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Return from Hiatus; Welcome to the Hawks, Petagine

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Welcome to the The SoftBank Source Blog

Featuring Jim (a.k.a. NipponHam11)

The title defense begins! Welcome to 2012, Hawks fans!


Return from Hiatus; Welcome to the Hawks, Petagine

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Sorry about the unannounced hiatus, but it stems from the on-again, off-again schedule. I really wish that they would at least tighten up the schedules so that there aren't so many off-days.

Criticisms about the interleague schedule aside, the Hawks have not been the team that has won back-to-back interleague titles, instead being a middling team while Seibu and Rakuten are in a dead heat for first place.

That didn't stop the Hawks from winning a game that they were supposed to today, as SoftBank also needed an extra frame to dispatch the Yokohama BayStars today.

The pitching match-up was former Boston Red Sox pitcher Tomokazu Ohka against Shinsuke Ogura, who has been faltering as of late, but has not had any truly awful starts.

SoftBank got off to a fast start in the first with a three-run outburst. Kawasaki once again set the table, this time by getting hit with a pitch. With two down, he stole second, and advanced to third on catcher Shingo Takeyama's throwing error. Matsunaka drew a walk and Tamura was hit to load the bases. Recent call-up Roberto Petagine, who played in Korea last season, hit a two-run single, and then Hasegawa followed it up with an RBI single of his own.

With SoftBank ahead quickly, 3-0, it proved to be quite the hole for the 'Stars to climb out of. Murata got his team a third of the way there by smacking a solo home run, his 10th of the season.

Ogura pitched well into the 6th, when he ran into some trouble. He hadn't truly been in trouble all game long, but he wasn't given a chance to get out of the mess he created after Uchikawa singled and Sledge doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd.

Keisuke Kattoh was brought in to clean up the mess, but Jose Castillo tied the game with a two-run double to center. Kattoh got out of the jam eventually, but the damage was done, with the score tied at three.

The SBM trio made sure that the game would remain tied, as they worked three innings of perfect ball, with five strikeouts combined. The Yokohama bullpen was also effective, with fewer relievers. Shigeki Ushida worked two innings of two-hit ball, and Hiroki Sanada pitched a shaky 9th, giving up a hit and a run.

Sanada was sent out again for the 9th by Obana-kantoku. However, Roberto Petagine greeted Sanada by crushing a pitch into the stands for the sayonara home run (1) and a 4-3 Hawks win. It was Petagine's first home run since his last days with Yomiuri in 2004, and his first walk-off home run since 2001 when he was with Yakult.

Despite not getting the win, Ogura pitched fairly well, giving up three earned runs on five hits in five and one-third innings. He walked two and struck out seven in that span. Ohka also did not factor in the decision, as he worked six innings despite the rough first, as he also gave up three earned runs on eight hits, with one walk, two strikeouts, and two hit batsmen.

Instead, it was Mahara who picked up the win (2-0), with Sanada taking the loss (2-3). The loss was Yokohama's 5th sayonara defeat of the year.

The Hawks hope to build on this win tomorrow, as former ikusei player Hiroki Yamada takes the mound for the Hawks against Futoshi Kobayashi (0-2, 3.22).
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