Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Day 1 Thoughts

Well, opening day has ended with a bit of a letdown in the matchup of the giants.  It's clear that Sasaki-kantoku left Ootani off the fall tournament mound because of the control issues he had - and still has.  Would it have been better to send those pitchers he used in the fall tournaments instead?  The problem is he was on the edge all game, and the gaffes after the break came all at once so that by the time he could identify when to pull him out, they had already lost the lead.

On the other side, Fujinami looked much the better pitcher, but one wonders what would happen against a stronger offense.  Because Hanamaki Higashi is not known for being a power hitting team.

The other two games today went almost as expected.  Urawa Gakuin dispatched Tsuruga Kehi with little issue, while Mie and Tottori Jyouhoku were evenly matched despite Tottori Jyouhoku winning the Chuugoku fall title.  From the 3 games so far, unless Kyushu Gakuin shows something tomorrow, I expect Osaka Touin to advance out of the first quadrant.


westbaystars said...

A let down it was. Once Ohtani hit, what was it? the 6th or 7th inning?, he seemed to lose it.

Doesn't Osaka Toin often have a strong offense? Once they started hitting, they seemed to really hit the ball hard.

Goro Shigeno said...

Ootani basically had been toeing the line between wildly effective (aka Hifumi Shinta) and completely ineffective given the number of K's and BB's he was issuing. The fact that he was able to throw enough non-fastball strikes that weren't outright mistakes kept the Osaka Touin batters honest and off-balance (which I think explains why we didn't see their offense until later).

Once the bloop hit in the 6th led to the gyakuten reversal for Osaka Touin, the team could afford to be more aggressive and put pressure on Ootani. Combine that with the fact that Ootani finally made mistakes, and it was game, set, and match.

So I pretty much expect Osaka Touin's offense to show up at least in the next game (when they face the Memanbetsu-Kyushu Gakuin winner), and perhaps be tested a little again should they face Urawa Gakuin (and not Mie).