Wish I was there though. Koshien is one of two pro stadiums in Japan that I haven't seen the Fighters play at. (I've been there plenty, just haven't been there for a FIGHTERS game.)
I have a Tokyo Big 6 Weekend Photopost in the works, but I've been sick or something the last few days, REALLY tired.
Kensuke 2b Murton cf
Hichori lf Hirano 2b
Inaba rf Toritani ss
Koyano 3b Arai 3b
Itoi cf Johjima c
Shinji 1b Brazell 1b
Kaneko! ss Sakurai rf
Tsuruoka c Katsuragi lf
Keppel p Kubo p
Top of the first (F 0, T 0)
Kensuke grounds out to short. Hichori strikes out. Inaba... grounds out to second. That took all of like 3 minutes.
Bottom of the first (F 0, T 0)
Murton gets to a full count before grounding out to second. Hirano singles to center. One on, one out. Toritani... watches a pitch go by low and THE PITCHOUT IS SUCCESSFUL and Hirano is caught stealing! Two outs. But then Toritani walks. Oops. One on, two out. Arai grounds into a fielder's choice, short to second. Three out.
Man, are these special interleague uniforms again for Hanshin? The weird trim isn't nearly as bad as some past ones they've pulled, I suppose.
There's Kanemoto on the bench -- I assume they're keeping his games played streak alive even if the innings one isn't...
Top of the second (F 0, T 0)
Koyano singles to center! One on, no out. Itoi follows it with a low fly ball to right, caught. One on, one out. Shinji hits a couple fouls, including one that gets Brazell to dive headfirst into the camera well, before ARGH grounding back to the mound for a double play, 1-6-3. Three down. Sigh.
Bottom of the second (F 0, T 0)
Johjima hits a pop fly up to right. Brazell hits one up the middle for a single. One on, one out. Sakurai hacks one down the left field line and Koyano throws it to second for the force, no double play though. One on, two out. Katsuragi grounds up towards first and Shinji makes the out. Three down.
Johjima looks older than I remember him. I guess he always had some salt-and-pepper hair, but it just looks like more now? I mean, he's only a year older than me...
Yay! "Shiroi Ball Fantasy"! See, the Pacific League is cooler because we HAVE a league song.
Top of the third (F 0, T 0)
Kaneko fouls one off his leg (ouch - at least it was the one with the shinguard) before getting called out on strikes. Doh. Tsuruoka hits a high fly to shallow center, caught by Toritani. Keppel also hits a high fly pop, this time to right, caught, three outs.
Bottom of the third (F 0, T 0)
Kubo grounds out to short. Murton strikes out swinging! Hirano grounds out to Kaneko. Hooray!
Top of the fourth (F 2, T 0)
Kensuke singles to left while I am downstairs putting in laundry. Hichori bunts him up to second, SB1-4, 2nd, one out. Inaba Jump!! singles to left and Kensuke scores!!! 1-0!! Unfortunately, Inaba tries to get to second on the play and is out in a rundown, 7-4-3. Two out. Koyano hits a long fly ball to right and Sakurai alllllllmost gets it but it bounces off his arm and falls for a double!!! 2nd, two out. Itoi walks! 1st and 2nd, two out. Shinji hits a grounder to short and it TAKES A BAD BOUNCE AND GOES THROUGH TORITANI for a hit! Safe at first, Itoi at second, and Koyano scores! 2-0!! 1st and 2nd, two out. Kaneko grounds out to second.
Still, two runs! Even though I'm not there, it'd be nice to see the Fighters win one :)
Bottom of the fourth (F 2, T 0)
Toritani grounds out to first, unassisted. Arai hits a pop fly to right. Johjima grounds to third and Koyano is AWESOME and makes this awesome running snag and throw to first.
Dear the MLB: This is how defense SHOULD be.
Top of the fifth (F 2, T 0)
Tsuruoka strikes out. Doh. Keppel grounds to third -- nice try but the throw barely beats him to first base. Kensuke also strikes out. Three down.
This is unrelated, but hearing the announcers pronounce Keppel as "Kep-peh-ru" reminded me of how today at my JHS we were talking about animals, and trying to get people to prounounce a "Wolf" as one syllable in this country is near impossible -- just like how when Brian Wolfe is pitching, he becomes "u-ru-fu", and I can't convince Fighters fans of his one-syllableness either.
I am going to also say that the most amusing thing of this half-inning was watching the police come and escort three people out of the front row of seats behind home plate, including a dude in a Kanemoto jersey with a big yellow and black afro wig. You know, if you're going to go sit somewhere you don't have tickets for, does it make any sense to sit right behind home plate in the front row and be super-conspicuous?
Bottom of the fifth (F 2, T 0)
Brazell hits a BIG BIG BIG FOUL BALL!1!11 HAHAHAHA no, seriously it barely missed the foul pole in left. Then he hits ANOTHER HUGE FOUL BALL but this time to right. Well, anyway, a few balls and fouls later, when the stadium is no longer being faked out, he singles to right. One on, no out. Sakurai gets called out on strikes. 1st, one out. Katsuragi grounds into a double play, 4-6-3, and that's the inning! Yay.
Top of the sixth (F 2, T 0)
Hichori grounds out to third. Inaba hits a pop fly out to left. Koyano, unfortunately, gets called out on strikes. Three down.
Bottom of the sixth (F 2, T 0)
OMG SHINJIRO HIYAMA IS PINCH-HITTING!!!!!! but he grounds out to second. :) Murton grounds out to second. Hirano grounds out to first with the pitcher covering.
For the record, it's 7:30pm. I have to go take my laundry out in about 15 minutes.
Also, Kubo got replaced on the mound by YUSUKE KAWASAKI!!!!!!! Holy crap!
He looks totally different in a Tigers uniform. And he's wearing #62.
I find it somewhat amusing that a former Lotte pitcher was followed by a former Lotte reliever... in interleague.
Top of the seventh (F 2, T 0)
Itoi strikes out looking. Shinji...has to wait a minute for a pitching change, as the TV cuts to the Hanshin bullpen, where we see Ryo Watanabe warming up.
So, Watanabe replaces Kawasaki on the mound. The Tigers fans start blowing up their balloons. I hope they all pop by the time they get released.
Shinji walks on four straight pitches. 1st, one out. Kaneko grounds into a double play ARGH. 6-4-3. So much for popping.
Bottom of the seventh (F 2, T 1)
Toritani walks. Arai hits a grounder to third that is barely fair and Koyano makes the grab and turns to get the ball to second in time to catch a sliding Toritain for the force. 1st, one out. Johjima hits a grounder that glances off of Keppel's left glove to go into center; Arai makes it all the way to third. 1st and 3rd, one out.
Nashida, Shimazaki, and a host of interpreters go to the mound to go have a talk with Keppel, but he is apparently still in the game.
Brazell grounds to short. Kaneko throws to second for the force, but Arai scores and there is no throw to first. 1st, two out. And 2-1.
ANIKI HAS ENTERED THE BUILDING that is to say Kanemoto is pinch-hitting for Sakurai. Also Shunsuke Fujikawa is pinch-running for Brazell at first. And Kanemoto singles to second, kinda -- it glances off a diving Shinji and Kanemoto is safe by the time Kensuke gets the ball. 1st and 2nd, two out... Katsuragi grounds out to second. Whew.
Top of the eighth (F 2, T 1)
Few changes in the field: Katsuragi moves to first, Shunsuke Fujikawa takes right field, and... and Keisuke Kanoh!?!?! enters in left field. Wow, I'm really out of it -- I had no idea he was playing the outfield since Johjima came along, but it makes sense. (He was a catcher before, see...)
Tsuruoka strikes out looking. So does Keppel. Kensuke strikes out swinging at a low pitch.
Bottom of the eighth (F 2, T 1)
Mitsunobu Takahashi pinch-hits for Ryo Watanabe.... and is called out on strikes. Matt Murton strikes out swinging. Hirano grounds out to first unassisted.
Top of the ninth (F 4, T 1)
Ken Nishimura replaces Ryo Watanabe on the mound.
Hichori walks. Inaba OMFG!!!!!! Inaba HITS A HOME RUN INTO THE NETTING IN DEAD CENTER! Yeah!!!! Hichorinaba both score, making it 4-1!!! Koyano fouls one that actually smacks the umpire in the head... whoops. And then he strikes out. Whoops.
Hirotaka Egusa replaces Ken Nishimura on the mound.
Dai-Kan Yoh pinch hits for Itoi and strikes out. Shinji grounds out to end the inning.
But YAY INABA! That's kinda funny -- I'm not sure it would be all that easy for a batter to actually AIM for that net in center, let alone hit a home run there.
Keppel is up to 113 pitches but still on the mound going into the bottom of the 9th, apparently... Yoh enters in left field and Hichori moves to center.
Bottom of the ninth (F 4, T 2)
Toritani... argh. Toritani hits a home run to left field, apparently. Yoh climbed on the wall to try to get it but it hits the left foul pole. 4-2. Arai singles to center... Johjima grounds into a double play!!! 5-4-3. Umm... Sekimoto pinch-hits for Fujikawa and doubles to center, over Hichori. Doh. 2nd, two out. Kanoh grounds to the mound and that's the game!
FIGHTERS WIN IT 4-2!!!
Well, I finally saw them win a game, I suppose, although it's really not the same as being there and getting to sing with my friends afterwards...
Looks like if there is a game hero, it is indeed Keppel... (not Inaba??) Araki-interpreter is ushering Keppel somewhere.
It's Keppel's first complete-game win. I'm gonna try to take down the hero interview:
- How do you feel?
It's a great day, great baseball atmosphere, I'm just happy we're winning some games now, hopefully we can put some more wins together.
- Are you tired?
A little bit.
- We heard that last year you were mainly a reliever. When was the last time you completed a game?
Last complete game? Wow. Uhh... a LONG time ago. 3 or 4 years? When I was playing with Craig Brazell.
- How do you like Koshien?
This place has a great atmosphere. I'd like to thank the Sapporo fans for coming down, but it's also amazing of you guys for filling this place up.
- The team has a four-game winning streak, what's your goal now?
[laughs] I think it's still gonna be to win!
...and that's about it.
Dude, I just saw a few of my friends on TV in the Fighters cheering section -- gonna go be jealous of people. Yay Fighters!