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Swinging High - April 30, 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.

Swinging High - April 30, 2013

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Down 4-1 with one out and a runner on first base in the bottom of the 6th inning, Tony Blanco stepped up to the plate against Yakult starter Kyohei Muranaka. After three balls, Blanco swung and missed the fourth offering for strike one. Muranaka threw a fastball high and tight that Blanco turned on and hit over the center field fence to cut Yakult's lead to 4-3. Norihiro Nakamura followed that with a solo home run of his own to tie the ball game up, and things started to turn around for the underdogs by the bay. Back to back singles sandwiching a stolen base put Yokohama ahead 5-4 in the 8th inning, and that's how the game ended.

But, let's return to Blanco.

His 2-run shot in the 6th inning marked Tony's 14th home run in the month of April. That breaks the Yokohama/Taiyo franchise record of 13 home runs hit by Noboru Aota in August of 1954, 59 years ago. The last person to hit as many in a single month was the Giants' Shinnosuke Abe in June of 2010, before the unified ball.

As John and Jim discussed on their podcast last week, there's something up with the ball flying out of yards.

Then again, looking at my writeup for the previous day's game, the new ball didn't seem to bother Balentien in his first encounters at Yokohama Stadium this year or the past two years. Are hitters adjusting? Is the pendulum swinging back in favor of hitters?

What ever is going on, I'm just glad that this swinger is wearing a BayStar uniform this season. And I look forward to more high swinging.

[For those not familiar with Japanese, Blanco's name is written "ブランコ" in Japanese, which means "a swing" in English. Sorry for all the bilingual puns.]

[Edited by: westbaystars on May 1, 2013 10:23 PM to fix Balentien's name spelling.]
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