Yomiuri Giants Tetsuya Utsumi 内海哲也 G W L S CG Sho BF IP H HR BB HPB SO WP BK R ER ERA 29 12 8 0 2 1 772 184.1 166 7 68 7 154 3 0 71 56 2.73 Seibu Lions Fumiya Nishiguchi 西口文也 G W L S CG Sho BF IP H HR BB HPB SO WP BK R ER ERA 22 8 6 0 0 0 517 116.1 125 18 48 4 92 5 0 69 65 5.03
News and Notes: It'll be all hands on deck for the final game of the season. While the starter for the Lions is Nishiguchi, Watanabe won't be afraid to turn to the bullpen early: early reports indicate that Ishii and Wakui will be available. Ishii last pitched on Tuesday and threw 86 pitches; Wakui on Thursday and 101 pitches.
The same will go for the Giants, although if Utsumi is on, there probably won't be a need to dip into the pen until the later innings. And if the need should arise, Uehara might be available (he only threw 52 pitches during his last start Thursday).
After leaving the game early on Thursday, Nakajima wasn't really tested too much in the batter's box. He went 1-for-3 with a strike out and walked twice. The announcers on TV seemed to be questioning why the Giants weren't attacking Nakajima more to see just how good that strained abdominal muscle is feeling.
7:00PM UPDATE: Sakamoto just hit a home run in the bottom of the second to give the Giants their second run of the game (the first run came in the first inning when Nishiguchi threw a wild pitch with the bases loaded, letting a run cross the plate). ... Ishii is warming in the pen for the Lions.
7:05PM UPDATE: Nishiguchi retired the next three batters in order to end the inning. ... After listening to the commentary team on TV, I'm now wondering why the Lions didn't just start Ishii. According to the commentary team, Nishiguchi has not won a game in the post-season and what's more, the last time he pitched was back on October 4th against the Eagles. Why start a pitcher like that?
7:10PM UPDATE: Etoh came in to bat for Nishiguchi so Ishii will most likely pitch the third. Utsumi looks like he has settled down (he didn't look very sharp in the first). He has retired the last 9 batters in a row. ... Ishii is on the mound for the Lions in the bottom of the third. ... Ohnuma and Taninaka are warming in the pen.
7:30PM UPDATE: The Lions have runners on first and second with one out. ... Goto fouls out. ... Ochi and Nishimura are warming in the pen for the Giants. ... Hirao grounds out to short to end the inning.
7:46PM UPDATE: Bocachica just hit a solo home run to give the Lions their first run of the game in the top of the 5th with 2 outs. He came into the game to pinch-hit for Ishii. ... Wakui is warming and will most likely relieve Ishii ... Kataoka flies out to left for the final out of the inning.
7:50PM UPDATE: 2,200 fans are in attendance at the Seibu Dome, watching the game. ... Wakui is in. Bocachica moves into right. Sato moves from right into center. Noda enters the game as catcher and takes over Goto's spot in the lineup. Kuriyama moves from center to left.
8:08PM UPDATE: Pitching change for the Giants: Nishimura comes in for Utsumi. Utsumi got the first out of the inning. ... Nakajima flies out to right for the second out of the inning. ... Nakamura strikes out to end the inning.
8:27PM UPDATE: Ochi is pitching for the Giants. ... Noda grounds out to third for the first out of the 7th. ... Hirao gets on base with a single. ... It looks like Ishii will be pinch-hitting for Wakui (he's in the on-deck circle). ... Sato walks. Runners on first and second with 1 out. ... Ishii is batting for Wakui. ... Ishii strikes out looking for the second out of the inning. ... Bocachica strikes out swinging to end the inning. Nice pitching by Ochi to get out of a 1-out, first and second situation without giving up a run.
9:07PM UPDATE: Lions are threatening. Kataoka reached first after getting hit by a pitch. He then stole second and was bunted over by Kuriyama. ... Ochi is still on the mound for the Giants. ... Nakajima taps one toward short, the throw home is NOT IN TIME! Throw over to first and Nakajima is out at first for the second out. The game is tied at 2. ... Nakamura walks. ... Noda walks. Runners on first and second with 2 out. ... Hirao singles up the middle, Nakamura scores! Lions now up, 3-2. Runners on first and second with 2 out. ... Pitching change: Toyada comes in to relieve Ochi. Ochi probably should have been lifted after walking Noda. ... Toyoda retires Sato on a grounder to third.
9:16PM UPDATE: Bottom of the 8th, Alex Graman is pitching for the Lions. ... Tani pinch hit for Tsuruoka and grounds out to third. ... Wakiya strikes out. ... Suzuki pops out to second for the final out of the inning. The Giants only have 3 more outs remaining, but Ogasawara and Ramirez will get their chances in the bottom of the 9th.
9:28PM UPDATE: Akada leads off the top of the 9th with a triple. ... Bocachica strikes out. ... Kataoka fouls out to Ogasawara. ... Kuriyama walks, runners on first and third with 2 out. ... Nakajima grounds out to short for the final out of the inning.
9:28PM UPDATE: Kimura leads off for the Giants. ... Kimura strikes out swinging. ... Ogasawara grounds out to first for the second out. ... Ramirez grounds out to short for the final out of the inning. Lions beat the Giants, 3-2!