vs. Carp – September 18 – Carp Clinch Central

Unfortunately, because of the weekend of rainouts, plus a miraculous Swallows win against the Carp earlier on the weekend, the Hiroshima Carp came to town with a magic number of one. And of course, all the talk in the media was that the Tigers had to prevent the pennant from being clinched on our soil. But all that talk didn’t matter, because the stronger team left the field as winners. For the second straight season, the Carp are the cream of the Central League.


Game 131 – Monday 9/18. Fiercely Tight Game Ends in Loss

Starting Pitchers: Luis Mendoza (0-1) vs. Yusuke Nomura (9-5)

Top 1: It didn’t take long. A walk was followed by a bunt, a grounder, and an RBI single. Hanshin 0, Hiroshima 1

Top 4: Mendoza plunked Abe, who advanced to third on a one-out single. Then their starter, Nomura, laid down a squeeze bunt to score an insurance run. Hanshin 0, Hiroshima 2

Bottom 4: With one out and a full count, Masahiro Nakatani took a cutter over the center field wall. Hanshin 1, Hiroshima 2

Top 5: Mendoza retired the side in order, ending his start with a strikeout. His line: 5 IP, 80 TP, 5 H, 1 BB, 1 HBP, 2 R, 3 K

Bottom 7: Two solid innings by Tsuyoshi Ishizaki meant the game was still within reach. His pinch hitter was Naomasa Yohkawa, who showed why he has nothing left to prove on the farm. Hanshin 2, Hiroshima 2

Top 8: Unfortunately, Suguru Iwazaki started the inning with two straight walks. He left after getting one out, and the first pitch Kentaro Kuwahara threw found a hole in the infield. Hanshin 2, Hiroshima 3

Bottom 8: Hiroki Uemoto led off with a hit, quite similar to the one that got the Carp the lead, and then Kosuke Fukudome smashed one to right field. It looked good, but got caught up by the wind and dropped harmlessly into the fielder’s glove. Then Uemoto got picked off at first during the next at bat, and there was no more life in the Tigers.

For the second straight year, and the 8th time ever, the Carp are your Central League champions.

Final Score: Hiroshima 3, Hanshin 2. LP: Iwazaki (4-1). Team Record: 71-57-3


Season Series:  9 (1) 14 

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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.