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NPB: Game Summaries for May 31st, 2009 (HAN-HAM; SEI-YOM; ORI-YOK)

by on May.31, 2009 @ 12:08 pm, under Game Summaries, NPB

Mike has the other games covered in SimCentral's Baseball News and More section.


Nippon Ham Fighters 4 - Hanshin Tigers 4
This was a game the Tigers really should have won, but at least the Tigers didn't lose.

The Tigers took an early 2-0 lead in the top of the first on three singles by Kentaro Sekimoto (1-for-5, R), Takashi Toritani (3-for-6, 2B, R, RBI), and Takahiro Arai (2-for-6, 2 RBI). The Fighters answered back with a run of their own in the bottom of the first, with the help of two consecutive walks before an RBI single by Shinji Takahashi (2-for-5, BB, 2 RBI) off Atsushi Noumi.

Neither team would score until the 5th: the Tigers scored a run in their half of the inning on an RBI double by Toritani; and the Fighters ended up tying the game at three with an RBI double by Atsunori Inaba (2-for-4, IBB, BB, 2B, R, RBI) and an RBI single by Takahashi.

The Fighters would manufacture another run in the bottom of the 6th to take a 4-3 lead: Jose Jimenez led off the inning with a double, was bunted over to third by Yoshio Itoi (1-for-3, IBB), and scored on a sac fly by Shinya Tsuruoka (1-for-3, RBI). But the Tigers managed to re-tie the game in the top of the 8th on a lead-off home run by Tomoaki Kanemoto (3-for-6, 2B, HR, R, RBI).

Both teams would get a few runners on over the next 4 innings, but the biggest threat came in the bottom of the 12th when the Fighters loaded the bases with 2 out. Fortunately for the Tigers, Ryo Watanabe managed to get Eiichi Koyano (1-for-6, 2B) to fly out to second to end the game.

Noumi started the game for the Tigers and went 5 innings while giving up 3 runs (all earned) on 6 hits, 6 strike outs, and 3 walks. Masaru Takeda got the start for the Fighters and gave up 3 runs (all earned) on 9 hits and 4 strike outs over 5.2 innings of work. Bullpens for either team did a bang-up job in relief: 4 Tigers' pitchers combined for 7 innings, 3 hits, 10 strike outs, 4 walks, and an earned run; 7 Fighters' pitchers went 6.1 innings, 8 hits, 5 strike outs, a walk, and an earned run.

Game Notes
The Tigers went 17-for-50 in the game while the Fighters went 9-for-40. ... This was the third tie of the season for the Tigers and first for the Fighters. ... At 5 hours and 6 minutes, this is the longest game on record for the current season.

Sapporo Dome
Attendance: 42,051
Time: 5h 6m

Seibu Lions 3 - Yomiuri Giants 2
Shun Tono hasn't been able to buy a start after starting the season 2-0. And this despite giving up only 14 earned runs over 50.1 innings of work (2.50 ERA). Things wouldn't end up much better for Tono today: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 10 K, 4 BB, HBP, 1 R, 0 ER and no decision. Takayuki Kishi had one of this better starts of the season going 7 innings while giving up 2 runs (both earned) on 8 hits, 7 strike outs, and a walk.

Marc Kroon took the loss for the Giants when he gave up a 2-out, walk-off RBI single to Yutaro Ohsaki (1-for-2, HBP, BB, RBI) with runners on first and third. Chikara Onodera picked up his second victory of the season.

The Giants' offense did manage to outhit the Lions 9-8, but unlike the Lions, they couldn't take advantage of all their scoring opportunities: in the top of the 4th the Giants had runners on second and third with only 1 out and neither Yoshiyuki Kamei (1-for-4, BB) nor Shinnosuke Abe (0-for-4, HBP) could push them across home; bad base-running by Alex Ramirez (2-for-5, 2B, RBI) in the 6th ended the inning with the Giants only scoring 1 run; and Abe had another big chance in the 10th with the bases loaded and 2 outs, but grounded out to second to end the inning.

Game Notes
Kroon not only gave up the game-winning hit, but he also gave up the game-tying hit.

Tokyo Dome
Attendance: 33,173
Time: 3h 55m

Orix Buffaloes 3 - Yokohama Bay Stars 0
You can take a losing manager out of Yokohama, but that doesn't necessarily mean you're taking the losing out of Yokohama.

Futoshi Kobayashi (8 IP, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB, HBP, 3 R, 3 ER) actually didn't pitch all that badly, save for a shaky first inning in which he gave up a run after walking the first batter and hitting the third batter. But he bore down and got an inning ending double play to keep things from Buffaloes from breaking the game open in the first. And while he did give up runs in the 4th and 6th, he did a fairly competant job of keeping the Buffaloes' offense off balance. In fact, outside of Greg LaRocca (2-for-4, R) and Naoyuki Ohmura (4-for-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI), he held the rest of the line-up to just 1 hit.

More than the pitching, it was the hitting that was problematic for the Bay Stars. The only time the Bay Stars managed more than a runner on base in any one inning was in the top of the 9th when Tatsuya Shimozono (1-for-4) led off the inning with a single and Seiichi Uchikawa (1-for-4) followed a fly out by Toshihisa Nishi with a single of his own. But Shuichi Murata (1-for-4) flew out to left for the second out and Takahiro Saeki (1-for-4) struck out to end the game.

Yoshihisa Hirano (9 IP, 6 H, 6 K, BB, 0 R) started the game for the Buffaloes and tossed a complete game shut-out for his second victory of the season.

Game Notes
The Bay Stars are currently on a 3-game losing streak and are now 4-6 since Tomio Tashiro took over as interim manager. ... The last time Hirano tossed a complete game shut-out was on August 7th, 2007.

Attendance: 14,857
Time: 2h 27m