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Mr. Koshien Defeats Tiger Killer - April 14, 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.


Mr. Koshien Defeats Tiger Killer - April 14, 2013

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When Shintaro Fujinami was born on April 12, 1994, Daisuke Miura was already making himself a reputation of a Tiger Killer in the Nippon Professional Baseball league.

19 years and two days later, Fujinami met the Tiger Killer at a venue he'd dominated as Osaka Toin's ace the spring and summer before and continued his winning ways at the Tigers' Den.

Led by Fujinami in the 2012 Sembatsu and Summer High School Championships at Koshien, Osaka Toin took the banner for both tournaments, Fujinami collecting a total of 9 wins over the 10 games they won (he didn't pitch in one of the games).

Away from Koshien so far this season, Fujinami is 0 and 1 in his only start (at Jingu) with no decision in relief in Hiroshima.

Fujinami probably thought he was back in high school as a pair of errors and a wild pitch were largely responsible for Hanshin scoring their 4 runs. Oh, and he got away with squeezing a run home himself, though I must say, it was an excellent bunt.

Fujinami wasn't nearly as dominating as Randy Messenger a couple days before. Whereas Messenger didn't allow a runner to reach second base, Fujiname merely kept any BayStar from reaching third.

Part of the problem was that Yokohama went into the game with the wrong set of strategies. It was discussed before the game that batters should try to wait out a walk and run when given the chance. Fujinami only allowed a single base on balls this game, after having walked 3 in his 2-inning outing against the Carp in Hiroshima on April 7. Sho Aranami, who had a 1-out single in the 5th inning, attempted to steal second but was thrown out. His comment said it all, "His motion to the plate has become much quicker than the video I'd seen in preparation."

Nonetheless, the Tigers once again hold their opposition to a line of 9 zeros, taking the deciding game of the series 4-0.

Yokohama remains in 4th place, 2 games under .500, half a game behind Hiroshima, 1-½ games behind Hanshin, and 5 games under the first place Giants. 52 runs scored so far is amongst the leaders, but the 67 runs allowed are twice Hanshin's 33 and a big reason they've got a losing record.
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