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August 20th Iwata v Hamada - Back to winning ways

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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.

August 20th Iwata v Hamada - Back to winning ways

2 replies. Most recent reply: Aug 22, 2014 7:37 AM by Christopher

I am not a fan of bringing on has been players so they can take part of the kudos and credit for a victory that has been won by others which is what happens a lot with Tsuruoka. Given that - barring accidents - Umeno is going to be the Tigers starting catcher for many years to come it is only logical to have him pitch the entire game (something he is quite capable of). He needs to know the relief and they him and given his rate of improvement it won't be long before this is accomplished. Tsuruoka meanwhile isn't particularly good with the relief and even though he survived this time it wasn't convincing. It is rather similar to the Fukudome situation - better performers are kept out because of Fukudome's inclusion and progress is held up for no particular reason other than spurious reasons of pride and face. Tsuruoka has lost Tigers games because of his use with the relief and so one would think that moving to the next stage of team development was important. Scores

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Dragons 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 5 1
Tigers 0 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 X 3 6 0

Starting Lineups

1. Ohshima (Centre)
2. Araki (Second)
3. Luna (Third)
4. Hirata (Right)
5. Morino (First)
6. Fujii (Left)
7. Tanishige (Catcher)
8. Mitsumata (Short)
9. Hamada (Pitcher)

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

Dragons would once again an inability to bring runners home and this time it would cost them victory. Their first innings was quiet though and Iwata handled things well. In Tigers first Toritani hit to centre and then made second on a wild pitch. Gomez struck out though and ended the innings. The Dragons first big chance came in their second. Hirata led the innings off with a single to right. Morino flew out but Fujii hit left to put runners on first and second. Tanishige singled right as well to load the bases with only one out. Mitsumata was next but he failed to supply the hoped for fly or even a suitable ground out; the ball was hit straight to Toritani for an innings ending double play. Murton led Tigers second off with a double to left centre. Imanari tried to hit right but could only ground out to centre. This did have the effect of taking Murton to third which was helpful. Ryota just hit the ball deep to centre where he flew out but gave Murton the time to tag up and make home 1-0 Tigers. Finally, Umeno struck out but there was a lead. Iwata kept Dragons batters under wraps nicely in the top of the third with no one getting on base. Unfortunately so did Hamada and the one run lead was never going to be enough. Tigers did need more runs.

The lead in fact disappeared the very next innings - the Dragons fourth. With Luna out, Hirata proved to be difficult to get and on a full count hit high to left for a solo home run 1-1 scores tied. The next two batters grounded out but the Tigers hadn't managed to prevent the tying run. In Tigers fourth Toritani singled left. He tried to steal second but a good throw by Tanishige put a stop to that. No one else reached base. Despite the home run Iwata was pitching really well and at something like his best. He was able to retire the Dragons batters very successfully and worked well with Umeno. In Tigers fifth Hamada issued a one out walk to Ryota who was forced out by Umeno. Umeno was safe on first but Iwata grounded out to end the innings. Dragons sixth was quiet - no one got on base. By now Iwata was dominant and relishing his pitching. In Tigers sixth Toritani singled left again, this time with two out. Gomez then flew out to left to end that chance.

Dragons seventh saw no one reach base. Amazingly Iwata had thrown only 90 pitches over the seven innings. It had been an impressive economical display. Hamada though seemed to hit a wall. Murton singled right to lead off the innings. Wada insisted on wasting an out with his now standard stupid bunt. Imanari bunted Murton to second. Then Hamada walked Ryota. This was enough for Dragons who replaced Hamada with Matayoshi. He struck out Sekimoto (pinch hitter) but then walked Takahiro Arai (pinch hitter) to load the bases. The pinch hitters were a sign of Wada's desperation and vapidity not a genuine attempt to win the game. The use of the two pinch hitters had been poorly handled and poorly implemented. Luck though was with Tigers. Uemoto hit a fly ball deep to centre. Both Fujii and Ohshima went for the ball and they didn't watch where the other was. The inevitable collision meant that no-one took the ball and the error was costly, two runners making home 3-1 Tigers, runners on first and third. Not exactly classic but we'll take it any way we can. Matayoshi managed to pick himself up after this disaster and strike out Yamato to end the innings. Fukuhara pitched Dragons eighth and did well retiring the batters in order safely. Sobue took over for Tigers eighth and rapidly got out of his depth. He issued a lead off walk to Toritani. Then Gomez hit left - runners on first and second. Murton's ground out to second forced out Saka (pinch running for Gomez) but Toritani made third with Murton safe on first. This was the end of Sobue who was replaced by Payano. Payano got Imanari to fly out to right but no run resulted. He then walked Fukudome (pinch hitter) to load the bases. Next was Tsuruoka (replacement catcher) who flew out to right to end the innings. Oh pitched Dragons ninth and of course with Tsuruoka behind the plate things didn't go smoothly. Ohshima walked and two outs later Hirata singled left to put runners on the corners. Dragons could have taken the game then but Morino, luckily, lost patience, and swung too soon at a cutball to pop up to second for the final out. Tigers victory.

It was good to see Tigers win after a big blow out the night before and to play well. Wada's desperation in the seventh had actually ensured that Iwata wasn't overpitched this game. He had actually pitched well and could have probably managed the eighth. It was also nice to experience a bit of luck with the error in the seventh. The win went to Iwata and Oh picked up his 31st save. Once again though Dragons could have made more of this moment. It was good that they didn't and one hopes this continues next game. Tigers are now 0.5 games behind the Giants which is good and a even better a 7-6 record in shi no rodo so far.
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Re: August 20th Iwata v Hamada - Back to winning ways

[ Author: Guest: GG | Posted: Aug 21, 2014 7:18 PM ]
fun to see Umeno progress over the course of the season. in the playtime he has received, he has very noticeably improved.

im not going to argue that there arent better players on the bench (either Arai, to start), but fukudome hasnt been slacking as much as some of the other scholarship players. he isnt really a slugger (well, maybe he is -just not a very good one), but we're getting some nice (timely) HRs out of him. not to say the benched starters cant do better, but he is at least contributing.
(thats only an excuse to try and understand wada, put ryouta back in the starting lineup)

Re: August 20th Iwata v Hamada - Back to winning ways

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Aug 22, 2014 7:37 AM | Posts: 3481 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
Fukudome works hard it is true but he doesn't deliver enough to be regular first team material. His contribution really does need to be greater. Takahiro Arai has a higher batting average and RBI count than him and the other passenger Imanari and plays in fewer games. Even Umeno has driven in more runs than Imanari.
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