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Awakening the Dragons - May 3, 2013

Discussion in the Bayside West: Yokohama forum
Awakening the Dragons - May 3, 2013
After sweeping the Dragons in Yokohama April 19 through 21, the BayStars head down to Nagoya for the Golden Week weekend. After scoring 11 runs on April 29 against the Giants there in Nagoya Dome, the Dragons suffered 20 innings (last two inning on the 29th included) of being shutout going into this game. Holding last place in the Central League with 9 more runs scored than allowed, and with the second most runs scored in the league, it was just a matter of time before the Dragons broke out of this funk.

That time was the bottom of the 4th inning against Yokohama.

But before we can get to that, there was an incident in the top of the 4th that played a role.

Yokohama's up and coming left fielder, Shotaro Ide, got plugged by a ball just over his elbow protector to lead off the top half of the 4th. After a prolonged looking at by the trainer at home plate, he took first base, but nothing came of it. However, in the bottom half of the inning, Nyjer Morgan took over left field so that Ide could be looked at more closely.

Despite having a pair of hits, one in each the 1st and 2nd innings, Yokohama starter Kentaro Takasaki retired the first 9 batters he faced. A failed steal attempt by Masahiro Araki and a double play off the bat of Kazuhiro Wada were very helpful. But after retiring Yohei Ohshima to lead off the bottom of the 4th inning, things didn't fall so well for the BayStars.

Araki poked the ball to right field for a base hit to start the trouble. The struggling Matt Clark then hit a fly ball to left field where Morgan seemed to have lost it, allowing the ball to drop in front of him. Araki somehow managed to get around to third after verifying that the ball was not going to be caught. My first thought was, would Rami-chan have caught that? The reason Ide has been starting is left has been to fortify the position defensively while Alex Ramirez' offense does not make up for his defensive liability.

Nonetheless, that brought up number four batting Hector Luna. Having seen all other five Central League teams 6 times, some patterns are starting to emerge. First of all, Luna is hitting over .500 at home in Nagoya Dome, .402 going into the game for the season. That's countered by his hitting .227 against Yokohama going into the game with no home runs against them. He fixes that.

Luna swings at the second offering and drops the bat right there. No doubt about that one. He drills a line drive into the left field stands to put the Dragons on the board following 23 frames of zeros. Dragons go up 3-0.

Former BayStar Motonobu Tanishige, who was carefully pitched to with runners at second and third after Luna's home run, the result loading the bases, homered to left to lead off the bottom of the 7th inning, putting Chunichi up 4-0.

And that pretty much sums up the offense for both teams. Chunichi takes this first game by a score of 4-0.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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