On a Central League Wednesday, with five teams battling for post-season positions, we had only one big showdown game, between Hiroshima and Hanshin, who started the day one back of the third-place Yomiuri Giants, whose manager Tatsunori Hara went all old school on us. In Nagoya, Munetaka Murakami had a difference of opinion about the strike zone with infamous umpire Kazuyuki Shirai.
Giants 2, BayStars 1: At Yokohama Stadium, Hara pulled out all the stops, and by that I mean he waved his sacrifice bunt wand.
Hara had slugging catcher Takumi Oshiro bunt two runners into scoring position in the fifth from where the go-ahead run could score on a groundout. Cleanup hitter Sho Nakata, who singled in the game’s first run, was asked to lay one down in the sixth with two on and no out. He got the job done, the next batter walked to load the bases.
Wednesday’s trio of Pro Yakyu News analysts, Hiroki Nomura, Tsutomu Iwamoto and Kenji Tomashino were doing their job to hold up the righteousness of the sacrifice bunt.
“Having Nakata bunt electrified the Giants bench. It’s special,” Tomashino said, to which Nomura and Iwamoto heartily agreed.
Including the subsequent walk, the Giants responded to being electrified by going into offensive shock making outs in 11 of their final 12 plate appearances.Continue reading NPB news: Sept. 21, 2022