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Blanked by Mr. Zero - May 12, 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.


Blanked by Mr. Zero - May 12, 2013

3 replies. Most recent reply: May 16, 2013 2:51 PM by westbaystars

[Note: I covered May 11 in The Pro Yakyu Report Vol. 1.20.]

The Giants' Tetsuya Utsumi got his second 1-0 winning decision in a row, extending his consecutive inning streak without allowing a run to 23 as Yokohama dropped their second 1-run game in a row to the Giants in Niigata.

I would really like to say that this game was a pitchers duel, with Shun Mishima looking every bit as good at Utusumi. But the fact is, Mishima was continually and repeatedly in a dire pinch. A double and a pair of walks in the top of the second saw the bases loaded with 1 out, but Mishima managed to strike out Utsumi and get Hisayoshi Chono to ground out to short. Mishima allowed a 2-out single to Jose Lopez followed by a double to Yoshiyuki Kamei before walking former BayStar slugger Shuichi Murata on four pitches to load the bases in the top of the 6th inning. Fortunately, he got Ryota Wakiya to fly out to left to end that threat. There were numerous other lesser threats that he managed to make it through. But Mishima did retire the Giants in order in the 7th and 8th, followed by Shun Yamaguchi inducing three straight ground outs by Giant batters in the 9th.

Whereas the Giants seemed on the verge of breaking the game open at any time through the first 6 innings, the BayStars didn't get their first base runner against Utsumi until the bottom of the 4th inning. Kensuke Uchimura managed a 1-out, full count base on balls to break up the perfect game. The 5th inning saw Norihiro Nakamura extend his hitting streak to 11 games as he poked a single up the middle to start off the BayStars' half of the inning. Kazunari Tsuruoka also singled in the inning, but nothing came of it.

In the bottom of the 6th, Shotaro Ide singed up the middle in front of Tony Blanco, but Blanco grounded out to short to end that inning.

Hitoshi Tamura and Takehiro Ishikawa hit back to back 1-out singles in the bottom of the 7th inning as the BayStars looked like they were finally starting to get to Utsumi. But it wasn't to be as Tsuruoka grounded into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

With 2 down in the top of the 10th, Tetsuya Matsumoto singled and Hayato Sakamoto doubled him home for the only run of the game. Sakamoto went 1 for 5 this game, that double being his only hit. But on the season so far against Yokohama he's 11 for 35 (.314 - slightly below his .325 season average) with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, and 9 RBIs. Why am I left with this feeling of, Sakamoto did it to us again? It seems as though he's made the most of the hits he's gotten againt Yokohama.
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Re: Blanked by Mr. Zero - May 12, 2013

[ Author: Guest: Scott Shaffer | Posted: May 15, 2013 6:41 PM ]
Michael,

Why isn't Ramierez playing? Is he injured? Slump? Appreciate any answer(s) you have.

Also, do the Japan teams trade during the season? Is there a trade deadline date?

What is the talk of Blanco's homer pace so far?

Thanks for your blogs!! Go Baystars!!

Take Care,
Scott
achlwchl atMark hotmail d0t com

Re: Blanked by Mr. Zero - May 12, 2013

[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 15, 2013 10:49 PM | Posts: 35252 | From: Yokohama, Japan | YBS Fan | Registered: Aug, 2001 ]
Shaffer-san,

Thanks for the questions.

There are two issues with Ramirez right now.

First, it was revealed that he was a serious defensive liability a couple of weeks ago in a game where he failed to get to two balls hit to left that an average replacement player could have gotten to. Those two "hits" turned out to be the turning point in the game.

Second, yes, he has been in a slump. It took him several more games before he got another hit after reaching 2,000. It's as though the warrantee expired after 2,000 hits.

It's the combination that has him out of action right now. While his offense was on, especially with runners in scoring position, his defense was overlooked. But not producing at the plate has brought his defense under further scrutiny and he's been switched to a pinch hitting role until he can find his swing.

As of tonight, May 15, he's hit into two game ending double plays in a row. This doesn't bode well for Alex at the moment.

As for in-season trades, yes, there are some. They're rare, and especially rarely with swapping players of any true value. But they do occur now and then. As for when said deadline is, I believe it's at the end of June (postponed to the end of July in 2011 due to starting the season a month late). There's a lot of information available by entering "trade deadline" in the search box at the bottom of this page.

Regarding Blanco's home run pace, John and Jim like to refer to him as "T-60" as they're hoping he can continue this pace to 60 home runs. The mainstream Japanese press likes to put projected charts in the paper when he goes into one of his home run hitting streaks. He'll get a lot more attention as he approaches 50.

Re: Blanked by Mr. Zero - May 12, 2013

[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 16, 2013 2:51 PM | Posts: 35252 | From: Yokohama, Japan | YBS Fan | Registered: Aug, 2001 ]
Correction: Rami-chan hit into an inning ending double play in the 7th inning on May 15, not a game ending double play. In my defense, it seemed like the end of the game at the time.
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