SoftBank starter Toshiya Sugiuchi jogging in the outfield before the game.
Leo, the Lions mascot, is KING at Seibu Dome. Seibu did the right thing by keeping Leo and Leona when they changed the team logo last off-season.
As for the game itself, both Ishii and Houlton started off great. But, D.J. Houlton ran into a brick wall named Hiram Bocachica in the 3rd inning as “Boca” smacked his first home run of the day to centerfield to make it 1-0 Seibu. Ishii, on the other hand, cruised through the first 3 innings but ran into trouble in the 4th. After allowing a walk to SoftBank leadoff hitter Yuichi Honda, Ishii then committed an error by misplaying Munenori Kawasaki’s bunt and looked really bad doing it by ending up by ending up on the ground after he tripped. He then threw a wild pitch that allowed Honda and Kawasaki to advance to third and second respectively. But somehow, he managed to escape. After his wild pitch, he managed to strike out Nobuhiko Matsunaka. Then, he got Hiroki Ohkubo to hit a grounder to Seibu third baseman Takeya “Okawari” Nakamura that he promptly threw to home to get Honda out. And after that, Yuya Hasegawa struck out swinging to end the inning and Ishii was able to get out of a huge jam. Boca struck again in the bottom of the 5th as he hit his second home run of the day to left field to make it 2-0 Seibu. Then, Ishii got into more trouble in the 6th after managing to get the first 2 outs in the inning. It started when Kawasaki doubled to left for Softbank’s first hit of the game on a ball that “Okawari” just missed catching by about an inch. Yes, Ishii managed to carry a no hitter into the 6th inning, which was amazing considering he bailed himself out in the 4th inning. But much like the 4th, he got himself into trouble again as he walk both Matsunaka and Ohkubo to load the bases. But again, Ishii managed to strike out Hasegawa to end the threat and once again get himself out of a jam despite hit chance for a no-hitter being ruined.
Ishii ended up ended up with the win for Seibu while Houlton took the loss. All in all, a great experience finally being able to sit in the outfield section at Seibu Dome for once. Being able to see Kaz Ishii throw a couple innings of no-hit ball was great and I wish he could've gone the distance and thrown a no-hitter. A great victory for Seibu and let's hope they can get a streak going.
Game Hero #1 Hiram Bocachica.
Game Hero #2 Kazuhisa Ishii.
The infamous Seibu bass drum. It always gives Seibu's cheer songs and extra kick.