Friday, April 3, 2009

04/03 Opening Day in Nagoya: More of the same from Yokohama.

Good morning everyone. I'm officially on the road in Nagoya for the 2009 opening series between the Yokohama BayStars and the Chunichi Dragons. The game last night went really fast as it went just a little over 2 hours and everyone was able to get home at a decent time. The story of the night for me was Yokohama's dismal pitching and missing chances at scoring runs. As the title says, it seems like they haven't changed a bit from last season. Chunichi used the long ball to put away Yokohama 4-1.

New Chunichi Dragon Tony Blanco homered to center in the second. Masahiko Morino and Kazuhiro Wada added 2 more runs via the longball to center in the 4th and Wada homered again in the 7th to left field and that's all that the Dragons needed for the night. Yokohama's only run came on a weak ground ball to short by Toshihisa Nishi in the top of the 3rd. Yokohama ace Daisuke Miura went 7 innings giving up 4 runs and striking out 5 while taking the loss for the Stars. Chunichi pitcher Takuya Asao on the other hand, almost went the distance but ended up going 8 innings striking out 4 and giving up a run. Hitoki Iwase also recored his first save of the seaon for the Dragons as well.

As I said earlier, Yokohama had a few chances to score but missed out. The biggest chance was in the top of the eighth with runners on first and third with one out. Nishi was up to bat and can you guess what he did? He grounds out into a double play to end the inning. That really hurt and I seem to remember him doing this on more than a few occasions last season as well. Anyways, it wasn't all bad for Yokohama as the biggest thing was new rookie Noriharu Yamazaki going 3 for 3 in the game. He really impressed me and I think he should be in the lineup even after Shuichi Murata comes back.

Oh yeah, I made a new friend also. So, I got to the stadium rather early and after a Miso Katsu don lunch at the next door AEON shopping mall, I sat down next to the stadium. Then, this kid walks by wearing a Yokohama cap and we start talking about the Stars and baseball in general. His name is Keita and he's from Shizuoka. He's a junior high school student and he's a quarter Japanese just like me (his dad is half just like my mom is). Turns out, he collects baseballs from games and has more than 50 of them. He told me that he collected 3 foul balls from a Western League game at Nagoya Kyujyo the previous day. It seems that all the people I meet at games are either younger or older than me but in the end, I guess we are all baseball fans.

Inside the Nagoya Dome. NO SMOKING!

The final score with Doala. Seriously, he scares the you know what out of me.

The Dragons taking the field to start the game.

New BayStars pitcher Les Walrond jogging in the outfield. He seems to be getting over with the fans.

And finally, Miso Katsu with some udon on the side! ¥890 at the local AEON shopping mall. Plus, you can get the bigger size (大盛り) for no extra charge. Great deal.

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