Yokohama first baseman Takahiro Saeki on the ground after committing an error in the 7th inning of Saturday's contest. Seriously, why is Saeki even still in the lineup? And yes, Saeki's 2 run home run in the game STILL doesn't change the fact that he's atrocious on defense. This is kind of what I feel like after I watch a BayStars game nowadays to be honest with you.
Hello all. It's been a little while I know but I've been feeling under the weather for a few weeks and am now just starting to get better. Honestly, I thought I had caught the "新型インフルエンザ" or "New Type Influenza" (Swine Flu as some of you may call it) but it turns out that I may have just had a really bad cold and sore throat that hit due to the season changing. I have like 6 games I need to write up and hopefully all of them will get posted this week so I will most definitely get caught up with things here. But anyways, on to the recap shall we?
On Friday May 22nd and Saturday May 23rd, I went to see the Yokohama BayStars do battle with the Saitama Seibu Lions. Now, these games were important for a number of reasons:
1. I decided that I was going to cheer in the outfield for the BayStars. Prior to that, it had been quite sometime since I actually cheered for the BayStars (the opening series in Nagoya doesn't really count as I was mainly talking with my friends from Kansai in the back and only glancing at the game). But I decided that no matter how bad they would be, that I'd cheer for them the entire game. But, since I remembered that I now have a "Yakyu Blog", I did split my time on Saturday between the right field cheering section and my field level seat to get some great pictures too by the way as you will see in a minute or so.
2. These match ups were between my 2 favorite teams from the Central and Pacific Leagues respectively. Now, it wasn't that hard to make up my mind who I was going to cheer for but it did feel awkward going to the Dome and cheering against the Lions this time around. I would be lying if I didn't say it wasn't. With me it's always the BayStars first and the Lions second whenever they play each other, no ifs, ands, or buts about it.
3. I got to see "Tashiro's BayStars" first hand for the first time. Now, I'm sure you are all aware that former manager Akihiko Oya was replaced by former Shonan SeaRex manager Tomio Tashiro before interleague play began last week. Now that I've had some time to dwell on the move, I'd like to state how I feel about it.
I think the move is good but it came a little to late if you ask me. I feel that Ohya should have been let go at the end of last season which would have given Tashiro the chance to choose his own coaching staff and what not (had management decided to promote him at that time). So if Tashiro fails. I'm not going to blame him because he was thrust into this situation. Also, while I've stated that I do feel bad for Ohya, at the same time, I am disappointed at him and the BayStars management also because he failed to own up to his part of of the team's bad start and should have officially stepped down. But instead, he let management put him on "rest" and therefore, he'll probably slip out the back door unnoticed while the team goes in a different direction. I really can't buy into this whole "sabbatical" thing to be quite honest with you and still, there's a chance he could come back if the team improves (albeit a slim one).
Game #1 on Friday was a match up of aces so to speak as the pitching match up was Hideaki Wakui going for the Lions against Daisuke Miura of the BayStars. This was my second time seeing Miura this year and he wasn’t that much better than when I saw him on Opening day to be quite honest with you. But, it didn’t matter how good or bad Miura was because the story for this game was
The Lions too, weren’t that bad either as they scored in consecutive inning in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th innings. But, it didn’t really matter as
Miura picked up the win for
Yokohama Ace Daisuke Miura warming up before the game. He's my second favorite Japanese player right after Takuro Ishii.
Miura again. Even if the Stars don't come close to winning anything in the next few years, at least (and I hope) "Bancho" will get to retire in a Yokohama uniform.
But before that, I have to say that I spent Game 2 going back and forth between my field level seat and the outfield. It was my second time sitting in the new field view seats @ Seibu Dome and I’ve got to say that the view was a lot better on the 1st base side as the seats seemed a lot closer to the action than the 3rd base ones did. But anyways, onto Game 2 of the series and here we go…
To put it bluntly, all good things must come to an end as
Saitama Seibu starter Kazuyuki Hoashi.
Yokohama starter Ryan Glynn. I swear that Glynn is going to cause me to short circuit by the end of the season.
An early conference on the mound in the 2nd inning.
Anyways, what really impressed me with Seibu is the performance of starter Kazuyuki Hoashi. To be honest, what's been killing Seibu this year is their pitching (the bullpen mainly in my opinion). Yes, their offense has been streaky at times too, but the pitching worries me more. So, the Lions needed a pitcher to step up and Hoashi did just that. He went out and dominated for six innings and pitching until the 8th while giving up 4 runs and striking out five. Although, he gave up 2 runs a piece in the 7th and 8th innings which makes me question how long he can actually go. But all in all, a great performance by Seibu and a tough loss for the Stars. At least it was better than last year when they got swept by Seibu at the Seibu Dome and had to deal with Kaz Ishii, who is a BayStars killer in my opinion because every time I've seen him face the Stars, he dominated them to the point of humiliation.
As always, the box scores from the game are below and after that, you can view some of the the many photos I took and because these were special games, I've posted many of them.
Yokohama relief pitcher Yuya Ishii.
Yokohama left fielder and WBC star Seiichi Uchikawa. Hard to imagine that only 2 seasons ago, hardly anybody knew about him.
Yokohama relief pitcher Atsushi "Wildman" Kizuka.
Yokohama rookie Hitoshi Fujie. I actually like him a lot and think he's gonna be a great pitcher.
Yokohama second baseman Toshiyuki Kitagawa attempting to tag Hiroyuki Nakajima out at second after Nakajima hit a double to center field.
Yokohama third baseman Shuichi Murata hits a single to right in the top of the 7th.
Yokohama center fielder Tatsuhiko Kinjoh reacts after grounding out to short.
Saitama seibu second baseman Yasuyuki Kataoka.