There's also a chatroom on japanesebaseball.com if you want to come in and chat about the playoff games, both Central and Pacific League.
Takasu 2b Kensuke 2b
Naoto ss Hichori lf
Teppei cf Inaba rf
Takeshi SMASH dh Shinji 1b
Seggy 1b Sledge dh
Nakashima rf Koyano 3b
Linden lf Itoi cf
Kusano 3b Tsuruoka c
Nakatani c Kaneko! ss
Ma-kun (15-6, 2.33) Yagi (9-3, 2.88)
Amazingly, for the second consecutive day, my favorite Dragons player (Masahiko "Dragonbutt" Morino) has hit a 2-run homer in the first inning! 2-0 Dragons. It's also the 3rd consecutive day for the Dragons scoring in the first inning... let's hope they can pull it through.
Ma-kun is in the dugout looking... concerned, I guess. I mean, here he is, the pride of Hokkaido high school baseball, with the weight of the Sendai franchise on his shoulders. And his 21st birthday is next week.
Top of the first (F 0, E 0)
Takasu leads off with a single to right. Naoto Watanabe comes up bunting and and goes down bunting, pitcher to first. One out, runner at second. Teppei strikes out swinging, two down. Takeshi Yamasaki, who I swear took lessons from the Hiromitsu Ochiai School of Facial Expressions, eventually strikes out swinging to end the inning.
Ma-kun takes the mound. It seems he was 3-0 against the Fighters this year but not in the Sapporo Dome.
Bottom of the first (F 0, E 0)
Kensuke Tanaka grounds out to first. Hichori gets called out on strikes. Inaba grounds out to third.
Top of the second (F 0, E 0)
Seguignol comes up and hits a high pop fly that Shinji Takahashi catches in foul territory. Nakashima hits a pop fly out to center. Linden, whose black eye is looking a lot better now, gets rung up on a called third strike.
Bottom of the second (F 1, E 0)
Shinji Takahashi HITS A HOME RUN INTO THE FIRST ROW OF THE RAKUTEN CHEERING SECTION! 1-0. Sledge grounds to Seggy, who dives/sprawls to get the ball and throws it to Ma-kun covering first. One down. Koyano grounds out to third and then Itoi hits a low fly out to center.
I feel bad for Ma-kun, but... also, the cameramen decided they should show Shinji sitting in the dugout putting eye drops in after his homerun. How weird.
Top of the third (F 1, E 0)
Kusano hits a flow fly out to center. Nakatani hits a fly ball out to right. Takasu hits a flyball caught by Kaneko. Three down.
Bottom of the third (F 1, E 0)
Tsuruoka chops one to third, easy grounder, one down. Kaneko singles to center. Kensuke singles to right, and Kaneko moves to third. Hichori fouls a bunch off before striking out. Inaba grounds out to first to end the inning with runners still standing at the corners.
Top of the fourth (F 1, E 3)
Naoto Watanabe hits a homerun almost identical to Shinji's except it lands in the front row of the Fighters' cheering section instead of the Eagles. 1-1 Teppei singles to right. Takeshi Yamasaki gets out to a full count before hitting a pop fly to right where three fielders converge on it before Inaba makes the catch. Seguignol singles to right, Teppei making it all the way to third, so runners at the corners with one out. (And then is chatting with Shinji at 1st base.) Nakashima eventually singles to left, scoring Teppei. 2-1. Seggy advances to second. Linden grounds to short and Kaneko throws to second and...
..oh, this is messy. So, I think that Nakashima was safe at second but the umpire called him out. The replay makes it look like Nakashima was quite safe too. Nomura comes out to argue, rightly so, but to no avail. Then he takes like 5 minutes walking back to the dugout. So, hmm. Two outs and runners at the corners for Kusano.
Kusano hits a low fly ball to left and Hichori chases it down but it bounces right in front of him as he dives for it. Kusano safe at first, Linden to third, Seggy scores. 3-1. Nakatani hits one to left and this time Hichori's diving somersaulting catch is successful, three out.
Bottom of the fourth (F 1, E 3)
Shinji Takahashi grounds out to short. Sledge strikes out. Koyano catches a curve to single out to right. Itoi grounds out to second.
Top of the fifth (F 1, E 3)
Takasu grounds out to second. Watanabe hits a pop fly out to right. Teppei hits a liner out to Kaneko. Whee.
Bottom of the fifth (F 1, E 3)
Tsuruoka grounds out to short. Kaneko pops one up behing the plate. Kensuke hits a pop fly to shallow left, kind of a low bloop, and Naoto Watanabe ends up running out for it and making a bucket catch before falling down, but keeping the ball.
Top of the sixth (F 1, E 3)
Looks like it's just 5 innings for Yagi. Shintaro Ejiri (yay) heads out to the mound to take over pitching duties.
Yamasaki hits a high fly ball to left and just kind of watches it go until Hichori catches it in foul territory. Seguignol grounds out to first. Nakashima gets up to a full count before Ejiri throws slightly low and slightly outside ball 4 for the first walk of the game. Linden lines out to third.
BS1 News saves me from having to hear La La La Fighters, hooray.
Bottom of the sixth (F 1, E 3)
Hichori grounds out to short. Inaba grounds out down the line, Seguignol getting the ball and throwing it to Ma-kun covering first. Shinji grounds out to short, a nice play by Watanabe actually.
Ma-kun is up to 81 pitches, by the way, and high-fived everyone on his way off the field.
Top of the seventh (F 1, E 3)
Fighters change pitchers to Kazumasa Kikuchi.
Kusano is called out on strikes. Nakatani grounds out to first. Takasu grounds out to third. Quick inning.
In the Tokyo Dome, it appears Gomiuri has tied things up at 2-2.
Bottom of the seventh (F 1, E 3)
Defensive replacement: Makoto Kosaka comes in to play second base instead of Takasu. But Ma-kun is still on the mound.
Sledge hits a fly ball up caught in foul territory by Kusano. Koyano grounds out to second. Itoi struck out swinging, catcher to first.
Top of the eighth (F 1, E 3)
Fighters change pitchers to Yataro Sakamoto.
Naoto Watanabe singles to center. Teppei hits a high pop fly that Koyano catches just foul of third. Yamasaki grounds into a double play, 6-4-3!
Bottom of the eighth (F 2, E 3)
Ma-kun is still out there pitching, but Naoto Inada pinch-hits for Tsuruoka.
Inada fouls off a whole bunch of pitches before singling to center! Kaneko singles to left, Naoto advancing to second. A mound conference and a Jingisukan chance theme later, Kensuke comes up bunting, and basically sends the ball exactly down the inside of the first-base line, and stops running as Seguignol comes over to tag him out, the other runners advancing safely.
Defensive change: Ryo Hijirisawa replaces Nakashima in right field. But Ma-kun is still pitching. Also, the Dragons are now up 4-2!
Hichori ends up hitting a fly ball to center, and Naoto Inada tags up and scores. 3-2! Inaba comes up to bat and after the Inaba Jump, everyone starts singing the Kanto chance theme (aka Chitty Chitty Bang Bang). After quite a long at-bat, Inaba ends up walking. Runners at the corners, 2 out, Fighters down by one... Shinji strikes out reaching for an outside pitch. Doh.
Top of the ninth (F 2, E 3)
Switcheroo time. Shota Ohno comes in as catcher, batting fourth. Naoto Inada stays where he is in the lineup, playing first. And Masanori Hayashi takes over pitching duties.
Seguignol hits a fly out to center. Hijirisawa grounds out to second. Linden hits a pop fly out to Itoi as well.
(Ma-kun has been throwing on the sidelines with Miyade -- I guess he will be out there to finish the game... yikes)
Bottom of the ninth (F 2, E 3)
Sledge strikes out. Koyano grounds out to the mound. And... Itoi hits a pop fly out to left and that is the game.
Eagles win 3-2.
There IS another game tomorrow. Now I have to feel silly for not making plans to go to Sapporo this weekend. Also have to figure out how I'm going to balance college ball and Fighters ball this weekend after all...
Ma-kun is the game hero, which shouldn't surprise anyone. He threw 126 pitches.
Hmm... I'm not sure whether or not I'll be home for tomorrow afternoon's game or not yet.