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Yomiuri Giants Cap

Tigers 0 Giants 3 (Game 2)

(Koshien Stadium)

Preview: Yesterday was a good win- Kubota bounced back from his failures in Nagoya, and Fujikawa pulled us through. Today’s starter is Kubo:

久保 康友

Kubo has been with the Tigers for just one year, and recorded an EPA of 3.75 in his first season.  Before that he spent four years at the Lotte Marines.

He is from Nara Prefecture, and is 29.

So far he is 1-0 with an inflated EPA of 6.00 – expect that to come down over the course of the  season. With Nohmi, he is one of our better pitchers- he has a variety of pitches and can throw quick  to first base.

Team Lineup (in batting order):

1. Murton (C)
2. Hirano (2)
3. Toritani (SS)
4. Kanemoto (L)
5. Arai (3)
6. Johjima (Ca)
7. Brazell (1)
8. Sakurai (R)
9. Kubo (P)

Battery: Kubo -> Tsutsui -> Egusa ->  / Johjima

Game: We had to wait until the 3rd for the first run, and it came for the Giants. A two base hit was followed up by a successful bunt from their number nine, and then Sakamoto drilled a base hit beyond the grasp of Toritani at short-stop to get the runner on third home. 1-0 Giants. This was followed up by Ogasawara smashing the ball into right field from a two-run homer. 3-0 Giants, and Tigers looking at sea. Oh dear. In the bottom of the third our only offensive player with a decent average, Murton, engineered a chance. Hirano hit deep, but a superb Matsumoto catch denied us. By the way, Akahoshi is commentating on this match, which is nice. In the fourth, Giants had runners on first and third with two outs- but nothing comes of it. Hanshin innings- and again the batters are dispatched WAY too quickly. Before the game they had a minutes silence of Kimura, the Giants coach who recently died. Giants fifth, and Kubo is pitching well- he just seems to have these lapses sometimes that let the other team in. At 2-3-2, Ogasawara gets a hit, and now its Ramirez (I refuse to refer to him as Ramichan). We eventually get the three outs. Tigers in- and three out, no fight, nothing. I popped off to make myself a bacon sandwich at this point- unsurprisingly, when I came back it was the top of the seventh, and the score was the same. The only difference was Tsutsui had taken over. So- three innings of Tigers yakyuu remain- can we make a go of it? Seventh– and finally, we get a runner off the mark with no outs! Toritani! Next up, Aniki- a poor hit, but at least Toritani gets to second – looked like the possibility of a double play for a minute. Arai – rubbish. And then Johjima – a fly out. Hmm. Giants eighth, Egusa in, and a poor fielding error has got runners on first and third. Nicely recovered though- a double play. The next batter is intentionally walked, and then Mayumi chooses to change to Messenger. In response, Korean star Yi Seung Yeop is up for the Giants. Don’t blow it Messenger. Its 0-3- and bases are now loaded! Messenger is no Atchison. Now- Sakamoto. Ok! Caught out- few, that’s lucky. Eighth– first up, Brazell. Giants pitcher Kaneto looks like he could be beaten. And he is! Brazell hits to left field, and is on first. Pinch runner- Yamato. Next up, Sakurai. Damn! Strikeout. Next- pinch hitter Yano. Why not Lin, Katsuragi, or Kanoh? I don’t know to be honest- only Mayumi does. Haha, and just as I say that Yano hits to centre field! 🙂 A pitcher change for the Giants- Toyoda up. Ooh and it’s Murton at bat! The Tigers crowd is buzzing- can we do it? No- Murton flies out. Finally, Katsuragi- out at first. Too little, too late. Ninth- Nishimura pitching for the Tigers. Job done. Tigers- Toritani, fly out. Aniki- walks to first! Arai- and another walk!!  1 out runners 1 and 2. Johjima – out! He grounded out on three balls 😦 Hiyama – swings and its all over! Strike out.

Analysis: A poor game in every respect. We even had the batters we wanted in for the closing innings- we had the chances, but they couldn’t produce the goods. It felt like we didn’t fight for it until it was too late, which is the worst way to go down. Overall we were outclassed- in hits, and in runs. I didn’t think I’d say it so early in the season, and obviously the Giants starter pitched well, but our offence needs to improve.