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.500 in May - May 7, 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.

.500 in May - May 7, 2013

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Breaking the 4-game winning streak barrier that has been nearly insurmountable the past several years (see yesterday's game write up), the BayStars have managed to do it - win 4 in a row. What's more, it's the first time that the team has reached .500 ball as late as May since they finished in 4th place, 1 game under .500, in 2007 (being at .500 on October 8 of that year). It's been so, so long.

As much as I'd like to say that rookie Shoichi Inoh deserved defeating Hiroshima ace Kenta Maeda, I'm afraid that Maeda's second baseman, Ryosuke Kikuchi, did him in.

Tony Blanco led off the top of the 2nd inning with a walk. Norihiro Nakamura singled to center, then Tatsuhiko Kinjoh hit a too-hot-to-handle comebacker to Maeda that reflected off his glove, scored an infield hit to load the bases.

Takehiro Ishikawa then grounded the ball to drawn in second baseman Kikuchi who threw home for the force, but Ishikawa was too quick to first to be doubled up.

After making such a fine play, though, Kikuchi then fell apart.

Kazunari Tsuruoka grounded a perfect double play ball to Kikuchi at second, but failed to pull the ball out of his glove while going through the motion of throwing to second. You can't throw what's not in your hand. The ball fell to his side, and one run was in.

Next up, pitcher Inoh grounded the ball to the right side. Kikuchi tried to make a toss to first straight from his glove, but only managed to throw the ball straight up. He tried again. And failed again. Ishikawa scored from second before anyone was able to get a handle on the ball. And so, three runs scored in the inning.

Kikuchi assisted with another blunder in the 4th inning, allowing a lead-off walk to Tsuruoka to become an insurance run on a sacrifice fly two outs later. It just was not Kikuchi's best of days.

Inoh allowed a leadoff home run to Yoshiyuki Ishihara in the bottom of the 5th. Then two walks and a 2-RBI double to start the bottom of the 6th spelled the end of Inoh's start. Shigeru Kaga retired the next three batters, holding onto the slim 4-3 lead.

Single runs in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings for Yokohama put them up 7-3, which was the final. Inoh managed to win his first game of the season.
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