October 19th, 2011
Chunichi Dragons 4
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LLWWL
|W: Yoshimi (18-3) L: Akagawa (6-3)|
“It’s over folks,” was how Kozo opened his post after Tokyo’s last loss to Chunichi, six days ago. He was very right. Let us hope that whatever kept the Swallows in the lead for so much of the season is being secretly stored up for the postseason.
|1||Aoki (CF)||1||Ohshima (CF)|
|2||Ueda (LF)||2||Iwasaki (SS)|
|3||Tanaka (2B)||3||Fukuda (3B)|
|4||Hatakeyama (1B)||4||Hirata (RF)|
|5||Balentien (RF)||5||Saeki (1B)|
|6||Morioka (SS)||6||Donoue N. (2B)|
|7||Noguchi (3B)||7||Donoue T. (LF)|
|8||Nakamura (C)||8||Oyama (C)|
|9||Akagawa (P)||9||Kawai (P)|
The first two innings flew by like the stamina of our ailing club, then the scoring started in the third. I trust I needn’t point out which half of the third.
The first pitch went for a single to Donoue the Elder and was followed by an Oyama RBI triple. A bit later, an Ohshima ground out brought Oyama home, too. 2-0 Chunichi.
In the fourth, Aoki sat down, his batting average dropping below .300 at the end of a season for the first time in seven years; Ueda moved to center, Noguchi to left, and Araki came in to play third. Why not give the young guys a shot to play the field? Kyuko also took the mound in the fourth for Tokyo, but it didn’t help a whole lot. He started off by giving up a single to Fukuda, who was immediately (first pitch) brought in by a Hirata triple to the right field fence. Saeki then put the third pitch in almost exactly the same location into deep left for an RBI single. 4-0 Chunichi.
The Dragons continued to supremely suck in the field (seriously, go get drunk and do fungoes in your living room and you’ll be ready to take the field in Nagoya), but Tokyo didn’t even come close to capitalizing on any of the three errors.
Yamamoto pitched the fifth and sixth 1-2-3 for the Swallows, but was left hanging out like David’s dirty underwear on a rainy day. Hidaka traded a hit for a K in the seventh for no damage.
In the seventh, Suzuki took over for Chunichi. In the eighth, he gave up a single to the speedy Noguchi. Ohshima then avoided an E, but fumbled a Fukukawa hit to center, which moved Noguchi to third. Takeuchi was then in for Balentien and sac-flied Noguchi home. Araki GIDPed. 4-1 Chunichi, Final.
Fukuchi got an AB, and got out. Nothing could have counted anyway.
The Birds’ last game of the season will be at home against Hiroshima on the 25th. Here’s how it goes: Cheer for Ogawa, he’s still our man; cheer for the retiring players. Be nice to the Carp.
The Climax Series begins, at Jingu, on Saturday the 29th. Get your Giant-Hater T-shirt now and get to your ticket agent of choice to get your tickets ASAP.
Now take a deep breath and say it with me, Tokyo fans. F”#$%&’())(‘&%&’()=)(‘&%&’())(‘&%$#$%&’!