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Don't Blame Blanco - June 8, 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.

Don't Blame Blanco - June 8, 2013

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Tony Blanco can't be expected to do it all. Blanco leads the league in home runs (23), OPS (1.162), RBIs (37), and is second in batting average (.348). He's done more for the BayStars' offense this year than anybody. But I would be lying if I were to say that his strikeout on a fork ball, down by a run in the 7th inning, with the bases loaded, didn't feel like a let down. He had already gone 2 for 3, intentionally passed once, scored twice, and hit his 23rd home run of the season. It was a day at the plate to be proud of. Yet that final at bat, the last chance we had, is the final impression we're left with.

Blanco did all he could to help the team. The loss is not his fault.

When your team scores 8 runs and still loses, in fact, it's not the fault of the offense. There is a serious problem with pitching.

I know. I ran the numbers a couple of weeks ago and found that the starting pitching was a much bigger issue than relief. Let's do a quick review of the past couple of weeks' runs allowed:

June 1: Starter - 1; Reilef - 2 (Win)
June 2: Starter - 3; Relief - 0 (Win)
June 3: Starter - 5; Relief - 2 (Loss)
June 5: Starter - 2; Relief - 0 (Loss)
June 6: Starter - 2; Relief - 4 (Loss)
June 8: Starter - 4; Relief - 5 (Loss)

Okay, so you don't need to do the math to see that the starters are still the biggest issue. But these past two games really were lost by the relievers, not the starters. The two losses before were lost by the offense. I guess it does change day to day as to what part of the machine isn't running right. But still, it's frustrating to see so many bases loaded situations that end scoreless, or so many narrow games turned around with just a single bad pitch to the opposition.

But let's look at the positives of this game.

Captain Takehiro Ishikawa returned from a stint on the farm to go 3 for 4 with a walk and sacrifice while scoring twice. Nice return.

Nyjer Morgan went 2 for 3, laying down a couple of beautiful bunts to sacrifice runners along while giving it his all to turn that into a base hit. He even got his first timely base hit, driving in a run in the 4th inning. (He has had an RBI or two via ground outs before.)

Blanco, as mentioned before, went 2 for 4, hit home run number 23 (leading Yakult's Wladimir Balentien (17) by 6), and scored twice.

Norihiro Nakamura went 2 for 5 while driving in 2 runs.

Takayuki Kajitani went 3 for 4, knocking in a run and scoring twice.

Shun Yamaguchi threw 2 innings without giving up a run. He had given up at least a run in each of his previous 4 appearances.

No comment on the other pitchers as the final toll was Yokohama 8 - 9 Orix.
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