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Blanco and Power Sit Out - May 29, 2013

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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.

Blanco and Power Sit Out - May 29, 2013

2 replies. Most recent reply: May 30, 2013 10:58 AM by westbaystars

Tony Blanco was hit on the left knee cap by a pitch on Tuesday, May 28. He stayed in the game for another at bat, but reported today that his knee had gotten worse. So Blanco sat out this game allowing Norihiro Nakamura to take the #4 slot in the order. Despite a hot .325 batting average so far this month, Nori went 0 for 2 with a pair of walks. Of the 4 hits we did manage to get off of Seibu starter Ryoma Nogami, not a single one was for extra bases. There was simply no power supplied to the lineup this evening.

Our starter, Kai-wen Cheng, had his best start of the season. Cheng allowed just 1 run in the 2nd inning when the Lions got going with a double, single, and sacrifice fly to take a 1-0 lead. Cheng allowed a 2-out single in the 3rd and walked the leadoff batter in the 4th, but he was doubled up to prevent any damage. The effective 5 inning outing (replaced for a pinch hitter in the bottom of the 5th) lowered his ERA to 7.50 in 3 appearances.

Hiroshi Kobayashi held a couple of Lion attacks back for two innings, then Shun Yamaguchi, returning from a stint on the farm, threw a 3-up, 3-down 8th inning while striking out two.

Yokohama managed to tie the game in the bottom half of the 8th as Kensuke Uchimura led off the inning with a single up the middle. He stole second, then moved to third on a ground out to the right side. Nori then grounded the ball to Esteban German at third base who threw home. Uchimura slid around the blocking Ginjiro Sumitani at the plate -- who missed the ball! We managed to get a run in! It's a tied ball game!

But wait, Sumitani looks hurt.

This didn't look like a dangerous "take out the catcher" event to me. Uchimura didn't bowl into the catcher, he slid around him. It appears to me that Ginjiro got some dirt in his eye. If he's wearing contacts, I can see how that could be painful. The only report I've seen says that he was checked out at a local Yokohama hospital and has a "damaged" left eye. The extent of the damage is unclear, as is how the damage occurred.

Jorge Sosa pitched the 9th, allowing a 2-out single but no other damage. Then he hit for himself with 2 out and nobody on in the bottom of the 9th, striking out swinging. So back on the mound, he immediately gives up a leadoff triple off the right-center field wall by Yuji Onizaki, Nyjer Morgan just missing on his running leap at the wall. Sosa got pinch hitter Tatsuyuki Uemoto to strike out swinging, then Shogo Akiyama grounded to Uchimura at second, who looked the runner back (while bobbling the ball) and threw to first for out number two. Whew. Looks like we might escape this jam.

But it wasn't meant to be.

Yasuyuki Kataoka drills the ball to the left side. Takayuki Kajitani makes a great diving top, but has nowhere to throw to when he comes up. The go-ahead run has scored and Kataoka has an infield hit. Lions take the lead in the 10th.

The top of the BayStars order went down 1-2-3 in the bottom half of the inning, and all was lost.

Final: Yokohama 1 - 2 Lions (10 innings).
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Re: Blanco and Power Sit Out - May 29, 2013

[ Author: SteveNovosel | Posted: May 30, 2013 10:48 AM | Posts: 39 | From: Urayasu, Chiba | LOT Fan | Registered: May, 2009 ]
I caught the tail end of this one after the Lotte game.

I realize it was a tough catch but I really thought Morgan should have got that ball at the wall. He had to make a leap but I think if he took a better line to the ball he would have been able to make the catch without having to jump for it.

Anyway, tough break.

Re: Blanco and Power Sit Out - May 29, 2013

[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: May 30, 2013 10:58 AM | Posts: 35252 | From: Yokohama, Japan | YBS Fan | Registered: Aug, 2001 ]
I kind of agree. It seemed to me that he made it there in time. I'm not entirely sure that another line to the ball would have made a difference, though.

But having seen a team mate (in softball) run into a fence and having to sit out a month, I'm not willing to go quite as far as to say that he should have caught the ball. I have seen him make some spectacular catches despite the impending collision, but it may be too much to ask that he do it every time. (Although it certainly would be nice to see more often.)

We do seem to lose many of our best played games. It's rough.
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