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Ran Out - June 3, 2013

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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.


Ran Out - June 3, 2013

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The BayStars both ran out of runs, after scoring 11 on Sunday, and ran themselves out of the game, as a base running blunder killed their only real threat.

The first game of this two game series at the rural Asahikawa Starffin Stadium saw Yokohama whip the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters 11-3. 11 runs represents the grand total that Yokohama scored over the previous 5 games combined, making it a week's worth of runs easily. After scoring so many, it just kind of seems inevitable that runs would be hard to come by the next day, and they were.

Down 0-5 in the top of the 6th inning, Nippon Ham's defense looked like they were going to have another melt down similar to the night before. After back to back singles to start off the inning, pinch hitter Takayuki Kajitani grounded the ball to short. Keiji Satoh blocked the ball, tossed it to second, but the ball was totally missed by the covering Haruki Nishikawa who will probably be happy to never set foot in Asahikawa again. (He just really looked bad defensively in both of these games.) The ball was there, the timing to cover the bag was right. I'm still mystified as to how that wasn't a double play. The only thing I can think of is that Nishikawa was trying to relay the ball to first before he got it, a fateful error.

Nonetheless, Yokohama had the bases loaded and nobody out. Hitoshi Tamura then stroked the ball up the middle, finally putting a run on the board for the visiting BayStars. With Tony Blanco and Alex Ramirez coming up next, this is finally turning into a ball game.

However, Blanco flied out to right, the ball not deep enough to score the runner from third. But wait! What's Kajitani doing running to third?

Argh. Kajitani forces Tatsuhiko Kinjoh to try for home after being run toward third. Kinjoh is easily tagged out between third and home, and Yokohama's big chance just got reduced by an out. Runners now at second and third with two away.

For what it's worth, Rami-chan hit the ball hard to the left side. Eiichi Koyano's reflexes were amazing to even get a glove on the ball. The ball seemed to have so much force on it that I swear it picked Koyano off the ground and back toward left field. But in the pocket of the glove the ball went, and a toss across the diamond easily got Ramirez for the final out of the inning.

Nippon Ham's offense woke up this game. While they were aided by a lot of bases on balls, Asahikawa was just too small to contain a few. Michel Abreu, for example, hit a solo shot in the first inning to left-center to start the scoring. He then hit a 2-run blast that cleared the grassy slope of fans in left field and went into the void that is beyond. The two home runs on the night were numbers 14 and 15 for Abreu, he pulling ahead of team mate Sho Nakata to take sole possession of the home run Crown in the Pacific League. (Nakata swung really big after that out-of-the-park home run, but only managed to ground out to second.)

Dai-kang Yoh, who hit an RBI double back in the 2nd inning, also hit a solo home run in the 6th inning. Yokohama pitchers still have an awful case of ippatsu-byo that just doesn't appear to be curable.

In all, the game lasted 3 hours and 3 minutes, Nippon Ham coming out on top 7-1. It would seem that we've just run out of runs.
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