Saturday, August 25, 2007

Walk-off Win

Last night was a long game.

It got off to a quick start, but then the pitching changes came and everything ground to a halt. After 10 innings and more than four hours it was still tied 2-2.

Tokyo threatened to score on several occasions, but Yokohama reliever Joselo Diaz (who was probably left in longer than he should have been) was able to get out of a couple of jams.

That finally changed in the bottom of the 11th when Aaron Guiel came up to bat with two men on. He smacked a walk-off double that nearly cleared the wall in right-center. It was a much needed late inning win!

Ramirez was intentionally walked just before in a bit of a "pick your poison" situation for Yokohama's manager. Needless to say, the decision blew up in his face.

Additional Good News: Ishikawa lowered his era to 5.02 (yes, he's had a couple of rough outings). He pitched seven innings and gave up only one run (solo homer) off of three hits. This is very surprising because he can generally be counted on to give up 4 or 5 runs when left in for seven innings (as suggested by his era).

Pacific League Standings (through games played Aug. 24th)

Hokkaido Fighters: 62 wins, 46 losses, 4 ties, 0 games back
Chiba Marines: 55 wins, 47 losses, 7 ties, 4 games back
Fukuoka Hawks: 58 wins, 50 losses, 3 ties, 4 games back
Seibu Lions: 53 wins, 56 losses, 2 ties, 9.5 games back
Tohoku Eagles: 50 wins, 60 losses, 2 ties, 13 games back
Orix Buffaloes: 49 wins, 60 losses, 4 ties, 13.5 games back

Central League Standings (through games played Aug. 24th)

Chunichi Dragons: 59 wins, 48 losses, 2 ties, 0 games back
Yomiuri Giants: 62 wins, 51 losses, 1 tie, 0 games back
Hanshin Tigers: 56 wins, 50 losses, 3 ties, 2.5 games back
Yokohama Baystars: 52 wins, 52 losses, 1 tie, 5.5 games back
Hiroshima Carp: 45 wins, 63 losses, 1 tie, 14.5 games back
Tokyo Swallows: 44 wins, 62 losses, 0 ties, 14.5 games back

By the way:
What is up with the interpretations of the post-game heroes interviews. Every third of fourth game one of our non-Japanese players makes it up there, and the interpreter slaughters the transition from English to Japanese. He did it again last night when they interviewed Guiel.

Now don't get me wrong, interpretation is a very difficult job. However, the guy at Jingu stadium (I don't know whether he is the team interpreter or if he's affiliated with Fuji TV or what) doesn't really have many excuses for messing it up that badly. Why? Because the interviewer always asks the same three or four questions, and the non-Japanese players always give the same three or four answers.

Something along the lines of:
Interviewer (in Japanese)-- "Wow, that was a great clutch hit! How do you feel?"
(accurate interpretation of question into English)
Player (in English)-- "I feel great! You know, we have a great team here and these guys work really hard every night. I'm just really happy that I was able to contribute to helping the team win tonight."
Interpreter (in Japanese)-- "I'm very happy. The team hasn't been playing very well recently, so I really wanted to get a big hit at that key juncture in the game. I think it worked out really well, and I'm glad that the rain held off for everyone tonight."

Most of the time the interpreter gets the first part right and then proceeds to just make the rest of it up as he goes. Granted, he's not working for the UN or anything like that, but he mangles a lot of very selfless comments where the non-Japanese guys are praising and giving credit to their teammates. Given the fact that the questions and answers don't really vary, I dare say that (with a little practice) I could do a better job.

And I'd do it for free.

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