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Chiba Lotte Marines - No Lead is Safe

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.

Chiba Lotte Marines - No Lead is Safe

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It seems like I'm seeing a lot of 8-run innings lately. On August 15, Yokohama High gave up 8 runs in the 9th inning to Chiben Gakuen at Koshien with two outs and a 4-1 lead to fail to make the quarter finals. The semi-final match between Nihon Daigaku 3rd High School and Kanzei High saw Nichi-dai-san score 8 in the bottom of the 7th inning of a 1-1 tie to run away with the game (and eventually become this summer's top high school team).

Of course everyone is familiar with Yokohama BayStars' epic failure to win after scoring 8 in the first inning a couple days ago (August 17), ending in a 10-10 tie with the Tokyo Yakult Swallows. The very next day, August 18, the Chiba Lotte Marines replicated Yokohama's failure, scoring 8 runs in the second inning against the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters and ending in a 9-9 tie. What is going on here?

I think that the most amazing part of the Marines vs. Fighters game was not the scoring of 8 runs in the second, or Jose Castillo's grand slam home run capping off that inning. The most amazing part of that game was that Nippon Ham's starter, Bobby Keppel, threw 4 innings of perfect ball in spite of that one really bad inning. That's right. Keppel retired the Marines in order in the 1st, 3rd, 4th, and 5th innings. Why he was allowed to continue throwing after back to back walks in the second loaded the bases, with 4 runs already in, I do not know. But the baseball gods sure were fickle with him, and both teams, on that night.
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