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June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

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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.

June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

6 replies. Most recent reply: Jun 11, 2014 8:41 PM by Guest

Tigers failed to win their second game against Orix and so finished their first interleague series 1-3. Iwata didn't prosper in the third and fourth and the visitors came out 4-1 winners. They desperately needed a win at Koshien and produced it in one of the most hairy games one is likely to see. Oseguera, the Hawks starter didn't bring anything to Koshien and was duly punished for it with Tigers taking nine runs off the first innings. With that kind of start one would have thought that the game was over but instead we saw a run feast with both sides trying to outdo each other in poor performances. Tigers outfielding was particularly poor this game but more on that later. Scores

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Hawks 1 0 5 1 1 0 0 0 0 8 12 0
Tigers 9 0 1 1 1 0 2 0 X 14 18 0

Starting Lineups

1. Nakamura (Left)
2. Imamiya (Short)
3. Yanagita (Centre)
4. Lee (DH)
5. Hasegawa (Right)
6. Matsuda (Third)
7. Yoshimura (First)
8. Honda (Second)
9. Tsuruoka (Catcher)

Starting pitcher was Oseguera

1. Uemoto (Second)
2. Yamato (Centre)
3. Toritani (Short)
4. Gomez (First)
5. Murton (Left)
6. Takahiro Arai (Third)
7. Ryota Arai (DH)
8. Ogata (Right)
9. Umeno (Catcher)

Starting pitcher was Enokida

Enokida started the game poorly - with one out Imamiya singled left. Enokida did manage to strike out Yanagita but then Lee (who would have a remarkably lucky game) hit deep to left. Arai dived but could only deflect the ball into the corner making things difficult for Murton allowing Imamiya to race round the bases to reach home. It wasn't very good work by the Tigers fielders 1-0 Hawks, runner on second. Hasegawa grounded out to end the innings. Enokida's poor start was forgotten though as Oseguera topped it easily. Uemoto walked to lead off the game for Tigers. He stole second sliding under the tag. Yamato grounded out which took Uemoto to third but then Toritani hit the ball over the fence for a two run home run 2-1 Tigers. This seemed to deflate Oseguera and Gomez singled right. Murton doubled left to put runners on first and second and then Arai brought both runners home with a double, 4-1 Tigers, runner on second. Ryota singled left - runners on the corner and here I think Akiyama should have replaced his starter before things got worse - the first lemon of the day. He didn't and things got worse. Ogata worked a walk to load the bases. Umeno was next and he hit just over short with deceptive force as the ball bisected centre and left very neatly for a bases clearing triple 7-1 Tigers, runner on third. Uemoto up for his second at bat grounded out for the second out but Umeno stayed on third. No run there - a brief respite for Oseguera. It ended suddenly as Yamato singled left to bring in Umeno 8-1 Tigers, runner on first. Yamato stole second and then Toritani walked to set up runners on first and second. Gomez singled left and Yamato raced home 9-1 Tigers, runners on first and second. Finally, Murton grounded out to end the innings. Hawks were effectively buried and had done it all themselves failing to remove their starter in time. Oseguera had thrown 56 pitches in that one innings. In their shell shocked second Hawks managed a two out single from Honda but Tsuruoka grounded out to end the innings. Tigers second was pitched by Yamanaka, a submarine pitcher who wouldn't fare too well. However, he did the job in the Tigers second retiring the batters in order. Enokida of course returned for the third and why not. However, as the innings began to develop it was clear that he was pitching rather badly. In fact he stunk not to put too fine a point on it. This sudden deterioration was more than a bit surprising. Nakamura walked and then Imamiya got a lucky hit which landed nicely in right centre for a double - runners on second and third with no outs. Next Enokda dead balled Yanagida - a pitch which indicated that he was in trouble. Wada should have replaced him then but left Enokida in - bases loaded with no outs. Lee hit right - a shot which looped over Uemoto to bring in two runs 9-3 Tigers, runners on first and third. Hasegawa singled to bring in another run 9-4 Tigers, runners on first and second. Then Enokida threw a wild inside pitch which beat Umeno and allowed the runners to make second and third. This was another opportunity to pull Enokida but still Wada sat there - the second lemon of the day. Mastuda did strike out but then Yoshimura hit his first pitch to right bringing in a run 9-5 Tigers, runner on third. Finally, Wada acted and too late replaced Enokida with Tsuru. Now Tsuru this season is basically rubbish and shouldn't be in the top team. His performance this game was wayward and it was only luck that allowed the Tigers to hold the lead plus the fact that the batting continued to add runs. Honda grounded out to short which brought the runner on third home 9-6 Tigers, runner on second. It was getting close. Still Hawks next batter was Tsuruoka who isn't hitting well and he flew out to right to end the innings. Tigers still had the lead and were still on course to win but it looked dangerous. Tigers third started nicely with Nakayama giving up a two base hit to Umeno. Umeno made third on Uemoto's ground out but had to stay on base as Yamato popped up to third. Next was Toritani who worked the count full and then drove the ball purposely into left for a timely single 10-6 Tigers. The ability to add runs innings after innings would ensure that Hawks couldn't build up enough momentum to overhaul the home side. Gomez also misjudged Nakayama and popped up to third in foul ground to end the innings.

Tsuru was even worse - if that was possible - in Hawks fourth. Nakamura was walked in a lemon class pitching display in which Tsuru manfully contrived to miss the zone entirely. Imamiya hit into a double play and then Tsuru walked Yanagida. Lee was next and banged the ball left where a poorly positioned Murton could only chase it into the corner. Yanagida raced round the bases to make home 10-7 Tigers, runner on second. Amazingly, Tsuru was able to strike out Hasegawa looking, the batter falling for a sucker pitch and becoming yet another lemon. Murton led Tigers fourth off singling to centre. Arai was next and went after Yamanaka so successfully that by the third pitch he was in control. He hit the ball deep into left centre and it was Murton's turn to race home 11-7 Tigers, runner on second with no outs. Tigers couldn't turn this into more runs though and the next three batters failed to advance Arai. Amazingly, Wada-lemon was still persisting with Tsuru and with one out Yoshimura walked, This was enough and Tsutsui was summoned to replace Tsuru. This brought an immediate improvement in pitching quality as Honda flew out for the second out. Having had enough of Tsuruoka's inability with the bat Akiyama replaced him with Egawa. Egawa hit the ball high and deep and Yamato positioned himself to take the catch. He waved everyone clear and stood there and stood there. Yamato had misjudged the trajectory badly and the ball landed some 15 feet behind him leaving him the prize lemon of the day. He really did look that stupid. Murton had to race round behind him but the mistake allowed Hawks to score 11-8 Tigers, runner on third. They were still in with a chance of taking the game. One wonders what Tsutsui thought at that moment. However, he kept his cool and got Nakamura to hit to left where Murton on his best behaviour made sure he took the catch to end that innings. Takaya took over the catching duties for Hawks and with him a new pitcher for Tigers fifth. This was Senga who didn't seem to be any improvement on Nakayama. With Uemoto out Yamato singled. He tried to steal second but was thrown out. However, replays indicated that he was in fact safe and the second base umpire also deserved a lemon award. It didn't help Hawks as Toritani singled left and then Gomez worked a full count walk. Murton was next and he hit his first pitch right - the field was in but Toritani is fast round the bases and so another run was added to Tigers total 12-8 Tigers, runners on first and second. Arai hit high along the left baseline but the Koshien wind was strong and what would have normally been a home run drifted well foul. Arai finally flew out to centre but Tigers were holding onto the margin. For Hawks sixth Andoh took over and Tigers were now in with a good chance of stopping the bleeding of runs. Andoh did well - he did surrrender a two out single to Lee which beat Toritani but Hasegawa grounded out to short to end the innings. Senga was also better in Tigers sixth and he retired the batters in order.

Shimizu took over as catcher in Hawks seventh and Andoh started his second innings. Two outs followed and then Honda tripled into the right corner. Ogata doesn't have a strong throw and here one misses Fukudome who does have a strong throw. Honda is fast as well and was able to reach third. Wada decided that he should switch pitchers and brought Katoh on. This had the desired effect and Katoh got Takaya to ground out to short to end the innings. Morifuku pitched Tigers seventh and with one out gave up a left single to Yamato. Toritani grounded out to first but did move Yamato to second. Next was Gomez who singled right bringing home Yamato 13-8 Tigers. Gomez was pinch run for by Saka - a significant decision which reduced Wada's lemon status. Murton hit left along the base line for a nice timely double and Saka was home 14-8 Tigers, runner on second. Arai could only ground out to short but Tigers were now out of sight. Katoh pitched Hawks eighth and with one out was hit left by Imamiya for a double. Yanagida struck out and then Katoh and Shimizu walked Lee putting batters on first and second. They were much more comfortable in dealing with Hasegawa who was induced to fly out to centre with Yamato making no mistake this time. Mori pitched Tigers eighth and retired the batters in order. Oh took the mound for Hawks ninth and had a very easy time of it. It took him all of six pitches to dispose of the Hawks batters and end the game. Tigers victory.

A bit of a hairy victory this - with Enokida and Tsuru on the mound it did look like Hawks would overhaul Tigers and that would have been really embarrassing. Whilst Enokida was probably just having a bad day Tsuru has been consistently poor and does need to be dropped from the top team as soon as possible. The nine runs in the first was Tigers biggest innings this season and should have ensured an easy victory for them. It is to Hawks credit that they never gave up but the result wasn't really in doubt despite the scares. It is though worth it seeking out the Yamato mistake on Youtube - it is really prize lemon stuff. This also is the first of the interleague rubbers where Tigers have actually won the first game. We can always hope they win the second.
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Re: June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

[ Author: Guest: tigersfan | Posted: Jun 9, 2014 4:19 PM ]
Yamato didn't misjudge the fly ball, he lost it in the sun. There's a big difference. He did gesture that he had lost track of the ball, but could have done it sooner and with greater emphasis. Both cases would indicate a mistake, but misjudging would more symbolize an overall poor defensive player.

Re: June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jun 10, 2014 7:32 AM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
Which is basically the same thing. Losing the ball in the sun is the cause of him misjudging it. It was a poor bit of defense though but one does not extrapolate from the specific incident to the general. However, Yamato is in for some serious ribbing from the Oendan.

Re: June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

[ Author: Guest: Bass fan | Posted: Jun 10, 2014 7:01 PM ]
Yes, it looked ridiculous, but misjudging a ball implies that you judge it, but judge it wrong. Yamato clearly never saw it at all because he only took a couple of tentative steps from his position, never heading toward any spot where he might have mistakenly thought the ball was going. From looking at his body language he seemed to have that helpless embarrassed look of someone who figures maybe if he gets lucky it will hit him on the head.

Re: June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jun 11, 2014 7:35 AM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
The incident was replayed ad nauseum on Japanese TV during the game. It clearly looked like Yamato positioned himself to take the ball waved away the other fielders and totally misjudged it. Given how he played other balls to centre I don't think we can go with the sun in his eyes explanation. He just wasn't paying attention.

Re: June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

[ Author: Guest: guest | Posted: Jun 11, 2014 3:02 PM ]
I've seen this replay several times too and it's obvious he lost it in the sun. When you misjudge a ball, you realize too late and then frantically try to make up the ground you lost. When you have no idea where the ball is, you just stand there and gesture that you don't have it, which in the end is what Yamato did. But too late.

Re: June 8th Enokida v Oseguera - It's lemon time

[ Author: Guest: Mookster | Posted: Jun 11, 2014 8:41 PM ]
Current ball player here. He didn't misjudge it. You can position yourself perfectly and sadly on those rare occasions you can lose the ball in the lights and or sun. Happens to the best defensive fielders.

I watched it and he did nothing wrong. As all the other posters noted with the exception of the blogger, he just got a bad break. Move on but don't blame the fielder. It happens to all of us.
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