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Friday, July 10, 2020

Weekly Wrap: Carp & Tigers; Seiya Suzuki tames timid Dragons while Tigers taunted (June 26- July 2)

Getting behind on reports, so we're going to do a couple of quick weekly wrap ups. The Dragons took on the Carp in what has been a fairly comfortable series win in previous years. Seiya Suzuki however did the damage. Against the lethargic Tigers, the end of the rotation proved to be enough to sweep the kitties in Nagoya

In wider team news, development catcher Ariel Martinez was given a full-time deal by the team after serving 2 years on the farm. 

Game 7
Dragons 1-4 Carp

A fairly familiar face in Daiichi Osera, threw down yet another complete game against the Dragons making that his gajillionth career CS vs the boys in blue. 

It was otherwise a typical Yudai Ono start as he gave up back-to-back homeruns to the Seiya Suzuki and Alejandro Mejia in his second inning. Ono would give up a further solo shot to Suzuki in the 4th inning before the Carp made things comfortable in the 5th with a timely single from Ryosuke Kikuchi. 

Shuhei Takahashi did all he could with a modasho batting 5th in the lineup. Kengo Takeda started in right-field ahead of the misfiring Ryosuke Hirata. Neither he nor Hirata, who later entered as a pinch-hitter, could make ample impact on the game. 

The bullpen held steady behind Ono with only 2 hits conceded in the final 4 innings. The team were in a good position to make the Carp pay in the 9th after loading the bases, but all Hirata could manage was a grounder to third base to end the inning. 

A typical showing against the Carp ace. 

Game 8
Dragons 6-1 Carp

Experience won out over youth and Kazuki Yoshimi out-pitched Hiroki Tokoda. Yoshimi seemed to hit his spots relatively well while Tokoda simply didn't. 

Nobumasa Fukuda started the scoring with a batting cage exectuted left-of-centre line-drive while Shuhei Takahashi would chime in next up to drive Fukuda home. Hirata, leading off this time, would drive Kyoda home in the second to effectively end Tokoda's start. The Carp would get one back in the 4th through Kikuchi but a volley from Almonte and Oshima in the 6th followed up by Viciedo's second homer of the season sealed the win.

Game 9
Dragons 3-10 Carp

It was launchpad day for the Carp as they smashed three homeruns and a massive total to speed away from the home team. Big hits to Jose Pirela, Shota Dobayashi and Kosuke Tanaka saw the Carp take things out of reach very quickly.

A battle of recent university graduates in 2019 draftee Masato Morishita and 2018 draftee, Kodai Umetsu saw the underclassman pitch the better game. Umetsu was credited with 7 of the Carp runs over his unsuccessful 5 innings. Takuya Mitsuma in relief did similarly poorly giving up the further 3. 

Yota Kyoda was the best with the bat for his multi-hit game, while Yuki Hashimoto was the only pitcher left unscathed with his two scoreless frames. 

Overall, an unhappy kind of series. The better starter won on every occasion and it wasn't really that close a match-up in any game in the end. The Dragons will be disappointed not to have done better against a team they're traditionally good against at home. 

To wax away the disappointment, fans were treated to an eyewash series sweep against the Tigers in their first match-up oft the year. 

Game 10
Dragons 5-0 Tigers

Yuya "run support" Yanagi threw a gem to help lead his team to victory. The righty-hurler threw down 7 strikeouts through 7 innings while Raidel Martinez and Toshiya Okada cleaned up the 8th and 9th. 

Toshiki Abe gave the Dragons a precarious 1-0 lead in the 6th but it a demoralizing grand slam from Zoilo Almonte put the Dragons into cruise control. 

A tidy win where the team did the right things at the right times. Yanagi seems to look pretty good as the leader of the bottom-half of the rotation while he looks to be taking a whole lot of strikeouts which is another positive. So far, he looks like he's taken a step on last year. 

Game 11
Dragons 6-3 Tigers

Takumi Yamamoto claimed his first win of the year with 6 tidy frames for 2 earned runs. 

A profitable 5th inning would be where the team would truly get the winning wheels moving as Hirata and Viciedo drove in 3 runs. Shuhei Takahashi's following at-bat would see the team score on a passed ball to push things to 6-1. The Tigers would claim two more runs, including Justin Bour's first homer in Japan, but it wouldn't be enough as the Dragons took the series. 

Takuya Kinoshita starred with the bat with a modasho and and RBI to his name, while Ryosuke Hirata similarly chimed in with 2 hits and an RBI of his own. 

Game 12
Dragons 4-2 Tigers

Yuichiro Okano had a rough outing against the Baystars in his debut but the run-support was with him in a solid but unremarkable outing. 

Dayan Viciedo was the hero with the bat as his 3-run shot in the first inning wasn't to be bested by the Tigers. 

The pinch-hitting Masataka Iryo added to the team's tally in the 8th inning. Raidel Martinez would give fans jitters in the 9th after putting 2 Tigers on base, but an infield-fly and a double-play would vindicate the rapid firing hurler. 

Overall, a positive series win for the Dragons over a misfiring Tigers outfit. The Tigers have had their worries early in the season, but if they get firing with Jerry Sands, Bour and Jefrey Marte in their line-up, I'm sure they'll be a dangerous foe later down the stretch. 

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