2009 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks season

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The 2009 Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks season featured the Hawks quest to win their first Pacific League title since 2003. For the first time since 1994, the Hawks had a new manager in Koji Akiyama, who replaced the legendary Sadaharu Oh.

SoftBank absorbed more injuries from Opening Day starter Tsuyoshi Wada, but saw the continued dominance of Toshiya Sugiuchi, and the emergence of foreign pitchers D.J. Houlton and Justin Germano, who stabilized the starting rotation. More foreign help came in the person of 201 cm-tall reliever Brian Falkenborg. Together with Rookie of the Year Tadashi Settsu and closer Takahiro Mahara, the Hawks had one of the most reliable bullpens in the league.

The Hawks had one of the older offenses in the league, still anchored by Nobuhiko Matsunaka and Hiroki Kokubo. Yuya Hasegawa had a breakout season (.312, 7HR, 44RBI) after suffering injuries in the previous two seasons. Hitoshi Tamura came back in mid-May and hit .283 with 17 home runs, which helped to make up for a disappointing season from Munenori Kawasaki, who batted a career-low .259 despite career highs in games played (143) and stolen bases (44).

For the second year in a row, the Hawks won the Interleague tournament. However, the team could not sustain their success as they stumbled in September, finishing 3rd and exiting in the first round of the play offs, at the hands of the rival Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles.

Regular season[edit]


Pacific League
G W L T Win% GB
Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters 144 82 60 2 .577
Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles 144 77 66 1 .538
Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks 144 74 65 5 .532
Saitama Seibu Lions 144 70 70 4 .500 11
Chiba Lotte Marines 144 62 77 5 .446 18½
Orix Buffaloes 144 56 86 2 .394 26

Game log[edit]

2009 Game Log

Player stats[edit]


Player G AB H Avg. HR RBI SB