Welcome to Yakyubaka.com

Yu Darvish: Playoffs #3

by on Oct.27, 2007 @ 8:33 am, under NPB

Game 1 of the Nippon Series has just finished and Yu Darvish pitched a brilliant game. He kept the Dragons batters off balance all night and tossed a 4-hit, 1-run complete game. Darvish touched 154 km/h on the speed gun (95.7 mph) and struck out 13 Dragons hitters, including Tyrone Woods and Norihiro Nakamura (yes, the same that supposedly signed a contract with the Mets and then backed out) twice a piece. The 13 strikeouts tied a Nippon Series record for strikeouts in a 9 inning game.

The one run Darvish gave up came in the top of the 6th when the first two hitters of the inning, Masahiro Akira and Hirokazu Inaba, started things off with singles to set up a first and third, no-out situation for Masahiko Morino. On the first pitch, Morino lifted a fly ball to center, which ended up becoming a run scoring sac-fly. The next batter, Tyrone Woods, grounded into a double play to end the inning.

The Fighters scored all their runs off the Dragons Kenshin Kawakami in the bottom of the first on a three run shot by Fernando Seguignol. Outside of that first frame, Kawakami matched Darvish and allowed only one batter to reach base (a single in the bottom of the eighth by Makoto Kaneko).

Final score: Fighters 3 - Dragons 1

   IP   BF   P   H  HR  SO  BB  HB  ER  R
W  9.0  33  133  4  0   13  3   0   1   1

ERA   G  CG  ShO  W  L   IP   H   HR  SO  BB  HBP  R  ER  BF   P
1.46  3  2   0    3  0  24.2  14  0   23  5   1    4  4   92  362

6 comments on “Yu Darvish: Playoffs #3

  1. knucklehead7

    The Fighters went a long time before winning their championship last year, didn’t they? That would be kind of cool if they won back to back after not winning one for so long.

    It’s also kind of neat to see how they re-branded the team a bit after they moved to Sapporo and are now having success.

  2. Gwynar

    The Fighters had actually never won a Japan Series until last year. The furthest they ever got prior to that was Pacific League Champions back in 1981. The last time a team won back-to-back Japan Series Championships was back in the early 90’s when the Seibu Lions won three in a row (90, 91, 92). The Lions really went through an amazing run back then. Between 1982 and 1992, they won the Japan Series 8 times and took the pennant 9 times. They went on to win 4 more pennants between 1993 and 1998, won the pennant in 2002, and then a Japan Series in 2004.

    Incidentally, the last time the Dragons won the Japan Series was back in 1954.

    I was actually a little worried about the Fighters because they lost Shinjo and Ogasawara. Shinjo wasn’t much of a threat at the plate, but he played a great defense and really got everyone around him excited to play. And of course, losing an offensive stud like Ogasawara can never be a good thing, but the one thing they had going for them is that the offense is quite balanced — good speed, good contact, and power where it counts.

    I think the Fighters probably have the most balanced team in the NPB right now.

  3. knucklehead7

    Thanks for the info. I think it’s kind of a neat story.

    My "favorite" team in Japan is the Buffaloes which dates back to when they were Kintetsu. One summer when I was growing up, I sent off to all the Japanese teams asking them to send me pocket schedules and stickers. I got a few responses here and there, but near the end of the summer I got a package in the mail from Kintetsu. They sent me a bunch of stickers and schedules, but the best part was they sent me a media guide. It was a really nice one too with a lot of great pictures in it. I then spent the rest of the summer trying to translate the characters that came with the stats into English.

    In the Central, I like the Swallows a bit, but it’s mainly because of Atsuya Furuta and that I like their uniforms a lot.

  4. Gwynar

    I’m actually a huge fan of the Swallows. After that, probably the Giants and the Lions.

    The ballpark for the Swallows is just a 5 minute walk from where I am. The first Japanese baseball game I ever went to was a Swallows game. And when I was younger and visited Japan during the summers, Giant’s games were always televised, so I ended up watching a lot of Giants games. My grandfather was a Lions fan, so watched a lot of those games when I went to visit him.

    An interesting point: Japanese fans don’t appear to be quite as die-hard as some US fans can be. Actually, "true" Tigers fans and Giants fans can be a little over-the-top, much like Red Sox and Yankee fans. But otherwise, many fans can easily root for one team or another.

    My favorite players during that time were Kiyohara, Hara, Furuta, Randy Bass, and Warren Cromartie. Those were some really great players.

  5. knucklehead7

    That’s pretty cool about living so close to where the Swallows play.

    I remember when Bass was close to breaking Oh’s single season record for homeruns, and no one would pitch to him. Incidentally, the Tigers have sweet uniforms, too.

    Posnanski wrote a column about experiencing the Japan series:


  6. Gwynar

    There is still a lot of racism in Japan. The irony here is that Oh isn’t quite 100% Japanese either. Actually, I wonder if he experienced any racism while he was playing.

    The same thing happened to Tuffy Rhodes in 2001 and Alex Cabrera in 2002 (walked to prevent them from breaking the record of 55).

Comments are closed.