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    Posts Tagged ‘dome’

    2009, Homerun Heaven?

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 April 18日 Saturday

    It seems like we’ve seen a lot of homeruns so far in the 2009 NPB season what with all the 3 homer games (with Kanemoto doing it twice in 3 days!). Is the ball livelier this season? And if so why would Japanese baseball go in the opposite direction from international standards?

    Anyways, it’s still early going, but I compared the number of homeruns with last year’s figure and here’s what I got (before today’s games).

    CL 2009: 37 Games 71 HR = 1.92 HR/G

    PL 2009: 37 Games 69 HR = 1.86 HR/G

    CL 2008: 1.69 HR/G

    PL 2008: 1.74 HR/G

    So, CL has seen a whopping 14% increase in homeruns (with the bigger park in Hiroshima to boot!), and PL has seen a 7% increase. 37 games is still too small a sample size, so we may see the homerun rates regress to 2008 levels, but we are definitely seeing more homeruns in early 2009. Are teams ordering more tightly wound balls? Who knows. It’s interesting that more homers were hit in the bigger PL parks last season than the CL with a couple of bandboxes (Hiroshima, Yokohama) and a homer friendly Tokyo Dome. This probably needs deeper digging before making any conclusions.

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, statistics, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Japan-Korea atmosphere videos

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 13日 Friday

    The atmosphere at the Japan-Korea I went to see (Japan won 14-2 in 7 innings on the mercy rule, the first time either country’s done it to each other… of course, the Koreans came back 2 days later to shut down Japan 1-0 in its usual nail-biting fashion) was absolutely electric, probably the best sporting event atmosphere that I’ve been in.

    Here are some videos from that day (7 Mar 2009, Tokyo round of 2009 WBC).

    Taiwanese fans doing the Atlanta Braves tomohawk chop-like cheer against China in the day game.

    Ichiro’s at bats, crazy camera flashes in his first plate appearance, bunt single in his second, and crowd going crazy after his 3rd hit of the evening.

    More videos after this break.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, culture, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Ichiro at bat

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 March 2日 Monday

    Whenever Ichiro was at bat, the camera flashes went crazy like fireworks in the stands. This video doesn’t quite do justice as the campact digital camera’s video mode’s not sensitive enough to capture all the flashes. There were at least 2-3x more visible than what is captured here.

    As for the WBC warmup games themselves. Saitama Seibu Lions beat down the Japanese national team 7-2, and the Yomiuri Giants barely lost 1-2 in extra innings on a wild pitch. And both club teams were lacking a few regulars to the national team, and were in full spring training mode by the latter half of the games, with lineups full of bench players and minor leaguers taking the mound. Needless to say, Samurai Japan looked horrible on both days, but hopefully this (and the opening game against China on Thursday) serves as a wakeup call for the team, otherwise they may not even make it out of the 1st round held at home in the Tokyo Dome. Notorious slow starter Ichiro is also having a horrible lead up to the WBC with only 3 hits in 23 at bats (and at least 2 of them were of the infield kind).

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    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Kawakami and Uehara in the USA Today List

    Posted by japanstats on 2009 February 6日 Friday

    Kenshin Kawakami was ranked #5 and Koji Uehara was ranked #18 in the top 100 names to watch for in the upcoming MLB season, according to USA Today. No new info here, and the writers are probably working just on info off sites like NPBTracker, EWC, and JapaneseBaseball, with doses of scouting input, maybe. Well, since they’re new mid-rotation projected starting pitchers, they should be interesting no matter how they turn out. Uehara’s had a better record considering the park factors between the hitter friendly Tokyo Dome, and more of a pitchers park of the Nagoya Dome, but Uehara’s fragile. I doubt that either pitcher will be able to handle the every 5th day rotation, and will face some injuries/fatigue midseason (a la Matsuzaka in his first year.)

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, MLB, NPB, opinion, Sabermetrics, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Lions Win Lions Win!!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 November 10日 Monday

    The Saitama Seibu Lions are the 2008 Japanese champions having won a thrilling game 7 against archrival, and the New York Yankees of Japan, Yomiuri Giants 3-2 in the deciding game. The guys at the Tokyo Yakult Swallows blog has what I know as the fastest championship game write up

    The Lions overcame many obstacles, like missing sluggers GG Sato and Craig Brazell (well, the latter was an OBP black hole so I don’t think he was missed much) from September on, and losing the starting catcher with some pop in Toru Hosokawa and having 5 tool shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima injured in game 5 where the team outhit the Giants but were unable to come up with any clutch hits or extrabase hits (except for a late solo shot).

    Some photos and movies from game 5 at the Seibu Dome on Thursday 6 November.

    Cheering for Nakamura in a scoring opportunity:

    “We are the Lions” (the flags give a neat crowd effect when cheering):

    Reliever Chikara Onodera warming up:

    pb060584

    Dude sitting in front of us with a creative “hyaku-ju no oh” (rhymes with 100 10 0) meaning “king among beasts” Lions uni:

    pb060590

    7th inning stretch jet balloons:

    pb060594

    Game 6 swung the other way as the Giants were unable to capitalize on numerous opportunities, and Seibu in a desperate move brought in game 4 starter Takayuki Kishi on 2 days rest in the 4th inning to put out the fire. He went on, incredibly, to finish the game. It was like watching high school baseball with the ace always ready to pitch in any game. Hopefully Kishi’s arm hasn’t received any permanent damage from this, many Japanese pitchers have their careers ruined by overuse, but then again some have genetically freaky rubber arms like erstwhile Lion and current Boston Red Sox Daisuke Matsuzaka. 

    Game 7 was a thriller from start to finish, with declining veteran and long time team ace Fumiya Nishiguchi being handed the ball to start off the game. He was shaky and gave up 2 runs in 2 innings and was substituted for pinch hitter Akira Etoh. Then the Lions pitchers proceeded to shut down the powerful Giants lineup with 2 innings each from starters Kazuhisa Ishii and Hideaki Wakui, an inning from reliever Tomoki Hoshino, then 2 innings from closer Alex Graman, all perfect in relief not allowing a single runner on base.

    On the offensive side, the second pinch hitter in the game Hiram Bocachica hit a homerun to make it a 1-2 game (then he proceeded to swing for the fences on succeeding at bats being easily struck out by high fastballs out of the zone, but that’s here nor there). Then in the 8th Giants reliever Daisuke Ochi became shaky in his 2nd inning of work and hit leadoff hitter Yasuyuki Kataoka (who was delighted to be able to get on base and even clapped his hands after being hit) who promptly stole 2nd on the very next pitch, then Takumi Kuriyama bunted him over to 3rd and Nakajima drove him in with a grounder to short to tie the game. Inexplicably (but luckily for the Lions) Ochi was left in the game to walk cleanup hitters Takeya “Okawari” Nakamura and Taketoshi Goto before allowing the hit by Hiroshi Hirano to drive in the game winning run, and that’s all Seibu needed to seal the deal (though driving in Shogo Akada from 3rd with no outs in the 9th would’ve been a nice insurance).

    Kishi took home the series MVP having won 2 games. His first win was an absolutely impressive complete game shutout in game 4, then he went on to save the day in game 6 on 2 days rest.

    Anyways, congratulations Saitama Seibu Lions, you are the 2008 Japanese chamions!!

    Japan Series banner sign:

    japan_series

    Series MVP Kishi being tossed high into the air by teammates:

    doage_kishi

    More portly manager Hisanobu Watanabe’s doage:

    doage_watanabe

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, opinion, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

    Saitama Seibu Lions lower playoff ticket prices!

    Posted by japanstats on 2008 September 29日 Monday

    When the Saitama Seibu Lions clinched 2nd place (and the right to host some of the Climax Series playoff games) earlier in the season they announced several efforts to ramp up their ability to draw larger crowds to the Seibu Dome, which due to its inconvenient location at the border of Saitama and Tokyo isn’t primed for big crowds, especially on weekdays when they’ve drawn only about 14000 people up until the recent potential 1st place clinching games which had drawn 26000-33000 people. The Lions backed into clinching 1st place recently when the 2nd place Orix Buffaloes lost enough games, this means that the Lions are going to host the PL finals (or Climax Series 2nd stage) with a 1 game advantage, and Saitama gets to host the entire series of up to 6 games (Oct 17-19, 21-23).

    The two major efforts in their campaign are:

    • Host Game 1 at Omiya Stadium. They had already hosted a game there on June 27, the stadium is more centrally located within Saitama and this was in line with Seibu’s efforts to more firmly plant its roots in Saitama. Hosting the first playoff game there was an unexpected surprise and should help the team in this endeavour.
    • Lower ticket prices! Ticket prices have been dramatically slashed in an effort to draw strong home team support and to not be an embarrassment. The Lions have also designated much of the third base side (traditionally for the away team supporters) for Lions fans, they better turn up in droves though I’m sure other fans won’t shy away from buying the “Lions cheering section” seats on the third base side. Anyways, here are the prices.
    • Regular season: Special S 10,000 yen, Infield S 4000 yen, Infield reserved 3000 yen, Infield unreserved 2500 yen, Outfield unreserved 1800 yen.
    • Climax Series: Backstop Special 7500 yen, L Infield reserved 2000 yen, L Infield unreserved 1500 yen, L Outfield unreserved 1000 yen, Visitor outfield unreserved 1500 yen.
    So, basically the team halved ticket prices and are trying to fill the stadium with Lions fans. I plan on being there to take in a few games. Despite these efforts though, tickets are still available for all 6 games.

    Posted in 02_English, baseball, information, NPB, tokyo | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »