Sunday, April 27, 2008

April 27th, 2008: Nishinomiya at Tokyo

Here's today's game. Enjoy!

April 27th, 2008

Nishinomiya Tigers at Tokyo Giants

TOKYO – After 13 innings, 23 runs, 32 hits, 8 home runs and a good five hours of mayhem, Tokyo outlasted Nishinomiya, 12-11.

The initial Randy Johnson – Minoru Murayama pitching duel didn’t last very long. By the time Randy Johnson was yanked in the third inning, he had given up six runs, and the Tigers were trailing, 6-1. Murayama lasted only through the beginning of the fifth inning, however, exiting the game trailing 7-6. Both pitchers find their ERAs over 6 after this game, with hopes of fewer pinball games to come.

Down 7-6, the Giants mounted a big, 4-run 5th inning rally to retake the lead. The big blow came on Roberto Clemente’s three run shot off Roy Face. For good measure, Barry Bonds added a solo shot for the Giants in the bottom of the 6th, placing the Tokyo lead at 11-7 with only three frames remaining.

However, in the top of the 11th inning, the Tokyo pitching fell apart. The visiting Tigers managed four runs in the inning, the big blow a three run blast off the bat of Shosei Go.

Then, somehow, the pitching returned. From that last score in the top of the 7th to the bottom of the 13th, not a single run was scored. Both teams rallied, but couldn’t manage to put the winning run over the plate. The Tigers had the bases loaded with only one out in the top of the 8th and couldn’t score. Shortly thereafter, they had runners on first and third in the top of the 10th, and still came up short. And then, as if fate were teasing the hometown Giants, they found themselves stranding a bases-loaded chance in the bottom of the 11th, as Robert Clemente struck out after fouling off three consecutive pitches.

The winning run scored on a Josh Gibson single with runners on first and second. Rube Waddell, Nishinomiya’s eccentric pitcher, wound up with the loss. Tokyo advanced to 7-3 on the season, improving from an awful 0-3 opening series against the Beijing Red Dragons, and good enough for second place, 2 ½ games behind the Beijing Mets. Tokyo’s April has been especially impressive due to its runs scored / runs against ratio. The Giants have scored only 53 runs, despite an offense that was widely considered the best in baseball. They have given up 56, for a -3 margin and a projected .472 winning percentage (vs .700 actual).

Nishinomiya finds themselves relegated to forth place, 4 games out of first, with a 6-5 record.

Click here for boxscore.

Today’s Other Games

Northeastern League

Beijing Mets 7, Seoul Blue Dragons 4 At Beijing. Eight straight loss for the hapless Blue Dragons, who are now 2-11.

Beijing Red Dragons 6, Harbin Icecaps 4 At Harbin.

Shenyang Defenders 4, Tianjin Lions 2 At Shenyang

Southeastern League

Suzhou Artisans 3, Nanjing Monarchs 2 At Nanjing. Randy Johnson pitched a complete game for the Monarchs, losing despite only giving up five hits.

Ningbo Stallions 7, Hangzhou Eagles 6 At Ningbo

Shanghai White Sox 9, Shanghai Red Sox 2 At White Sox

Wenzhou Merchants 3, Hefei Hope Stars 2 At Wenzhou.

Northwestern League

Lanzhou Refiners 7, Jinan Leopards 2 At Jinan

Wuhan Turtles 15, Taiyuan Kylin 12 At Wuhan. Despite a 13-1 deficit in the top of the 6th inning on the road, Taiyuan nearly made the comeback, scoring 11 times in the final three innings.

Luoyang White Horse 3, Zhengzhou Dragons 0 At Zhengzhou. Robin Roberts shut out the Dragons on five hits.

Southwestern League

Chongqing Fog 8, Chengdu Spice 1 At Chengdu. Leo Day went the distance for Chongqing, striking out 11.

Guangzhou Fire 4, Fuzhou Whales 0 At Guangzhou.

Taibei Brother Elephants 10, Lhasa Monks 2 At Taibei. Bob Shawkey threw a complete game for Taibei.

Xianggang Reds 3, Yunnan Bulls 2 (12) At Xianggang. With the score tied 1-1 going into the top of the 12th, Yunnan’s Al Simmons smacked a homerun to left field. However, after a single and a botched bunt attempt, Xianggang’s Judy Johnson hit a long ball to win it.

League Leaders

We’re not far enough into the season to start talking about batting average (quite a few players are hitting over .400, and the current leader is Wenzhou’s Vada Pinson, at .500 after 24 at-bats), but we can take a peek at a few other categories. Here are a few top threes:

Home Runs: 1) Eddie Mathews, Xi’an Wild Geese, 7. 2) [tied] Sammy Sosa, Lhasa Monks, 6, and Hank Greenberg, Xianggang Reds, 6.

Stolen Bases: 1) Chester Williams, Zhengzhou Dragons, 8. 2) [tied] Jelly Gardner, Xianggang Reds, 6, and Tetelo Vargas, Zhengzhou Dragons, 6.

Earned Run Average: 1) [tied] Sandy Koufax, Nanjing Monarchs, 0.00 (14.1 IP) and Charley Radbourn, Hefei Hope Stars, 0.00 (8.2 IP). 2) 4 tied with 0.56.

Batting Average Against: 1) Sid Fernandez, Xianggang Reds .093 (13.0 IP). 2) Alex Fernandez, Wenzhou Merchants, .109 (13.1 IP). 3) Hideo Fujimoto, Nishinomiya Tigers, .115 (16.0 IP).

Strikeouts: 1) Pedro Martinez, Nanjing Monarchs, 29 (23.1 IP). 2) Jimmy Key, Zhengzhou Dragons, 27 (23.0 IP). 3) Mike Mussina, Zhengzhou Dragons, 24 (23.2 IP).

Team Offense (sorted by BA, includes OBP / SPC): 1) Wuhan Turtles, .305 BA, .357 / .560. 2) Lhasa Monks, .304, .378 / .541. 3) Taibei Brother Elephants, .289, .360 / .482.

Team Pitching (sorted by ERA): 1) Hefei Hope Stars, 2.22. 2) Nanjing Monarchs, 2.67. 3) Shanghai Red Sox, 2.73. All three teams come from the Southeastern League, which is using a pitcher-friendly era and has more pitcher-friendly parks.

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