Monday, March 16, 2015

Reviewing the field - Kanto runner-up Kisaradzu Sougou

Kanto's runner-up, Kisaradzu Sougou, should be credited with getting to the Kanto final. But it should be said that they perhaps got the softest run the entire way though as a team in a metropolitan region could have had.

In fact, the best brand-name team that they faced in the prefecturals might have been Chiba Keiai, and they're a borderline tier 3 school. The minute they started facing an actual Koushien powerhouse, they struggled. They managed to hold out versus Jyousou Gakuin, but then got annihilated by Urawa Gakuin in the final.

It should also be said that Gojima-kantoku basically threw the final against Urawa Gakuin, refusing to throw in the false #1 Suzuki Kenya (鈴木 健矢) and their true ace, 2nd year #10 Hayakawa Takahisa (早川 隆久).

Why do I say that Hayakawa is the ace? Because while he wasn't used as much (36 IP vs. Suzuki's 42), he was not used early on while Suzuki was sent out for their opening game. And despite the soft competition, he did not give up a run.

Not one.

Soft run or not, giving up no runs in what amounts to 4 full games is still impressive. His K/IP clip is under 1 though, so the case for it being a truly soft 0.00 ERA is perhaps strengthened. What cements it is that he throws in the low 130s with a slider in the 100s and a slow curve in the 90s. Doesn't mean that he isn't a great pitcher, just that he's probably above the average guy.

Now off to the offense, and that's where things really start to fall apart. The team hit a paltry 0.282, which given their opposition is not good. Even worse, their ISO falls in at 0.080, and their SLG is just 0.020 higher than their OBP.

Apparently Gojima has gone for a lineup by matchup basis as only 3 players played all 12 games. Not surprising that those 3 - leadoff hitter LF Kido Ryou (木戸 涼), cleanup hitter SS Himura Atsushi (檜村 篤史), and 2B Koike Kazuki (小池 航貴) - had the highest averages. Behind them, there is no member of the numbered starters who hit over 0.250, and the two that played 11 games, perhaps are in more for defensive purposes.

This is a soft runner-up school that perhaps gets a chance to get right early, but Okayama Ridai Fuzoku isn't a no-name squad either with their constant headbutting against Kanzei in-prefecture.

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