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Tigers season - flattering to deceive

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Featuring Christopher Amano-Langtree (a.k.a. Christopher)

This blog will attempt to report on as many Hanshin Tigers games as possible. Games will be, if possible, reported the day after and on rare occasions the same day.

Tigers season - flattering to deceive

8 replies. Most recent reply: Nov 5, 2013 12:49 PM by Guest

A second place finish more than assures Wada of his return for next season. However, the judgement that needs to be drawn from this season is that Tigers were second because the other teams (Dragons, BayStars, Carp and Swallows) were rubbish not because of any inherent goodness in Tigers. In fact the difference between the only good team in the Central League (Giants) and the Tigers was 12.5 games. Wada can only have been said to have demonstrated his inability to manage in more ways than one and the complete failure to motivate the side against the Carp in the post season was typical. The fact that Wada will be back next season says more about the inadequacies of the Tigers organisation which are embedded to deeply to be easily removed.

Tigers reverted to a traditional style with traditional results - a nice performance which tailed off drastically. Looking at the Tigers wins v losses month by month we have the following pattern

March 1 win 2 losses
April 14 wins 10 losses 1 tie
May 13 wins 9 losses
June 10 wins 7 losses
July 10 wins 10 losses
August 15 wins 11 losses
September 6 wins 16 losses 2 ties
October 4 wins 2 losses
Post season 2 losses

In fact Tigers were not able to get above a 60% wins ratio in any month except for October which let's face it was the tail end of the season and had only a few games played. September was obviously the worst month in which Tigers had run out of steam and this is clearly a management issue. Looking at Tigers records against other teams we find the following:

Giants 11 wins 12 losses 1 tie
Dragons 12 wins 11 losses 1 tie
BayStars 10 wins 14 losses
Carp 12 wins 12 losses
Swallows 16 wins 7 losses 1 tie

The stand out here was the losing record against the BayStars whom Tigers should really have beaten though the Carp also did better than they should have. In Interleague the Buffaloes and the Golden Eagles both took a lot of games off Tigers (Buffaloes: 3, Golden Eagles 4) though the interleague did end up slightly to Tigers credit 12-11-1. What is clear from the patterns is that the Tigers were unable to establish a winning streak that was not followed by a loosing streak. Their interleague average was much the same as their overall season average .522 for interleague compared with .521 for the whole season. I have mentioned the BayStars results and when one compares the results generated by the only other good side in the Central League the Giants (18 wins, 5 losses, 1 tie) one sees that Tigers should have been doing much better here to be competitive. Looking at the Giants results against the Carp we can also see a similar difference (14 wins, 8 losses). Tigers needed to beat these two teams and the performance against the Carp in the postseason shows an inability to do so. This is linked to two aspects - management and inability to plan and understand the opponents and use of inadequate catchers which will be covered later. Tactically the use of the relief and the desire to make the starting pitchers go at least seven innings come what may caused difficulties for Tigers. Over-pitching meant that pitchers could not locate later in the season and the September results seem to bear this out. The decision to use certain relief pitchers seemingly out of place also had an effect and amateur nature of this was illustrated on several occasions (see Tiger Tails for more details).

The inability of Nakanishi and Wada to use the pitching effectively and the willingness of the two to over-pitch the starters created trouble for Tigers. Taking Messenger - he started in 29 games (with one as relief). He threw 195.2 innings and could to be said to have been the work horse of the Tigers. Overall he threw 3246 pitches in his starts. His average per game was 112 pitches or 16.6 pitches per innings. In effect if we assume 100 pitches per start Messenger threw three and a half extra games. Nohmi and Standridge were also subject to significant over pitching though not to the same degree. Fujinami the golden boy and subject to media attention was actually handled carefully and only pitched 137.2 innings in his 24 starts. The inability of the catchers and the coaches to use the other pitchers was manifest and never had so many management deficiencies been revealed. Matsuda was used until he cracked and the use of Boyer bordered on the criminally stupid. His junk was not used effectively and the focus was on his heat. When he legitimatly complained about being over-pitched by the coaches the response was a punishment demotion to ni-gun for Boyer to deal with his 'issues'. Fukuhara was not used as much as he should have been and the use of other pitchers in the closer role (particularly Kubo) condemned Tigers to defeat. It wasn't Kubo's fault - he didn't have the ability but the management who refused to recognise this. Nakanishi was a retrograde step from Yabu in 2012 and Wada didn't help with his demonstrated ignorance.

If we want to look at a disaster area Tigers catching really does meet the definition. The main catchers used were Fujii and Hidaka and both were abysmal. BayStars and Carp in particular were able to benefit from their predictable deficiencies. I had predicted that Komiyama would become the main catcher but after a rather brilliant cameo he was pushed into ni-gun where he sulked. Rather than use Komiyama Shimizu was brought up and used in place of Fujii and in preference to the truly useless Hidaka. Hidaka had looked promising but then you wondered why the hell he had been signed by Tigers as his performances were so poor. Fujii had to be replaced by Shimizu for the latter part of the season and did very well. When Fujii returned as starting catcher he was clearly inept and the only reason for his inclusion was management deficiencies. The talk is that Yano will be Tigers next manager (more front office stupidities) but one hopes that he will recognise catching talent.

Mizutani was a waste of time and money being unable to get Tigers to perform effectively and to drive in runs. Tigers top scorer was Murton with 85 runs being driven in but he did demonstrate his total inability at No. 4. After that came Takehiro Arai who drove in 70 but had a dreadful season. One thinks he was not happy with the management and showed it in his performance. He did not bat No. 4 but the absurdity of the management saw Toritani bat No. 4 when he quite clearly was not up to it at all. This was on a par with the stupidity of the previous season making Kanemoto No. 4 for the inter-league games. Fukudome proved to be another waste of money and once again the Tigers management had shown their inability to understand and recognise what talent was available. Considerable effort was spent trying to make Fujii a reliable batter but this can only said to have been a failure and the effort should have been directed elsewhere. An example of the misdirected focus that Tigers employed throughout the season. Imanari was another whom considerable effort was directed at without any real results - Yamato who was out for part of the season drove in more runs. The bunt was over-employed causing the watching fan to grind his teeth in frustration at the pointlessness of it all. The only bright spark of the batting was Hiyama and guess what he's doing.

Free agents
Tigers are looking at various free agents again and not adressing the fundemental failings of their approach. They don't have the ability to identify game winners and haven't done so for a long time. As this is their policy - buy a good team and hope to overcome their deficient choices for management and coaching - this does not bode well for a winning formula. Tigers do really need to develop a culture of winning but one can't see this happening and the lamentable failure of the 2013 season is due to be repeated with Wada in charge again.
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Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Guest | Posted: Oct 22, 2013 8:57 PM ]
It must be very depressing being you. You don't seem to get any enjoyment out of following your team at all.

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Oct 23, 2013 3:24 PM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
At the moment it is difficult to follow Tigers. Alan Clarke's comment 'Lions led by donkeys' is very appropriate. There is an enormous amount of talent in the pitching, batting and young catching which is being squandered by poor coaching and management abetted by some poor front office management. If you take a look at the lost decade a lot of Tigers fans abandoned the team because the management screwed it up so much. The same process is happening again with the Mayumi and Wada regimes.

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Guest: gotigersredsox | Posted: Oct 25, 2013 9:07 AM ]
Don't worry. Help is on the way. This report from Yakyubaka: "In an effort to improve stamina and perseverance, coaches will have players do a lot of running during fall camp -- about three times more than usual." With this innovative approach we are sure to win the Japan Series next year.

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Oct 26, 2013 10:35 AM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
I too saw that along with the news that Nakanishi intends to treat Fujinami 'just like any other pitcher' and remove the limits from him. I too see this as a Japan series winning strategy which no other team will be able to counter.

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Guest: Tigers Fan | Posted: Oct 31, 2013 11:58 AM ]
I know this is ridiculously off-topic, but how in the world are all of you following NPB so closely? Are you really just looking up written reports or are you watching live/recorded games? For the life of me I cannot find any help watching these games and I'd at least like to see the end of the Japan Series (since the World Series is just about wrapped up...).

Thanks and sorry again, if this is egregiously off-topic then feel free to delete.

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Nov 1, 2013 3:21 PM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
Not at all - I am resident in Japan so am able to watch the games live. There is an internet streaming service (Justin?) which does allow people outside Japan to watch games but others may know more.

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Guest | Posted: Nov 4, 2013 1:15 AM ] is the answer

Re: Tigers season - flattering to deceive

[ Author: Guest: Arthur | Posted: Nov 5, 2013 12:49 PM ]
There's a user on twitter called spartiecat who often posts links:
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