Saturday, August 16, 2014

Day 6, Game 3 - Moriokadai Fuzoku (Iwate) v. Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa)

With conditions still sketchy, and the groundskeepers trying to dry the field as best they can, Moriokadai Fuzoku and Toukaidai Sagami take the field.  Assuming we get under way...

Moriokadai Fuzoku didn't have to face anyone of note until the final when their rivals Hanamaki Higashi awaited.  That game was the Matsumoto Yuuki show as he drove in 4 of the 5 runs and shut down the Hanamaki Higashi offense in a 5-4 win.

Surely he'll be the focus for the team, but the rest of the offense needs to step up if they want to make a deep run.

For Toukaidai Sagami, despite being in Kanagawa, their final happened in the semifinals where they defeated Yokohama 5-3 (for me ironically enough on the same day Nisshougakushadai Fuzoku won the Higashi Tokyo title).

With almost no competition to speak of, their numbers are severely inflated, something I would not think I would say for a metropolitan prefecture such as Kanagawa.

Does it mean that Moriokadai Fuzoku has a chance? Certainly, especially given the field conditions.

Moriokadai Fuzoku (Iwate)
LF Takahashi Ryou
RF Itou Wataru
CF Nabana Hiroki
P Matsumoto Yuuki
2B Endou Makoto
1B Makishima Kento
SS Tachinami Ukyuu
3B Shibuya Yuuya
C Kozaki Fuuga

Toukaidai Sagami (Kanagawa)
LF Kusunoki Kenjirou
SS Sugisaki Shigeki
RF Toyoda Hiroshi
3B Hirayama Kai
1B Nanya Yuuki
C Nagakura Ren
2B Osakai Keiji (#13)
P Aoshima Ryouya
CF Miyaji Kyouhei


13:30 - Rain Delay

14:05 - Tarps come off

14:15 - First Pitch!

Top 1st
With a rain delay like this, I think it helps out the pitchers more, so it may take a little while for the offenses to warm up.

Aoshima just blows a fastball by Takahashi, follows that up by pulling the string on a 100s slow curve that Itou is way out in front of.

And Nabana goes down looking on a 3-2 fastball on the outside corner to strike out the side.

Bottom 1st
Grounder to 1st by Kusunoki goes off Makisima into right!  Kusunoki runs into Makishima rounding 1st!  He's calling for interference, the umpires confer, but do nothing.

Hit-and-run!  Sugisaki grounds to 2nd, and Endou's play is to 1st.  One down.

Toyoda drive to right!  Itou running back towards the foul pole, but it drops in right near him!  Kusunoki, having to wait to see if Itou would catch it goes to 3rd.

Grounder to short! Tachinami makes a great diving stop, throws to 1st... AHHHHHHH!!!!!

His throw is high and into the camera well!  Kusunoki already scored, Toyoda is awarded home and it's 2-0 Sagami!

Nagakura goes down looking to end the inning, but the conditions possibly already playing a factor in the game.

Top 2nd
Matsumoto avoids the K, but flies out to left.

Endou with a drive to left.  Takahashi running back towards the foul pole, running... jumps into the padding!


Endou cuts into the lead with a wind aided HR (aided as in blowing towards the foul pole) and Moriokadai cuts into the lead 2-1!

Aoshima proceeds to strike out Makishima and Tachinami to retire the side, 5 K's already, but also 1 HR given up.

Bottom 2nd
Osakai twirls and needs to catch himself after swinging and missing on a slider away for the first out.

And after Aoshima checks his swing into the ball and hits it back to Matsumoto, Miyaji strikes out swinging as well for Matsumoto's 3rd K.

Top 3rd
Aoshima though pulls away in that category with his 6th K, a curve that Shibuya is way out in front of.

Just to change things up, he throws the slider away to Kozaki and he has 7 Ks.

Takahashi is finally able to wait on the curve and poke it to left for Moriokadai's first base hit.

Aoshima throwsa a pitch towards the on deck circle on the 3rd base dugout.  Yeah, probably slipped there.

Doesn't matter, Itou fooled, can't check his swing on the shoulder high fastball, and 8 of Aoshima's 9 outs have been via the K.

Bottom 3rd
Kusunoki with his 2nd hit in as many ABs with a liner to right.  Sugisaki bunts him over.

This time though, Matsumoto shuts it down.  Toyoda goes down swinging, and then Hirayama grounds back to Matsumoto to retire the side.

Top 4th
Nabana gets a hold of Aohima's curve and sends it to center !  Nabana running back, but it's off the fence! He's in with a leadoff double!

Matsumoto's timing off on Aoshima's slow curve and hit a sky high fly that Kusunoki catches for the 1st out.

Endou also looks to have gotten under a curve, but even then Miyaji has to go back to field it.

Makishima gives it one more try, but he flies out to Toyoda and they'll have to head back out to the field.

Bottom 4th
Nanya opens the frame with a single to center.  But he tries to take off to center, and Kozaki fires to 2nd and guns him down.

After that the inning stalls as Nakakura strikes out swinging and Osakai grounds to short for a 1-2-3 inning.

Top 5th
Moriokadai still struggling with Aoshima.  Tachinami and Shibuya are out on 1 pitch each, with Shibuya hitting a hard liner to Nanya.  Kozaki goes down swinging for yet another K for Aoshima.

Bottom 5th
Matsumoto yields his first walk to his counterpart to start the 5th.  Miyaji doesn't bunt, but lines out to left.

And once again the inning stall.  Kusunoki hits a ball back to Matsumoto who begins the inning-ending 1-6-3 double play!

So the game is moving fairly quickly, with teams picking off a run or two early on, but now the pitchers have taken the stage, and it'll be up to the batters to change that.

Top 6th
Aoshima too issues his first walk to Nabana with 2 down, which brings up Matsumoto.

He takes a ball the other way past a diving Hirayama down the line! Nabana heads to 3rd on the long single for Matsumoto and the douten run is 90 feet away!

Endou with a liner to left!  Kusunoki has to leap to knock it down and Nabana scores to tie up the game at 2-2!

And now Aoshima hits Makishima to load the bases!  Manrui for Tachinami!

Liner to right... over a leaping Makishima!  Matsumoto will score!  Endou right behind him!  Tachinami with the gyakuten timely and Moriokadai leads 4-2!

And that'll be it for Aoshima.  #10 Ogasawara comes in to relieve him on the hill, perhaps a couple of batters too late.

Ogasawara gives himself no room for error as he walks Shibuya to load the bases.

But thankfully for him he faces Kozaki, who winds up striking out for the 3rd time to end the inning.  Damage done, could have been worse, but now Sagami will need to hit the sticks.

Bottom 6th
One down, Toyoda's hits a grounder to 3rd.  Shibuya fires to 1st, but one hops Makishima and he can't make the pick! E5.

Monma-kantoku puts on the hit-and-run as Hirayama singles to left! Toyoda advances to 3rd and the douten runner is on base!  Sekiguchi-kantoku calls for time.

Nanya grounder up midde! Tachinami takes it, runs to 2nd for 1, throws to first... double play! Just what the doctor ordered for Matsumoto and the side is retired!

That play was made even harder because  Hirayama was just about in Tachinami's face as he was making the throw.  Nice play!

Top 7th
Ogasawara trying to stabilize the situation retires the first two batters before a dribbler up the 1st base line by Nabana goes for a base hit as he beats the coverage.  However, he comes right back to strike out Matsumoto to end the inning.

Bottom 7th
After 2 quick outs, Monma-kantoku decides to go with his next pitcher as #4 Chino comes in to hit for Ogasawara.

But Chino goes down on a slider and the side is retired.

Top 8th
#11 Yoshida will pick up the flag for Sagami on the mound.  Throws just as hard as the others, but control has something to be desired.

Makishima's day is done at 1B as #15 Sasaki Akito hits for him, but goes down swinging in a clean frame from the 3rd reliever.

Bottom 8th
#13 Sasaki Yuuya come in the game for Akito to play 1B.

Sagami running out of time.  Miyaji tries to work the count, but when backed into a corner pops up the curveball as Shibuya makes the catch.

Kusunoki tries to give a ball a ride, but instead flies out to center.

And Sugisaki having to swing the bat, instead watches the 3-2 fastball hit the inside edge for strike 3.

Top 9th
Shibuya lifts a ball to deep left.  Kusunoki makes his way to the wall before making the catch.

Yoshida strikes out the next 2 batters to close out Moriokadai's ledger.

Bottom 9th
But now the offense needs 2 runs to keep their run alive.

Toyoda rolls a grounder to 3rd.  Shibuya throws to 1st for the 1st out.

Hirayama swings at the first good pitch he sees, but lines it right to Takahashi for the 2nd out.

Last chance in Nanya....

He singles to center which at least brings up the douten run in Nagakura.

Matsumoto working in/out on Nagakura, but should be careful.

But not that careful!  He's behind 3-1!

Gets strike 2 on outside corner....

BALL 4!  Matsumoto nibbles too much and now the douten runner is on base, and the sayonara runner steps in in Osakai!  #15 Kawamoto comes in to run for Nagakura.

Osakai liner to right!  Nanya will score!  Kawamoto held up at 3rd as the throw comes in!  Matsumoto too predictable and now the douten runner in 90 feet away!

Monma-kantoku sends out #12 Nagai to hit for Yoshida.  Can they complete the comeback?

Grounder to 2nd!  Endou has it! Throw to 1st, out!  Yuuya raises his arms in the air and Matsumoto gives a guts pose as another Toukaidai school falls!  Tohoku power prevails as Moriokadai Fuzoku holds on for the 4-3 win!

It's strange to see Sagami using a battery of pitchers for their staff, but their problem is like the golf saying "drive for show, putt for dough"...

The combined staff struck out 15 batters on the day.  Yet a lack of control led to the 3-run 6th and evenually a loss.

Throwing fast is fine, but you have to be able to control it or you're lost.

Matsumoto for most of the game was like that.  But in the 9th, he started nibbling, trying to get the batters to get themselves out.  If he wants to take that next step, he just needs to play his own game.  Otherwise today's result could have been much different.


JH said...

Wow, Aoshima's K pace reminds me of a lefty from Kanagawa 2 years ago.

Matsui had troubles in his early pro career, but it's good to hear that he is becoming better and better.

JH said...

Wow, Tokai Four Horsemen are suffering. This was rather unexpected.

Sagami - gone!
Youbou - gone!
Kofu - gone!

....and now there is only Yon.

JH said...

A lesson from this upset might mean that it is always nice to have a pitching staff, but it might matter less in the early stages in which endurance is yet to become a key factor.

Tokaidai Sagami had 4 good pitchers. 4! (Within my knowledge, I guess 2009 Teikyo was the last school to have such depth in their pitching staff) If Sagami met Moriokadai Fuzoku in quarterfinals or later, they might have had a better chance.

Anyway, congratulations for Moriokadai Fuzoku and their long awaited win in Koshien! Will the Tohuku force finally win one this year?