Another questionable weather day, another extra innings victory for Lotte!
The weather looked truly dodgy all day, so most fans stayed away for this one. I was stuck in the office until after 10pm – so close to the game, yet so far. It turns out I could have made the ending even while leaving at 10pm; the game went on that late!
Taking the mound tonight was Ohmine. Last time he pitched he was rocked for 7 runs by the Fighters, but took a no decision in the 8-7 loss. Tonight could not have been a more opposite pitching performance, but with a much better result: a 2-1 Marines victory in 11 innings. Unfortunately for Ohmine, this one was also a no decision for him.
Ohmine pitched quite well in this one, only giving up 4 hits in 7 shutout innings. He was pulled to start the 8th with a 1-0 lead – a lead that was promptly surrendered by reliever Kawasaki. It’s really pretty sad that Ohmine couldn’t get the win in this one after such a nice performance.
The game was won in truly bizarre fashion. Hawks reliever Settsu pretty much gift-wrapped this one in the bottom of the 11th. After a ground out by Hayasaka and a fly out by Ohmatsu, Fukuura singled. Settsu then walked both Satozaki and Iguchi to load them up for Saburo.
In a high-drama, climactic battle of pitcher vs batter, game on the line… Settsu plunks Saburo to bring in Fukuura and win the game for Lotte. I’ve gotta say, it’s very few times in my many years of baseball watching that i’ve seen a game won on a hit batsman. I’m pretty much sure i’ve seen more games won on balks.
A win is a win, and this one goes down in the books as another step on the road back to .500!