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[10/18/2013] Climax Series: Yomiuri Giants, Hiroshima Carp, Rakuten Eagles

by on Oct.19, 2013 @ 12:54 am, under NPB

Yomiuri Giants

Of the 109 pitches Tomoyuki Sugano threw on Thursday, twenty were forkballs.  During the season, he may have thrown, at most, about three in a game.

Before the start of the Climax Series, the Giants managed to get a hold of Sugano footage taken from an umpire-cam.  Upon reviewing the video, they found that the rookie was not properly following through on some of his pitches.

Sugano is the third rookie in postseason history to record a shutout in his first outing.  The other two: Hisanori Takahashi in Game 5 of the 2000 Nippon Series and Tomoya Yagi in the Game 2 of the Second Stage of the 2006 Playoffs.  He is the first right-handed rookie in franchise history to record a victory in the postseason.

Source: Sponichi 10/8/2013

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TV ratings for Game 2:

Hiroshima region: average - 20.6%, peak - 27.1%.
Kanto region: average - 9.0%

Source: Sponichi 10/18/2013

Hiroshima Carp

The Carp may have been planning to save Kenta Maeda for a possible Game 6 start.  There were some concerns about his workload -- he struggled with various arm/shoulder problems this year -- and the blister he developed on his right middle finger during his last start may have given him some problems during Thursday's Game 2 start (there are some that believe this may have been a sign that he was working too hard, since he is normally not the type of develop blisters).

Source: Sports Hochi 10/18/2013, Daily Sports 10/18/2013, Sponichi 10/18/2013, Tokyo Sports 10/18/2013

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The Carp were caught off-guard by Tomoyuki Sugano's forkball on Thursday.

"We knew about his fork, but he did not throw it during the season.  We could not adjust to that pitch," batting coach Koichi Ogata said.

Kenjiro Nomura held an emergency meeting with the pitching coaches after Thurday's loss to discuss how pitchers should be used over the remaining series.

Source: Daily Sports 10/18/2013

Rakuten Eagles

TV ratings for Game 1:

Sendai region: 27.3%

Source: Sponichi 10/18/2013

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Depending on win-loss totals for the series, Masahiro Tanaka could find himself pitching out of the bullpen.

Source: Daily Sports 10/18/2013

Tanaka has won all three of his Climax Series starts.  He joined Yu Darvish (five starts, five wins) and Kenshin Kawakami as the only pitchers in Playoff/Climax Series history to start and win their first three games.  He is the first to record three consecutive complete game victories.  Two other pitchers have recorded three or more consecutive complete game victories in the past, but they were accomplished during the Nippon Series -- Hideo Fujimoto in the 1951 and 1952 Nippon Series and Takashi Nishimoto in the 1981 and 1983 Nippon Series (four in a row).

Tanaka is 1-for-12 lifetime with runners in scoring position during the Climax Series.  He has allowed just three runs over three complete games -- error, solo home run, sac fly.

Source: Sponichi 10/18/2013