I apologize for this one, but I am in an internet cafe and running out of time, and I basically fly back to America in about 36 hours. So here is Saturday's Asia Series antics, basically told as a series of photos and a few videos.
I actually woke up on Saturday with a terrible sore throat and a headache. I spent the day basically running off of adrenaline and DayQuil, and only stayed at the Dome until an hour or so into the second game of the day, before going home to sleep for 12 hours.
Watched the afternoon game of the Seibu Lions vs. Tianjin Lions from the leftfield stands with Westbay and Matt, hence very few real usable photos. Not much to say about the game either, really. The best part was probably when Okawari-kun Nakamura got his first hit of the Asia Series -- and BOY what a hit -- it was a home run that nearly hit the ceiling of the Tokyo Dome, no joke, and after sailing in a huuuuuge arch over the field, it hit the back wall in the SECOND DECK of the leftfield stands and bounced back onto the field. Yikes. Later on Ginjiro also got a home run off the left-field foul pole, which was interesting to see, and made me understand better how it was possible to have a difficult call on those in the games on the first day, because even sitting 15 feet behind the foul pole I didn't quite see Ginjiro's ball hit it.
Seibu won 16-2, much to nobody's surprise in particular.
Tianjin outfielder Chao Wang.
Seibu outfielder Takumi Kuriyama.
The Seibu stands, viewed from the leftfield foul pole.
Okawari-kun hero interview.
We wandered around Jimbocho looking at old baseball book stores with Westbay and a friend of his, and after that Matt and I returned to the Dome for the evening game. I had no intention of staying there for more than an hour, to be honest, and mostly took photos and hung out.
This is what the Tokyo Dome looks like at night during Christmas lights season.
This is Fu-Hao Liu. He hit 3 home runs in the Asia Series, including two during this particular game, for a total of 6 RBIs in the game. Crazy.
Catcher Chih-Kang Kao, who hit back-to-back home runs with Liu in the 4th inning.
One of the many mascots this team had.
Cheng-Hua Kao with Yi-Cheng Tseng. Tseng was the interesting 3/4 delivery pitcher from Friday night who would also play a major part in Sunday's final game.
Tongyi starter Yueh-Ping Lin.
Wyverns starter Byung-Yong Chei. He was HUGE. It even said in the book that he weighs like 100 kg, which puts him around the same range as Okawari-kun.
The Uni-President Lions ouendan. They were nuts. There were also a ton of Japanese people supporting them.
The nice people playing the brass instruments for the Lions ouendan.
And an abundance of cheer girls and mascots, of course. See? They actually DO have a Lion in there. Honest.
And here are a few videos of the Uni-President Lions ouendan...
Doing the Seibu running chance theme. At least, they use the same tune. Note the dude in the Seibu jersey who is DOING the Seibu running theme.
I swear this is like the Graduation March or whatever. Quite surreal.
One of their more generic cheers, but I thought it was neat how even in Chinese they had the "GO! GO! GO!" at the end.
Here's what's interesting. I only stayed until the 4th inning, so I didn't get to see it unfold, but the Lions beat the Wyverns 10-4.
What that meant is that actually, due to the tie-breaking rules -- based on how many runs the team gave up -- the Wyverns would not advance to the finals. All three teams were 2-1 in the tournament, but Seibu gave up 7 runs, Uni-President gave up 10, and SK gave up 13. Oops. SK could have lost the game 6-4 and still advanced to the finals, but that homerun by Liu pretty much clinched the spot for the Taiwanese squad.
And onward they went.
I won't have time to post about the final game for a while if at all, so I'll just say that it was CLOSE, it was 0-0 for most of the game until a walk and a sayonara double in the bottom of the 9th for Seibu. Seriously, crazy close game. Congrats to Seibu, but congrats even moreso to the Uni-President Lions for not only surviving their own league but then putting in such a great showing in this tournament, and to their fans as well.