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Hawks: One Out Away from Perfect

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Hawks: One Out Away from Perfect
In the Hawks vs. Giants game this afternoon (March 4, 2007) at Fukuoka Yahoo! Dome, five Hawks combined for a 1 hitter against the Giants. Wada threw four perfect innings, striking out five. Kattoh followed retiring the next six Giants in a row for two perfect innings while striking out two. Nitkowski set down the side in order in the 7th inning, striking out one. Then Takeoka followed striking out the side in the 8th. Fujioka then came on and retired the first two batters in a row.

Then, up came the Giants' second year infielder Wakiya with two down and nobody on, the Giants' 27th batter of the afternoon. He drills the ball up the middle for a base hit!

Fujioka gets the next batter (right after Yomiuri's G+ channel goes off the air! Arrrrgh!) to end the game.

With solo homers by Matsunaka and Kokubo, as well as some good base running by Honda and Adam, the Hawks take this one easily by a score of 5-0.
Re: Hawks: One Out Away from Perfect
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Mar 5, 2007 10:09 AM | YBS Fan ]

Today's Nikkan Sports (March 5, 2007 - paper edition) reports that this is the second time that Wakiya has broken up a perfect game. Wakiya was the 17th batter for the Giants, with one out in the 6th inning, on June 8th of last year against Softbank. Wakiya beat out an infield hit against ace pitcher Saitoh to become the only base runner of the game for the Giants, up to that point and thereafter. However, Wakiya was then picked off of first, and Saitoh went on to finish off the Giants in just 27 batters.

Wakiya becomes the first player in Pro Yakyu history to have been the only base runner for a team in two games. (Although since this is pre-season, I don't think it's a record that will published as such.)

The article goes on to mention that it's rarer for a team to have one runner reach base than it is to be no-hit. There have been a total of 87 no-hit/no-run games thrown in regular season action in Japan, 3 of those combined no-hitters. But there have only been 44 games where a single runner has reached base. Here's the break down of how the one runner reached:
  • 31 times: base hit
  • 10 times: base on balls
  • 2 times: reached on an error
  • 1 time: hit by pitch
Although it isn't mentioned, I'm sure that a number of those games where just one runner reached base also went down as a no-hitter.
Re: Hawks: One Out Away from Perfect
[ Author: Animaru Resulie | Posted: Mar 5, 2007 4:45 PM | HT Fan ]

Well, at least Hara-kantoku wasn't crying after the game. On the contrary, I think he was actually grinning. Gallows humor, maybe?

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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