohei Otani is currently batting .309, now with 6 homeruns and 13 RBI’s in 55 at-bats (17 for 55, with 3 doubles). Also showing power and hitting ability to all fields. Of his 6 homeruns hit this season, 2 of em were hit to left-center field… 2 were hit to left field, and 2 is to right-center. As for his pitching stats, he is still 1-3 in the season, with 58 strikeouts and 19 walks in 50.2 innings pitched (owning a 3.02 ERA), but knowing his track record in the previous years, I have no doubt he’ll finish the season strong.
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters kantoku, Kuriyama Hideki (栗山 英樹), is currently using Shohei Otani as non-pitcher 3 times a week this season. Via (JP Nikkan sports.com), Otani said that he would like to play for Major League team that would like him as both pitcher/non-pitcher if he gets posted… he is even willing to accept even less money just for him to have a chance to play as a dual type player in MLB. 3 years left for him to be eligible for posting.