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Miura and Korobane Tame Dragons

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Welcome to the Bayside West: Yokohama Blog

Featuring Michael Westbay (a.k.a. westbaystars)

Michael Westbay has been blogging about Pro Yakyu since before the word "blog" entered the vernacular. Here he writes about Pro Yakyu in general, and the Yokohama BayStars in particular.

Miura and Korobane Tame Dragons

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Hama no bancho, the regent of Yokohama, they call him; Miura Daisuke. The long time ace of the Yokohama BayStars' starting rotation has been conspicuously absent the past couple of years. With 3 wins to 8 losses in 2010, things were not going so good for Yokohama's fallen ace in 2011 either, having 1 win to 2 losses going into tonight's game against the Chunichi Dragons.

However, Bancho did have a couple things going for him. This was his fourth start of the season against the Dragons, a team he seems to have been dominating this season. While he took a tough rain shortened 1-0 loss to Chunichi on April 27, Miura's first win of the season was at Nagoya Dome on July 10 against these same Dragons, Miura giving up one run but getting 3 runs in rare run support. A week ago tonight (August 7), also at Nagoya Dome, Miura held the Chunichi Dragons to just 4 hits over 7 innings before giving way to Fujie Hitoshi who, as luck would have it, got the win when the BayStars scored 2 in the top of the 9th to defeat the Dragons 2-0.

Tonight (August 14), Miura dominated Chunichi at Yokohama's home away from home of Sagamihara. Daisuke didn't allow a hit to the Dragons until Morino Masahiko singled with two outs in the top of the 7th inning. After allowing a one-out single to former battery mate, Tanishige Motonobu, Miura got former team mate, pinch hitter Saeki Takahiro, to fly out deep to left field. That long fly ball (and there were a lot of fly balls against Miura this game) prompted Obana-kantoku to go with his closer, Yamaguchi Shun, to close the inning.

Yamaguchi struck out Araki Masahiro to end the threat, then gave everyone a scare (as usual) in the ninth to close the game.

But a single run scored in the bottom of the fourth on three base hits to right plated the only run of the game, Miura getting the win 1-0.

This was Miura's third Quality Start in a row, his fourth in his last 5 games. (Let's please ignore the July 17 game against Hanshin where he allowed 6 earned runs in 3 1/3rd innings.)

Nonetheless, as exciting as having Miura showing signs of his old brilliance (that batter swinging way in front of a slow curve ball for a 3-pitch strike out was great!), I think that Miura's battery mate, Kurobane Toshiki, deserves some credit. Kurobane threw out two base runners, one trying to steal second, the other a beautiful pick off of the runner at first, throwing past a left handed batter at the time. These two plays were huge, as the Dragons seemed to think that they could run on the BayStars the previous night. It seems like we don't catch nearly enough base stealers, so it's good to see a rare catcher with an arm that will stop this threat. Kurobane went 0 for 3, this being his first ichi-gun appearance of the year, but more than made up for his lack of offense with these two big throw outs on defense.
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