Alright, I slept until like 3:30pm today, so I ought to be up all night for sure this time.
I'm going to be in the japanesebaseball.com chatroom along with Michael Westbay. He'll be broadcasting the game in English at Pro Yakyu Live! (and I'll still be following it in Japanese over CBC and also on Yahoo Gameday here).
If you also want to sing along to the Fighters cheer songs, they've put up all the oendan stuff on their official site here!! Though you can find the extra fanfares and whatnot here as well.
By the way, before we get to the lineups, I just wanted to post a few pictures.
This one is mine: Guess what? Dragonbutt.
These are all from Nikkan Sports:
Ogasawara slides into first base headfirst. Gave me a heart attack!
Glovehead Conference in the outfield during Game 1. Inaba seems outnumbered by weirdoes Shinjo and Hichori. Same shot, one month earlier.
Hichori in green doing pregame warmup dances.
Funny picture of Shinjo.
Macias being funny: one two three (the Darvish shirt is hilarious)
Hillman abuses Kawashima... now we know why the rookies do so well for him :)
Hichori LF Araki 2B
Kensuke 2B Ibata SS
Ogasawara 3B Fukudome RF
Seguignol 1B Woods 1B
Inaba RF Morino 3B
SHINJO CF Ochoa CF
Tsuruoka C Inoue LF
Kaneko! SS Tanishige C
Yagi P Yamamoto P
Yagi (12-8, 2.48) Yamamoto (11-7, 3.32)
Man, I'm missing out. Kazuhiro Kiyohara is doing color on the TV broadcast :(
First inning, top: Hichori Morimoto hits a ball up the middle into center for a single, and Kensuke Tanaka successfully bunts him to second. Ogasawara gets to a 2-2 count and strikes out swinging on a slider arrrrgghh. Two out, Hichori on second. Seguignol fouls off a bunch of pitches and Tanishige starts walking off the field on a 2-2 pitch, only it's called ball three (a little high and inside), and then the next pitch is a one-bouncer towards short, and Ibata gets it, only he doesn't -- he touches it with his glove and it gets away from him, and by the time he DOES control it, Hichori Morimoto has rounded third and headed home and is ahead of the throw in and SAFE!!!!! 1-0 Fighters, on what is ruled an infield hit for Seguignol (not an error?). Yay!! Inaba flies out to right. Score is 1-0 Fighters and Yamamoto threw 20 pitches in that inning.
First inning, bottom: Araki flies out to shallow right field (Kensuke Tanaka makes the catch). Ibata comes up, gets up to a full count and then LINES A BALL INTO THE FIRST ROW OF THE LEFTFIELD SEATS ARRRRRGGGHHHHH. bleh. ok, well, home run Ibata, and now the score is 1-1... Fukudome comes up and hits a long fly ball to centerfield, which Shinjo snags (and it's described as "an unecessary jumping catch" by Westbay). Tyrone Woods is up, bleh, and also gets up to a full count before Yagi throws a ball on the outside corner and Woods checks a swing, the appeal to the first base umpire says he didn't go, so it's a walk. Yagi was apparently already getting ready to head to the dugout. But it's okay as Morino grounds to Kaneko, who flips the ball to Kensuke Tanaka at second for the force out on Woods, ending the inning. Score is tied at 1-1 now and Yagi threw 24 pitches this inning.
Second inning, top: Shinjo pops up the first pitch he sees into foul territory behind the plate and Tanishige makes an easy catch. Tsuruoka hits the ball very high and very deep to left field but Inoue makes the catch at the warning track. Makoto Kaneko fouls off a bunch of pitches before finally fouling one that Tanishige can catch, ending the inning. Score still 1-1, Yamamoto has thrown 28 pitches through two.
Second inning, bottom: Alex Ochoa takes the first pitch and grounds it to Kaneko, who throws to first for the out. And Inoue takes the first pitch HE sees and pops it up foul behind the plate, Tsuruoka making the catch. Two pitches, two outs. Tanishige takes two pitches on the outside before getting a piece of another one, hitting to Kaneko who makes the throw to first a little high, but fortunately Seguignol is about half a foot taller than Ogasawara, and he jumps to get the ball and lands on the bag in time. Yagi is up to 29 pitches, having only thrown 5 this inning. Still 1-1.
Third inning, top: Yagi leads off the inning by flying out to right. Hichori Morimoto is up next and strikes out and then Kensuke Tanaka grounds out to first and nothing really happened and it's 37 pitches for Yamamoto, who's throwing Jamie Moyer crap but doing really well with it.
Third inning, bottom: Yamamoto strikes out to lead off the inning, and here's Araki, gets to an 0-2 count and then grounds the ball towards third, where Ogasawara charges in and gets the ball and throws it to first for the out. Ibata also hits to the left side, and this time it's Kaneko getting the ball and firing to first for the out, another short inning. 41 pitches for Yagi now through three, still 1-1.
Fourth inning, top: Ogasawara pops out to short, and here's Seguignol... who fouls off the first couple of pitches, ignores a few pitches in the dirt, then eventually grounds up the middle and Ibata gets it and throws him out at first. Inaba watches a strike go by on the outside corner and then hits a foul up towards third which Morino catches. Still 1-1, Yamamoto up to 49 pitches through four.
Fourth inning, bottom: Uh, Fukudome leads off by hitting the ball into the rightfield stands GODDAMNIT. Well, I guess that's one way to break his hitless postseason streak, ugh. okay, 2-1 Dragons. Woods anticlimactically grounds out to Kaneko after that. Morino hits a long liner to right but Inaba catches it. Alex grounds hard up to first, and Seguignol makes a diving stop of the ball and throws to Yagi covering first for the out, on what sounded like a very nice play. 53 pitches for Yagi through four, but the score is now 2-1 Dragons after Fukudome's home run.
Fifth inning, top: Yay, Shinjo hits the ball into left-center and gets a single! Tsuruoka predictably bunts him to second. Makoto Kaneko literally fouls off six pitches for a total of ten pitches in an at-bat, including nearly decapitating Morino with a liner foul, and eventually hits a long fly ball out to center field. Alex Ochoa runs back and makes an over-the-shoulder catch, but Shinjo tags up and takes off for third safely, as Yagi comes up to the plate. Yagi takes some good swings and gets ahold of several balls, fouling off a bunch before finally hitting one to shallow center. Fukudome and Alex both come in for it, Fukudome ducking at the last minute and letting Alex make the catch, so that's three outs. 70 pitches for Yamamoto through five, and still 2-1 Dragons.
Fifth inning, bottom: Inoue singles up the middle to lead off the inning, and Tanishige singles to left. This is bad. Yamamoto squares to bunt... and Yagi gets the ball and FIRES to third and Ogasawara makes the play in time to get Inoue!!! YEAH!!!! Bunt fails! One out, runners on first and second, Araki at bat. Araki gets up to a full count as Yagi throws to the same corner that everyone's noticing the umpire keeps calling a strike a ball and then Araki hits the ball out foul to right field, Inaba making the catch. Two outs, still runners on first and second. Ibata takes a billion years on his at-bat, as Yagi gets called on those non-strikes again and it gets worked up to a full count through a bunch of fouls. On the tenth pitch Ibata hits a loooong liner to left field and Hichori Morimoto comes in for the catch! Thank god! 75 pitches for Yagi through five innings, and it's still 2-1.
Sixth inning, top: Hichori Morimoto grounds to short, where Ibata stops it with his bare hand and then throws it to first to get him out on a nice throw (hopefully his hand is okay). Kensuke Tanaka grounds out to first. Ogasawara goes from being down 0-2 to a full count and then hits the ball all the way out to the warning track in right-center but it's caught. ("That would have been a home run in Sapporo!") Still 2-1, 81 pitches through six for Yamamoto.
Sixth inning, bottom: My attention span has started to wane as I get used to the taste of Diet Cherry Vanilla Dr. Pepper, I think, and I didn't even really notice as Fukudome grounded out to second. Tyrone Woods actually strikes out swinging! Whee! And then Morino eats a steady diet of sliders to also strike out! Wheeee! Yagi's up to 86 pitches through six. Still 2-1.
Seventh inning, top: Seguignol breaks his bat grounding out to short to lead off the inning. Inaba comes up and... uhh... alright, so it sounds like Inaba hit a short chopper and Tanishige took it and threw to first but his throw was off and it hit Inaba, knocking his helmet off, and thus Inaba reached base on an error. And then Shinjo hits a blooper into right field and Inaba runs all the way to third!! Okay, runners on the corners with Tsuruoka at the plate. Just like every other batter in this sort of situation, Tsuruoka works his way up to a full count, fouls off a few, and eventually strikes out on what should have been ball four outside, Shinjo running to second, no throw to get him, Yamamoto's 100th pitch of the night. Kaneko's up with runners at second and third with two outs. Aaaaand Kaneko takes a pitch down the middle and hits it into center for a single!!!!! Inaba singles easily and Shinjo runs in behind him too, Tanishige blocking the plate but Shinjo slides (or somersaults or something) around him and touches home plate with his hand and is SAFE!!!!! 3-2 Fighters! And NOW Ochiai comes out and pulls Yamamoto and gets Masafumi Hirai. 104 pitches for Yamamoto and Shinji Takahashi is pinch-hitting for Yagi, and he strikes out. Whoosh.
Well. It's now 3-2 Fighters. Let me pull up Yagi and Yamamoto's lines as both of them are out of the game:
Yagi: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 K, 1 BB, 2 HR, 86 pitches
Yamamoto: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R (1 ER), 3 K, 0 BB, 104 pitches
Seventh inning, bottom: Hisashi Takeda is in on the mound for the Fighters and Satoshi Nakajima is catching and Alex Ochoa singles to center. Inoue tries to bunt him ahead but fouls out to the catcher :) Tanishige comes up and singles to right as Alex moves to second base and here comes Tatsunami to pinch-hit for Hirai... and he grounds to Kaneko, who makes a great play to get Tanishige on the force at second. With runners at first and third, ex-Fighter Hiroshi Narahara comes in to pinch-run for Tatsunami, but then Araki grounds back to the mound and Takeda makes the play. Whew. Still 3-2 Fighters. 14 pitches for Takeda in that inning.
Eighth inning, top: Okamoto comes in to pitch for the Dragons. (Hirai's line is that he threw 5 pitches to strike out one guy.) Hichori Morimoto hits one into right field for a single, and predictably Kensuke Tanaka comes up bunting. For whatever reason it takes him like five minutes of an at-bat to actually pull off the okuribunt. Okay, Ogasawara up, one out, runner on second... and Ogasawara pounds a scorching liner down the right-field line and Tyrone Woods DIVES TO GET IT WHEN THE HELL DID HE LEARN TO FIELD? throws to Okamoto covering first for the out as Hichori moves to third base. Seguignol gets ahead in the count 3-0, and just as people are in the chat room going "oh just walk him and work on the next guy" he gets a strike on him... and then takes the NEXT pitch and LAUNCHES IT INTO THE STANDS IN CENTER. I wonder if the Fighters fan from Nagoya I met at the Osaka Dome is there holding up his Panama flag :) ("Panama -- that's Spanish for 'country with big powerful switch-hitters', right?") Anyway, whoosh, Seguignol's 2-run homer brings the score to 5-2. And it's almost anticlimactic but Inaba singles to left, and Okamoto is sent to the showers.
Okamoto's line: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 0 K, 0 BB, 24 pitches.
Yoshihiro Suzuki comes in to replace Okamoto, pitching to Shinjo with Inaba the runner on first, two out. Shinjo pops out to second ending the inning, but the score is now 5-2 Fighters!
Eighth inning, bottom: Ibata hits the ball towards third but Ogasawara snags it and gets the out at first. Fukudome strikes out and Woods ALSO strikes out and wheeeee. 30 pitches for Takeda through two innings, still 5-2 Fighters.
(the rest of Takeda's line: 2 hits, 2 strikeouts, that's it)
Ninth inning, top: Suzuki is still on the mound for Chunichi, and Nakajima comes up and leads off the inning with a single to right. Kaneko bunts him to second (wow), and now Suzuki is taken out -- Yuuichi Hisamoto will come in to pitch for Chunichi, and Tomoyuki Oda pinch-hits in the pitcher's spot... er... no, Jose Macias pinch-hits in the 9th spot and grounds out. Hichori Morimoto walks, and Kensuke Tanaka is up with runners at first and second with two outs, and after fouling off a few pitches he swings and strikes out. It's still 5-2 as we go into the final inning half.
Ninth inning, bottom: Yaaay, Micheal Nakamura is in to pitch for the Fighters. Morino at bat. Morino grounds up to first, where Ogasawara gets the ball and throws it to Micheal covering first. (Iiyama is playing third.) Alex Ochoa flies out to left field, and Inoue STRIKES OUT AND THE FIGHTERS WIN THE GAME!!!!!!!!!!!
okay, it's 6:08am. Yow.