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BayStars Break Hanshin Scoreless Streak

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.

BayStars Break Hanshin Scoreless Streak

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On Saturday, March 5, the Yokohama BayStars had done what few teams have managed to do, score against the Hanshin Tigers. Hanshin had lost their first game of the spring against the Orix Buffaloes 1-0, then shut out their competition the next three games in a row. A pair of walks in the top of the 5th inning set the stage for Yoshimura Yuki to drive in a run on a 2-out double to left.

Unfortunately for Yokohama, that was the second of two hits they had all afternoon.

Ishikawa Takehiro led off the game with a single to center, was sacrificed to second, and other than Yoshimura's RBI double, nothing more was heard from Yokohama's bats. Everyone is eying that 0.20 ERA for Hanshin with envy after the Tigers have completed 5 games.

Offense out of the way, how was Yokohama's pitching? Well, I can stay optimistic and say that they didn't give up any home runs. That's certainly a plus. Fukuda Takehiro and Fujie Hitoshi combined for three innings of relief without giving up a hit, certainly vital for staying in close games - something that has been hard for Yokohama the past few years. But starter Takasaki Kentaro had an awful first inning.

After striking out leadoff Tiger, Shibata Kohei, swinging, consecutive hits and a walk loaded the bases for Lin Wei-zhu (playing in the DH spot as the Tigers' idiot manager looks like he's going to bench him again this year) to drive in two runs with a single to right. Another walk loads the bases back up, and Morita Isseki clears them with a 3-run double to the right-center gap.

To his credit, Takasaki scattered just three more hits through the next four innings of work. But Hanshin's 5-0 lead in the first was more than Yokohama could overcome at Rexxam Stadium in Kagawa Prefecture, dropping this one 1-5. That brings the BayStars to an event .500 (2-2) and tied for 6th place (out of 12 teams) in the Open-sen season.
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