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Run Support for Mishima - June 2, 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.


Run Support for Mishima - June 2, 2013

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Runs have been hard to come by for the BayStars, especially when Kazuki Mishima has started. Mishima has given up a grand total of 4 runs over his previous three 8-inning outings only to be tagged for a pair of losses and a no decision, Yokohama scoring only 2 runs over the same period.

So it isn't hard to imagine the delight to see Yokohama score 3 runs in the first inning, before Mishima even takes the mound. That's already more run support than the previous 3 starts combined.

But it wasn't all roses, yet.

Mishima allowed a walk on four pitches to Eiichi Koyano with one down in the bottom of the second. Then Kenji Satoh hit his first career home run to straight away center to make this a 1-run ball game. (I would like to note, though, that a home run to straight away center at Asahikawa Starffin Stadium isn't quite the same as it is at Sapporo Dome.)

Well, something had to be done. So in the top of the 3rd inning, with two down and a runner at first, the BayStars' offense turned on. Four consecutive hits, including a 3-run home run by Kazunari Tsuruoka, put 4 runs on the board, giving Mishima a comfortable 7-2 lead.

Yokohama added one in the 5th inning when Nippon Ham's infield just couldn't seem to do anything right. 3 hits in the top of the 7th added another insurance run to make it 9-2.

Alex Ramirez, who singled in the first run of the game back in the 1st inning, drove his second home run of the season into the left field grassy slope. Rookie third baseman Toshiro Miyazaki, getting his first start (3rd ichi-gun game), had followed that with his career first home run, also to left. For Miyazaki, he had his first professional hit and RBIs in the 1st inning when he doubled in 2 (including Rami-chan from first base), and his first modasho (3 hits or more in a game). That put the BayStars up 11-2.

With the big lead, Mishima did struggle a bit to finish the 8th inning. With two down and nobody on, Mishima allowed a walk, hit, and another walk to load the bases. Eiichi Koyano stroked a base hit to center to score 1. But that's as far as it went as Mishima got Satoh, who had hit that home run off of him earlier, looking at strike three to end the inning.

Kentaro Takasaki closed the Fighters down in the 9th, allowing just a 2-out walk. So the final was Yokohama 11 - 3 Nippon Ham.

Oh, as with Hiroshima losing to Orix, the BayStars have reclaimed 3rd place in the Central League. It's not a very safe 3rd place, as just 1.5 games separates them from the last place Swallows, but 2 consecutive wins a good start to the month of June so far.
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