June 5th, 2012
Orix Buffaloes 5
Streak: Lost 1 Last 5: LWWWL
|W: MacLane (3-2 / 2.75) L: Masubuchi (1-2 / 3.38)|
Chances were created/wasted in equal measure and runs were gifted as the Swallows mini-revival came to an end in Osaka.
Milledge (CF) 1 Nonaka (CF)
Noguchi (LF) 2 Adachi (2B)
Kawabata (SS) 3 Scales (LF)
Hatakeyama (1B) 4 Lee (1B)
Ihara (RF) 5 Baldiris (3B)
Miyamoto (3B) 6 Kitagawa (DH)
Tanaka (2B) 7 Kawabata (RF)
Miyade (DH) 8 Obiki (SS)
Nakamura (C) 9 Saito (C)
Masubuchi P MacLane
Both teams wasted chances early on. In the top of the 1st, back-to-back two-out singles from Kawabata and Hatakeyama put men on the corners for Ihara, but Yasushi could only ground out to short to strand the two runners.
In the bottom of the inning Masubuchi, partial as ever to the walk, issued two of them to put two men on with one out for the equal parts podgy:dangerous Lee. But the pear-shaped Korean hit into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning with the scores still tied at zero.
In the 2nd, a two-out single for Miyade put another man on, but at first he would remain as Nakamura grounded out to third.
It would be in the bottom of the 4th that Orix would take the lead, courtesy of some Tokyo generosity. Scales got things underway with an one-out double to rightfield, with which Ihara really should have done better as he lunged in vain to miss what appeared to be a quite catchable ball to his right. Masubuchi started to get rather wild from this point on, issuing a five-pitch walk to Lee before Baldilis grounded out to short, with the out being made at second to put men on the corners with two outs.
The wildness continued as Masubuchi completely lost the zone, walking Kitagawa with another five pitches to load the bases. Four pitches was all it took for Kawabata to get a free pass to first and walk in the go-ahead run for 1-0 Orix. And things would get worse as a wild pitch during next man Obiki’s at-bat saw another run score for 2-0. Obiki would then ground out to end the inning with the Buffaloes lead at two.
In the top of the 5th, a one-out double for Miyade made things appear like Tokyo may well be able to claw themselves back into the game, but shallow fly-outs for Nakamura and Milledge put paid to that notion.
Tokyo’s final chance of the evening would come in the 7th. With Orix reliever Hirano on the mound, Tanaka hit a one-out flyball to shallow centre that a combined small army of Buffaloes fielders couldn’t come up with and Hiroyasu found himself safe at second. A pinch-hitting Fujimoto then singled to centre and Tokyo again found themselves with men on the corners, this time with just the one out on the board. But Tokyo hopes would again be dashed as Nakamura hit into a double play at second to put up yet another goose egg on the Swallows’ scoreboard.
And the final nails in the Tokyo coffin came in the 8th, with Oshimoto on the mound in relief. A walk, a single and a three-run shot from veteran Kitagawa would wrap up the scoring for a 5-0 Orix Final.
- Masubuchi was responsible for the loss after his 6.2I / 3H / 5K / 6BB / 2ER performance. As is often the case with Masubuchi, it was the walks that caused all the trouble. I know we’ve got a lack of healthy arms at the moment, but MASUBUCHI FROM THE PEN = GOOD, MASUBUCHI FROM THE START = NOT SO MUCH. That said, two runs, no matter how wasteful the manner in which they were given up, wasn’t all that bad. The real issue with the team at the moment is the hitting.
- Hidaka came in to the game in the 7th, inheriting a runner on second (who initially got on board via a, yes you guessed it, I don’t even need to type it) with two outs from his starter. He got the pinch-hitting Gotoh to fly-out to left off his first and only pitch of the evening to get out of the inning. HIs ERA sits at 1.45.
- Oshimoto continued his general downward spiral of form with that 8th inning and his ERA is now up to 4.38.
- 7 hits, no runs, familiar story. The hits coming from Kawabata, Hatake (2), Tanaka, Miyade (2) and Fujimoto. The main villains of the piece were Ihara and particularly Nakamura for their wastefulness with men on.
- Not much more to say on this topic really. A depressing evening. But I guess the silver lining was that chances were created.
- Japan Series Champions or not, Softbank aren’t very good this year, at least not at the moment. Facing them this last weekend came at a good time for us, but had the effect of rather flattering to deceive with regard to a more sustained upturn in our form.
- An alleged 11,447 people present barely made a dent in the cavernous expanses of the stadium formerly known as the Osaka Dome.
- This was apparently the 10th straight game Tokyo have lost in said Dome.
- Once again, just for good measure, MASUBUCHI FROM THE PEN = GOOD, MASUBUCHI FROM THE START = NOT SO MUCH.
- Jingu’s own “DJ PAAAAAATRIIIIIIIIIIIIKUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOOOOGOOOGOOOGOOOGOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”, obviously studied at the side of the Kyocera Dome’s own rather annoying bag of wasted voice air, who makes almost the same unintelligible vocal gurnings whenever anything of note happens on the field.
- Tomorrow will see Tokyo trying to avoid the season series sweep at the hands of Orix. Roman will take the mound for the Swallows, with the Buffalloes countering with Kisanuki.