Friday, March 20, 2015

Reviewing the field - Chuugoku/Shikoku floating bid Yonago Kita

Yonago Kita perhaps was the beneficiary of circumstance. They were the best candidate from the Chuugoku region, but in any other year Meitoku Gijyuku would have taken the floating bid. Things is, it is this year and Meitoku got that bid last year. Perhaps loathe to set a precedent, Yonago Kita is the beneficiary, earning their first ever appearance.

But there are problems all over. First, their resume. They almost lost to Kurashiki Higashi in the first round, and then lost to Sakai in the semifinals. They had to Yonago Higashi in the 3rd place game to reach the super-regionals. After a solid win over Risshoudai Shounan in the opening round of the super-regionals, they got some home cooking as the next games were held at the city's municipal stadium. They used that to get a 6-5 win in 13 versus Masuda Higashi, and took Ube Koujyou to the limit eventually falling 1-0.

Second is the pitching. Takahashi Seiichirou (髙橋 晟一朗) wears the ace number, but pitched just 8.2 innings during the run. Which is weird because he can throw in the low 140s with a slider, curve and changeup. However, his problem - and in fact every single pitcher's problem, is that they have issued at least as many walks as they have K's:

  • Takahashi Seiichirou - 11 BB vs 5 K
  • #10 Uegai Takumi (上貝 巧) - 9 BB vs 8 K
  • #11 Fukumoto Ren (福本 廉) - 18 BB vs 15 K
  • #18 Kogano Sena (古賀野 世南) - 7 BB vs 7 K
Now, 12 of their 35 walks happened in their last game. Perhaps there are excuses, but being the last game isn't a good sign if competition is better. Uegai and Fukumoto split the majority of the time, but despite Fukumoto's 15 K's, it was good for a 4.50 K/9 rate, which means Uegai's rate is even worse.

Offensively, the team hit 0.314 with their leading hitter being cleanup RF Yasuba Shougo (安場 翔吾) who hit 0.486. Which seems fine, but their SLG was just 0.383, and was actually lower than their OBP (0.388)!!

Jyousou Gakuin at least struggles offensively, so they may be in the game, but if the walks continue to pile up, they could be in trouble early on.

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