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Japan Series - Game 2 - Nohmi v Takeda

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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.


Japan Series - Game 2 - Nohmi v Takeda

2 replies. Most recent reply: Oct 27, 2014 2:42 PM by Christopher

Hawks were much sharper this game and also were able to piggy back on a fine performance by their starter. Tigers batters couldn't get going though they did suffer from some very strict umpiring of checked swings. To be fair though Hawks also had the same issue. Nohmi was too loose but even so Hawks struggled to add runs and Lee's solo effort in the fourth ended up being the margin between the sides. Scores


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


Starting Lineups

Hawks
1. Yanagita (Centre)
2. Imamiya (Short)
3. Uchikawa (Left)
4. Lee (First)
5. Matsuda (Third)
6. Nakamura (Right)
7. Akashi (Second)
8. Hosokawa (Catcher)
9. Takeda (Pitcher)

Tigers
1. Nishioka (Third)
2. Uemoto (Second)
3. Toritani (Short)
4. Gomez (First)
5. Murton (Left)
6. Fukudome (Right)
7. Tsuruoka (Catcher)
8. Yamato (Centre)
9. Nohmi (Pitcher)

Nohmi started lazily and rustily one has to say. He drifted too far to the right and was hit to centre by Yanagita. Imamiya bunted him to second which brought up Hawk's danger man Uchikawa. Nohmi was not on target and Uchikawa turned him left for a single bringing in the runner 1-0 Hawks. Lee was next but hit to Toritani who in a bit of smart play picked up and threw nicely to initiate the double play. Of Tigers infielders both Toritani and Nishioka have impressed but Uemoto has been a bit of a disappointment. Tigers first was quiet - none of the batters could actually get any handle on Takada and found his curve in particular difficult to deal with. Both Nishioka and Toritani ended up grounding out to Takeda as they mishit their responses. Hawks second saw a better performance by Nohmi who retired the batters in order. Takeda then saw to Tigers four, five and six and was looking a bit smug about things already. In Hawks third Hosokawa worked the count full and then singled left which surprised everyone. Next was Takeda and everyone knew that would mean a bunt. Tigers had an answer - Nishioka came very far off his base about halfway between the base and home to pounce on the bunt. This is exactly what happened and Nishioka fired the ball to second where Toritani was waiting for the force out. The double play wasn't there but it had been an impressive bit of fielding. Takeda was safe on first and stayed there as Hawks next two batters couldn't do anything. Tigers third saw the rest of the side go down in order.

Hawks fourth started quietly enough with Uchikawa grounding out to Nishioka. Next was Lee who got a inside slider for his first pitch. This was the ball Tsuruoka had called but it was about 20 cm higher than the catcher was expecting. Nohmi needed to be lower and Lee punished him for hit hitting hard and high to left for a solo home run 2-0 Hawks. It wasn't looking good for Tigers at this stage - they still had to engineer a base runner and their opponents were beginning to build a lead. Apart from these significant slips it must be admitted; Nohmi was pitching well. Matsuda lined out to short though Nakamura singled to centre - runner on first. Akashi grounded out to second - Uemoto making the throw in time despite spilling the ball. Tigers top of the order came round again and despite the need to get going no one could figure out Takeda's curve and no one got on base. Hawk's fifth was quiet - Nohmi retired the batters in order. Tigers fifth was also quiet and Takeda was actually perfect through the five innings. He had thrown more pitches than Nohmi it is true but (62 to 53) but both pitchers were well within their ranges. Hawks sixth saw Imamiya fly out to left and then Uchikawa hit deep into centre. Yamato should have had this but missed the ball as it bounced and allowed Uchikawa to take second. It wasn't the best fielding one has seen. Lee swung wildly and like his last effort connected but this time the ball ended up in Fukudome's glove. Uchikawa though tagged up and took third. It is instructive to recall that Tigers were at one time interested in Lee but instead ended up with Gomez. One thinks they chose wisely as Lee isn't particularly good. Finally, Matsuda hit to second where Uemoto once again fumbled but got the throw away to end the innings. Tigers sixth started with a surprising change - Itoh pinch hit for Tsuruoka. He grounded out to second and then Yamato struck out swinging. Next was Kanoh (pinch hitting for Nohmi) which was also surprising as Nohmi had only thrown 64 pitches in all. Still it worked - Kanoh singled left - runner on first. This probably unsettled Takeda; his perfect game was gone. Nishioka worked the count full and then slammed the ball right into the corner for a timely double 2-1 Hawks. Uemoto could only ground out to end the innings though. Tigers though were on the scoreboard.

Takamiya took over for Tigers seventh and one had the feeling that Wada had moved a bit too early. However, he retired the Hawks batters in order to prevent any score. Tigers second started with Toritani hitting to Akashi at second. He couldn't take cleanly and Toritani reached first. Takeda was by now more than a bit flustered and struggled to find the zone for Gomez. This isn't exactly a difficult thing as Gomez does like to swing but the Tigers No. 4 controlled himself very well. However, a bit of luck came Hawks way. Takeda threw a poor grubber which Hosokawa was able to block with the ball rolling away in the dirt. Toritani tried to take second but Hosokawa was quick enough to pick up and throw to base for the tag out. Gomez then walked. Next was Murton who stupidly managed to hit to short. This forced out Gomez but Murton made first safely. Fukudome did the same and this time the innings was over. Andoh took over for Hawks eighth and again pitching to Fujii retired the batters in order. For Tigers eighth Igarashi took the mound and struck out Ryota Arai (pinch hitter). Yamato lined out to first but then Fujii singled. Interestingly Fujii was wearing a shirt with his number but no name on it. Igarashi was a bit scared of Nishioka and managed to walk him on a full count - Tigers had runners on first and second. Wada went for speed and replaced Fujii with a pinch runner - Araki. This was all predicated on the next batter, Uemoto, doing something sensible. Instead Uemoto in a rush of blood swung wildly at his first pitch and flew out to centre ending the innings. It really was a stupid piece of batting. Of course this meant a new catcher and this was Umeno with Matsuda on the mound. Uchikawa flew out and then in a refreshing at bat Matsuda and Umeno blew Lee away with some highly aggressive pitching and calling. Matsuda managed to single to centre but then tried to steal second. Umeno was easily quick enough to throw to second for the tag out and the end of the innings. Sarfate pitched Tigers ninth and gave up a lead off single to Toritani. Gomez though could only manage to fly out to second which was disappointing. Murton grounded out to short but Toritani was able to make second safely. It needed something from Fukudome but he failed and struck out swinging to end the game. Hawks victory.

Hawks will be happy to leave Koshien and head for Fukuoka with the series tied 1-1 but they can't afford to be over confident. Tigers took 4 in a row off the Giants at Tokyo Dome and so are quite capable of negating the home advantage. The fact is this is a series between two evenly matched sides. Hawks don't have the batting that Tigers do but they do have some good pitching and they can shut down Tigers batters. Should they fail to do so though they will fall behind quite rapidly. If Tigers had wanted to win this game they really needed to start either Fujinami or Iwata not Nohmi who is fading as a starter. There is all to play for for both teams.
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Comments

Re: Japan Series - Game 2 - Nohmi v Takeda

[ Author: Guest: T-Ray | Posted: Oct 27, 2014 9:44 PM ]
Question: Is there any advantage for the team to start a righty (Messenger) in Game 1, followed by lefty (Nohmi) righty (Fujinami) lefty (Iwata)? That's the only reason I can think that they started Nohmi so early in the series after he struggled mightily against the Giants. Still, I would have given Iwata the ball in Game 2 instead, as you mentioned.

Re: Japan Series - Game 2 - Nohmi v Takeda

[ Author: Christopher | Posted: Oct 28, 2014 8:44 AM | Posts: 3482 | From: Tokyo | HAN Fan | Registered: Sep, 2004 ]
I rather suspect that because Nohmi is a starter and was Tigers 'ace' he had to start high in the pitching order. Last season he was peeved when he wasn't used as a starter in the Climax Series First Stage until game three (which never got played). Tigers coaching have always been traditionally slow when it comes to recognising fading players.
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