Monday, June 11, 2007

Another Day, Another Save

I had the pleasure of watching an interleague matchup between the 1st place Giants and the hottest team in Japan, the Nippon Ham Fighters. Until losing an extra innings affair a few days ago, the Fighters had won 14 straight. They went from the cellar in the Pacific to 2nd place in a hurry and look like the team that won the Japan Series last season. The Giants sent rookie sensation Kaneto to the mound against Nippon Ham's Takeda. The game was a pitching duel that went into the bottom of the 8th inning scoreless.

For the 2nd time in about a week, Kyojin bench man Yano hit a game winning, pinch hit home run. With the score 1-0 Giants, Uehara entered the top of the 9th looking to nail down a win with his 8th save. Pinch hitting, Tomohika Tsuboi put a charge into Uehara's belt high fastball and sent Damon Hollins to the wall to make the catch. Hollins had just shifted to right from center to make way for some defensive substitutions and the ball found him. Uehara spun his head furiously when the ball left the bat and watched, wincing, as it sailed for the wall. When Hollins hauled it in, he wiped his brow and exhaled. The former ace then struck out Oda looking, and induced a pinch hitting Kimoto to ground out to second. Another 1-2-3 inning for Uehara, a save, and a big win for Kaneto and Kyojin. Excellent pitching all around, and a very entertaining game.


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