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Ten Under - June 6, 2013

Baseball news from Japan and Asia

Welcome to the Bayside West: Yokohama Blog

Featuring Michael Westbay (a.k.a. westbaystars)

Michael Westbay has been blogging about Pro Yakyu since before the word "blog" entered the vernacular. Here he writes about Pro Yakyu in general, and the Yokohama BayStars in particular.

Ten Under - June 6, 2013

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Yokohama dropped their third game in a row, falling to 10 games under .500 for the first time this season, yet somehow remaining out of the cellar.

Kai-wen Cheng made the start for the BayStars, and threw five solid innings. While he loaded the bases in the 1st inning with back to back 2-out walks, he managed to escape that inning unscathed. It was a pair of hits in the 2nd inning and a solo home run to SoftBank's Katsuki Tamazaki (his first since 2010) that put Cheng down 2-1. But, boy oh boy, did the BayStars' offense let him down.

After allowing the first run in the 2nd inning, Tony Blanco led off the bottom half by literally hitting the ball out of the park. He got all of an inside pitch from Nagisa Arakaki and gave that ball a ride. Back to back singles and a stolen base one out later put runners at second and third with one out. But Shuto Takajyoh's fly ball to right wasn't deep enough to score the runner from third, then the pitcher Cheng flew out to right, the right fielder hardly needing to move.

In the 5th inning, now down 1-2, the leadoff man got on, then Toshiro Miyazaki pinch hit for Cheng, getting hit on the elbow pad on the first pitch. Nyjer Morgan then laid down a perfect bunt to the third base side, Arakaki unable to even try to throw to first by the time he got to the ball. Bases are loaded with nobody out!

However, Kensuke Uchimura goes down swinging, Tatsuhiko Kinjoh grounds into a force play at the plate to the first baseman, and Blanco lines out to center to end the inning scoreless. We can get runners into scoring position, but can't seem to get them around.

What does seem to work is hitting home runs. And Norihiro Nakamura, for the 5th time this season, hit a home run (solo shot) on the same night as Blanco. That tied the game up in the 6th inning at 2-2.

Then things started getting bad.

Three pitchers combined to allow 3 runs on as many hits (and a walk) in the top of the 7th inning. Shun Yamaguchi gave up a solo home run to Yuya Hasegawa in his second inning of work with two down in the 9th.

There was some effort in the bottom of the 9th to stage a comeback. Blanco singled in a run with runners at first and second and two down, but Nori struck out swinging to end it all soon after.

The final score: Yokohama 3 - 6 SoftBank.

We've got Friday off, then host Orix over the weekend. Considering we're 9 and 18 at home compared to 14 and 15 on the road, I look forward to our next road trip.
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