The Hawks did it with awesome hitting and pretty good pitching. They played well after winning the Pacific League by only a half game. They handled the Hanshin Tigers in only 5 games. They look like a really well-constructed team. I was sorry to see the Tigers lose (since I prefer the Central League) but it was a good season all around for Nippon Baseball. Now I hope the Carp can get it together next year. I think their biggest requirement is simply that their top players remain healthy.
Friday, October 17, 2014
There are a lot of ways to look at this season for the Carp and it may be cruel to see it only in the negative. This was their first winning season in some time so that was an achievement. The hitting was certainly the best I have seen in years as a Carp fan. They hit a lot of home runs and they also had people over .300. On the negative side, the defense was often questionable (not including Kikuchi) and the pitching did not come up to a high level during the stretch run for the league championship. Maeda was by far the most disappointing pitcher. Other than a couple of good games at the end, he pitched a really lousy second half and it seemed like his mind was already in MLB (where he most likely will be a colossal failure). I believe Maeda owes it to the Carp to stay and pitch with his whole heart and mind for one season. Otherwise, he leaves Japan as a failure on his way to probably a bigger failure. He just doesn't have the stuff of Tanaka or Darvish and now it's clear that he also lacks mental toughness and heart.
Friday, October 10, 2014
How do they manage it? The Carp were in first place or second place for pretty much every day of the season and they managed to fall to third on the last day. And their supposedly "star" pitcher pitched pretty badly for the entire second half of the year and was particularly bad in every big game. It seems to me that Kenta Maeda doesn't have the stuff to play major league baseball. He can't even win the big games. He's just whistling in the wind. If he comes to the U.S., he will end up being an embarrassment to Japan. Anyway, maybe somehow they can win this series against Hanshin and make something happen. But if Maeda keeps pitching like a minor leaguer, I don't see much chance.