May 10th, 2012
Chunichi Dragons 1
Streak: Won 1 Last 5: WLLLW
|W: Akagawa (3-1); L: Yudai (1-2); S: Barnette (12)|
The Swallows’ bats finally come alive in the eighth to snap the team’s losing streak.
|1||Tanaka (2B)||1||Oshima (CF)|
|2||Morioka (SS)||2||Araki (2B)|
|3||Milledge (LF)||3||Ibata (SS)|
|4||Balentien (RF)||4||Wada (LF)|
|5||Iihara (CF)||5||Blanco (1B)|
|6||Miyamoto (3B)||6||Fukuda (3B)|
|7||Hatakeyama (1B)||7||Hirata (RF)|
|8||Fukukawa (C)||8||Tanishige (C)|
|9||Akagawa (P)||9||Yudai (P)|
The lineup got a bit of a tweak after Kawbata’s hip injury, and his subsequent removal from the active roster earlier today left a hole at short. Morioka took Kawabata’s place at short and batted second. With Morioka playing the speedy contact hitter role in the order, the Swallows chose to play Iihara at center to give themselves more punch. Finally, Fukukawa got a start as a reward for his home run in yesterday’s game, his first homer in 4 years.
All that lineup tweaking seemed fairly moot however, as the Dragons’ stater Yudai absolutely owned the Swallows through 7 innings. Yudai gave up just 1 single to the Swallows through 7 innings. Giving up no walks or errors, the lefty kept most of the Swallows’ balls in the infield to be easily fielded.
Akagawa was also pitched quite well but wasn’t quite as dominant. The young lefty kept the game scoreless until the sixth innings. After getting 2 outs Akagawa gave up an infield single to Oshima who quickly stole second and came home on an Araki single to left. 1-0 Dragons Despite being down only 1 run, there was a feeling that the Swallows were staring at their 4th straight loss.
Luckily the Swallows were finally able to get to Yudai in the eighth. Iihara started the inning my lining out to short for out number 1. Miyamoto got the rally by hitting a 3-2 pitch into right for a single. Hiyane took Miyamoto’s place in on the basepaths for Hatakeyama’s at bat. Yudai fell behind 1-0 to Hatake, Hiyane ran on the next pitch and the big man child smacked the ball deep into right for a double to men on second and third with 1 out. It was at this point the Dragons decided to end Yudai’s night and hand the ball to 2011 MVP, Asao. 2011 Asao might have been unhittable, but 2012 Asao has looked a bit more mortal. Asao started off by loading the bases with a 4 pitch walk to a pinch hitting Fujimoto to load the bases. Fukuchi came in to pinch hit for Akagawa, and watched Asao pitch his 5th straight ball before taking strike number 1 deep off the right field wall to score 2. 2-1 Swallows Tanaka couldn’t keep the rally going and gave up the second out of the inning with a liner to first. But the Swallows were able to get an insurance run when Morioka legged out a slow grounder to second for a infield single, letting Fujimoto score from third. 3-1 Swallows
Oshimoto pitched a 1 hit scoreless eighth, and Barnette pitched a 2 hit scoreless ninth to preserve the win. The win puts the Swallows a half game back of the Dragons for the CL lead.
- Akagawa got the win by pitching 7 innings on 98 pitches, allowing 1 ER, 6 H, and 1 BB.
- His Dragons’ counterpart, Yudai, got tagged with the loss for his 7.1 innings of 3 hit ball, with 2 ER to his name.
- The Swallows will have tomorrow off before playing a 2 game series against the Giants in Akita.