Murton & Gomez Climbing to New Heights

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Authorities reported on the 13th that the Hanshin Tigers experienced some troubles after the Kyojin Giants game on the 12th (@ Tokyo Dome). From rigjt around the end of game time, the team’s accommodations in Tokyo experienced an hour-long power failure. None of the hotel guests were injured, but elevator service was halted and the team, who wanted to rush back to Osaka, was forced to wait out the delay at the stadium. But outfielder Matt Murton (33) and infielder Mauro Gomez (30) took aggressive action.

After a 3.5-hour battle at Tokyo Dome, the unthinkable happened. After surrendering a solo blast to (Giants first baseman Shinnosuke) Abe, Seung-hwan Oh closed the game off at 5:30. During Keisuke Kanoh‘s hero interview, which he earned with the game-winning RBI, the team’s management made the announcement to all the players.

“Due to electrical failures at the hotel, the whole building is without power. The halls are pitch black and the elevator’s not in service. Please wait it out here at the stadium.”

What the…? This 3rd game of the 3-game series was a daytime affair, and the team was supposed to return to Osaka without spending another night at the hotel. More than anyone else, players with families wanted to hurry back to their homes, no doubt. Well if the elevators are out, why not use the emergency stairwell? Wait a minute. The hotel had 43 stories. And the team was on the 32nd floor. Surely no one would take the…

Murton spoke up and Gomez didn’t hesitate to follow. “Let’s just go home.” The GM Cannons have reached base safely in 18 straight games and they stayed in sync with each other here as well. According to their interpreter, the two of gave their bags to a staff member in the hotel basement, saying, “It’s hot!” as they dripped large drops of sweat and panted. They did 990 steps in about 10 minutes, still in their baseball uniforms.

“I think this is a first in history.” The hotel staff looked almost apologetic for what happened, but couldn’t hide their surprise. There are 30 stairs between floors, and since the hotel’s opening in 2000, the employees’ walking limit has been 10 flights. They said they “couldn’t imagine” doing 32 stories.

On this day, neither guy was at designated practice, although that has nothing to do with their legs being tired. The team is putting their fate in the GM Cannons as they try to win out their remaining two games, so the day off was a chance for them to restore their energy. Murton matches up best with Hiroshima’s pitchers, so far hitting .333 against them on the season. The imports’ toughness is admirable even off the baseball diamond. Alright guys, get a good calf massage and knock out the Carp! We’re begging you!

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