game report

They Might Be Giants

Yomiuri Giants walk off with a 5-4 win to split the series. The Marines were looking for their third straight come-from-behind win. For the second straight night, they rallied back from a 3-0 deficit to take the lead in the Tokyo Dome. But tonight the Giants would get the last laugh on a 2RBI walk-off double by Chono. It was a night of ups and downs for Chiba, here’s the recap:

Veteran Seth Greisinger was called upon to make his first start of the year, after beginning the year recovering from an injured shoulder. Despite a 2-run 2nd inning, and a solo line drive HR given up to his former catcher Abe, Greisinger left the game in line for a win. His final pitching line: 5IP, 3ER, 6H, 2K, 2BB.

On a night in which he faced his former team, the most memorable moment for Greisinger actually occurred on the base paths. With the bases loaded and 2 outs in the top of the 2nd, Seth came up to the plate. Greisinger hit what seemed to be a base hit to right for the first run(s) of the game. However, the hard hit ball was quickly scooped by the shallowly positioned RF Chono (more to come from Chono later). Chono’s throw beat Greisinger to first by an eyelash, and the inning was over.

Lotte had 13 hits on the night, but failed to send runners home until the 6th inning. Playing without a DH in a Central League ballpark, the Marines were unfortunate to have Greisinger come up again and strike out with the bases loaded and 2-outs in the 4th. Iguchi’s double play with 0-out and two runners on in the fifth, followed by an inning ending basket catch by Giants SS Sakamoto, added to the list of blown chances.

Lotte did all of their damage at the plate in the top of the 6th. Pinch-hitter Fukuura (for Greisinger) hit an RBI single up the middle, to cut the Giants deficit to 3-1. Next, last night’s hero Nemoto poked an opposite field 3-run homerun over the left field wall.  It was another timely at bat for Nemoto, this one resulting in his first homerun of the year. The Marines led 4-3, and it was beginning to look like we might finish with 2 wins in the only two games of the season scheduled at Tokyo Dome.

Nakagoh came in relief for Lotte and pitched a perfect 6th & 7th. Matsunaga overcame two 2-out Giants hits in the 8th to protect our 4-3 lead going into the 9th.

In came Masuda to close in the 9th. Surely Masuda would not blow his second save in 3 chances. After a lead-off single by Ishii, PH Tateoka sent a potential double play ball up the middle. Second baseman Nemoto, poised for back-to-back nights as the hero, attempted to backhand the ball. Instead, he flicked the ball into shallow left field (it looked like it could have been called an error to me, but was originally ruled an infield single). The play resulted in runners on 1st and 3rd and 0 out, leadoff man Chono coming to the plate. Chono smacked a ball in to the right-center field gap. The throw home was too late to catch the trailing runner Tateoka, and the Giants walked off with a 5-4 win. Disgusting.

Overall, it must be said that the Marines fought hard the last two nights.  Tonight, the breaks just didn’t go our way.  Watching the Giants celebrate a sayonara win was a tough pill to swallow for sure.

13 thoughts on “They Might Be Giants”

  1. You recapped this game with far fewer obscenities than I would have.

    This was just a sloppy, sloppy game. Two errors (Kawamoto and Greisinger), Greisinger getting gunned out by C%$!o from RF, Nemoto’s boot that should have been an error and probably cost the game, too many chances and not enough hits… It was fortunate we were in a position to win the game, but against the best team money can buy in NPB those mistakes ain’t gonna cut it.

    It’s hard to fault Nemoto completely, though – he was the reason we were in a position to win the game. And the middle of the lineup – Daichi, Kiyota, Imae, and T Ogino – went a combined 9 for 17.

    I feel bad for Masuda. He’s been EXTREMELY overworked as of late – appeared in 11 of the 13 games this month! Of course he’s not going to be at his best after so much work. Pitch Hattori as closer for a game or two to give Masuda a rest. It’s May, not September.

    Anyway you said all that could be said. We wanted more out of this series but we gotta take the 1-1 split.

  2. Random thoughts…I am new Marines fan, just in time for a 10-1 winning streak. What a cool team. I even bought a home jersey, what a nerd I am. I wish they could grow some real grass at Marines Stadim and throw out the carpet. That last game sucked, we had it and let it get away. Suzuki is a great little shortstop and a singles machine at the plate. Japan baseball is so much more fun to watch than american leagues. But american teams have better looking fields and stadiums. Chiba fans are nuts ! jeff

    1. Hi Jeff,

      You’ve picked a great time to become a fan! The young guys you’re getting to like now will be around for years to come. Agreed on watching MLB vs NPB – I have a hard time watching MLB on TV now, there’s so much more going on in an NPB game.

      They just replaced the carpet in 2011 so unfortunately it’s going to be around for a while. QVC would be perfect with natural grass and a wrecking ball to knock down the portions of the outfield wall blocking the view of the bay.

      Craig and/or I are at damn near every home game so if you want to meet up to watch one together just let us know.

  3. we (my irish girlfriend and i) bought imae and iguchi, what a riot trying to explain baseball to an irish girl,

    question, can we show up at the stadium and buy tickets or do we need to pre buy tickets ?

    why is the game not televised tonight ?

    we live near narita airport, in kozunomori

    go chiba ! yea , a view of the bay would be nice

    1. The game was televised tonight – Yakult home games are usually on Fuji TV (Fuji One on Sky Perfect). You didn’t want to see it though, trust me!!!

      You can almost always just walk up and buy tickets, but on weekends you may not find seats in the section you want. Weekdays is no problem at all, though.

    2. I don’t have a TV, so I’m not sure how many of the games are broadcast. However, you can subscribe to:

      You can stream, and watch the recording of every game…with the exception of 8 of the inter-league road games. If your Japanese is as terrible/non-existent as mine, you will need some help with signing up.

  4. thanks guys ! i do have pacific league tv but as you point out inter-league games are not broadcast, I didnt know that

    i thought that the marines were home last night, obviously not

    and its best i didn’t see it anyway, as Steve mentioned, these 9th inning blows are devastating losses

    one thing that annoys me about marines is the timid base running, especially when a guy has a chance to score rounding third, they almost always get stopped by the 3rd base coach, against giants especially as i recall, my feeling is to make the outfielder make that perfect throw to the plate, put pressure on the defense as they say, and how many times do we leave the basses loaded for cryin out loud !

    so i will go to next home game, thanks for all the info, cheers,

    1. Next home game is Sunday the 19th. I’ll be there, infield unreserved seats (2nd level). I’ll be there with my bro-in-law and sis-in-law. Not sure if Steve is coming.
      It’s unreserved seating, so you’re welcome to join us, or just come say hi, have a drink after the game, whatever. You can email me

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