Sunday, September 9, 2012

Week in Review: September 4 - September 9

The Dragons won 3 and lost 3 this week and despite the .500 week they actually put a bit more distance between themselves and both the Carp and the Swallows.  Chunichi's magic number for locking up second place must be around 10 games now with 20 more games to go.
Chunichi played well against the Carp this week winning two out of three games.  They knocked Nomura out of Tuesday's game early, while Yoshimi cruised to another complete game and a 10-3 Dragons victory.  The Dragons dropped the second game of the series 2-1.  Kan Otake, the Carp pitcher who has given Chunichi the most trouble this season, was pitching a shutout into the 8th before he was removed because of a blister on his finger.  The Dragons managed a rally against the Hiroshima closer but fell short in the end.  Chunichi beat Hiroshima on Thursday 3-0 behind a 1st inning 2-run HR from Tony Blanco and very solid outing from Kenichi Nakata.
Hanshin came to Nagoya for the weekend series and the Tigers pitchers brought their "A" game.  Though Chunichi managed one win in the series, 1-0 on Friday, the Dragons scored only the 1 run and had 10 total hits over the three games.  On Saturday the Chunichi seemed especially baffled by Atsushi Nomi's breaking pitches.  He had 8 strikeouts over 8 innings (including Blanco's golden sombrero) and Dragons hitters chased or check-swung time after time at balls well out of the strike zone.
  • Injuries at the catching position: Tanishige didn't play this week with hamstring issues and Kohei Oda was injured during Saturday's game when he was hit in the face by a thrown ball from the outfield in a successful attempt to stretch a single into a double.  Oda remained on the field for several minutes and was later taken to the hospital for stitches.  Sounds like he will be okay going forward, no mention of a concussion, a very unlucky play.
  • Masa Yamamoto was pretty decent in his start, pitching 5 1/3 scoreless innings.  He was taken out in the 6th when it looked like Hanshin might get a run against him, Takagi knew there wasn't any room for error with the way Chunichi was hitting against Nomi, otherwise Yamamoto may have been allowed to go a little deeper into the game.

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