Thursday, October 26, 2006

Japan Series, Game 5: Liveblogging

Yeah, I didn't get around to summarizing game 4 yet. After we win tonight I'll just do both of them, if I have time.

Hey, so finally hearing some of the CBC broadcast yesterday I noticed that Makoto Kaneko was using Daniel Powter's "Bad Day" as his at-bat music and as a result I found at-bat music lists for the following teams (and I'm sure I'll find the others):
Fighters, Marines, Bay Stars, Buffaloes, Lions, Hawks

The best part is that I was just listening to the song "栄光の架橋" the other day, trying to remember why it was so damn familiar, and then it was like.. "Oh yeah! Saburo!!" Also, it was finally good to find out who the pop/enka singer was who Toru Hosokawa used for his theme. I'd been searching for a while.

Great pictures from last night's game on Nikkan Sports: Shinjo hugs Kanemura, Shinjo looks angry and grinning, Okajima rules, so does Tateyama, Hichori slides in for a triple. (In other teams you can see Saitoh throwing lefty, Imaoka throwing a football, Shimoyanagi and his cute puppy, and Hamanaka being cute).

Had katsu and a dragon roll for dinner tonight. I'm set. Kawakami's going DOWN!

New lineup today! Hidenori makes the start in CF for the Dragons. It's the Darvish-Kawakami rematch! Wheeee!


Araki 2B Hichori LF
Ibata SS Kensuke 2B
Fukudome RF Ogasawara! 1B
Woods 1B Seguignol DH
Tatsunami DH Inaba RF
Dragonbutt 3B SHINJO CF
Inoue LF Inada 3B
Tanishige C Tsuruoka C
Hidenori CF Kaneko! SS

---------- ----------
Kawakami (17-7, 2.51) Darvish (12-5, 2.89)

I am essentially transcribing Michael Westbay's broadcast of the game with some extra details thrown in from Yahoo and SportsNavi and my Fighters-fandom and whatnot, but hey, I have no idea if anyone else in the world is providing an almost-realtime English gameday transcript of the Japan Series, so.

First inning, top: Araki leads off, sending a broken bat towards shortstop and the baseball back to the mound, Darvish making the throw to first. Ibata singles to center, but then Fukudome grounds to short, Kaneko making the play in time to get Ibata at second and the double play at first! 0-0, no stranded runners, Darvish throwing 11 pitches through the inning. 1 hit, 0 LOB.

("These are the saddest of possible words: Kaneko, Tanaka, and Guts.")

First inning, bottom: Hichori Morimoto leads off by striking out on a pitch in the dirt, him running to first but Tanishige recovering the ball in time and firing to first to make the out. Oh, I love it when Kensuke doesn't have to bunt -- he singles to left!! Ogasawara also gets ahold of a ball and gets it into the right-center gap, Fukudome making the play and holding Tanaka at second. Seguignol gets ahold of a pitch and sends it way out to center, and both he and the fans hoped for a home run but no, Hidenori runs back to the warning track to make the catch, Kensuke Tanaka tagging up at second and running to third. Inaba, RBI machine, gets up to a full count, and then he walks! Bases loaded and heeeeeere's Shinjo! Unfortunately, Prince Shinjo strikes out for the third out. Doh.

Kensuke's stranded at third, Ogasawara at second, Inaba at first. Score is still 0-0 and Kawakami has thrown 22 pitches through the first. 2 hits, 3 LOB.

Second inning, top: Woods leads off the inning by hitting a line-drive single to right. Tatsunami goes around guessing a bit and strikes out on three straight pitches. Morino gets up to a 3-1 count before slicing a ball into left for a single, advancing Woods to second. Inoue grounds to second, and Kensuke Tanaka gets Morino on the force at second, Inoue reaching first safely and Woods advancing to third. Tanishige grounds out to third next, Naoto Inada making the play and throwing him out at first just in time.

Woods's stranded at third, Inoue at second (technically), score is still 0-0 and Darvish has thrown 27 pitches through 2. 2 hits, 2 LOB.

Second inning, bottom: Naoto Inada hits a foul ball near third base, Morino making the catch. Tsuruoka gets up to a full count before striking out swinging. Kaneko comes up and hits a long fly ball to center, Hidenori tracking it down easily for the catch.

No baserunners this inning, score is still 0-0 and Kawakami has thrown 37 pitches through 3. 0 hits/etc/etc.

Third inning, top: Hidenori leads off the inning by singling to right-center. Araki hits a sac bunt back to the mound, Darvish fielding it cleanly, Hidenori moving to second. Ibata then grounds to the right side, Kensuke Tanaka cleanly fielding the ball for the out at first, but Hidenori advances to third. Kosuke Fukudome comes to the plate and Darvish tries to just scorch him, the first two pitches coming across at 151km/h and 153km/h, eventually working up to a full count and JUST misses outside for a fourth ball, walking Fukudome. Tyrone Woods comes up and hits the ball towards left, where shortstop Kaneko comes up behind the third base position and fields the ball and fires it to second base in time to get the force on Fukudome. WHEW! Excellent glove work by Kaneko as per usual :)

Hidenori is stranded on third, Woods technically on first. 1 hit, 2 LOB. Darvish has thrown 42 pitches through three.

Third inning, bottom: Hichori leads off by hitting a high high pop ball to right, where Fukudome easily makes the catch. Kensuke Tanaka gets up to a full count before hitting a sharp liner to right but Tyrone Woods snags it, doh! Ogasawara pops out to left field, Inoue making the catch.

Another 1-2-3 inning with no baserunners, no hits, no LOB, score still 0-0, Kawakami has thrown 51 through three.

(I have become briefly distracted surfing through Hanshin's Tsuyoshi Shimoyanagi's website, mostly the part dedicated to his absolutely adorable black labrador Lager.)

Fourth inning, top: Tatsunami leads off the inning with a single through the gap towards right. Dragonbutt Morino bunts him successfully (!) to second. Inoue strikes out swinging, whoosh! ...and then Tanishige walks on four straight pitches? What? Ogasawara and Tsuruoka come out to the mound to say "Settle down, Darvish!" and then he throws two balls to Hidenori as well, and Mike Brown comes out to talk to him as well. And the next pitch misses low... seven straight balls and the next pitch misses HIGH and Hidenori walks, that's eight straight balls and the bases are loaded, two out. Uhoh. Well, Araki comes up and Darvish throws him two straight strikes. Whew! (Westbay says: "See, that's all he needed, a little pressure!" Torakichi says: "Who's under more pressure here, Darvish or Araki?") Araki hits the ball to the right side, Ogasawara runs out and makes a diving stop, gets the ball, but cannot get up in time to make the play as Araki slides head-first into first base, CRAP, okay, so all the runners advance, Tatsunami scores, that makes it 1-0 Dragons dohhhh. Ibata hits a fly ball to right and Inaba makes the catch, ending the inning.

Okay, let's see. Tanishige is stranded on third, Hidenori on second, Araki on first, and the score is now 1-0 Dragons, Darvish has thrown 70 pitches through four. 2 hits, 1 run, 3 LOB. 0 errors, although Torakichi is under the impression that Ogasawara's play should have been ruled an error.

(By the way, I just want to point out that at least Shimoyanagi has a REAL DOG unlike some people. Though I guess I promised to stop picking on Kanemura, didn't I...)

Fourth inning, bottom: Dolphins for Ogasawara, Bananas for Seguignol, and he gets up to a full count and then hits a loooooong fly ball to left field, where Inoue goes back and back and makes the catch just short of the wall. And then Inaba ALSO hits a fly ball all the way to the warning track, this time in center... a split-second earlier and that's a home run, dammit. Oh well. Shinjo comes up and grounds out to third. Geez.

That's another 1-2-3 inning, no baserunners, no hits, no LOB, score still 1-0, Kawakami has thrown 65 pitches through four.

Fifth inning, top: Fukudome hits a fly ball to short centerfield and shortstop Kaneko goes back to make the catch. And Woods strikes out swinging on three straight pitches! Tatsunami grounds out to Inaba at third.

That's a 1-2-3 inning too, no baserunners, no nothing, score still 1-0, Darvish has thrown 78 pitches through five.

Fifth inning, bottom: Well, if anyone was going to break Kawakami's streak of retired batters, it'd have to be... Naoto Inada? He hits the ball towards right field, over the infield, going back for a double! Yay! Tsuruoka bunts him over to third. Kaneko (ironically coming in to "Bad Day") pulls off a squeeze play! he lunges out to make a bunt back towards the pitcher, Inada running home, Tanishige fields the ball, Kaneko is out at first but the suicide squeeze is successful and the game is tied, 1-1! Wheeee! Hichori Morimoto strikes out to end the inning after that.

Okay, no baserunners stranded there, score is now tied 1-1, 1 hit, 1 run, 0 LOB, Kawakami has thrown 75 pitches through five.

Sixth inning, top: Dragonbutt leads off with a single, and... haha, Masahiro Kawai, the sac bunt world leader, pinch-hit to sac bunt him to second. Glad he could make an appearance. Tanishige strikes out swinging and... and... Hidenori strikes out swining too! WHEE!

Score still 1-1, Morino stranded on second, 1 hit, 1 LOB, 0 runs, Darvish has thrown 88 pitches through six.

(I'm momentarily distracted again reading this article about Kensuke Tanaka bunting. Ironically, he's leading off the next inning.)

Sixth inning, bottom: Yoshinori Ueda comes in to play left field for Chunichi after Kawai pinch-hit. Kensuke Tanaka leads off by singling to center! Yay Kensuke!!! No bunts for you!!! Ogasawara gets up to a full count (Kensuke Tanaka stole second on ball two) and grounds out to first, Tyrone Woods making the play unassisted, as Kensuke moves to third. Fernando Seguignol comes up to bat and... HAIIITTTAAAAAA well, there that ball goes flying into the right-field stands as Seguignol is beign a complete goofball running around the bases smiling, comes home and gives Kensuke Tanaka a big hug and runs into the dugout and it's one big party. Whoooosh. Game's not over, but that's HUGE incase it's not obvious, the score now at 3-1. Inaba flies out to left. Shinjo grounds up the middle and Araki has to field the high bounder behind the second-base bag and Shinjo runs himself to first before the throw comes in! Whoosh! And now.. Naoto Inada walks. Wacky. The fourth ball is Kawakami's 101th pitch of the night, and Iiyama comes in to pinch-run for Inada, but Tsuruoka pops out as Araki makes the catch.

[takes a breath] Whew. I can't wait to see the pictures of Seguignol, heh.

Alright, Shinjo was stranded on second, Iiyama on first, but with that blast by Seguignol the score is now 3-1 Fighters!. Kawakami threw 103 pitches through six. 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 home run, 2 LOB.

Seventh inning, top: Araki and Ibata both ground out to third base with Iiyama making the play in three pitches and I've lost the Yahoo feed. Fukudome strikes out on a slider. Daamn.

1-2-3 inning there and Darvish has thrown 97 pitches through seven.

Seventh inning, bottom: Masafumi Hirai is on the mound for Chunichi now.

(Kawakami's line: 6 IP, 6 H, 4 K, 2 BB, 3 ER, 1 HR, 103 pitches.)

Kaneko leads off the inning by grounding out to second. Hichori hits the ball out to right field and Fukudome plays it right and makes the catch. Kensuke Tanaka, on the other hand, singles to right. Ochiai walks out to the mound very, very slowly, and makes a pitching change.

(Hirai's line: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 9 pitches.)

Yuuichi Hisamoto comes in to pitch for the Dragons... with Ogasawara at the plate, Hisamoto throws a "wild pitch", which sounded like it was in the dirt and Tanishige didn't get ahold of it. Kensuke Tanaka rounds second, gets to third, and almost thinks about heading home on it, heh. Unfortunately, two pitches later Ogasawara gets to a full count and then strikes out. Whoosh.

Kensuke is stranded at third, so that's 1 hit, 1 LOB. Score is still 3-1 Fighters and Hisamoto threw 6 pitches total to Ogasawara.

Eighth inning, top: Woods flies out to right field where Inaba makes the catch. Tatsunami singles to right, and Hillman and Brown both come out to the mound... and Darvish is now done for the evening after a fine outing.

(Darvish's line: 7.1 IP, 8 H, 6 K, 3 BB, 1 R/ER, 106 pitches)

Morino comes to the plate and grounds to first... as Ogasawara makes the grab, touches first base, and throws to Kaneko at second to get Tatsunami as well on a 3-6 double play. HOLY CRAP.

So technically no stranded baserunners that evening, 1 hit, 0 LOB, 0 runs, crazy. Okajima threw 5 pitches.

Eighth inning, bottom: Seguignol leads off the inning by striking out. And then Inaba fouls off a whole bunch of pitches before HITTING A SOLO HOME RUN TO RIGHT!!!!!!!

Yeah, that's another pitching change. Hee.

(Hisamoto's line: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 HR... 2 K, 20 pitches)

Atsushi Nakazato comes in to pitch to Shinjo, who is getting a huge standing ovation from the Sapporo Dome. Shinjo is pulling a Kiyohara, with tears flowing down his face and is probably just going to swing at anything that comes his way.... yeah, he does, strikes out swinging on three pitches in what's most likely his final at-bat in pro yakyu. Iiyama hits a pop fly to centerfield and Hidenori catches it.


Nakazato threw 6 pitches, no runners were stranded but with Inaba's homer that brings the score to 4-1 Fighters. Yeehaw.

Ninth inning, top: Micheal Nakamura takes the mound for the last three outs of the game, hopefully. Satoshi Nakajima is behind the plate, and Ex-Fighter Yoshinori Ueda is at bat. Shinjo is still crying in the outfield, heh. Ueda hits a pop fly to right field, Inaba making the catch. Tanishige grounds out to short, Kaneko making the throw to first. ATO HITORI!!!!

alex ochoa just popped out to left field, hichori morimoto making the catch and then running over to give shinjo a big hug and


(my first thought is: "I wonder where this guy is now")

I can't see any of this you know. I'm just imagining the players, the fans, the stadium, etc. I can't wait until the DVD comes out, or highlight movies online...

Hillman starts off his interview in Japanese of course with "SHINJIRARENAI" and a big "HOKKAIDO NO MINNASAN NO SEKAI DE ICHIBAN DESU!!!"

It's apparently his father's birthday, wow... his family is there.

"Glad we could give Shinjo this sendoff as a champion..." "It's a blessing to work with this organization and manage this group of men..." "We're going to rest for a few days, and then... I'm a foreign manager but I recognize the opportunity to recognize this country in the Asian games." "I can't put it into words how much we appreciate you... if not for our fans we would not be where we are now"

Inaba's the MVP of the series but I dunno how well I could transcribe this...

”気持ちいかがですか?” ”本当に最高です、皆は喝采て言う気持ちはね”
”四回の日本シリーズです、どう思います?” ”本会の本能に北海道の皆さんおかげさまです”
”ずっと新庄さんは、どんな思いますか?” ”守りに。。。” err.. he thanks Shinjo for being great and his awesome defense and it faded into mumbling a bit.
Then he says he'll do his best in the Asian Series,
his message to the fans: ”一年にはすばらしいありがとうございます、思いきて楽しんで下さい、ありがとう。”

on a fighters community I recently joined there are literally 300 posts already in the last 20 minutes of "SHINJIRARENAI" and variations, haha!

it's 6am and I really, really, really should sleep, I've been feeling pretty crappy this week. Who wants to come to Sapporo with me next year?

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