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The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record

Discussion in the Records and Milestones forum
The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
IMHO, the Giants' poor strategy for this year is represented in miniature form in their HRs-in-consecutive-games record. Apparently, the Yomiuri Giants have hit home runs in a zillion consecutive games, and that is the first time it's been done since Moses was a boy (sorry for the exaggerations, but I can't remember the exact figures). But what good is that when they're lying last on the table and about 10 games away from leaders Hiroshima?

I mean, they already had a hefty batting line up last year and a shaky pitching roster. So, what do they do when they fail to win the pennant? Buy some pitchers to shore up their bullpen? No, they fire their manager and spend all their money on buying more home run hitters.

I believe this is what is known in Japanese as jigo-jitoku.
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Apr 25, 2004 11:19 PM | YBS Fan ]

After Takahashi hit one out tonight (Sunday, April 25), that makes it 20 consecutive games since the start of the season. They've upped the previous record by two, and counting.

The Hanshin announcers were making fun of the Giants on ABC. One said that the thinking was that, if they can hit 200 home runs in a season, that they'll win the pennant. So why is it that hitting at a pace of 250+ (now over 280) has them at the opposite end of the standings? They sure sounded like they were getting a kick out of the irony.

Actually, at 8 and 12, the Giants are only 3.5 games behind the first place Carp who are 12 and 9. But I like your exaggerations.
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Apr 25, 2004 11:45 PM | HT Fan ]

That's because those commentators were Senichi Hoshino and Yutaka Fukumoto, neither of whom are known for (a) pulling their punches, or (b) liking the Giants.
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: Guest: null | Posted: Apr 26, 2004 10:56 PM ]

I see that Abe has hit 11 home runs already and is leading the league. Has anyone noticed any physical difference in him? Has he put on a lot of muscle mass? Has he changed his stance/style? Just curious about the source of his recent success.
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: sigbotchan | Posted: Apr 27, 2004 9:24 AM ]

Torakichi-san, you are so funny. A friend, who is in Yamaguchi, is a Giants' fan, but he won't like this record.

In my childfood, Kyojin often played solid under Fujita-kantoku while Oh-san and Nagashima-san often failed to win the Nihon-Series with their highly-favored lineup.

Yomiuri does not seem to care much about the importance of today's pitching and hitting. They still have decent senpatsu (starters), so that with some reliable setuppers and one or two closers, they should do well.

Furthermore, the home run record seems to suggest that Kyojin's hitting is not "da-sen" (literally "hitting line"). When a "da-sen" connects really well, a team does not need to depend so heavily on home runs. Fujita-san's Giants were good at connecting many ten (points) into sen (a line), which in my opinion makes "da-sen."

My friend does not agree with me. However, the 1989 Giants make more sense to me than the Giants of today. Ogata, Kawai, Komada, and Okazaki were not really known for power, but they at least knew when the team needed their clutch-hitting.

Unfortunately for Giant fans, like my friend, hanabi (fireworks of home runs) alone do not make the team successful.

Fujita-san, come back!

*Like Mori-san's and Nomura-san's, people sometimes said Fujita-san's Yakyu was boring. Boring. Is hanabi so exciting?
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: Jingu Bleacher Bum | Posted: Apr 27, 2004 9:27 AM | YAK Fan ]

The Giants broke the NPB record of 17 consecutive games with a home run from the start of the season that was accomplished back in 1969 by the Hankyu Braves (currently Orix), and as westbaystars said, are now standing at 20 straight.

If you want to know the record of consecutive games with a home run by a team regardless of when it happened in the season, that record is held by the Seibu Lions at 35, accomplished back between August 14 - September 27, 1986, so the Giants still have a ways to go for that one. [Link Yahoo SportsNavi (Japanese Only)]

The Giants of 2004 so far remind me of the lowly Texas Rangers when they had Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Palmeiro, Juan Gonzalez, and others to produce an awesome batting line-up, only to produce many sub .500 seasons because of a lack of pitching. Surprising as it might seem, the Giants currently do not have the best team batting average in the Central League (currently 4th at .262), and as expected, their team ERA is last at 4.91.

Why the focus on home runs? Probably because that's what fans enjoy seeing the most, and Giants' owner Watanabe probably was only thinking of drawing crowds instead of wins when he brought over Hiroki Kokubo and Tuffy Rhodes. I remember seeing a preview on TV about the possibility of the Giants hitting 300 home runs this season, but what good does 300 home runs do you if you have 300 losses? (Okay, a bit of an exaggeration like torakichi.) Fans love to see home runs, and I'll admit myself that I awe everytime somebody hits one out of a stadium or off of a billboard way above the bleachers, but sooner or later, the fans will tire of all the losing, and simply won't come to the ballpark any more to see "Japan's beloved Giants" (something that also happened with the Texas Rangers).
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: Guest: Gary Garland | Posted: Apr 27, 2004 2:48 PM ]

I don't entirely agree with the comparison with the Rangers if only because the Giants' frontline pitchers are quite a bit better than what they've been running out to the mound the last few years in Arlington.

However, it is apt in that Texas, until this season, had a continual revolving cast of clowns in the bullpen. Only the Giants have chosen to remain with the same set of clowns (Okajima, Maeda, etc.) whose act is funny only to opposing managers. Their closer situation is as unsettled as my stomach after eating bad Mexican food.

On Abe, he has always had a slight uppercut that is suited to lifting the ball into the stands and, to be honest, his explosion this season and general development at the plate is no surprise to me. He still has some ways to go defensively, but he is poised to become the Central League's premier offensive backstop at least.

But I hope that Abe will have to handle fewer pitches since so many of them aren't reaching his mit before they get tattooed somewhere already.
Re: The Giants' Hollow Home Run Record
[ Author: PLNara | Posted: Apr 30, 2004 1:55 AM | HT Fan ]

Abe hit two more home runs today, giving him 16 on the season! This is unbelievable! His career high is, what, 18? D'ya think he'll approach 55?
2004 Giants vs. 1985 Tigers?
[ Author: sigbotchan | Posted: Apr 27, 2004 3:45 PM ]

- To Torakichi-san:

I have checked Yahoo! Japan articles and have noticed that the Giants' 300 HRs plan sees the mouko-dasen of the 1985 Tigers as the rival, and the Giants want to break the standard that was set in 1985.

What do you think? What are some of your reactions? Will this plan salvage Yomiuri's plunging TV rating? How will other teams react to Kyojin's ambition (more or less ambition, I guess)?

Yuki Sei (sigbotchan)
Re: 2004 Giants vs. 1985 Tigers?
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: Apr 28, 2004 9:36 AM | HT Fan ]

If YTV wanted to save their ratings, they'd show baseball games in their entirety instead of "We're very sorry, but it's now 21:24, so we've got to end our broadcast here. Thanks for joining us tonight here at Tokyo Dome where it's now two outs in the bottom of the ninth, the Tigers lead the Giants 3-2, but the Giants have bases loaded and red-hot Abe is at the plate facing a slightly-off-form but always-hard-to-hit Jeff Wilson. Goodnight."

They would also do away with their practice of: "Welcome back from that 3.5-minute ad break. It's all go here at Koshien as Osamu Hamanaka has tied things up with a spectacular shot to the left-field stands while we where away."
Ichibu-no Chiiki (For Some Regions)
[ Author: sigbotchan | Posted: Apr 28, 2004 2:52 PM ]

Thank you, Torakichi-san.

9:24 is also the time when the game ends prematurely in Yamaguchi. But! When I was in Aomori (I spent my childhood in Aomori), games ended at 8:54 (regardless of whether or not the Giants were involved).

In Yamaguchi, we can watch TVQ (TV Kyuushuu), and they run the Daiei Hawks games until they finish. It's like I have to change a channel when the Giants game is cut, and when I check another channel. Hey Daiei, are you still playing? It's 10:00!

However, if I were an avid Daiei fan, I would love to watch the Hawks 'til the end. So I agree with you.

Yuki Sei
Re: Ichibu-no Chiiki (For Some Regions)
[ Author: mijow | Posted: Apr 30, 2004 11:03 PM | HT Fan ]

Yes, but why do Japanese fans put up with it? You describe it like the weather - something that can't be helped. It doesn't have to be like that!

Where I come from the fans would burn the TV station down if they tried to pull a stunt like finishing a game early!
Re: Ichibu-no Chiiki (For Some Regions)
[ Author: torakichi | Posted: May 1, 2004 12:19 PM | HT Fan ]

- Where I come from the fans would burn the TV station down if they tried to pull a stunt like finishing a game early!

Well, let us know how you get on.
Re: Ichibu-no Chiiki (For Some Regions)
[ Author: mijow | Posted: May 1, 2004 6:52 PM | HT Fan ]

Well of course I wouldn't do anything like that myself.
Re: 2004 Giants vs. 1985 Tigers?
[ Author: weirdgaijin | Posted: Apr 29, 2004 2:35 PM ]

- I have checked Yahoo! Japan articles and have noticed that the Giants' 300 HRs plan sees the mouko-dasen of the 1985 Tigers as the rival, and the Giants want to break the standard that was set in 1985.

First, I am a Hanshin fan. Second (verification needed for the following) Hanshin in 1985 also set the dubious team record for most strikes out for the season. I'm not sure, but Yakult might have taken this record a few years later.

Point is, going for home runs might be great, but you run the risk of striking out, too. I'm interested in seeing how this pans out.

This is a site about Pro Yakyu (Japanese Baseball), not about who the next player to go over to MLB is. It's a community of Pro Yakyu fans who have come together to share their knowledge and opinions with the world. It's a place to follow teams and individuals playing baseball in Japan (and Asia), and to learn about Japanese (and Asian) culture through baseball.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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