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Serving Up the Long Ball - June 29, 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.


Serving Up the Long Ball - June 29, 2013

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If there's one thing that the Yokohama pitching staff is very good at, it's serving up the long ball. It almost seems as though the balls used during the visitors' half at bat at Yokohama Stadium are super-juiced, then we go back to the 飛ばない (non-flying) balls when we come up to bat.

Case in point:

It's the bottom of the 1st inning. Yokohama is down by a run with one out and the bases loaded. Norihiro Nakamura lifts the ball deep to left field. Could his 400th career home run be a grand slam? A grand slam that will tie him with Sadaharu Oh who hit 15 during his career?

Nope. It's just a game tying sacrifice fly to the wall.

Chunichi, on the other hand, was hitting the ball out left, right, and center. Or, more accurately, left (Matt Clark in the 3rd), left (Kazuhiro Wada in the 4th), center (Ryosuke Hirata in the 4th), left (Motonobu Tanishige in the 6th), and center (Luna Hector in the 7th). Nothing went out to right today.

The Dragons have not really been a home run hitting team since moving into Nagoya Dome in 1997. The last time the team hit 5 home runs or more in a single game was on August 1, 2010 (before the unified ball) against Hanshin at Koshien. Masahiko Morino hit 3 out that game, while Blanco, Kazuhiro Wada, and Naomichi Donoue hit one apiece in Chunichi's 7-8 loss to the Tigers. One has to go back to June 14, 2003 to find the last time 5 Dragons hit home runs in a single game.

Other than hitting a home run against his former team, Tanishige was also presented with a bouquet of flowers for playing in his 2,831st game, tying Oh with the most games played by a Central League player. He's still got a couple of years to go before he can reach Katsuya Nomura's record of 3,017 games in his career. This milestone goes along with his 2,000th hit and 1,000th RBI reached earlier this season. Congratulations, Tanishige, on the longevity.
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