(photo courtesy of Asahi)
Well, we’re onto our first of our two replay games scheduled today. This game wasn’t anything special, just a very uneventful draw where neither team really gained an advantage. Not like the games that happened afterwards and the nonsense that ensued.
The problem now is that Fukuokadai Oohori’s Miura is behind the 8-ball. he pitched all 15 innings and is taking take the mound again. Meanwhile, Miyagi and Tanahara split duties and could be better off in the rematch. In fact, they’re sending #12 Mitsumoto to the mound to start this game.
It’s weird because this rule of 15 innings max came about because of Daisuke Matsuzaka and his ridiculous run which included a 17 inning complete game. But the silly part is that you may stop it at 15 innings, but a team isn’t going to have a 2nd ace generally so that pitcher is going to pitch 15 plus another 9. How does that make any sense?
- C Gotou Katsuki
- SS Kohama Ryouji
- 1B Chinen Ryoutomo
- LF Takei Ryuuji
- CF Shindou Tsukasa
- 3B Yamamoto Shunpei
- P (#12) Mitsumoto Shougo
- RF Tai Kaishuu
- 2B Nakanishi Ryouta
- SS Kubota Yuuya
- RF Hirano Koutarou
- C Koga Yuuto
- 1B Higashi Reo
- 3B Inamoto Yuusei
- CF Nishi Hayato
- 2B Saitou Tomoya
- LF Kabashima Ryuutarou
- P Miura Ginji
11:00 – First Pitch!
So that didn’t go well for Miura. Hits the first batter, goes to 2 full counts afterwards, and gets a terrible break when Chinen’s chopper somehow finds the divot left by Gotou heading to 3rd, and takes a high hop past Kubota. That scores Gotou and Shiga Gakuen is up 1-0.
But unfortunately Mitsumoto isn’t effective on the mound either. After getting a K (good), he walks Hirano, then gives up 2 clean singles to load the bases. Topping it off, he leaves a changeup in the zone and Inamoto drives it into no man’s land in right center, falling just before the wall. 2 runners score (Higashi is thrown out at home), and now Fukuokadai Oohori leads 2-1.
That lead doesn’t last long either. Miura certainly not sharp and gives up not only a single to Tai, but then leaves a fastball middle-middle to last batter Nakanishi and he knows what to do with that. RCF gap for a triple and a 2-2 tie.
It’s becoming readily clear that the pitching is shot on both sides. Mitsumoto, while having not pitched 2 days ago, is ineffective. He gives up a walk and two more base hits, the latter one by Hirano scoring the base-on-balls Saitou and it’s Fukuokadai Oohori in the lead again 3-2.
There was a small lull in the action as both teams perhaps started swinging at anything in the zone thinking it could go for a base hit. Eventually the batters adjusted to the relative improvement in pitching and Shiga Gakuen would be the ones to put up a crooked number.
Tai, having the most success, gets his 2nd hit in as many ABs with a single back up the middle.
Then with 2 down he leaves a changeup over for Kohama which goes for a base hit, and then in trying to blow a 140 fastball by Chinen instead he puts bat to ball and singles to right. Tie game again 3-3.
Yamaguchi-kantoku has seen enough of Mitsumoto to send him out there again with the game tied and #11 Miyagi enters the game.
After a one out walk to Hirano, Koga swings at the first pitch and drives it to left. Takei goes back to the wall, and is he looking up?
Koga, first pitch HR and Fukuokadai Oohori retakes the lead 5-3!
Shiga Gakuen almost pegs back one of those runs. After Yamamoto is plunked on the wrist and bunted to 2nd, Tai hits a dying liner to right. Hirano charges in, dives and reaches out the glove, and just gets under it for the 3rd out.
Shiga Gakuen doesn’t get a chance after that. Miura closes out the game as Fukuokadai Oohori advances with a 5-3 win.
Well in this case, the pitching depth or the stamina of the pitchers can be the main determinant as teams have to go further into their bullpen or use tired pitchers. in Shiga Gakuen’s case, they went deeper into their bullpen and was not rewarded. For Fukuokadai Oohori, Miura lasts the 9 innings and still showed good control at the end – but in reality how many more of those can he do in consecutive days?