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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Double Update: Dragons v Baystars @Nagoya Dome, 30th - 31st August; Pain, pleasure and a series win

Just to catch up so we can move on a bit, I'll post up reports for Wednesday and Thursday's game in the same post.

Dragons 3 - 6 Baystars

WP: Satoshi Iizuka (1W 2L) 5 2/3IP 1ER 3SO            Lopes 4-2, 4RBI, 1BB, 1HR
LP: Yudai Ono (5W, 7L)  5IP 5ER 4SO                       Fukuda 4-1, 1RBI, 1HR
SV: Yasuaki Yamasaki (23)

The Dragons couldn't get the bats working today. 3 solo home runs were to be the only runs scored by the home team while Miyazaki and Lopes wreaked havoc for the 'Stars.

The damage started in the 3rd inning through consecutive doubles from the aforementioned pair to put 3 on the board. Lopes' 2 run homer in the 5th would further add the damage and remove Ono from the game as the lead was stretched to 5.

Yota Kyoda would go yard in the 6th on a 3-1 pitch to put one on the board and Fukuda's 14th homer of the 7th saw the Dragons creep ever so gradually toward the Baystars score.

Shuhei Takahashi would also get on the board in the 7th as he scored an inside the park homerun. Shuhei is by no means a speedster but he rounded the bases after a bit of a lucky bounce and some lax fielding. To make it even more special, this was the first inside the park homer ever scored at Nagoya Dome dating back to 1997 when the venue was first opened. There's been plenty of speedsters and grace the stadium in these 20 years, but the medium-paced Shuhei was the one to take the honours first.
Hiroki Minei would push the 'Stars lead further in the top of the 9th against Taisuke Maruyama as his single scored Yoshitomo Tsutsugo. This would round at the scoring as the Dragons failed to muster in the bottom of the inning.

Dragons 4 - 2 Baystars

WP: Daisuke Yamai (1W 0L) 6IP 1ER 2SO                      Yamai 2-1, 1RBI, 1HR
LP: Shota Imanaga (10W 6L) 5IP 2ER 5SO                      Kajitani 3-2, 1RBI, 1HR
SV: Shinji Tajima (30)

Daisuke Yamai's spot start proved to be a stroke of genius as the 39 year old with the 7+ ERA on the farm claimed a famous victory over the Baystars to claim the series in a battle against Baystars ace, Shota Imanaga.

Guerrero would help get the game off to a good start as his 2 base hit drove in the first run in the bottom of the first inning. Yamai would keep the Baystars eerily quiet through 5 innings before he himself came up to bat and swiped an Imanaga pitch over the fences to claim his first career homerun.
Yamai would pitch up until the 7th where he gave up a lead-off homer to Yoshitomo Tsutsugo.

Having seen enough, Dragons management sent in Katsuki Matayoshi to finish of the inning for no further score. A series of errors in the bottom of the 7th would see the Dragons extend their lead to 3 while another homer from Kajitani vs Tanimoto in the top of the 8th put the pressure on the home team to see the game out.

At the bottom of the 8th the unmentionable would happen as Yohei Oshima took a dead ball to his right leg which saw his removal from the field of play but Shinji Tajima would come out in the 9th and close out the inning and the game to secure the win.

Oshima's involvement in the rest of the season is now in doubt as it was later revealed that the ball broke bones in his right leg. This leaves a big hole in the lineup and a big hole in centre-field for the rest of the year, but apart from individual glory this doesn't seem to be like a massive black mark on a team that isn't going to challenge. It does however add to the injury list populated already but Viciedo, Hirata, Yanagi and a handful of other. We can only hope for their speedy recoveries.

Next up, Tigers at Koshien.