vs. Giants – September 20 – Firing Blanks Against Ace

Last season it took the Tigers until around this point to finally win a home game against their most bitter rivals. This season went a little better, but the team’s 3-6-2 home record against the Yomiuri Giants still left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans. Could this final game against the Evil Empire, one that could have playoff implications, help the team end on a positive note against these Giants? In a word, NO.

Game 132 – Wednesday 9/20. Clawless at Koshien

Starting Pitchers: Takumi Akiyama (12-5) vs. Tomoyuki Sugano (15-5)

Top 1: With two outs and the bases vacant, Akiyama gave up a round tripper to Casey McGehee. Hanshin 0, Yomiuri 1

Top 2: Three straight hits resulted in a second run for the visitors. Hanshin 0, Yomiuri 2

Top 6: Akiyama settled down and got into a decent rhythm, but because the team needed some offense (and got none), he was pulled for a pinch hitter in the bottom half of the inning. Akiyama’s line: 6 IP, 88 P, 5 H, 1 BB, 2 R, 2 K

And that’s all. The Tigers mustered just 2 singles against Sugano, who completely dominated this one from start to finish. Only one Tiger got to the plate 4 times.

Final Score: Yomiuri 2, Hanshin 0. LP: Akiyama (12-6). Team Record: 71-58-3

Season Series:  8 (2) 13 

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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.