Hirohisa Matsunuma

From BR Bullpen

Hirohisa Matsunuma (松沼 博久) (Aniyan)

  • Bats Left, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 9", Weight 150 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Hirohisa Matsunuma won over 100 games in Nippon Pro Baseball. He made five All-Star teams, one more than his brother Masayuki Matsunuma. He started the Japan Series opener three times.

Hirohisa had a 22-13, 2.40 record overall in college. After college, he pitched for Tokyo Gas in the industrial leagues. The Seibu Lions signed him as an undrafted free agent in 1978. He was 16-10 with a 4.03 ERA as a rookie in 1979, his first win ending a 12-game Lion losing streak. The rest of the staff that year was 29-63 on a last-place team. The submariner led the Pacific League in walks (80) but was second in strikeouts (134, well back of Choji Murata's 230) and 4th in wins (after Hisashi Yamada, Naoki Takahashi and Murata). He made the PL All-Star team and won Rookie of the Year honors.

In 1980, the Chiba native fell to 9-14 though his ERA dropped to 3.95. He was third in the league with 139 strikeouts, behind Isamu Kida and Yutaka Yanagida, while taking for second in losses (two less than Shinichi Yamauchi). He made his second All-Star team. In 1981, #15 was 5-13 with a 4.41 ERA. He tied for second in losses, two behind Yutaro Imai (who also won 14 more, though). He rebounded to go 10-9 with a 2.84 ERA and .92 WHIP in 1982. He finished 4th in the PL in ERA (between his brother and Norihiro Mizutani) and led the league with 152 strikeouts. With Seibu improving, the team made it to the 1982 Japan Series. In that event, he started game one against the Chunichi Dragons but got a no-decision (Osamu Higashio got the win). He also got a no-decision in game 4, allowing five runs (four earned) in just six innings for the Series. Seibu still went on to win its first title as Higashio and Seiji Kobayashi carried the pitching load.

An All-Star for the third time in 1983, the hurler was 12-6 with a 3.82 ERA. He finished 9th in the PL in both wins and ERA (between Keishi Suzuki and Kazuhiro Yamauchi). He was 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in the 1983 Japan Series, beating Suguru Egawa in the opener and getting a no-decision in game 4 (his brother won in relief). Seibu beat the Yomiuri Giants in seven games that year. In 1984, the 31-year-old turned in a 12-7, 4.15 campaign. He was 10th in the league in wins and 9th in strikeouts.

During the 1985 season, the right-hander was 14-6 with a 4.16 ERA and made his fourth All-Star squad. He finished 8th in ERA (between Katsuo So and Hirofumi Kono) and 6th in wins. In the 1985 Japan Series, he was 0-1 despite a 1.93 ERA as Seibu fell to the Hanshin Tigers. He lost a game one duel, 3-0, to Chikafusa Ikeda, and got a no-decision in game 4. Hirohisa fell to 5-6, 5.34 in 1986. He was excellent in the 1986 Japan Series (1-0, 1.54); bypassed as the game one starter in favor of Higashio, he relieved in that contest and got a no-decision in a game 4 start. In game 7, down 3 games to 2 with a tie, he came up in the clutch and beat Hiroshi Nagatomi and the Hiroshima Carp, 3-1. Seibu went on to win the Series, the MVP going to rotation mate Kimiyasu Kudoh.

In 1987, the veteran was 8-5 with a 3.82 ERA. In his only appearance of the 1987 Japan Series, he started and lost game 4, a 4-0 shutout by Hiromi Makihara of Yomiuri. Seibu won four of its five other games, though, to take the Series. A year later, he went 6-6 with a 4.28 ERA. In his only game of the 1988 Japan Series, he relieved Yuji Kurohara with a 6-6 tie in game 5 (with Seibu leading Chunichi 3 games to 1). He blanked the Dragons for two innings (2 K, 1 BB) and got the win when Seibu scored in the 11th. He had been a part of Seibu's first five Japan Series title-winning efforts.

In 1989, Hirohisa had a 11-5, 3.70 record and made his last All-Star team. He tied for 8th in the league in wins. He fell to 4-7, 5.49 in 1990, his final season as a player. Overall, he had gone 112-94 with a 4.03 ERA in 297 NPB games (266 starts), striking out 975 and walking 556 in 1,662 IP while allowing a .242 average.

After his playing career ended, he was a baseball commentator for Fuji TV, Asahi TV and J-Sports. He coached for the Chiba Lotte Marines and Lions (where he reportedly did not get along with ace Daisuke Matsuzaka.

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