Sunday, June 06, 2010
Game Report: Fighters vs. Giants @ Tokyo Dome - Another Day, Another Gyakuten Homerun
Dear Mascot Makers: A bear should be bigger than a bunch of mutant orange rabbits. Seriously. Even if they are Giant Rabbits.
Everything was going so well. Shinya Tsuruoka even actually hit a home run, which is basically a once-a-year event. The Fighters had a 5-3 lead after 6 innings, on the pitching of Keisaku Itokazu, and had actually managed to knock up Giants starter Shun Tohno pretty well.
And then lefty Masanori Hayashi came in to pitch the bottom of the 7th, presumably to face lefties like Seung-Yeop Lee, Yoshinobu Takahashi, and Michihiro Ogasawara.
And Hayashi walked the first batter he faced, pinch-hitter Yoshitomo Tani, on four straight pitches.
Then after a few more balls to Hayato Sakamoto, Sakamoto singled to center.
Yoshinobu Takahashi was the next batter, and he'd already hit a monster 2-run homer in his last at-bat, not to mention the night before.
So it should surprise nobody that Yoshinobu took the first pitch he saw and drove it deep into the right-field stands to put the Giants ahead 6-5.
I seriously considered just going home at that point, being as I had to be up at 6:30am Sunday morning to go to work, but I've pretty much never left a game early unless I had no choice (like last trains or having to go to work or whatnot).
But, I stuck around to the bitter end. Yamaguchi got the win and Marc Kroon got the save and I got nauseous.
Seriously, being in the Tokyo Dome for Giants games just sucks. This game was sold out upon sold out, and I was lucky to have a seat in the Fighters cheering section, I realize, but being as it was so full of people, AND the standing room area was also full of people, it was just a big hot sweaty mess of people. And while cheering was fun and it was nice while the Fighters were ahead, I kept getting dizzy from standing up for too long for some reason. In addition, this was some kind of "eco series", so I guess that means that rather than turning on the air conditioner, they just gave out fans to people to wave, so it was probably even hotter and more horrible than it would be otherwise.
Though, I did something I rarely do -- I videotaped us doing our opening cheer songs. There are a lot of these "1-9" lineup videos on Youtube, but this is my first, usually I'm not in a good vantage point for one:
And another video I took is of all of us singing "Shiroi Ball Fantasy", which is the official Pacific League song. We sing it before the 3rd inning in all interleague games.
In general, though, I spent most of this game being crowded and uncomfortable. My legs actually hurt by the end of the game from having to stay in such a small space to stay out of everyone's way.
I saw a lot of Fighters friends there, though -- people from Hokkaido and people from Osaka and even people from Fukuoka. So that was kind of cool, except that it was too crowded to actually SEE anyone, except for a few minutes after the game, during which everyone said "Will you be at Yokohama Stadium tomorrow?" at which point I said "No, I'm not -- have to go work at my school's Sports Day," and which everyone replied, "Oh, that's too bad!" to...
...until I pointed out, "Hey, I won't be there. So the Fighters will definitely win."
And they did.
I'm heading to Sagamihara on Monday night. I bet the Fighters won't win there either.