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Soto of Water - April 9, 2013

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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.


Soto of Water - April 9, 2013

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The BayStars returned home to Yokohama after taking two out of three against Yakult in Tokyo to host the Hiroshima Toyo Carp. After being shelled by the Giants in the home opener a week ago, Enyelbert Soto got the starting nod again to begin this home stand.

And just like a week earlier, he got hit all over the place.

Ryosuke Kikuchi opened the game with a single up the middle on the first pitch. "Oh, no," I thought. This can't be a good sign. The Carp managed to score 4 in the first inning on 3 singles and a walk.

The second inning started off fine, Soto getting the first two batters before allowing a hit and walk. But he managed to escape the inning unscathed.

Not so fortunate in the third. Maybe pitching coach Denny thought things were looking up as Enyelbert struck out the first to batters of the inning, Brad Eldred and Kenta Kurihara, the number 4 and 5 batters respectively. But, no. 11 batters reached base, either by hit or by walk (one triple thrown in there) as the Carp scored 5 more runs before Soto struck out number 8 batting Yoshiyuki Ishihara to end the inning.

Adding the 6 earned runs in 4-1/3rd innings on April 3 to the 9 earned runs in 3 innings this evening, Soto inflates his ERA to 18.41 runs per 9 innings. And he hasn't been able to throw 9 full innings in two starts! I've certainly seen enough. It's time to put Soto 外 (_soto_ - outside).

On the bright side, Tony Blanco continues to be the sole run producer. He doubled to lead off the 2nd inning and later came around to score. A solo home run with two outs in the 6th inning by Blanco gave a glimmering of hope. But he couldn't do it all by himself.

Norihiro Nakamura also contributed with a couple of hits, raising his batting average to .357 and reducing his magic number to 2,000 hits to 22. As much as I want to see Tsutsugoh become our regular third baseman, Nori is clearly doing the job on both defense and offense. I have no complaints about keeping him in the lineup.

The relief corp was also effective. Four pitchers combined for the following 6 innings allowing just two hits, a few walks, and no runs.

But those 9 runs allowed through the first three innings were insurmountable, Yokohama took the lost 2-9.
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