May 1, 2009

Our First Tigers Game of the Season - A Sayanara Win

We had the good fortune to get amazing tickets to tonight's Hanshin Tigers game from our friends the Williams. (Jeff is a relief pitcher with the Tigers). As many of you know, we have become quite big Tigers fans over the past one and half years, and games at Koshien are always great fun, from the high energy die-hard fans to the 7th inning jetto fusen.

This was our first Tigers game of the season, against the Yokohama Baystars. The Tigers are off to somewhat of a slow start this year, but tonight was great in many ways.

First, as usual the fans were amazing. The cheering and singing is so much fun. But this time there was more than just a lively crowd. People kept buying things for our children! A man in a Fujikawa Team Japan WBC Jersey sitting nearby bought Lauren a set of pink "Tiger Ears" and Jacob a Tigers Wristband. Two ladies sitting behind us bought the kids ice cream!

Second, Mike caught a baseball!

Third, it was an amazing come-back win. The Tigers were down 2-0, since the fifth inning. Jeff Williams and Scott Atchison, both of whom we know from the local Rokko Island community, each pitched a sharp inning of relief in the 8 and 9th to keep it close. After the Tigers made 2 quick outs in the bottom of the ninth against the Baystars closer, they then scored 3 runs to win it. Toritani tied it up when he reached on an error after hustling down the line to first. And then Kanemoto (who is to the Tigers what Paul O'Neill was to the Yankees in his day) tied it with a sayonara (walk-off) hit, and was named Hero of the Game.

Whipped up into a frenzy (chanting rashaii rashaii every time runners were in scoring position), the place finally went nuts celebrating the winning hit:


haseemscamel said...

Never never never surrender!

jack a. said...

What a strange sight: Sushi-san in the stands at a Japanese baseball game! And LAuren, Jacob, Ilena and Michael! It sounds like great fun -- especially the Sayonara win! Golf, too, was fun, but nothing like that!

Love you all! See you all soon!