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Out BayStaring the BayStars

Discussion in the Tiger Tails forum
Out BayStaring the BayStars
Tigers should have made more of this series and blowing the lead in the last game wasn't really that welcome. However, it does illustrate the weakness of their relief. The fact that BayStars are in full 'hamagin' mode merely rubs salt into the wounds.
The first game saw Fujinami pitch seven solid innings for just one run. In fact for a change the pitch count was pretty good - just 90 pitches thrown. Could it be sense is beginning to prevail among Tigers management? BayStars though tried to push Inoh one innings too many and as he tired he got slack and both Yamato and Gomez pounced on him to bring the score to 2-1 Tigers. It didn't help that Dollis is now in a slump and gave up a tying run before being replaced. Still it set the stage for a Tigers hero which in this case was Ryota. The younger Arai hit the ball deep and far into the right stand for a solo home run and a slender lead 3-2. Mateo came on to save and he is proving quite a useful closer which is good as Tigers are not able to work enormous leads most of the time. So the first game went to Tigers.

Tigers could have been expected to win the next game as well facing the BayStars rookie Imanaga but he produced a very sharp performance whilst Iwasada had an off day. Basically he fell apart in the second - giving up a solo home run to Tsutsugoh and then loading the bases. A single brought in two more runs and that was all the scoring the BayStars could manage. Tigers pulled a run back in the fifth and with Imanaga departing they should have been able to do something about the feeble BayStars relief. It was rather depressing to see their inept bumblings at the plate and BayStars held on for a deserved 3-1 victory.

Tigers then wasted a fine pitching performance by Nohmi. After seven innings he had delivered a scoreless performance with just two hits and no walks. It was time to switch to the relief but the cue was missed and Kanemoto with complete game shutouts in mind put him on for the eighth. This was folly in hot humid conditions and despite a 4-0 lead he was always going to struggle. BayStars pulled back three runs before Nohmi was replaced. Still 4-3 was salvageable and when it became 5-3 courtesy of a Gomez solo homer you knew Tigers were going to win - didn't you?
It was Mateo's turn to screw the pooch and he duly did so allowing the BayStars to tie the game 5-5 with a pitching performance that might best be described as forgettable and insipid. Having reached the tied situation neither team showed any inclination to win the game and the three extra innings proceeded with no excitement or action apart from a Gomez walk. This was not a glorious end to what could have been a very exciting game.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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