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Stop the Slide - May 18, 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.


Stop the Slide - May 18, 2013

5 replies. Most recent reply: May 21, 2013 9:51 PM by Guest

Having assisted Nippon Ham in stopping their 9 game losing streak the evening before, Yokohama ends their 5 game losing streak in an effort that was worth the wait.

Down 0-3 in the bottom of the 6th inning, a leadoff error and single set the bases for Tony Blanco to tie the game up with a huge 3-run blast to the stunned Fighters fans in the left field stands. That's home run #20 for Blanco, matching Shigeo Nagashima's 1968 pace of hitting 20 in the first 42 games of the season, tied for the third fastest pace. John and Jim from the Japan Baseball Weekly Podcast refer to him as T-60, projecting Tony to hit 60 out this season.

But an early high pace is no guarantee for hitting more out later. Nagashima ended with just 39 home runs in 1968, Alex Cabrera, who hit 20 home runs over the first 38 games in 2001, the second fastest in Japanese baseball history, finished with 49. And the fastest? That was the Giants' Shinnosuke Abe in 2004 when he hit 20 home runs over the first 33 games of the season. But he ended the season with a mere 33 dingers. It's not time to get too excited quite yet.

But it is time to get excited over a rallying 8th inning.

Wait, I'm getting ahead of myself.

In the top of the 8th, fifth 'Star pitcher for the night, Kentaro Takasaki, gave up a pop fly home run to Dai-kang Yoh after having retired the first two batters. That gave the Fighters back the lead, and the mood was starting to turn ugly.

But that didn't last long. Yuya Ishii came in to pitch the bottom of the 8th for Nippon Ham, and he had some problems. A leadoff base hit and sacrifice bunt left first base open with Blanco coming to the plate. The Fighters weren't in the mood for another battle against the slugger and gave him an intentional pass. But Hitoshi Tamura wasn't swinging at any junk, and he drew a walk on 5 pitches to load the bases with one out. That brought up Noriharu Yamazaki.

Nori-who? That's not our usual Nori at third base. No, it's utility infielder Yamazaki. And he goes with a 3-1 pitch, placing the ball between the right and center fielders, clearing the bases with a stand-up double. The BayStars take the lead back! We're now up 6-4.

After a fly ball to right moves the runner over to third, Shuto Takajyoh battles a full count to draw a walk. That brings up pinch hitter Alex Ramirez. And Alex comes through again with a single through the left side, putting Yokohama up 7-4.

But the excitement isn't over. Sho Aranami doubles to the right-center field gap, scoring the runner from second, Ramirez holding at third. Nakahata-kantoku was teasing him from the dugout saying, "come on home!" (I have a suspicion that Aranami may have been able to stretch that into a triple, otherwise.)

Nonetheless, the 5-run 8th inning puts Yokohama up 8-4, and there it stayed. Jorge Sosa successfully shut down the #3, 4, and 5 batters in order (but got no save).

After having fallen into 5th place with the 5 game losing streak up to the day before, Yokohama recovered a position to sit in 4th place, percentage points ahead of Hiroshima (who had lost) and half a game behind the resurgent Chunichi Dragons in the Central league.
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Re: Stop the Slide - May 18, 2013

[ Author: Guest: Scott Shaffer | Posted: May 20, 2013 12:13 AM ]
Hey Michael,

Me again. I have a dice baseball game made by APBA that has the 2002 Central league teams. Do you have any idea where I might find the 2002 schedule by chance please?

Thank you!

Scott Shaffer

Re: Stop the Slide - May 18, 2013

[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 20, 2013 2:26 PM | Posts: 35252 | From: Yokohama, Japan | YBS Fan | Registered: Aug, 2001 ]
Shaffer-san,

The APBA has come up a number of times here over the years. You might want to check out those threads to see if there's anything useful.

I have the raw data for several years of games at the Pro Yakyu Database - Games. This will auto-generate a CSV file with lots of information for many years, so you can isolate just the 2002 season. I see 887 games, so it might contain pre-season and post-season games, I don't recall. It only goes up to a few years ago.

Hope this helps.

Re: Stop the Slide - May 18, 2013

[ Author: Guest: Scott Shaffer | Posted: May 20, 2013 11:52 PM ]
Michael!

You got it! Thanks for the schedule!! GREAT!

I finished Warren Cromartie's Slugging it out in Japan and was wondering if you could tell me what this line means please?

"Naisu faito, Kuro"

Oh said it to Warren after a fight with Dragon pitcher Masami Miyashita.

Does the Japan league produce a pre-season yearbook like they do for MLB here? Are fantasy baseball leagues big over there? Is there a nightly baseball wrap-up show like here?

Do you watch Baystar games on TV or the net?

Thanks again Michael!!

Re: Stop the Slide - May 18, 2013

[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 21, 2013 10:16 AM | Posts: 35252 | From: Yokohama, Japan | YBS Fan | Registered: Aug, 2001 ]
Shaffer-san,

You've got the curiosity of a cat. I like cats, so that's a good thing.

"Naisu faito, Kuro" is English! Okay, it's katakana English:「ナイスファイト、クロ」- "Nice fight, Cro." Usually, though, "fight" is used figuratively, such as "fighting spirit," not for an actual brawl.

Yes, there are many Player Meikan (Registries). In fact, Bob Bavasi's JapanBall.com has one in English by a writer from The Japan Times. I've heard that they ship worldwide.

Fantasy Baseball has had a hard time taking off in Japan, mainly due to push back from the NPB itself. Fantasy Sports Japan has been around since 1995 providing fantasy baseball and other sports to Japan in Japanese. (Disclaimer: I work for FSJ.) I've been working on a bilingual system part time, but due to an unrelated job problem during the last off season, I was unable to complete the system in time for this season. Progress is slow at the moment.

There are many nightly sports news shows, mostly dedicated to baseball. "Pro Yakyu News" on Fuji-TV was the best back in the 1980s and '90, but got moved to their cable channel a decade or so ago. It really wasn't the same after Nakai Miho married Yakult catcher Furuta Atsuya and left the show.

I generally watch baseball (Baystars) on cable TV. If they aren't on a channel I get (or if I'm on a train), then I'll tune in on Justin.TV over the Internet.

Curiosity quenched?

Re: Stop the Slide - May 18, 2013

[ Author: Guest: Scott Shaffer | Posted: May 21, 2013 9:51 PM ]
Quenched for now. Give me some more time and I'll have several other questions.

Thank you for the details.

Scott
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