The Yomiuri Shimbun For the third time in his five-year pro career, Yomiuri Giants right-hander Tomoyuki Sugano led the Central League in earned run average. He also topped the league in wins for the first time, for good measure.
With the completion of games in both leagues on Tuesday night, the leaders were officially decided as the playoff teams prepare for the start of the postseason on Saturday.
Sugano posted an ERA of 1.59 and 17 wins for the Giants, who also had the league leader in strikeouts, Miles Mikolas, who fanned 187.
“Looking at [the fifth year] as an important point in my career, I am glad to have something good to show for it,” Sugano said.
Right-hander Kazuki Yabuta of the CL champion Hiroshima Carp had the best winning percentage (.833) after compiling a 15-3 record.
At the plate, the Yokohama DeNA BayStars’ Toshiro Miyazaki won his first batting title with a .323 average, while teammate Jose Lopez topped the CL in RBIs for the first time with 105. Lopez also tied with Hiroshima’s Yoshihiro Maru for most hits with 171.
The Chunichi Dragons’ Alex Guerrero capped his first season in Japan by hitting a CL-best 35 home runs.
In the Pacific League, Seibu Lions left-hander Yusei Kikuchi matched Sugano by winning the ERA and wins titles, both for the first time in his career. He compiled a 1.97 ERA, and his 16 wins tied him for the league lead with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks’ Nao Higashihama.
Hawks closer Dennis Sarfate led the PL in saves for the third straight year by notching 54, a Japan pro record.
The Tohoku Rakuten Eagles’ Taka- hiro Norimoto chalked up 222 strikeouts, making him the first pitcher to lead the PL for four straight years since the Kintetsu Buffaloes’ Hideo Nomo did it from 1990 to 1993.
Seibu’s Shogo Akiyama won his first batting crown with a .322 average, and banged out 185 hits to regain the title in that category that he won two years ago.