Well, that's it. Done like dinner as hockey legend Tiger Williams used to say.
The Lions went down without much of a roar last night, losing game three of the PLCS to the Hawks. Kudos to Fukuoka pitching for shutting down Saitamen hitters in games one and three - aside from a couple of solo homers.
Nakajima had perhaps his worst game as a Lion, going 0-3 and hitting into a brutal double play before Okawari's home run. Not a good way for Nakaji to say goodbye to NPB but perhaps his mind was elsewhere.
Have to question Nabe-Q's removal of Ishii too in the 4th inning. Kaz had actually looked pretty good through the first three innings, and his breaking pitches were particularly sharp. Also WM Pena had been whiffing at breaking pitches all weekend long - so why bring in a fastball pitcher like Togame to face him? And a raw rookie with no playoff experience?
Anyway, it wasn't the manager's fault they loss or the pitcher for that matter. It was the hitters, who couldn't mount much of a challenge.
It will be interesting now to watch the off-season bidding for Nakaji. My prediction? The Arizona Diamondbacks.
On a personal note, I hope the Lions bring back Carter, Herman and Ortiz. They were entertaining to watch. I also look forward to seeing Kuriyama and Kataoka back and healthy next season and Wakui back in the starting rotation where he belongs.
Thanks to anyone who read the Lions Roar blog this year. Hope to pick it up again next season.