|Nippon Ham Fighters||1||3||0||0||0||0||2||3||X||9||14||0|
Sapporo Dome | Attendance: 42,328 | Time: 3h 43m | Fighters take series, 4-1
The Fighters beat the Eagles, 9-4, and will now take on the Yomiuri Giants at the Nippon Series.
A sac fly by Terrmel Sledge (3-for-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI) in the bottom of the first with the bases loaded and 1 out gave the Fighters a 1-0 lead. The Fighters tacked on 3 more runs in the bottom of the 2nd when Yoshio Itoi (1-for-3, BB, R) started the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a sac bunt, and then an out later, came around to score on triple into right by Kensuke Tanaka (1-for-4, BB, 3B, R, RBI); Hichori Morimoto (4-for-5, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI) followed with a homer to left that gave the Fighters a 4-0 lead.
The Eagles finally made some noise in the top of the 4th on an RBI single by Fernando Seguignol (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI) with runners on first and second and 2 out. A walk later, with the bases loaded, Ryuji Miyade (1-for-2, 2 RBI) drove in 2 runs with a single in to center.
But the Fighters pushed away in the bottom of the 7th on an RBI single by Sledge with a runner on second and 1 out; and Shinya Tsuruoka's (1-for-1, RBI) squibber down the third base line that allowed Sledge to score from third with 2 out.
Down 6-3 in the top of the 8th, Naoto Watanabe (1-for-5, 2 R) led off the inning with a single. An out later, Takeshi Yamasaki (1-for-3, BB, R) walked to put runners on first and second. Seguignol's single into right pulled the Eagles to within 2 runs of tying the game. But both Todd Linden (1-for-2, 2B) and Masato Nakamura (0-for-2) went down on strike outs to ruin the best chance the Eagles had all game.
Terrmel Sledge, the Eagles' nemesis for the series, nailed a 3-run homer in the bottom of the 8th with 2 outs to give the Fighters a 9-4 lead.
Hisashi Takeda took the mound in the top of the 9th and gave up a lead-off single to Daisuke Kusano (1-for-4) before retiring the next three batters in order to end the game and the series.
4th: runners on second and third, 2 out > Kusano flied out
5th: runner on second, 1 out > N. Watanabe flied out and Teppei fouled out to first
6th: runner on second, 2 out > pinch hitter M. Nakamura grounded out
8th: runners on first and second, 1 out > Linden struck out and M. Nakamura struck out
1st: runners on first and third, 2 out > Koyano flied out
4th: runners on first and second, no out > Koyano popped out bunt, Itoi walked, Ohno struck out, M. Kaneko grounded out
7th: runners on first and second, 2 out > M. Kaneko grounded out
Eagles: 7 LOB, 0 DP
Fighters: 9 LOB, 0 DP
The Fighters outhit the Eagles, 14-9. ... Sho Nakata made it into the game on Saturday as a pinch hitter and struck out in his only at bat in the 6th.
|Fujiwara, Hiromichi L||2||0||1||0||2||55||12||9||5||1||0||1||0||1||0||0||4||4||18.000|
|Aoyama, Koji||1||0||0||0||4 1/3||90||21||18||6||0||2||3||0||0||1||0||2||2||4.154|
Nippon Ham Fighters
|Fujii, Shugo W||1||1||0||0||5||75||21||19||5||0||2||1||0||1||0||0||3||3||5.400|
|Ejiri, Shintaro H||3||0||0||0||2/3||9||3||3||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.857|
|Hayashi, Masanori H||3||1||0||0||2/3||6||2||2||0||0||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3.375|
|Kanamori, Takayuki H||2||0||0||0||1 2/3||29||8||7||2||0||2||1||0||0||0||0||1||1||3.375|
...In a move that usually isn't done, Katsuya Nomura was tossed into the air after the game by both members of the team.
Takeshi Yamasaki after the game:
"From the first very first step, he took a weak Eagles team and turned it into a strong on. He taught me about burning regret. And it was the manager that brought us here to the Climax Series.
Masahiro Tanaka after the game (from the same article linked above):
"He said some pretty harsh things to me, but I consider it tough love. ... I'll do my best not to forget all the things he has told me."
Nomura's message to Masataka Nashida:
"I wish you the best of luck as a rep of the Pacific League. I'll be going to was you play at the Nippon Series."
...The fans were a bit anxious for the game to end as some fans prematurely sent streamers onto the field thinking that the final out would be made.
...Yu Darvish continues to hold on to hope that he might be able to pitch during the Nippon Series but Nashida feels differently, saying, "He probably won't pitch. We'll see how it goes but if he can't pitch, then he can't pitch. He had his heart set on pitching so I feel really bad."
...Nomura Katsuya originally wanted to intentionally walk Terrmel Sledge in the bottom of the 8th but Hisashi Iwakuma wanted the challenge of facing him.
...Fighters' pitching coach Masato Yoshii was a pitcher under Nomura while he was with the Yakult Swallows. He was apparently one of the first people on the field to rush over and give Nomura a hug at the end of the game.
...The Fighters held a public viewing for their employees at their Osaka Nippon Ham offices on Friday night. About 200 employees showed up. A public viewing event held Fighters' Town in Kamagaya drew about 500 fans.
PL Climax Series MVP
Sledge didn't do much hitting during the middle 2 games, but otherwise did extremely well. And it was his walk-off grand slam in game 1 that set the tone for the rest of the series.
Game 1: 3-for-5, HR, R, 5 RBI
single, ground out, strike out, single, grand slam
Game 2: 0-for-3, HBP
line out, line out, strike out, HBP
Game 3: 0-f0r-4
ground out, strike out, foul out, strike out
Game 4: 3-for-3, BB, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI
sac fly, single, walk, single, 2-run HR
Total: 6-for-15, BB, HBP, 2 HR, 3 R, 10 RBI