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July 26th Iwazaki v Ohsera - Coaching failures

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July 26th Iwazaki v Ohsera - Coaching failures
This game proved to be a perfect illustration of the Tigers coaching failures. Iwazaki started out as a promising young pitcher but has since gone downhill rather like Akiyama and Iwamoto did once Tigers coaches got their hands on them. This game he was dismal and was rightly pulled after the second innings even though he hadn't really been knocked around at all. This meant relief pitchers who hadn't been used enough - Wada's focus on starters going deep means that the relief is rusty and Tigers who had started promisingly with a three run lead saw it chipped away and taken away. After that despite the rather mediocre Carp relief Tigers weren't able score runs. Rather they bled runs and even with another Uemoto home run could only draw level. The experiment of using Imanari as second batter was a failure and Tigers really do need to drop him down to the second team. He adds nothing at all to the side. Scores

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Tigers 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 5 13 1
Carp 1 1 2 0 0 0 1 2 X 7 10 0

1. Uemoto (Second)
2. Imanari (Third)
3. Toritani (Short)
4. Gomez (First)
5. Murton (Left)
6. Fukudome (Right)
7. Itoh (Centre)
8. Umeno (Catcher)
9. Iwazaki (Pitcher)

1. Dobayashi (Third)
2. Kikuchi (Second)
3. Maru (Centre)
4. Eldred (Left)
5. Ka'aihue (First)
6. Soyogi (Short)
7. Hirose (Right)
8. Aizawa (Catcher)
9. Ohsera (Pitcher)

One wonders what Fukudome is still doing in the top team? Given that Takahiro Arai is far superior to both Fukudome and Imanari the question has to be asked - which idiot chooses the line up? Tigers start was excellent - a lead off single to Uemoto. Imanari flew out but Uemoto stole second. Things looked good and got even better when Toritani hit left to bring him in 1-0 Tigers. Carp managed to mess up the throw putting Toritani on second. Gomez doubled left along the line bringing in Toritani 2-0 Tigers runner on second. Then Murton hit a double to left centre which brought in another run 3-0 Tigers, runner on second and things looked very good. Fukudome walked but Itoh flew out to centre. Umeno grounded out to short ending the innings but it had been a very good start and should have ensured a Tigers victory. It didn't. Carp immediately worked their way back into the game. Dobayashi led off with a single - a wild pitch took him to second. No matter what the struggles; a Tigers starter should not be sending down a wild pitch in the first innings. This really shows up the inadequate coaching. Maru singled right to set up runners on first and third and then Eldred hit left to bring in a run 3-1 Tigers, runners on first and second. Tigers managed to keep Carp from further scores this innings with the next two batters failing to convert. Tigers second was to put it bluntly a disappointment punctuated by lazy batting. Iwazaki led off the innings with a double. Really with a pitcher who was that substandard Tigers needed to make more of the situation. Instead Iwazaki stayed on second as the next three batters failed with lazy and stupid swings. It wasn't that Ohsera had improved; rather Tigers batters had gone to sleep. They would be punished for their casualness. With one out in Carp's second Aizawa singled left. He was bunted to second by Ohsera and then Dobayashi singled right to bring home the runner 3-2 Tigers with Dobayashi trying to go too far and being tagged out for the final out of the innings. Tigers third saw Fukudome walk with two out but Itoh failed to convert and the innings was scoreless. So far Carp had managed to pull Tigers back but were still behind. Wada's next decision was incomprehensible though - he panicked and brought on Kaneda. Sure, Iwazaki hadn't been wonderful but the replacement wasn't quite comprehensible. Kaneda was dismal - Kikuchi led off the innings with a single to centre. Maru singled right to put runners on first and third. Then Eldred hit left bringing in the tying run 3-3 runners on first and second. Ka'aihue struck out and then Soyogi hit back to Kaneda. This should have been an easy out but Kaneda threw wildly and Carp were able to score 4-3, runners on second and third. Hirose struck out and Aizawa was deliberately walked to get at Ohsera who struck out swinging to end the innings.

Carp's next move was inspired. The poor Ohsera was replaced by Nakazaki. It provided just enough disruption to the Tigers rigid game plan to ensure that the lead stayed with the home team. Umeno led off the Tigers fourth with a single. He was stupid bunted to second by Kaneda and made third on Uemoto's sacrifice fly. Instead of trying to hit a home run Uemoto should have gone for something along the ground. Still it was down to Imanari who failed miserably and the innings was scoreless. Carp's fourth saw Maru walk with two out but Eldred flew out to end the innings. Still, Carp had the lead and that was the vital thing. Tigers fifth was quiet with no one reaching base. Carp's fifth was anything but. Hirose reached base with two out and then a wild pitch took him to second. Aizawa struck out looking though to end the innings. Fukudome led Tigers sixth off with a single. Two ours later Ryota walked - runners on first and second. Once again Uemoto had a chance to do something which he failed to convert striking out looking. Carp's sixth was pitched by Enokida. Enokida has been so messed around that he doesn't know whether he's coming or going but this innings was good with no one reaching base.

Ichioka pitched Tigers seventh and gave up a single to Imanari. The silly poltroon allowed himself to be caught off base. Toritani walked and another out later Murton hit left to put runners on first and third. Things looked promising but next was Fukudome. Guess what happened next - Fukudome flew out to left to end the innings. Maru struck out swinging to start Carp's seventh and then Eldred hit the ball very to left centre. When Eldred hits the ball very hard it goes over the fence and this was the case for this at bat 5-3 Carp. Ka'aihue struck out swinging but Soyogi walked. However, the innings ended when Hirose flew out to right. Nakata took over for Tigers eighth and struck out the first two batters but then Takahiro Arai (pinch hitter) singled left. Next was Uemoto who swung at his first pitch and connected for a two run home run 5-5 scores tied - lightning does strike twice. Imanari tried the same trick but flew out to left to end the innings. Tigers should have held that situation but Fukuhara was not on form - it would have been more sensible to start with Katoh. Aizawa who had been absolutely useless with the bat the whole game woke up and singled to lead off Carp's eighth. Kimura (pinch hitter) walked - runners on first and second. Dobayashi bunted the runners to second and third and then Maru hit to first where Tigers were unable to field effectively. Both runners made home 7-5 Carp, runner on first. Maru flew out but Kikuchi stole second. However, Eldred struck out swinging. Tigers ninth was pitched by Mickolio. Toritani singled to centre and then Gomez hit right. A promising situation made even more promising by Murton's fly out which took the runners to second and third. Fukudome walked to load the bases but Itoh lined out to third. One feels that he is not ready for the top team. Wada in desperation sent Sekimoto (pinch hitter) to the mound. This was more a situation for Takahiro Arai but he had been used already. Wada was hoping for something like Sekimoto's pinch hit grand slam but that was just lucky. It didn't happen again and Sekimoto grounded out to second to end the game. Carp victory.

Tigers should have done better and exploited and held the lead. Poor management of the pitching in this and previous games had damaged the chances of victory. Carp's pitching had been poor but they had used their chances to greater effect despite being out hit by Tigers.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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