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June 14th Nohmi v Kikuchi - So what?

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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 14th Nohmi v Kikuchi - So what?

2 replies. Most recent reply: Jun 15, 2014 7:37 PM by Christopher

Hanshin Hankyu Holdings held their AGM and once again the Tigers management came in for some severe criticism. Shareholders were particularly excised by the Fukudome issue, Wada's ineptness and the failure to develop home grown players. All these can be laid at the door of the coaching team and the back office whose constant ineptness doesn't look like ending soon. The response from the team president Minami was pathetic and sums up the approach of the discredited Tigers organization. People need to be patient was his theme. Those with longer memories may also remember the Mayumi regime - he wasn't sacked - rather a policy was put in place which caused him to resign. A baseball team should be managed by an ex-player - someone who has credibility and significantly management skills. These latter though represent a totally different skill set to those required by a pitcher or batter. Only a limited number of ex-players have these and are able to develop them. In Japanese baseball they are often replaced by a stubbornness and series of ill-informed prejudices which are detrimental to the team and the players. Wada is a prime example of this type of manager. The understanding of what is needed to make a successful manager is lacking in the Hanshin organisation which relies on seniority and on promoting old boys despite their lack of skills. Because of this their coaching selection is poor as well. What maybe takes ones breath away is the persistence with this policy in the face of all the evidence that it is a complete failure. The shareholders realise this but do not possess the power to force through the necessary changes. The management also relies on this fact - the institutional shareholders will back the rotating flow of 'Buggins' come what may.
Nohmi struck out 10 batters again this game but so what? He also ended up with his second defeat in a row. I would rather see him win and strike out no one than go for pointless goals. More concentration on getting the batters out in the easiest way possible would be of more use to the Tigers. Of course there are other factors in play, Wada's over-pitching of Nohmi and the use of the crap Fujii as catcher but Nohmi does need to think more about the main goal. Scores

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tigers 1 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 5 0
Lions 0 2 0 0 0 1 0 0 X 3 7 0

Starting Lineups

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

1. Akiyama (Centre)
2. Watanabe (Short)
3. Kuriyama (Left)
4. Nakamura (Third)
5. Mejia (First)
6. Kimura (Right)
7. Kaneko (Second)
8. Sumitani (Catcher)
9. Kikuchi (Pitcher)

Kikuchi didn't start well - but managed to limit the damage to one run in Tigers first. Uemoto led off with a single and was bunted to second by Yamato. This also limited the damage - the waste of an out to move the runner to second. Toritani singled right to bring the runner in 1-0 Tigers, runner on first. Toritani made second on Gomez's ground out but Murton grounded out to third. Tigers had scored a run but limited their scoring potential and with a poor catcher behind the plate and unreliable pitcher it was never going to be enough. We saw how flimsy the lead was with Watanabe's one out double in the bottom of the first. Nohmi was equal to the challenge and was able to get the next two batters out but Tigers really did need to get more runs. This was beyond them and their second was a quiet affair. Ryota did walk with one out but nothing could be expected from Fujii or for that matter from Nohmi and so it proved. Mejia worked a full count walk to lead off Lions second. Next was Kimura who got hold of an unimaginative inside straight and hammered it into the back screen for a two run home run 2-1 Lions. Nohmi was able to pull himself together and retire the next three batters but he had rapidly lost his lead. Tigers third saw a one out double from Yamato. Here was a nice chance but this time Toritani could only line out and Gomez flew out, no score there. Watanabe singled to centre with one out in Lions third but didn't get beyond first. So far both pitchers had done well but made mistakes. Nohmi's were more costly though.

Tigers fourth was quiet with no one reaching base. The same thing happened in Lions fourth and it seemed that the game was developing into a pitching duel. With two out in Tigers fifth Uemoto walked but Yamato flew out - the Uemoto/Yamato pairing doesn't seem to be firing on all six at all. Nohmi struck out all three batters he faced in Lions fifth which looked impressive but one wonders if such fireworks were necessary. Tigers sixth saw Kikuchi stumble. With one out Gomez hit deep to left where it took a fine jumping catch from Kuriyama to prevent Tigers scoring. However, he couldn't do anything about the next one which came his way as Murton put it over the fence for a solo home run 2-2 scores tied. Arai grounded out to end the innings. Lions response was immediate and Nohmi seemed to have no answer. Watanabe led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to centre and made second on a wild pitch. Kuriyama struck out but Nakamura singled to centre to bring the runner in 3-2 Lions, runner on first. The next two batters struck out but the damage was done and Lions were back in the lead.

Tigers seventh was quiet though Wada panicked and brought pinch hitters on for Fujii (not missed) and Nohmi (who probably had another innings left in him but one thinks that the shorter session will probably do him a lot of good). Neither pinch hitter did anything and the innings was quiet. Tsuru took over for Lions seventh and managed to avoid giving up runs. One cannot comprehend what Wada was thinking as there is no way Tsuru is currently an elite relief pitcher and this situation was one for the elite. Still his luck held. With two out Wakiya (pinch hitter) singled right and then Akiyama singled right - runners on first and second. Watanabe hit right back to Tsuru who gratefully gloved it having escaped without damage from this threatening situation. Masuda pitched Tigers eighth and gave up a lead off single to centre to Uemoto. The inevitable stupid bunt from Yamato took him to second and he made third on Toritani's ground out but Tigers were running out of outs and Gomez also grounded out to end the innings. Katoh started Lions eighth and got Kuriyama to fly out. Wada then changed pitchers pointlessly and brought Kaneda on for the next two outs. These were successfully achieved. Takahashi pitched Tigers ninth and retired the batters in order. Lions victory.

It had been tight but despite that one didn't feel that the Tigers had it in them to win. An inability to play with consistency and develop a winning mentality is holding this talented side back and like the shareholders one must identify Wada and his team as the cause. Tigers lost the series against the Lions and have two more series to go where they can at least beat one Pacific League side. But it isn't looking likely that this will happen.
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Re: June 14th Nohmi v Kikuchi - So what?

[ Author: Guest: GG | Posted: Jun 15, 2014 7:06 PM ]
lost the game, not series, as they managed (ok, wrong word) a decisive victory over the lions today. the first and last of the season? it was weird that messenger stayed as long as he did, given the large lead. around the seventh i was wondering where Oh was (i'll admit i was in beer mode, but even a nearby lions fan remarked that our pitcher should be relieved to just finish the route)
of course when the tigers get a needed win, it barely matters as EVERY OTHER CL team wins the same day. hooray for keeping our head above water.

Re: June 14th Nohmi v Kikuchi - So what?

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Jun 15, 2014 7:37 PM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
I meant the four game series - we managed to tie this rubber as you mentioned.
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