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  • Fantasy Basho

Natsu 2019 Day Eleven Recap

Everything we thought we knew about this basho is upended. Nothing went as expected on Day Eleven, which has interesting repercussions everywhere. The last four days are now setup for many different scenarios, it seems.

M13e Chiyomaru (5-6) wins by hikiotoshi over M15w Kotoeko (8-3)

Chiyomaru finds some form again versus the previously strong Kotoeko. The much larger Kokonoe beya man kept charging forward and flailing his arms, never allowing Kotoeko to get his rhythm.

M12w Yago (5-6) wins by oshidashi over M16e Daishoho (6-5)

In a battle of two big, solid young rikishi, Yago was always in the more favorable position. Despite that, Daishoho made him work to crawl closer to the .500 mark.

M15e Terutsuyoshi (5-6) wins by yoritaoshi over M11w Tochiozan (6-5)

Tochiozan sent out a smaller man submarining him on Day Ten against Enho, and tried something similar against Terutsuyoshi. Terutsuyoshi just grabbed Tochiozan's leg and easily shoved him to the outside.

M17e Chiyoshoma (4-7) wins by yorikiri over M10e Kagayaki (2-9)

Chiyoshoma stays alive for one more day, at least, but he still needs to win out to stay in Makuuchi. This performance won't get him there as he very awkwardly grappled with Kagayaki for a long time before eventually escorting him out.

M9w Tomokaze (5-6) wins by tsukitaoshi over M14w Enho (7-4)

The basic fact of Enho is that, despite all his skill, he is much smaller than anyone he faces. Tomokaze used that to great effect here, keeping Enho's kachi-koshi on ice and moving closer to even himself.

M9e Nishikigi (4-7) wins by tsukiotoshi over M14e Tokushoryu (3-8)

In a contest to avoid Make-koshi, Nishikigi came out on top. The real story is that both men need to put in better performances to get wins from here on out as this was a struggle in a bad way.

M8w Asanoyama (10-1) wins by yorikiri over M13w Sadanoumi (5-6)

This was a weird one. Asanoyama powerfully and convincingly grabbed Sadanoumi and took him to the edge. Then a mono-ii was called, because Asanoyama's toe might have stepped out just before Sadanoumi's heel. The judges decided it was Asanoyama's, but the announcement was said slightly wrong, causing confusion in the Kokugikan. The important fact is that this guaranteed Asanoyama a share of the lead at the end of the day.

M7w Meisei (7-4) wins by oshidashi over M16w Ishiura (5-6)

This begins a stretch of matches going somewhat as predicted. Meisei is too much for Ishiura, which says a lot about Meisei's development. It does not say much for Ishiura's odds of sticking in Makuuchi or rising up the Banzuke.

M7e Shodai (7-4) wins by tsukiotoshi over M11e Shohozan (6-5)

This was a prototypical Shodai match. Shohozan got the better of the tachiai, but Shodai asorbed the blow and rebounded. From there, his weirdly bouncy athleticism and fighting spirit proved overwhelming in its wildness.

M12e Shimanoumi (6-5) wins by oshitaoshi over M6w Yoshikaze (3-8)

Shimanoumi carefully worked himself into an advantageous position, which was enough because Yoshikaze seems to have nothing left at the moment.

M6e Takarafuji (7-4) wins by uwatenage over M10w Onosho (5-6)

Onosho had the advantage, but his seemingly inevitable win was turned around at the end, when Takarafuji grabbed him and threw him aside right at the end. Onosho might be at about 90%, because he was unable to force Takarafuji back enough for the win.

M3w Tamawashi (7-4) wins by oshitaoshi over M3e Chiyotairyu (3-8)

Tamawashi handed Chiyotairyu his make-koshi, while coming one win away from kachi-koshi. Tamawashi is actually well positioned to possibly slide into the Sanyaku ranks for Nagoya at this point. He also is positioned to play spoiler on Day 12, as he gets Asanoyama.

M4e Okinoumi (3-8) wins by yoritaoshi over M2w Daieisho (5-6)

Okinoumi is apparently very interested in making sure he wins enough to not go too far down the banzuke in July. He took the early advantage and never let it go, making Daieisho need to fight hard to get a kachi-koshi.

M1w Kotoshogiku (4-7) wins by yorikiri over M1e Hokutofuji (4-7)

This was a match whose outcome was always going to be decided by the result of the tachiai. Indeed, Kotoshogiku absorbed Hokutofuji's nodowa and wrapped him up. At that point, the yorikiri for Kotoshogiku was simply a matter of time.

M2e Endo (4-7) wins by yorikiri over K1w Mitakeumi (6-5)

Mitakeumi seemed ready to assert his Sekiwake claim for Nagoya, but he fell victim to Endo's use of the maemitsu grip on the front of the mawashi. Endo clamped his hand on Mitakeumi's front at the start, and it completely imbalanced Mitakeumi to the point of turning him around and out.

M4w Abi (7-4) wins by hatakikomi over S1w Tochinoshin (9-2)

On a day of shocks, this was the biggest shock of all. Abi came in having lost to Tochinoshin all three times he's faced him, and seemingly at a strategic disadvantage from the start. Abi naturally went for his two-hand-to-the-throat opener, which Tochinoshin actually looked like he had absorbed. Then Abi pulled his long arms around to hit Tochinoshin's back, sending him forward and out. Tochinoshin is now one off the pace and still needs another win to return to Ozeki in July.

M5w Ryuden (7-4) wins by uwatedashinage over O1e Goeido (7-4)

Ryuden kept up the shockers after a matta. Goeido was simply unable to charge Ryuden backwards, which allowed a small stalemate. That was the only opening Ryuden needed to toss the Ozeki over to the clay.

K1e Aoiyama (5-6) wins by oshidashi over O1w Takayasu (7-4)

And the hits kept coming. Aoiyama came out with a flurry of thrusts and shoves, which didn't initially push Takayasu back. Once he kept it up, Takayasu never found an opening and could only move backwards. Another Ozeki down.

M5e Myogiryu (4-7) wins by oshidashi over Y1w Kakuryu (9-2)

And perhaps the biggest shock of all was in the musubi no ichiban. Myogiryu has had a less than ideal Natsu basho so far. That changed on Day Eleven, when he got the step on Kakuryu at the tachiai and kept the pressure on the Yokozuna. Kakuryu tried to pull, but to no avail. He, too. is now one behind sole leader Asanoyama.

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