Kensuke 2b Higashide 2b
Hichori lf Soyogi ss
Itoi cf Amaya cf
Nioka dh Kurihara 1b
Koyano 3b Tomonori Maeda (?!) dh
Shinji 1b Hirose rf
Yoh Dai-Kan rf Jeff "Fio" Fiorentino lf
Tsuruoka c Ishihara c
Kaneko! ss Kokubo 3b
Keppel (6-1, 3.60) Ohtake (0-0, 0.00)
OMG NO INABA! I guess he banged up his leg worse than I thoguht.
It occurs to me that last time I liveblogged the Fighters, Keppel was also the starting pitcher. Huh. And this is Kan Ohtake's first start of the season -- he had shoulder problems in the preseason. Urawa Gakuin pride... EXCEPT WHEN PLAYING AGAINST THE FIGHTERS! But I AM totally hoping Ryota Imanari makes an appearance tonight...
Top of the first (F 0, C 0)
Soyogi grounds out to second, Higashide advances. One out, 2nd.
Amaya grounds deep to second and Kensuke can't make a grab and throw on the play, so it's an infield single. One out, 1st and 3rd.
Kurihara strikes out and Amaya steals second on the third strike; Two out, 2nd and 3rd.
Tomohiro Maeda grounds out to second for an easy play. Three down. Whew.
Bottom of the first (F 3, C 0)
Hichori grabs an outside pitch and grounds it up the middle and Higashide makes a nice run for the ball but Hichori JUST beats out the throw at first -- and Kensuke was actually off stealing second on the pitch, so he's totally safe. No out, 1st and 2nd.
Itoi bunts, a nice clean one, catcher to Higashide covering first. One out, runners at 2nd and 3rd.
Nioka strikes out; 2 out, 2nd and 3rd.
Koyano hits one up the left side that is barely barely fair, but it IS fair, so there! He gets a double and everyone else scores. 2-0. Two out, 2nd.
Shinji singles up the middle through Ohtake's legs, to center. Koyano scores, 3-0. Two out, 1st.
Yoh lofts one to left field and Fiorentino runs it down. Three out.
Maybe Ohtake is NOT ready for prime time again. Although that was kind of a lucky ball on Koyano's part.
Also, they seriously list Fiorentino as "Fio" (フィオ) in katakana. I'm not sure I'd seen him play yet this year, come to think of it.
Top of the second (F 3, C 0)
Hirose grounds to the mound, not an easy play but Keppel makes it.
Fiorentino grounds out to second.
Ishihara grounds out to second. Quick inning!
Bottom of the second (F 3, C 0)
Tsuruoka grounds to third and the ball bounces off Kokubo's glove! Whoops. They rule that an error.
Kaneko! comes up bunting... and bunts successfully. One out, 2nd.
Kensuke singles to right! Tsuruoka advances, so, one out, 1st and 3rd.
Hichori... hold on, Kensuke gets caught stealing during Hichori's at-bat, 2-6. Two out, 3rd. Hichori gets up to a 3-1 count and the umpire runs to the media booth for a minute and starts waving his hands around and nodding but nothing actually happens. Huh? Anyway, Hichori walks. Two out, 1st and 3rd.
Itoi grounds out to short. Three down.
Top of the third (F 3, C 0)
Kokubo grounds out to third.
Higashide grounds out to second.
Soyogi grounds out to third.
Have I mentioned recently how good Koyano has gotten? I don't want to jinx him, but...
Bottom of the third (F 3, C 0)
Nioka singles up the left, just through Soyogi's glove!
Koyano grounds into an easy double play, 6-4-3. Whoops, I jinxed him :(
Shinji hits a pop out to second and that's it, three down.
Top of the fourth (F 3, C 3)
Kurihara doubles into the gap in left-center, and Amaya gets to third... actually, I wonder if he could have scored on that, but it's hard to tell. No out, 2nd and 3rd.
Maeda grounds out to second, BUT Amaya finally does score. 3-1 One out, 3rd.
Hirose singles to left. Kurihara scores. 3-2. One out, one on. Hmm...
Fiorentino grounds out to the mound, advancing Hirose. Two out, 2nd.
Ishihara hits one out to right field and it's just beyond the outstretched glove of Dai-Kan Yoh for a double. Crap! Hirose scores, 3-3.
Kokubo grounds out to third to end the inning.
Bottom of the fourth (F 3, C 3)
Yoh grounds out to short.
Tsuruoka grounds out to third.
Kaneko! grounds out to short.
Hey, the Marines are pounding the Giants 4-0. Hooray!
And for some reason they decide to show Kosuke Fukudome making a diving catch in the PNC Park outfield in the lovely Pittsburgh rain.
Then next, Ichiro got his 2100th hit? Neat...
Top of the fifth (F 3, C 3)
Higashide hits a pop fly out to Hichori.
Soyogi grounds out to third.
Amaya grounds up the RF line and Kensuke makes a spinning play on it. Whoosh!
Bottom of the fifth (F 3, C 3)
Kensuke hits a big fly ball out to right.
Hichori singles to right! Hooray! One out, 1st.
Itoi grounds to second -- quick flip to Soyogi and Hichori is out, but Itoi is safe at first on the fielder's choice. Two out, 1st.
Nioka strikes out and that's it.
Top of the sixth (F 3, C 3)
Tomonori Maeda grounds back to the mound and is easily thrown out at first. Kurihara to 2nd.
Hirose also grounds to the mound. Kurihara stays, so two out, 2nd.
Fiorentino hits a pop fly to left. Three out.
It's already La La La Fighters time? Really?
Bottom of the sixth (F 3, C 3)
Koyano hits a pop fly out to right.
Shinji hits a pop fly out to right.
Yoh hits a grounder up the right side but Kurihara dives for it and gets it back to the bag in time.
Carpu, Carpu, Carpu Hiroshima...
Top of the seventh (F 3, C 3)
Ishihara singles to center-right.
Kokubo... well, Ishihara steals second on the 2-1 pitch, before Kokubo ultimately strikes out swinging. One out, 2nd.
Higashide takes forever and grounds out to third. Two out, 2nd.
Soyogi grounds back to the mound.
Bottom of the seventh (F 3, C 3)
Tsuruoka grounds out to a leaping Ohtake.
Kaneko! singles to center.
Kensuke hits a fly out to left. Two out, 1st.
Hichori... singles to left! Two out, 1st and 2nd!
Genghis Khan chance music starts after the Hiroshima mound conference ends!
Itoi hits one to right and it's just a single! Damn! Two out, bases loaded!
Switch to the Kita no Kuni Kara chance theme... and the CF cameras can't stay steady.
Nioka hits a pop fly out to right :( :( :(
Grar. That sucked!
Top of the eighth (F 3, C 4)
Masanori Hayashi takes the mound for the Fighters -- Keppel is done after 7.
Amaya hits a pop fly caught by Kaneko in shallow center.
Kurihara singles to left. One out, 1st.
Tomonori Maeda hits a pop up into the cavernous realms of the foul territory at the Sapporo Dome and it is caught. Two outs, 1st.
A pitching change...? Apparently so. Hayashi sits down and Hisashi Takeda comes out in his place.
Hirose singles up the middle. Aw, crap. Two outs, 1st and 2nd.
Fiorentino crap crap crap crap HISASHI YOU SUCK um, Fiorentino singles to left, and Kurihara scores. 4-3. Akamatsu pinch-runs for Fiorentino at first base. Two outs, 1st and 3rd.
Ishihara grounds out to second and that's the inning. But...
Bottom of the eighth (F 4, C 4)
Some kid named Hideki Kishimoto replaces Kan Ohtake on the mound for Hiroshima. (Akamatsu enters from being a PR to playing left.)
Koyano strikes out swinging at a pitch in the dirt.
Shinji grounds out to short.
Yoh HITS A HOME RUN TO LEFT-CENTER! Whoa! It was going and going and... and it entered the stands! 4-4!
Tsuruoka hits a pop fly out to center.
Ryota was the first guy to high-five Yoh back at the dugout after Nashida-kantoku. And they showed a shot of Itoi making a guts pose after the home run was hit. Heh.
I'm just sad they couldn't have Ryota pinch-hit for Tsuruoka and enter the game and...
Top of the ninth (F 4, C 5)
Naoki Miyanishi takes the mound for the Fighters. (I nearly just typed Mishima. I really have to get college ball off my brain.)
Kokubo singles to left.
Higashide bunts to third -- Koyano gets the ball to Kaneko for the force at second, but no double play. Still, nice play! One out, 1st.
Soyogi... watches Higashide steal second. And then... he smashes one to centerfield. Not a homerun in the cavern that is the Sapporo Dome, but it goes for a double and scores Higashide. Argh. 5-4
Yuichiro Mukae is pinch-hitting for Soichiro Amaya, and Brian Wolfe is coming out to replace Naoki Miyanishi on the mound.
Uh what? Shigenobu Shima is pinch-hitting for Mukae.
Shima grounds out to third. Two out, 3rd.
Kurihara walks. Two out, 1st and 3rd.
Tomonori Maeda is still hitting. WTF. grounds out to third to end the inning.
Bottom of the ninth (F 4, C 5)
Ryuji Yokoyama enters on the mound for Hiroshima and Shogo Kimura takes over in left. Akamatsu moves to center.
Kaneko fails to check a third swing at a pitch in the dirt. Doh.
Kensuke hits a pop fly to center.
Hichori OMG! I was positive that was a pop out to center and then it hit the back wall JUST above a jumping Akamatsu, and Hichori gets a triple! Holy crap! Two out, tying run at 3rd...!
Itoi grounds out to short and that is the game.
NPB box score
I'm actually mostly pissed off that I didn't get to see Ryota Imanari play, when I think about it. Saw him sitting in the dugout, but even this weekend at Kamagaya everyone was like "I hope we can see Ryota play at the Tokyo Dome..."
Whoa, the Carp mascot Slyly is at the Sapporo Dome, that's kind of crazy, didn't know he toured as far up as Hokkaido...
I give you your game hero, Eishin Soyogi, whose line for the night reads: Ground out to 2nd, ground out to 3rd, ground out to 3rd, ground out to short, go-ahead RBI double. Yeah.