Makoto Inagawa

From BR Bullpen

Makoto Inagawa (稲川 誠)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 7", Weight 143 lb.

BR register page

Biographical Information[edit]

Makoto Inagawa only pitched seven seasons in Nippon Pro Baseball but made three All-Star teams.

He was born in Manchuria and lived in Beijing before Chinese troops forced out the Japanese occupiers. [1] Moving to his family's native Japan, he joined a Hawaiian band. [2] He suffered a spinal injury in college, hurting his pro opportunities, and signed with a team in the industrial leagues. [3] The Taiyo Whales signed him and he made a big impact as a rookie in 1962 at 12-7, 1.98. He was fifth in the Central League in ERA, between Noboru Akiyama and Motoshi Fujita. [4]

Making the CL All-Star team, he started 1963 NPB All-Star Game 2 but got roughed up for four hits, two walks and four runs in two innings (including a grand slam by Kihachi Enomoto) but the CL was roughing up the Pacific League hurlers even more and Hiroshi Gondo took over with a 10-4 lead; Inagawa got the win. [5] For the 1963 season, he was 26-17 with a 2.42 ERA in 54 games (38 starts, 19 complete games, 6 shutouts) for Taiyo. He worked 338 1/3 innings. He was among the leaders in ERA (4th, between Masaichi Kaneda and Hidetoshi Ikeda), wins (2nd, 4 behind Kaneda), losses (tied for 2nd, 5 behind Kiyoshi Oishi), games pitched (6th, between Yasuhiko Kawamura and Kaneda), starts (38, tied for 2nd with Ikeda, 7 behind Seiji Shibutani), complete games (3rd, behind Ikeda and Kaneda), shutouts (4th), innings pitched (1st, 1 1/3 ahead of Kaneda), hits allowed (272, 1st, 26 more than Ikeda), runs allowed (107, 3rd, after Oichi and Masaaki Koyama), earned runs (91, 5th, between Koyama and Shibutani), walks (133, 2nd, 4 behind Shibutani), strikeouts (188, 2nd, 99 behind Kaneda) and hit batsmen (17, 1st, 6 more than Shibutani). Despite his large workload, he did not make the top ten in homers allowed. [6]

Inagawa closed out a 1-0 CL shutout win in 1964 NPB All-Star Game 1, relieving Kaneda and retiring Akitoshi Kodama and Hiromi Wada, walking Kenji Koike then getting Teruyuki Takakura to end it. [7] In Game 3, he entered after Shigeyuki Takahashi let the first two batters reach. He allowed four hits, a walk and three runs in two innings as the CL took the defeat (Oishi succeeded him). [8] He was again a workhorse for the Whales - 55 games, 40 starts, 14 complete games, 5 shutouts, 302 2/3 IP. He had a 21-13, 2.91 record. He was 9th in ERA (between Midori Ishikawa and Oishi), tied Akiyama for 4th in wins, tied Susumu Sato and Shibutani for 7th in losses, was 4tb in games pitched (between Kenichi Ryu and Eiji Bando), led in starts (two ahead of Gene Bacque), was 7th in complete games (between Oishi and Takahashi), tied Kunio Jonouchi and Minoru Murayama for the most shutouts, trailed only Bacque and Kaneda in innings, allowed the second-most hits (261, 19 behind Bacque), gave up the most runs (107, four more than Sato), surrendered the most earned runs (98, two more than Kaneda), was second in homers allowed (28, 8 fewer than Kaneda), walked the most (112, 18 more than Bacque) and was third with 162 K (behind Kaneda and Bacque). [9]

The right-hander made his final All-Star team for the 1965 NPB All-Star Games. In Game 2, he relieved Bacque in the 4th with a scoreless tie. He walked Takakura and Daryl Spencer then was relieved by Minoru Kakimoto, who let both runners score. He avoided the loss when the PL tied it briefly. [10] He fell to 11-14, 2.91 in 1965, his workload lower but still heavy (55 GP, 31 G, 6 CG, 232 1/3 IP). In a pitcher-friendly year, his ERA did not make the top ten. He tied Bacque, Pete Burnside and Michio Ukari for 6th in losses, tied Bando and Kentaro Ogawa for 6th in games pitched, tied Ikeda for 4th in starts, was 7th in IP (between Sato and Ryu), allowed the 7th-most hits (201, between Jonouchi and Ryu), was 2nd with 91 runs allowed (19 behind Shibutani), was 2nd with 75 earned runs (26 behind Shibutani), tied Murayama and Sato for 6th with 16 homers allowed, walked the 2nd-most (89, 9 fewer than Shibutani) and tied Hisanobu Mizutani and Ogawa for 7th with 126 strikeouts. [11]

Falling to 10-11, 3.12 in 1966, he did not make the win or loss leaders but was among the leaderboards in games pitched (43, 8th), starts (34, 2nd, one behind Jonouchi), runs allowed (80, 6th, between Ikeda and Sohachi Aniya), earned runs allowed (64, tied for 9th with Ryu), homers allowed (20, tied Ikeda for the most) and strikeouts (110, 9th, between Bacque and Tatsumi Yamanaka). He injured his shoulder that year. [12] He was 3-7 with a 3.92 ERA in 29 games (8 starts) in 1967, losing his spot in the Taiyo rotation, and was 0-1 with a 6.14 ERA in 13 games (one start) in 1968 though he had a strong turn in the minors. [13] He ended his career at 83-70, 2.78 in 304 games. He completed 50 of 169 starts, 18 of them for shutouts. Through 2011, he was among Japan's career leaders in ERA (83rd, between Toshihida Hatafuku and Yoshio Tengo) and shutouts (tied for 79th). [14]

He later coached for the Whales, who became the Yokohama BayStars, first in the minors then for the top team in 1978-1979. After five more years as a minor league coach, he became a scout for them in 1985-1986 then became pitching coach from 1987-1989 before returning to scout for 14 more years. He scouted Daisuke Matsuzaka for the BayStars, but they lost his lottery rights to the Seibu Lions. [15]