Hawks Win Nippon Series Against Fighters

Randy Messenger and Tadashi Settsu traded zeroes through six. The Hawk bullpen came on to spell Settsu and continued with the shutout innings. Messenger finally cracked in the eighth, giving up three of his nine hits in the game, Nobuhiro Matsuda driving in the only run with a single.

The game ended in a bit of controversy on the last play. Dennis Sarfate continued to dance with danger while closing for the Hawks, walking three hitters in the ninth to load the bases with one out. Tsuyoshi Nishioka grounded a ball to the first baseman, who threw it home for the second out of the inning. The catcher threw it back to first to get the third out but it hit the baserunner and bounded into right field. The umpire ruled the baserunner out for running inside the baseline for the third out. Confusion changed to massive celebration after the call was made.

Seiichi Uchikawa was voted the MVP for the Series. He had the second single in the eighth inning to advance the go ahead runner to third base.

After the game Takashi Toritani, the shortstop for the Hanshin Tigers expressed his interest as an international free agent to explore possibilities in the major leagues. At 34 years of age and eligible to sign with a major league team in 2012 Toritani chose to stay with the Tigers. In those two years his opportunity to play in the major leagues may have passed. Japanese shortstops do not have a history of success as shortstops in the major leagues and Toritani does not have enough power to play third. He could work out as a utility player. Or he could be using the major leagues as a bargaining chip in an effort to get the Tigers to offer him a more lucrative contract despite his aging years.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.