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NPB Roundup – 9/29: Tigers win, Giants now trail by 1 game in the CL

by on Sep.29, 2008 @ 11:07 am, under NPB

Central League

The Hanshin Tigers beat the Hiroshima Carp, 5-3.

With the Giants losing yesterday and then having the day off today, this was a fairly big win for the Tigers, who now own a full 1 game lead. Makoto Imaoka got things started with a solo shot in the bottom of the second. The Tigers scored two more in the bottom of 4th to take a 3-0 lead. But that lead would disappear in the 6th.

Down three runs in the top of the 6th, the Carp got things started with a lead-off single by Soichiro Amaya. Alex Ochoa was retired on a fly to center, but Scott Atchison (who entered the game in the beginning of the inning) then walked the next two batters setting up a bases loaded, 1-out situation for Scott Seabol (8-for-19 with 2 homers and 5 rbis over his last 6 games). Seabol promptly served Atchison's second pitch into right for a 2-run double. The Carp wouldn't score another run in the inning, but managed to scrape a run home in the top of the 7th to tie the game at 3.

Not wanting to give up any more runs, the Tigers turned to Kyuji Fujikawa in the top of the 8th. Save for a single, Fujikawa was lights out in his 2 innings of working, striking out 4 of the 7 batters he faced.

In the bottom of the 8th, the Tigers broke through with 2 runs on a 2-run home run by Tomoaki Kanemote, his 25th of the season.

NOTES: Kanemoto now has 5 consecutive seasons of 25 or more homeruns and has hit 25 or more homeruns 11 times in his career (his personal high was 40 in 2005). ... The win gives the Tigers a full game lead over the Giants in the standings with 8 games to play (7 games to play for the Giants).

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
HIR  0  0  0  0  0  2  1  0  0    3   10  0
HAN  0  1  0  2  0  0  0  2  x    5   10  0

WP: Kyuji Fujikawa (8-1)
LP: Hirofumi Ueno (2-2)
HR: HIR: None. HAN: Makoto Imaoka (7), Tomoaki Kanemote (25).

Hiroshima Carp
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Takahiro Aoki        4.0  18  60   7  1   1  0    0   3   3
Koji Hiroike         2.0  8   25   1  0   1  1    0   0   0
Hirofumi Ueno     L  2.0  9   41   2  1   2  1    0   2   2

Hanshin Tigers
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Shunsuke Ishikawa    5.0  19  69   5  0   2  1   0    0   0
Scott Atchison       1.0  7   27   2  0   2  2   0    2   2
Jeff Williams        1.0  6   30   2  0   2  1   0    1   1
Kyuji Fujikawa    W  2.0  7   27   1  0   4  0   0    0   0

The other four teams in the CL had the day off.

Code:
                   W   L   T  WPCT  GB
Hanshin Tigers     80  54  2  .597  -
Yomiuri Giants     79  55  3  .590  1.0
Chunichi Dragons   67  65  5  .508  12
-----------------------------------------
Hiroshima Carp     67  66  5  .504  12.5
Yakult Swallows    59  70  3  .457  18.5
Yokohama Bay Stars 43  87  2  .331  35


Imaoka hitting his 7th home run of the season

Pacific League

The Nippon Ham Fighters beat the Chiba Lotte Marines, 2-1.

Yu Darvish pitched a 5-hit, 1-run complete game for his 16th victory of the season. He also managed to lower his ERA from 1.95 to 1.90.

Hiroyuki Kobayashi didn't pitch horribly for the Marines, but when you're facing Yu Darvish, you can't make any mistakes. His first came in the bottom of the 6th after quickly retiring the first two batters of the inning. Kensuke Tanaka was at the plate and hit the second offering he saw (an inside fastball) just barely over the fence in right for his 11th homerun of the season.

Kobayashi's second mistake came in the bottom of the 8th when he gave up a double to the lead-off hitter. The second batter fouled out trying to move the runner over to third, but the third batter of the inning hit a single to right setting up a first and third situation with only 1 out and Kensuke Tanaka coming to bat.

On the second pitch of the at bat, with runners in motion, Tanaka hit a grounder to second. In an attempt to keep the score tied, Hisao Heiuchi threw the ball home, but it was too late. And that was all the Fighters needed with Darvish on the mound.

NOTES: Darvish's 12 strike out performance gave him 205 strike outs on the year, tops in the NPB. It was also his 10th complete game of the season.

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
LOT  0  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  0    1   5   0
HAM  0  0  0  0  0  1  0  1  x    2   5   0

WP: Yu Darvish (16-4)
LP: Hiroyuki Kobayashi (5-12)
HR: LOT: None. HAM: Kensuke Tanaka (11).

Chiba Lotte Marines
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Hiroyuki Kobayashi L 7.1  27  88   5  1   5  0    0   2   2
Yusuke Kawasaki      0.2  2   3    0  0   0  0    0   0   0

Nippon Ham Fighters
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Yu Darvish           9.0  31  114  5  0   12 1    0   1   1

The Softbank Hawks beat the Rakuten Golden Eagles, 4-2.

With Hisashi Iwakuma on the mound for the Eagles, it seemed as though this would be a game they could win. But such was not the case as the Eagles were once again beaten by the Hawks, this time, 4-2.

Iwakuma actually didn't pitch all that poorly, and may have had a better shot at winning if not for the two errors the Eagles made while he pitched. The first error was costly and turned into a run in the second inning (15 pitch inning). The second error came in the third and extended the inning, placing Iwakuma in a bases loaded, 1-out jam (19 pitch inning). Had either, or both, of those innings ended without errors, Iwakuma may have pitched more effectivly in the 5th when he gave up 2 more runs. The 3 earned runs pushed Iwakuma's NPB-leading 1.84 ERA to 1.93, giving Darvish a slight lead.

NOTES: The win gives the Hawks possession of 5th place in the PL, dropping the Eagles back into last.

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9    R   H   E
SOF  1  1  0  0  2  0  0  0  0    4   6   0
RAK  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  0  2    2   7   3

WP: Nagisa Arakaki (3-6)   SV: Takahiro Mahara (10)
LP: Hisashi Iwakuma (20-4)
HR: SOF: Nobuhiko Matsunaka (25). RAK: Takeshi Yamasaki (24).

Softbank Hawks
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Nagisa Arakaki    W  8.2  37  164  7  0   11 4    0   2   2
Takahiro Mahara   S  0.1  1   6    0  0   1  0    0   0   0

Rakuten Golden Eagles
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Hisashi Iwakuma   L  5.0  26  89   6  1   8  2    1   3   4
Kenta Satake         1.0  3   11   0  0   1  0    0   0   0
Shinichiro Koyama    1.0  3   16   0  0   1  0    0   0   0
Marcus Gwyn          0.1  3   17   0  0   1  1    0   0   0
Kanehisa Arime       0.2  3   10   0  0   1  0    0   0   0
Yasuhiro Ichiba      1.0  3   11   0  0   0  0    0   0   0

The Orix Buffaloes beat the Seibu Lions, 4-3, in extra innings.

The Buffaloes got off to a quick start when Alex Cabrera hit his 36th homerun of the season with Mitsutaka Goto on base. The Lions answered back with a run of their own in the their half of the first. The score would remain 2-1 until the top of the 6th when Takeshi Hidaka hit his 13th homer of the season, giving the Buffaloes a 2-run lead. But that lead would disappear in the bottom of the 6th.

With the grim spectre of losing their 7th consecutive game, Taketoshi Goto and Takeya Nakamura connected for back-to-back home runs to tie the game at three. Neither team would score a run until the top of the 10th when Hiroyuki Oze hit a sac fly to score Tuffy Rhodes from third.

NOTES: The Lions will close out their worst month of the season: 9-15. They were outscored 111-96. While that number isn't horrible, it doesn't tell the whole story. In games they won, the Lions scored more than twice as many runs as their opponents (52-21); but when they lost, they lost by twice as many runs as they scored (90-44). And over their last 7 games, the Lions have been outscored 43-18. Incidentally, the Lions lead the NPB in runs (703) and home runs (194).

Code:
     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10    R   H   E
ORI  2  0  0  0  0  1  0  0  0  1     4   9   2
SEI  1  0  0  0  0  2  0  0  0  0     3   9   0

WP: Ryota Katsuki (4-0)
LP: Koji Onuma (2-3)
HR: ORI: Alex Cabrera (36), Takeshi Hidaka (13).
SEI: Taketoshi Goto (12), Takeya Nakamura (45).

Orix Buffaloes
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Mamoru Kishida       5.1  24  113  7  2   7  1    0   3   3
Shogo Yamamoto       0.1  2   11   0  0   1  1    0   0   0
Hidetaka Kawagoe     1.1  5   19   0  0   1  0    0   0   0
Ryota Katsuki     W  3.0  11  41   2  0   1  1    0   0   0

Seibu Lions
                     IP   BF  NP   H  HR  K  BB  HBP  ER  R
Kazuhisa Ishii       5.0  22  110  6  1   8  2    0   2   2
Minoru Yamagishi     1.2  6   24   1  1   0  0    0   1   1
Tomoki Hoshino       0.1  3   10   0  0   0  1    1   0   0
Koji Onuma        L  3.0  12  47   2  0   1  1    0   1   1
Code:
                   W   L   T  WPCT  GB
Seibu Lions        75  63  4  .543  --
Orix Buffaloes     74  68  1  .521  3
Ham Fighters       72  69  2  .511  4.5
-----------------------------------------
Lotte Marines      71  69  1  .507  5.0
Softbank Hawks     63  73  3  .463  11
Rakuten Eagles     61  72  3  .459  11.5


Nakamura goes yard for his 45th homer of the season