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An innings too far

Baseball news from Japan and Asia

Welcome to the Tiger Tails Blog

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.

An innings too far

1 reply. Most recent reply: Apr 17, 2016 9:34 AM by Guest

This is the first opportunity I've had to blog an individual game this season and I'm going with a different format. One thing comments on these blog posts have mentioned is over-pitching and chasing of pointless milestones and we had an ideal illustration last night when a tiring Fujinami almost blew his third victory. The relief helped him out but Tigers will have to consider why they didn't put an inferior BayStars away earlier. Fujinami at his best made the BayStars batting lineup look pathetic but once he tired was easy meat.

The start for the Tigers birthday boy was not good. Two outs yes but then a single to Ide. Tsutsugoh worked a walk pushing Ide into a scoring position and then Lopez unsportingly (it is Fujinami's birthday!) singled to bring in a run 1-0 BayStars. Luckily they didn't hold the lead long. BayStars starter, Kubo wasn't at his best and was in present giving mode walking two and the serving up a nice fat pitch for Gomez to club over the fence for a three run home run 3-1 Tigers. Fujinami then kept the BayStars scoreless with some impressive pitching in which the visitors didn't get a base runner until the sixth when he walked Aranami to lead off the innings. He then struck out the next three batters. He had also helped his cause with a lead off triple in the bottom of the sixth which allowed Takayama (who had another great game) to hit a sacrifice fly and widen the gap to 4-1.

However, by the end of the sixth Fujinami had thrown 107 pitches and despite his control was tired. It hadn't been his most economical outing and he really should have been replaced. Instead Kanemoto decided to give him one more innings. Fujinami wasn't helped by a stupid error by Toritani. Lopez hit an infield ground ball which Toritani came in to take but let it under his glove putting Lopez on first. Kuramoto hit to first and Gomez threw to second for the double play but the return throw was not quick enough and the BayStars still had a runner on first. Fujinami had nothing left in the tank by now though. He walked Shirasaki and then Tobashira singled to load the bases. Next up Shimozono who singled to bring in two 4-3 Tigers, with BayStars on first and second. Here Fujinami was replaced by Takamiya who delivered a second out but then allowed a single to Ishikawa to load the bases again. Exit Takamiya to be replaced by the old warhorse Andoh. He got Ide to ground out and end the innings with Tigers still in the driving seat.

BayStars managed to load the bases with one out in Tigers eighth but the home team couldn't add to the score despite Kanemoto's desperate use of pinch hitters. BayStars ninth was a bit of an anticlimax as they reverted to pathetic mode and the three batters fell in order to Mateo. So Tigers won 4-3 in what should have been a canter but was in the end a tight game. Hero interviewees were Gomez for his three run home run and Andoh for getting the vital out which preserved the victory. Of course if Fujinami had managed to get out the seventh safely he would have been the sole hero. Still he had his third win in a row and on his birthday.
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Re: An innings too far

[ Author: Guest: guest | Posted: Apr 17, 2016 9:34 AM ]
It's ironic, as I also agree that Tigers starters are often kept in just a bit too long, but in yesterday's game it was the opposite--a young pitcher (Iwasada) taken out with a shut out, only to have Fukuhara and Mateo blow the game.
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