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Updated: October 30, 2013
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Copyright © 1997-2013
Grand Slam/Marco Stoovelaar
Compiled and Copyright © 1997-2013 by Marco Stoovelaar

Japan Series tied after win by Giants; Legendary player/manager Tetsuharu Kawakami passed away
TOKYO (Japan) - The Japan Series is back in balance after a come-from-behind victory by Yomiuri Giants in Game 4 on Wednesday-evening (October 30). Playing at home in the Tokyo Dome, the Giants trailed 3-0 in the first inning and 4-1 after two, then broke a 5-5 tie in the seventh inning to win 6-5 vs. Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. With the win, the Giants evened the best-of-seven Japan Series, which in any case will return to Sendai, as at least a sixth game is needed. Game 5 will be played in Tokyo on Thursday.


...Tetsuharu Kawakami in 1946...
(1920 - 2013)

Talented swimmer Natsumi Shibata tonight threw out the ceremonial first pitch.

Before the game started, there was a moment of silence to remember Tetsuharu Kawakami, who passed away on October 28 at the age of 93. Tetsuharu Kawakami became a legendary player in his 18 seasons of professional baseball in Japan and was nicknamed 'God of Batting'. The first baseman played in all of his 18 seasons (1938-1942; 1946-1958) for Yomiuri Giants, which was known as Tokyo Kyojin until 1946. Kawakami was famed for hitting with a red-painted bat and won the batting title five times (1939, 1941, 1951, 1953, 1955). The famous number 16 also hit the most homeruns twice (1940, 1948) and was named Most Valuable Player three times (1941, 1951, 1955). The lefthanded hitting Kawakami was the first professional player in Japan to reach the 2,000 hit-mark.

As Manager, he led the Yomiuri Giants to nine consecutive championship-titles from 1965-1973. Tetsuharu Kawakami was elected into the Japanese Hall of Fame in 1965. To remember the longtime Giants great, the players wore a black patch on their left sleeve.

Almost 45,000 spectators saw the Golden Eagles take a 3-0 lead in the top of the first inning off of Dennis Houlton. Takero Okajima led off with a walk, then Kazuya Fujita was hit by a pitch. After a flyout, the Golden Eagles took a 3-0 lead when Andruw Jones hit a 3-run homerun.

In the bottom of the first inning, the Giants got one run back off of Jim Heuser. Hisayoshi Chono led off with a walk, then Shinnosuke Abe walked with two outs and Shuichi Murata followed with an RBI-single.

In the top of the second inning, the Eagles made it a 3-run difference again when Ryo Hijirisawa singled with one out, moved on a 2-out single by Takero Okajima and scored on a following single by Kazuya Fujita, but then two runners were left behind.

The Giants then left two runners in the bottom of the second and third inning, but narrowed the deficit to 4-3 by scoring twice in the fourth at bat. Sho Miyagawa started the inning in relief of Heuser and walked lead-off pinch-hitter Tetsuya Matsumoto and Yoshiyuki Kamei. Hisayoshi Chono followed with a runscoring single that brought in Matsumoto. Miyagawa followed by hitting next batter Takayuki Terauchi and was ejected by the umpire for throwing 'a dangerous pitch'. Shinichiro Koyama took over and struckout Hayato Sakamoto, but then gave up a sacrifice fly to Shinnosuke Abe, that made it 4-3.

The Giants again scored twice in the fifth inning to take a 5-4 lead. With one out, Tetsuya Matsumoto (who stayed in the game as new centerfielder) walked and Yoshiyuki Kamei reached on an error. The two then scored on a following double by Hisayoshi Chono that gave the Giants the lead.

The lead was briefly, as the Golden Eagles tied the score in the top of the sixth inning off of Hirokazu Sawamura, the third pitcher for the Giants. Kazuo Matsui led off with a single, advanced on a sacrifice bunt by Motohiro Shima and scored on a following double by Ryo Hijirisawa. With two outs, a single followed, but the Eagles then stranded two runners.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Giants scored what would be the winning run off of Kohei Hasebe, who had taken over the pitching the inning before. After the Giants had left a runner in the sixth, the team got the bases loaded in the seventh, but scored only once. Hasebe gave up a lead-off single to Tetsuya Matsumoto, who moved on a sac-bunt by Yoshiyuki Kamei. Hisayoshi Chono was then walked intentionally to create a force play, but Takayuki Terauchi followed with a runscoring single that gave the Giants a 6-5 lead. Next, Hayato Sakamoto walked to load the bases, but then two flyouts ended the at bat.

The Giants held onto the lead, as Scott Mathieson (who came on in the seventh) and Tetsuya Yamaguchi (who pitched the ninth) held the Golden Eagles scoreless in the final three at bats.

And so, it was only fitting that the Giants tonight won their game in honour of their longtime player and manager Tetsuharu Kawakami.

(October 30)

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