vs. Carp – September 14 – Just Another Loss

There’s no decorating this or making excuses of any sort. The Hanshin Tigers have been utterly dominated by the Hiroshima Carp this year. After a decent 4-4 start in the season series, the Tigers lost 9 straight and have since limped to a 6-17 record against the Central League champs heading into this one.

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Game 133 – Fujinami Hits 160 Again (KM/H, not Pitches), Fails Again to Beat Carp

Heading into this one, Shintaro Fujinami had given up 22 runs and 18 walks in the first innings of his 23 starts. He made sure to pad both atrocious numbers in the top of the first. Three walks and two runs were aided by just one base hit, but it was enough to put the feeble Tigers in a hole. They attempted to crawl back into it thanks to poor pitching by the Carp’s Yabuta, but managed just one run on a Mauro Gomez grounder to third (he barely broke up the double play). The game remained close as Fujinami settled down until the sixth, which is his other typically bad inning in most starts. A walk was followed by a stolen base (throw looked to be in time but caromed off Fumiya Hojoh‘s glove and into shallow center). A hit to right by emerging start Seiya Suzuki gave the Carp a 2-run lead. Fujinami was pulled two outs into the seventh with runners in scoring position. Fortunately he was bailed out. The Carp starter lasted just six, and in the seventh inning, the Tigers capitalized. Hiroki Uemoto leadoff walk and stolen base was followed by Hojoh reaching on an error, then Fumiya Araki taking one for the team. With the bases loaded, Shun Takayama chopped one to first, and the throw at home took the catcher off the base. Kosuke Fukudome hit a sacrifice fly to left. Gomez hit one to center. Tigers lead! But alas, it was short-lived. Cody Satterwhite got smacked around in the top of the eighth for two runs, and Ryoma Matsuda gave up a solo shot in the top of the ninth. The Tigers got the go-ahead run to the dish in the ninth but that was it.

Final Score: Carp 6, Tigers 4. Team Record: 56-73-3. LP: Satterwhite (0-1)

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T-Ray is the founder, chief writer and Junior Executive Vice President of Hanshin Tigers English News (H-TEN). Find him on Twitter @thehanshintiger.