Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 14 - Best 8 - Game 2 - Urasoe Shogyo (Okinawa) vs. Keio (Kita Kanagawa)

This game should be if nothing else, LOUD. Okinawa with it's hollering and whistling, and Keio with it's band and rally songs.

Seriously though, this game should be interesting. Urasoe has shown that it can play all types of games. They had a scorefest against Chiba Keizaidai Fuzoku completely battering ace Saitou. They also played a defensive game against Kanto Daiichi winning 3-1.

Keio has depended on its pitching tandem of Tamura and Tadano, yielding only 4 runs in the 3 games they've played so far.

This has the looks of a low-scoring game. But both teams are sending their secondary pitchers to the hill! Probably as a response for them starting in their games yesterday.

So, the real key may be who can get to the secondary pitchers first before the aces come into the game!

This one is a tossup I think. It's especially hard to tell given the pitching situation.

Urasoe Shogyo (Okinawa)
CF Kanna (9)
SS Ueji Toshiki (6)
RF Iha (1)
C Yamashiro (2)
LF Miyahira (7)
1B Touyama Kazuma (18)
3B Nakama (5)
2B Niita (12)
P Ueji Tokima (11)

Keio (Kita Kanagawa)
RF Naitou (9)
3B Fukutomi (5)
2B Yamazaki (4)
1B Suzuki Yuuji (7)
LF Akada (17)
P Tadano (3)
C Suzuki Yousuke (2)
SS Saitou (6)
CF Mizoguchi (8)
1:52 PM
First pitch!

Top 1st
Kanna leads off the game with a single to right, moved over to 2nd. And then moved over to
3rd when Iha grounds to 1st.

Cleanup batter Yamashiro up. He hits a pop up to center! Mizoguchi and Yamazaki converge, Mizoguchi reaches out his glove to his left at the last minute, and the ball drops! Mizoguchi misplays the ball and Kanna comes in to score! 1-0 Urasoe!

Bottom 1st
Ueji Tokima looks shaky to start. He walks Naitou on 4 straight to start. After a sac bunt by Fukutomi, Tokima strikes out Yamazaki after he works the count full.

But then Tokima walks Yuuji on 4 straight and now there's runners at 1st and 2nd!

Akada though cannot get the timely hit and hits a soft liner to 2nd.

Top 2nd
Tadano labors somewhat, but he manages a 1-2-3 inning.

Bottom 2nd
Um... Tokima trying out an eephus pitch?! Then plunking Saitou...

But he retires the side otherwise. He's ok for a relief pitcher.

Top 3rd
Tokima singles back up the middle to start the 3rd. Kanna tries to bunt him along, but instead pops it straight up to Yousuke who then throws to 1st to double off Tokima.

And Tadano strikes out Toshiki on 3 straight to retire the side!

Bottom 3rd
Yamazaki gets the first base hit for Keio with a single between Kazuma and Niita!

Then Yuuji drives a ball away to right center! That's in the gap and to the wall! Yamazaki heads for 3rd, and heads home! Throw in not in time and Keio has tied the game up 1-1!!

Top 4th
With one down, Tadano walks Yamashiro. Then Miyahira singles up the middle! Runners at the corners for Kazuma!

Chopper up the middle! Saitou dashes to field it. Touches 2nd for one, throw to 1st... safe! Yuuji was scrambling back to the bag, he wasn't in contact with it when he caught the ball! Yamashiro scores! 2-1 Urasoe!!

Nakama with a liner back up the middle! It looks like Tadano's starting to break down!

Nitta then grounds to 2nd. But Urasoe has retaken the lead!

Bottom 4th
With one down, Yousuke singles through to left. And after he gets ahead of Saitou, he plunks him!

And the manager goes to change pitchers. But he doesn't call for ace Iha! Instead he calls upon righty #15 Shimane to come in!

And he strikes out Mizoguchi on 3 straight!

And then after a prolonged at bat against Naitou, he strikes him out as well! Where did this guy come from?!!!

Top 5th
Ace Tamura now takes the mound. Tadano moves to 1st, and Yuuji moves to left.

He retires the Urasoe batters in order. A nice way to start for Tamura.

Bottom 5th
One down, Yamazaki and Yuuji with back to back grounders to left! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Tamura!

Ah! He hits a weak grounder to 3rd! Nakama up with it! Tags 3rd for one, throw to 1st in plenty of time to get Tamura! What a waste!

As we head to the break, Urasoe has the 2-1 lead, and they haven't even used their ace yet!

Top 6th
Iha begins the inning with a grounder to short, Saitou though can't pick up the ball and Iha's safe at 1st!

But Tamura doesn't let it bother him. After a sac bunt, he goes after Miyahira striking him out, and getting Kazuma to ground to short.

Bottom 6th
Shimane yields only a 2-out single to Saitou. That's 2.2 innings of 3-hit ball this unknown pitcher has thrown! And he didn't even pitch in the prefectural qualifiers!

Top 7th
Tamura retires the side in order. But important to note that #14 Nakazato pinch-hit for Shimane. That probably means one thing... that Iha will be taking the mound in the bottom half of the frame.

Bottom 7th
And he does. Iha takes over on the mound, presumably to get the 9 out save! Nakazato takes over in center, and Kanna moves to right.

Naitou starts the inning, and Iha strikes him out! But it's a wild pitch! It drops right under Yamashiro, but he doesn't notice it! Naitou dashes for 1st! Yamashiro sees it, scrambles to pick it up! Throw to 1st, he airmailed it! Naitou safe at first on Yamashiro's error!

Keio's playing for the tie. They bunt Naitou over to 2nd.

Yamazaki with the liner down the line! Kazuma dives, but he's too late!!! That's down to the wall! Naitou rounds 3rd, he scores! Yamazaki with the game-tying double!!! 2-2!!!!

Yuuji with the hard grounder to 3rd! Nakama comes up with it, looks Yamazaki back to 2nd and throws Yuuji out at 1st! 2 down. Can Tamura help his own cause?

He jumps ahead 3-1 as the oen-dan plays Dash Keio...

Grounder to the right side! Ball takes a slightly higher hop and gets by Niita!!! Yamazaki rounding 3rd, he's going home! Kanna up with the throw. Yamashiro with it, but Yamazaki is already home! Keio leads 3-2!!

Tadano looking to extend the lead. Iha comes back and strikes him out! But Keio with some timely hitting in the 7th and they now lead 3-2!!

Top 8th
There's a delay going into the 8th. Apparently, Tamura is having his leg or foot looked at. The umpire seems to be on the phone, but what's happened to Tamura?

And now the medical staff has come to the dugout. And there's something mentioned about taping. Possibly taping/bandaging his leg?

Now Tadano starts warming up? Is it that serious that Tamura has to exit the game?!

Meanwhile, Urasoe's players huddle around their manager.

And after an extended delay, Tamura emerges from the dugout. The question now is, if it's a problem with his foot/leg, how will it affect his pitching??

He'll be tested here as the top of the order is up for Urasoe...

The report come down of a taping of one of his left toes....

And he walks Kanna. Toshiki moves him over to 2nd. Urasoe playing for the tie.

Iha with the bloop hit to left! Kanna has to stop at 3rd! Runners at the corners with 1 down for Yamashiro!

And he hits a fly to center! Mizoguchi with the catch, but Kanna comes in to tie the game! 3-3!!

Tamura defends his life as he catches a sharp comebacker by Miyahira at head level!

Bottom 8th
Now, what can Keio do now?

With 2 down, Mizoguchi gets his first hit to right. Then Iha falls behind Naitou 3-1 and walks him! Runners at 1st and 2nd for Fukutomi!

He swings on the first pitch! It's a grounder to 3rd that Nakama easily fields and throws to 1st to end the inning.

Top 9th
So now it's Urasoe's turn to see if they can break the tie...

But Tamura quickly retires them in order. The ball goes back into Keio's court. Can they put it away in regulation?

Bottom 9th
Keio has the heart of their lineup due in the 9th.

With one out, Yuuji hits a liner to center. What will Tamura do?

He's swinging away! Ball down the left field line! Miyahira running into foul territory, dives! Foul! And he collides with the wall! He's a bit stunned, but he returns to left.

He reaches out and pokes one to center! That's in for a base hit! Runners at 1st and 2nd with one down for Tadano! But Tadano today is 0-4 with 2 K's. Can he get his first hit when it really counts????

Tadano gets ahead 2-0! High chopper! Niita fields it! Iha scrambles to 1st! Throw and tag in time! 2 down!

Down to Suzuki Yousuke. Grounder to short! Toshiki with it, throw to first. Side retired!
Enhchousen! Iha gets out of another jam and we're headed to extras! Keio unable to bring the winning run home with the runner on 2nd and 1 down!

Top 10th
Nakazato takes a ball away to the right center field gap! It's past the drawn in outfield and all the way to the wall! Naitou furiously runs back as Nakazato runs the bases!

And he's in with a triple!

No squeeze from Kanna! Comebacker! Tamura sticks out his glove! It's off his glove! Yamazaki backing up gets the ball, fires to first.. in time!

And Nakazato didn't come home! He was frozen on the liner as Tamura almost caught it!

One bullet dodged. But Toshiki is up and now they're looking for the squeeze!

He puts it down! Fukutomi charges in, but has no play at home! Throw to first, low! Toshiki is safe at first and Nakazato scores to put Urasoe ahead 4-3!!

Iha bunts Toshiki over, and the battery decides to intentionally walk cleanup batter Yamashiro to get to Miyahira.

And the gamble pays off as Miyahira grounds back to Tamura. But now Keio is down to their final 3 outs.

Bottom 10th
#15 Fukuhara comes in to pinch-hit. And I think he's got to be the biggest player I've seen.

But he hits a grounder to the right side and past a diving Niita for a single!

#16 Arakawa pinch-runs for Fukuhara. Mizoguchi bunts him along.

Naitou with the first chance to drive him in. But it's a grounder to 3rd! Arakawa can't advance as Nakama throws Naitou out!

Up to Fukutomi. He's 0-3 today. Can he get his first hit? Falls behind 0-2. Hold off on an outside pitch. 1-2.

AH! He pops it up at home! Yamashiro under it, waiting, waiting...

And he has it! Urasoe Shogyo holds on to advance, defeating a tough Keio squad, 4-3 in 10 innings!


canman said...

This was a great game, and I was cheering for Keio to win, but this game is a perfect example of the problems with the Koushien schedule. There is no way that Keio should have been playing a day after there last game. And since they only had two pitchers of course it would be much more difficult for them to win. Also, as much as I liked the Keio's managers style to have fun, he should have pinch hit for a few players in the game. That would have been the deciding factor.

Goro Shigeno said...

The Koshien schedule unfortunately is what it is.

Because the stadium is a major league stadium, the Hanshin Tigers go on the road for the entire tournament - hence the reason why they cram in as much as possible.

As for the 2-pitcher system, I think you're wrong. You just have to look to last year and Saga Kita who used 2 pitchers very effectively to win the championship.

As for pinch-hitters, you are also correct. But I think the reason why for instance he didn't PH for Tadano is that once he's gone, you're stuck at one pitcher. As for say PH for Fukutomi in the 7th or 8th or 10th, I have no clue.