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Inter-League Comes to a Close - June 16, 2013

Discussion in the Bayside West: Yokohama forum
Inter-League Comes to a Close - June 16, 2013
While there is still a make-up game to go between Hiroshima and Nippon Ham, Inter-league competition essentially draws to a close today. Whereas we just ran away with the game in Tokorozawa yesterday, the Saitama based Lions savagely turned on us for supper in the 6th.

Shugo Fujii started for the 'Stars and, despite a few nerve wracking walks, threw pretty well through five innings. A pair of walks and a base hit in the 4th put the Lions up 1-0. We tied the game at 1-1 the following half inning (top of 5th) on a triple by Sho Aranami then a 2-out RBI single by Takehiro Ishikawa. It's good to see that not all of our chances go to waste, as often seems the case.

But then came the bottom of the 6th. Fujii surrendered three hits in a row to start the bottom half of the inning, including a 2-run home run off the bat of Hideto Asamura to left-center. Futoshi Kobayashi came in to pitch with nobody out and a runner of first. The first thing he did was walk Ryan Spilborghs (Spilly) followed by Masato Kumashiro's second RBI hit of the day. After getting Ginjiro Sumitani to ground out to first for the first out of the inning, the Lions decided it was time to make a move.

Watanabe-kantoku sent out Tatsuyuki Uemoto to pinch hit for #9 batting Ryo Hayashizaki. Nakahata-kantoku decided that this was a good time for Masanori Hayashi to replace Kobayashi on the mound. But Watanabe countered that with Tomohito Yoneno pinch hitting for the pinch hitter Uemoto. The only thing derived from these changes was Yoneno going down swinging for the second out.

Whew, we might get out of this down by just 3.

Nope. A single by Shogo Akiyama followed by a double by Koji Yamasaki drove in three more runs, putting the Lions up 7-1.

Yokohama only managed one more base runner thereafter, and so that was the final.

Despite Yakult trying very hard to take the bottom slot in the Inter-league standings, dropping their game 10-8 after leading 8-3 going to the bottom of the 6th inning, Yokomana managed to hold onto their last place finish by half a game. Yokohama was 7 and 17 in Inter-league play, Yakult 7-16 and 1 tie. It's the first time in 3 years that they've finished Inter-league at the bottom of the pile. Against Pacific League competition, this is how they fared:

W-L: Versus
2-2: Nippon Ham
1-3: Seibu
1-3: SoftBank
1-3: Rakuten
1-3: Lotte
1-3: Orix

So, we at least won 1 game from each of the Pacific League teams, something that Hiroshima, Chunichi, and Yakult failed to do.

Let's hope that experience can push us forward in our race for third place starting this Friday.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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