NEW HOPES OF EACH BASEBALL CLUB
Yomiuri Giants and Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters were the 5th position on each league's table last season. It is surprised that both teams excite Japanese baseball now. Both coaches appointed young and fresh players to activate the team effort and are working well. I watched their games at Tokyo Dome on TV.
I live in Tokyo, so despite almost not watching Giants' games last year, I knew new players picked up on the Draft commission and new foreign players scouted for the Tokyo ballclub. Coach Tatsunori Hara, who was named as the manager since 2003 season last autumn, lost experienced pitchers like Hisanori Takahashi, Masumi Kuwata, and Koji Uehara. Then he gave a chance to play with the top team to young players like Tetsuya Utsumi, Kentaro Nishimura and Satoshi Fukuda(rookie) in pitching, or Yoshiyuki Kamei and Manabu Iwadate in batting. Especially Utusmi grew up on the mound to earn the 5th win on the midgame of this series as a 24-year-old boy is the second best ERA in the Central League, 2.12, to answer the manager's expectation most.
On the other hand, Fighters' coach Trey Hillman didn't make the batting members defference from last season like Giants, who have put Lee Seung Yuop from the Marines on the 4th batting since the opening of this season. However the American coach, who is the 4th year since going to the north land, found a new coming pitcher go out there, Tomoya Yagi. A 23-year-old rookie allowed 4 hits and one run in 6 2/3 innings to contribute to Fighters' victory over Giants, 5-2 on the last game of the series, Fighters' 49th game this season, when he is now leader on the Pacific League's ERA standing, 1.64, and co-leader with three pitchers collecting 6 wins in the League. I'm afraid to be anxious of that reliever Hisashi Takeda and closer Michael Nakamura enters the most games in the league, 27 and 24.
Next series, Fighters go back home to meet Tokyo Yakulto Swallows, while Giants stay home to face last season Champion Chiba Lotte Marines. You have long days yet until FIFA World Cup is opened. For a while, I will enjoy the Japanese baseball Interleague.
Nippon-Ham 5-3 Yomiuri (23 May)
Nippon-Ham 1-4 Yomiuri (24 May)
Nippon-Ham 5-2 Yomiuri (25 May)