A rainout in Gifu on Wednesday meant that for the second year in a row the green city in the mountains would miss out on their game. Last year it was renovations, this year, the weather. Takuma Achira, a graduate of the nearby Nihon University Ogagi High School also missed his chance to get another start in the top team as the Dragons decided against sliding the rotation, going ahead with Yudai Ono and a shortly-rested Akiyoshi Katsuno.
A fairly disappointing pair of losses was to follow against one of the Central League's cellar dweller. The cream appears to be separating from the pack as the Tigers, Carp and Giants appear to be the only teams to look anything resembling formidable.
- Game 47: Baystars 2-1 Dragons
- Game 48: Baystars 8-1 Dragons
Yudai Ono would take his schedule start against the Yokohama Baystars in what would be the Dragons 8th contest with the light blues from Kanagawa for the season.
The 'stars would take the lead in the opening frame after Neftali Soto stroked home Kazuki Kamizato. The Dragons would even things up in a close contest in the 6th where Naomichi Donoue scored on Yota Kyoda's ground out.
Yudai Ono would get through 7 innings work for 7Ks for his 7th quality start in 9 starts this season.
With scores level after 9 innings, extras beckoned and while Joely Rodriguez was able to keep the Baystars, the often maligned Hiroshi Suzuki would be the villain as he surrendered an RBI single to Yokohama slugger, Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. Suzuki gave up 3 hits in his single inning and his team were unable to rustle the same as Kyohei Kamezawa and Shuhei Takahashi failed to convert with runners on 2nd and third in the bottom of the 11th.
Dayan Viciedo would be the only Dragon with a multi-hit game while the rest of the team chipped in with 6 hits.
When you have hindsight, it is perhaps now easy to say that not giving Akiyoshi Katsuno his extra day's rest was a bad idea. I'll say that I felt uneasy about the idea given he's only a rookie and Achira was meant to start anyway, but off we go.
Katsuno surrendered a grand slam in his opening inning to Jose Lopez following 3 consecutive hits. A Toshiro Miyazaki single in the second would add pressure. Miyazaki would further add to Katsuno's misery alongside Kazuki Kamizato as they both doubled to give the Baytstars a 7-0 lead. A wild-pitch later and Katsuno was withdrawn for Hiroto Fuku.
Dayan Viciedo would spare some blushes with his RBI single at the bottom of the 4th but it was safe sailing for Katsuki Azuma and the Baystars as they recorded a series win away despite their less than inspiring performances this year.
The Dragons K'd 12 times in this game to the Baystars 6. Toshiki Abe and Yusuke Matsui at the top of the order had multi-hit games while the Dragons relay of Fuku, Ryosuke Oguma, Toshiya Okada kept things on an even keel before Hiroshi Suzuki gave up another 3 hits and a run.
A fairly sad series in the end that left me a little bit disappointed over the decision not to slide the rotation. Match-up between Achira and Taira would make sense, while throwing out Ono against Azuma would have made for an okay match-up as well. Even looking ahead at the 3 games against the Giants, Katsuno v Takahashi looks alright while the team could have saved on registering Romero for another week with Yanagi and Shimizu finishing off that series. I'm sure there's logic to the decision, but I'm not seeing it.
Next up, last series before interleague against the Giants.