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The Dragons Series : 23rd -25th April

(Koshien Stadium)

Game 1 saw us crush the Dragons 7-1 as they crumbled in the fifth, allowing us to beat Chen for the first time since 2008. If Chen was the ace on the Dragons side, then newcomer Fossum certainly matched him, with a home debut blinder- 8 strikeouts and only 3 hits in 5 innings of play.

Game 2 saw another victory- this time 3-1. Nohmi started, and is now 3-0 for the season. Again the Dragons managed a number of hits, but we took more of our chances.

Game 3 was an 8-5 defeat, with the damage done in the early stages. As a result Andoh has been demoted to ni-gun ; probably a wise decision. Toritani hit a consolation manrui home run.

Players to Watch

フォッサムThe dark, broody Casey Fossum has to some extent overshadowed all the hysteria surrounding the arrival of Jason Standridge (who, conincidentally, pitched his first innings of ichi-gun action in the first Chunichi sen). After a brilliant debut against the Yomiuri Giants, Fossum looked arguably even better in the first game of the series here. Early days I know, but his EPA stands at 0.81. It seems like our starting rotation is still in flux, but also significantly improved from the start of the season. Adding to the arrival of Fossum, Kubo is looking really sharp, Nohmi has three wins, and we can’t forget Shimoyanagi, with his EPA after four starts of 1.96. Oh, and just a quick word on Kyuji Fujikawa, who has five saves and an EPA of 0.00000 🙂

マートンYounger and less scary-looking that Fossum is Matt Murton. To quote Yakyu Baka, just how good is this guy right now!? He has been held hitless just three times, and has had multiple hits in half his games. 33 hits, 18 runs and 4 home runs, as well as an ERA of 0.366 – all in his first season of Nippon Pro Yakyu. Long may it continue- as sad as all Tigers fans were to see Akahoshi retire last year, Murton is a worthy replacement as lead-off batter. A word must also be spared for newcomer Yamato, who now has consecutive games with hits, and two excellent steals (Yamato is actually his first name, but he chooses to use it- like Ichiro). Finally, what with all these new gaijin around, we shouldn’t forget good old slugger Brazell, with the third best ERA of the team at 0.306

Our final hero is Takahiro Arai. Since Kanemoto’s decision to step down as number 4 batter, Arai

has been thrust into the spotlight, and I doubted whether he could fulfil the role. I have been

proved wrong though, with a string of superb batting performances. Arai is now 0.320 with 26 hits,

14 runs and 3 home runs- but in the last few games he has been doing even better. He got the runs

and multiple hits against the Dragons in both the first and second games of this series. Lets hope he can continue this, and add in some more home runs as well.

Video Highlights

Courtesy of VictoryTigers85

Tigers 7 Dragons 1 – Highlights

Tigers 3 Dragons 1 – Highlights