Dicky Gonzalez picked up his sixth straight win to start the season, but most of it was because Shugo Fujii gave up 4 runs in the first inning as the Giants beat the Fighters 5-2.
Olympic swimmer Kosuke Kitajima threw out the first pitch, which was kind of neat. The Giants certainly do get their share of big names to take the mound for them.
Really, part of the disastrous first inning could be blamed on Kensuke Tanaka for kind of bobbling a ball and missing a double play, and even for letting Hayato Sakamoto on base to lead off the game. But neither of them were technically errors and they were pretty tough plays.
It's hard to come back from a 4-0 deficit in the first inning, though, and the Fighters never did.
Fujii also kind of got himself caught in a stupid rundown in the third inning which meant they went from runners at the corners with one out to runners at first and second with two outs. Inaba delivered a single which scored Kensuke, but should have been two runs. I'm not sure whether to blame that on Fujii or on 3rd base coach Makishi, who's been getting a lot of ire from the fans this year.
Inaba also hit a 125-meter home run in the 5th inning. In case you are counting, I think Inaba has hit 7 home runs this year, and I think I've seen 6 of them. Seriously. If he can only hit home runs when I'm watching, this should be a good weekend for him.
Oh yeah, and Giants infielder Takayuki Terauchi doubled his hit count for the season by getting 3 of them in the game.
I was really happy to see Shintaro Ejiri come into the game, and to also get 3 scoreless innings! His new sidearm delivery seems to be working out for him, although he was also saved by an awesome play by Hichori Morimoto in the 4th inning -- Terauchi singled to left and tried to stretch it into a double, and Hichori managed to get the ball in the leftfield corner AND throw it to first in time to get Terauchi out. It was such a nice play that we actually all stood up and cheered for Hichori on his way back to his position. (It is interesting that as away fans, we're behind the left fielder instead of behind Inaba at the Tokyo Dome.)
Sho Nakata pinch-hit in the 7th inning. He struck out. But, this was the first time I'd actually sung his cheer song, so maybe I will learn it after all. I kind of like how they make a pun on his name by ending the cheer in "翔たけ中田" - "habatake Nakata", meaning to fly, using the kanji from his name, Sho. Cute.
Anyway, Gonzalez was the game hero and I didn't really stick around for his hero interview.
But in something more fun, look at the new cool sticker on my cellphone!
My friend Hiromi went to Hokkaido for Golden Week and she made me a sheet of Fighters name stickers with my name on them in katakana (ディアナ)! The stickers are really cute and I'm very happy, so I immediately put one on my cellphone, and one on my scorebook, and I should probably put one on my cheer sticks, and so on. Very very cool.
Also, I made a cheering sign for Shota Ohno. I'll try to remember to get a photo of it when I go back for Saturday's game, even though Darvish is starting which means Tsuruoka will be catching. It also hopefully means the Fighters will win, which would be nice.