Sunday, August 26, 2012

Week in Review: August 21 - August 27

A .500 week that started out more promising as Chunichi took two out of three games from Hanshin and the first game of three against Yakult.  Then the bats fell silent and the Dragons were shut out in consecutive games, falling to 3-3 for the week. 
  • Tony Blanco is getting closer to rejoining the team.  He made a pinch-hit appearance in a ni-gun game Friday.  If things continue to go well he could join the team at some point during the coming week.
  • Daisuke Yamai and Hitoki Iwase shared duty as the closer this week.  Yamai got the save in the first game of the Tigers series.  Iwase saved the second game of that series and the first of the Yakult series (the last two save opportunities for the team).  Yamai has been perfect in his chances to save games this year, but has allowed a lot of base runners in his last few appearances as closer. 
  • I was able to watch both Saturday and Sunday's games on and enjoyed the Great Central throwback uniforms, the umpires' hats (reminiscent of the Pittsburgh Pirates pillbox caps) were a nice touch as well. 
  • Saturday's game featured Shinji Iwata vs. Shohei Tateyama.  Iwata pitched great giving up only two hits and two walks over eight innings, his downfall though was his two hit batters, both on breaking balls that slipped from his hand.  The lone run scored against him came after he hit Lastings Milledge, who then advanced to third on a single and scored on a sac fly.  Tateyama was outstanding as well throwing a complete game shutout, the Dragons had some chances against him, but couldn't keep from hitting groundballs at the Yakult shortshop. 
  • Both pitchers in Sunday's game were perfect through three innings.  Yamauchi ran into trouble in the 4th; giving up two runs.  Kyohei Muranaka lost his perfect game bid in the 4th as well, when he walked Wada, but he didn't give up a hit until the 7th when Yusuke Matsui blooped a ball to center.  Ibata had the only other Dragons hit in the 8th, but he, nor any of the other Chunichi baserunner was able to reach as far as second base that night.  A dominant performance by Muranaka, the second shutout of his career.

No comments: