Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 13 - Game 2 - Aomori Yamada vs. Keio (Kita Kanagawa)

The 2nd game of the day should be an exciting one. Aomori Yamada, under their ace Kinoshita looks to make the Best 8 for the 1st time since 1999. For Keio, this would be their first trip to the Summer Best 8 since 1920!

Aomori Yamada got here by defeating a good Nihon Koku team 2-1, then shutting out Honjo Daiichi 4-0. For Keio, the pitching duo of Tamura and Tadano held on for a 6-4 victory over Matsusho Gakuen, and then combined for a 5-hit shutout of Takaoka Shogyo.

This game boils down to the pitchers. Kinoshita for Aomori Yamada, and the transition between Tamura and Tadano for Keio. Kinoshita is a contact pitcher. He'll need to prevent the line drives if he wants to help Aomori Yamada advance. For Tamura and Tadano, it's a matter of being able to pull Tamura early enough to prevent Aomori from taking advantage of Tamura.

While Aomori Yamada definitely has the experience, I think Keio has shown a lot the past 2 games that they will advance to the Best 8.

Aomori Yamada
CF Abe (8)
2B Hasegawa (4)
LF Magario (7)
1B Saitou Tatsunobu (3)
RF Arahari (9)
3B Toyoda (5)
C Yano (2)
SS Miyamori (6)
P Kinoshita (1)

Keio (Kita Kanagawa)
RF Naitou (9)
3B Fukutomi (5)
2B Yamazaki (4)
1B Suzuki Yuuji (7)
LF Akada (17)
P Tamura (1)
C Suzuki Yousuke (2)
SS Saitou (6)
CF Mizoguchi (8)
11:12 AM
First pitch!

Top 1st
Tamura looks great to start early, retiring Aomori Yamada just 7 pitches.

Bottom 1st
Naitou starts the inning with a walk, and bunted over by Fukutomi.

Then Yamazaki singles back up the middle! Naitou comes around to score and Keio is quickly up 1-0!

And the oen-dan gets really, REALLY loud!

Kinoshita though recovers and gest Yuuji to fly out to right, and Akata to ground to 1st.

Top 2nd
After Tatsunobu grounds to 2nd, Arahari gets a scare after one pitch from Tamura goes over his head, and the 2nd glances off his helmet!

He heads to the dugout for precautionary measures while Tatsunobu comes in as a substitute runner.

Aomori tries to put on the hit-and-run, but Toyoda grounds to 2nd. Tatsunobu is safe at 2nd, but they do retire Toyoda at 1st.

Ah! Tamura hits Yano! That's the 2nd this inning! Small pinch for Tamura!

His defense bails him out! Miyamori hits a liner to left, but Saito makes the grab!

Bottom 2nd
Two down, Saitou draws a walk. But Kinoshita gets Mizoguchi to strikeout afterwards.

Top 3rd
Aomori Yamada finally gets its first hit with one down in the 3rd as Abe singles up the middle. However, he's thrown out trying to steal 2nd. While it ends up being a 1-2-3 inning, Tamura's pitches are still all over the place.

Bottom 3rd
Yamazaki with a 2-out single, but nothing else for Keio.

Top 4th
Magario opens the inning with a single through the left side. Tatsunobu bunts him along.

Arahari with the comebacker! Tamura with it, but goes to 2nd to try and get Magario! The throw is off and Magario gets back to the bag. Throw to 1st, not in time! Ah! Mistake there by Tamura! Now he's in a small pinch!

Toyoda swinging away! Grounder to 3rd, Fukutomi with it! Touches 3rd for one, throw to 1st... in time! Fukutomi's DP gets Tamura out of the jam!

Bottom 4th
Kinoshita with his first 1-2-3 inning. Continues to look good on the mound despite the 1st inning.

Top 5th
Miyamori hits a slow grounder to short and is safe. But that gets wiped away as Kinoshita grounds into the 4-6-3 DP!

Bottom 5th
Kinoshita continues to go after batters, yielding only a 2-out single to Naitou. As we head to the break, it's a 1-0 Keio lead.

Top 6th
Tamura with another 1-2-3 inning, but he's is leaving pitches up in the zone. #3 Tadano starts warming up in the bullpen.

Bottom 6th
Yamazaki gets his 3rd hit of the day as he hits a chopper up the middle!

Yuuji looks to put on the hit-and-run! But he strikes out, and Yamazaki is caught in between and run down!

Top 7th
Tamura retires the first two batters of the inning, then pulls Tamura for #3 Tadano. While the announcers may be surprised, I'm not. If you're using a 2-pitcher system, you need to make sure you're not overusing either of them. The fact that Tamura lasted this far is a surprise. But he did only throw 75 pitches. So perhaps he could have lasted this long then.

Tadano comes in, and is rudely greeted by Toyoda! He drives one to deep left! Akada runs back, but it's over his head! Toyoda in with the double! Chance for Aomori!

Yano with the grounder to short! Saitou goes over and smothers it! Throw to 1st, in time! Tadano quickly gets into a pinch and once again the defense comes to its aid!

Bottom 7th
Tadano leads off the inning with a walk, with Yousuke bunting him over. Saitou with another bunt! Yano looks to 3rd, but turns and throws to 1st. But the throw is off line! Saitou is safe!

Runners at the corners for Mizoguchi! He's squaring to put on the squeeze! Kinoshita throws away though, and eventually the count goes to 3-0! Kinoshita has to come in now! And he does for strike 1. And now he looks to swing.

Wait, no he doesn't! He puts down the squeeze!! Tadano runs home! Toyoda's only play is to 1st! Tadano scores and it's now 2-0 Keio!!

Top of the lineup now and Naitou. He singles to right! Saitou rounds 3rd, he's heading home! Throw by Arahari, picked up by Yano, and they get the tag on Saitou! 3 out!

But Keio has added another run!

Top 8th
Tadano's given another run, is still not that comfortable. He walks Miyamori to start the inning.

And #18 Nakamura comes in to pinch hit for Kinoshita. It appears his day is done. It also means they're not bunting.

But Nakamura hits a pop-up that Yuuji fields in foul territory.

Abe up now. He's stubborn at the plate. But Tadano eventually strikes him out! And Miyamori takes off for 2nd! Yousuke up with the throw, but no one's there to cover??! The ball heads to center as Miyamori heads to 3rd!

Aomori can cut the lead to 1 with a timely hit by Hasegawa! But he grounds to 2nd! Yamazaki up with the ball, throw is a little wide! Yuuji stretches to get it, but is pulled off! He scrambles with his foot, and just touches 1st in time!

Aomori Yamada is denied once again by Keio

Bottom 8th
#11 Saitou Eisuke comes in to pitch for Kinoshita.

With one down, #16 Arakawa comes to pinch hit for captain Yamazaki. And he earns a walk. One down for Yuuji.

Ah!! Wild pitch! Arakawa advances to 2nd!

Ah!! Eisuke hits Yuuji! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Akada!

Scorched down the 3rd base line! Toyoda dives and has it! Tags 3rd for one, goes to 1st... not in time! 2 down!

Tadano with the shot to right! That's in for a base hit! Arahari playing short, up with it and fires home! Yuuji stays at 3rd! Manrui for Yousuke!

Eisuke gets ahead of Yousuke, and then freezes him on a fastball! No runs for Keio! But they're down to their final 3 outs!

Top 9th
Magario first pitch swinging, and he grounds to 3rd. Tatsunobu also swinging first pitch, and he grounds to 1st.

Arahari also swinging away, but he puts one past Fukutomi and into left.

Toyoda up, and falls behind quickly 0-2. Outside, 1-2. Low, 2-2. Fouled off! Still 2-2.

Sanshin!! Tadano gets Arahari to swing on a curve ball and the game is over! Keio, who hasn't been to Summer Koshien in 46 years, has made it to the Best 8!!

Meanwhile, Aomori Yamada is once again denied the honor of reaching the Best 8, and it shows on the players' faces. They've always had a good team each time they come out, but never good enough to make it deep into the tournament. Perhaps next year, they'll be able to make that run.

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