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Three Up, Three Down - April 25, 2013

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.


Three Up, Three Down - April 25, 2013

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It was 3-up, 3-down for Yokohama's as the BayStars were swept in the 3 game series throughout Kansai by the Giants.

But that doesn't just hold for the series. Yokohama went 3-up, 3-down in the first 6 innings against Hirokazu Sawamura in Gifu. Sawamura was perfect through 1 out in the 7th inning when Kensuke Uchimura lined a ball into left field for the first Yokohama base runner of the night.

Sawamura retired the following 5 batters, then, in his bid for a shutout, chinks finally started showing in the Giants' armor.

Pinch hitter Takayuki Kajitani grounded a ball to the right side of the infield to lead off the top of the 9th inning, but Takayuki Terauchi misplayed it for an error. Tatsuhiko Kinjoh pinch hit for Kazuki Mishima (who bounced back just fine on the mound this evening) resulting in a hit up the middle. Well, well. It took nine innings, but we've finally got two base runners in the same inning.

Bam!

Leadoff man Takehiro Ishikawa hits the ball deep to right field. Going, going, haitaaaaaaaaaa! 3-run home run! Not only have we finally started hitting Sawamura, but we've actually managed to score off of him. It took 9 innings and 103 pitches, but hey. Things are starting to look up.

Hara-kantoku wisely had seen enough and went to his closer, Kentaro Nishimura. While the BayStars mounted a valiant near comeback against him on Tuesday, it wasn't meant to be this evening and he closed the Yokohama offense down, 3-up, 3 down.

Unfortunately, three runs in the 9th inning wasn't enough to overcome the deficit in runs that, as Christopher put it yesterday, Yokohama's starter slowly bled.

Starter Yohta Kosugi gave up a solo home run to lead off the bottom of the 2nd inning to Jose Lopez, who went 3 for 4 with a pair of RBIs on the night. John Bowker followed that with a triple to right-center, but got picked off of third base when Terauchi showed bunt but missed the pitch. (Was there a play on? Or did he just get a little too much lead? It was hard to tell.)

Kosugi then gave up another lead-off solo home run in the 4th inning, this time to Hayato Sakamoto. While Sakamoto is hitting only .318 against Yokohama (better only than his .217 against Hanshin), he's driven in 7 runs in the five games he's played against the BayStars, more than even the 6 runs in six games against the Carp. If there's a chance to do damage against Yokohama, he's lived up to the challenge when it's counted most.

The bleeding of runs continued in the 6th and 7th innings as the Giants score 2 and 1 more runs respectively. Bringing the final to Yokohama 3 - 5 Yomiuri. On the bright side, it was only 2 hours and 43 minutes of suffering.

With Hiroshima also losing, Yokohama remains in third place, now 3 games under .500, 2-½ games behind Hanshin (who they take on starting Friday for the weekend series), and 8 games back of the league-leading Giants (who remain undefeated against Yokohama in 5 games).
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