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BayStars Lose in Quake Shortened Game

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 Lose in Quake Shortened Game

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It would be hard to believe that anybody hasn't yet heard about the big earthquake that hit northern Japan on Friday afternoon at 2:47 pm local time. I know that I got very little work done as I watched tides overtaking fishing villages and farm land. One ScoutDragon reporter was at Yokohama Stadium at the time of the quake, and he reported, "There was a lot of screaming and panicked folks at the ball park. The lights were waving and vibrating really hard. Even the seats were shaking really hard."

Going into the top of the 7th inning, Yokohama Stadium, located about 400 km (250 miles) south by south west of the earthquake's epicenter, shook "really hard." The game was suspended for 16 minutes before the umpire crew called the game for the safety of everyone there. Players and fans evacuated to the new 3.5-oku (350,000,000) yen field. Morimoto Hichori (the BayStars' new center fielder, signed as a free agent from the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) was seen searching out his grandfather in the midst of all the fans. (Unfortunately, no report I've found says if he was reunited with his grandfather or not.)

Yokohama's regent, Miura Daisuke, started the game for Yokohama against the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. The fallen 'Star ace threw 3 2/3rds innings striking out a batter every inning, and allowing a hit in each. Unfortunately, after former Yokohama backstop Aikawa Ryoji doubled with two down in the top of the 4th, new Swallow foreign player Wladimir Balentien went deep to left for a 2-run home run that put Yakult on the board first, 2-0.

Yokohama struck back as Terrmel Sledge hit a 2-out solo home run in the bottom of the 4th, his first home run of the pre-season. That cut the Swallows' lead in half, 2-1.

But that didn't last long. In the top of the 5th, a pair of hits and a sacrifice fly added an insurance run for Yakult, who went on to win the shortened contest 3-1.

On the Yakult side, it appears that the rookie Shichijoh Yuki, out of the Industrial League team Hakuwa Victories, will get a slot in the rotation when the season opens later this month. Shichijoh threw 6 innings, allowing just the one run (Sledges' home run) on 5 hits while striking out 2 and walking 1.
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