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9/4/2011: Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui, Kosuke Fukudome

by on Sep.04, 2011 @ 2:43 pm, under MLB

Games from the 3rd:

Oakland A's 3 - Seattle Mariners 0
Ichiro Suzuki started in right and batted first.  He went 1-for-3: line out to center, ground out to short, single to right, strikeout swinging.  Ichiro now needs 42 hits in 24 games for 200.

Hideki Matsui was the starting DH and batted third.  He went 1-for-3: strikeout looking, infield single, ground out to second, walk.

Kansas City Royals 5 - Cleveland Indians 1
Kosuke Fukudome started in right and batted second.  He went 0-for-3: strikeout swinging, fly out to left, walk (caught trying to steal second), strikeout swinging.

LA Angels 10 - Minnesota Twins 6
Tsuyoshi Nishioka started at short and batted eighth.  He went 2-for-2: walk (run scored), single to center (run scored), walk, single to left.

Boston Red Sox 12 - Texas Rangers 7
Yoshinori Tateyama entered the game in the bottom of the 4th, with a runner on first, 2 out, and the game tied at 3, and could only retire one of five batters he faced while issuing two intentional walks and giving up an RBI single (Mike Aviles) and a grand slam (Carl Crawford) to the other four.  Final line: 0.1 IP, 5 BF, 21-8 NP-S, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR.

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Pawtucket Red Sox 12 - Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees 7
Junichi Tazawa entered the game in the top of the 6th inning, with Pawtucket up 5-4, and allowed 2 runs to score (on a 1 out, 2-run double) over an inning of work.  Final line: 1 IP, 6 BF, 26-15 NP-S, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 SO, 0 HR.  He also suffered a blown save.

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Nikkan Sports mentions the Star Tribune's La Velle E. Neal III's article, The Twins and Nishioka: What went wrong.  A snip from that article:

"He's got a long way to go to become an average major league shortstop," said MLB Network analyst Larry Bowa, a former All-Star and Gold Glove-winning shortstop. "I'm just telling you what I'm seeing with the naked eye -- he's a utility player, at best, for me."

Nishioka has been overmatched at the plate and unsure of himself in the field. His speed appears to have been sapped some by a broken left leg suffered in the sixth game of the season.

...

"The speed of the game is quicker here than it is in Japan, no question," Bowa said. "Pitching is much better here than in Japan. You don't want to throw a guy under a bus, but I'm really disappointed in what I have seen. ... The games I've watched him play, nothing jumped out at me like, 'Wow, look at that arm. Wow, look at that bat speed. Wow, look at the great eye, look at that great at-bat.' Nothing really jumped out at me."

Can Nishioka turn things around? Gardenhire plans to have Nishioka compete for the starting shortstop job next spring, probably with Trevor Plouffe.