Tatsuo Komatsu

From BR Bullpen

Tatsuo Komatsu (小松 辰雄)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 180 lb.

BR Japan page

Biographical Information[edit]

Tatsuo Komatsu was a four-time All-Star who won the Sawamura Award once.

Komatsu was a second-round pick of the Chunichi Dragons in 1977. He allowed five runs and five walks in four innings in 1978. His fastball was timed at 95 mph when he was a 19-year-old. In 1979, he became Chunichi's closer, going 5-9 with 16 saves and a 2.68 ERA in 54 games. He tied Yutaka Ikeuchi for third in the Central League in pitching appearances and was second to Yutaka Enatsu in saves. He fell to 1-5 with 6 saves and a 3.66 ERA in 1980.

Used as both a starter and reliever in 1981, he made the CL All-Star team. He finished the year 12-6 with 11 saves and a 3.07 ERA. He was among the CL leaders in wins (tied for 5th with 5 others), saves (tied for second with Yutaka Ono, 9 behind Mitsuo Sumi), hit batsmen (11, 2nd, 3 behind Shigeru Kobayashi), strikeouts (122, tied for 7th with Shoji Sadaoka) and ERA (5th, between Kobayashi and Kazuo Yamane). He was 4-4 with 9 saves and a 2.60 ERA in 1982, tying Sumi for fifth in the league in saves. He got the last outs when Chunichi clinched the CL pennant that year, but did not appear in their losing effort in the 1982 Japan Series and would never play in a Japan Series.

The Ishikawa native was 7-14 with 5 saves and a 3.20 ERA in 1983. He tied Takashi Imoto, Kobayashi and Hiromu Matsuoka for the league lead in losses but also was 5th in ERA (between Tsunemi Tsuda and Kenichi Kajima), tied for 7th in complete games (9), tied for 8th in saves (with Yujiro Miyako), tied for 10th in innings (191 1/3, even with Matsuoka) and 5th in strikeouts (137, between Kajima and Suguru Egawa). He had a 11-6, 3.05 record and two saves in 1984, placing among the CL top 10 in complete games (11, tied for 5th with Genji Kaku), shutouts (3, tied for second), innings (186, tied for 7th with Egawa), homers (27, tied for third with Kaku and Takao Obana), walks (59, tied for 8th with Kazuhisa Kawaguchi), hit batsmen (6, tied for third with Kobayashi and Shinichi Yamauchi) and strikeouts (168, behind Kazuhiko Endo and Kaku).

Komatsu was the top pitcher in Japan in 1985. He was 17-8 with a save and a 2.65 ERA for the Dragons. He finished among the league leaders in wins (1st by one over Manabu Kitabeppu), ERA (1st, .07 over Jun Kawabata), strikeouts (172, 1st by 15 over Kaku), complete games (14, behind Endo and Kaku), losses (tied for 9th) and innings (210 1/3, 3rd behind Kaku and Endo). He was the third Dragon to win a pitching Triple Crown after Shigeru Sugishita (1954) and Hiroshi Gondo (1961) He made his second All-Star team, was picked to the Best Nine and won the Sawamura Award as the top hurler in Japan.

The right-hander fell to 7-9, 3.50 in 1986. He was 17-6 with a 2.74 ERA, .228 opponent average and 1.04 WHIP in 1987, winning another All-Star nod. He gave new manager Senichi Hoshino his first win with a three-hit shutout in the third game of the year; he was wearing Hoshino's old #20 when he did it. He became the 73rd pitcher in Nippon Pro Baseball history to 1,000 strikeouts (getting Daisuke Araki for #1,000). He was 3rd in the CL in ERA (behind Masumi Kuwata and Kawabata), first in wins (two ahead of Kuwata), first in shutouts (6, two ahead of Hisao Niura), third in complete games (10, behind Endo and Kuwata), fourth in whiffs (147, between Koji Nakada and Obana), tied for 3rd in hit batters (6) and 3rd in innings (200 1/3, behind Kuwata and Obana). Kuwata won the Best Nine and Sawamura Award that year.

Tatsuo went 12-7 with a 3.26 ERA In 1988. He tied Matt Keough for 6th in the CL in wins, tied Nakada for 4th in homers served up (20), was 10th in walks (49), ranked 8th in strikeouts (114, between Hiroaki Nakayama and Kitabeppu) and was tied for fifth in shutouts (2). He bombed at 0-4, 7.66 with a .337 opponent average in 1989. He rebounded somewhat to 6-5, 4.11 in 1990 and became the 101st NPB hurler to 100 wins.

He was 5-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 1991. He allowed 18 homers, tying Isao Koda for 9th in the CL. He had a 9-9, 4.80 record and .306 opponent average in 1992 yet made his 4th and final All-Star team. His 19 gopher balls were fifth in the loop (between Yoichi Okabayashi and Kawaguchi). He was 7-4 with a 3.62 ERA in 1993 and 1-2 with a 6.26 ERA in 1994.

Komatsu retired with a 122-102, 3.44 record in 432 NPB games (246 starts). He had 50 saves and allowed a .253 opponent average. In 1,940 2/3 IP, he fanned 1,446 and walked 573. Through 2011, he was 78th in NPB history in wins, tied for 76th in extra-inning games pitched (9), tied for 22nd in ties (22, even with Akira Kuramochi), tied for 55th in saves (with Masao Kida and Shinji Mori), 39th in save points (73, between Hirotoshi Ishii and Masafumi Hirai), tied for 99th in losses, 89th in batters faced (8,129, between Kaku and Chikara Morinaka), 93rd in innings (between Norihiro Mizutani and Tadayoshi Kajioka), 86th in hits allowed (1,838, between Morinaka and Atsushi Aramaki), tied for 49th in dingers allowed (238, even with Kojiro Ikegaya), 99th in walks (between Rentaro Imanishi and Takashi Nishimoto), tied for 71st in hit batsmen (64), 53rd in strikeouts (between Tadao Wako and Shigeo Ishii), 58th in K rate (between Hideo Koike and Yoshihisa Shiratake), 95th in runs allowed (815, between Hirohisa Matsunuma and Tomoo Wako), tied for 84th in earned runs (741, even with Tomehiro Kaneda) and 97th in winning percentage (between Hisanori Takahashi and Matsunuma). He was a good hitter for a pitcher, batting .

He later was a pitching coach for Chunichi from 1995-1997 and a baseball commentator. His daughter was a professional golfer.