Takashi Imoto

From BR Bullpen

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Takashi Imoto (井本 隆)

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 5' 10", Weight 162 lb.

BR Japan page

Biographical Information[edit]

Takashi Imoto was a two-time All-Star in his Nippon Pro Baseball career.

Imoto was with Kanebo Kagaku in the industrial leagues after high school. The Kintetsu Buffaloes took him in the third round of the 1972 draft. He debuted for the club in 1973, with no decisions, a 7.33 ERA and a 2.31 WHIP in 19 games. He improved to 2-4, 3.86 with two saves in 35 games in 1974, walking two fewer batters in 49 more innings. He had a 4-1, 2.49 record in 1975.

By 1976, Imoto had become a regular starter for the Buffaloes, going 6-11 with 3 saves and a 3.65 ERA in 30 games (20 starts). He tied Shinichi Yamauchi and Masaaki Koga for third in the Pacific League in homers allowed (23) and tied for 10th in losses. He was 7-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 1977 and tied for 10th with 17 gopher balls served up. He flipped the record to 9-7 in 1978 though his ERA rose to 4.10. He tied for 10th in the PL with 176 hits allowed, tied Masumitsu Moriguchi for 10th with 20 homers allowed, was 8th with 83 runs allowed and gave up 76 earned runs (6th-most).

The Kochi native was 15-4 with a save and a 3.61 ERA in 1979. In the 1979 NPB All-Star Game 2, he allowed two hits in a scoreless 4th after relieving Hisashi Yamada; Hideo Furuya pinch-hit for him and the PL beat the Central League by a 3-1 score. In Game 3 that year, he replaced Tatsumi Murata in the 7th with a 5-3 deficit and tossed two shutout frames (walking one) while the PL rallied to tie it. Yutaka Yanagida replaced him and they lost it in the bottom of the 9th. For the regular season, he made the leaderboard in ERA (9th, between Koichiro Suzuki and Tokinari Nishina), wins (5th), shutouts (2, tied for 5th), innings pitched (192, 9th), hits allowed (194, 8th), homers allowed (29, 3rd, behind Yanagida and Tomotaka Sugiyama) and strikeouts (93, 10th). He threw a complete game win in game 1 of the 1979 Japan Series, beating Manabu Kitabeppu and the Hiroshima Carp, 5-2. He got the first Japan Series win in Kintetsu Buffaloes history. He dropped game 4, 5-3, to Hiroaki Fukushi. In game 6, he again went the distance to keep the Buffaloes alive and force game 7, beating Kojiro Ikegaya 6-2. Hiroshima beat Kintetsu in game 7, though. Imoto wound up 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA for the Series and won the Fighting Spirit Award as the top performer on the losing team in the Series.

Imoto won 15 more games in 1980, against 8 losses, with one save and a 4.38 ERA. He was 4th in the PL in wins, games pitched (35, tied for 10th), complete games (12, tied for 7th with Keishi Suzuki and Yanagida), innings (205 2/3, 6th), hits allowed (217, 3rd, after Osamu Higashio and Yamauchi), homers allowed (42, first, one more than Yanagida), walks (59, tied for 8th with Hisashi Yamada and Yanagida), whiffs (94, tied for 9th), runs (118, 1st, one more than Higashio) and earned runs (100, 1st, one more than Higashio). He tied Tamehiro Kaneda's PL record for homers allowed (as of 2014, they share the lead with Yamada). He started game 1 of the 1980 NPB All-Star Games and allowed four hits and two runs (one earned) in two innings before Shinsaku Kitahira batted for him. The PL lost, 7-6, and Imoto got a no-decision. He again got the call in game 1 of the Japan Series and had a no-decision as Kintetsu beat Hiroshima, 6-4; Yanagida relieved him. He lost game 3 in the 9th after relieving Yanagida. Starting game 4, he dropped a 2-0 decision to Kazuo Yamane as Hiroshima tied the Series. In game 7, Imoto started against Yamane and had a no-decision in a 8-3 loss as Hiroshima again beat the Buffaloes in 7. He had a 2.74 ERA for the Series and walked 11 in 23 IP; at the plate, he was 1 for 5 with a walk and a run, not bad for someone who played in a DH league.

At age 30, he fell to 5-9 despite a slightly better ERA (4.21) in 1981. He rebounded to 11-4, 3.37 in 1982 and just missed the top 10 in ERA. He tied for 7th in the PL in wins and tied for 9th with 11 complete games. He was then traded to the Yakult Swallows for Yasujiro Suzuki and Takahiro Yanagihara.

In his first season with Yakult, he was 6-14 with a 5.46 ERA. He was among the Central League leaders in 1983 in losses (tied for first with Shigeru Kobayashi, Hiromu Matsuoka and Tatsuo Komatsu), homers allowed (30, 4th), runs (90, tied for 9th with Matsuoka) and earned runs (86, tied for 8th with Takao Obana). He tied a NPB record by allowing four homers in an inning. In 1984, he was 1-4 with a save and a 4.93 ERA in 27 games (14 starts) to end his career.

Overall, Imoto was 81-75 with 8 saves and a 4.08 ERA in 320 games (205 starts). He threw 10 shutouts. In 1,490 2/3 IP, he allowed 1,573 hits (232 homers) and 432 walks while fanning 625. Through 2011, he was tied for 52nd in NPB history in homers allowed (even with Yukitsura Matsumoto, Hirohisa Matsunuma and Hisao Niura) but did not make the top 100 in any other department except balks (5, tied for 74th).

He died of pancreatic cancer.

Sources[edit]