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September 25th - To the wire

Discussion in the Tiger Tails forum
September 25th - To the wire
Wada really demonstrated his ineptness this game showing a complete lack of perception and ability to handle the rotation. Messenger is a tired pitcher and it shows in his current performance. He struggled through the first four innings throwing 84 pitches but giving up one run. Tigers meanwhile had scored four runs in the first and then sat on the lead. This was poor batting again especially as the BayStars were really poor. Messenger though couldn't hold things in the fifth and started to stray really seriously. He loaded the bases with no outs and then dead balled Yanagida for an oshidashi. A walk in oshidashi followed and BayStars were 4-3 behind with bases loaded. Here you might have expected Wada to replace Messenger but he kept him in and Messenger was able to summon up reserves of strength to get out of the innings with a one run lead intact. He has the ability to lift his game in adversity and it was on full display here ably assisted by Umeno, his catcher. But he had thrown 120 pitches over five innings.
Of course for the sixth there had to be a new pitcher and Takamiya took over. Two strike outs and then a single followed and here Wada screwed up. He replaced Takamiya with Matsuda - one of those gratuitous panic decisions that a poor manager indulges in. Matsuda wasn't up to the challenge and gave up the tying run 4-4. Tigers had blown the lead and just to make sure that things would go wrong Wada brought on the pathetic Fujii as replacement catcher. He was terrible as usual and with Fukuhara pitching in the eighth contrived to allow Tsutsugoh to hit a solo home run 5-4. This was the final score - once again the BayStars had stolen a late victory and once again it had been one of Tigers 'experienced' catchers behind the plate. Good work wasted by incompetent has beens and by a manager who doesn't have much between his ears.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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