A few days ago, I said here that I'm not interested in Hawks, but this time, on 27-29 May, I had a chance to watch Hawks' games against Chunichi Dragons on NHK BS1, so I decided to try the 3-game interleague series.
Watching through three games, I found that Fukuoka Softbank Hawks' coach Sadaharu Oh had the different philosophy from Dragons' coach Hiromitsu Ochiai. That's their pitching strategies. Oh seemed to decide promptly some things to retire pitchers. In contrast, Ochiai was patience to make pitchers throw until the inning he requested. I think both coachs are not wrong, and the problem is which coach gets the momentum or not. In that point, I did enjoyed the series.
The 1st day, Dragons' starter Kenshin Kawakami allowed four runs to be turned the tables in 6th-inning, 3-5. Ochiai didn't move out of the dugout to make the right-hander throw until 7th before his men made a come-from-behind victory in 8th, when Hawks' starter Nagisa Arakaki, who gave up three runs on nine hits over seven innings, was replaced by reliever Yasushi Kamiuchi by Oh's quick decision. But the Fukuoka's winning-game had been burst out by three Hawks including closer Koji Mise, who was belted a back-to-back game-winnig three-run homer by Dragon Tyrone Woods, 8-5.
The 2nd day, Hawks Starter Tsuyoshi Wada had a day and made the complete game in a 12-2 triumph. All Oh did was to smile without moving.
The 3rd day, pinch-hitter Takayuki Onishi's extra-inning RBI and closer Hitoki Iwase's one-hit save gave the first interleague-series-win for Dragons in 4-3 victory. Luis Martinez started dragon debut to allow three-run homer to Hawks Nobuhiko Matsunaka in the bottom of the first, but threw strong pitches giving up no run in last seven innings. He seemed to be larger than he looked, I felt, and to become one of the rotation members for Dragons.
In this series, Ochiai had a momemtum, but next time nobody knows.
Chunichi 8-5 Softbank (27 May)
Chunichi 2-12 Softbank (28 May)
Chunichi 4-3 Softbank (29 May)*