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Carp Series in Tottori 22/6 – 23/6

13-7 ・ 9-4

(Yonago, Tottori)

Preview: Hanshin resume the Central league regular games from now until the autumn, chasing a 3.5 game gap between themselves and the Yomiuri Giants in 1st place. In fact we played two games against the Baystars over the weekend- one was a comfortable win, the other exposed the continued depth of our pitcher problems, with Fossum pitching like an amateur and given away run after run. This 2 game mini-series comes from Yonago City in Tottori-ken, where there should be a good mix of Hiroshima and Hanshin (and of course Kyojin) fans.

Game Summaries:

Line-up Game One: Toritani (SS), Hirano (2), Murton (C), Arai (3), Brazell (1), Johjima (Ca), Lin (L), Sakurai (R), Shimoyanagi (P)

Line-up Game Two: Toritani (SS), Hirano (2), Murton (L), Arai (3), Brazell (1), Johjima (Ca), Asai (C), Sakurai (R), Standridge (P)

Match Reports:

For two days, Hanshin brought runs and great entertainment to the people of Yonago. I’ve been to Tottori ken only once- to the main city there, the aptly named Tottori City. I remember it having very nice fish. If I was still in Japan I’d have most likely journeyed up for these games from my old home in Okayama. Anyway, onto the games. Game one was won 13-7. The score befitted the game- runs abound, but also runs given away by Shimoyanagi who, lets face it, isn’t our strongest pitcher. The game actually went into the enchou-sen, following the Carp hitting 3 runs in the seventh. It was settled in the eleventh- a pitch hit from Hiyama, followed by a manrui home run from Murton, his second of the season, to give what looks from the score like a comfortable victory. Stars of the game came from our offence- Toritani got 3 hits, as did Brazell, one of which was a home run. Johjima was the third player to get a home run. Game two was won 9-4. Again it was an impressive offensive performance, but coupled with impressive pitching from Standridge, who got 6 strike outs and gave away 4 hits from 6 innings of play. Returning to our offence though, we really are on fire at the moment. Toritani and Murton both got 4 hits from 5 plate appearances, and are definitely the heroes of the mini-series.

While Kyojin won their first game, they lost today, so the gap is now 2.5 games. Next up, a three game series away to the Swallows over the weekend. I’ll be back blogging for our home series against Chunichi from Tuesday, and then the big one- Yomiuri in Tokyo from Friday!