Saturday, October 16, 2010

Tokyo Big 6, Weeks 4 and 5: The Short Version

I think Waseda is going to pretty much wrap up the Big 6 championship tomorrow (Week 6, Game 2), so I need to quickly catch up on how we got to that point. I mean, doing the math they can't actually clinch, but they can make it mathematically very improbable for anyone to catch up to them.

Week 4 had one completely improbable event happen when Todai beat Waseda on the first Saturday game, Yuki Saitoh losing to Todai freshman Shota Suzuki. I was in Nagoya for the weekend, so I didn't see any of that series, although I found a place that I can watch some of the back games. But so basically Waseda won games 2 and 3 of the weekend and took their 3rd series point. Hosei beat Keio in two games, since Keio was probably zonked from their deathmatch with Rikkio.

Hosei 2, Keio 1 WP: Kagami LP: D.Takeuchi
Hosei 4, Keio 3 WP: Mishima LP: Fukutani

Todai 4, Waseda 2 WP: S.Suzuki LP: Saitoh
Waseda 7, Todai 2 WP: Fukui LP: Maeda
Waseda 7, Todai 0 WP: Saitoh LP: S.Suzuki

For the record, Saitoh's win was his 30th college career win. The last Big 6 guy to achieve that was Mikinori Katoh (and his 30th win came against Saitoh in Soukeisen 2007, so I suppose it is appropriate for Saitoh to get his by beating a freshman too.)

It also gave Waseda their third Series Point. 3 is sometimes enough to lead the league, 4 is almost always enough, and 5 is sweeping, so.

Week 5 had the first two days rain out, which SUCKED, but fortunately Monday was a holiday so I could go to those games. I sat behind the Hosei/Todai dugout and watched my side's team lose both games. Kagami was good, but Yusuke Nomura has been UNTOUCHABLE aside from losing one game to Waseda. Seeing Suzuki pitch again in person was interesting; I'm really not sure why people have trouble hitting his stuff. I might understand if he was left-handed since he pitches kinda like Jamie Moyer (mostly in the 65-80 mph range). I got his autograph after the game, and he seemed kind of stunned. Maybe just tired. And the Tokyo captain Maeda told me I speak Japanese very well, but I think he was just being polite.

Meiji 4, Hosei 1 WP: Nomura, LP: Kagami
Hosei 8, Meiji 5 WP: Mishima, LP: Nishijima
Meiji 1, Hosei 0 WP: Nomura, LP: Kagami

Rikkio 3, Todai 0 WP: Komuro LP: S.Suzuki
Rikkio 7, Todai 0 WP: Okabe LP: Maeda

Unfortunately, due to the way that Waseda is beating everyone, and everyone is beating each other, Meiji and Hosei and Keio all have 2 Series Points now, Rikkio has 1, Todai has 0, and Waseda has 3.

Waseda beat Rikkio today too, in the first game of Week 6. If they win tomorrow, they will have 4 Series Points. Whoever wins the Meiji-Keio series would have 3 Series Points and thus theoretically have a shot at catching Waseda, but that also depends on Keio beating Waseda at Soukeisen as well. So, effectively, while it is not ACTUALLY over, it sure feels like it.

(And, yeah, I need to write more about it later, but while they lost, at least Rikkio made today's game INTERESTING.)

BTW, the OPS leaders through Week 5 (with enough AB to qualify):

1. Nishi (M) .522/.621/.739 1.360
2. Habu (W) .481/.571/.667 1.238
3. Itoh (K) .353/.476/.647 1.123
4. Y.Maeda (R) .310/.394/.621 1.015
5. Taki (H) .350/.435/.475 .910
6. Watanabe (W) .296/.375/.444 .819
7. Fuchigami (K) .368/.432/.368 .800
8. Tanaka (R) .263/.378/.421 .799
9. Okazaki (R) .333/.391/.385 .776
10. Nagasaki (K) .259/.394/.370 .764

Just for an arbitrary way to sort in a way the league doesn't, pitchers by WHIP, under 1:
1. Saitoh (R) 0.82
2. Nishijima (M) 0.84
3. Komuro (R) 0.90
4. Nomura (M) 0.93
5. Mishima (H) 0.97
6. Fukutani (K) 0.99

To be fair, the Todai pitchers walk a lot of guys, but almost everyone else who has enough innings to qualify has a WHIP of 1.14 or lower (Okabe is 1.46).

I have a bazillion photos I've taken this semester. Wonder if I'll get around to putting any of them online before the semester ends (I can't believe there's only 2 weeks left).

Also, draft hopefuls had to register for the draft by October 14th. So here is the list of Big 6 boys who hope to be drafted:

Name College Position T/B Ht/Wt
Kisho Kagami Hosei Pitcher R/R 186/88
Fumiya Araki Meiji SS/OF R/L 180/75
Kazuki Nishijima Meiji Pitcher L/L 186/89
Shogo Shashiki Meiji 1B/DH R/L 178/80
Soichiro Tanaka Rikkio OF R/L 175/78
Yuki Saitoh Waseda Pitcher R/R 176/74
Yuya Fukui Waseda Pitcher R/R 177/78
Tatsuya Ohishi Waseda Pitcher R/L 182/76

Honestly, I don't expect all of these guys to get taken. Shashiki was a year ahead of Sho Nakata at Osaka Toin, but his bat isn't good enough to make him a real prospect, I don't think. Nishijima may get drafted just because he's huge and left-handed and from Yokohama HS, and has had a few good semesters, but is kind of inconsistent. But he has potential, if a team wants to try to work with him to bring it out, I think. Araki is a well-rounded player (he hits, he fields, he has speed) but I don't know if his tools are good ENOUGH. Soichiro Tanaka, in all honesty, has a great arm and great baseball sense, decent speed, some power (he hit 4 HR last semester) but I don't think he'd make it in the pros either.

I think Kagami and Ohishi and Saitoh will get drafted because they are all awesome. Yuya Fukui, I dunno, I think he's not bad, but I never see him pitch because I always see the other Waseda boys instead, and he gets eclipsed by the other two in all the reports as well. Then again, Matsushita had the same problem and he got drafted, so who knows.

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