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April 6th Enokida v Nakazawa - Salvaging a victory

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Featuring Christopher Amano-Langtree (a.k.a. Christopher)

This blog will attempt to report on as many Hanshin Tigers games as possible. Games will be, if possible, reported the day after and on rare occasions the same day.

April 6th Enokida v Nakazawa - Salvaging a victory

3 replies. Most recent reply: Apr 7, 2014 4:49 PM by Guest

Tigers batting is really interesting right now with Gomez already having 11 RBIs and Murton 20. However, the pitching and catching stink big time. As long as Tigers batters can pile on the runs at a sufficient rate they are in with a chance but if the pitchers are not up to the mark Tigers are in trouble. Neither main catcher can be classed as adequate and Tigers are hoping that Umeno comes along rapidly. Personally, I think that it is too soon to panic - it's only the third series of the season and things might settle down but Tigers do need to dump Fujii quickly. He is well past his sell by date and it shows in all aspects of his game apart from home plate defense. Swallows too have problems and like Tigers need to take a serious look at their pitching and catching. Scores

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tigers 0 2 0 0 0 0 3 6 4 15 20 1
Swallows 0 3 3 0 0 0 2 0 0 8 11 0

Starting Lineups

1. Uemoto (Second)
2. Yamato (Centre)
3. Toritani (Short)
4. Gomez (First)
5. Murton (Left)
6. Ryota Arai (Third)
7. Shunsuke (Right)
8. Shimizu (Catcher)
9. Enokida (Pitcher)

1. Yamada (Second)
2. Kawabata (Third)
3. Milledge (Left)
4. Balentien (Right)
5. Yuhei (Centre)
6. Hatakeyama (First)
7. Aikawa (Catcher)
8. Nishiura (Short)
9. Nakazawa (Pitcher)

Nakazawa started badly and didn't improve at all and it was only Tigers ill luck that prevented a first innings score. With one out Yamato walked. He was forced out when Toritani grounded out to short but the Tigers short avoided the double play. Then Nakazawa walked Gomez and Murton to load the bases. Ryota was a bit too enthusiastic and hit his first pitch to second for the final out of the innings. Enokida by the standards of the game had a blinder of a start. Kawabata singled to Toritani and made first safely but after striking out Milledge; Enokida walked Balentien - runners on first and second. However, Yuhei popped up to third and flew out to end the innings. Tigers second started with Shunsuke singling. Then Shimizu worked a walk. Both runners were bunted to second and third by Enokida - his last useful contribution to the game. Uemoto singled left to bring home both runners 2-0 Tigers, runner on first. Yamato grounded out to third but Uemoto still moved round to second and then Toritani singled to Nishiura who couldn't get the throw away in time - runners on first and third. This was the end of Nakazawa who was replaced by Oshimoto Swallows management judging rightly that Nakazawa was on the verge of a meltdown. Oshimoto got Gomez to swing too soon and pop up to Aikawa to end the innings. Enokida started the Swallows second very badly and wouldn't finish the innings. Hatakeyama hit over Murton to start the Swallows second but could only lumber to first. Aikawa presented no problem but then Enokida walked first Nishiura and then Oshimoto to load the bases. Yes it was cold and unpleasant out there but even so walking the pitcher even though he is trying to bunt to load the bases is a bit much. Yamada hit to Toritani who dived but couldn't hold and by the time the ball was recovered two runs had scored 2-2 scores tied, runners on first and third. Kawabata hit deep to centre for the sacrifice fly 3-2 Swallows, runner on first. This was the end of Enokida and Watanabe took over. His start was not good at all. Yamada stole second and was able to reach third on a wild pitch. Tigers were making trouble for themselves. Milledge walked and Wada must have begun to regret bringing Watanabe on but Balentien popped up to second to end the innings. Tigers had escaped for now. Tigers third saw Murton lead off with a single. However, Oshimoto apart from the first hit kept a tight rein on the innings and the next three batters did nothing. It would be nice to say that Watanabe did the same but he did no such thing. He got the first two outs and looked to have the third in the bag but Murton dropped the catch allowing the batter, Aikawa to reach first. Still this shouldn't have been an issue. It was and Watanabe walked Nishiura to set up runners on first and second. Next was Iwamura (pinch hitter) who hit deep to right just clearing the fence for a three run home run 6-2 Swallows. Finally Yamada flew out to third but Swallows looked to be in control.

This impression continued in Tigers fourth. Muranaka took over the pitching and kept the batters off base. Incidentally Umeno was used as a pinch hitter for Watanabe this innings. He replaced Shimizu behind the plate. Tsutsui pitched Swallows fourth and initially there seemed to be no change. Kawabata led off with a double and then Milledge walked - runners on first and second with no outs. However, Tsutsui and Umeno managed to impose some discipline on the innings. Balentien struck out swinging and then Yuhei was wrapped up neatly popping out to Ryota in foul ground. Finally, Hatakeyama flew out to left Murton holding this one. It had been a better display. Tigers were still struggling to get runners on though and their fifth was quiet with no one making base. With one out in Swallows fifth Tsutsui walked Nishiura. Iihara (pinch hitter) was next and he doubled to right to put runners on second and third. Tsutsui held his nerve though and a bit of luck with Yamada hitting a liner straight to Gomez prevented the run. Finally, Kawabata lined out to left ending the innings. Yagi took over for Tigers sixth and got the first two outs. Then Tagami (pinch hitter) doubled left along the line. Umeno couldn't do anything though and flew out to centre. Kaneda pitched Swallows sixth and got one well with Umeno. So well in fact that Tigers recorded their first innings without a Swallows base runner.

Tigers seventh and finally a bit of light for the visitors. Yagi deteriorated and Uemoto led off with a double. Yamato singled to centre but this only put runners on first and third. Toritani struck out looking but then Gomez hit left - his favourite side deep enough for Yamato to go all the way round to home 6-4 Swallows, runner on second. This brought a pitching change with Ishiyama taking over. He didn't bring much improvement and immediately gave up a single to Murton - runners on first and third. Then Ryota singled to centre to bring in Gomez 6-5 Swallows, runners on first and second. Arai (pinch hitter) was next but he hit into a double play and ended the innings. Tigers were closer. Unfortunately it was the Swallows lucky seventh next and they set out to prove it was lucky. Katoh took over the pitching and got the first two outs. Then he, as he often does, got a bit too over-enthusiastic and lost the plot. Nishiura singled right and then Ueda (replacement centre) did the the same - runners on first and third. Ueda stole second and next Hatakeyama doubled left putting the ball over Murton and bringing in both runners 8-5 Swallows, runner on second. The margin was formidable again. Kawabata hit to first which put runners on first and third before Milledge flew out to right ending the innings. Swallows though had run out of competent pitchers and when Ishiyama returned to pitch Tigers eighth he was blown away. Tagami (replacement right) led off with a single to left. Umeno hit to centre and then Uemoto walked to load the bases with no outs. Next was Yamato who hit neatly to left bisecting the fielders and bringing in two runs 8-7 Swallows, runners on first and second. Toritani grounded out to first forcing out Yamato but making first safely himself. Uemoto took third. For Swallows Yamamoto took over the pitching and immediately gave up a single to Gomez. It was fielded by Nishiura but he could not prevent the run 8-8 scores tied, runners on first and second. Murton followed and stroked the ball sweetly into the left stand for a three run home run 11-8 Tigers. Ryota flew out but then Saka (pinch hitter) singled Tagami walked but Umeno popped up to second to end the innings. Tigers though had taken the lead. For Swallows eighth Fukuhara took the mound and he pitched to Fujii, Wada presumably thinking that Umeno wasn't ready for him. This could have been a stupid disaster but fortunately wasn't and the batters went down in order. Tigers could scent victory. Kyuko pitched Tigers ninth and only caused more trouble for the home team. Uemoto led off with a single and then was idiot bunted to second by Yamato. Really Wada is a klutz - when you have someone able to drive in runs competently you don't want to waste time bunting especially when the pitching is poor. A wild pitch took Uemoto to third and then Toritani walked. Next was Gomez who singled right bringing in the run 12-8 Tigers, runners on first and second. Murton hit over right for a timely single 13-8 Tigers, runners on first and second. Sekimoto (pinch hitter) walked to load the bases and Saka (replacement third) hit his second pitch right to bring in two more runs 15-8 Tigers, runners on first and second. It was turning into a rout. Tagami grounded out to third forcing out Saka but making base safely himself - runners on first and third. However, the innings ended with Fujii flying out. Tigers had had Oh warming up from the beginning of the ninth to pitch for the save and decided to use him anyway. He started by giving up a single to Aikawa. This didn't develop into anything as Oh retired the next three batters to end the game. Tigers victory.

It had been a remarkable series. Tigers had scored 29 runs over the three games and the Swallows 25. Both sides pitching and catching had been cruelly exposed and both sides need to look to their pitching coaches. Umeno had done well in this game and one hopes that we see more of him sooner rather than later. Murton has made a nice start to the season as well and is driving in home runs at quite a rate. Next is DeNA and one hopes Tigers are tighter.
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Re: April 6th Enokida v Nakazawa - Salvaging a victory

[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Apr 7, 2014 2:51 PM ]
Looks like it might be time to consider moving Enokida back to the bullpen. Although he showed early promise last year, the starting role doesn't seem to suit him. Plus, we should have enough young arms to give someone else a shot at starting--in addition to the new foreign starter we are apparently after. Of course if we had just made a better attempt at holding on to Standridge...

Re: April 6th Enokida v Nakazawa - Salvaging a victory

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Apr 7, 2014 3:15 PM | Posts: 3481 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
Or acceding to Boyer's desire to become a starter.

Re: April 6th Enokida v Nakazawa - Salvaging a victory

[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Apr 7, 2014 4:49 PM ]
Of course they've complicated things by sending Akiyama to the 2-gun after one bad start.
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